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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 224

++ On the 7th and 8th of March a delegation of ex-members from Avaa and the Women’s Association attended a meeting in the European Parliament where they had the opportunity to talk about the situation of the MEK. The Women’s Association have also met with officials in the Albanian embassy in Germany. This follows visits by other ex-members to the Albanian embassies in other western European countries. They complained about the lack of action by Albania to protect ex-members after the MEK openly threatened to kill them or at least violently attack them in the streets of their cities.

++ On the anniversary of the death of Mohammad Mosadeq, Rajavi again tried to align herself with him and his democratic government as she tries to exploit anyone and everyone else. She claimed the MEK are the followers of Mosadeq. Critics wrote scathingly to say, “Shut up Rajavi, you are nothing like Mosadeq, at the very least he was not a mercenary as we know you are”.

++ On International Women’s Day there was a flurry of writing against Maryam Rajavi who claims to support women’s rights. Iranian women flamed her saying how can she say that when she abuses women in her own group. Many female ex-members published harrowing accounts of their treatment inside the MEK. Mostly they commented that ordinary women in Iran are far more liberated than women in the MEK. Their struggle is well in advance of what Maryam Rajavi thinks. She has fallen behind and is now aligned with regressive ideas not progressive.

In English:

++ Mehr News Agency staff wrote a piece strongly criticizing France’s failure to act on its obligations to combat terrorism and violence by continuing to turn a blind eye to MEK activity in that country. The piece was published during a visit by France’s Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, to Tehran. France has taken an ambivalent approach to the JCPOA now that the US has demanded Iran’s missile programme be posthumously linked to the agreement. The Mehr News Agency article outlined the MEK’s anti-Iran activities including continued incitement to violence in Iran organised by its activists in Paris. According to the article, the Foreign Minister’s visit prompted officials from every part of the Iranian establishment to speak out against French hypocrisy.

++ Nejat Society reported the arrival in Iran of an ex-MEK member who dissociated from them in Albania. Mohammad Tourang who was reunited with his family in Isfahan met other families at the office of the Nejat Society NGO. Executive Director Ebrahim Khodabandeh addressed the families, giving an outline of the current situation of the hostages in the MEK camp and those who have been able to escape the cult in Tirana. Mohamamd Tourang described the condition of the captives of the MEK as disastrous. “Most members are old, depressed and sick”, he said. According to Tourang’s testimony, people in the MEK base in Albania have many questions in their minds. “Brainwashing sessions end with quarrels between the rank and file and the senior members”, he asserted. Tourang was able to answer the many questions that the suffering families asked him about their loved ones who are still held as hostages in the MEK.

++ A Press TV report says that ‘France’s continuing tolerance of MEK contradicts its international obligations’, asserting that Iranian security forces had thwarted terrorist acts by over 30 cells other than Daesh in recent years. “On January 5, Iran’s security forces disbanded a local of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group, which had carried out acts of sabotage during recent protests in some Iranian cities over rising prices and economic problems. According to Lorestan Province’s intelligence department, the MKO-affiliated terrorists were identified and arrested in the city of Borujerd.” Press TV linked this activity with France’s tolerance of the MEK in Paris. Iran’s top security official,Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, criticized Europe for trying to appease US President Donald Trump who has threatened to scuttle a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran if radical changes are not made to it. Referring to Iran’s “costly” contribution to the anti-terror fight in the region, Shamkhani continued, “Paris should reciprocate by confronting France-based terrorists of Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), who have the blood of thousands of Iranians on their hands. Instead, France’s continuing tolerance of the MKO contradicts its international obligation regarding terrorism and is counterproductive to growing relations between Tehran and Paris.”

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