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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 125

++ Habilian published a thoroughly researched online book. This charts the suicide operations conducted by the Mojahedin Khalq after the revolution. The evidence mostly comes from claims in the MEK’s own newspaper and websites. The book covers the various kinds of suicide operation from bombing to self-immolations. In addition to MEK produced documents the book refers to evidence from the US authorities, including the 2012 Department of State report which rejected efforts to have the MEK removed from the US terrorism list. Other documents like the 2009 RAND report explain the nature of the group. It is worth remembering that the MEK started its violent trajectory by assassinating six American personnel at the time of Shah. And the MEK’s first so-called martyr was Reza Rezai, the commander of these operations, who blew himself up with a grenade to evade capture.

++ Fereshteh Hedayati this week announced her separation from the MEK. In her Facebook page she writes with the title ‘Don’t be silent’. Her defection has been welcomed by other former members, many of whom knew her from the Iraqi camps. Hedayati was from the MEK’s Central Council, its current top level. Some commentators have explained that when Batoul Soltani and other members of the all-female Leadership Council left, Rajavi tried to dilute this by adding more members. When that didn’t work, he disbanded it and created the Central Council, little knowing that within months another of these top ranking women would escape. Several bloggers write about the effect this will have on the lower ranks. Rajavi claimed he is pro-women, so people will question why they left. MEK rank and file are forced to accept these women as saints, but saints don’t run away. These defections are bound to increase since the MEK are leaving Iraq and defections are reaching up to ten per week now.

++ Following the closure of Iran’s case at the Atomic Agency, some wrote about the negotiations that no party has lost from this whole process except Rajavi, who was banking on war and destruction. Suddenly, Rajavi has gone quiet on the nuclear issue – which used to be his bread and butter – and is now hysterically attacking Russia and Syria while madly supporting Saudi actions in Yemen and Turkey’s actions in Kurdistan. In a desperate effort to close ranks with Turkey, Rajavi’s propaganda said “the enemy’s plane was downed by Turkey” – he doesn’t name Russia but describes it as the enemy. Considering the active negotiations to end the war in Syria, Rajavi doesn’t really have much hope in this arena either.

++ Ghorban Ali Hossein Nejad wrote an open letter to several Arabic and Islamic scholars informing them that Rajavi is misusing their names. Using screen shots from MEK sites he says “they come to you and ask for support on a humanitarian issue, but on their site they show that you support terrorism”.

++ Farsi writers have picked up on the acceleration in UNHCR relocations of Camp Liberty residents to third countries and predict that more will be defecting as a result. Twenty-six more were moved on December 15 and their names published to help their families identify them.

In English:

++ Aawa Association published Reza Akbarinasab’s letter from Tabriz to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Akbarinasab asks for help to contact his long estranged brother in Camp Liberty. His nephew died under suspicious circumstances in the camp some years ago. The MEK refused to allow an autopsy of his body.

++ Iran Interlink wrote to The Daily Telegraph online to inform them about one of their bloggers. No other than the notorious Ali Safavi who is wanted in Iraq for crimes committed as a member of Saddam’s Private Army.

++ An article in Reuters by Isabel Coles and Ned Parker and titled ‘How Saddam’s Men Help ISIL Rule’ is an example of why Massoud Rajavi keeps the MEK in Iraq – to join with ISIL when they take over the country!

++ UNHCR gave an update on the accelerated transfer of Camp Liberty residents to the safety of third countries. Nejat published a list of names of recent transferees to Albania to help their families identify them and get in touch.

++ Another top ranking woman member, Fereshteh Hedayati, successfully escaped the MEK and announced her separation in an article she published on her Facebook page.

++ Translated by Nejat Association, Italian l’interferenza site published a long, interesting article by Stefano Zecchinelli exposing the MEK and its faux political activities. The MEK has a history of human rights abuses and violence, “Yet, despite this, the leaders of the Mujahedin continue to give instructions in the EU institutions on democratic rights, especially civil and political.” The article also asks “How does the MKO make a living?” and says “The MEK is an ‘organization of a dubious purpose with strong connections with the most militaristic right-wing American imperialist sectors. The Washington’s high-profiles enjoy the MEK’s donations whose men are allowed to move freely, organizing activities and events planned to delegitimize what they call ‘the anti-democratic governments in Iran’. The figures in these donations are large, the New York Times has a precious revelation: ‘Many of the American supporters, though not all, accepted fees of $ 15,000 to $ 30,000 to give speeches to the group, as well as travel expenses to attend MEK rallies in Paris. Edward G. Rendell, the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, said in March he that had been paid a total of $ 150,000 to $ 160,000’”.

++ Gareth Porter’s article ‘The IAEA’s “Final Assessment”’, published in Counter Punch contains the “unsavoury truth” about the provenance of dodgy intelligence documents: “in 2013, former senior German foreign office official Karsten Voigt revealed to me in an interview that German intelligence had obtained the documents in 2004 from a sometime source whom they knew to be a member of the Mujahideen E-Khalq (MEK). A cult-like Iranian exile terrorist group, MEK had once carried out terror operations for the Saddam Hussein regime but later developed a patron-client relationship with Israeli intelligence.”

December 18, 2015

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