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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 65

++ As the UN Human Rights Council meets in Geneva, former MEK members have written to alert officers and attendees to the presence of Behzad Naziri. They say Behzad Naziri has donned a suit and tie and poses as a human rights activist to infiltrate the buildings and meetings of the UN. However, as a commander of Saddam’s Private Army he is a wanted man in Iraq where there are also cases pending accusing him of torture of MEK members. Many individuals have written personal testimonies against him in addition to their objection letters to the UN.

++ On the occasion of the anniversary of September 11, many people have written their personal memories about Massoud Rajavi’s reaction and the celebrations he ordered in support of Al Qaida. Rajavi said, “if they represent Reactionary Islam, we are Revolutionary Islam, and we can do ten times more”. Writers remind us that Rajavi changed his tune when America invaded Iraq and the MEK suddenly acted as if they had been American since birth. Rajavi was able to change sides in a matter of months because he leads a mercenary force.

++ The MEK held a celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the organisation. As usual this became a laughing stock. Writers pointed out that whatever the MEK originally was it is irrelevant to what it is now, it is a completely different organisation. Some said this was pitched to hold onto their older members. Even though the MEK rub shoulders with the likes of arch neoconservative John Bolton, they try to pretend to be the original anti-Imperialist MEK. Others say the MEK now have no real identity and their Zionist supporters are tying to buy them one. The irony is that they want to identify themselves as an anti-imperialist force, but to celebrate it they have to invite Zionists and Imperialists. Critics refer to Maryam Rajavi’s speech – her asking in every way possible for the Americans to help them stay in Iraq. The new Iraqi govt has made it impossible for them or ISIS to remain in Iraq since the Iraqi govt is now united as never before. While insisting on staying, in same speech Rajavi claims that the ‘blood of the 52′ has won their place in Iraq. Critics interpret this as wanting to kill the others too. In the celebration one of retired US generals has demanded that the US go and take over Camp Liberty and announce it as a ‘free zone’ protected by air jets and that the UN must be forced to give the mandate to take control of the place. He also said the MEK have the same rights as the Yazidis as residents of Iraq. Critics deride this, saying the MEK have now changed their nationality and are claiming to be Iraqis. While publishing reports about their activities on their own sites the MEK have, as usual, added a few lies of their own. The biggest lie this year was a made up, non-existent announcement by Ayatollah Sistani pronouncing value judgements for or against the new Iraqi politicians.

++ A third article from Ebrahim Khodabandeh in Tehran has been published in which he talks about the contact he has from both current members and former members of the Mojahedin Khalq. He relates what these various people say to him along with his own opinion about their issues. Khodabandeh says the people in Auvers sur Oise are very confused. The MEK claims to be secular, but when members ask about continued gender apartheid and enforced hijab, the commanders give no answer. According to the article, there are three major issues troubling the cult. One is the issue of religious identity and secularism. Another is about the continued ‘Presidency’ of Maryam Rajavi after two decades. One member had asked about this and was told that Maryam is “President of the Resistance”, to which he innocently replied that “we all know that by ‘Resistance’ you mean ‘Massoud Rajavi’, so does that mean he has appointed her as his President?” Apparently the man was severely punished for this. The third contentious issue is circulating in Camp Liberty. People are asking why, when high up members like Massoud Khodabandeh, Masoud Banisadr or Mesdaghi left the MEK, Rajavi didn’t start attacking them as ‘agents of the Iranian regime’ until they started speaking out against him and the MEK, yet when his Arabic translator Ghorban Ali Hossein Nejat left, Rajavi immediately denounced him as a homosexual. The members in Camp Liberty say they have no problem with his sexuality even if it were true, but they cannot understand Rajavi’s sensitivity toward him and this uncharacteristic response. One of the groups who were undergoing an indoctrination session with Abbas Davari (a veteran member of 40+ years), asked him about this. When pressed, Davari himself discovered that he had the same question, and he too had no answer. Finding this out, the MEK forced Davari to write against Nejat Association to be published on MEK websites. However, Davari is semi-literate (he was recruited as a railway worker before the 1979 revolution), yet in other cases, he has apparently written a book in English denouncing former MEK members and was named as the author of the ‘Pentagon Report’.

