Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Iran Interlink, January 09 2015:… You are the President of France, not ISIS or Al Qaida. You, therefore, are responsible for the security of your citizens. I also hold you responsible for my life because you are currently hosting a terrorist group which threatens to kill me simply because I speak out against its …
In a democracy we don’t beg terrorists not to kill us – Instead we expect our elected leaders to ensure that such crimes are prevented
An Open Letter To President François Hollande From Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) in the UK
Freedom of speech is under threat in Europe. You, and other national leaders swear you are doing all you can to protect this principle and to protect your citizens from this threat.
Let me remind you that for three decades France has hosted the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group in Auvers-sur-Oise, just outside Paris.
In the past few weeks, the leader of this group, Massoud Rajavi, has broadcast a message to the MEK members, some hundreds of whom live hidden lives in France and other European cities. In this message, Rajavi demands the assassination of former members of the MEK and other critics of the group. I am included in that list.
Addressing his loyal followers (brainwashed cult members), Rajavi says “I ask that every one of these traitors be brought to justice”. Placing this demand in the context of Ashura (the historical massacre of Imam Hossien and his followers), Rajavi asks them to be willing to sacrifice their own lives in order to kill each one of his enemies.
Three times this message has been reinforced, with the names and pictures of targets broadcast over a European satellite owned by a Saudi Arabian company. The latest broadcast was on the eve of the Charlie Hebdo killings. My picture is in the centre as the main target. My ‘crime’ has been to speak out about the true nature of this murderous group, to expose the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, both in the Middle East and in Europe.
You are the President of France, not ISIS or Al Qaida. You, therefore, are responsible for the security of your citizens. I also hold you responsible for my life because you are currently hosting a terrorist group which threatens to kill me simply because I speak out against its continued crimes. In a democracy we don’t beg terrorists not to kill us. Instead we expect our elected leaders to ensure that such crimes are prevented.
France has protected the MEK for thirty years in a closed de facto terrorist enclave just outside Paris. I, and others like me, do not expect to pay the price with our lives for the cynical policy of hosting this group as a tool for political games.
ISIS supporter Maryam Rajavi attacks Obama from French parliament
Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Iran Interlink, November 01 2014: … When a supporter of ISIS sits in the French parliamentary building and attacks President Obama, the cracks are seriously beginning to show in the West’s approach to resolving the whole Middle East situation. Observers may not be sufficiently informed to tell Western governments what to do in …
This week an inter-parliamentary group from Iran visited France for the enhancement of parliamentary, economic and political relations between Tehran and Paris. The Iranian delegation of three senior MPs was headed by Chairman of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi. The talks were deemed by both France and Iran to have been constructive.
Boroujerdi’s interview with France 24 indicates that the nuclear issue and ISIS were at the top of the agenda in the meetings: the West wants Iran to help fight ISIS in return for a favourable outcome to the nuclear negotiations.
In a panic at the thought of closer ties between the two countries, Israel set about trying to disturb the atmosphere in the French parliament by pushing the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq leader Maryam Rajavi into a meeting with legislators in order to voice Israeli concerns and demands.
But using the MEK will never work out positively for Israel, for the simple reason that the MEK are incapable of making any difference to anyone or any situation of any real importance. Instead the MEK will only make things worse.
The Iranian delegation did not discuss the MEK, nor did they react to the presence of Rajavi nearby – it could be of course that the French parliamentarians hosting the Iranian delegation had been too embarrassed to bring the impromptu affair to their attention as it was irrelevant to the work of the delegation. However, Iran’s Fars News Agency published without comment the content of Maryam Rajavi’s speech which spoke for itself.
Maryam Rajavi tried to claim legitimacy as a result of the failure of a legal case against her and several other leading MEK members. Fortunately, informed people do not make the same assumptions as she does. Indeed, in June a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said France has “no contact with the “People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran” which is known for its use of violence. It has no legal existence in France as an organization. Its violent and undemocratic Ideology has been exposed by several human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International who have reported on the organization’s cultic practices and its refusal to formally renounce violence. We also warn about the intense campaign of disinformation and influence it leads.”
Maryam Rajavi’s speech showed what a liability she and her disinformation are even for her own sponsors. She not only attacked Iraq, Iran and Syria as being responsible for the creation of ISIS, but vehemently attacked the USA too for backing the Maliki government saying: “During these years, not only did the United States not voice any protest against these actions, but they praised Maliki’s measures. The by-product of these crimes was the expansion and strengthening of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. This was the outcome of showing leniency towards the most horrendous dictatorship in contemporary times and its proxies.” She warned: “And now, the mullahs of Iran are exploiting this policy by the West; poised to fill the vacuum created by the ISIS retreat as a result of the international coalition attacks with the militias.”
Yet only a few months previously MEK websites were filled with pages showing support for ISIS when Rajavi believed the terrorist army would overrun Baghdad and take over the MEK camp near the airport.
