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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 49

++ This week news emerged of a disturbance in Section 305 of Evin prison. Prisoners resisted when prison guards began searching the Section and a fight broke out in which several prisoners were bruised and injured. The guards claim to have found communication equipment and other devices during the search. Some prisoners staged a hunger strike in protest and some of their families have picketed to demand an investigation. The Mojahedin which is, as usual, desperate to link itself to anything to do with Iran has inevitably tried to connect itself to this event. Over the last few days, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has issued over 20 statements – which have more to do with ‘Google wars’ and getting its name out in public rather than any actual reporting. The NCRI has been inactive for many years now; its head (Massoud Rajavi) went underground ten years ago and the NCRI has therefore not been able to hold its annual meetings. Analysts suggest that the NCRI is reacting to a new line imposed on the MEK (aka NCRI) by its paymasters which shifts from the nuclear issue to criticism of Iran’s human rights situation. But more importantly it is an accepted fact that the MEK will soon be pushed out of Iraq and will not be able to interfere there anymore, therefore they need another raison d’être. The MEK has now had to return to the issue of human rights in Iran. But this change of line of the paymasters and also of the MEK contains a dilemma. Previously the MEK were used as violent mercenaries or for information laundry and propaganda. But using a cult as a human rights advocate has provoked a natural backlash. During the prison disturbance, all of the Iranian opposition inside and outside Iran, including the prisoners and their families, objected to the MEK and Rajavi’s support for them. Some have gone so far as to describe the MEK’s fallacious support for the prison disturbance as a devious plot by Iranian government hardliners to dismiss the situation and not have to investigate it by simply claiming it as the work of the terrorist MEK.

++ On the same subject of the prison disturbance, former MEK members and critics write that whatever happens in Evin is not 1% of what happened in Camp Ashraf and what is still happening in Camp Liberty. They say “How dare you talk about human rights when your own human rights situation is worse than both Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay”. The website Mojahadin.com from inside Iran has listed a catalogue of human rights abuses which is still continued by Rajavi in the MEK. The site mentions the recent UN report which clearly states that there was and is abuse inside the MEK in both Ashraf and Liberty camps. The site quotes a source within the International Committee of the Red Cross, as saying “we can hand over letters to anyone, even to Guantanamo Bay prisoners, but we are unable to hand over the letters from their families to the people in Camp Liberty”. Apparently, Camp Liberty and the MEK bases are the only places in the civilized world that the Red Cross has no access to.

++ People reacted to Rudi Giuliani and his paid speech for Maryam Rajavi last week. In particular they ridicule the way that he has been promising the “toppling of the Iranian regime”; ironically using the cult jargon of the MEK throughout his speech. Mohammad Razaghi writes that “in the Azeri language we say, if you put two horses together they won’t become the same colour, but will certainly adapt the same behaviour”. He goes through the changes that Rudi Giuliani has undergone as he has been paid year after year for giving speeches, and in the end calls him ‘Mojahed Brother Rudi Giuliani’! Other writers conclude that if you pay Americans money they will talk any rubbish you want them to.

++ Milad Ariyaie from Iran Pen Association (Ghalam Association) writes briefly to note the MEK getting over excited over Israel’s launch of a new satellite to spy on Iran’s military. He says it is “as if Israel is doing that to give the information to the MEK”. Ariyaie says “anything that gives hope to the members, whether news about Israel, Syria, Albania, Russia or anything else, is used to distract the members and delay them running away. In the same line, many others have written articles analysing recent MEK behaviour to say that the MEK are deliberately trying to claim dirty credentials and pretend they really are mercenaries. “The MEK pretends to have a new sponsor as a replacement for Saddam. Obviously this is not true.” Morad from Nejat Association has said “what is annoying about the MEK is not their ability or mercenary work, it is just the smell of them rotting which is annoying for everyone who gets near them”.

++ News emerged alleging that the Americans have helped the MEK to open an office in Yemen. Some of the MEK’s Baath affiliated high ranking people have been moved there. Apparently Washington is trying to establish bases for the MEK wherever they can so that the group will not break up and dissolve. The aim is to preserve the MEK somewhere other than Iraq so that it will maintain a presence.

