Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 57

++ Iraqi news agencies Al-Moragheb and Kol al-Akhbar reported sightings of 120 MEK working alongside ISIS in Mosul dressed in their own uniforms. Previously there had been reports of ISIS using MEK equipment moved from Camp Ashraf and that the MEK openly supported ISIS on its official website.

++ An article by Ebrahim Khodabandeh drew a fierce reaction from the MEK, including death threats. The article reveals that some members and internal critics of the MEK are in contact with him in Tehran by telephone and email and they like to nag about what is happening inside the MEK. Some also travel to Tehran and have met with him there. This includes several members of the NCRI. One who visits regularly says the MEK don’t have a problem about this activity as long as it is kept secret from others. The MEK threaten to expose such people and denounce them as traitors if their visits become known. Khodabandeh categorises the problematic questions circulating inside the MEK which include: working for Saddam Hussein, the insistence on staying in Iraq now, the continuation of the cultic indoctrination sessions and where Massoud Rajavi is. Anyone raising any of these issues inside the MEK is sworn at and accused of treachery. One NCRI member who travels regularly to Tehran told the MEK he was finished with them and no longer believes in anything they do or say. The MEK only threatened to expose and destroy him and even had the audacity to ask for money as part of this blackmailing stance. Khodabandeh concludes his article by addressing these MEK members and saying, it’s alright to rescue yourself, but you have a humanitarian duty to help rescue others, not leave them behind still trapped.

++ Representatives of Iran Setaregan Association had a meeting at the Iraqi embassy in Bern, Switzerland, briefing officials and offering cooperation to help rescue the MEK victims in Camp Liberty in Iraq.

++ Reactions to Villepinte continued, mainly putting the humanitarian aspect first. Writers criticised the MEK for paying millions of euros for speakers and audience which could have been better used to help the people trapped in Iraq. Several question why the MEK and NCRI add “of Iran” to the name while they have no Iranian speakers on the platform and the paid US speakers only talk about the MEK in Iraq. Why are all the speakers Western? Why not bring Iraqi or Iranian speakers? they ask.

++ Nobody except the MEK themselves has mentioned Villepinte without describing it as a PR disaster. Many commentators ridiculed the speeches of various speakers, and said the likes of Giuliani and Bolton calling for freedom and regime change ‘on behalf of the people of Iran’ is a joke for people.

++ In Iraq various people welcomed the fact that France referred to the MEK a terrorist cult, but a few articles point out that words and actions do not match. France says one thing, but does another. If you really mean what you say, they point out, why don’t you do something about it.

++ Videos of the participants in a meeting of ex members on Saturday 21st June in Paris was released this week by Iran Ghalam (Pen) Association, showing both speakers and parts of a small demonstration in the city afterwards.

++ In Paris, four members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly issued a statement warning parliamentary colleagues and government officials to be cautious about the deceptions of the MEK and not to fall into their trap. They advise colleagues and others to keep away from them.

++ Among articles by Bahar Irani on Mojahedin.ws, one predicts the fate of the MEK after the defeat of ISIS. Another compares Abu Baghdadi with Massoud Rajavi after Baghdadi claimed he is leader of all the Moslems in world, just as Rajavi did.

++ The final part of a series of articles by Milad Ariyai titled ‘Quarter of a Century After Eternal Light’ has been published. In this last part Ariyai talks about his own experience of the operation, before during and after.

++ Nejat Association published a demand from Mrs Babai in Iran, who has begged Rajavi and his gang to let her see her son once more before she dies from her terminal illness. At same time, in an open letter to the MEK leader from the Netherlands, Reza Azmudeh has a similar issue with his mother who is in hospital and her last wish is to see her son Morteza or at least speak over the phone with him.

++ Last week in Karbala the authorities accused a man called Mahmoud al-Serkhi and his gang of killing several people. A bomb factory was discovered and several gang members arrested. The man was known as a gangster under the Saddam regime whose accusations of rape and killing were dropped due to Hussein’s protection. After 2003 he put on mullah’s clothes and now calls himself ‘Grand Ayatollah’. Ironically the Saudi papers (which are anti-shia and don’t believe in shiite religious terminology) all refer to him as Grand Ayatollah. This was exposed in both Iraqi and Iranian papers in an effort to contain him. But the MEK were quick to jump on the bandwagon and praised him when he declared his intention to kill Grand Ayatollah Sistani and Prime Minister Maliki.

