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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 87

++ Following on from a meeting in Brussels last week with MEP Nikolay Barekov, Davoud Baghervand Arshad, Isa Azadeh and Ghorbanali Hossein Nejad have issued another statement expanding on their position. The statement says “we believe the MEK is past the point of correction and it is not possible for a splinter group to arise. It is a cult and as such the corruption would pass to the new group. We believe any organisation that is pursuing regime change through violence and terrorism is wrong and does great harm. We believe the only way to achieve democracy is through non-violent means.”

++ Reactions to the MEK’s nuclear gaffe focus on two issues. One is the gaffe itself and questions how the MEK’s ridiculous paymasters can continue to pay them when they can’t even do the job. The second group talk about how the MEK betrays their own country and their own families as they continue to try to create conditions under which their mothers and fathers are suffering and may even be bombed by Iran’s enemies. It is shocking, commentators say, that the MEK are happy to see this happen.

++ Several more families have written letters addressed to their loved ones in the MEK along with their contact details (name, address, phone numbers) and have asked for people to spread the word and help their loved ones to get in touch. In response the MEK has, as usual, set about getting members to write, or actually writing for them, to attack their own families. Two ex MEK members now living in Iran, Sirous Ghazanfari and Massoud Taghipourian, have been specifically targeted by the MEK which accuses them of masterminding the family letter writing campaign. Both men who live in Azerbaijan Province, have written articles explaining that the MEK’s attacks only have currency inside Camp Liberty since nobody who has access to real world will take them seriously. The men say ‘you are in Camp Liberty and if you are really the person writing this then you are talking rubbish. This is exactly why we want you to have contact with the outside world so you will see how much you have been misled.’

++ Several comments have been made about the MEK’s proposed meeting in Berlin to mark International Women’s Day. The gist of most is that this event represents the beacon of Maryam Rajavi’s hypocrisy. It is well known that she uses any excuse to declare that she is still alive but using the issue of women after all she has done inside her own organisation, including grooming and pimping women for her husband Massoud Rajavi to rape, this is absolutely the peak of her hypocrisy.

++ Other comments have highlighted Maryam Rajavi’s annual announcement for the pre-Nourooz Chahar Shanbe Souri celebration in which she urges ‘the people’ to rise up against the regime. Several people have written pointing out that nobody ever takes any notice of her at all and she is making a laughing stock of herself by persisting in this ludicrous farce.

In English:

++ An article in The District Sentinel reported that ‘State Dept. Rules Out Iran “Secret Nuclear Facility” Lavizan-3 Allegations Pushed By Congressmen–Claims Appear Fabricated By M.E.K.’ Following exposure of the MEK’s false nuclear ‘revelation’ the State Department said that it has “a robust team of experts across the US government” examining Iran’s nuclear program who are involved in the so-called P5+1 negotiations. But, said the article, a “robust team of experts,” however, was not needed to cast doubts on the allegations that were made by the MEK-tied National Council of Resistance of Iran. They seem to have been fabricated in the most casual of manners. Shortly after its report was made public on Tuesday, a Daily Kos blogger with the pseudonym “Florida Democrat” pointed out how a simple reverse image search showed that what the NCRI claimed was an “image of one of the shielding doors at Lavizan-3 installed at an underground hall” appeared to be a photograph lifted from an Iranian safe company’s website. The MEK’s fabricated accusations were “reported without much scrutiny by Fox News, The Washington Times, and the Washington Free Beacon, in addition to The Post.” To make matters worse, the MEK publicly defended its report in a nine-point statement saying “through its sources within Iran, [it] was fully aware that these doors had been built by GMP Company for the purpose of being installed at Lavizan-3.”

++ Journalist Jim Lobe (Lobelog) pointed out that “Senator Robert Menendez has been the top recipient of campaign funding from donors with ties to the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK), the cultish group that was until recently included on the State Department’s terrorism list, according to a new investigative report published Thursday by LobeLog alumni and occasional contributors Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton on The Intercept website titled: “Long March of the Yellow Jackets: How a One-Time Terrorist Group Prevailed on Capitol Hill”. Ali and Eli cite sources that cumulatively suggest that Menendez’s position may have been influenced by intense lobbying on the part of pro-MeK individuals, including the lobbyist for one of the MeK’s political fronts and Menendez’s immediate predecessor, Robert Torricelli. According to the article, Menendez accepted more than $25,000 from donors with ties to the MEK, making him the largest recipient from 2012, when the MeK was delisted that September, to the present.”

++ Iraq al Ghanoon, Baghdad reports that no country will accept the residents of Camp Liberty except Iran. “In an interview with Iraqi media, the Human Rights Minister of Iraq Mohammad Mehdi al Bayati said “the MEK has been designated a terrorist organisation by the United Nations and the United States hence has not been eligible for refugee status after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. We have however looked at their situation with the help of the Interior ministry but we have not found any legal basis for them to remain in this country”. He also added “We have informed the Red Cross and United Nations in Baghdad that Iraq rejects the presence of these people and their temporary accommodation is based only on the humanitarian nature of our help”. He added that “All other countries have declined to give asylum to these people, but Iraq has approached the Islamic Republic of Iran through our ambassador in Tehran and officials there have responded that all the MEK members have been pardoned and can come back to Iran without being prosecuted. There are, of course, 50 names of the leaders of this group who do not enjoy the blanket pardon given by Iran.

++ Jeffrey Lewis in Foreign Policy examines in detail the MEK’s history of false revelations about Iran’s nuclear programme. He says “Iran’s most notorious dissident group loves luring gullible U.S. officials and journalists into seeing a bomb factory beneath every building in Tehran. Dig a little deeper, sheeple.” His conclusion: “there is every reason to think the latest allegations by NCRI represent a politically motivated effort to derail the engagement of Iran over its nuclear program… Any agreement with Iran is destined to contend with a series of leaks like this. But let’s remember: The MEK and the United States have fundamentally different interests. The MEK highlights Iran’s nuclear programs — real, imagined, and downright fabricated — as a way to build support for regime change in Tehran. Hemming in the Iranian nuclear program through diplomacy removes one of the MEK’s most effective talking points in favor of bombing Iran. They won’t go down without a fight.”

++ An article by Iran Interlink titled ‘Behind the deceptive face of Maryam Rajavi’s Women’s Day meeting in Berlin’ exposes two recent examples of how the MEK manufactures information to concoct a false public image in order to pose as a genuine Iranian opposition group. The article refers to the MEK’s recent fabricated nuclear revelation which was widely ridiculed. More importantly though the article details how the MEK PR machine works step by step, first creating false information with which to deceptively recruit members of parliament and pay them to speak at meetings. The recent example is the March 7 meeting in Berlin to showcase Maryam Rajavi as a feminist in spite of the horrific human rights abuses she commits against women MEK members. The article focuses in particular on the involvement in this process of MEK activist Mohammad Moshiri – who is known to the FBI as a trained and dangerous MEK operative – and suggests that European political complacency is what allowed Moshiri access to take a photograph standing next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom he could quite easily have stepped forward and killed.

March 6, 2015

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