Vicious attacks on the BBC Persian Service: Maryam Rajavi’s strange diplomacy with the UK
Maryam Rajavi is a nervous woman. As European ministers line up to visit Iran to improve trade and cultural links, and her cult resorts to violence on the streets of a small French village to keep families away from their loved ones, she must feel the cold winds of isolation and opprobrium blowing around her cult HQ in Auvers-sur-Oise and is certainly watching with growing concern for her own security.
As a result, Rajavi has renewed her efforts to obtain a visa to visit the UK. (She wants to come to the UK because there is more chance that her Zionist sponsors will offer her protection from legal prosecutions than in France where her activities are still under judicial investigation.)
Her last visit to the UK was in 1996. After failing her mission to mend political links with western governments, the French had ordered Rajavi to return to Iraq. In order to save face she negotiated a trip to the UK for a public appearance. (Even then her visit was hidden behind the pretence that the audience were attending a music concert with the retired Iranian singer Marzieh.) Rajavi was given a few days visa only after British security services had obtained a written assurance from France that she would immediately be allowed to return there where she has political asylum. Maryam Rajavi did indeed immediately return to France from whence she packed her bags and went back to Iraq and only covertly returned to Auvers-sur-Oise just before the start of the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. In spite of her continued attempts to obtain a visa – a British peer raised the issue for her in the House of Lords – Maryam Rajavi remains persona non grata in the UK.
This has infuriated the notoriously bad tempered Rajavi whose reaction has been to bark at her intended hosts via a vicious campaign to demonise the BBC’s Farsi programme. Presumably Rajavi sees the BBC World Service as an earpiece of the FCO.
The attack began over a programme called Compass. The programme deliberately hosts controversial guests to prompt lively discussions. One particular combination included a former SAVAK (Shah’s repressive secret service) official at the time of the Shah and a former MEK terrorist who was in prison at that time. The programme asked ‘How effective was SAVAK?’ Enraged, Maryam Rajavi instigated a vicious attack on the BBC, which suddenly received an orchestrated rash of letters of complaint purporting to be from actual, named prisoners in Iran. This was ridiculed by critics of the MEK who pointed out that prisoners in Iran do not have access to satellite television and would not be able to write uncensored letters to London if only for security reasons. In any case, the vitriolic style of the letters is an indication that they come from the same few authors at the heart of the Rajavi Cult Empire in Europe. Staff at the BBC Persian Service were mystified.
Revealing herself to be supremely ignorant of UK politics and the current political atmosphere in relation to Iran, the next step was an astounding assault on credulity; a letter written to Prime Minister David Cameron supposedly from the residents of Camp Liberty complaining about the bias of the BBC. This concept is even more ridiculous than the prisoner campaign. The Farsi Commentariat were quick to point out that residents of Camp Liberty are living incommunicado as members of a cult and are therefore completely cut off from normal life. Living under strict gender apartheid, they are denied contact even with relatives inside the same camp, let alone their estranged families outside. Every bit of information they are given is strictly controlled and censored by the cult leaders – there is no such thing as access to external television, radio or print media in the camp. The idea that the MEK leaders asked brainwashed members to sign a letter which was written on their behalf is ludicrous in these conditions. Why ask? Just add their name to the letter. You don’t even need to inform them. Nobody will be able to ask them anyway because they are in a totally closed environment. A recent sham demonstration by Camp Liberty residents reflects how ludicrous this idea is. The residents of Camp Liberty held a demonstration against the Iran nuclear deal. Perhaps not a single resident has any idea what the deal was, but in any case they were ordered to hold placards written in English. But for whom? No media are allowed into the camp.
Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Middle East Strategy Consultants,