Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 61

++ The widespread reaction to Maryam Rajavi’s interview with Alarabiya continued this week. The common theme behind this reaction was that both Rajavi and Alarabiya made so many gaffes in just one short interview which exposed both parties that it is difficult to know where to start and which gaffe to highlight. Mojahadin.com said the biggest mistake Saudi Arabia made was to think they could use the MEK or any other terrorists to attack Iran. The IRI has both a good grasp of the situation and has the support of the people, so it won’t let this happen. According to Mojahadin.com the IRI warned Saudi Arabia to stop its support for ISIS and etc, and suggested they go back to their people rather than trying to sort out their problems with these dodgy alliances. Other commentaries viewed the interview from other angles. One alleges that Rajavi used the interview to publicly backtrack on her previously declared support for ISIS. However, the pre-arranged questions and answers show that neither Rajavi nor the Saudis know what to do after having given so much open support for a group which is now killing Westerners. They have been forced by events to publicly back off. Another article points out that Rajavi claimed the MEK gave up armed struggle from 2003, yet until now they have claimed it was in 2001. Since the MEK was forcefully disarmed in 2003 this indicates that they are still willing to pursue violence but they don’t have the arms to do this. Another article says that almost half the interview was against the Iraqi government. Since Saudi Arabia and Rajavi could not have been any closer to Saddam Hussein, it is clear why they are now joining with the Saddamists against the government of Iraq no matter what form it takes. Another view was to look at the words used in the interview. Both Alarabiya and Rajavi refer to the Gulf rather than the Persian Gulf. ‘While Alarabiya is notorious for taking the side of Israel to poke Iran, when Rajavi does this on such a sensitive issue it shows that many years ago the group gave up on being with the people of Iran… This reminds us of when Rajavi took the side of Iraq during the war by claiming that Khuzestan belongs to Iraq. Ironically, and somewhat amazingly, in this interview Maryam Rajavi claims that the MEK were fighting from inside Iran against Iraq. This is blatantly untrue and doesn’t even match with anything else she has said. She could not have made more gaffes in one interview and we don’t know which to pick on first.’ It is expected that this interview will continue to arouse more criticism including a lot of internal criticism by supporters asking why Rajavi is talking to Alarabiya and questioning what on earth is she saying anyway.

++ In Iraq last week at least three high ranking politicians from the Al Dawa Party (of which Prime Minister Al Abadi is a member), along with the spokesman of the Party have said that the MEK will no longer be tolerated. One emphasised that “the MEK will not be tolerated as the last [Maliki] government before us tolerated it”. Ironically, Rajavi has ordered his followers to celebrate the change claiming that the last Prime Minister [Maliki] was against the MEK. This week a campaign was begun in Baghdad, which includes many high ranking persons, to prosecute the MEK for the crimes they committed in Iraq. According to the campaigners, documentation is ready and it is now sufficient to push the Americans aside and take the MEK to court for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

++ Iraq’s ministry for human rights has published a detailed 100+ page document about the MEK. The report explains where they come from, what they did under the Shah, how they came out of Iran and when they came to Iraq. The report examines crimes the MEK have been committing in Iran and in Iraq from a humanitarian point of view.

++ This week Karim Ghassim and Mohammad Reza Rowhani (recently defected from the NCRI) were interviewed by several media outlets after attending a meeting in Germany: The Second Congress of Secular Democrats of Iran. In these interviews they both compare how suppressive the MEK is under the control of one man, with the free and easy atmosphere of the Congress in which everyone was free to talk about a variety of issues. They expressed themselves stunned and delighted to have attended a meeting in which they could say whatever they wanted without fear of intimidation or punishment. Ghassim emphasised again that one of the reasons he resigned was Rajavi’s open support for fundamentalist [Islamist] groups in Syria and Iraq. He said, “you have to make your support for these groups conditional on their belief in democracy, you can’t just support any old opposition group”.

++ Some weeks ago, a film called ‘An unfinished documentary for my daughter’ drew widespread interest and praise. Now the MEK has responded in its usual way, and without mentioning the film itself, they have published articles swearing at everyone who said anything about the film, including internal critics such as Yaghmai and Mesdaghi, etc.

++ Reports indicate that for the past few weeks the MEK have been trying to persuade Jewish communities in the UK to support them. In particular, MEK operatives have staged a Saturday picket in Golders Green, a district of London which has a large Jewish population. The MEK tries to present itself as pro-Israeli and anti-Iran. But local people have so far treated the MEK with disdain and have called on the police to send them away.

In English:

++ Masoud Banisadr, who acted as the MEK’s political representative in Washington before escaping the group and becoming a fierce critic of its cultic and terrorist nature, will join a panel of international experts in London this weekend (24/24 August) to discuss the ‘undue influence of extremist groups and how to overcome it’. The discussion will be led by Steve Hassan, a cult expert, who has previously interviewed Masoud Banisadr about his involvement in the MEK.

++ A. Sepinoud in Nejat Bloggers writes “Joining hands with the deceitful MEK terror-cult would be a huge mistake”. The article identifies the MEK’s propaganda, finance and deception as a pose designed to attract the support of the anti-Iran war lobby. Pointing out the MEK’s internal suppression and violations of human rights, along with its propensity for violence, the article warns that the “MEK Terror Cult promoters should consider the fact that the least investment in the Mojahedin Khalq Organization and joining hands with the group as a terrorist cult with no respect to human rights or democracy would be a historical mistake.”

++ Eric Draitser (an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City and the founder ofStopImperialism.com.) writing for RT says “ISIS [is] a pretext for US-sponsored regime change in Iraq”. According to Draitser “the IS has become the enforcer of US foreign policy, a proxy force that furthers the US agenda without any significant US military presence needed. And yet, the IS is presented in the mainstream media as the greatest threat in the Middle East. Why so? Why were they no threat at all in Syria, but have become the great menace in Iraq?” He goes on to say that it “should be self-evident, Washington’s decision to use military force against ISIS is a cynical ploy to protect intelligence assets, economic interests, and create a nominally independent Kurdish state which will become integrated into the US-Israeli sphere of influence in the region. In order to achieve these strategic objectives, first and foremost, Maliki had to be gotten rid of.” In the article Draitser identifies as one of Maliki’s ‘crimes’ against Washington that he “purged Iraq of the US-sponsored terrorist organization the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) which had waged a decades-long campaign of terrorism against Iran by closing down Camp Ashraf, the base from which the organization operated.”

++ Matt Potter reports in the San Diego Reader that Senator Bob Filner “has just received a warning from California’s Fair Political Practices Commission. In a letter dated July 23, commission senior counsel Neal Bucknell calls out Filner for accepting what it calls an “unlawful gift” of travel from an Iranian-American group that provided an all-expenses-paid trip to Europe beginning on June 21 of last year.” The report concludes, “As first reported here back in November 2007, Filner, then a congressman, had long been accepting Parisian freebies from backers of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, also known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization, or MEK for short. That June, Filner and GOP congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado co-authored an op-ed piece in the editorial pages of the conservative Washington Times demanding that the Bush Administration stop labeling the group as a terrorist organization. Though Filner never returned calls seeking an explanation of his fervid MEK support, wealthy Iranian expatriates were often fingered as cash underwriters of the effort, which included the lobbying services of Republican ex-House majority leader Dick Armey…”

August 22 2014

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