Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 202

++ In Albania this week the MEK staged an event to mark the 52nd anniversary of the foundation of the organisation. Maryam Rajavi, of course, talked about her ten-point plan for women and appointed Zahra Merrikhi as head of the MEK. A lot of money was spent on make-up and clothes and crowds but the event attracted no media coverage except among interested former members’ websites. It did prompt reaction from some Farsi observers. These say that Rajavi’s presence in Albania is needed to save the organisation because it’s collapsing. They also point out that ‘there is no Central Committee or a governing body just a cult leader, how can you come up with this show of voting for a Secretary General?’ Some have reminded us that Zahra Merrikhi was an MEK torturer under the Mokhabarat at the time of Saddam. Similarly, Saddam had 100% votes when he held elections.

++ A glance at the statistics in Albania reveal that although Rajavi has travelled there to save the MEK, the rate of disaffection is accelerating. There are just over one persons per week now leaving the group. The MEK, openly backed by the CIA, is pushing desperately for the Albanian Interior Ministry to give the go ahead to relocate the members to a closed camp in a rural area in the north of the country. Until now the ministry has resisted, fearing the establishment of yet another non-accountable CIA base in the country.

++ After Manouchehr Abdi escaped the MEK last week and had an interview with Albania’s Gazeta Impakt, the MEK has been on overdrive to make others afraid of talking. The MEK told all separated members that the money they get from the UNHCR will be stopped immediately unless they prove their loyalty. But they don’t know how to do this because they are already not talking to anyone. The MEK is on overdrive to disseminate misinformation about Abdi saying he had been a member of the MOIS from the start and had infiltrated the MEK 13 years ago. Ironically, to prove these revelations, they published a ‘confession’ that he had signed accepting that he is an agent of the Iranian regime etc, etc, back-dated to a long time ago. Today, Abdi talked with Mardom TV in Washington for three hours, going into the details of what the MEK did to him and what they are doing now to him and his family.

++ Saber from Tabriz wrote an article for Iran Interlink about the MEK’s 52nd anniversary. “Whatever you say, none of you can claim to be the descendants of the MEK’s founders. You showily gift a book listing your anti-Imperialist martyrs to John McCain, but this doesn’t translate into Farsi does it.” In another piece, Saber gives examples critical of the MEK. “I knew ‘martyr’ Aram Goftari because he’s from our locality. You claim he is one of your martyrs. Don’t you remember when he wanted to leave and you kept him by force. Then his wife, Marzieh Ghorsi and their little baby managed, to escape from you. All she had as the blood money of her husband was $70 and two decades of you spending money on character assassination to prove she is a bad person. The people you bring to your events and present this book with his name in it, get $70,000 for half an hour’s chat. This is where you stand with the people of Iran.”

In English:

Habilian Association and Tasnim News say ‘MEK rightfully named father of ISIS’. Tracing the evolution of anti-Iran terrorist activity from the MEK to ISIS, the article says “Iran is a victim of terrorism. This is not just a claim or a political motto; It is a part of our country’s historical reality. Terrorism is a serious threat, not only to our country, but also to the whole world. It is a tool for anti-popular groups and a chance for some states to spread terror and disrupt peace and security of people.”

++ Sahar Family Foundation met with officials of the UN in Albania to talk about the situation of separated members. The UNHCR’s Refugee and Migrant Services are directly responsible for 230 MEK members who are kept in a location in the Port of Dorsa by the MEK. There are a further 240 formers who have completely left the group and their situation is particularly harrowing. The UNHCR pays their refugee allowances directly to the MEK which, of course, does not pass any money to them. In the context of this dissolution, Sahar concluded “Reports indicate that the recent meeting between Maryam Rajavi and the American senators in Tirana took place because of the recent unexpected deterioration of the organization’s situation in Albania. And that it was also due to pressure from the Albanian government which has complained that the promises made by America previously had not been fulfilled. It is reported that the Senators’ meeting was a kind of impeachment of Maryam Rajavi for not controlling the members and for allowing concerns to be raised throughout Albania.”

++ Sahar translated extracts from the interview of Manouchehr Abdi with Gazeta Impakt in Tirana. Abdi escaped the MEK last week and was keen to speak about his experience of the group.

“SFF: after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and the disarmament of the organization by the US military, and finally the departure of the group from Iraq that resulted in losing the Iranian border, how do the group authorities maintain the hope of regime change in the minds of members?

“M.A.: the group authorities, particularly the leader told members: ‘the army of uprising is still alive in Iran and you are the officers of this army! Your soldiers are those youngsters of revolt who are awaiting a spark. The moment the uprising occurs we will get on the plane to reach Iran in order to organize the uprising.’”

September 08, 2017

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