Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 72

++ The Mojahedin Khalq are holding a press conference in Washington today to reveal Iran’s nuclear secrets.

++ Farideh Vanaai a long serving MEK member died in a hospital in Tirana this week. Maryam Rajavi blamed Iraq for withholding medicine. Responses in Farsi make it clear that even though their lobbyists repeat their lies wherever and whenever they can, nobody believes this because it is Massoud and Maryam Rajavi who refuse to allow MEK members to leave Camp Ashraf and go to hospital. Mohammad Razaghi and Hamed Sarafpour, who reside in Europe, have written in detail to explain that many of these people are old and ill. Rajavi herself admits the latest victim is the 210th person to die, a number which is much higher than normal for this demographic. Two weeks ago another person died in Camp Liberty called Mohammad Taghi Abbassian. His death was suspicious to the writers because they knew that he had been unhappy in the MEK for a long time and they suspect that the MEK had stopped his medicine because of this. Massoud Khodabandeh posted on Facebook in response to this that in Iraq it is clear, there are 210 beds in accommodation in Tirana which have been ready for months. The only reason residents were not able to go was that Massoud Rajavi blocked it. The UN has now given in to his demands and Rajavi has handed over his own list, of which over half are almost dead. It is clear he is sending them to Albania to die because he won’t let them be taken to hospital in Iraq. We should expect more deaths in Tirana after they arrive and the burden will be on the UN to sort them out. Khodabandeh says that dumping his sick on the UN is a deterrent to render the UN passive.

++ There were several reactions to Maryam Rajavi’s meeting in Paris last week. Commentators point out that the MEK are on the same side as Daesh and yet Rajavi was able to visit the French parliament and ludicrously blame Iran for creating it. Even Israel, America and Saudi don’t say this.

++ This week marked the anniversary of Ashura. Reports from Iran suggest that the MEK was trying to use the occasion to incite disturbances; mixing this event to the acid attacks and the recent increase in executions in Iran. The MEK were very hopeful and their backers very excited about these disturbances, but the MEK proved unable to raise even a finger as the plan was intercepted and thwarted by the Iranian authorities.

++ A. Afshari has sent a letter to Iran Interlink exposing one of the MEK’s agents in the Netherlands called Ali Reza Kazemi. This individual is widely known and has been exposed several times before by many other people on different occasions. His job for the MEK is to manufacture front groups. This latest one is called Iran Academy, and like other MEK groups which don’t admit their association with the MEK, Kazemi says he has nothing to do with them. Kazemi has also infiltrated the Netherlands government paid Farsi language Radio Zamaneh. Afshari warns the radio station to beware of Kazemi as the MEK don’t infiltrate a place for no reason.

++ An open letter by families of residents in Camp Liberty from East Azerbaijan has been published called ‘the true nature of some British MPs’. The letter quotes Brian Binley and other lobbyists who under the guise of sympathy for the victims in Liberty are actually supporting terrorism. The families challenge these MPs and say that “the money you people get for lobbying (even though you are elected representatives of the British people), is stained with the blood of our children who are being held captive. People like you, to save face at least, should ask Rajavi to open the camp.”

In English:

++ Anne Khodabandeh wrote about Maryam Rajavi’s speech in Paris last week. Her article titled ‘ISIS supporter Maryam Rajavi attacks Obama from French parliament’, concludes: “When a supporter of ISIS sits in the French parliamentary building and attacks President Obama, the cracks are seriously beginning to show in the West’s approach to resolving the whole Middle East situation. Observers may not be sufficiently informed to tell Western governments what to do in their own interests, but any schoolchild can point out the damage the MEK is doing to them.”

++ Hannah Allam writing for The Tribune in an article titled ‘Think helping to fight ISIS will get you off terrorist list? Think again’, points to the different treatment of Kurdish nationalists whose groups are listed as terrorists. Although they are fighting against Daesh there are no moves to de-list them. “The main criticism of the process is the seemingly arbitrary way that groups get on and, more rarely, off the list.” An exception Allam identifies is the MEK “a deep-pocketed Iranian dissident group that ran by far the most ambitious campaign to get off the terrorist list. After legal victories in Europe, the group hired top lawyers and paid high-profile speakers tens of thousands of dollars a pop to raise awareness of the MEK cause in the United States.

A Washington lobbying firm received nearly $1 million to work on getting the MEK off the terrorist list, according to an investigation of the group’s payouts by the British newspaper The Guardian. The MEK cultivated an image of a pro-democracy, Western-friendly supporter of the ouster of Iran’s theocratic government; detractors describe it as a cult-like militant group with only fringe support among ordinary Iranians…

“But the official line that lobbying played only a small role in the MEK’s de-listing rings hollow when that case is compared with other designees who slipped from the headlines years ago. One seemingly outdated presence is Abu Nidal, the Palestinian guerrilla group whose eponymous founder was shot and killed in muddy circumstances in Iraq in 2002. Even the State Department’s annual terrorism review calls the group “inactive”.”

++ Mazda Parsi writing for Nejat Bloggers asks for an independent international probe into the suspicious deaths in the MEK after Maryam Rajavi called for just this after the execution of Reihaneh Jabbari the Iranian woman convicted of murdering Morteza Sarbandari. Parsi highlights the hypocrisy of this stance and cites numerous examples of MEK women whose deaths were highly suspicious.

++ Observer Research Foundation, Euroasia Review, asks why, when Iran and the P5+1 appear to be making progress on a nuclear deal in which Iran is making many concessions, has there been an explosion at Iran’s Parchin missile centre. The article points the finger of suspicion at Israel which is desperate to derail any deal. “Iran has been facing targeted killing of its nuclear scientists and precision guided cyber-attacks on its nuclear reactors since the early 2010… Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, was the obvious suspect. It is believed to have acted in collaboration with the Mujahideen e-Khalq, an Iranian émigré organisation banned by the US as a terrorist organisation. The Americans, instead of chastising Israel for working with a banned terrorist organisation, helped them to launch highly sophisticated cyber-attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities.”

The article concludes: “With such baggage of hostility and mistrust, it is surprising that the Iranian leadership is at all negotiating with the US, yet it seems to have no choice. The economic hardships that its people have borne for all these years leave it with little options. President Rouhani has promised a Government of ‘Hope and Recovery’ and he has to deliver on that.”

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