Rajavi’s speech is largely incoherent and certainly adds up to nothing but disparate rants against everyone and everything. But in that it is inspired by the Israeli way of doing politics. Divorced from reality, Rajavi urges the Western coalition not to work with Iran. Clearly nobody told her about the FRANCE 24 interview with Boroujerdi who said that the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group cannot be trusted. “The very countries that created the Islamic State group are now part of a coalition that … wants to destroy them,” he said. “How can a contradiction like this be resolved? It’s only natural that we cannot trust [the coalition]. We don’t want to enter a political game.”
As though to confirm and cement her ignorance and stupidity, Maryam Rajavi finally mentions her hostages in Camp Liberty and says she hopes that with the “removal of Maliki in Iraq, the French government would use all means possible for Camp Liberty to be recognized as a refugee camp under the United Nations’ supervision”.
Maryam Rajavi has clearly not read Massoud Khodabandeh’s fourth report from Baghdad on the current situation of the MEK and Camp Liberty published in October. This report makes it clear that the new government of Iraq led by Prime Minister Abadi has already put in place plans to expedite and speed up the process of removing the MEK entirely from Iraqi territory. Apparently Abadi is even more keen than Maliki to be rid of the MEK, and the UN agrees.
When a supporter of ISIS sits in the French parliamentary building and attacks President Obama, the cracks are seriously beginning to show in the West’s approach to resolving the whole Middle East situation. Observers may not be sufficiently informed to tell Western governments what to do in their own interests, but any schoolchild can point out the damage the MEK is doing to them.
Below see some screen shots of the official Mojahedin Khalq site showing support for ISIS
(Mojahedin English language paper April 1980)
(Mojahedin English Language paper April 1980)
(Mojahedin English Language paper June 1980)
(Izzat Ebrahim and Massoud Rajavi still at large)
Ironically, only Iran can help America really take control of ISIS.
Anne Khodabandeh, Iranian.com, September 19 2014: … This, however, is not a description of ISIS, it is a description of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the exiled Iranian terrorist group. While ISIS claims to be Sunni, and the MEK claims to be Shiite, there are such significant similarities they can both be defined as destructive cults. The major distinguishing difference …
Ironically, only Iran can help America really take control of ISIS.
President Obama’s short speech to the nation on September 10, addressed the urgent need to take action against the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL). The speech began with a description of ISIS and the danger it poses. Of course Obama used his own potent words to talk about ISIS, but the organisation which he described has the characteristics of a group that:
- Recruits by deception; pretends to embrace religious precepts but in reality pursues an extremist political ideology.
- Holds such simplistic and erroneous beliefs that it can only prevent its members from seeing through them by preventing them from thinking and therefore fills every minute of their day with activity, whether military training or peeling carrots or cleaning latrines.
- Indoctrinates recruits with thought stopping fears and certainties so as to create a stark, unassailable ‘us and them’ mentality, a sense of innate superiority which obliges followers to ruthlessly eliminate all enemies.
- Uses cruel, arbitrary punishments, extra-judicial killings, and example killings to warn against disobedience.
- Demonstrates its abilities through terrorising acts, then boldly advertises that it has killed tens of thousands of people.
- Has a leader who arrogates all rights and knowledge to himself, who dictates the sexual behaviour of his followers and has a hareem of women for his own use.
- A leader who dictates the minutiae of the followers’ lives and operates a strict hierarchy of control with obedience to his whims as the guiding principle for promotion or demotion.
- Is universally hated by ordinary people.
This, however, is not a description of ISIS, it is a description of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the exiled Iranian terrorist group. While ISIS claims to be Sunni, and the MEK claims to be Shiite, there are such significant similarities they can both be defined as destructive cults. The major distinguishing difference of course is the incomprehensible savagery of ISIS, which even the MEK never aspired to.
The MEK operates as a totalitistic, destructive mind control cult which harms its own members as much as its victims. Its past is littered with death and destruction; the MEK has publicly boasted of killing 12,000 during its terrorist campaign against Iran, and it also killed 25,000 Iraqis for Saddam Hussein during its 30 year sojourn in that country. But in spite of this history the MEK now has some high profile advocates in Washington. Some, like Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Hillary Clinton, choose to ignore the unsavoury aspects of the group’s behaviour and embrace its vehemently anti-Iran stance instead.
This was only possible because the MEK were brought under control during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. The militant group were bombed, then disarmed and corralled into a single camp, effectively rendering it impotent as an armed force. The MEK’s means of surviving this was to focus on a new identity and present itself under the guise of a political opposition. Fronting Maryam Rajavi as a democratic, feminist leader the MEK used its apparently unlimited financial resources to court western policy makers with a vague promise of engineering regime change in Iran by acting as the vanguard of a counter revolution. The MEK’s advocates support it not because of its potential as a terrorist force or even because of its numbers which at present comprise fewer than a thousand loyal, active members. Instead, it is as a cult that it has value. The MEK’s ability to deceptively recruit and manipulate people into doing just about anything is its chief asset; an asset that could not be bombed out of them or confiscated along with their weapons. The fact too that MEK followers are not paid and are effectively enslaved, makes it even better value.
