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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 235

++ The MEK’s Villepinte event has been their most costly to date by provoking a severely negative reaction from just about everyone. Practically every opposition head and personality has condemned the MEK for working as mercenaries for the Americans. Since Trump boasted that Iran will come to ask me to negotiate, most critics are pointing out that ‘even Trump himself is saying he’s only using the MEK to bring Iran to the negotiating table’. A few comments compare the MEK with Chalabi. Well-known Iranian personalities, musicians and film stars, etc., say although they are not political, they condemn this open mercenary work against Iran. The main theme is that Villepinte was a gathering of a coalition of Iran’s enemies.

++ In Albania, Hassan Heyrani has announced his separation from MEK. This has prompted fear in MEK. They worry when people publicize their leaving. According to ex members who are not ‘out’ MEK is asking them to swear against Heyrani, even paying some. MEK threatens them by saying both they and the CIA are in charge of the country so they must not publish their names. If they do, they will disappear, and their body will not be found (a clear reference to Malik Shara’i).

++ Ex-members in Albania published an article titled ‘Mossad-Mojahedin coalition in Albania’. The article raises the alarm that Mossad has opened another office in Tirana and Israel is moving into Albania. Israel announced two extra flights per day from Tel Aviv to Tirana. Albania’s PM also boasted that Albania is now the first holiday destination for Israelis. Ex-members are raising the alarm that Mossad is openly in charge of Albania and MEK are openly able to threaten ‘we’ll kill you and Mossad will protect us’.

++ MEK claimed that the body of Malek Shara’i has been found. But the Albanian authorities are not able to confirm or deny this. They are not in control of their own country.

In English:

++ The MEK attracted reports and articles from a diverse range of English language media over the past week – NBC News, Capitol Hill Outsider, Middle East Eye, Lobe Log Bahrain News, Washington Post, Alberta Politics, The Real News Network, Counter Punch. None of it did the MEK any favours. Some raised questions about the bomb plot aimed against the MEK, was it a ‘red flag’ operation to besmirch Iran. Others examined why former politicians give support to the MEK, aside from the financial reward. The conclusion of many was that MEK do play a role in the coalition of Iran’s enemies, but are never really taken seriously.

++ Eldar Mamedov in Lobe Log exposed MEP Gerard Deprez (ALDE) attempting to disrupt European efforts to safeguard Europe’s relations with Iran after Trump pulled out of the JCPOA, revealing that “Deprez acted on behalf of MEK rather than his political faction”. In spite of this, “MEK and other anti-Iranian lobbies, like the right-wing pro-Israeli groups and their Saudi and Emirati allies, did not manage even to table an objection, let alone win it. Mamedov puts this down to the fact that “The clout of MEK has been on the wane in recent years. It has lost some influential backers. More MPs are willing to speak up against MEK abuses, as evidenced by hearings recently held in the EP. Overall, the group has been reduced to obstructing and delaying the normalization of ties between the EU and Iran, rather than shaping outcomes. When it truly mattered, the vote on the EIB exposed its real weight.”

++ Reporting on MEK, English language media have reiterated the facts, MEK is a cult, MEK is widely regarded as a terrorist group, MEK killed Americans and 12,000 Iranians – mostly civilians, MEK have virtually no support inside Iran and none outside among exiles, MEK pay both speakers and audience to attend their rallies, MEK exaggerate attendance – The Guardian reported under 4,000 at Villepinte while MEK claim 100,000, MEK are being used by Western regime change pundits but will be side-lined should this ever come about.

July 13, 2018

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