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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest -182

++ Abbas Mohammadpour was with the MEK for over two decades. After he escaped the group in Albania he returned to his family in Iran where he was interviewed by Nejat Society. He says “After couple of months I am only just beginning to wake up. I was dizzy. After being with the MEK I didn’t know what the real world was. I tried to get a temporary job to sort myself out, but discovered that I didn’t know what money is. With the MEK I had never worked for money, so I had no idea what wage to ask for or how much I should be spending. From that kind of problem to simply making relations with my own family and people in the neighbourhood, everything was alien and still is. I don’t know how to talk to people and I’m still trying to come to terms with learning things that a normal seven-year old knows about and how to do. I’m glad I’m out but the path to recovery is long.”

++ Iran Pen Association published a video of one of Rajavi’s indoctrination sessions. The heading is ‘Rajavi became Einstein in front of us, but we still didn’t get it because we were brainwashed’. The video shows Rajavi explaining Einstein’s famous formula and interpreting it by saying ‘this energy is really the energy of the Mojahedin Khalq which can explode the world’. Iran Pen Association writes ‘Rajavi was saying that the formula is not about atoms but about the MEK. We just watched and said nothing because we didn’t understand him’.

++ In response to the conviction of an MEK member in Albania on charges of theft, several Farsi commentators expressed shock that MEK members are so desperate even for a can of soup. ‘These are pensioners, but they are so hungry they must steal food. The money that they worked to earn has been stolen by Rajavi to pay for garish Conferences, for lobbyists and speakers and Maryam Rajavi’s cosmetic surgery. If the MEK membership is reduced to shoplifting, how do they believe they can help the people of Iran, who don’t even need their help?’

++ Commentators scoffed after it emerged that two lobbyists had visited Albania to praise the terrorist MEK. Clearly, they point out, the MEK can no longer find more significant lobbyists who are prepared to sacrifice their possible future careers and have been reduced to employing people like Col. Wes Martin and these women to have words put into their mouths by the MEK propaganda machine. In Albania, the MEK are concentrating on recruiting women members of parliament. The MEK wants to show a soft face to whitewash its violent past. But, commentators say, Rajavi tries this trick ‘several times a decade’. People don’t buy it because she simply isn’t a feminist and her claims are quickly exposed as ridiculous.

++ Rajavi’s website usually talk about everything under the sun. But after this year’s Oscar awards, Rajavi has said nothing. Some writers point out that if a sparrow jumps from one branch to another, Rajavi issues a statement about it, so this silence reveals that she was deeply hurt and jealous.

In English:

++ Mazda Parsi begins his piece for Nejat Bloggers by reviewing the AP article by Jon Gombrell in relation to the MEK’s violent past and cultic organisation. “A few cases of the MKO’s paid sponsors are discussed in Gambrell’s report while the MKO’s pay roll is full of bipartisan US politicians who intentionally or unintentionally ignore the true nature of the MKO as a destructive terrorist cult. The group has the blood of the Iranian people, Iraqi people, US military personnel and civilians on its hands. The group has also been involved in massacring its own members who disassociated themselves and did not go along with the attitudes and approaches of the Cult during different periods.” Parsi then brings in Michael Jansen of the Jordan Times who decries President Trump’s ban on immigration from seven Muslim countries. “Although federal judges issued restraining orders, temporarily rescinding Trump’s ban, Iranians are upset and confused by this measure, as it is meant to apply to citizens of countries involved in “terrorist” incidents in the US.”, Jansen adds. “There have, in fact, been no attacks by Iranians on US citizens in the US and only one in Iran itself… This took place in 1975, when two air force officers were killed en route to an air base”. The hypocrisy exposed in the article is that these murders were committed by the MEK which some Americans now consider a close friend to the Trump administration.

++ In a short piece, Iran Interlink describes the new MEK lobbyists who praised the terrorist group in Albania as ‘bargain basement speakers’.

++ Opinion Website, Tirana, Albania reported that MEK member, 47-year old Mohsen S. has been convicted on shoplifting charges and received a six-month suspended sentence. “The defendant admitted to the theft. At the same time, he admitted that he had also stolen goods the day before in the same market but stressed he was unable to pay because he had not yet received any payment from the Mojahedin organization.”

++ Balkanalysis published a detailed analysis by counter-terrorism expert Ebi Spahiu concerning the implications of hosting the MEK terrorist group in Albania. She examines the existing Muslim population which after centuries of influence from Sufi, Shia as well as Sunni traditions, does not identify in a sectarian form – Sunni or Shia – but simply as Muslim. However, Wahhabi activism in Albania has begun to implant a sectarian identity in the population. This, writes Spahiu, could clash with the MEK’s Shia/Marxist identity. It is the unknown nature of the MEK which troubles Albanians. “Whether Albania is prepared enough to inherit a long-standing struggle between a major regional Middle Eastern power [Iran] and a cult-like former terrorist organization is yet to be seen, but given Albania’s continued struggles with endemic corruption and organized crime, and the slow emergence of religious radicalization as a regional security threat, sectarian rifts may add to the list of challenges facing Albania’s political standing. One point of controversy that has already occurred domestically is that the agreement itself is very vague; there has thus been plenty of criticism domestically over a perceived lack of transparency on the terms agreed between Albania and the US.”

March 03, 2017

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