Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 205

++ This week several more MEK members have separated from the cult and taken up residence in what is referred to as the ‘hotel’. The residents – around 240 – in this block are still paid for by the MEK, so are not completely independent of the group. In August, the MEK said they would no longer pay for these disaffected members. After a petition to the UNHCR and international pressure, the MEK was forced to back down and resume payments. This situation arose because the MEK members were brought to Albania under the terms of an agreement struck between the UN, the Americans and the MEK under which the MEK is responsible for the financial upkeep of its members; although money is provided by the UNHCR because the members have been granted UN refugee status. This week the MEK has again started to use the payments as leverage against the separated members. They are being told that if they do not sign an agreement not to speak with their families they will not receive their refugee allowance.

++ The MEK have announced a message by Massoud Rajavi in which he begs the members not to leave for the next five or six months. He promises that by then they will “definitely topple the regime”. Derisory reactions to this news remind us that Rajavi has said this for 35 years. “He is not a lucky person anyway, so this will be just another unlucky failure for him”, says one commentator. Others ask, “how on earth did you come up with five months to overthrow the regime from Albania?” One comment says “When Rajavi talks even a cooked chicken dies of laughter!”

++ In Albania, ex-members who have completely left the group – around 250 and increasing weekly – are busy writing their memories and experiences of the group and sending them to various Farsi websites to be published. It appears that when they do come out they start talking and they have a lot to say about their lives.

++ Mehdi Khoshhal has published an article titled ‘Censorship’. He explains that while Rajavi usually talks about everything under the sun on the MEK websites, about the election in Germany they said nothing. Khoshhal likens this to the sudden silences that would befall the group when under the patronage of Saddam Hussein. Unless Saddam gave permission or fed them a line, the MEK couldn’t say anything. This current self-censorship is linked to the Saudis. Now the Saudis tell the MEK what to do and say. All the MEK can do for themselves now is to bark at the ex-members.

In English:

++ Julian Borger in The Guardian reports after Donald Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly. Borger says that in agreeing to defeat the Iran nuclear deal, Trump and Netanyahu are “bound by their mutual loathing of Obama’s foreign policy deal, even as it sets them apart from other world leaders at the UN general assembly. The article includes Saudi Arabia in this scheme. “Since making Riyadh the destination of his first foreign trip as president, Trump has stuck closely to Saudi side on its disputes with Iran and Qatar, to a degree that has frequently baffled some of his own advisers.

“The president’s circle also includes several prominent US lobbyists for a violent Iranian opposition group, Mujahideen e-Khalq (MeK), including Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton and Elaine Chao, Trump’s transportation secretary.

“Another driving motive appears to be a desire to undo as much of Obama’s presidential legacy as possible, at home and abroad.

“‘President Trump himself appears motivated to oppose reflexively nearly all of President Obama’s major agreements,’ Nicholas Burns, a former undersecretary of state for political affairs. ‘That is a major mistake in judgement on his part.’”

++ An article by Nejat Society says that the MEK is deluded if it believes that the people of Iran want regime change. The US involvement in the regime change agenda against Iran is both overt and covert. Support for the MEK is an indication that regime change must be brought about through violence. But the MEK claims “’Let’s wholeheartedly accept that a foreign military intervention is not the answer for Iran. It is the chants inside not the weapons outside that will make change happen’.

“What is ‘the chant inside’ that Ali Safavi is boastful about? Whether they are for the Islamic Republic or against it, Iranians do share one main idea about the MKO: They hate the MKO. Just one example of the demonstration of such hatred was the tweeter trend on the occasion of the group’s gathering in Paris a few months ago. Iranians contributed to #IranHatesMEK to debate those brainwashed or/and bribed authorities who had attended the event.

“The MKO’s claim of representing the Iranian public opinion is so unrealistic that one may suggest that the group is not living on this planet. Is Ali Safavi so unaware of the aspirations of the Iranian public or is he just making efforts to run the group’s propaganda?”

September 29, 2017

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