++ Internal critic Esmail Vafa Yaghmaei wrote to expose the MEK’s deception of an English activist and friend Belinda McKenzie. The MEK took money from her through unethical influence after persuading her to re-mortgage her house and hand over around £300,000 which they promised would be repaid “after the overthrow of the Iranian regime”. Yaghmaei tells the MEK he will sue if they don’t return her money now. The MEK responded through the NCRI to say ‘these are the actions of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry’, and accused Yaghmaei and McKenzie of being part of a conspiracy to start a new court case against the MEK.
(There is an ongoing, unrelated court case in Paris which accuses the MEK of wrongfully using the name and identity of Zia Abdolrazaghi for money laundry and fraud. The MEK claims this is also being pursued by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry.)
The MEK also published tens of receipts and cheques made out to Yaghmaei and two other former NCRI members, Karim Ghassim and Mohammad Reza Rowhani, saying they have received thousands of pounds from the NCRI, but with no further explanation. The MEK admits it took McKenzie’s money but said it agreed to pay this back after the MEK “topples the Iranian regime”. The MEK also offered a veiled threat by accusing McKenzie of having worked with Iran Aid charity – which was closed by the Charity Commission – with the implication that she had been involved in its wrongdoing [money laundry].
Yaghmaei responded to the MEK/NCRI saying “the receipts and cheques were for the rent of an apartment which I shared with one of your MEK members. At the same time we gave our social security payments to you.” He adds sarcastically, “those payments were for a few thousand French Franks in those times. Now suddenly you say you have paid me hundreds of thousands of Euros, yet offer no evidence and no explanation; what would I possibly do for you for this amount of money?” He finishes with a dig; “Anyway, what is the source of your money, and have you paid tax on it in France?”
In Farsi sites the main reaction to this exchange was that “here is an admission of guilt by the MEK that Iran Aid was a fraudulent charity”. Some comments point out that “you clearly fooled this English woman into giving money and now won’t pay her back”. On the other hand it is clear the MEK/NCRI have to pay people for their support. But “how can lobbyists and other people trust you if you give them money then publish the receipts on your website”.
++ Jahangir Shadanlou, a prominent opposition figure residing in Paris, was interviewed by Simaye Rahai TV channel. The first half of the programme was devoted to broadcasting in full an MEK video posted on Youtube about what it calls ‘The Pentagon Report’. Following this, Shadanlou dissected the film revealing that the outrageous allegations made by the MEK were withdrawn after only a few days so that such a report does not exist beyond a PDF created by the MEK itself. Yet, the MEK continue to reference it in attacks on critics as an official Pentagon document. Shadanlou likens this action to the book produced for Yves Bonnet which a court ordered to be withdrawn following a libel case. The book is no longer published but the MEK continue to reference it. The MEK method, he says, is to “repeat a lie until it sounds like the truth. In fact, insisting on repeatedly telling lies means they have no truth to tell.” Shadanlou says the video “is an insult to the intelligence of the public. They think everyone is as dumb as their own members. They can neither tell the truth, nor can they make programmes.”
++ This week Maryam Rajavi worked along three clear lines: pursuit of the anti-Iran attacks designed to disrupt the nuclear negotiations and encourage war against Iran; going into overdrive to praise the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia as a moderate and saviour of the region [After Israelis, Saudis have been among the major sponsors of the MEK over the years]; demanding to be re-armed by the Americans while vigorously glorifying an armed robber as a political dissident. This latter propaganda stunt concerns the execution of a criminal in Iran who, along with two others had attempted to rob a jewellery shop. Two robbers were killed at the scene in a shootout with police in which several police and the shop owner were also killed. The third robber was tried and convicted and sentenced to death for his part in the crime. MEK propaganda however glorifies him as ’a political activist who had led an armed uprising against the Iranian regime’.
++ Maryam Rajavi’s reaction to the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has been widely ridiculed. One article states ‘we have condolences and we have condolences’. The article points out that the whole world has criticised Western heads of state for paying their obsequious condolences, but look at Maryam Rajavi, she is ten times worse than them. Some critics used the context of women’s rights to comment. They reveal that Rajavi’s people are busy gathering MPs and MEPs to be paid to attend a rally in Berlin on 7th March to commemorate International Women’s Day on 8th March. The MEK’s method is to use pseudonyms to send people to parliament to canvass and recruit, particularly among Eastern European country MPs who may not have historical savvy about the MEK. Anyone who responds positively is next contacted with the offer of money to attend the rally but on no account do they mention that Maryam Rajavi will be there as she is too toxic. Some former MEK members based in Germany wrote to warn their government about the Berlin rally. They say that Rajavi is using the rally as a pretext to leave France and take up residence in Germany. Other comments particularly from women say ‘How dare you presume to talk about women’s rights in Berlin while praising King Abduallah, one of the most misogynist of men who had so many wives and headed the only country in the world in which women are not allowed to drive.’
++ Anne Khodabandeh in Iran-Interlink wrote to alert Albanian authorities of the need to protect the new arrivals from Camp Liberty: “Albania’s efforts to improve its human rights and bring them into line with European and international standards could be seriously undermined if it does not take action to curtail the activities of the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq cult organisation in that country. There is strong evidence that the MEK has bought land and property just outside Tirana in order to create a closed cult enclave similar to ones in Iraq, and that it is using coercion to keep refugees captive there where they are subject to systematic human rights abuses outside the supervision of the Albanian authorities.”
++ Press TV reported on Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s rejection of allegations that prosecutor Nisman committed suicide. “I’m convinced that it was not suicide,” said the president in a statement posted on her Facebook page. Nisman’s death happened hours before he was to testify in a congressional hearing about AMIA. The “real move against the government was the prosecutor’s death… They used him while he was alive and then they needed him dead. It is that sad and terrible,” Iran-Interlink expanded on this with an article by Gareth Porter which revealed that “Nisman’s rambling and repetitious report cites statements by four members of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which is the political arm of the MEK, as the sources for the charge that Iran decided on the AMIA bombing in August 1993.” Apparently this was his only source for accusing Iran of involvement in the incident.
++ Former MEK member and outspoken critic Mohammad Karami, who is resident in France, wrote an Open Letter to President Hollande asking for guarantees of safety for himself and other MEK critics. This follows renewed calls by MEK leader Massoud Rajavi for his followers to kill all his critics in Europe whenever and wherever they can.
++ Iran-Interlink issued a bit of a rant to waken up complacent Europeans who it says are yet to see the damage to their national interests by allowing Maryam Rajavi to appear in the Council of Europe buildings ‘cheerleading’ for Israel. “Parading this deeply unpopular and defunct terrorist group to convey a defunct message demonstrates that Israel is scraping around the bottom of an empty tool box. Instead of a screwdriver Netanyahu found a hairbrush, and is wielding that in the hopes somebody somewhere will take the MEK and their flaky representatives seriously. When none of the protagonists have any principles or morals, there will inevitably be negative repercussions. Europe and America have yet to see how damaging these kinds of shows are for their national interests.”
January 30, 2015