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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 103

++ Tehran hosted an International Conference on Terrorism this week with the theme ’Terrorism – from the Mojahedin Khalq to Daesh’. One of the panel was Abu Aref, representative of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Party whose head is Al Hakim. Aref gave a documented talk on the activities of Daesh and the MEK in Iraq. He said the basis of both phenomenon lies in the use of ideological belief to justify their actions. Another member of panel, Ebrahim Khodabandeh, argued that both entities come from the same root. Both believe they are superior and that they are the reference point for everyone and everything else. They accept no guide but themselves. This is why they are able to do whatever they like and according to this belief, there is no law to stop them. Khodabandeh gave the example of the MEK which, over forty years, changed from anti-Imperialist to pro-America, from anti-Israel to pro-Israel.

++ In the same conference an interview with Ebrahim Khodabandeh was published by IRNA. In it he explains how the MEK have become the tool to wreck the nuclear issue. He says that when MOSSAD approached Iranian monarchists to reveal its intelligence on Iran’s nuclear programme in 2003, they refused to play a part saying they could not do that against their own country. But when they then went to Rajavi, he accepted to be the Iranian voice of MOSSAD. The problem was that MOSSAD only wanted to use the MEK once and had no intention of the group coming out every year with false information which both America and Israel were then forced to reject. The MEK have ruined the game.

++ This week Mohammad Sahimi a known historian and analyst published a Farsi article in Western media titled ‘A Comparison of Two Points of View – Non-Violent Opposition and Violent Opposition’. In it he challenges Iranians who call for regime change but disingenuously do not explain how this is to come about. He says that ironically their main activity is to attack and criticise the non-violent opposition in the West which at least have some roots and some audience in Iran. Sahimi refers to the MEK as typical of this type of regime change pundit, but his criticism spreads to other groups, Farsi media and personalities. All of them, he points out, live in the West. He challenges them to come clean and say that they want America to bomb Iran. But he explains “When I talk with them about armed struggle only some say they want America to bomb Iran. Others say Iranians themselves have to take up arms and destroy the Islamic Republic. But when I ask any of these people ‘why are you in London then? They say, ‘oh you want us to get killed in Iran by the ayatollahs!’ as though it’s my fault that they are pro-armed struggle. When they say no to America bombing Iran they are either lying or the other conclusion we have to draw is that they believe the non-violent opposition should take up arms to fight on their behalf.”

++ A documentary made by Morteza Ghaderi, called ‘The Seven Unforgivable Sins’ has been broadcast in Iran. Based on the concept that all religions have a number of unforgivable sins, the programme shows how the MEK have committed all seven sins to the maximum. Documents reveal the MEK’s relation with Saddam Hussein, the murder of its own members and allying itself with Israel as examples.

++ Irandidban and other Farsi sources have published a document from Wikkileaks. A 2011 letter from the Intelligence service of Saudi Arabia to the then foreign minister, Saud Al Faisal refers to a pro-Baath politician in Iraq trying to mediate on behalf of the MEK in an effort to make a meeting between the Saudi foreign minister and Maryam Rajavi. The Intelligence service letter is the reply to that mediation. It rejects the proposal for two reasons. One is that “the MEK are hated in Iran and have no popular support”. Second, “the MEK has been infiltrated to the highest levels by Iran’s Intelligence services, hence such a meeting cannot be beneficial to us”.

In English:

++ Nejat Bloggers published Ebrahim Khodabandeh’s brief on the MEK, Inside Out. In it he briefly reviews the MEK’s history and concludes that “The organization has absolutely no popular support in Iran since it committed the most public act of betrayal; cooperating with the enemy at war against the homeland. The MEK leaders are aware of this fact more than anyone else. At the present time the organization is striving to find an alternative for the deposed Saddam Hussein, this time in the west, since it has lost its hope to gain any backing inside Iran. They are making contact with all and any enemies of Iran, including terrorist entities such as ISIL. The MEK is currently re-creating its Iraqi terrorist bases in Albania with property and facilities it has purchased close to Tirana. The Iraqis have always considered them as the worst heritage left by Saddam Hussein for their country and have tried to expel them from their country since the fall of the dictator. The MEK participated in suppressing Iraqis in the past and have caused many national security difficulties for the nation at the present time.”

++ Press TV reported on a speech by Ayatollah Khamenei used the anniversary of the MEK’s terrorist attack on the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party (IRP), in which tens of Iranian officials, including then Head of Supreme Judicial Council Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, were killed, to warn Iranians of the dangers of American support for regime change. ““Those who want to cover up the evil enmity of the US and some of its followers through media and propaganda ploys are in fact betraying the nation and state,” the Leader said. “The Iranian nation should, through awareness of the extent of the enemy’s hostility, be prepared to confront and counter [its plots] in the soft war arena, such as in cultural, political and social spheres,” the Leader said.

++ Nejat Bloggers reports that defections from the MEK are increasing. In Iraq, in three months four residents of Camp Liberty managed to escape the camp and were taken to Hotel Mohajer in Baghdad. The MEK prevents members from meeting their families in a bid to prevent defection. Despite this around 17 have escaped the camp in the last year. In Albania over 120 members have left the group. This has caused the MEK leaders to hold the latest arrivals in Tirana “in quarantine”, according to ex-member website reports.

++ Former MEK member Masoud Bani Sadr spoke at a meeting in London on the subject ‘Cults, Racism, Doublespeak and the Search for Justice’ in support of the Jeremiah Duggan campaign.

++ Daniel Larison, writing for The American Conservative, slams Senator John McCain for his “long record of backing unsavory and vicious people that happen to support regime change or that share his hostility to certain other governments… McCain doesn’t discriminate when it comes to choosing allies of convenience in pursuing unwise and reckless goals, so it was probably just a matter of time before he started associating with the MEK.”

++ Mazda Parsi in Nejat Bloggers reviews the revealing article by Dutch journalist Judit Neurink. Iraqi newspaper Assabah Aljadeed cites sources in Paris who claim that the MEK’s plans to create a terrorist camp in Albania are leading to a political storm in Tirana. “The Albanian government fears that the camp will turn into something like Camp Ashraf in Iraq, which was previously the base for military training, planning and preparation for military operations in Iran and abroad,” the Assabah Al Jadeed reported. Croatian writer, N. Babic of Alter Mainstream Info.com has looked at the numbers of MEK leaving Iraq and asks where they are. He “cites from the British Daily Telegraph that on December 30, 2013 published the news of an agreement between the US administration and Romanian authorities to relocate the 3000 Liberty residents to the Romanian city Craiova on the border with Bulgaria. The news was leaked from the conversation of two employees of the Romanian Foreign Ministry, who said that “the United States and the Romanian government are negotiating on the deployment of 3,000 members of the” former “terrorist organization Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) on the territory of Romania… Is it possible that between 1 000- 2000 militants MEK finally arrived in Romania, as the government in Bucharest totally dependent on Washington and seldom dared to oppose the then request?’’ Babic asks.”

July 3, 2015

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