Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 220

++ Last week Maryam Rajavi visited Strasbourg along with several of her hired lobbyist MPs, claiming to be supporting the protesters in Iran and asking the EU to put pressure on Iran. Ironically one her lobbyists let slip that this visit had been planned from before the demonstrations – the room was pre-booked. After MEP Ana Gomes’ speech to parliament in December 2017, Rajavi is not able to appear in Brussels and her lobbyists have had to take her to Strasbourg instead. In Farsi there have been various writings related to her demands for prisoner release. Saber in Tabriz points out that the number of prisoners arrested in the demonstrations is not a fraction of the number of prisoners Rajavi is currently keeping in Ashraf Three camp in Albania. Another, Zahra Mirbagheri, points out that friend and foe everywhere are talking about the women who remove their headscarves and it has become a hot potato – the Americans are supporting them. But Maryam Rajavi kept silent over this issue as though it isn’t happening. Is this because she hasn’t had the go-ahead from the Saudis? Narges Beheshti had an interview with Faragh Association in Iran (a group for families). She addresses Maryam Rajavi saying, ‘as much as you talk about the protests I know this much, you have killed one of my brothers and imprisoned another. I can tell you that the son of my murdered brother, who is now an adult, has joined with me and we will not rest until you are brought to justice. Shame on the MPs who support you on the back of my brother!’

++ Malek Mashal left the MEK last week. In an interview with Sahar Family Foundation, he explained that he was able to escape because now that the UNHCR has agreed to support them individually he knew he was able to survive without MEK money. He confirmed that there are others who will leave soon for the same reason and he is in contact with them. He said he believes this is the end of Rajavi, because if a person can live outside the MEK, why would they want to continue living in there.

++ A man called Siamak Naderi left the MEK in Tirana and quickly moved to Germany where, for the past few weeks, he had been given coverage in paid TV and other media outlets in which he established himself as an ex-member. Even when he came out of the MEK some ex-members in Albania were suspicious – he had too much money and too much backing. Now he’s turned around to repeat the things Rajavi says but this time in the guise of an ex-member. Last week he published a list of four hundred names in his new top-notch website claiming they are the names of people who have been tortured by Rajavi in Camp Ashraf. When examined more closely it is clear this has been done to muddy the waters. Iran Interlink has been contacted by over 30 people saying their name is on this list, but they have not been tortured by the MEK. Looking at the names it is clear that Naderi has listed those who talk against the MEK as torturers, while others, who don’t speak out, are listed as victims. A lot of FB posts and articles have been published exposing the lie behind Naderi’s claim. One, for example, showed that he was in prison in Iran at the time he was accused of torturing others in Camp Ashraf. Everyone says Rajavi will get nowhere by doing this since nobody believes these lies anymore. A couple of people wrote about Naderi, saying they had seen him in the MEK prison working for the MEK himself. His picture – apparently while he was not out of the MEK – lying on beach sunbathing was published. He was clearly granted a particular lifestyle by Rajavi in exchange for working for them.

In English:

++ Jim Carey has written an analysis of the MEK for Mint Press News titled ‘The MEK: From Revolutionary Group to Imperialist Asset – The MEK’s violent past makes it clear why its only remaining friends are those who seek regime change in Iran at any cost.’ Carey says instead of focusing on the protests in Iran, Western audiences are being shown MEK demonstrations in Europe and told they are an anti-regime force. He gives a brief history of the MEK as an anti-Imperialist group and mercenary force for Saddam Hussein before showing how the MEK became a tool “of every anti-Iranian entity seeking to topple the government in Tehran, including Israel, which regularly coordinates with the MEK and uses the organization as a sort of intelligence launderer to release information to the public without crediting them for it.” The article concludes: “While the much of the media may be focusing on peaceful gatherings of the MEK in countries like France, the Iranian government claims several cells of the organization have been found preparing to incite violence in the country. It is important not to be misled by false profiles of MEK demonstrations as regular Iranians vying for change, but to keep in mind that the group is a terror organization and is almost universally despised in the country it claims to wish to ‘liberate’.”

++ Jo Lo in Middle East Eye exposes Rajavi’s lobbyist MPs as ‘UK MPs attended rally for Iranian group whose leader is still banned by London’. “Speaking to MEE, Iranian analyst Mahan Abedin said: ‘If UK parliamentarians are supporting them with a view to pushing for change inside Iran or supporting the protesters then this may not be the right way to go about it because this group has no traction. It’s universally reviled. One reason it’s so reviled is because memories are very long. They were blatantly fighting on the Iraqi side in the Iran-Iraq war’.”

February 02, 2018

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