In English:

++ Mazda Parsi of Nejat Bloggers writes about ‘Modern Slavery in the Cult under Rajavi’s Program for Women’. Stating that the treatment of women is an indicator in understanding a civilized country, the article identifies the example of the Rajavi cult “which is governed by kind of modern slavery system [that] deprives female members from their fundamental freedoms and rights. Nevertheless, the MKO propaganda tries to demonstrate a modern democratic portrait of a viable alternative for the Iranian Government while in reality it practices discrimination and violence against its female members. The new documentary published by Press TV proves just the opposite of what their propaganda claims. “Comrades in Arms” unfolds the story of those women who fell for deceptive slogans of the MKO. Looking for a brighter future these women ended up in Camp Ashraf, where they faced a gloomy fate.”

++ Setaregan Association in Switzerland have written an Open letter to Pandeli Majko ( Albanian Prime Minister 1999 – 2002). The letter warns him of the deceptive methods the MEK uses to trap people like himself into giving their support. “The Rajavi cult (Massoud and Maryam Rajavi) has two completely different faces. In the EU and US they are behaving like a chameleon and hide their true nature. For example, Mrs Rajavi pretends that she is leading a struggle against dictatorship. In reality, we have experienced ourselves that Massoud and Maryam Rajavi are nothing other than brutal dictators themselves. Someone who does not allow the smallest basic freedoms inside their organisation cannot claim to be struggling for freedom, can they?”

++ Tehran Times reported remarks made by Ayatollah Rafsanjani, head of Iran’s Expediency Council, in a meeting with Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard in Tehran. “The condition for serious and effective fight against the ‘virus of terror and terrorism’ is sincerity, bravery, and avoidance from double standard policy,” Rafsanjani noted. Rafsanjani, a veteran politician, also said how one can believe the claims by Westerners, especially Americans, that they are fighting against terrorism while they still support some terrorist groups like the Mojahedin Khalq Organization. For example, Rafsanjani said, the U.S. is fighting ISIL terrorists in Iraq while it supported the terrorist group in Syria.”

++ The Financial Times exposed a financial corruption allegation involving Zalmay Khalilzad, a former US ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq. Khalilzad, who now runs his own consultancy firm in Washington, has lobbied for the Kurdish regional administration in northern Iraq in the past and also represented foreign businesses in Iraq. He has also lobbied for the MEK.

++ Justin Raimondo’s article for Anti-War ‘Hoaxes, Hype, and Hysteria – The War Party never takes a holiday’, says “While Americans were barbecuing over the Labor Day weekend, the Usual Suspects were busy cooking up new wars, from Iraq to Ukraine. While this is nothing new – after all, evil never sleeps – one thing I did notice: the stunning lack of imagination on their part. It was, in effect, the equivalent of a bunch of summer reruns: tired formulaic retreads that weren’t all that convincing in the first place… the neocons came up with a not-so-new one [threat]: they claim a laptop computer ostensibly captured from ISIS by the “good” jihadists – the so-called Free Syrian Army, which is armed and trained by the US – contains plans for constructing “weapons of mass destruction,” i.e. biological weapons. They’re even calling it the “laptop of death” – a phrase that ought to ring a bell for those who follow these sorts of things. That’s the same phrase used to describe yet another purloined laptop, this one supplied by the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, an Iranian terrorist group that, for years, has been feeding the War Party bogus “intelligence” about Tehran’s nonexistent nuclear weapons program. That tall tale was debunked in 2011 – yet another case of MEK cobbling together old outdated data, adding a dash of forgery, and shaking well enough to fool the credulous.”

++ Iranian Pen Association writes an Open Letter to Dr Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, warning him of the lies fed to him by agents of the MEK. The letter reminds Dr Shaheed of the cult nature of the MEK and details some of the MEK’s abuses of human rights inside the organisation.

12 September 2014

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