Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 188

++ On Weds 27 and Thurs 28 April, MEK formers Davoud Baghervand Arshad and Ghorban Ali Hossein Nejad attended meetings about money laundry and terrorism in the EU parliament. They talked about the MEK and exposed some of their activities in these fields. Interestingly, reports say that when they came out of the meeting they were confronted in the parliament corridor by Hamid Reza Taherzadeh who is a member of the NCRI from Britain. In Farsi he threatened to kill them but did not take any action. When the formers approached security, he left the building.

++ Alameh Hosseini Lobnoni from Lebanon, a long-term lobbyist for the MEK and their go-between for the Saudis and Saddamists, has issued an announcement declaring that he will have nothing to do with the MEK anymore and will never support them again. He says they stole the money owed to him for his lobbying activities. Commentators explain that now the MEK is no longer in Iraq they don’t need his services any more so they don’t care, but it is embarrassing for the Saudi king. It was the Saudis who supplied the money but it was the MEK who didn’t pay it on.

++ Good news from Tirana is that for the first time Mohammad Javad Nowroozi has contacted his family and written them letters confirming that he has left the MEK. The family had been very active for many years trying to establish contact with Nowroozi. They travelled several times to Iraq and suffered a great deal so this is really very good news for them and gives hope to other families.

++ Sahar Family Foundation, which has moved from Baghdad to Tirana, has published news passed on by active MEK members about meetings held by Maryam Rajavi this week with the members. She has said she knows that sexual relations are going on – both hetero and homo-sexual relations – ‘but remember, any sin can be forgiven if it is the ideological leader who forgives. The only sin he will not forgive is to leave, everything else will be forgiven’. At the same time, she directly threatened ‘we will kill anyone who runs away from the MEK’. She announced ‘it is a delusion to think that now we are not in Iraq we have no power. In fact, we are stronger in Albania because the country is run by the Pentagon and we have the full backing of the Pentagon. Also at the same time this week the MEK dispatched a couple of their thugs to threaten former members in Tirana. They were told, ‘if you put a foot wrong we will not pay you and will throw you into the street and if it comes to it we will kill you’. The former members are living in a separate place from the main body of the MEK, but their UNHCR money goes – illegally – directly to the MEK. Maryam Rajavi clearly stated that ‘as many of you as we have to kill, we will not allow a new TIPF (Temporary Internment and Protection Facility) to be established in Albania. Your only way is under our protection and that of the Pentagon, or to die.

In English:

++ Saeed Kamali Dehghan in The Guardian, dismissed efforts by Reza Pahlavi and the MEK to influence politics in Iran. Pahlavi described the MEK as having “pretty much a cult-type structure”. Dehghan concludes “Nevertheless, the Iranian people by and large still believe in gradual change, however slow the pace of reform might be. Huge turnouts for elections represent a rejection of the sort of things that Pahlavi and Rajavi have to offer.

“In their constant mission to demonise Iran, the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia have heavily relied on groups such as MEK. The fact of the matter is that they remain out of touch with the realities on the ground. Both groups have used human rights as a casus belli, and have simplified the complexities of politics on the ground to suit the foreign audience. So long as reform-minded Iranians are working hard to generate change from within, the intemperate voices of Pahlavi and Rajavi, and their attempts to build political capital in the west, should be dismissed.”

++ Dr Mark Mason, an American political commentator, told Tasnim news in an interview that the anti-Iran MEK is in league with the CIA and has been an agent for Washington since the late 1970s. “The MEK has been an agent of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and represents the single most expensive US covert foreign operation since the inception of the CIA at the close of World War II. From 1979 to 1989, the US, UK, and Saudi Arabia provided at least $3 billion dollars in funding to the MEK for the purpose of destabilizing Afghanistan subsequent to the Russian invasion. It is from this history that observers today should consider claims made by the MEK as lacking in credibility,”

++ Seyed Hojjat Seyed-Ismaeili writing in Iran Didban website, examines the contradictions in the MEK’s May Day propaganda. He contrasts the MEK dictate that all members should constantly be busy working and have minimum sleep so that they would not think about their situation, with their pretended support for Iranian workers. He then exposes the MEK’s lack of support inasmuch as the MEK lists various workers’ activities (taken from Iranian newspapers) and claims they instigated such protests. “Even if we assume the most optimistic scenario according to the MeK’s official website (below) that protests have erupted in Iran by workers under the influence of MeK’s propaganda in less than 6 days, then we should expect hundreds of Iranian workers protesting across the Iranian streets in support of the MeK.”

++ An Open letter to Valerie Crova, head journalist of ‘Culture Radio’ France written by Zahra Moeini was published by Iran Zanan website. Moeini criticises the journalist for conducting an interveiew with Maryam Rajavi but failing to ask vital questions about the internal human rights abuses by Rajavi against the members of her cult.

++ Another open letter, this time from Edward Termado to Archbishop of Tirana-Durrës, George Anthony Frendo. Termado, an Iranian-Armenian Christian, warns the Archbishop of the deceptions of the MEK and asks him to heed the open information about the MEK in future.

++ Mehrdad Khonsari, a former Iranian diplomat lauded for his impartiality and powers of advocacy, addresses Senator John McCain via Facebook. Khonsari starts by saying “I have intentionally waited several weeks before writing this letter in order to eradicate any notion that my objection to you giving validation to cult figures such as Mrs. Maryam Rajavi and hailing her and her followers as promoters of democratic ideals and values, is merely a knee jerk reaction to a behavior I have found reprehensible.”

Khonsari concludes “Given the respect I have had for you over the years, I write not to condemn you but to ask you to consider your future actions more thoroughly. I am of no doubt that you did not receive sound advice in accepting the invitation advanced to you by Mrs. Rajavi, just as I am sure you would never accept an invitation by the KKK or ever contemplate labeling followers of the late ‘Reverend Jim Jones’ and fascists as proponents of democracy.

“I will end by urging you to give due consideration to the points I have raised. I seek nothing from you, as our own people irrespective of what anyone says will decide the future of Iran. But to help bring Iran into the community of peaceful nations and restore sanity and prudence in its behavior, your prescription can only aggravate matters and offer an alternative which is by far worse than the worse we have seen from Iran’s present rulers in the last 38 years…….”

May 05, 2017

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