Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 230

++ Ebrahim Khodabandeh, head of Nejat Association, wrote about the MEK in Albania. He identifies the three most important recent issues as: bringing Massoud Rajavi back from the dead with a written directive from him; whose message is ‘No Exit’ – nobody is allowed to leave. The next significant issue is the appointment of Mehdi Abrishamchi as overall commander of Camp Ashraf Three; again, to enforce the No Exit policy. Both these signify MEK panic over people running away. The exodus recently exploded after former members succeeded in getting their living allowance money from the UNHCR instead of from the MEK. Now the MEK is trying to fight back. As well as the above measures, MEK pays some ex-members to write against the others. MEK also deploys some members to follow the ex-members and intimidate them. But every week it is more and more apparent that these tactics have no effect and the MEK organisation is collapsing from within. Khodabandeh writes, ‘It seems the third camp will be their last and they have reached the end of the road’. According to Khodabandeh, in addition to these issues, there is the problem of members asking questions to which MEK have no answer. MEK have therefore placed a ban on asking about three specific issues. One is: ‘if we have support in Iran as you say we have, how come we see no evidence of this from inside Iran?’ Another issue is: ‘You said President Trump will first liberate Syria and then liberate Iran. But nothing has happened. If the Americans were serious about Syria, wouldn’t they have tried to topple Assad by now?’ The third issue is: ‘You got very excited about Trump tearing up the JCPOA. If the Americans do that to their agreements with other countries, how can we believe they will support us, how can we trust them?’

++ This week as Ramadan began, Maryam Rajavi jumped on the publicity bandwagon. With her glamorous clothes and candles and lavish food, she offered Iftar to guests. People who have seen this before criticise the MEK primarily because they don’t believe in any of these things [religious practice]. For MEK it is all about feeding lobbyists while the members suffer because their food is not up to standard these days.

++ MEK has already announced the annual Villepinte event in July. Members and ex-members say the leaders have announced it forty days in advance since they are desperate for propaganda because they can’t answer the members after lying to them about Trump’s support and the inevitability of war with Iran, etc.

In English:

++ Mazda Parsi in Nejat Bloggers writes about ‘Money Adventures of the MKO and the Bloodthirsty Security Adviser. Parsi examines the backtracking of John Bolton after Trump appointed him National Security Advisor. When challenged over his advocacy for the MEK and his desire for violent regime change against Iran, Bolton told CNN “I’ve written and said a lot of things over the years when I was a complete free agent”. He admitted that he is not a decision maker in the US administration. “The circumstances in I’m in now is that I’m the national security adviser to the president. I’m not the national security decision maker. He (Trump) makes the decisions and the advice I give him is between us.” Parsi quotes one of many critics of Bolton in the American media, Caitlin Johnstone of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity: “The MEK is widely considered a cult, using very cult-like methods of indoctrination including exerting control over the personal and sex lives of its members and forcing them to go through weekly ‘ideological cleansings’… The MEK reportedly has weirdly deep pockets which have enabled it to spend millions of dollars rehabilitating its image in recent years, and to pay out sizable fees for panelists and speeches by experts willing to advocate in favor of its regime change agenda.”

Parsi concludes: “The fact that almost no one in the paid campaign of the MKO supporters brings up the cult-like nature of the MKO, its violent past and its unpopularity among Iranians indicates that they are totally motivated by the filthy dollars of the group laundered into their pockets via European Banks.”

++ Various media outlets denounced ‘corrupt American leaders whose salaries are paid by MEK’. Al-Monitor, Newsweek, CNN, Reuters, The Transnational (Oxford), all reported that the position of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security advisor John Bolton as well as others in Trump’s administration, have strengthened the Iranian establishment and united the people behind their leaders.

May 25 2018

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