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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 51

++ Many people reacted to the news that Maryam Rajavi has instructed MEK members in Europe and America to kill the cult’s vocal critics and ex members wherever possible. Several blamed western governments rather than the actual terrorists who are somehow being protected. Many say that any harm that comes to us or our friends is therefore done with the permission of these governments as they are responsible for what happens in their streets. But in any case, most conclude, such threats are too little and too late to stop us talking, and even more are coming, so the exposures won’t stop.

++ Responses to the articles by Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh over Maryam Rajavi’s failed visa application, include those who point to the failure of the anti-Iranian lobbyists, specifically Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, to derail the nuclear negotiations. All the responses point out that the American government and European representatives at the talks have reported that progress had been good and more advanced than they had hoped. The only groups screaming against this progress have been Maryam Rajavi and the Israeli Prime Minister – to the point that the former head of MOSSAD has criticised Netanyahu and his ilk for damaging Israeli interests. Putting this together, several writers anticipate that the neocons and Israeli lobby will resort to instigating violence and perhaps terrorism to disrupt the next round of talks in Vienna which are coming up soon.

++ Irandidban has a short note contrasting the fates of the MEK with Hizbollah. Maryam Rajavi has ‘licked ass’ but they still won’t give her a visa, whereas due to what is happening in Syria and the Lebanon, the US administration has been compelled to meet with Hizbollah in Cyprus, even thgouh Hizbollah doesn’t care about the US terrorism list. It is a case of contrasting two extremes – one group relies totally on its own people for support rather than western patronage, the other is totally dependent on America and not a single bit on the people. Putting aside any moral concerns, it is clear which one works.

++ Reports are coming out of Albania on a daily basis. Among the news is of another social gathering hosted by the UNHCR, to which the MEK sent infiltrators to photograph participants and threaten that anyone there without their permission would be dealt with. MEK commander Javad Khorrasan and Hasan Nayebagha a member of the NCRI, are at the forefront of the threats and intimidation, and again are carrying cards saying they are employed by the Pentagon. But other reports say that people are laughing at them and one has shouted, “the Pentagon did its utmost to us in TIPF and after all the things you have done do you think we are afraid for our lives”. Hasan Nayebagha got angry and responded, “if we have to kill you one by one, we will not allow you to make another TIPF in Tirana”. Other reports say that in anticipation of more people coming to Albania from Camp Liberty, the MEK are making great efforts to organise a closed camp to house them. The MEK has b land and are trying to get permission to build accommodation on it. Also in Tirana, since the MEK couldn’t stop the UNHCR interviews, they now say that ‘if you cooperate with us fully, when you are given your refugee status we have the contacts and channels to move you and your status to France, Germany and other good places, otherwise you will have to remain in Albania’. Former MEK members are warning the refugees not to be fooled; ‘the MEK are lying and won’t help you, they just want you to keep quiet for a few more months’.

++ Following the successful Iraqi elections, the results already show there is no hope for sympathy for the Saddamists or the MEK. The MEK reaction is to ignore everything they said before and are now shouting that Al Maliki should not be Prime Minister. Ironically, all the other candidates are even more anti-MEK than he is. Apparently the MEK’s tactic is to say a hundred different things in the hope that one of them will come true and they can claim the credit for having made it happen.

++ This week there were a few events inside Iran in relation to the MEK. One was a press conference in Semnan which had good coverage attended by Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Ronak Dashti, Ali Ekrami, and Iraj Salehi. The exposure was so great that the MEK issued five statements under name of the NCRI to denounce it. But they never rejected or refuted any of the points made, for example about the forced divorces and other cultic practices. Another event was the International Book Fair in Tehran. Mojahadin.com website reported on its attendance, with many interesting items, featuring Steve Hassan’s book on cult recovery called Releasing the Bonds, which is translated into Farsi by Ebrahim Khodabandeh. Mohsen Rezai (former presidential candidate), sitting nearby their stand, remembered when the MEK started and how they ended up where they are now, and said ‘thank God they couldn’t do more harm’.

++ This week five more residents of the temporary transit camp, Camp Liberty, in Iraq, managed to escape the MEK run camp at dawn and surrender themselves to the Iraqi security forces. Mohammad Salman Al-Asadi, a security officer responsible for the protection of Camp Liberty protection, quoted the escapees as saying that they had been planning their escape for months. He said all five have been handed over to the United Nation’s office. The names of the escapees are: Mohammad and Massoud Enayati, Bayez Ali Keshawarzi, Hussein Bahari and Jawad Reza Yousefi.

++ Habilian Association referred to the many NCRI announcements this week about a riot in a street in Tabriz when local shopkeepers placed on the pedestrian sidewalk and ‘the government’ has come to stop them. Habilian says, “The MEK once claimed to be the main opposition but have now been reduced to supporting local shopkeepers in civil matters”.

++ Edalaat Association has a short note referring to this year’s US report on terrorism. It highlights the paragraphs which describe some groups in Syria as having cult culture. In that case, says Edalaat, you know exactly what you are doing when you take the MEK off your terrorism list, because you know exactly how the MEK works.

++ Esmail Yaghmai has listed all the MEK’s swearing at him over the last week. It is a very long list. He adds a couple of his own articles and invites anyone to see what he has said to attract so much swearing. He addresses the MEK leader directly, saying, “One thing I found out for sure, whatever internal critics say to help you, nothing has gone into your brain as it is just blocked. Secondly I am very sorry for the people that you distort to put them under this much swearing as they will be damaged and no good to you in the future. In Persian it is said, ‘the madman who has enjoyed the taste of madness, with a hundred tricks will not be brought back to sanity’.”

In English this week:

++ Fars News reported that Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami addressing a ceremony in the Northern province of Alborz said western efforts to prevent Iran’s progress have failed. He accused western spy agencies, collaborating with the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), of assassinating several Iranian scientists over the last four years.

++ Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s Majlis Alaeddin Boroujerdi used a meeting with Co-Chairman of the Iran-Italy Parliamentary Friendship Group Ettore Rosato in Tehran to criticise some European countries for supporting the MEK, pointing out that the group has killed some 16,000 Iranians. He said, “The actions by some European countries in support of such a terrorist group are not consistent with the principles of democracy”.

++ Eldar Mamedov political adviser for the social-democrats in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (EP), wrote a very important and revealing article on “The MEK’s Influence in EU Politics Matters”. The article details the MEK’s negative impact on the politics of the EP, even to the point that, “On the operational level, the MEK is extremely persistent and aggressive. MEK lobbyists maintain a constant presence in the coffee bars of EP buildings in Brussels and Strasbourg, or in front of the plenary room in Strasbourg. These are strategic locations from which to bombard MEPs and their staffers with requests to support the MEK. Sometimes, however, they overdo it — one MEP recounted to me about how she had to scream at an MEK activist until they exited the elevator she was using to get to her office. Even MEPs’ offices are targets: the MEK lobbyists have no qualms about entering them uninvited and distributing flyers against alleged “Islamo-fascist tyranny” in Tehran.”

 May 9, 2014

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