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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 246

++ In Albania over the last two weeks, the number of escapes from MEK has been gaining momentum. Three new people have already gone public and named themselves: Mohammad Azim Mishmast, Gholam Ali Mirzaie, Mousa Dam Roudi. Rajavi is in a panic. Every day MEK issue statements saying such and such a person was an agent of the regime from the start; each one has been with MEK for between 25-30 years. It has become a joke both inside and outside MEK that when you leave, you suddenly become a long-term agent. On the back of this, Saber from Tabriz wrote a short article addressing Rajavi. He says that “when facing these many defections on a daily basis, you should forget about giving advice to the Europeans and Americans. See where you are standing.” At the same time, Maryam Rajavi has been in Albania holding clandestine meetings with various parties. Her main demand from everyone is for help to stop people leaving, to ensure the camp is kept securely closed and that no unauthorised (by MEK) outsiders are allowed near, etc.

++ When news of Khashoggi’s disappearance first broke, MEK immediately began blaming Iran, saying they had killed the Saudi journalist. They even published a series of photograph of previous assassination victims, listing them and saying Khashoggi is the latest victim of Iran. When the Saudi government finally accepted responsibility for the death, MEK went silent.

In English:

++ Nejat Bloggers publishes the stories of survivors of MEK in Albania. Former POW, Gholamali Mirzaei, spent 30 years with MEK. “’After a while I found out that their slogans for democracy were just a cover for their lies, hypocrisy and sycophancy’, he writes in his official declaration of defection. ‘According to Rajavi’s religion having a family was a sin so every day we were played away with a new cult jargon under the name of Ideological Revolution’. Mirzaei was not allowed to visit his family in all those years of his imprisonment in the MKO and before that in Saddam Hussein’s POW camps. After the relocation of the group in Albania, he could manage to find a cellphone and call his family. It was then that he realized that his family including his wife, children and his brother had come to Camp Ashraf to meet him but the MKO authorities had barred them from visiting him.” Nejat also reported that sisters Mona and Zeinab Hosseinejad finally met up after being separated in infancy when Zeinab escaped the MEK camp in Albania and travelled to Greece.

++ Sputnik News alleges that ‘Terrorists Easily Live in US’ after Gholamhossein Dehqani, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs, slammed the US for allowing terrorists to freely live and operate on its territory. Dehqani accuses the US of harbouring and using MEK to destabilize the situation in Iran.

++ The Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor published a report on ‘MEK in Albania – Potential Implications and Security Concerns for Albania’ by Ebi Spahiu. The report outlines MEK’s history and how and why they arrived in Albania. “Now, the group is residing in the outskirts of Tirana’s capital in a highly fortified camp located in Manëz. From this camp, the group is allegedly intensifying its political activities aimed at bringing down the Iranian regime (Exit.al, March 14). With emerging threats coming from radicalization and violent extremism, due to the rise of the Islamic State and other political Islamist groups in the region, the Albanian government may not be prepared or equipped to respond to the potential implications the group’s presence in Albania may bring.” The article concludes: “Albania continues to struggle with endemic corruption and organized crime and the emergence of religious radicalization as a regional security threat and potential sectarian rifts may add to the list of challenges facing Albania’s political landscape.   As a result, the country may not be prepared to inherit a long-standing struggle between a major regional Middle Eastern power and a former terrorist organization. Especially since both may utilize Albania’s internal vulnerabilities for their own political gains.”

++ Gazeta Impakt, Albania, exposed MEK’s false claims that a group of MEPs support them when their journalist asked Eduard Kukan about an MEK statement he had signed. Kukan refuted this and his office said he was not aware that his name would be published by MEK after he spoke with them. In addition to this, “Several days ago, they [MEK] had a letter to the online media published, a letter which was also published by the Albanian print newspaper, claiming that MP Dashamir Shehi had visited the Mojahedin camp and stated that Iranian agents were threatening the MEK. Mr Dashamir Shehi has told journalists who contacted him that he has not written any such letter or made any statement of this kind.”

++ Mazda Parsi of Nejat Bloggers examines the MEK as ‘a tool for playing its masters’ dirty games’. Parsi explains what MEK does for its supporters and backers, including things that the enemies of the Iranian government should be ashamed of and do not wish to talk about. For example, MEK is behind changing peaceful protests in Iran to violent protests. “Do Iranians wish to change their peaceful protest into a violent one and get imprisoned for their legal demands?”

++ Payvand Rahaee published an Open Letter from Reza Jabali Sadeghi to Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship in the European Commission. Sadeghi, a former MEK member, raises issues arising from the EU Western Balkans Ministerial Forum on Justice and Home Affairs in Tirana on October 5. In particular he identifies MEK’s people smuggling as a major concern as members are moved around Europe and Albania on false passports.

++ Tehran Times and Iran Press reflected comments by Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani about the European Union, Iran and the JCPOA. “The parliament speaker said Iran has been committed to its obligations and Europe must take practical steps to preserve the JCPOA. Larijani also said that presence of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) in France has caused a ‘negative mentality’ of the French among the Iranians.”

++ In a television programme for Ora News, Albanian historian Olsi Jazaxhi stated that Albania has become a base for Israel’s MOSSAD and the Iranian Mojahedin.

October 26, 2018

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