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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 225

++ Rudi Giuliani visited Albania for Nourouz. The MEK tried to make something out of it but the coverage was confined to paid articles. Nobody in Albania cares about him. In real terms however, Rajavi has reduced the pressure on MEK members, especially after two high ranking members escaped. She has told her lieutenants ‘we can’t carry on as we did in Iraq, we don’t have the power of Saddam behind us and we can’t keep people, so we have to find other ways’. She has finally woken up. MEK commanders have eased up the pressure and are now pleading with people to stay. The reason they got Giuliani to visit them there was to convince members the MEK has some support. Ironically, John Bolton has tried to distance himself from his past saying ‘my words are in the past’.

++ John Bolton’s appointment resulted in outcry from all Iranian opposition groups everywhere. They have all turned anti-Trump. They demand to know ‘Why are you destroying any hope for changing the regime by promoting MEK and Bolton and such sort of people, so that the people of Iran have no choice except to stick with the mullahs’. Commentators say ‘This is not the first time. You have done this over the years. If it wasn’t for your support for MEK the regime would have changed multiple times by now’.

In English:

++ Gjergi Thanasi wrote in Albania’s City News that Maryam Rajavi demanded Albania’s government expel two accredited Iranian diplomats on the grounds that they are spies. Her politicisation of the MEK presence in that country has landed a ‘hot potato’ in the hands of Ministers Bushati and Xhafa who must answer this demand. Rajavi also insisted that Albania refuse visas for Iranian families wanting to visit their loved ones in Camp Ashraf Three, also because they are spies. (According to Maryam Rajavi there are no end of Iranian spies in Albania or wishing to visit Albania. Perhaps we must ask: why so much interest, what is she really up to?)

++ On the occasion of Nouruz, Mazda Parsi of Nejat Society reviews MEK conduct over the past year as the leaders took action to cope with the group’s decline. The article draws attention to the condition of members who have been taken hostage by their leaders. In the field of foreign relations, the MEK continues to pay huge amounts for futile propaganda. Parsi concludes that sooner or later, the group’s western promoters will eventually realise that the Rajavi cult has more disadvantages than advantages for them.

++ Anne Khodabandeh wrote for Balkans Post ‘Albanian media fooled by MEK ‘misdirection’. The article tells of two members who used the pretext of visiting the MEK graveyard in Tirana, to seek refuge with the UNHCR. Khodabandeh analyses what this event tells us about the current state of the MEK and its disturbing presence in Albania. She criticises Albanian media for uncritically publishing defamatory MEK statements aimed at silencing critics and diverting attention from their genuine criticisms. MEK’s politicisation of its presence in Albania is the same as a confidence trickster diverting the attention of a target using misdirection in order to rob them. Instead of objectively and independently investigating allegations against the MEK, Albanian media have succeeded in bringing the fight between America, Israel and Saudi Arabia against Iran to their country.

++ Gazeta Impakt published a scathing report of an incident in which two senior Iranian public broadcast journalists who had been invited to Albania to celebrate Nourouz at the Bektashi World Headquarters, had been arrested and detained as terrorists before being released without charge. The President of the Bektashi community, Baba Edmond Brahimaj, intervened to have the men freed. The arrests were ordered by Maryam Rajavi showing that “Albania has already turned into a state that has been put in the service of international terrorism and the terrorist organization MEK” … “Encouraged by many US and Israeli extremist circles, Rajavi wants to undertake terrorist acts against Iran, thus breaking the Albanian criminal code, which condemns terrorist activity.” The article concludes that the failure of her plot left Maryam Rajavi gob-smacked – it turns out the journalists were journalists not paid killers as she had insisted – and suggests, wickedly, that widow Rajavi might really be disappointed that Iran hadn’t sent her a husband!

 March 23, 2018

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