This is also why the IRI is still cautious of the group. Observers express themselves puzzled by the sensitivity shown by successive Iranian governments to this apparently toothless tiger. But Iran has a sophisticated understanding of the dangers posed by cultic terror groups born from experience. Iran also understands that simply waging war on such a group, fighting fire with fire, will not destroy it. Iran has been successful in reducing the MEK to nothing more than a lobbying group because its approach to the MEK is as a cult, not just a terrorist organisation. Inside Iran, a country wide attempt is made to educate against the dangers of such cults and controlling groups. It is their way of inoculating the population against deceptive recruitment.
There can be no doubt that ISIS at present is like a mad dog running wild. There can be no comparison between the old defunct MEK and the 30,000 young fanatics who are ISIS. It must be either destroyed completely or brought under control. Like the MEK, ISIS has made sophisticated use of the internet to create a massive cyber presence for itself, on its own terms, which then translates into mainstream media coverage becoming part of its recruiting tool. The immediate concern of western governments is that ISIS must be stopped because it poses a threat to their own populations as much as regional ones; a lesson bitterly taught by Al Qaida.
As a consequence, President Obama has gathered a coalition of forty countries willing to take on IS militarily. But, for all their bravado, the central, unspoken dilemma for all of them is that ISIS has the potential to do precisely what most of these coalition countries want – oust the Assad regime in Syria and push back Iranian influence in Iraq by strengthening the Sunni tribes in the north. This is why, behind the belligerent threats of bombing, the will to actually destroy the group completely is weak. This is why, instead of negotiating a tough pax with the Syrian government, America proposes to flout international law to launch illegal aerial bombing raids into that sovereign country.
In northern Iraq, Iran has shown itself as the US’s natural ally in any effort to contain ISIS. Iran is the one country with the greatest experience of dealing with this kind of cultic terrorist threat, and could perhaps help formulate a comprehensive plan to bring ISIS under control just as the MEK is now under control. Yet Iran remains the US’s greatest nemesis.
What is preventing cooperation on this vital issue is the continued enmity between America and Iran. But the stark fact is that an American policy of threats and sanctions have yielded nothing in the way of stopping or reducing Iran’s regional standing.
Realistically, if America and Israel together could have defeated Iran and forced the country to submit either through sanctions or war, then this would have happened by now. This has not and cannot now happen – not through pre-emptive strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, not through engineering civic riots and insurgency, and certainly not through proxy terrorist groups. But American policy toward Iran, based on what Gareth Porter describes as a manufactured crisis, has ensured that the US is incapable of acknowledging that after Israel, Iran is her natural strategic partner in the Middle East. This is not to say that America has to like the Islamic Republic of Iran, or to stop criticism of its policies or to not drive a hard bargain on nuclear issues. But to continue the hopeless pursuit of regime change at the expense of diplomatic engagement and potential cooperation is self-defeating to say the least.
Already as a result of this misconstrued policy, Iran will certainly enter the next round of nuclear negotiations significantly stronger, rather than weaker. American leverage will be practically null: America’s belligerence toward Russia over the Ukraine has severely, if not permanently, alienated the two countries; Congressional sanctions have forced both Russia and China to pursue separate trade deals with Iran; Germany and France are coolly weighing their economic losses against any political gains in continuing to follow America’s intransigent position toward Iran. Even the plucky, loyal little UK may keep at arms length an American negotiating team which has gone behind their backs before. Without lifting a finger itself, Iran will benefit from these fractures in the P5+1. On top of that, its popular (in the rest of the world), support for the Palestinian cause, its success in helping Iraqi Shia militia repel ISIS, and its principled insistence on Iran’s inalienable right under the terms of the NPT to a civic nuclear power program, will all lend the Iranian negotiators gravitas on the world stage. Perhaps the only option left is for the talks fail, for one side or the other to be forced to walk away from the table. In that case, everyone loses.
Clearly it is controversial to attempt even a neutral description of the Iranian position. To go further and suggest that the US needs to find a way to cooperate with Iran in order to find a way to curtail the horrors of ISIS, is perhaps beyond the pale for many. But when this overwhelming and self-defeating enmity prevents sound political analysis from understanding and acknowledging the real problem, and when this prevents the creation of real, effective solutions, then we need to question where American interests really lie, and who is prepared to serve them.
Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Middle East Strategy Consultants, May 15 2014: … The Skype appearance followed a failed attempt to get Rajavi a US visa during the P5+1 negotiations on May 8. It was known that Rajavi had also applied to visit Canada, but apparently she wasn’t welcome there either, and in the end Rajavi’s speech from her headquarters outside Paris …
Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Middle East Strategy Consultants, May 01 2014: … Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is Chair of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa has been a long time supporter of the MEK, and recently described ‘her friend’ Maryam Rajavi as a human rights advocate – a description which is nonsense to American-Iranians. In …
Michael Rubin, Commentary, April 29 2014: … The Mujahedin al-Khalq may be a lot of things, but it is neither progressive nor is it non-violent. Progressive movements tend not to dictate to women who to marry and who to divorce. It has its roots in the same Islamist currents that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini drank from, and only abandoned the Islamic Republic when its revolutionary …