++ This year’s Villepinte event turned out to be a failure. The event not get any favourable coverage in spite of the presence of the notorious Rudi Giuliani, Newt Gingrich and many others including some Albanian wannabes. Instead there was substantive negative reporting in Farsi and non-Farsi media. Even their own supporters are talking against MEK. Their main complaint is that Rajavi cannot tolerate any other Iranian speaker on the same platform as herself. Nor can she attract an Iranian audience beyond her own loyal followers. Reporters from BBC, VOA and Radio Farda and elsewhere tried to get in to report the event but were refused entry. If accredited journalists can’t get in, it is nothing more than a totally stage-managed propaganda event held behind closed doors.
++ However, Iran International TV did report from Villepinte because they were contracted to broadcast the event live. Even this did not work as debating guests on the day denounced Rajavi and her foreign backers. Reporting from Villepinte, Iran International TV showed tens of buses at the venue discharging audience members who were Eastern European students or asylum seekers (many were Syrians who look Iranian but carried Syrian flags and spoke Arabic). Inside the salon people were shown looking bored; even sleeping on benches in the salon because they didn’t speak either English or Farsi. Some simply admitted they were paid to come. Media, including the UK’s Guardian newspaper, widely reported that the audience could not exceed 4,000. Iran International TV coverage showed that beyond the first few rows, the audience were mostly non-Iranians.
++ Due to the failure of Villepinte, MEK apparently went to Plan B – which also failed. An Iranian man and wife were arrested in Belgium carrying 500g of a homemade explosive while on their way to France. After their arrest they claimed that an Iranian diplomat from the embassy in Austria had ordered them to blow up the MEK in Villepinte. MEK did not reveal until later that those arrested are long serving MEK activists. It was claimed that Iran was behind the planned bombing because President Rouhani was due to visit Austria. Putting aside issues of competence and potential outcome (500g), a simple ‘who benefits’ test leads us back to MEK and its arrested operatives.
++ Meanwhile in Albania, MEK claim that the body of drowned Malek Shara’i has been found. The Albanian authorities have made no such statement. A Coroner’s report should come next.
++ Also in Albania, MEK are continually attacking ex-members in the streets physically and verbally, telling them ‘you can’t stay here, you have to go, Albania is ours because the Americans have given it to us’. MEK ‘encourage’ them to go to Greece with the promise of help to get them to Germany. When they arrive in Greece, MEK inform the authorities so the ex-member is forced to claim asylum in Greece where there is no social security or support. MEK target these individuals deliberately from among those who have no families to support them or whose families are too poor to send money. They are used as an example for others – ‘if you leave this will happen to you’.
Samples of pictures reported from Villepinte (Paris) during the speach made by Maryam Rajavi, Rudy Giuliani and such likes: