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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 153

++ The consensus among Farsi commentators and media, including mainstream media such as the BBC, over the ‘is Massoud Rajavi dead or alive’ question is that the Mojahedin Khalq cannot be taken seriously as an organisation. Any organisation, whether it is mercenary or not, which cannot prove conclusively whether its own publicly lauded leader is alive or dead is only demonstrating further proof that it is a cult, not a group of any substance.

++ Lotfollah Meisami – a former MEK member at the time of the Shah who now writes political commentary in Iran – was asked his view on Massoud Rajavi. He said everything in just one sentence: “I don’t know if Massoud Rajavi is alive, but I certainly know that the MEK is dead”. Several years ago he was asked ‘where do you think Massoud Rajavi is?’ Meisami replied, “He’s hidden where he doesn’t have to answer anyone”. The MEK themselves have remained silent as though nothing has happened. But they are using their second and third hand supporters who pose as critics. These so-called critics are repeating the MEK line that Massoud Rajavi is alive. One famous writer, Behrouz Reyhani, has written a long explanation for the Pejvak Iran website belonging to Iraj Mesdaghi. All it boils down to is the point that Maryam Rajavi can organise a carnival and this, therefore, is proof that Massoud Rajavi is alive. If he wasn’t alive she couldn’t do that. After three pages of swearing at people who say they should answer ‘the question’, this is all he can come up with.

++ The MEK instead of answering ‘the question’ claims there were a hundred and fifty thousand Iranians in their gathering on July 9th. As usual this was ridiculed. Firstly, because hardly any of the audience were Iranians. It was the usual paid audience from Poland and France. The speakers, the security and etc. were all hired. Secondly, some comments gave the link for the salon hire office saying that the maximum seating number is something closer to two thousand.

++ Most analysist have not talked about ‘the question’ but about the Saudis and have likened their imminent collapse to the fate of Saddam Hussein whose western masters turned on him. They point to the US’s role in all this. Some Arab outlets have highlighted what Turki said that the MEK didn’t translate. He praised Saddam in his speech, saying ‘we helped Saddam to confront Iran’ and ironically claimed that Iran attacked Iraq in 1980. The man gone mad to talk like this. Claiming he wants to topple the Iranian regime through the MEK means he’s really lost the plot. Several writers pointed out that, for whatever reason, Maryam Rajavi displayed every country’s flag on her stage, but for Iraq she used the old flag of Saddam Hussein and for Syria she used Daesh affiliated group flags. This is what Turki is famous for – supporting Daesh [against Iran]. Some have even said that the collapse of Daesh in Iraq and Syria has forced Turki and the Saudis to ostensibly back the MEK in order to provoke Iran to open dialogue over something.

++ It was of some significance that several of the MEK’s usual supporters didn’t attend, such as Rudi Giuliani. These are people who are retired but still have political ambitions in the USA. The three main Arab lobbyists of the MEK also did not attend. One commented that ‘the money is not worth it, I have a wife and children to think of’.

++ News from Albania indicates that hidden among the new groups being transferred from Camp Liberty are the MEK’s notorious torturers and murderers who are taking the opportunity to run away. They are being taken to Albania to escape the criminal charges against them in Iraq.

++ Ghorban Ali Hossein Nejat and Mustafa Mohammadi, two fathers of hostages in Camp Liberty, staged a sit-in in Auvers sur Oise asking for help to contact their own children. They also visited the Albanian and Canadian embassies in Paris to ask for help.

In English:

++ Yaran-e Iran Website reported a daytime protest gathering in Paris Chatelet square on Saturday, July 9th, the same day as Maryam Rajavi’s ‘grand gathering’. The MEK is so reviled by Iranians it has attracted its own opposition. Many are former members who campaign to expose the true nature of the MEK as victims of its cultic abuses. In the evening a seminar was held. Mr Mostafa Mohammadi whose daughter is held hostage by the MKO, Ms Batoul Soltani, Ms Homeria Mohammadnejad, Ms Zahra Moeini, Mr Aliakbar Rastgou, Mr Mohammadhussein Sobhani and Mr Gholam Husseinnejad addressed the audience.

++ Mazda Parsi writing for Nejat Society ridicules Newt Gingrich for a speech in which he claimed that “Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization” while a few days ago he spoke in the rally of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO/ the Cult of Rajavi) and declared his sponsorship for this Islamist terrorist cult-like group. The article quoted the Iranian-American independent researcher, writer and journalist, Soraya Sepahpour Ulrich who updated her Facebook status highlighting Gingrich’s double standard towards radical Islamists: “The irony! Gingrich demands Moslems be deported from America a couple of days after he attended a rally in France in support of a Moslem Terrorist Cult, the MEK, funded by Wahhabi Saudis! And not a freaking news stations is making the link! Wake up people…”

++ Press TV reported that “Iran has lashed out at the French ambassador to the UN for making ‘consciously biased’ remarks about Tehran’s role in the Middle East, saying such fabricated claims aim to cover up Paris widespread interference in Syria’s internal affairs… In his address to the Security Council session, Delattre said France was concerned by information about foreign travel by General Qasem Soleimani, who was still subject to a travel ban. The Iranian spokesperson said France itself is one of the sources of instability in the region. ‘Regrettably, France, besides its continuous efforts to destabilize the region through its convergence with the creators and supporters of Daesh, has recently hosted a gathering of terrorist groups such as the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) and the directors of the Taliban, al-Qaeda and Daesh’, he added. He said such measures by the French authorities are aimed at whitewashing the crimes of the MKO terrorist group against the Iranian nation and officials and stand in stark contrast to the obligations of this country and declared policies of French political leaders. Paris on July 9 hosted an annual meeting organized by the MKO terrorist group which was attended by former Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal. The former Saudi spy chief gave a 30-minute address to the gathering.”

++ Hassan Ahmadian, Al-Monitor, ‘Why Iran needs to fight Saudi Arabia to forge peace’ is an interesting analysis of the dynamics of Saudi-Iran relations. The author points out that in spite of provocation by Saudi Arabia – including support for the MEK terrorist group – Iran still does not regard the kingdom as a threat. Perhaps, he concludes, Iran should engage with the KSA as a threat before it escalates so as not to limit its options further down the line.

++ The UNHCR published Update 14 on the relocation of Camp Liberty residents to Albania. “The relocation of residents of the Hurriya Temporary Transit Location (TTL), (aka Camp Liberty) out of Iraq continues to maintain momentum, with more than 1700 residents having now been relocated to a situation of safety in third countries. This represents a significant milestone: more than half of the residents registered by UNHCR have now been successfully relocated. Prospects for relocating all residents out of Iraq in 2016 are at their most buoyant since international efforts to find solutions began in 2011. UNHCR is supporting a steady and growing stream of movements out of Iraq in coming months. It is hoped that the process will be completed well before year end.”

++ Iran Interlink compiled a short video showing Maryam Rajavi’s reaction to the news, delivered by Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia, that her husband Massoud Rajavi is dead. The video is in Farsi and Arabic with the following explanation in English: At the annual gathering of the Mojahedin Khalq to celebrate armed struggle, Maryam Rajavi praises her husband Massoud Rajavi’s leadership of the organisation. The crowd cheers and chants. However, during his speech, Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi spy master, refers to Mrs Rajavi and “the late Massoud Rajavi”. The translator does not translate the word ‘Marhoum’, an expression of condolence in Arabic. But Maryam Rajavi’s expression shows clearly enough that she understood exactly what was said. Paris July 2016”

22 July 2016


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