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Iran-Interlink Weekly Digest – 244

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++ This week saw Farsi commentators ridiculing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for his gaffe: holding up a picture of an alleged Iranian nuclear site which turned out to be a carpet washing gallery. One of the best jokes was that this was indeed a place where Iran could sweep its nuclear programme under the carpet! This, say commentators, is not the first time Netanyahu and MEK have made things up, but how many times does MOSSAD have to pay MEK and get rubbish in return.

++ Warnings by France that Iran was attempting to perform some kind of violent terrorist attack in Villepinte in June were dismissed by Iran. Opposition voices in Farsi said that once again France is trying to follow Trump and use MEK to create a rift between Iran and EU. But since the only and biggest loser if such a terrorist plot had succeeded would be Iran, it obviously wouldn’t be them. Instead, MEK is famous for sacrificing its own people to achieve its goals. From other side, MEK has no value as far as Iran is concerned. Even if France was at war with Iran the Iranians would not pay attention to MEK. France surely knows that MEK is a decoy and not a real player.

In English:

++ Ty Joplin has published an extesnive exposition of MEK in Al Bawaba titled ‘Inside the MEK: The Secluded Group Scheduled to Overthrow the Iranian Regime’. The piece includes previously published writing on MEK with input from interviews with Massoud Khodabandeh and Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council.

++ Joseph Thomas in New Eastern Outlook provides cogent evidence that ‘US-Delisted MEK Terrorists Still Openly Committed to Violence’: “…US policy before the State Department’s delisting, and events ever since, have proven this rationale for removing MEK as an FTO to be an intentional fabrication – that MEK was and still is committed to political violence against the Iranian people, and envisions a Libya-Syrian-style conflict to likewise divide and destroy the Iranian nation. However, facts regarding the true nature of MEK is not derived from Iranian state media, or accusations made by MEK’s opponents in Tehran, but by MEK’s own US sponsors and even MEK’s senior leadership itself.”

++ The prominent journalist, Caleb Maupin, who has several pieces on the Mujahedin-e Khalq, interviewed an MEK member during the group’s rally. Maupin published the video on his YouTube page.

++ Following the Ahvaz attack in which at least 24 people, including children, were killed, Saeed Kamali Dehgahn for The Guardian wrote that ‘Ofcom investigates TV network over interview praising attack in Iran’. Saudi-linked Iran International TV gave airtime to the spokesman for an extremist group which praised the attack. The article went on to state: “This is not the first time Iran International has been heavily criticised. The television previously gave extensive live coverage to a rally by the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MeK), a cult-like organisation that espouses regime change and has links to Saudi Arabia. The controversy over the coverage of the MeK rally led to the channel ceasing its cooperation with Mehdi Jami, a respected journalist who spoke out on internal discontent over the decision. At least one journalist left the network after the coverage of the Ahvaz attack.”

++ Dutch paper Rudaw and Iran’s Press TV covered the French accusations that Iran was behind a foiled bomb plot against an MEK rally near Paris. Both articles ask, who benefits? Certainly not Iran say both, concluding that such an act would cause tensions between Iran and the EU at exactly the time when both were trying to find common ground.

 October 5, 2018

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