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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 207

++ In Albania this week, another four people announced their separation from the MEK. They all complain that they were made to sign papers by the MEK agreeing not to contact their families or talk about their situation. If they do, their UNHCR allowance is cut off and they are made homeless with no money. Lawyers have been pursuing the cases of people to whom this has happened who do not fall into the category of the agreement between the MEK and Pentagon. According to that agreement the Americans and the MEK have promised to provide for these people who have been brought from Iraq. But these separated people fall outside this category. Neither the Albanian Interior Ministry nor the UNHCR will answer the lawyers about the status of these people. Lawyers have said they will instigate a court case to clarify this. Both the Interior Ministry and UNHCR openly say that they will have to talk to the American embassy to get permission what to do and say in this case. While this is happening, the MEK and CIA are putting pressure on the Albanian government to accept that the MEK can create a new closed base outside the city – like Camp Ashraf in Iraq – to be run by the MEK with no interference from anyone outside (not even Albanian police or security forces). Up to now the Albanian government has resisted. However, the CIA and MEK pressure has been increased because they understand that if this is not done within weeks the whole MEK will collapse.

++ As far as MEK activity is concerned, all they have done last week is to swear at critics and ex members and praise Donald Trump saying he should reject the nuclear deal, bomb Iran and go to war with the country.

++ Former MEK members Davoud Baghervand and Issa Azade attended an event marking the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty. They talked with delegates about the MEK and the situation of people in Albania. Also this week, formers Reza Sadeghi and Ghorban Ali Hossein Nejad attended a meeting in of the Social Democrats in the European Parliament discussing the situation of refugees coming into Europe. They talked to MEPs and their staff about the MEK in Albania.

In English:

++ Mazda Parsi writes for Nejat Society that Donald Trump’s determination to withdraw from the Iran nuclear has allowed the MEK “more room to move around the US government to launch its anti-Iran lobbying campaign more generously –pushing its paid advocates to run their ‘war on Iran’ agenda.”

Parsi focuses in particular on the lobbying efforts of John Bolton: “Probably the most troublesome part of Bolton and other neocons, in the eye of his country-men is his avowed support for regime change and his fondness for the Cult of Rajavi. When he talks about providing “vigorous support” to Iran’s opposition, he is talking about the MKO! Bolton should admit the bitter truth that no credible protesting party inside Iran wants anything to do with U.S. interference in their politics, and they absolutely aren’t interested in regime change. The so-called opposition that Bolton supports is the MKO, which is widely loathed in Iran and doesn’t speak for Iranian protesters of the Tehran government. However, Bolton seems to be blocked, regarding his own testimony in an op-ed where he confessed that he doesn’t have access to the White House.”

++ Aawa Association reported the meeting between MEK former Reza Jebelli with Ana Maria Gomes, MEP. Jebelli raised the issue of the MEK in Albania and the plight of separated members who are left destitute there. He suggested that European Parliament representatives seek to help the families of MEK hostages in any way possible.

++ An article titled ‘MEK, more like a Cult than an Opposition Group’ by Mazda Parsi of Nejat Society shows that whatever its name or stated purpose, every cult is destructive. Parsi compiles evidence of actual MEK behaviour and how it is perceived in relation to its own claims as human rights advocates and political opposition. In this piece, Mehdi Hassan is quoted: “Rather, the biggest problem with U.S. politicians backing the MEK is that the group has all the trappings of a totalitarian cult,” he states. “Don’t take my word for it: A 1994 State Department report documented how Massoud Rajavi ‘fostered a cult of personality around himself’ which had ‘alienated most Iranian expatriates, who assert they do not want to replace one objectionable regime for another.’”

October 13, 2017

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