++ With the election of a new mayor, Isabelle Mézière, for Auvers sur Oise in France – home of the MEK’s western headquarters – the MEK has lost one of its trusted supporters. The previous mayor, Jean Pierre Becquet, was a known advocate for the MEK. The new mayor campaigned on a platform of taking Auvers out of the control of the MEK and giving it back to the citizens of the town. An Open Letter by Ariya Assocation in Paris outlined the benefits of the new mayor’s position for the town’s citizens. In Farsi writers have pointed out how the MEK’s lobbyists come along, get paid and then disappear. One mentioned that the old ones die, such as Lord Corbett, and this fragile French mayor Becquet, has now gone, but Maryam Rajavi still, in her dreams, claims to be the rightful president of Iran.

++ This week, as the Iraqi election looms, there have been quite a few reports from Iraq that the MEK have either been paying candidates or have been the channel for others to pay candidates to stand as MPs on condition that they will support the Baath Party and Saddamists if elected in an attempt to gain a foothold in parliament.

++ The site Fergheha (the Cults) in Iran published a long article this week about the MEK, placing the rise of their European shows alongside the growing exodus of cult members from the group. The more people run away, says the article, the more shows the MEK puts on, with paid lobbyists in place of members. The article lists the recent weekly and sometimes daily shows in Brussels and Paris, along with the fees charged by Giuliani and John Bolton, etc. In the European Parliament, it is claimed, MEPs like Stevenson and Vidal Quadras devote 90% of their time to working on behalf of the MEK rather than actually being MEPs and doing work related to that. The article goes through a list of the so-called Committees which have been established in every parliament and how the Israeli lobby has pushed things to make something to support the MEK. In the UK Lord Carlisle has replaced Corbett in the Friends of Free a Iran. In Europe Struan Stevenson uses the Delegation for Iraq to advocate openly for the MEK. In the Romanian parliament another Friends of a Free Iran Committee is run by one of the MEK’s MPs. Pouya. A similar set up exists in Germany and Vidal-Quadras head yet another Friends of a Free Iran. All have been groomed to promote the MEK to prevent them from falling apart and at the back of them is the Israeli lobby. The aim is to stop any solution to the West’s Iran issue and to spread hatred; acceptance of Iran is a nightmare for the Israelis. One by one the article lists the lobbyists fees for speaking rubbish to Maryam Rajavi. It goes through the fabricated associations that MEK claim are affiliated to it. One MEK member has 25 associations listed under his name, of which he is the only member! The MEK don’t even have enough trusted people to give them one association each. The article balances the loss of members and its social base with the increase in Israeli support for the MEK, offering statistics on the number of those who have run away, people who are vocal critics, the number of MEK attacks on their own members and critics and the injuries sustained. The article identifies the MEK’s efforts to silence its critics in social networks as a typical Israeli tactic, and how this has not worked for the MEK in spite of the massive resources and backing behind the group.

++ Last week, while swearing wildly at everyone, the MEK claim the Iraqis want to kill them. Habilian published an article ridiculing the MEK, saying “the MEK again accuse the Iraqi government of stealing their wood glue”, a reference to the MEK’s own propaganda in which they claim the Iraqi’s “don’t let us expand the camp, or build walls and are stealing our wood glue”.

++ A few sites have reported from Rajavi’s own websites which have been announcing that it is not just 12,000 (civilians) we have killed, we killed 55,000 in Forough Javidan (operation Eternal Light in 1988) as well. Many say this brings shame on the Americans and Israelis who support them and claim they are not terrorists.

++ Reports emerged from Albania that a man called Mirza Agha Pakniat has been transferred to hospital. He is apparently around 90 years old. People who know him say that for at least the past 20 years he has tried to leave MEK, but has been denied and kept in the camp and because of his age he couldn’t do anything. Pakniat says they would put him in the criticism meetings and accuse him of being a dissenter and would agree and ask to leave and get in touch with his family before it became too late. But they never allowed him to contact his family. Clearly now he is in hospital and may die, the MEK are readying a glowing biography to use his death to benefit Rajavi.

++ Fanous Iran this week issued a statement from Abdul Karim Ebrahimi declaring his freedom after he managed to run away from Camp Liberty and take refuge with the Iraqi police, He briefly explained the situation he faced and promised to say more when his personal situation is improved.

++ In English language, Press TV reported that Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says it will not allow terrorist groups and foreign-sponsored mercenaries to carry out acts of terror in the country… The statement also condemned the biased silence of the international organizations claiming to advocate human rights concerning the crimes perpetrated by the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) and other terrorist groups against Iranians. “It is a matter of great regret that some European and Western governments and circles have picked the despised and criminal mercenaries of the MKO terrorist group as advisors on Iran issues, and have adopted cheap positions and formal statements against the respected Iranian nation on the basis of their (MKO terrorists’) wrong, distorted and biased information,” the IRGC statement pointed out.

