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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 236

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++ This week saw many letters of complaint from families, ex-members and their supporters to the Albanian authorities about the abuse and misuse of human rights as the families are banned from access to their loved ones. The letters ultimately boil down to a question “Are you an independent country; do you not have your own laws that you follow?” The writers point out, “You are the only country, after Saddam, which is providing a closed, extrajudicial piece of land for a terrorist organisation in which to keep our family members as slaves”.

++ This week another MEK member, Hassan Shahbaz, separated from the cult. His main message is that “we have been living as slaves for decades. Nobody would help us, and we had no access to anything. We were totally at the mercy of the internal laws of MEK.”

++ Other writing in Farsi is about the meeting on Sunday in which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will address Iranian-Americans. One writer, Alireza Nasrollahi, stresses ‘ignoring all your promotion of terrorism, please, please, I urge and beg you, as an American do not talk about human rights when you meet with anyone. I’m not saying this because of world issues, but because I have witnessed your support for slavery in the Mojahedin in Iraq and in Albania’. Other writers say, ‘you inspire the hatred of Iranian people for you by supporting MEK and then say you are on the side of Iranian people’.

In English:

++ Iran Interlink published a piece from Gazeta Impakt condensing a critique by Albanian student Samet Vata of a summer school organized by the Albanian Institute for International Studies (AIIS) as part of the NATO Summit in London. The article is Google translated into English. Vata contradicts a speech by interim American ambassador in Albania, David Muniz who blames Iran for ‘exporting radicalism which scares Europe and the Balkans’. Vata explains that US foreign policy “forced” Albania to host 3000 Mojahedin Khalq terrorist extremists, thus imposing a direct security risk on Albania. Thus, Albania should accept that MEK is a problem for Albania’s relations with Iran because MEK threatens the Islamic Republic of Iran. Vata then questions how 6000 ISIS terrorists would be treated when they arrive in Albania, asking “will they be left alone and given a camp as we have done with MEK?”

++ Tony Cartalucci in New Eastern Outlook, ‘Who are Washington’s “Revolutionaries” in Iran?’ demonstrates how the US is using terrorist organizations to attack and undermine the Iranian state, as it has with Libya and Syria ; portraying the MEK as the voice of Iran’s opposition. Cartalucci goes on to say that “MEK and its NCRI political wing will never rule a functional and unified Iranian nation-state, just as US-backed terrorists in Libya preside – and only tenuously so – over fractions of Libya’s territory and resources. This further exposes what the US intends to do regarding Iran, and that it has nothing to do with improving the lives or prospects of the Iranian people – especially considering Iran’s collective plight is owed not to Iran’s current leadership, but to America’s decades-long policy to encircle, contain, undermine, and overthrow Iran’s institutions.”

++ Dr Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams invited guest Patrick Henningsen on their Liberty Report to discuss Washington’s renewed effort to destabilize Iran (video) with the tag line “This week we learned how US national security establishment and its neocon conclave have anointed a shady terrorist organization, the notorious MEK, to assume the reigns [sic] of power in Iran after the CIA overthrows its current government. What could possibly go wrong…?”

++ Another article exposing paid American support for MEK comes from Christopher A. Preble in National Interest, ‘Meet the Organization Pushing Regime Change in Iran—and Its Willing American Accomplices’. Preble reviews ‘the usual suspects’ and likens the current circumstances with the US political establishment’s embrace of Ahmed Chalabi to justify the invasion of Iraq and criticises a ‘too-credulous media’ for also being duped. He concludes. “Americans must wait to see which direction the U.S. news media will go in 2018, but I hope that they will be more like John Walcott, Jonathan Landay, Warren Strobel, and Joe Galloway, and less like Judith Miller.”

++ Iran Front Page published the results of a poll among the Iranian diaspora in Canada. The results are not unexpected: “nearly 100 percent of Iranian diaspora in Canada maintain that Ottawa officials shouldn’t have taken part in the annual gathering of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), an anti-Iran terrorist group, which was recently held in Paris.

“According to the survey conducted by the Iranian-Canadian Congress, 98.90 percent of 1,551 Iranian diaspora in Canada who took part in the online survey said they were against the presence of Ottawa officials in the Paris annual gathering.

“In response to a question whether or not the MKO represent you when it comes to Iran-related issues and Canada’s policies towards the country, 99.48 percent said the terroristgroup doesn’t represent them at all, a report by Alef news website said.

“Meanwhile, 94.13 percent said they are against a decision by the former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to remove the MKO from the list of terrorist organizations in 2012. They also described Harper’s decision as a mistake.”

++ There appears to be no answer to the question, but it keeps being asked:  Ashton Hashemipour in The Gate questions ‘The Baffling Relationship between American Politicians and the MEK’. In particular “politicians have decried the lack of human rights in Iran, the lack of democracy, and the suffering of the Iranian people. Given this context, the relationship between some American politicians and the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, is baffling.” Perhaps Hashemipour does have answers, or at least suggestions, even though they run up against the usual brick wall… “Although supporting the MEK provides a way for American politicians to ostensibly advocate for a democratic revolution in Iran, the costs of supporting a terrorist group far outweigh any benefits. To weaken the Iranian government and gain the support of the Iranian people, the United States should attempt to act as a friend to the Iranian people, instead of supporting a terrorist organization, banning Iranians from entering the country, and putting crippling sanctions on Iran, which hurt civilians more than the government. But given the immense amount of lobbying from anti-Iran groups—from America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD)—it is highly unlikely that such a change in the mindset of American politicians will occur.”

++ Nahal Toosi in Politico, a statement from Jamal Abdi, NIAC and Trita Parsi in the New York Review of Books all point out the obvious: Secretary of State Pompeo will have a hard time persuading Iranians to vote to bomb their own country on Sunday. His even harder task will be to persuade any Iranians that supporting MEK is ‘a good thing’.

In Albania:

Iran Interlink: An Iranian father and mother, trying to get contact with their MEK-held daughter visited the Interior Ministry in Tirana to ask for help. Shockingly, three notorious MEK commanders strolled by and breezing through security went on to attend what are clearly frequent visits to brief Albanian government officials what they should do (MEK are always boasting their CIA links). The parents were denied a meeting with anyone, even though they were accompanied by their lawyer. This footage captured the moment when Albania sided with terrorists.

++ Gazetta Impakt, broadcast a moving interview with Mostafa and Mahboubeh Mohammadi (see above) who are in Albania trying to rescue their daughter from MEK. Tears were shed.

July 20, 2018

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