Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 57

++Last week rumours circulated that while he was in Paris, Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani had met with Maryam Rajavi. This week Nazim Dabbagh, the representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Tehran announced that “no such meeting has ever taken place and our position toward this group has always been clear. Over the past few years we have repeatedly said that the MEK have massacred many Kurdish villagers and we can’t ignore that”.

++ A report from Albania states that the number of former Camp Liberty residents who have separated from the MEK after arriving in Tirana is now greater than those remaining loyal. Out of 210 individuals, more than half have now officially separated from the cult.

++ The majority of writing about the MEK in Farsi this week has concentrated on the MEK’s overt support for ISIS. This comes from as wide a spectrum as could be imagined; ex members, internal critics, various Iranian opposition inside and outside the country, people and groups from every direction, all have articles which express disgust for the MEK.

++ Many people, including the families of those in Camp Liberty have deep concerns about the MEK position in relation to ISIS. They believe Massoud Rajavi is trying to render the MEK residents of Camp Liberty legitimate targets by supporting ISIS and fuelling hatred among various Iraqi factions. His aim is to get rid of them as witnesses to his crimes. Some writers criticise those Americans and Israelis who support this group. They point out that the MEK can’t be trusted and this support will backfire at some point. The MEK are now openly supporting ISIS rather than being covert about it. Of course, these writers argue, the MEK may be at the end of their line and this kind of thing is to be expected, but surely the US and Israel cannot be so desperate.

++ Still in the context of MEK support for ISIS, other writers link it with the MEK rally in Paris on 27 June which celebrates armed struggle. The articles touch on the MEK’s history of violence and terrorism. They conclude that although the MEK was removed from the terrorist lists of several countries, the group has always remained a terrorist entity and have never given up this role. For anyone who claims otherwise, like the MEK’s Western supporters, this shows exactly where they stand in relation to terrorism. Ali Jahani from Germany wrote a detailed article titled ‘Rajavi’s cult 33 years after 30 Khordad 1360′. He examines the historical episodes and events which reveal the MEK as violent murderers and terrorists.

++ There has been much complaint among the MEK’s critics about the support for ISIS. Ali Behrouz (writing as Ali Nazer) sums it up in one sentence, “Rajavi, don’t be mistaken, this is not the smell of kebab, it is the smell of branding donkeys!” He points out that Rajavi claims to be Shia. Of course neither ISIS nor the Saddamists ever accept him. Nothing will come out of it for Rajavi in the end.

++ Massoud Rajavi gave a message to the residents of Camp Liberty. He told them, “We [sic] must face giving the final sacrifice, we either win [he means ISIS wins] or we are all going to die”. Internal critic Ismael Vafa Yaghmai wrote an article in response titled ‘Long Live the Crevice’. He goes through the whole history of the MEK identifying how they have always found a crack or a division or a fight to push themselves into and exist there for a while. And if that crack closes, they go and find a new one and live there – a bit like a parasite. Because the MEK have nothing from themselves to live on, they have ended in the parasitical position they have now of taking the side of ISIS. In one part he asks “have you ever thought, as I think, that the leader of this group knows more than anyone else what he is up to and what cards he plays on the table. I think he is running out of cards and these are among the last ones he is putting down. If Camp Liberty had been moved he would have been playing a different hand, but since that didn’t happen he is now placating ISIS and Iraqi tribal leaders with his last speech when he said ‘we have given hundreds of thousands of martyrs, we won’t hesitate to give these three thousand either’”.

++ Some articles and posts were written about the anniversary of the MEK self-immolations in 2003 and how the participants – two of whom died – were ordered to do this. Habilian Association in Iran has an article in English about this.