++ Zahra Moeini from Nejat Association reporting from Ashraf news, says “Massoud Rajavi has ordered the officials of the Camp to intensify the limitations against women especially after the revelations by Batoul Soltani and other dispatched members who bravely exposed the internal affairs especially the sexual scandals of the cult leader such as ‘Salvation dancing’. It is said that they may enclose the quarters of women in TTL by barbed wires and fences as it was the case in Camp Ashraf in order to control members more and to prevent more defections and escapes from the Cult.”

++ Hawaii based academic Farideh Farhi conducted an interview for Lobelog with Eldar Mamedov, Political Advisor for the Social-Democratic Group in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament following the April 3 EP resolution on EU Strategy towards Iran. In the interview Mamedov said “Interestingly, conservative group members (some of them with links to the exiled Iranian opposition group, the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK), such as Spanish EPP member Alejo Vidal-Quadras and British ECR member Struan Stevenson) proposed amendments deleting the call for an opening of the EU office in Tehran, fully in line with the position of their supposed enemies — Iranian hardliners.”

++ Brenda Gazzar in the Los Angeles Daily News exposes the injustice meted out to four Iranian brothers who “were detained on allegations that they were affiliated with a terrorist organization, though the men argued they had just attended a rally in Denver opposing the Iranian government and they have no terrorist involvement.” The MEK rally was also attended by several members of the U.S. Congress who have not been accused of affiliation with a terrorist organisation, even though the MEK were on the US terrorism list at that time.

++ An article by A. Sepinoud for Nejat Bloggers examines the MEK’s role in the massacre of Iraqi Kurds. “After the Swedish Parliament in a majority vote formally recognized the Anfal Operation as genocide and crimes against humanity in early December 2012, some defected members of the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization voiced their preparedness to give a testimony before the Swedish parliament about MKO’s key role in the massacre of Iraqi Kurds… The United States Department of State and the Foreign Affairs group of the Parliament of Australia also asserted the MKO’s assistance to Baath regime brutal suppression of the uprisings… Iraqi authorities have issued 148 arrest warrants for MEK members for crimes against Iraqis since 1991 but none have been arrested, according to officials. Maryam Rajavi was also included in the warrants. Maryam Rajavi has been reported by former MKO members as having said, “Take the Kurds under your tanks, and save your bullets for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards”.”

++ According to Fars News Agency “A senior Iranian lawmaker cautioned that the parliament would allow a French parliamentary delegation which has filed a request for visiting Iran to take the trip since one of the group members is a supporter of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as MEK, NCRI or PMOI). “The time for the visit has not been specified and it has just been under discussion,” member of Iran-France Parliamentary Friendship Group Amir Khojasteh told FNA on Wednesday.”

++ Tasnim News reports that Senator Philippe Marini, Head of the French parliamentary delegation which hopes to visit Tehran “rejected reports about a member of the delegation, Senator Philippe Dallier’s support for the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), saying that Dallier had unwittingly attended an MKO meeting in Paris. “I suppose Dallier fell in MKO trap like many others,” he said, adding “we are well aware … how unpopular this group can be in Iran.” On his participation in an MKO gathering in France a long time ago, Senator Dallier told Tasnim that he had no idea it was a rally staged by the terrorist group. He said he once was invited to a rally in his constituency, a city near Paris, along with some other elected officials. “All of a sudden, I realized I am sitting next to individuals from other countries. Actually, that day I went there, a general gathering, without any specific plans… At the end of the program I left and have had no contacts with the group ever since,” he said.”

++ Mazda Parsi from Nejat Bloggers examines the denial of a visa to Iranian UN Ambassador Hamid Abutalebi against the backdrop of the MEK’s role in the hostage crisis. “As a matter of fact, the 52 American hostages were finally released after 444 days by the Iranian government – the move was harshly opposed by the MKO that at the time considered itself as “vanguard of struggle against the US Imperialism”. It is worth to notice that the Islamic Republic did not kill or injure the US hostages but the MKO is the only Iranian group that has the blood of Americans in its hands. According to the U.S. Department of State the group conducted several assassinations of U.S. military personnel and civilians working in Iran during the 1970s. Thus it was not bizarre when they opposed the release of the hostages in 1981 by the Iranian state, and called for their execution instead. As a result they staged a large demonstration, based on the presentation of the MEK by the Foreign Affairs group of the Australian Parliament.” MEK members are currently active lobbyists in Washington D.C.

 25 April 2014

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