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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 52

++ Iraj Shokri, a famous writer who left the MEK some time ago, has blogged to reject some of the quotes used by the MEK when they wrote about Kamal Rafatsafai (a poet who recently died who also left the MEK and became very critical over their human rights record). Shokri says that although he doesn’t usually answer the MEK, this time they sneakily used his name and he has had to refute their misuse of his quotes.

++ Nejat Association reports about the situation inside Camp Liberty. Apparently, runaways have become a serious problem for the MEK and they have added more sentry posts around the residential blocks in an attempt to prevent this. The MEK says its last hope is its commanders keeping control of the rank and file. Also, the MEK have expressed disappointment with the Iraqi election result. They had already acknowledged that if the elections in Iraq don’t work out for them with the return of some Baathists they are finished.

++ Reports from Albania show pictures of around eight people who were among the children evacuated from Camp Ashraf in 1991 to Europe, before being sent back to Iraq again for military training. Because they all have residential history in European countries, the reports say, the MEK have deliberately sent them to Albania in order to delay their arrival in these European countries and to prevent them from talking. To keep them quiet in Albania, the MEK henchmen Ismael Mortezai and Hassan Nayebagha from Paris, are threatening them from one side – we will kill you if you act without our approval – and on the other side promising that if they get refugee status from the UNHCR in Tirana the MEK itself will transfer them elsewhere in Europe.

++ Mohammad Alavi on Aryia Iran website has written an article titled: ‘One thousand Ashraf camps in Europe and toppling the regime with photoshop’. He says everyone is aware the MEK are busy touring refugee camps to buy people for their 30 June event to celebrate the start of their armed struggle. This year the event is to be held on 27 June in Villepinte in north Paris. Alavi details the history of these events over the last few years and provides links to coverage in Le Monde, France 24 and Radio Farda which have all exposed the pretence. The article also has links to other media items in which people have admitted they were paid either to speak or to attend. Some other ex members write on same subject revealing that the MEK visit travel agencies as well as refugee camps and offer free trips to Paris and a hand-out of money in exchange for two hours attendance in their meeting. They reveal that this year the meeting will include performances of singing and dancing as well as speeches in order to attract people and fool them about the true nature of the event.

++ The Iraqi election is finished and the official result will be out next week, and it is already clear that Maliki’s coalition has come out on top and is widely supported. There will now follow negotiations between the various factions to agree roles and responsibilities. But it is clear the new government, whatever its configuration, contains many fewer Saddamists, Danesh and other MEK sympathisers.

++ Homayoun Kohzadi has published a short note in Yaran Association website saying that several people who have escaped from Camp Liberty have contacted him. They say that Massoud Rajavi has again made an announcement declaring that these are the last days of the Iranian regime. He has ordered an alert to be ready. Rajavi says, while Maryam is doing the last bits of toppling by creating one thousand Camp Ashrafs in Europe, the combatants in Camp Liberty have to be ready for the last attack toward Iran. Kohzadi begs the question, ‘why does Rajavi not look at himself in the mirror?’ “Your audience” he tells Rajavi, “has no weaponry, the government of Iraq is in charge so you won’t even get to border. But putting even these obstacles aside, how can these old and sick people go to war? They would die on the way.” He finishes by saying, “Rajavi has gone mad.”

++ Mojahadin.com reported a meeting at the University of Semnan in which Ebrahim Khodabandeh gave a speech to the students and staff about cults. Khodabandeh said, “I have been in the MEK’s camps and I have been in Evin prison. With reference to the problems in Section 350, one thing I am certain of is that the amount of contact the Evin prisoners have with the outside world is not comparable with the contact MEK members have with the outside because the MEK have none!” He also announced that through research he can now say that the number of ex members is well over the number of current MEK members. He concluded that although we don’t have the power to rescue the people who have fallen into this trap, my friends and I will make sure they can’t drag new people into their trap.

