Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 250

++ Maryam Rajavi held a meeting in Albania where she announced that Iranian communities in 44 other countries support her. Snippets of this ‘support’ were broadcast on MEK media. The reality is, nobody attended except their low-level paid lobbyists and there were no Iranians except themselves. Commentators say they notice a big difference from some years ago. Now MEK don’t have the known lobbyists they used to. This lot really were nobodies. ‘If they take the sweets away, the flies will go as well’ sums up the comments. ‘In all these films there was not a single sentence of anything about strategy, tactics, what they want. MEK are lost people.’ Some commented that Maryam Rajavi is still trying to pose as a fifteen-year-old girl walking the catwalk, but instead of being paid she has to pay people to watch her.

++ Mohammad Seyedi Kashani, one of the original Mojahedin members, died in Albania aged nearly 80 years old. Some who knew him wrote their memories of him. They say he had nowhere to go so stayed with MEK until the end. He never voluntarily endorsed the Rajavis but was forced, like everyone else, to stand in meetings and say things. People see his death as a welcome release from this forced submission.

In English:

++ Nejat Bloggers uses the recent public protests in France and in Iran to argue that while such protests do take place in democratic societies, there have never been protests inside MEK because the group is run on inhumane and undemocratic lines. Any dissent is immediately suppressed using “prolonged incommunicado and solitary confinement to beatings, verbal and psychological abuse, coerced confessions, threats of execution, and torture…” The piece concludes that Maryam Rajavi’s so-called support for Iranian workers contradicts what is going on in her own destructive cult.

++ Iran Interlink wrote about Maryam Rajavi’s efforts to counter the many media reports this year which have exposed the MEK’s human rights abuses against the members. Rajavi’s films only made things worse as they exposed the very abuses she tried to ignore – gender apartheid, gendered work roles, illegal work by slave labour, medical treatment by unqualified people, etc. But the best gaffe was the film showing an elderly MEK member carrying two shopping bags containing Tena incontinence pants. ‘Donald Trump’s Tena Revolutionaries’ tweeted Anne Khodabandeh.

++ Philip Giraldi in the American Herald Tribune goes to town with a withering denunciation of retired U.S. Army Colonel Wes Martin whose apparent ignorance and stupidity, Giraldi shows, is a glaring example of ‘why the United States has not won a real war since 1945’. Giralidi uses Martin’s unquestioning support for the MEK, in the face of all available facts, to expose him. “It apparently never occurred to Martin that the group had a whole lot of history before he appeared on the scene…”

++ Eldar Mamedov writes for Lobelog to expose how ‘Europe’s Extreme Right Is In Bed With MEK’. “Vox received a donation of 500,000 euros from MEK… This money allowed the party to kick-start its election campaign for the European Parliament. The person who played a key role was Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a veteran Spanish politician. At first sight, Vidal-Quadras and Rajavi would make strange bedfellows…”

++ After Amnesty International published a report on events in Iran thirty years ago, many Iranians whose family members were involved in those events, but who do not support the MEK, wrote to criticise the methodology of the report’s investigations. Some of these were the families of MEK in Nejat Society. Why, they ask, have nobody but MEK supporters been interviewed? Why, indeed, does the report refer throughout to the MEK as PMOI, a designation only the MEK uses? Why does Amnesty International apparently deliberately refuse to talk about abuse of human rights and war crimes committed by MEK themselves, particularly sending non-combatants to be slaughtered in the hopeless Eternal Light operation of 1988?

++ Gazeta Impakt of Albania published a scathing criticism of the Rama government’s focus on support for MEK in spite of widespread anti-government protest in the country. Pandeli Majko, Minister for the Disapora, comes under attack for attending a rally hosted by Maryam Rajavi in Tirana and attacking Iran as though that was the most important issue for Albania at the current time. The article concludes “Pandeli’s speech…, which broke international law and domestic law by saying ‘I do not care that you are terrorists, etc.’, tells of Rama’s arrogance, bribery and thievery. At a time when Tirana and all of Albania are consumed by protest, Pandeli and Maryam Rajavi have chosen to pretend to be a whore when a village burns.

++ The unexpected expulsion of two Iranian diplomats from Albania prompted several articles. Iran’s Press TV said the Balkan country “fell prey to a scenario fabricated by the US and Israel” which was, according to Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi, “in line with previous such scenarios meant to damage Iran-Europe relations at the current sensitive juncture.”
Iran’s Fars News also commented on the move saying “surprisingly, the news on the expulsion of the Iranian ambassador from Albania was first declared by White House National Security Advisor John Bolton on Twitter.” Fars News said “The move by the Albanian government came after months of warnings by Albanian activists and media about the growing influence of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization among Tirana officials. The MKO and the White House had both requested the Albanian government to expel Iranian diplomats and cut off ties with Iran.”

++ From inside Albania, criticism of the Rama government as a puppet of the US was voiced by Olsi Jazexhi in Iranian.com who asked ‘Has Donald Trump Appointed Maryam Rajavi As Foreign Minister of Albania? Jazexhi pointed out that the “news of the expulsion of two Iranian diplomats caught everybody by surprise in Tirana”, in particular Prime Minister Rama and his government who only learned about it via Twitter. The article describes how MEK have been able to establish a state within a state (Camp Ashraf 3) in Albania from where it dictates US/Israeli foreign policy toward Iran to government ministers and officials. “MEK has managed to terrorize not only the media but even many Albanian MPs… The whole history of the expulsion of the Iranian diplomats from Albania seems like a Trump–Netanyahu desperate affair which uses poor, corrupt and obedient Albania for their global confrontation with the European Union and other major world powers against Iran.”
Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – December 21, 2018

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