Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 71

++ Maryam Rajavi announced to Camp Liberty residents that Zohreh Akhiani has been ‘elected’ as head of the MEK. Maryam claimed that the Central Council – which consists of nearly everyone – has chosen her. This came as a surprise since the Central Council was abolished two decades previously and was replaced by the 12 member women only Leadership Council. Many people are asking why it has been resurrected now. Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Zahra Mirbagheri and many other prominent ex members who know the mentality of Rajavi gave their analyses of this move. Khodabandeh wrote: Putting aside the ridiculous aspects of this issue, like Massoud Rajavi pretending to be shocked when everyone knows he is in charge of everything that happens in the MEK, there are two significant aspects to it. One is that Rajavi is under extreme pressure for being undemocratic and so he is trying to prove that there is such a thing as a council. The second thing is that so many of the Leadership Council have escaped the MEK and run away. Rajavi can’t answer for this and he wants to dilute the importance of what he created in order to hide its failure. According to people inside the MEK the Leadership Council women have been chastised and told, ‘you are not leaders, only Massoud and Maryam are leaders, this has gone to your heads and you need to put yourselves back in your places again’. Other commentators say this has been done to buy time and keep people busy and diverted from the real problems in Camp Liberty where the atmosphere is wild and chaotic with a lot of fighting and arguments breaking out. They ridicule the idea of a council in a camp 1km by 1km in which nearly all the 3000 old and sick residents are made members.

++ Several people have commented on Senator John McCain’s support for the MEK. They point to the evidence that he supports ISIS, including the much publicised photograph with ISIS leaders. McCain is the link between the MEK and ISIS. They are on the same side and McCain supports both these terrorist entities.

++ This week an inter-parliamentary group from Iran visited the French Senate. At the same time some manufactured committees invited Maryam Rajavi into the building to make speeches to parliamentarians. Several Farsi writers point to the efforts of Israel to prevent any positive engagement between France and Iran, but say that using the MEK will not hinder it. Both France and Iran are wise to this ploy and the French government has already said it considers the MEK to be a terrorist group. Iranians treat this as a laughing matter. Fars News simply translated Maryam Rajavi’s speech in which she claims that Iran is behind ISIS and she demands that the Americans take the side of Israel against Iran.

++ A couple of officials from Iraq have commented that although 210 places have been ready for some months to take residents from Camp Liberty, and the US is willing to take 80 of them, the major obstacle is still the MEK which is trying to delay the process as much as possible, hoping, presumably that some more of the camp’s residents will be killed or die in Iraq. [The MEK submitted its own list of potential transferees, half of whom are disabled or seriously or terminally ill]. Meanwhile IRNA reported that the names of people pardoned by Iran have been passed to the UNHCR, which says they are now free to go back home. IRNA says UN sources admit that if the residents could choose themselves, many would want to go back, the problem is that the MEK don’t give the UN free and unfettered access to these people.

++ There were a few reactions to Rajavi jumping on the acid attack bandwagon. Articles and comments compare this with what the MEK do to their own people, like the hysterectomies and self-immolations, etc. Some mention Nafiseh Badamchi, the so-called doctor in the MEK camp who performed the hysterectomies. Some witnesses named the victims like Minoo Fathali who was killed by the MEK in Camp Ashraf because she refused to be part of Rajavi’s harem and was trying to expose them.

++ From last week when Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi went to Iran, the MEK’s sites have been silent, pretending it never happened. Before this they had claimed to have been instrumental in the change from al-Maliki to al-Abadi.

++ Mohammad Sahimi, a prominent professor in the US, has begun a collection of articles in Farsi (he normally writes in English). The title of his first is ‘The cause of the rise of ISIS’. In the article he goes into detail about the MEK as an example of a mercenary force which is being used wrongly for short-term purposes.

In English:

++ Following Massoud Khodabandeh’s visit to Iraq in October, Iran Interlink published the Fourth Report from Baghdad about the Mojahedin Khalq and Camp Liberty. The report uncovers the positions and actions of the various parties involved in the process of removing the terrorist MEK from Iraq. The report concludes that the families of Camp Liberty residents and former members of the group have been successful in disabling the MEK’s peripheral support network and are now dealing with the central core of the group, the loyal members and the hostages. The report says that the MEK’s political, financial and logistical support must be dealt with at governmental level. The group’s criminal activities are, likewise, a matter for law enforcement agencies.

++ Mazda Parsi of Nejat Bloggers ridicules Maryam Rajavi’s latest masquerade to entertain the individuals inside the group, particularly the female members. Maryam’s love letter to Zohreh Akhyani assigns her head of the MEK and orders her to make a Central Council of “one thousand heroic women”. Parsi points out that in the past decade there have not been more than 900 women MEK members and many of these have been killed, died or run away.

++ Nejat Bloggers reported on a visit by Ebrahim Khodabandeh to Baghdad. Khodabandeh, formerly a high ranking official in the MKO’s international relations department, visited several Iraqi officials including two MPs, Adnan Seraj and Adnan Shahmari. He also met the Iranian Ambassador in Baghdad Hassan Danaieefar. During his to Baghdad, he was interviewed by Iraqi media and newspapers including Al-Masar TV and Kul Al-akhbar Newspaper. During these meetings, he described the grief suffered by families of members of the cult of Rajavi who are taken as hostages by the cult leaders in Camp Liberty, near Baghdad.

++ Ehsan Roshanzamir of Iranian Pen Club (Ghalam), has written an Open Letter to Senator John McCain. The letter points out that the MEK were part of the reason America invaded Iraq in 2003. Roshanzamir talks about the dire conditions suffered my MEK members and about the MEK’s collaboration with ISIS, and warns McCain not to allow himself to be humiliated by association with either group.

October 31, 2014

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