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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 102

++ Two weeks after the Villepinte event the Farsi Commentariat is still writing about it. The common theme is that Israel has paid for this in order to put an Iranian face on their anti-Iran agenda. But, as each year passes it becomes clearer and clearer it’s a waste of money, and Israel could spend the money better elsewhere.

++ After being hospitalised by MEK thugs in Auvers-sur-Oise, many people have written in support of Mostafa Mohammadi and have criticised the French government for allowing this to happen. Mostafa has written a letter directed at Rajavi saying “My lawyer, who accompanied me, suggested I come to make a last request before taking legal action. He explained this is a legal procedure to give the person one last chance to respond. That was your response. You beat up me, my daughter Hooriyeh and the lawyer for no apparent reason. This shows your true face. Somayeh Mohammadi’s mother, Mahboubeh Hamzeh Mohammadi has written an open letter to her daughter saying “I know this will never reach her because they won’t allow it, but I had to write it”. The letter is titled, ‘Dear Somayeh, they beat Hooriyeh nearly to death and your father is paying the price of love with his life’.

++ This week, the family of former MEK member Karim Gholami found him again after 25 years. The family recognised Karim from his writing on the internet along with his picture. He had published this to find his family. It worked and they are all now reunited.

++ Massoud Rajavi’s response to the discovery of 170 corpses of Iranian divers from the 1980-88 war who had been handcuffed and buried alive, was revealing. Commenting on special ceremony in Iran to bury them as martyrs because they were buried alive, Rajavi ridiculed it and called it the Carnival of Bones. Many people commented that “he wants to make hatred, as though the people of Iran don’t hate him enough already”. Nader Naderi published his recollections of the time this happened – it was an operation called Karbala 4. Naderi was there and says that at that time Rajavi was at the forefront of the situation and had been working against Iran’s forces for Saddam Hussein giving intelligence which led to the defeat of Iran in this operation. He was complicit in this mass murder and that these 170 divers were buried alive. It is not, therefore, surprising that this is his reaction.

++ Ghorban Ali Hossein Nejad published an open letter titled, ‘A word with the critics of Rajavi’. Ghorban Ali names every one of the internal critics of Rajavi and the MEK who has recently spoken out – Iraj Mesdaghi, Karim Ghassim, Mohammad Reza Rowhani, Esmail Vafa Yaghmai and Mohammad Jafaari aka Hamneshin Bahar. He says, “I know you, and you know me, and it is mind boggling for me why you don’t react to what happened to Mostafa Mohamamdi and his daughter. This happened right before your eyes but you don’t react. Why criticise Rajavi at all in that case.”

In English:

++ Press TV – Citing Western support for the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq organisation, Iran “rejected the anti-Iran accusations in the annual global terrorism report by the US Department of State, censuring Washington for adopting a double-standard approach in dealing with the issue of terrorism. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said a politically-motivated stance on terrorism further complicates the issue. “The growing and complicated scourge of terrorism is rooted in applying double standards and a political approach toward this evil and inhumane phenomenon,” Afkham said.”

++ Nejat Bloggers reported that a large number of former MEK members staged a picket in Paris at the same time as Villepinte to bring to the attention of French public opinion the actions of the cult in their country. “They declared their support for about 2000 people who are kept as hostages by the group in Camp Liberty, Iraq. They offered sympathy to families of Liberty residents who are picketing in front of the camp but have no access to their loved ones imprisoned in the camp. As former members of the cult of Rajavi stated in their slogans, the Villepinte masquerade of the NCR/MKO elements has just one goal: maintaining the group victims in Iraqi critical situation in order to prevent the cult from collapse.”

++ Nejat Society, Albania – Siavosh Rastar, nickname Nader Afshar, spent 14 years with the MKO from 2001 to 2015. He was in Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty, Iraq before his relocation to Tirana, Albania. He announced his defection from the MEK in a statement protesting Massoud Rajavi’s undemocratic approach towards the group members and their families. “In my idea, the only thing that never exists in Massoud Rajavi’s organization is freedom of speech and thought. In brief, absolute suppression and dictatorship rule it, “Rastar writes. If anyone criticizes Massoud Rajavi, he would be treated violently in various sessions held for this aim…” Rastar was denied life-saving medicine in Iraq by the MEK and was transferred to Albania to die. Once there he asked the UNHCR for help to escape the MEK. Even then the MEK continued to harass him. “They put pressure on my family. They called my wife and claimed that I got married and have children in Albania, they also told her that I am drug-addicted,’’ he writes.

++ Nejat Society Paris – Nader Keshtkar spoke about his disassociation from the MKO during an interview at the defectors’ rally in Paris to protest the MKO’s propaganda show in Villepinte, on June 13th. “I attended this action, together with my friends in order to officially state my separation from the MKO. Now that I am in the free world, liberated from the prejudiced ideas, dogmatism and Machiavellian thoughts of the MKO, I feel relieved,” he said. He continued, “The ambitions, treasonous activities and lack of courage of Massoud Rajavi prevented him from reviewing his strategic mistakes and that led him and the MKO to turn into the operative agent of Israel and Saudi Arabia.”

++ An article by Dutch journalist Judit Neurink based in Erbil and published in Rudaw warns of the MEK plans to build a new terrorist training camp in Tirana, Albania to which it will eventually transfer up to 2000 residents currently based in Camp Liberty near Baghdad. Quoting Massoud Khodabandeh the article said, “The MKO will make a new enclave there that is outside the law, where they will be rearmed and invite people in for training”. Part of the deal arranged by Clinton was the removal of MKO from the US list of terrorist organisations. Now, with politics changing after the nuclear deal between Iran and the US, the MKO is scrambling to find new friends, according to Khodabandeh. He said there have been reports that the MKO even offered the Saudis to help fight against the Shiites in Yemen. Khodabandeh said that while various routes to Turkey, Syria and Iraq are under scrutiny, “terrorist commanders from any mercenary group can slip beneath the radar and seek training and logistical support in Tirana… What better location to establish a clandestine terrorist training camp than in Albania? It is in Europe, but not in the EU and therefore not so open to scrutiny by the international community. It is a Muslim country but is also notorious for corruption and mafia-like gangs,” he said. “The message is [that] the MKO have branched out and are open to do business with any terrorist group.”

++ Daniel Larison’s article in The American Conservative criticised ‘The Washington Times’ Pro-MEK Propaganda’. Pointing out that the MEK has no support in any Iranian community, Larison said not only had “many current and former American politicians, officials, and retired military officers disgraced themselves with their cheerleading for the totalitarian cult but The Washington Times has now reproduced the speeches the MEK’s American supporters gave in a special “regime change” report, which also includes the remarks made by the cult’s leader, Maryam Rajavi. The remarks, he said, “went from the merely ridiculous … to the truly delusional… It should go without saying that anyone that participated in the MEK’s latest rally should never be taken seriously on any issue relating to Iran… If this were any other organization with a similar history of terrorism and collusion with Saddam Hussein, it is unlikely any of these people would be caught dead at such a gathering, but because it seeks regime change in Iran these hawks are only too glad to lend their support.”

++ Iran Interlink summarised two Arabic articles published by Iraqi newspaper Alsabah Aljadid which reveal the Mojahedin Khalq’s support for Daesh with which it finds common cause in attacking Iran. And the MEK’s plans to replace its former terrorist training camps in Iraq with a new camp in Albania. This base would be open to any terrorist group for military training and planning and preparation for terrorist operations in Iran and abroad according to what is required.

June 26 2015

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