++ Following the death of Iran’s Ayatollah Rafsanjani only the Saudis and the MEK failed to express polite condolences worldwide. Several commentators responded to the MEK’s behaviour under the Saudi flag. Mohammad Hossein Sobhani talks about the histories of Ayat Rafsanjani and Massoud Rajavi. He concludes that with all Rafsanjani’s good and bad he at least had the guts to admit when he was wrong, and to change and adapt. The major difference between him and Rajavi is that hundreds of thousands of Iranian citizens filled the streets when he died. When Massoud Rajavi died it was left to a Saudi prince to break the news. Neither his wife nor his son cried for him and the location of his grave is still unknown. This is because he was a cult leader and didn’t want to be among the people, nor would he ever admit that he was wrong.
++ Habilian Association published a previously unpublished interview with Ayat Rafsanjani in which he talks about the MEK.
++ News from Albania this week reveals that Maryam Rajavi has resorted to sending not only high ranking MEK enforcers, but also NCRI members, specifically Manouchehr Hezarkhani, in an attempt to calm people down amongst growing dissent. The interesting slant of this visit was that Hezarkhani told the people in Tirana ‘whatever problems you experienced in Iraq was because it was a dictatorship and also because we had no money. Now, in Albania, we are in the hands of the Americans and we are also being paid. So, if you just hang on and don’t run away, we will begin to allow you a little more freedom than you had in Iraq.’
++ On the anniversary of the murder of nuclear scientist in Iran, Nejat Society and many others, remind us of the MEK’s role working for MOSSAD to conduct these assassinations in Iran. Nejat goes through Massoud history from candidate for election in Iran through all the changes till he ends up assassinating academics.
++ Mazda Parsi writes that although families of MEK hostages may have felt that their loved ones were in better conditions in Albanian under the auspices of the UNHCR, they are wrong and that the MEK has imposed ever tighter controls there as dissent grows. The article concludes: “The Albanian government also seems to be cooperating with the cult. As the MEK is described as “skillful manipulators of public opinion” by the RAND report, it is not surprising if the government of Albania turns blind eye on the huge human rights violations committed in the Cult of Rajavi.
“However, the UNHCR is definitely responsible for mental and physical problems of the refugees. As an international human rights body the UNHCR should not ignore the case of the MKO hostages who are under a systematic human rights violating cult.”
++ Anne Singleton had an hour-long interview with Gazeta Impakt, Albania. Singleton talked about a range of issues including the dangers the MEK poses to Albania and the country’s citizens as an organisation and as radicalised deviant individuals. She reminded us that the Americans had agreed to pay for de-radicalisation as part of the relocation package, but have since reneged on this part of the agreement. Singleton said that the MEK are like a hornet’s nest. Although we cannot see inside the MEK, we ‘hear the buzzing’ and know they are dangerous. Like hornets, however, we cannot just use a big stick and hit the nest, the danger will simply spill out. Instead, we must be like bee-keepers and use smoke to subdue the danger. This ‘smoke’ can be the families of MEK members who can talk with their loved ones and help de-radicalise them.
++ Iran Interlink reported that the MEK and Saudi Arabia were ‘on the wrong side of history’ as they failed to offer any condolences to Iran after the death of Ayatollah Rafsanjani. Major countries from East to West politely offered their condolences. The piece reminds us that although the MEK tried on several occasions to assassinate Rafsanjani, after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Massoud Rajavi wrote an open letter to him asking him to ‘consider’ him and his MEK. Rafsanjani later indicated in an interview that the MEK was too tainted ever to be rehabilitated.
++ Press TV announced that Iran’s security forces had arrested an unnamed MKO member in Isfahan. “The terrorist had been identified … before entering the country”. He had “come to Iran with the aim of creating chaos during the funeral of …Rafsanjani”, said the report. Anne Khodabandeh wrote on her Facebook page: “If anyone ever had any doubt that continued Western support for the MEK is the BEST gift ever for the hardliners in Iran. The MEK constantly provide them with an excuse (the threat of violence by regime change proponents) to crack down on civil dissent. No peaceful indigenous opposition can grow or develop as long as the MEK is still around.
“Iranians despise the group. Americans and Iran’s hardliners both LOVE them. If they didn’t exist, they’d have to make them up. Now we see why.”
++ Representatives from European based ‘No to Terrorism and Cults Movement’ attended a seminar in the European Parliament last week. The seminar addressed Social Media concerns. Mr Arshad, president of NTCM spoke to delegates about the exploitation of social media by cultic groups such as the MEK, ISIS, AQ and the Taliban.
January 13, 2017