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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 228

++ In Albania, using the pretext of having no money, the MEK has begun contacting the families, trying to get money in exchange for letting them talk on the phone with their relatives. Ex-members have written comments reminding the families that all the money they can send is not comparable to the tens of thousands of dollars in fees that the MEK pays daily to lobbyists and gang masters. The MEK’s aim is, one, to launder money received from Saudi and Israel under the pretense that the MEK is funded by ordinary people. Secondly, in the case that somebody does pay, to set them up by informing the Iranian authorities and claiming that the family has been put in prison.

++ In Albania again, they suddenly collapsed after the prospect of American war with Syria disappeared, Now MEK websites ignore Syria as if they had never mentioned it before. The escape of four more people this week is attributed to the vacuum of hope which opened up after the failure of yet another of Rajavi’s promises. Also last week, one person has been killed or has committed suicide, it is not known which. Some writers comment that the major achievement of bombing Syria has been the exposure of Rajavi and her gang again – nothing else.

++ It is also reported from Albania that Maryam Rajavi is settling there. MEK has built a new place for her by the sea where she lives with around 200 top people to cook and clean, etc, but they haven’t let the rank and file know because they are living in miserable conditions in Camp Ashraf Three. She has also appointed her first husband, Mehdi Abrishamchi, as commandant of Camp Ashraf Three, in charge of suppressing dissent and preventing escapes. Although he is based at the sea-side resort he comes and goes regularly to the camp. Abrishamchi is notorious in MEK for his brutality and as a torturer. He was the liaison between MEK and Saddam Hussein’s Intelligence services who escaped just as Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched in 2003 as a wanted man for crimes against humanity, including torture of MEK inmates in Abu Ghraib.

In English:

++ EU Reporter published a report of the open meeting about the Mojahedin Khalq Threat in Albania which was held in the European Parliament on April 10th hosted by MEPs Ana Gomes (S&D) and Patricia Lalonde (ALDE). The report encapsulated the information given by the speakers. This covered the MEK’s toxification of political debate on Iran by infiltrating parliaments and corrupting and misleading political representatives. The MEK is replicating this methodology in Albania according to Nicola Pedde of the Rome based Institute for Global Research. In Albania, MEK is interfering not only in the political life of the country but also attacking religious tolerance, freedom of expression and cultural heritage, said historian Olsi Jazexhi. Lawyer Migena Balla explained how, through her work helping ex-members, it had become clear that MEK members have no UNHCR refugee status, no right to residence in Albania and no work permits. This has left them dependent on MEK financial support under a secret deal struck between the American and Albanian governments with MEK in 2013. Linking this information with the discrepancies in actual numbers of MEK in Albania, Anne Khodabandeh, de-radicalisation consultant, explained how unaccountable the MEK are. Nobody knows how many they are, or exactly who they are, she said. They are living as modern slaves.

++ Olsi Jazexhi, Historian, took part in a televised debate in the Arena programme along with Ermir Gjinishi – Educator and former vice deputy of the Muslim Community of Albania, Ylli Zyla – former Director of Albania’s Military Intelligence Service, and Hajro Limaj – retired general and former Military Attaché of Albania to Turkey. The programme ended with a discussion of MEK in Albania. Gazeta Impakt transcribed this part and Iran Interlink has translated it into English. The conclusion of all the participants was that the MEK Is not a good thing for Albania.

++ Dr Nadejda K. Marinova, in Informed Comment, uses the past history of lies and misinformation by people like Ahmed Chalabi before the Iraq war, to warn against believing groups like MEK now. The piece concludes “Will we see MEK in front of the cameras, speaking on behalf of 80 million Iranians and the Iranian diaspora, telling us that they all support a bombing or invasion, and that it will remake the region for the better?

“When Chalabi told us lies sixteen years ago, supported by the White House, many in the public (and in Congress) believed him. Let’s not make the same mistake again. The consequences can wreak havoc, and inflict pain and misery on millions of people that support neither these lies, nor the greed for power and domination that gives rise to them.”

++ Massoud Khodabandeh in The Iranian, writes about the MEK’s role in toxifying political debate on Iran in the European Parliament. Khodabandeh points out that there was an opportunity in the round table debate for the MEK’s supporting MEPs to come and defend or explain the MEK’s positions. However, even “MEP Gérard Deprez, Chair of the Friends of a Free Iran in the European Parliament (affiliated to the MEK), who claims to have gathered over 200 signatures from fellow MEPs in favour of the MEK, was unable or unwilling to join the debate. When asked by MEPs to give the names of the signatories, he refused to do so.”

April 20, 2018


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