Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 76

++ Today at 6pm (European Time) Ehsan Bidi will be talking live on Mardom TV, hosted by Mr Sorbi. Bidi announced this week that since he escaped Camp Liberty and came to Albania “the MEK have used all their resources, including their contacts with Western security services and their lobbyists, in order to character assassinate me and stop me getting my asylum. They have repeatedly threatened to kill me and repeatedly promised that if I shut up they will provide a monthly salary. They have even given me the names of people inside the NCRI and MEK who are getting paid just not to talk and have given me their prices. Up to this point I had nowhere to respond. When we ran away there were three of us, two died along the way and I arrived here with nothing. I now have the opportunity provided by Mardom TV to answer the MEK. I invite anyone from the MEK or NCRI, specifically Maryam or Massoud Rajavi – who have repeatedly used my misfortune to say what they liked while ironically claiming to be struggling against Iran, Iraq or Syria, when in fact it was just against me – to come to this live programme and say what evidence they have against me. I remind them that I was an MEK member for many years. Failing to come and speak only shows that they are talking rubbish and on top of that it proves what pathetic people they are that after nearly a year of using all their resources against me, they don’t even dare to come to prove their claims.”

++ Several writers responded to Maryam Rajavi’s appearance in Lisburn on the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Writers have exposed the numerous cruelties Maryam Rajavi has been inflicting on women doing in her career. The articles point out that she is among the worst examples of abusers of women.

++ A concocted group called ‘French Muslims in Support of Camp Ashraf Residents’ has the MEK’s Jalal Ganji presenting himself as a mullah and talking about Islam. Several articles say simply that the Islam of the MEK and ISIS is not what Muslims either recognise or want. One article is by Seyed Hojjat Ismaili of Irandidban, who is a former intelligence officer of the MEK. In one of his articles exposing the MEK he says: “one of the major factors in these Muslim cults is that their leaders have an obsession about women”. Ismaili gives the examples of Al Baghdadi of ISIS, Al Zabaheri, Ali Al Shemri, and Bin Laden of Al Qaida who all married several The article then charts Massoud Rajavi’s own obsession with women and his obsession with sex. Rajavi married three times as soon as he could with one immediately after the other. He then created a Harim for himself in his Iraqi camp where he got Maryam Rajavi to procure women for him from among the MEK members.

++ Fanous Association in Germany notes one of the MEK’s propaganda TV programmes in which the MEK they have a list of “428 books written by ex-members against us”. But in the same programme they claim these books have been written by the Intelligence Service of Iran. Fanous ridicules the MEK for what it calls a gaffe: How does it add up that all these ex-members have written books yet you say they were all written by Iran’s Intelligence Service, how can you believe it yourselves?

In English:

++ Saeed Soltanpour, published in Politics of Canada, writes an open letter to Dave Barrow, Mayor of Richmond Hill, Ontario. Soltanpour complains that a booking for Richmond Green facility for the Farvardin Cultural Centre to hold its 8th Iranian Fire Festival in March 2015 has been cancelled because of interference by the Mojahedin Khalq. According to the letter, the MEK has spent fifteen years trying to take control of the Iranian community’s annual events. Soltanpour appealed to Barrow not to allow pressure by the MEK to stop the event.

++ Massoud Khodabandeh wrote an open letter to Federica Mogherini, the new EU foreign policy chief, pointing out that a group of MEPs has fallen into the MEK’s trap and that this plays directly into the hands of Iran’s hardliners. The MEPs, all working for the MEK through its Friends of a Free Iran Committee in the European Parliament, have, according to Khodabandeh, allowed Maryam Rajavi to put words into their mouths and now expect the EU to change tack to suit Rajavi’s agenda. The letter concludes, “These MEPs really need to get to grips with the fact they are being manipulated into pursuing an agenda not of their own making, which ultimately serves to worsen human rights in Iran and to help crush any indigenous opposition movements and activities. Any Iranian not associated with the MEK terrorist group – on any side of the argument – will tell them this.”

++ Mazda Parsi writes in Nejat Bloggers to critique Maryam Rajavi’s speech in Paris. Parsi says that by conflating the phrases “Iranian Resistance” with “the Iranian people”, Rajavi is trying to convince people that the MEK’s regime change and sanctions and bomb Iran policy is popular among the people of Iran. Nothing could be further from the truth as Parsi says “While Maryam Rajavi and her so-called Resistance call for more sanctions, the majority of Iranians hope that sanctions relief following the nuclear deal will improve their standards of living, and will bring concrete change on the ground. The majority of the Iranian people do not aspire for escalating tension between the West and Iran. Pushing hard for more sanctions and beating on war drums to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, are far from aiding the Iranian people’s desire for a better life.”

++ An article by Holly Dagres in The Huffington Post pleads, ‘Dear Washington: Kick Out This Iranian Militant Cult’. Dagres describes the MEK’s relentless propaganda and lobbying campaigns even though for many, many years it was on the US terrorism list. Dagres says, “The amount of misinformation circulated by their public relations is disturbing and it’s time to expose their true nature. To this day, the followers of the Mojahedin-e Khalq and its apologists dismiss it is a cult and continue to refer to their group as a “deeply democratic organization whose guiding principle on all issues is referendum and discussion until a consensus is reached.” Despite denials, its conduct tells otherwise as cited by a RAND report: deceptive recruitment, emotional isolation, extreme degrading peer pressure, forced labor, imprisonment, lack of exit options, sexual control, sleep deprivation, and physical abuse. The article concludes that lawmakers need to recognise that Iranian people regard the MEK as worse than the current religious leaders of Iran. Certainly they don’t see the MEK as an alternative.

++ An article in the New York Times introduces newly exposed footage filmed by Maziar Bahari in 2009. The film shows a violent incident during anti-government protests at that time. According to Bahari, the perpetrators were MEK agitators attempting to conduct and incite violent acts. Bahari’s analysis of this was: ““I think that moment really played into the hands of the government”. The large and completely peaceful protest that came before the violence that day, Mr. Bahari said, was far more threatening to the authorities. “That peacefulness really scared the government,” he said. The attack on the base, however, “gave an excuse to start cracking down.” Reflecting on the apparent role of the M.E.K. in transforming a peaceful protest into one marked by deadly violence, Mr. Bahari suggested that there was something of a feedback loop between the authoritarians within Iran’s Islamic Republic and their enemies. “They need each other,” he said. “A violent government needs a violent opposition in order to survive.”

December 12, 2014

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