Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 50

++ Both Iran Setaregan in Zurich and Iran Ava Association in Cologne staged information pickets and leaflet distributions to inform the public about the deceptive practices of the MEK and how they raise funds through false information and conning people. Both groups have asked the respective mayors in their cities to step in to stop the MEK’s illegal activities.

++ Many open letters by Farsi speakers congratulated the new Mayor of Auvers-sur-Oise, Isabelle Mézières, expressing their pleasure and hopes following her election. The new mayor herself has criticised the support which the previous mayor gave to the MEK, and says this did not work for the benefit of the people of the town.

++ Mohammad Razaghi reported information coming from inside Camp Liberty. The MEK commanders there have made an announcement to residents on behalf of Maryam Rajavi. The commanders have been given orders that if they have any doubts at all about whether someone wants to run away, they should be stopped, imprisoned and if necessary killed. Rajavi says, don’t worry about the political consequences, you do your job and we will sort out the consequences in France. She referred specifically to Massoud Dalili – who was killed in Camp Ashraf – saying that when he left, this endangered the life of Massoud Rajavi, therefore we cannot afford another like this so, you are allowed to kill them.

++ Mojahadin.com published an article on claims that the raid on Section 350 in Evin prison resulted in the discovery of several SIM cards and mobile phones, etc. One individual has been named as Gholam Reza Khosravi from Abadan who has a history of several arrests for working for the MEK. The authorities claim that he has been the main contact from prison to the MEK. Farsi writers have reacted to the MEK’s claim that the prisoners of Evin support them. They say there is no evidence that any prisoners support the MEK and the only people claiming this are the MEK themselves and Iran’s hardliners because both want to crush them and use their blood.

++ Mohammad Babai died in Camp Liberty this week. The MEK as usual issued a quick statement blaming his death on the conditions of the camp, claims which have been frequently and unequivocally refuted by the UN and ICRC etc. Gilan branch of Nejat Association published the MEK’s official picture of Babai (in a suit and tie) who was under fifty years old. They question why he looks to be over sixty-five year old, and ask, is this because of conditions in Camp Liberty as well? Many others who knew him witness that Babai tried to escape from the camp several times, and write that “we don’t believe he died of natural causes, but was eliminated like many others in the MEK”.

++ Irandidban has an article titled, ‘the situation of MEK after the election in Iraq’. This says that although the MEK shout against Nouri al Maliki, if you look at the actual situation in Iraq they should have been praying to God that he be re-elected – anyone else would have got rid of them years ago. No other leader, says Irandidan, would have been as patient as al Maliki or as willing to cooperate with the UN, etc.

++ Ghorbanali Hosseinnejad has written an extensive article exposing the MEK’s activities in support of the Saddamists. In his article he has named some Arabic speaking people in Europe who are working for the MEK and the Saddamists. One is called Saffi Al Yasseri, an Iraqi writer. Half his job appears to be to support Saddamists and the other is writing against ex-MEK members, specifically Hosseinnejad himself who writes in Arabic. He also has exposed many other names along with websites run by the MEK for Saddamists. One of these is Iraq4all.dk, an MEK site used for supporting Saddamists in Arabic and which ironically uses the old flag of Iraq with Saddam’s handwriting on it under its logo. Most of the site is devoted to praising Maryam Rajavi and other Saddamists and the rest is used to attack Maliki and others of their enemies. Another site run by the MEK is the Arabic-Islamic Committee in Defence of Ashraf and Prevention of the Expansion of Fundamentalism, which is in Arabic, French and English but not in Farsi. Hosseinnejad says it is obvious that the expansion of MEK activities in these three languages is to give support to Saddamists, but the main targets are ex-MEK members. He points out that the MEK may make ten sites and use twenty bought writers to attack one person who writes in Arabic, or make tens of sites in English to attack those handful of ex-members who write in English, but they never create Farsi sites to respond to the thousands of critics who write in Farsi. Clearly the MEK only feels the need to whitewash its image in other languages, not for Farsi speakers.