++ Jamshid Salvar wrote an interesting article on his blog ‘the footprints of the wolves’ – which is dedicated to analysing Rajavi and MEK activity. The article is, ‘a glance at the childish dreams of Maryam Rajavi versus this week’s clear stance by the French government toward the cult’. He writes that just as Iraq is throwing them out and the Americans don’t want them, now the French may expel the MEK. At this time, Maryam Rajavi, who is past 60 still acts like a child, surrounding herself with her paid audience and speakers. Salvar points out what rubbish she speaks, having promised regime change ‘in six months’ for two decades. In the latest meeting she refrained from saying six months leading Salvar to speculate whether her timetable has expanded into the 22nd Century. Yet Rajavi has paid all her speakers to say exactly the same thing, “Iraq has been handed to Iran on a silver plate”. Maryam Rajavi is on overdrive to support ISIS, calling them revolutionaries and then connects this situation to Camp Liberty to ask the Americans to liberate the retired MEK members so they can join ISIS. She has also not forgotten to repeat every word of Netanyahu on the 5+1 negotiations with Iran, and even exceeds him in lying about everything. Rajavi blames everybody else under the sun – the US, the West, the UN – for her failure to deliver over the past three decades. Salvar writes that ironically Maryam claims that the fact ex MEK members talk and write and expose her means she has power over them and Iran and Iraq are afraid of her. In effect she believes ‘they swear at me therefore I am’. Maryam is fond of lecturing everyone else but falls short of what she and Massoud should do themselves; the Americans should stop the Iraqi government from being against the MEK, they should find the missing 7 from Camp Ashraf, they should leave the area surrounding Camp Liberty and allow them to do what they want, the MEK should be given political asylum as a group and the UN should send blue helmets for their security – presumably Rajavi will tell them what to do when they get there. Salvar says Maryam Rajavi is like a child. They are about to throw her out of France and she’s still talking about these things. The reason she asks the US to help is clear, there are 75 people in Camp Liberty who are wanted for war crimes and she is asking for a way to smuggle them out of the camp because if they go on trial they will talk about her as well. Maryam Rajavi says ‘if we are allowed to have a demonstration in Tehran the regime will be toppled in 35 days’. Salvar asks, ‘where did you get 35 days from?’ But says the idea of having a demonstration is rubbish because the MEK can’t even fill the salons in the West and has to pay for the audience. He says that everyone describes Villepinte as a PR disaster because this bubble of pretence suddenly burst with just one sentence from the French government, especially that the MEK is illegal – France won’t keep them there. We know that is why people inside the MEK are already panicking he concludes, especially because Maryam Rajavi’s court case is still not closed.

In English:

++ Several articles looked at the stance taken by France, including a Press TV interview with Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley, an author and historian from Washington, to discuss why the French Foreign Ministry has recently condemned the anti-Iran terrorist MEK for its acts of violence. He identifies sensitivity toward the growing threat of ISIS. Although Tarpley doesn’t directly say the MEK support ISIS he says, “obviously there is a feeling in the MEK I would guess that they have got to get involved, that they have got to contribute, they have got to make themselves heard or they are not going to get the funding that they are accustomed to getting.” Asked if the French would expel the MEK Tarpley said that it’s up to them but there is “in the Western intelligence community a kind of frisson – a shudder of alarm – about the terrorists that are being minted in the ISIS but also in the Nusra Front inside Syria and in this entire situation.”

++ Massoud Khodabandeh’s article in Iranian.com says everyone is a loser for allowing the MEK to promote ISIS in Paris.

++ Habilian Association in Iran highlights Guy Taylor’s report in the Washington Times which says that each of the former U.S. officials who spoke to the paper acknowledged that some of their respect for the MKO “stems from the group’s history of having shared intelligence with Washington” about Iran’s nuclear program and the Iranian military activity inside Iraq. The MKO has provided U.S. military officials and successive U.S. administrations with “all types of good intelligence,” said Gen. Shelton. [Ironically, ‘spying for the MEK’ is the reason the IRI gave for the execution of Gholamreza Khosravi] The report quoted an MEK spokesman saying “…the organization’s reach and popularity inside Iran are deep and were instrumental in bringing about the 2009 uprising against the government in Tehran!” [Ironically the very excuse given by the IRI for its severe crackdown on people’s peaceful protests.]

++ Sahar Family Foundation wrote a letter to Jane Hol Lute on behalf of several hundred families of residents in Camp Liberty. Now the situation has become so tense and dangerous the families want to know what plans and progress has been made to rescue their loved ones: “It is now about 6 months since you were appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s special adviser to relocate the residents of Camp Liberty to other countries. We are aware that you have always been successful in your previous tasks and no one doubts your capabilities. We wish kindly to ask you to let us know what efforts you have made to transfer these people to a safe place, and what obstacles you have faced during fulfilling your mission and what programs you have for the future.”

++ Fars News (Iran) reported that “the Secretary of Iran’s Human Rights Council, Mohammad Javad Larijani, blasted the European states for sheltering members of the terrorist groups, including PJAK (the Party for Free Life of Kurdistan) and Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as MEK, PMOI and NCRI), adding that they have turned into a safe haven for the terrorists.”

++ Voltairenet described the MEK’s Villepinte meeting as an ‘International meeting for ISIL in France’. “While the main objective of the meeting was to support the Mujahidin military base in Iraq, Camp Asharaf and their fight against Iran, MEK president Maryam Rajavi seized the opportunity to violently lash out against Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and rejoice over the progress achieved by the Islamic Emirate in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)… French politics nowadays are profoundly schizophrenic: on one hand France (as the U.S.) officially condemns the destabilization of a State by a terrorist organization, while on the other hand, the Élysée participates alongside the U.S. in the secret war in the Middle East and details Foreign Legion officers to oversee the ISIL in Syria and Iraq.”

 04 July 2014

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