Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 131

++ Families at Camp Liberty are still trying to get help. They have lodged official complaints with UN and Iraqi government officials which include documents showing that Rajavi is paying bribes to some individuals in the UN office so that they will stop anyone running away from the camp. Various petitions by hundreds of families and ex members, both inside Iran and elsewhere, have been compiled. Each one is asking, after twelve years, for families to be allowed to visit their loved ones. There have been tens of reports in Iraqi media on this issue. A few Farsi comments have asked “why is Rajavi more afraid of families than anything else on earth?” Most connect this to the being a cult and exerting total control over the members lives.

++ During President Rouhani’s visit to France, various opposition groups gathered together on the 27th in protest. According to an eyewitness account by former MEK member Ghorban Ali Hossein Nejad, MEK operatives attacked these demonstrators, in particular members of the Iranian Workers’ Communist Party, and injured one of them. On the 28th, the MEK held a separate demonstration. Instead of joining with Iranians, the MEK, with its usual ‘rent-a-crowd’ of paid refugees, joined with Syrian rebels in a Saudi and Israeli backed event. Interestingly, although Syrian flags were plentiful, the MEK did not display their logo. Only a few pictures of Massoud and Maryam were visible for a photo opportunity. Some analysts believe the MEK’s backers were warned not to allow known terrorists to parade on French streets as this would be embarrassing for the French government. Others said that the MEK, knowing its reputation as an unpopular terrorist cult, were afraid there would be no coverage and therefore toned down their presence. The demonstration was carefully choreographed and staged in such a way that it couldn’t be photographed or filmed at ground level except from the fronts so that nobody could see the non-Iranians there. According to people inside the MEK, coaches coming from London were stopped and two people were detained as illegals. On the return journey, one more person was detained after border checks. Although there were perhaps fewer numbers than the previous day’s turnout, the MEK demonstration was the more colourful and therefore did attract media coverage from outlets pursuing balanced reporting, like the BBC – none mentioned the MEK by name. The MEK websites claimed ‘hundreds’ of demonstrators while other paid coverage claimed there were ‘thousands’ – a strange discrepancy. This coverage however spelled disaster for genuine human rights advocacy since President Rouhani can now claim that the people demonstrating against him were terrorists.

++ Majid Rouhi, among others, has written about the disaster that has befallen the MEK now that serious rapprochement between Iran and the West has begun. Tensions have eased to the point that Iran has requested the extradition of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi from France. In his article titled ‘Mr Rajavi, how much shall we pay you not to analyse anything again?’ Majid Rouhi has examined all the political analyses Massoud Rajavi created from the time he left Iran until now, and has shown that not one analysis held true and in some cases the situation turned out opposite to Rajavi’s predictions. Rouhi talks about Rajavi’s favourite trick of presenting two or three scenarios to his followers and talking them into accepting his preferred version. Even in this case, says Rouhi, not only did Rajavi’s choice not materialise, but none of them came true.

++ In this week’s interview of Dr Alireza Nourizadeh by former high ranking MEK member Mr Davoud Arshad on Iran-e Farda TV, they talked about Hassan Jazayeri and how Massoud Rajavi sent him to his death. Nourizadeh explained that Hassan’s father, the highly respected doctor Shamsadin Jazayeri, while he was working in the hospital “took my hand and asked for my help to save his son. I tried to talk to Hassan before he was dispatched to Iraq, but by then he was already fully brainwashed.” Arshad, who had known Hassan in London, went on to describe how Hassan died in Iraq of an exacerbated heart problem on the training ground. For the past three decades the MEK has insisted that Hassan Jazayeri had been killed by the Iranian regime. In London the notorious Azam Mollahassan Kohneh Farahani – aka Leila Jazayeri – exploits his relationship as her former husband to feed misinformation to local news outlets in London by falsely claiming he was murdered by Iran.

In English:

++ Iran Interlink reports from Iraq: After 12 years, families of Rajavi cult hostages in Camp Liberty demand UNAMI action. “Today over 30 families from different provinces in Iran have arrived at the gates of Camp Liberty. They want simply to have the right to visit their loved ones. They are asking the UNHCR and UNAMI as well as Ms Jane Holl Lute, the UN Special Adviser for Relocation of Camp Liberty Residents to Outside Iraq, why is it that 12 years after the fall of Saddam Hussein (the benefactor of fugitive terrorist leader Massoud Rajavi), there is still no sign that the terrorists’ camp will close and the residents held hostage by the MEK leaders will be rescued and taken to safety. Why, after twelve years do the families of Camp Liberty residents still not have access to their loved ones? What is preventing anyone from helping these people and what power lies behind supporting the hostage taker to the point that all the affairs of the camp are still in the hands of the criminal Massoud Rajavi and his henchmen?”

++ Sahar Family Foundation in Baghdad sent a letter to Mr. Filippo Grandi, the new UN High Commissioner for Refugees, simultaneous to the presence of the families in front of the gates of Camp Liberty in Iraq.

++ As the US Presidential Candidate campaigning carries on apace, Lee Fang writing in The Intercept has a go at Howard Dean, former presidential candidate and current supporter of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Although Dean asserts that he is not a Lobbyist, Fang says “He sure acts like one”. Fang cites Dean’s association with the MEK as evidence of his new lobbying career: “Though known for his anti-war rhetoric in 2004, Dean has accepted money from Mojahedin-e Khalq, an extremist group seeking regime change in Iran and has criticized President Obama’s negotiations with Iran.”

++ Massoud Khodabandeh published a blog piece in Huffington Post titled ‘Will President Rouhani meet genuine human rights advocates halfway?’ The blog notes two kinds of human rights activists. Genuine activists regard peace, dialogue and economic growth as the precursors for a strengthened civil society, something President Rouhani has said he wants to develop. On the other hand, some activists have simply switched from the nuclear issue to human rights as a way to threaten violent regime change. The MEK, which ostensibly leads this anti-Iran campaign, is backed by Saudi Arabia and the Syrian Free Army whose agenda toward Iran is certainly not to improve human rights there.

++ Mazda Parsi writes a thought provoking article in Nejat Bloggers ‘Many faces of Massoud Rajavi and his supporters’. Parsi references the article by Lee Fang (above). In his piece he talks about the self-serving changes of image and policy by the MEK, and says “it is not surprising that those well-paid politicians who embrace the MKO have at least one characteristic in common with the group: they both change many faces just to run their goals. For them, the ends justifies the means. Howard Dean sounds to be one example of these politic men whose ‘ends’ include the money he receives from different lobbies.”

 January 29, 2016

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