Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 45

++ News in English about the Mojahedin Khalq was dominated by interviews with reporter Gareth Porter who has been promoting his new book, Manufactured Crisis. In it he reveals the MEK’s role in pushing false reports and documents into the nuclear crisis playing out between western governments, the IAEA and Iran. The fact that this misinformation did not even originate with the MEK further undermines its credibility as a group.

++ Atefeh Eghbal is an internal critic of the MEK who last year started the campaign for the immediate transfer of Camp Liberty residents to third countries, and was subsequently labelled by the MEK as an agent of the Iranian regime and subjected to a vicious denunciation campaign. Eghbal has written a short article about the MEK members’ families who also support the group under the title, ‘A simple question which has never been answered’. The article highlights the complaint of these sympathetic families that, “While they are in Camp Liberty we have no contact with our loved ones, but even with those few who have recently arrived in European countries and in Albania, the MEK still don’t allow us to contact them”. Eghbal poses the question, ‘The MEK leaders constantly praise the MEK members as “beacons of revolution”, and every six months come up with another set of signatories pledging themselves willing to die for the Rajavis, why then are they so hysterically afraid of a simple telephone conversation between these so-called ‘masters of the revolution’ and their mothers?

++ Iraj Mesdaghi, who started out by criticising the MEK in a positive effort to benefit them and help their survival rather than see them disintegrate, has a note on Pejvak Iran website about Maryam Rajavi’s claim that she has been chosen as ‘Woman of the Year’. He says the God Believers Association which made the award is headed by Dr. Raj Baldev, Cosmo Theorist, Ph.D (Astro), D.Lit. D.Sc (HC) He has been introduced by the MEK as an expert in Universe Theory. In fact, according to his own website, he is a fortune teller, born in India in 1927 in Montgomery which is now in Pakistan. He is expert in using water, the tips of fingers and toes, together with the time and place of questions to predict the future for both families and in international affairs. He uses what he calls the ‘well-known Sarjatik system’ to answer questions from individuals, groups, regions or countries.

++ Edalat (Justice) Society, which participated as an NGO in the UN Human Rights Convention in Geneva, has reported that the MEK tried to provoke its delegation and even physically attacked them because they were exposing the terrorist nature of the MEK. The MEK failed because such activity had been predicted and security at the UN was ready to prevent such problems. Once again, says Edalat, these incidents show that, contrary to what western governments claim, Maryam Rajavi is the same terrorist she has always been.

++ The latest reports from Albania are that eleven new people have arrived there. However, ex members who are living separately from the MEK in Tirana are saying that the UNHCR representative in Albania has told them they will not be given refugee status and will get no passport. Some commentators believe the UN has been pushed by the MEK to annoy members just as they pushed American army to annoy members who wanted to transfer from Camp Ashraf to the TIPF. The ex members were told ‘if the Albanian government gives you something, good luck! Otherwise, tough!’ Interestingly this report also says that immediately after the UN visit, Esmail Mortezai from the MEK, who claims to be working under the protection of the Pentagon, approached them and told the ex members “Don’t worry. To Hell with the UN and the rest of them! Come back to us and we will take you to European countries as we always have done”. The UNHCR representative had also told them that their accommodation was limited to four months and after that they will have to either pay for it or go. Again the MEK immediately stepped in and said, “We will take care of it ourselves”. Other reports say that the police in Tirana and the MEK themselves have placed CCTV and guards around their accommodation. The ex members believe this is to put pressure on them to either go back to the MEK or run away by themselves to escape the country, which is very dangerous. Even so, several have declared they will chose the second option and have asked the others to speak out on their behalf if they are killed along the way. On top of this, the Albanian government has told the ex members that, “Although people from the MEK are free to talk to you, and you have to talk to them because they are taking care of you, your families from Iran are not allowed to come to visit you”. Many organisations and other ex members in the west have written to Albania and the UN to ask “is the UNHCR working for Esmaili Mortezai, the MEK and Mossad, or is it supposed to help rescue refugees from the traps of terrorists?”