++ A press conference in Brussels on June 11 provoked many reactions in Farsi and an important article in English by Eldar Mamedov published in Lobelog. Mamedov identifies a handful of now former MEPs who have created the ‘European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA), a “new NGO with the mission of improving the political and human rights situation in Iraq.”’ While the world looked on in horror at the actions of jihadist extremists from ISIS, the MEPs downplayed this by claiming “these actions were not carried out by ISIS, but were “part of a popular uprising” against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.” The root of this stance appears to be their support for the MEK: “After years of unchecked lobbying efforts, the MEK has convinced some MEPs to advocate in its favor. In addition to the leftist groups who uncritically support the MEK because it claims to have Marxist beliefs (along with Islamic ones!), right-wing MEPs seem taken in by its fervent anti-Iranian government stance. It is therefore not surprising that the individuals endorsing the EIFA have also endorsed the MEK.” Straun Stevenson, Alejo Vidal Quadras and Paulo Casaca have all been fervent supporters of the terrorist MEK. None will continue as MEPs in the new session of the European Parliament. Mamedov says that the MEK will try to recruit among new MEPs whom he warns against “associating with an organization that attempts to minimize the acts of a group so murderous and fanatical that even al-Qaeda has declared it too extreme”.

++ Farsi articles about the same event in Brussels say it is clear that those who back ISIS, Saddamists and the MEK are the same people, and they have influence in London, Washington and Brussels. As much as they claim to oppose terrorism, it is Westerners like these in Brussels who give it their full support.

In English:

Mazda Parsi writing in Nejat Bloggers examines the links between ISIS and the MEK. “This devil alliance between Baathists, extremists and cultists is not accidental. It actually originates in the cult-like violence which exists in the substance of such groups. Definitely, the cult of Rajavi and ISIS resort to violence and terror as their only solution to the world’s problems. The most crucial factor in the rule of both which is based in violence is that dissident voice must be silenced by killing and bloodshed… The MKO leaders also deal out harsh treatment against their own members in their camps. Members including hundreds of women are isolated from the outside world just like the so-called Islamic state of ISIS in Mosul under which women are banned from getting out of house or being uncovered.”

++ According to Fars News, an entreaty by Kazzem Jalali (Head of the Majlis’s Friendship Group with the European Parliament), in Tehran on Sunday, prompted Elmar Brok (Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs) to stress that “that the new European Parliament lays emphasis on the importance of the relations with Iran, and said, “The majority of the European Parliament do not like cooperation with groups such as MKO and only a minority group in the Parliament support the MKO.” Jalali had expressed surprise at the presence of a “shameless” group like the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization in the European Parliament, and said, “Even the critics of Iran’s political system do not recognize the MKO and the European Parliament had better try to listen to the Iranian nation, statesmen and people’s true representatives.”

++ Henriette Johansen in Middle East Monitor writes: ‘Mossad used Mojahedin Khalq for years – Global fear of Iran’s ‘controversial’ nuclear programme is a ‘US-Israeli construct’. One interviewee, Ellie Geranmayeh, Iran expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) insisted, “In the same way that any potential military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme needs to be explained to the United Nations, the West also needs to explain the basis of its accusations and suspicions.”

++ Nejat Society Gilan office celebrated the reunion of Mr. Rajabzadeh and his beloved children who were barely 5 years old when their father left home as a an Iranian soldier to fight Iraqi Baa’th regime. Mr. Rajabzadeh was a war prisoner when the MKO recruiters deceived him to join their cult. Under the mind control system of the cult, he lost his youth and family. While hugging his father, the son of Mr. Rajabzadeh, Mehran cried , “Shame on Rajavi who separated me and my sister from our father for 27 years! He made us live in grief and suffering.” Rajabzadeh’s daughter, Razieh hugged and kissed her father. She appreciated the efforts of Nejat Society for the return of her father. Reza Rajabzadeh who could hardly ever control his tears said:” I’m sorry… I love my children… Shame on Rajavi who broke down a lot of families! I will not stop denouncing him and his cult unless all prisoners of Camp liberty are released.” Reza Rajabzadeh left the MKO about two years ago. After his release, he stayed in a hotel in Baghdad as he wanted. He was one of the active ex-members of the group who revealed the notorious safe house of Masoud Rajavi, Base 49.

20 June 2014

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