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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 139

++ Former MEK member Ehsan Bidi staged a sit-in outside the UNHCR office in Tirana, Albania where he has refugee status. The MEK openly threaten to kill him because he left them. Bidi and other formers were told by the UN office that their funds and accommodation would be stopped from end of March. They have now all been evicted and made homeless. While Bidi protested he was approached by a television journalist but when the police took Bidi away they also forcefully confiscated the contact card he had been given. According to Bidi, the responsible person at the UN, Nicola, has been replaced in the past few days by someone from Pakistan who claims to know nothing except that the UN is not allowed to pay for the refugees from today. The UN attributes this situation to an agreement between the Albanian government, the US, MEK and the UNHCR. According to this agreement, Albania should only provide land and the individual refugees’ expenses are to be met by the MEK. The problem is that not only will the MEK not provide for these formers’ expenses, they actually want to kill Bidi. Bidi says that already a few members have been forced to humiliate themselves and beg the MEK to be allowed again to become terrorists for money. They all have refugee status. When Bidi questioned Nicola and other authorities they said ‘there are two ways; either go back to the MEK, or go to the Iranian embassy and ask to be taken back to Iran (this is while they have political asylum in Albania). When Bidi insisted on having this in writing, UN officials called on plain clothes ‘police’, who beat him up and removed him from the area. Bidi has not given up his protest and regularly posts updates on Facebook. He can’t go back to the MEK and he can’t return to Iran. Obviously something is wrong with this situation and the only logical explanation is the corruption in Albania. Bidi has stated that if he is found dead, it will be “because of a coalition of the MEK and Albania and its mafia – whether this is in the UN or elsewhere”.


++ Maryam Rajavi is again ardently supporting Daesh and Syrian armed groups – who are fighting against each other. She criticises the West for not openly helping them. MEK critics write ‘we know they are with Daesh and other terrorists, but clearly the MEK has become deflated because they are on the losing side again’. Some refer to Maryam Rajavi’s Norouz speech which sounded tired and defeatist; although she still tries to pretend the MEK is an opposition to Iran yet she actually has nothing constructive to say.


++ After the terrorist attacks in Brussels last week, some commentators remarked ‘you host the MEK in Europe, of course you are not serious about fighting terrorism’. Some pointed out that the MEK invented terrorist suicide bombings, which they performed before and after the Iranian revolution. This is not something found in Iranian religious culture but only belongs to the MEK. Now it has become common in these new pseudo-religious Islamist terrorist groups.


++ A month away from International Workers Day on May 1, the MEK are already publishing propaganda in name of Abbas Davari. He was assigned Chief of the NCRI Workers’ Commission specifically because he originally joined the MEK as an illiterate worker (who is now approaching 80 years old). The MEK’s ‘support the workers’ pose has become ridiculed because of Abbas Davari’s notoriety as the contact between Saddam’s secret services and the MEK from before they went to Iraq. Videos showing him arguing with Saddam’s men over money and handing over intelligence against Iran for all these years are all in the public domain. Some commentators joke that Davari should be advocating for Saddam’s ex-henchmen who don’t get paid instead of talking about workers in Iran. He named on the wanted list for murder, kidnapping and torture by Iraq’s Judiciary. Iraqi police can’t arrest him while he is in Camp Liberty so he is kept there. One article compares this current propaganda campaign with previous MEK events such as the recent International Womens’ Day and suggests that the MEK now try to sneak events in prior to their real date so that they won’t be confronted by people’s reactions and ridicule.


In English


++ An article by Nejat Bloggers exposes the MEK as Godfathers of suicide bombing and says this behaviour is achieved through cult indoctrination. The events in Belgium are no different from the work the MEK has been carrying out for decades. “In case of the MKO, in better words “the Cult of Rajavi”, the leader Massoud Rajavi manipulated his rank and file with a very complicated methodology of indoctrination. Massoud’s followers were indoctrinated that killing the innocent is inevitable consequence of fighting for the cult’s cause. Members of the cult of Rajavi were manipulated that these missions were the only way to fight for their leader. They were then glorified as martyrs.

“Although the realization that MKO terrorists view themselves as soldiers engaged in a just war does not legitimize their cause or methods, it does provide some insight into their motivation. The MKO’s history is overwhelmed with suicide bombings, self-immolations and swallowing cyanide capsules just because these acts were wisely indoctrinated in the minds of members.”


++ Former MEK member Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) wrote a letter for The Guardian in response to the National Union of Teachers’ rejection of the Home Office’s Prevent Strategy. “As an ordinary Leeds lass who spent two decades embroiled in a foreign terrorist organisation in the 1980s and 90s, I was deeply disappointed by the NUT’s vote to reject the Home Office’s Prevent strategy (Report, theguardian.com, 28 March). Last week, in a presentation to the Suffolk Prevent conference, I was able to explain in detail the mechanisms behind how radicalisation takes place. That the psychological manipulation involved in radicalisation is similar to that which underlies domestic violence and child sexual exploitation. That the different belief systems espoused by various violent extremist groups are almost irrelevant because their radicalising behaviour is the same.

“The audience response was overwhelmingly positive. They understood Prevent not as a political or ideological assault on their communities, but first and foremost as a safeguarding issue. They unequivocally understood that schools and colleges need to make space for challenging conversations and that through listening to explanations like the one I give as a former terrorist, everyone in the public sector can gain the confidence needed to effectively fulfil their obligations under Prevent. I can only assume that NUT members’ reaction is due to the undeniably patchy and poor Prevent training which is being delivered by people who don’t have a clear grasp of the issue. But as somebody who might have been rescued if the Prevent and Channel programmes had existed when I was radicalised, I can only say that it would be a disaster if the fallout from weak and incoherent training is allowed to blight the future of the Prevent duty.”

April 1, 2016

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