Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 141

++ Payvand Rahai Association met with officials in the Albanian embassy in Paris to present a letter of concern signed by 72 former MEK members in western countries. The delegation discussed the situation of former MEK members now in Albania who are under pressure there.

++ 20 more people were removed from Iraq and transferred to Albania and other places. Ashraf News, Arabic website, published photographs of a cluster of the MEK women standing in Baghdad airport looking old and miserable. In an interview, the head of the airport explained they were being transferred under the auspices of the UNHCR but their passports were being stamped with the word ‘deported’. Farsi commentators congratulated the families that there is movement again after a hiatus in the expulsions. Some say that although Rajavi tried for so long to delay the transfers, it is now at the stage that he can’t stop it. Albania is the last stop and Rajavi can’t do anything else beyond that. Majid Rouhi, who writes weekly for Iran-Interlink exposing Rajavi on one particular issue each week, this week wrote about the MEK in Albania. He says “They used to be called Rajavi’s unpaid Gladiators. But now we look at them, we see they are dead people walking.”

++ Iranian media covered the 34th International Film Festival in Tehran. There were two films which were based on the MEK. Ebrahim Khodabandeh who served for 23 years as the head of the MEK’s International Relations department and who left them in 2003, gave a speech about the films and talked about the internal situation of the MEK as a terrorist cult. The film ‘Cyanide’, an action movie directed by Behrouz Shoaibi, is set in the time before the revolution. The film starts with the MEK assassination of two Americans in Iran and then follows infighting within the MEK which resulted in changing the ideology from Islam to Marxism, and the consequent assassination of the remaining Muslim members like Majid Sharif Baghefi and others. The other film ‘Mina’s Choice’, directed by Kamal Tabrizi, takes place after the revolution during the time that Saddam’s army was hitting Iranian cities with missiles. The film exposes the way the MEK provided intelligence to the Iraqis so they could hit these cities. In this context the film follows relationships among the people doing this, and specifically relationships under the restrictions imposed by Rajavi – forced divorce and gender segregation, etc.

In English:

++ The official website of the President of the IRI reported a meeting between President Rouhani and President of the Belgian Senate Christine Defraigne. Without directly naming the MEK, Rouhani highlighted Europe’s sometimes discriminatory approach to the issue of terrorism, saying “Terrorism should be combatted anywhere, with any motto and terrorists should not be divided into good terrorists and bad terrorists for short-term interests,” added the President. He continued: “We were dealing with terrorism in the beginning years of the Islamic Revolution and they brutally killed our authorities and people; and unfortunately, the same terrorists are living and working freely in Europe”.

++ Mazda Parsi writing for Nejat Bloggers says that increasing rapprochement between Iran and the West will render the MEK ever more irrelevant. “As the leading enemy of the Iranian Government on the nuclear affairs, the US is now starting the first financial deals with Iran. The news of the US buying Iran’s heavy water marks a significant message to other players against the Iranian nuclear program. As a vocal opponent of diplomacy, the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO) has received the message so it has launched an aggressive propaganda against the deal.”

++ Ashraf News, Baghdad: Mr. Rinas Jano Mohammad Younis, a deputy of Kurdistan Democratic Party from Dahuk Province told Ashraf News, “Kurds have been victims of the MKO as it was cooperating with Saddam Hussein… The role of the MKO and the crimes it committed against Iraqi people including Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens is known to everyone,” Mr. Jano added. “Iraqi government has so far tolerated members of this terrorist organization because European countries have promised to receive it in their soil.”

The Kurdish parliament member considers the United Nations as the main responsible body to determine the future of the remaining members of this Iranian organization, in Iraq. “The UN has a heavy responsibility on the issue of the group since it has been a side of the agreement that was signed based on relocation of members of the Mujahedin Khalq out of Iraq,” Mr. Jano said.

The deputy of Kurdistan alliance in Iraqi Parliament denied that Kurdish alliance faction wants the MKO members to remain in Iraq. ”We support the rule of Iraqi government on its territory and the expulsion of any terrorist group that is hostile to neighboring countries of Iraq,” he stated. [Translated by Nejat Society]

 May 06, 2016

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