Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 104

++ Hatem Estanboli writing for Palestinian newspaper Al Manar comments about Villepinte. He says “this is an example of low level propaganda typical of the Israeli. Less than 10% attending the rally were Iranian. This is smoke and mirrors to disguise reality.”

++ In Tehran, analyst Dr Mohammad Sadegh Kushki was interviewed. In it he is asked about the MEK. He described the history of the cult and how they changed, explaining that their belief system and belief in violence forced them to become like this. The interview is titled ‘In the beginning they chose armed struggle to defeat Imperialism’.

++ In an apparent panic, the MEK bringing many members onto its TV to talk against their families. This involves the loved ones of families who are actively seeking to make contact with these members and rescue them. In response the MEK get them to hysterically swear at and denounce their families. These families ask “is this supposed to make us go away? We can see they are forced.” Commentators ask ‘where are the human rights organisations to protect these people who are obviously hostages and who are being forced to denounce their own families?’ Some comment, ‘are we not human unless we are attached to the nuclear issue? Otherwise our human rights don’t matter?’

In English:

++ As attention has focused on the progress of the P5+1 nuclear negotiations with Iran, two articles in English have identified the role of the MEK in the all-out attempt to prevent an agreement.

Anti War.com published an article by Mohammad Sahimi titled ‘Demonizing Iran To Prevent the Nuclear Agreement’. He says “A forth way of demonizing Iran is by claiming that Iran is similar to the Islamic State and “1000 times worse” and “bigger.” …In advancing this narrative, Netanyahu has been helped by the Mujahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MEK, also known as MKO) and its lobby in the United States. The MEK is an Iranian armed opposition cult that sided with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, and acted as his internal security forces against his regime’s opponents. Up until September 2011 it was on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organization. The MEK leader Maryam Rajavi has made the same claims as Netanyahu’s, calling the Islamic Republic the IS’ “Godfather.” She even testified via satellite before a congressional subcommittee, repeating the same nonsense.

“Parallel to Israel, and perhaps even coordinated with it, the MEK lobbyists in the United States have been making the same type of claims, advocating that the US should help the MEK to topple the regime in Tehran, even though the cult is universally despised in Iran. Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state and a fellow at the conservative Family Research Council, Clare Lopez, a former CA operative and senior Vice President at CSP, and Raymond Tanter, a cofounder of the defunct Iran Policy Committee that advocated military confrontation with Iran, have been advocating this narrative.”

In Tehran, Fars News reported that member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Javad Jahangirzadeh cautioned against the MEK’s efforts to prevent a deal. He said the MEK had “paid cash to Cal Thomas, the columnist of the Washington Times newspaper to write an article to allege that Iran cannot be trusted for striking a final agreement with the world powers. Thomas wrote in his recent article in Washington Times that Iran has always maintained that it is seeking nuclear power for peaceful purposes; “if that were true, there would be no need for negotiations, how do you negotiate with someone who has lied from the start and is told in the Quran that lying to infidels is permissible in pursuit of the Islamic goals?””

 July 10, 2015

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