++ This week saw the anniversary of the Halabja chemical attack. In 1988, Massoud Rajavi announced the formation of the MEK’s National Liberation Army (or Saddam’s Private Army as it is known), in Iraq and organised a few operations in that region. On 16 – 17 March 1988, Halabja came under chemical attack resulting in 5,000 deaths. This was part of the Anfal campaign in which a total of 182,000 people were killed by the Baath army. The MEK were part of the intelligence gathering operation both before as well as afterwards. Many have written articles about the MEK’s involvement in Halabja and identify this as the beginning of the MEK’s collaboration as mercenaries for Saddam’s Mokhaberat.

++ New articles and documents have emerged about Mansour Ghadarkhah the film maker, connecting him financially to the MEK and, more than that, showing that he moved from Germany to Los Angeles with his German wife and children by the order of the MEK because of his dirty history in Germany.

++ Ebrahim Khodabandeh and Ali Moradi were in Kermanshah this week talking about cults and terrorism and related issues. They held a press conference hosted by Kermanshah TV station in which they answered reporters’ questions.

++ Mehr News reported that the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Danaifar, told reporters, “Following the process of checking the residents of Camp Liberty, I can announce that 423 have been vetted and have no problem to move back to Iran. This number might increase as the rest of them are processed. The names of the 423 have been given to the UN office.” On the subject of extradition he said, “This is a general issue and is not just about the MEK. I can tell you that the Prosecutor General of Iran has a planned trip to Baghdad next week to visit his counterpart and you can ask him about this while he is there.”

++ Representatives from Iran Pen (Ghalam) Association, Iran Fanous Association, Iran Setaregan and others, reported on pickets they held during the UN Human Rights Convention in Geneva and some interviews in which they have stated their demand that the UN intervene directly to curtail the head of the cult and start rescuing the individuals. They pointed out that UNAMI has repeatedly said that MEK leaders are obstructing the transfers, but the Iraqi government has complained that the UN will not allow Iraqi officials to take action to rescue the residents. The protestors said, “Allowing the head of a terrorist organisation to stop you is not good enough! They are the problem and you must push them aside.”

++ Mohammad Javad Hashemi Nejad, General Secretary of Habilian Association, had an interview with the Reporters Club in Tehran about the MEK and their latest position. He pointed out that at this point there is evidence the MEK have now passed the point of being an opportunistic group and is now proud of being a mercenary group. He also said that Massoud Rajavi is in hiding for two specific reasons. One is that the evidence of crimes against humanity and war crimes is so overwhelming that he can’t escape it even though he is supported by some western intelligence services. Second is that his masters prefer to portray Maryam Rajavi as the leader of the terrorist organisation so it has a softer face and can continue claiming they are supporting human rights.

++ A letter with several signatories has been sneaked out of Camp Liberty. Homayoun Kohzadi has published parts of it in anonymity as the signatories asked not to be named. The letter says, “First how happy we are for all of you who have escaped from Hell. Second please do not mention our names, we have already taken enough risk because we weren’t even sure if this letter would reach you or be intercepted by the MEK. We have been clearly ordered in a message from Maryam Rajavi that in case of our deportation or even moving us out of Camp Liberty we must stage a minimum of 100 self-immolations every day in the camp to ensure that the international community will stop this process.” They letter says the message continues, “This is a military order, there is no yes or no, it must be obeyed. After this announcement the leaders in the camp broadcast the sound of a clock on the loudspeakers around the camp to indicate that the clock has started ticking from now. While it ticks the commanders from every group have brought paper and pens so we write our readiness for self-immolation and sign it. To encourage us they wrote their own papers first and said ‘we are ready’. We are writing this letter to the only people we know to ask you to do whatever possible through the UN, the Red Cross and anywhere else, to help us because, as Rajavi is saying, the clock is ticking. We don’t want to be burned and we don’t want our friends to be burned either.”

++ On the occasion of Norooz many western and eastern leaders have sent messages congratulating Iranians on their new year, including Obama, Biden, Cameron and Haigh. We saw that Maryam Rajavi also made an announcement which was, as usual, irrelevant to Norooz. Instead Rajavi claimed that events in Iraq prove that we won and Iraq, Iran, Syria and western governments who supported them against us, all lost. During Chahar Shambe Suri the week before she again asked for an uprising in Iran, which apparently nobody even heard. But still, the Norooz message was better received. Many people copied it and put it out as a refreshing joke for Iranians at the start of the new year.

21 March 2014

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