Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 138

++ When President Rohani visited Europe in January this year, the MEK had invited some Arab lobbyists to their demonstrations. Very soon afterwards these lobbyists distanced themselves, explaining that they hadn’t known how bad the MEK are. Some even met with former MEK members instead. This week, in typical propaganda mode, the MEK announced that this distancing was all because of pressure exerted by the former members. However, one such Arab lobbyist answered back. He exposed that an article published in Al-Basra newspaper against him, ostensibly written by an Arab MEK supporter, was actually originally written in Farsi by the MEK and as evidence he pointed out that the Farsi script was still embedded in the piece about halfway through. The lobbyist wrote to Al-Basra newspaper demanding that the MEK’s piece be withdrawn. Which it was. He explained that he distanced from them well before he met the former members. But more importantly, his main reason was that one of the MEK’s Arab speakers is heavily involved with several Israeli ministers. Al-Basra apologised fully to him for printing the MEK’s defamatory lies about him.

++ Ehsan Bidi and Siavosh Rastar are still picketing outside the UNHCR office in Tirana and suffering the resulting harassment and pressures. They say that, contrary to its own rules and regulations, the UNHCR claims it has no money to help them and the only way is to go back to the MEK. Bidi and others say “we will die rather than go back to become terrorists with the MEK”. According to various sources an agreement was signed between America, the UNHCR, Albania and the MEK which states that the MEK is responsible to pay for the expenses of those transferred from Iraq. That’s why the UN is trying to force the ex-members to go back to the MEK. On the other hand, the MEK say unequivocally, “if we find them we’ll kill them”. This is certainly not a legally defensible document or agreement. The former members are political refugees not members of a terrorist group and cannot be forced to return to the terrorist group to beg for financial assistance. Many people have written letters of protest, in particular to the President of Albania, about the two former members, saying they should not be forced for their survival to agree to become terrorists again.

++ Several former members have written accounts of their activities and memories to mark the anniversary of the MEK’s massacre of the Kurds in March 1991.

++ Atefeh Eghbal, an MEK internal critic, wrote about her humanitarian concerns on her weblog. The MEK response was to have her brother Mohammad Eghbal write all over the MEK sites swearing at his sister, calling her a prostitute and worse – using words not usually found in normal writing. Some commentators noted their disgust at the MEK‘s reaction. One is Hojjat Esmaili – formerly a long serving intelligence officer in the MEK – who wrote an interesting note explaining what this writing reveals about Mohammad Eghbal’s mentality. Esmaili comes to the conclusion that this person, who comes from an educated and cultured family of publishers, has been turned by the MEK into a lumpen. This being a clear example of Rajavi’s ideology.

++ On the anniversary of the Iraqi attack on Camp Ashraf on April 8, 2011, Iraj Shokri a well-known writer who was formerly with the NCRI, published an article examining the situation. He says now that several years have passed we can see what Massoud Rajavi was after and what he got out of it. Essentially, after agreeing with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to allow the transfer of the MEK from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty in exchange for removing the MEK from the US terrorism list, Rajavi refused to honour his side of the bargain and dragged his feet to get more money. His staged intransigence provoked a deadly confrontation with the Iraqi army. Rajavi even falsely promised the MEK members that the Iraqis would not possibly shoot them if they resisted unarmed. Instead Rajavi trapped them into a massacre. Rajavi wanted to show that he would not leave the camp without being paid more than just getting off a terrorism list. As a hint, a few days after this tragic event he placed adverts in the Iraqi papers offering to sell the contents of the camp and putting a price on everything in the camp. As time passed however, Rajavi was forced to allow the MEK to be removed from Camp Ashraf. Though he tried to keep 100 there, they were eventually forced out. Shokri’s article concludes that the only language Rajavi understands is force. Unfortunately, this is never directed against him personally. It is the members who are forced to pay the price for his nasty ideas.

In English:

++ In Nejat Bloggers, Mazda Parsi analyses the MEK’s relation with Zionist lobbies. “…Dr. Fayazmanesh determines when a ‘cult centered around an individual’ with a dark history of violence and cult-like practices, becomes a convenient tool in the hands of strange bedfellows like Saddam Hussein, The US and Israel. It means that the MKO is not taking benefits from using its ‘various patrons’ to meet its aims but ‘the opposite is usually the case’. The US and Israel as well as Saddam Hussein have just a ‘temporary use’ for them.”

++ Tehran Times reported that “Iran has confirmed that the visit of President Hassan Rouhani to Austria, which was scheduled for March 30, was cancelled due to a rally by the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) in Vienna. Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said Rouhani cancelled his trip because Austria paid no attention to Iran’s request to revoke permission for the rally of the MKO, ISNA news agency reported on Saturday.”

++ Iran’s Tasnim News reported that “The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) forces have smashed a terror ring linked with the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as, MEK) in Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan province, an IRGC commander announced… 

“…Both Sunni and Shiite Muslims of the region helped the IRGC forces in hunting down the terrorist ring, [Brigadier General Mohammad] Marani said, noting that five militants, including the band’s leader Ahmad Sahouei, have been killed.

“Complicity with the MKO terrorist group as well as murder and armed robberies were among the crimes committed by the ring, the Iranian general said, stressing that the militants had long been monitored by security forces.”

 April 08, 2016

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