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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 216

++ Many commentators say they have observed that the MEK is fully under the thumb of Saudi Arabia – not Israel or America. They ask, ‘why are you in Tirana and not in Riyadh?’ Others have pointed out that the MEK and Saudi intel services have openly joined together to run Al Arabiya media outlet. The MEK features in it all the time. ‘It’s just like in the time of Saddam’, say critics.

++ In Albania ex-members are under serious pressure to work on social media, create accounts, liking and promoting posts, and creating memes and fake images. These people are becoming run down and ill while at the same time the MEK is cutting their allowances and punishing and threatening them.

In English:

++ A two-part interview with Anne Khodabandeh during a fact-finding mission in Albania last Autumn was published by Sputnik in Serbia. Iran-interlink published a ‘Google translate’ in English.

++ Sahar Family Foundation reported on conditions in Albania. MEK leaders have given an ultimatum to ex-members based on their financial dependence on the cult. “When the individuals approached the MEK to receive their allowances, they found out that from the beginning of the year 2018, it would be reduced to two thirds of the actual amount. To get even this reduced money they now had to sign a document admitting that they owe this money to the cult and that they will repay their debt once they get money in future… “The Rajavi cult is imposing this pressure on the former members in order to force them to either go back to the organization or leave Albania. They are told that they would have much better opportunities in neighboring countries. The aim of the cult is to send them out of Albania where they act as role models for other discontented members who wish to gain their freedom.”

++ An article by Philip Giraldi in Global Research asked a pertinent question considering the events which ensued in Iran: ‘Who Are the Leading State Sponsors of Terrorism?’ Giraldi says, “A recent detailed analysis by former US intelligence officers has demonstrated just how the claim that Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism is almost completely fabricated. The analysis explains how these false narratives are contrived and how they become part of the Washington background noise…

“The reality is that terrorism, defined by the United Nations as ‘criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public,’ is most employed at the state level by the United States and its allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, not by Iran.”

++ Tehran Times reported foreign interference in the widespread protests inside Iran. “Sources close to security bodies have said of over 500 people arrested during the disturbances in different cities in Iran, more than 80 percent have admitted receiving money and ordered from outside the country to misuse the people’s protest against price rises and high unemployment.” The paper also said, “Maryam Rajavi, the MKO terrorist leader, has urged more violence and chaos in a twitter message.”

++ Borzou Daragahi, Middle East correspondent for BuzzFeed News, based in Istanbul wrote an analytical article saying ‘Iran’s Rouhani Acknowledges Right To Protest, But Blasts Trump For Encouraging It’. Daragahi describes the nature of the protests as they moved from peaceful to violent, the demographic of participants and how the country’s leaders and security authorities responded. He also noted that there was evidence of MEK involvement in the organisation of protests. In addition, Mehr News Agency “issued an ominous warning that Sunni jihadis were rumored to be preparing violence against demonstrators in what many Iranians considered a pretext for violent attacks on protests”.

++ TeleSur wrote in Iranian.com ‘Russia Warns Against Foreign Meddling In Iran As Separatism, Extremism Voiced In Unrest’. The MEK was mentioned as “anti-government extremists that are unpopular within the country”.

++ The Daily Mail (UK) reported that since a visit by French President Macron was cancelled due to unrest in Iran, President Rouhani spoke with him by telephone instead. In the conversation, Rouhani demanded “action against a ‘terrorist’ Iranian opposition group he accused of fomenting recent protests.

“’We criticise the fact that a terrorist group has a base in France and acts against the Iranian people… and we await action from the French government against this terrorist group,’ Rouhani told Macron, according to a report on Iranian state television.

“He was referring to an exiled Iranian opposition group based in Paris and called the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq. Iranian authorities accuse the group, which the regime describes as ‘hypocrites’, of fuelling the unrest rocking the Islamic republic and of links with regional Sunni rival Saudi Arabia.”

++ Tasnim News, Tehran, “Many rioters arrested in the recent unrest in Iran have been trained by the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), the IRGC commander Major Genera Ali Jafari said, adding that enemies have even dispatched a number of Daesh (ISIL) terrorists to Iran for acts of sabotage.”

++ After six days of protests in Iran, Moon of Alabama published a critique of western reporting of these events. According to this report, fake pictures and false ‘evidence’ is produced to show violence: “The terrorist group MEK (NCRI, MKO) ‘leaked’ fake protocols of an alleged government meeting which it claims shows panic over the protests. Allegedly the government fears the leader of the MEK, Maryam Rajavi. The MEK has paid large sums to get support from politicians, including John McCain in Washington and elsewhere. During the Iraq-Iran war it fought against Iran on the side of Iraq. After the U.S. invaded Iraq the MEK was held in special camps under U.S. control. According to a 2012 Seymour Hersh report the U.S. military trained MEK fighters in the U.S. in sabotage and insurgency technics. These people are deeply hated in Iran but feared they are not. Their early engagement in the ‘protests’ via their website and propaganda ops in Iran may point to deeper role in the riots.”

++ Executive Intelligence Review issued a Press Release stating that ‘Saudis Back Terrorist MeK as ‘Alternative’ in Iran’. Al Arabiya is quoted supporting Maryam Rajavi and the MEK.

++ Fax Web, Tirana, Albania – ‘Sputnik raises the alarm: Americans prepare assassins in Albania to attack Iran’. “The CIA is preparing killers in Albania to attack and fight with the Iranian regime. The editorial is… for Radio Sputnik in Serbian, which is broadcast on the internet as well as on normal radio waves. In the interview given to journalists, political analyst Aleksandar Pavic has made some strong allegations… Trump, along with Israel, has a clear plan and this is being activated today by Albania. The CIA and Israeli services are preparing soldiers to send them to war in Iran to overthrow the regime but that will be impossible, says Pavic.”

++ Olsi Jazexhi, Albanian academic and historian, spoke with Fax Web about MEK involvement in the protests in Iran. He said that “Many of the protesters, people associated with the Mojahedin Khalq (MEK, MKO) who are based in Albania, have used violence in the past, killing hundreds of workers or ordinary citizens.” Jazexhi also “emphasized the fact that the protests started for economic reasons, but were later manipulated by being converted into political protests. ‘Foreign-controlled protesters manipulated the protests by turning them into violent protests. The problem is that the governments in the US and Israel were able to take advantage of these protests. Today, there were protests against the government, announcing the end of violence against the institutions’.”

January 05, 2018

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