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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 141

++ The tenth and last article written by Mohammad Karami about human rights abuses inside the MEK, including murders and torture which he personally witnessed, has been published today. The whole series forms a book length exposure.

++ Mahmonir Iranpour has visited Camp Liberty several times in search of her two brothers. Two weeks ago she wrote an open letter to the Iraqi Prime Minister asking for his help to find out whether they are being held against their will. Reaction to this letter, which was published in Sout Aliraq, picked up to the point that Rajavi had to call on one of his paid people called Saafi Al Yasseri to put the MEK case. Yasseri wrote an MEK rant that “they are all agents of the Iranian regime and have come to kill people”. This week Sout Aliraq published a reply from Mohammad Mohammadi, whose daughter Somayeh remains trapped in the MEK, putting the facts right. Mohammadi says to Al Yasseri “in your letter you say my daughter is 36 years old. This is true. But you didn’t say that she was kidnapped when she was under 18 years old. You say ‘she wants to stay there and not see her family’. But you failed to say that she has never been able to sit without an MEK minder and say this to a UN official or to any other body. You claim that Mahmonir Iranpour is an Iranian agent who has been sent to kill her own brother whom she hasn’t seen for over two decades. But you fail to say how she can do that if she only talks to her brother over the phone which is what she is asking for. You have failed to explain that she is a teacher who has taken time off work and paid from her salary to come to Iraq each time.” Mohammadi continues, “you are not the first nor the last ever to write for money, but there should be some limits in that as well. How do you take money to provide for your own dear children while writing this nonsense about other families?” Mohammadi challenges Yasseri to sort this out by accompanying him to Camp Liberty to ask Somayeh directly himself if she wants to stay.

++ There have been a few translations and comments about disgraced former US House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is alleged to have paid hush money to cover up sex abuse. Hastert has spoken on several occasions at MEK rallies in support of Maryam Rajavi. Comments say that Hastert and Massoud Rajavi – who is accused of sexual abuse of women in the MEK – match each other and that ‘like finds like’.

++ In Tirana, Ehsan Bidi and Siavosh Rastar – who have no accommodation or money because this is supposed to be provided by the MEK which they left – continue to picket outside the UNHRC office. They have now started a hunger strike. This week police harassed them removing their placards and confiscating all their papers. Although they have no place to go, the police say they cannot protest in public and must move on. There are many statements and signatures in support of these two on Farsi sites and blogs. Some have claimed that for this level of illegal and inhumane treatment of MEK defectors there must be collusion between Tirana, the local office of the UNHCR and security services like MOSSAD who are protecting their asset the MEK.

++ Edvard Termador has responded to an ongoing propaganda campaign by the MEK in which they publish letters claiming they were written by prisoners inside Iran and sent to the MEK. At first there were up to one per week but lately this has escalated to a ridiculous number of such letters. Termador selected the latest one and says “here is a political prisoner who writes to the Prime Minister of Italy because he went to Iran this week”. Termador quotes a few sentences and says “this cannot have been written from inside Iran let alone from inside prison. From its style and language, it is obviously written by someone living in the West. Anyway, why has it been CC’d to the Italian Foreign Ministry rather than the Italian embassy in Iran. It is also CC’d to places in America. By end of letter you [MEK] have forgotten you are supposed to be writing as a prisoner in Iran and you have also forgotten that you are also claiming to be under torture.

In English:

++ Associated Press reports that German prosecutors have filed a case against two Iranians accusing them of “spying on exiled opposition members for Iranian intelligence”. Why would anyone have struggled so desperately to leave the cult as they did if they wanted to spy on them?

++ Nejat Society – Ali Ardalani left the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO) in 2013 after 25 years of membership in the group. He is an eyewitness of the deadly clashes in Camp Ashraf on April 8th, 2011. He writes his memoires of that specific day:

++ Showing that some people will do anything for money, two of the MEK’s American advocates were mentioned this week. Habilian Association ran an exposure article about Michael Mukasey, a lawyer and former judge who served as the 81st Attorney General of the United States and his financial deals with the MEK. The BBC reported that Prosecutors are seeking a six-month jail sentence for disgraced former US House Speaker Dennis Hastert – one of Maryam Rajavi’s paid speakers – who is alleged to have paid hush money to cover up sex abuse.

++ Ali Gharib reviews a book ‘Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran’ by Laura Secor which traces the embattled history of the Islamic Left in Iran. “If the Islamic Left—those revolutionary mollahs, intellectuals and politicians who became the reform movement—had wanted to know what was in store for them, they might have glanced further to their own left. At the time of the revolution, a Shariati-inspired group of lay radicals espoused a militant blend of Marxism and Islamism. The Mojahedin-e Khalq (Holy Warriors of the People) organized lower- and middle-class university students into fighters and, despite the Shah’s crackdown, maintained enough force to be a factor in fighting at the vanguard of the Islamic Revolution. But the alliance with Khomeini was tenuous, at best, and the Mojahedin suffered from its own eccentricities; by that time, the Mojahedin had coalesced around a charismatic leader named Massoud Rajavi, who would later lead the group into being little more than an armed cult of personality. When it became clear that Khomeini had no intention of sharing too much power with these lay, Marx-inspired radicals, Rajavi bristled, and Khomeini cracked down with violent force, sending many of the group’s members to prison, to exile or to their graves.”

++ Al Monitor, reporting from Tehran asks ‘Why did Rouhani pull out of Austria visit?’ Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani claimed it was because Austria refused to ban the MEK from protesting. But other voices in Iran claimed different reasons. For Al Monitor the real answer apparently was ‘any excuse will do’.

++ Iran Didban in ‘An Impossible Dream’ analyses the Rajavi leadership’s latest ideas: “Using a mixture of stupidity and imagination for analyzing political issues, the MeK leadership resorts to militarism to gain power, or rather, to help release its organization from a deadlock. Hence, the MeK leadership views the regional developments as in Syria and Yemen not as they really are, but as he wishes them to be. In their calculations, the international players are the winner and Iran will be the loser.”

++ Mazda Parsi, Nejat Society, writes about gender segregation throughout the MEK. “MKO propaganda accuses the Islamic Republic of continuing ‘to implement gender segregation across the country’ while its own record on gender segregation is notoriously known to the world. The MKO’s abusive structure has been discussed by various bodies. Independent reports from Human Rights Watch and from the RAND Corporation have gathered facts on the group’s cult-like control over members, which according to RAND, include ‘a near-religious devotion to the Rajavis … public self-deprecation sessions, mandatory divorce, celibacy, enforced separation from family and friends and gender segregation’.”

++ A brief analytical article by Iran Didban looks into why the MEK keeps on making the promise to overthrow Iran’s government. “The truth is that the disillusioned members of MeK need a beacon of hope. They need to know that they will be released from that miserable condition one day and that they can take their revenge on the Iranian people after Rajavi’s gaining power.”

++ In an article titled ‘The West’s Terrorist “Catch and Release” Program’ Tony Cartalucci, writing for Global Research, uses the MEK as an example to examine the West’s ambiguous relationship with terrorism.

April 15, 2016

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