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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 231

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++ Over the past few weeks, Rajavi has been stuck between the past and the present and can’t answer the members. In particular the older ones. She has started to appease them now by publishing articles about the MEK’s founders and in praise of Che Guevara. While doing that she attacks the ex-members, saying they have deviated from the path of the founders and of the revolutionaries, etc and have betrayed them. Commentators say: ‘From this we can see that you are stuck. Let us remind you, you are not Che! He didn’t betray his own country or side with the enemy as you have done.’ Others have commented: ‘You have to accept that you have changed. This is not the same organisation it was then. MEK has undergone a profound change and is now a mercenary force.’

++ As MEK members are escaping, Rajavi has tried to close Camp Ashraf Three. No visas are issued for leave. In spite of this, another person managed to run away this week. He is a well-known, high-ranking member whose name we will not put out now. He has been with MEK since the very beginning. In addition, we have two or three more escapees over the past few weeks who are also veteran members.

++ Farsi commentators remind the MEK: ‘You are staging the 30th Khordad event which is to commemorate the execution of the MEK founders who were arrested and tried for killing Americans. They were executed by a puppet of the Americans, the Shah. Now you invite American extremists like Rudi Giuliani and far right Zionists to your event and you expect the members not to run away! The members expect, after 40 years shouting about anti-Imperialism, that at least you take a stance over what is happening in Gaza, but Rajavi and the MEK remain silent.’

++ Netherlands media has reported on the trial of gangsters who murdered Mohammad Reza Kolahi, (aka Ali Motamed), in the Netherlands in 2015. It has been officially acknowledged that Kolahi is the MEK member who planted the bomb in the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party (Hezb Jomhouri) in 1981 which killed 72 leading officials. There is now speculation over who ordered the killing of this man. There are two suspects. One is Iran, which has obvious grievances. The other is Rajavi, who is desperate to whitewash the MEK’s past. She wants closure on the association with terrorism by eliminating those who are known perpetrators – especially people like Kolahi or Massoud Keshmiri and others. Massoud Khodabandeh commented: ‘These two never enjoyed their lives as they did not want to stay with MEK from the start but could not leave because of their past. They were always haunted; by Iran over what they did and by Rajavi for fear of their future. One is now dead. Let’s hope the others can go to the European authorities and they can save their lives and escape their miserable existence.’

In English:

++ Massoud Khodabandeh was interviewed on Richard Engel’s On Assignment for MSNBC. The segment, titled ‘The MEK’s Man inside the White House’ raised concerns over the influence of MEK advocates like Giuliani and Bolton who now occupy influential roles in the White House. Khodabandeh described the MEK as a ‘destructive cult’. MEK reacted by creating a plethora of new websites and social media accounts dedicated to denouncing Engel as ‘an agent of the Iranian regime’.

++ Gareth Smyth wrote ‘Iran’s Future: Hybrid Nationalism?’ for Lobelog in response to Mike Pompeo’s unfortunate speech viz a viz Iran. Smyth examines the cultural response to the current situation among Iranian citizens and how the rulers must navigate this.

++ Iran’s Tehran Times reported Iran’s Judiciary chief denouncing Trump’s “aggressive tone and actions against the Iranian nation”. Amoli Larijani “pointed to the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear agreement, saying exiting an international treaty is ‘indigestible’ for every country, ‘but the U.S. does such thing through bullying’. He also pointed to the impact of Mojahedin-e  Khalq Organization (MKO/MEK), an anti-Iran terrorist group, on U.S. politicians, saying that with the help of the MKO the U.S. has been trying to disrupt the Iranian economy.

Trump’s new national security advisor John Bolton is in close contact with the MKO which has done numerous terrorist activities in Iran and joined Saddam Hussein’s army in the fight against Iran in the 1980s.

Amoli Larijani said the U.S. ‘has unfortunately fallen in this wrong direction by the illusions and fantasies of [such] terrorist groups’.”

++ A Conference of Iranian opposition groups and personalities will be held on 9th June in Washington. A petition to accompany the meeting says ‘The Honorable Donald Trump, We, the undersigned, respectfully petition you not to allow the terrorist Maryam Rajavi of the Mujaheddin Khlaq (aka MEK) to enter the USA.’

++ Nejat Society: ‘Former members of the MEK attended a conference in the EUP to discuss the legal and humanitarian situation of the refugees in Europe. It was headed by MEP Antonio Panzeri member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.’

++ Open Letter from the “Free Iran” Association to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Albania.

++ Dr. Massoumeh Torfeh, TRT World, ‘US failure to honour the Iran deal has dealt a blow to ordinary Iranians’. “During the nationwide protests in Iran in January, Trump’s series of tweets sounded like he was calling for regime change. The US National Security Advisor, John Bolton, has also spoken about regime change unashamedly hoping the US could ‘celebrate in Iran the toppling of the regime’.” MEK “has hardly any support inside Iran. Most Iranians have never forgiven MKO for siding with Iraq to fight against Iran. There are in fact several hashtags against them, such as #nomojahed or #shutupPompeo.

++ Hamid Dabashi, Aljazeera, June 06, 2018. “The next fantasy this open plot against Iran espouses is to have the discredited cult of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) traitors do the job for the US and its Saudi-Zionist alliance. In response to this fanciful proposition, Hartung rightly says, “to think that an organization that the New York Times has rightly described as a ‘fringe dissident group’ could overthrow the government…”

++ Iran Front Page News reports on Dutch media reporting: ‘Man behind Iran’s Worst Terrorist Attack Killed in 2015’.

++ Professor Bessma Momani, The Globe and Mail, ‘Bolton, Giuliani and Pompeo have been paid by Mojahedin Khalq terrorist organisation’. “Once listed as a terrorist organization by U.S. authorities, most Iranians regard the MEK as traitors aided by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in the Iraq-Iran war or, at best, a sadistic cult.”

++ Mazda Parsi in Nejat Bloggers examines ‘Three Decades After Rajavi’s Expulsion from France’. The piece concludes: “The Expulsion of Maryam Rajavi from France and her relocation in Albania seems to be a very vital solution for the threat of her destructive cult that endangers European citizens too. Eventually, the MKO’s camp in Albania should be supervised by the United Nations authorities in order to offer members of the group possibilities to choose for their future with their own free will.”

June 08, 2018

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