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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 253

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++ Nejat Association announced the launch of campaign group “Mothers of the Forgotten Victims” led by mothers of the MEK’s hostages. The group pledges to bring to public attention the “crimes of the backers of hostage takers and terrorists”, who misuse their power to the point that for decades they have denied families the straightforward human right of meeting one another.

++ Former MEK members in Albania, left destitute by the UNHCR and Albanian government, planned a protest picket in Tirana. This was cancelled several times as the MEK exerted its influence over Albania’s Interior Ministry (facilitated by the CIA and MOSSAD). Eventually, they succeeded in holding their protest and due to the presence of a reporter, MEK were forced to back off. Some Farsi commentators have written that this is a breakthrough and the beginning of the MEK physically disintegrating as more and more people are running away and the MEK and its backers can’t control them any longer.

++ Maryam Rajavi was on overdrive last week to insist that Luisa Hommerich’s Der Spiegel report is completely wrong and nothing untoward is happening inside the Manez camp. At one point the MEK insisted that the ‘allegations of sessions of forced confessions are ridiculous’. Former members have demanded that Rajavi dare to publish some of the letters and reports they were made to write while in the MEK. Some have pointed to the letters that MEK has already published from ex-members ‘admitting’ they are agents of Iran and that they have got money from Iran, as well as letters denouncing their parents, siblings and children. These former members say these “forced confessions” were written under coercion. Other commentators simply ask, ‘if nothing is happening inside your camp, why did you send armed guards to deter the journalist and why don’t you let anyone to talk to the inmates (even to allow a father to talk to his daughter). Why don’t you allow even the national police or authorities into the camp? More importantly, why are there no records of the people in the camp? Why do they have no legal status, no identity papers or bank accounts? Why have the CIA and Mossad taken this camp under their protection away from the Albanian authorities, as they did in Saddam’s Iraq?’

++ The MEK published photographs of Maryam Rajavi in a room inside the French Senate pretending that she had been invited there by someone or other. Other pictures showed a session of the Parliament without anyone from the MEK in it. Maryam Rajavi has been banned from the EUP but Lobbyist Struan Stevenson wrote about Rajavi alongside the picture pretending that she is still allowed there. She isn’t.

++ Approaching the Iranian New Year (Nouruz) several people have summarized the last year and the failures and downfall of the MEK. Some have predicted that in spite of this Maryam Rajavi will make a speech declaring ‘we won, we won’!

In English:

++ As the fortieth anniversary of the Iranian revolution came and went, Mazda Parsi of Nejat Bloggers assessed the ‘Achievements Of Maryam Rajavi In 40 Years Of Fighting The IRI’. From its failed efforts to exploit the failed Warsaw Summit, to the continued exposure of MEK scandals about treatment of its members, to the beginnings of its disintegration following the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, Parsi says there has not been a single step forward in the group’s claimed cause of overthrowing the Islamic Republic of Iran. The MEK’s only gain has been paid supporters. This is far outweighed by the loss of once loyal members.

++ In a longer piece criticising Facebook for having a foreign policy, Jefferson Morley in Salon wrote that “it seems to skew toward Israel and Iranian crackpots”. The crackpots are, of course, the MEK. Facebook removed an anti-MEK page while the MEK, which Facebook/DFRLab describes as “the largest and most active political opposition group against the Islamic Republic of Iran leadership”, still has a page. Morley says this “statement is so factually false as to be ludicrous”, adding “Facebook, wittingly or unwittingly, has succumbed to a crackpot propaganda campaign”. This is in spite of the fact that “Most non-governmental observers, who have not received money from the MEK, regard the group as a political cult”. Perhaps, says Morley, “Facebook … want[s] to promote a crackpot group for reasons of their own, perhaps related to the current U.S.-Saudi policy of hostility to Iran?”

++ Massoud Khodabandeh blogged around two intelligent articles about Iran saying “the complex issue of ‘dealing’ with Iran cannot be solved by the Trump administration or the European Union using the defunct Mojahedin Khalq (MEK) to shake a stick at the country. Iran’s government and ruling system is proving far too sophisticated for this stupid ‘regime change’ narrative. Iranians – inside and outside – don’t want that. Time for a new policy maybe; one that acknowledges facts on the ground rather than the delusion of empire.”

++ Following MEK death threats against Louisa Hommerich the Der Spiegel reporter, Anne Khodabandeh blogged that “it’s a mistake to approach the MEK as a normal opposition. Indeed, quoting MEK members is like giving a platform to Flat Earthers or Creationists. It is not balanced reporting. The MEK is a unique entity. Not an opposition, not a ‘group’ or ‘organization’, descriptions which imply a certain kind of accountable system and order… For the record, the MEK is a cult. Maryam Rajavi keeps slaves. It is that simple.”

++ With a touch of enthusiastic optimism shared by many, Ebrahim Khodabandeh wonders in a blog ‘When will Maryam Rajavi disappear?’ Based on the case of her husband Massoud Rajavi, who ‘disappeared’ in March 2003, and was pronounced dead by the MEK’s Saudi backers in 2017, Khodabandeh predicts that the failure of Maryam Rajavi to produce anything of any value for her promoters and paymasters, means she will soon also need to be replaced as the leader of the MEK.

++ The most important news over the past week has been the public protest by around forty former MEK members in Tirana, Albania. This is significant because the MEK intervened several times with the Albanian Interior Ministry to try to prevent the protest. The fact it went ahead showed two things. One is that the former slaves of Maryam Rajavi have been left destitute by the UNHCR which supposedly brought them from Iraq on ‘humanitarian grounds’ – apparently humanitarian assistance can only be given to members of a terrorist cult, not those who escape it. The other is that the CIA, MOSSAD and MEK are losing control over the people in Albania.

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