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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 229

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++ Among the many reactions to the MEK asking the US to bomb Iran, the main one came from known analyst Professor Mohammad Sahimi. He wrote a note in his Twitter and Facebook about the MEK event in Washington and the MEK chanting for Giuliani to symbolically tear up the paper he had in his hand. Sahimi says, ‘after fighting against the US, then joining with Khomeini and then Saddam and then Israel and Saudi, the latest stance is that they demand the US bomb the homes of their own mothers and daughters in Iran. In my job I am familiar with a lot of terrorist and rebel groups – this is my expertise. But frankly I cannot find any group which comes even close to this mercenary group for being so nasty and totally without conscience.’ Others wrote notes comparing Giuliani with a clown who got paid to jump up and down for the MEK. Some have also noted that all these things they do are basically to distract from their internal deadlock and turmoil in Albania. Some commentators say, ‘this event came and went and again added nothing to the MEK. They are back to square one dealing with people inside who have been lied to. There is no war, no bombing. Now Rajavi will have to find a new issue to fool members with.

++ While this was happening, ex-members in Albania met with church leaders in Albania who were shocked at the way they have been treated and promised to help. They also had a visit from doctors at RAMSA. They were also shocked at the condition of the ex-members health. One doctor told them, ‘Some of these chronic diseases you have could have been resisted or cured years ago if you had been given medical attention.’ The dentist who checked their teeth said ‘I have never seen anything like this anywhere, including African countries I have worked in. There is not much that can be done, but I will do my best. Again, if you had been given dental care at the right time this would not be so bad.’

In English:

++ Rudi Giuliani’s speech for the MEK in Washington drew criticism from all sides. Media outlets focused on Trump’s rejection of the JCPOA and Giuliani’s role as one of a group of viciously anti-Iran neoconservatives who are now back in power, gathered round the President, who does not necessarily share their views.

++ Anne Khodabandeh in Balkans Post said that Giuliani’s open calls for regime change starting from the MEK camp in Albania show that America is exploiting Albania as a failed state. Prime Minister Edi Rama has not taken a position or objected in any way. He is clearly not in control of the country.

++ The residents of Manzas in Durres protested when the MEK buried one of their dead in their cemetery. The residents refused to accept the burial so that the body had to be exhumed and taken elsewhere. The residents expressed anger over several issues. One was that their families have lived there for over five hundred years, but there is hardly enough room to bury their own loved ones in the cemetery. Some were angry that as town residents they do not have sufficient or constant water or electricity supply, but the MEK have been guaranteed a 24 service in Camp Ashraf Three. More importantly, one resident said ‘we are not afraid of their dead, we are afraid of the living. They do not want to integrate with us and their behaviours are strange. We don’t want them here.’

May 11, 2018

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