++ The commentary about Saudi relations with the MEK has continued this week. The main themes are that this is nothing new and that it will not be a long-term thing and that ultimately Iran will gain, not Saudi Arabia. A short analysis by Behzad Alishah covers the points made by others about the three main players last week. He says: if I were Maryam Rajavi, I would beg the Saudis not to make me do whatever they ask me to because Saudi is associated in public opinion with Daesh. The next thing I will find myself doing is posing in my nice clothes with a long bearded Wahhabi leader. There has to be a limit to what I do. But then, says Alishahi, I’m not Maryam Rajavi. Similarly, if I were Mahmoud Abbas, I would beg the Saudis not to make me sit with Maryam Rajavi who is hated and reviled throughout the Middle East. I am somebody for whom the door to the UN has been opened. And now, just because the Saudis have a problem with Iran, at the age of 80+ I must tie my reputation and my fate to her. But then, says Alishahi, I am not Abbas, and he is somebody who, the moment he sees money, forgets that his problem is to sort out Palestine not Saudi-Iran relations. Then I put myself in the place of the Saudi king. Asking Abbas and Rajavi to do this, is like taking hold of a hammer and instead of hitting anywhere else except your own head, it only makes you more angry and doesn’t solve anything. I would not reduce myself as the head of a country to take a selfie at the expense of my country. But then I am not the king and of course Saudi is behind 9/11 and Yemen and Daesh. So all three of them are making a mistake and will pay a high price as they usually do. But then I think the main problem of all three is not that they are not clever, it’s because they have no principles and that is why they end up in this situation. Whoever the winner is, it won’t be any of these three.
++ The families of Camp Liberty residents, including many elderly parents, visited the camp this week where an MEK ‘security’ contingent catapulted stones at them, resulting in several injuries. The families also visited the Iraqi parliament where they spoke to MPs. The parliamentarians supported their right to see their loved ones and pledged their help. A letter was also written to Nouri Al Abadi asking for help and stressing that all the families ask for is a visit with their loved ones.
++ Sahar Family Foundation (SFF) has issued a short disclaimer. Sahar acknowledges that the families of MEK members which it supports are free to write anything they like. However, SFF does not endorse individual views and works within a defined remit. If the families say things about their trip to Baghdad, people must enquire directly of them about their views. SFF cannot comment on them.
++ Nejat Society reported on the sixth attempt of families to visit their loved ones in Camp Liberty. (MEK leader Maryam Rajavi enforces a total ban on all family relations, including between internal members of MEK.) Two hundred families have so far been able to brave Iraq’s summer temperatures and security issues to visit the camp. Another one hundred families are scheduled to join them soon. This is the biggest group to have visited the camp yet. Meanwhile, a hundred Camp Liberty residents were transferred to Albania. They were not given any opportunity to contact their loved ones. Meanwhile, Press TV reported that “Iran’s Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Danaeifar said on Thursday that the Iraqi government with the cooperation of the United Nations has so far expelled 65 percent of the MKO terrorists and the rest will be deported in 45 days. ‘The Iraqi government has long sought to expel the MKO members, but this process has been delayed due to pressure from the US and some of its allies’, Danaeifar said.”
++ Iranian media reported the criticisms of Iranian officials concerning the meeting between Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas and MEK leader Maryam Rajavi in Paris.