++ Mohammad Karami from Paris and some others have responded to an article in Iran Global written under pseudonyms. The writers claim they are a group working with the Intelligence Service of the Netherlands who are responsible for trapping ex MEK member Behzad Alishahi through various sting scenarios so that he would be arrested under national security laws. The group uses this article to threaten every other critic of the MEK that “if you don’t stop this criticism of the MEK we have the power to deal with you the same way we did Alishahi”. This threat follows previous reports, particularly from Albania where MEK henchmen carry Pentagon ID cards, of MEK intimidation and threats in the West. Karami and others have exposed this ‘group’ as a man called Amrollah Ebrahimi, an ex member from TIPF who was bought by the MEK and who is working directly under the supervision of Hadi Roshanravan (a commanders in the MEK’s Intelligence Section who has been highly trained by Saddam’s Mokhaberat). Karami and other writers question what is behind publishing this on Iran Global website in particular, and conclude that since the MEK has been exposed to be behind the intimidation of ex members through their own websites, they have outsourced this to Iran Global so it doesn’t look like the MEK are behind it.

++ Razieh Kermanshahi has died from a heart attack in Albania. She was 57. Rajavi has been quick to add her to the list of martyrs from the Leadership Council. But many who knew her say that she had heart problems for many years which the MEK deliberately neglected. Essentially they sent her to Albania to die. In this respect Javad FIrouzmand wrote an article for Aryia Iran naming several other people who suffered neglect or have been denied medical attention by the MEK. He reveals how they have been eliminated in this way from the time of Saddam up until the present.

++ This week Maryam Rajavi has put on a show for internal purposes. She was photographed strolling around a display of pictures of the MEK’s so called martyrs from the time of the revolution until now. This was published on their Farsi websites. Edalaat Association wrote an analysis about why Maryam has done this while 99% of her time is spent with the Israeli lobby and the like. The article says there is an identity crisis inside the MEK among members and unpaid supporters who cannot understand what is the MEK’s relation to Israel, Al Qaida, Syria, Nigeria, and etc. Rajavi has taken these pictures to prevent the internal forces from collapsing.

In English:

++ Fox News published a reply by Hamid Babaei, counselor and head of the Press Office for the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations in New York, to an op-ed by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Babaei described Guiliani’s “warm embrace of the MEK terrorist organization” as “shocking and deplorable”, describing it as “a repressive cult despised by most Iranians and Iraqis.”

++ Elsa S. Vejo Destrella Digital (Digital Star) spoke with Alejo Vidal- Quadras MEP as the key man in Spanish political relations with the Iranian People’s Mujahedeen. She writes the question of where the MEK gets its money? “The question still remains unresolved and the experts bring to the fore the question of where does the MEK get all the money it costs to maintain this important network of contacts and support . According to Vidal-Quadras, solely from the Iranians in the diaspora, “some of them are very wealthy”. Although other politicians we consulted doubt this. “I am not so naive to think that the contributions of all Iranians in exile are sufficient to maintain that infrastructure. I do not rule out that there may be powers that are instrumental in acting in their favor”, admits Gari Duran Sen. PP Baleares, and one of the Mojahedin’s greatest defenders in Spain. The USA , Israel and Saudi Arabia are among the possible hidden funders. Duran, however, says she does not care about that; “I have seen people on hunger strike, I have seen the pictures of the dead and have heard their mothers talk, and unless you have to conclude that this is a giant deception, to me it is real.””

++ Nejat Association wrote an open letter to Ms Laura Boldrini, President of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy, asking to meet with her during her visit to Iran with a 10-member delegation, headed by co-chairman of Iran-Italy parliamentary friendship group Ettore Rosato. Nejat said it wanted to meet to find a way to rescue the members in Iraq and try to put them in contact with their families in Iran.

++ Ali Gharib writing ‘Controversial Iranian Exile Shakes up Canadian Parliament’s Human Rights Program’ in The Nation, exposed the damage caused by the inclusion of Maryam Rajavi by Skype in the event. According to Gharib, “Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Shaheed requested to withdraw from the official Iran Accountability Week proceedings. He agreed, an assistant said, to brief lawmakers “in a different context than Accountability Week.” Asked why, Shaheed’s representative responded, “He just didn’t think it was appropriate.” The assistant explained that Shaheed felt the event’s framing “made it feel less like a briefing and more of something that encroached upon what he believes is his independence on the issue” of human rights in Iran.” “…Another human rights advocate working on Iran, who asked not to be named, raised the issue of other advocates sharing a platform with the head of the MEK, which the activist called “toxic and irrelevant”—a view widely held among Iranians of all political stripes, save members of the MEK itself.”

16 May 2014

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