++ Mohammad Ali Malek Andi has a short note in his weblog listing the names of 120 of the people who have left Camp Liberty in the past few months. This includes 104 in Tirana, 10 in Germany, 1 in Norway, 1 in America and 1 in France, and others. He has promised he will publish the names of others as and when he gets them. He also questions the MEK’s fear that these names be made public saying “this is what the organisation should have done itself. It is only because of my friends and I looking out for one another and trying to make contact that I have been able to make this list. Obviously this is what the MEK are afraid of, that we help and support each other without them.”

++ Iran Fanous carried the story of Abdulkarim Ebrahimi who was recruited into the MEK in 1989. He says he was imprisoned by the MEK in 1994 “because they didn’t trust him”, and only managed to escape in 2012 when the residents were being moved from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty. “I rushed at the Iraqi police station while MEK operatives were chasing me. I managed to lose them and take refuge with the Iraqis”, he writes.

++ Iraqi Ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Majid Al-Sheikh told Fars News Agency that “many defected members of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization are willing to surrender themselves to the Tehran government to return to Iran… If the grounds are paved to facilitate their (MKO members) repatriation to Iran, this can persuade other MKO members to do the same.”

++ Fars News also reported that in a meeting with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz in Tehran, Mohammad Javad Larijani, Secretary of Iran’s Human Rights Council criticised European countries for double-standards while campaigning against drugs and terrorism. “Today, we are witnessing that the most infamous terrorists, including Monafeq [MEK] and PJAK (Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan) and other groups whose hands are stained with the blood of thousands of innocent Iranian people, are freely visiting the European countries and are warmly hosted in those capitals,” he added.

++ Michael Rubin writing in Commentary questioned why the Clarion Group endorses the MEK, saying “it is neither progressive nor is it non-violent. Progressive movements tend not to dictate to women who to marry and who to divorce… To accept the Mujahedin al-Khalq as a moderate organization is analytically shallow given the group’s record of behavior, its dishonesty in its written work, its past targeting of Americans, and the fact that its rhetoric about democracy does not match its practice… to lump the Mujahedin al-Khalq in with progressive Muslim organizations not only erodes the credibility of Clarion, but tars legitimate progressive Muslim organizations that already have an uphill battle.”

++ Iran Pen Association published an open letter to the newly elected mayor of Auvers-sur-oise, Isabelle Mézières, by Ali Jahani, a twenty year veteran of the MEK who recently managed to escape and who is currently living in Europe. Like many other writers he congratulates her and the town on ousting the previous mayor who was in the pocket of the MEK, which led to the neglect of the townspeople. Jahani hopes the new mayor will prevent the MEK transforming the town into a military barracks [when more people are transferred from Camp Liberty].

++ IRNA reported that Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said American “claims regarding Iranˈs support for terrorism is politically motivated… Presence and free activities of terrorists in the United States who assassinated over 15,000 Iranian civilians including senior officials as well as use of drones in massacring innocent regional people and Washingtonˈs inaction towards Zionists crimes against defenseless Palestinians pose serious questions about the US claims of campaign against terrorism.”

++ Anne Khodabandeh in Iran Interlink writes ‘Rajavi’s visa application challenges America’s stance on terrorism’ which exposes Maryam Rajavi’s ‘encouragement’ to apply for a US visa. The move would be part of a wider campaign by neoconservatives and pro-Israeli politicians to prevent rapprochement between Iran and the west, says Khodabandeh. The visa failed to materialize to coincide with the P5+1 talks in New York next week, but, says, Khodabandeh, “On the heels of the controversy over denial of a visa to Iran’s appointed head of mission at the United Nations in New York, this would indeed have been a poke in the eye to goad Iran with. But whatever incentives have been offered by Ros-Lehtinen to John Kerry to nod through this visa application, the US Secretary of State will no doubt have lent an ear to the voices of the other members of the P5+1 group. It would mean that, after Saddam Hussein, the United States would be the only government in the world which has directly supported the MEK. It would mean that the other members of this group would drift further and further away from the US agenda, and it would mean that Iran would make a net gain rather than the US.”

Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 02 May 2014

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