Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 166

++ Activity in Farsi language has been negligible over the past week, with nothing of significance to report.

In English:

++ Another article by Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh, ‘Albania: What would a de-radicalization program for the Mojahedin Khalq involve’, focuses on what needs to be done for the 2500+ MEK who have arrived in Tirana over the past three years so that they can return to normal civilian life. The first step, says the article, is to understand how the radicalisation process actually works and how this affects individuals. From this information it is possible to implement a plan which will re-engage and activate the person’s authentic self and emotions. This would include separating the ordinary members from the minders and leaders and removing all MEK control mechanisms. Another major step would be to allow the families of MEK members to have contact with their loved ones.

++ Tehran Times reports on a film titled Cyanide which premiered in Tehran this week. The latest film by Behruz Shoeibi concerns an episode in the history of the MEK in the 1970s. “Shoeibi, members of the cast and crew, and Cinema Organization of Iran Director Hojjatollah Ayyubi attended the screening of the movie at Eyvan-e Shams Hall. ‘Today is the time to spotlight this subject’, Ayyubi said in a brief speech before the screening of the film. ‘The world today is facing the threat of Daesh, but the Iranian people previously experienced such a threat by deviant groups such as the MKO, which was much worse than Daesh’, he added.”

++ In another of his insightful analyses of MEK activity, Mazda Parsi of Nejat Society has written about the radicalization of the MEK. He suggests that European countries were reluctant to take any MEK because, even though it claims to have renounced violence, the group still has the potential capacity as a radicalised extremist terrorist group to threaten European citizens as well as Albanians. The evidence for this lies in the radicalisation process itself and in the indoctrination of the MEK members. The self-immolations of 2003 following the arrest by French police of leader Maryam Rajavi were a result of this violent extremist mindset. Parsi says that the involvement of families, friends and human rights bodies is very important to the process of de-radicalisation. However, paid political advocacy for the MEK is proving to be an obstacle.

October 21, 2016

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