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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 214

++ Former MEK in Albania who still have contact with current members report that the announcement by President Trump concerning the US embassy and Jerusalem caused a wave of doubt and anger among members at every level of the MEK. They (who still believe the MEK follows an anti-Imperialist ideology) asked ‘Why does the MEK not take a position on this issue which is close to our hearts?’ (Prior to the 1979 Revolution, the MEK trained with the PLO in Jordan.) They pointed out that even Saudi Arabia, MEK paymasters, have condemned Trump’s announcement. In response, a letter has been written in Farsi (not Arabic or English) and signed by MEK veteran Mohammad Mohaddessin as the ‘NCRI foreign minister’ addressed to Azzam al-Ahmad, advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas. The letter offers grovelling support for Palestinians, saying ‘we believe Trump is wrong and we believe Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine’. The reaction in Albania, however, is that the fact this letter is only in Farsi and published only in the MEK’s newspaper (read by the MEK in Albania) most certainly means that it was never sent and is for ‘internal consumption only.

In English:

++ Massoud Khodabandeh wrote a short opinion piece in Huffington Post saying that the European Union has claimed the moral high ground in relations with Iran, replacing America as the lead negotiating partner. The EU leads on human rights advocacy (the US, Russia and China have the death penalty), honest negotiating stance and tackling issues like terrorism, says Khodabandeh. MEP Ana Gomes, the article reports, called for the MEK to be banned from the EU parliament as a security risk and as a signal that the EU has distanced itself from terrorism in all its forms.

++ Iran’s Mehr News reports that Ali Akbar Velayati (aide to the Supreme Leader on International Affairs) has denounced France for “acting as the naïve followers of the US” and says it must act differently in order to save its international reputation. “France, from the beginning of the Islamic Revolution till today, has shown very little honesty,” he said touching upon the French government permitting MKO members to convene in France.

++ A short Diary piece in the London Evening Standard revealed that a former Labour MP and writer had come to the rescue of Mehdi Khoshal on 6th December when MEK thugs began to beat him and his friends just outside the parliament entrance. But when Denis MacShane intervened he too was attacked by Maryam Rajavi’s thugs. (She was inside the building at the time, these were apparently her security agents.) “Outside European Parliament thugs from People’s Mujahedin of Iran violently attacking elderly man, hitting with sticks, kicks etc,” he tweeted yesterday. “I told them to stop it, so they started attacking me with sticks, fists etc. And we weren’t even discussing Brexit!” Back in London, “MacShane is carrying on with his daily business, even if he was a little surprised that his pompous wading had little effect on the outcome. ‘At least I gave the first victim a chance to run away,’ he said. ‘Don’t think I have been attacked by Mujahedin before!’”

++ Nejat Bloggers has translated parts of a piece written by newly escaped MEK member Manuchehr Abdi in Albania. He explains what the MEK call ‘Ablution in the Moment’. Abdi says MEK are never allowed outside their bases in Albania alone. They are guarded and monitored at all times by a minder, the unit leader. “Beside this we were stopped every 50 meters and forced to describe our feelings about seeing the environment, people and everything else which might deviate our mind from the group objectives. These brainwashing sessions which are held in the streets are called “ablution in the moment”.

++ As a writer and poet, Mehdi Khoshal took a moment to write a thank-you note to the former Labour MP Denis MacShane who had also taken a beating after trying to stop a vicious attack by MEK thugs outside the EU parliament. He urges MacShane to “separate the experience of encountering the Mojahedin Khalq (Rajavi cult) with the normal behaviour of Iranian people who are certainly a peace-loving nation.”

December 22, 2017

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