National Iranian American Council (NIAC), December 09 2016:… Lieberman is chairman of UANI and formerly an advisory board member of an AIPAC organization explicitly established to kill the nuclear deal. In addition to the UANI panel, he appeared at a Capitol Hill event this week organized by the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a shadowy group formerly designated as a terrorist organization …
Nuclear Deal Opponents Urge Military Confrontation with Iran
The U.S. should sink Iranian ships, consider targeted killings of Iranian fighters in Syria, and ratchet up new non-nuclear sanctions on Iran under the Trump Administration, according to a panel of lawmakers and policymakers organized on Capitol Hill yesterday by the hawkish United Against Nuclear Iran organization.
Outlining Trump’s options going forward, Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies said the U.S. must “restore coercion” and recommended direct military confrontation, saying that sanctions alone are not a silver bullet. “The next time a Revolutionary Guard attack boat harasses the U.S. Navy, we should sink it, put it in the bottom of the Gulf,” Dubowitz said. “That would be a good start.” He also noted the possibility of directly targeting Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah proxies that are operating in the Syrian civil war. “Remember, right now Syria is a target-rich environment if you want to go after the Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah, and that’s not just a hypothetical possibility, the Israelis are doing it today…The Israelis are enforcing their red lines, they’re using military force against the Iranians. I think the United States of America could do the same.”
Former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, echoed Dubowitz’s calls for military action, advising Trump to “make it explicit with the power he has as Commander-in-Chief that if they challenge some of our naval assets, we will fire on them. We’ve got to be that explicit.” Lieberman is chairman of UANI and formerly an advisory board member of an AIPAC organization explicitly established to kill the nuclear deal. In addition to the UANI panel, he appeared at a Capitol Hill event this week organized by the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a shadowy group formerly designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department. They have a long history of using violence and terror both against their own members as well as when they were serving as a military force for Saddam Hussein in Iraq. At the UANI event, Lieberman said the goal of increased “pressure” on Iran would be to elicit concessions from Iran by causing them to “begin to wonder about the survival of the regime.”
Military confrontation was only part of the strategy put forward at the UANI briefing. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) joined others in calling for an escalation of sanctions under the Trump administration. She advocated for expanding non-nuclear related sanctions on Iran – including those targeting entire sectors of the Iranian economy – “and perhaps even rolling back or tightening provisions of the JCPOA.” Dubowitz, meanwhile, called to “use our ability under the deal, particularly in non-nuclear sanctions, which the administration itself has admitted are not inconsistent with the JCPOA, to begin to address Iran’s malign activities outside the deal and inside the deal.” Contrary to his assertions, however, the JCPOA prohibits the U.S. from re-imposing sanctions lifted under the nuclear deal under a separate pretext, and the Obama administration has threatened to veto legislation that does so in order to protect the deal.
Ros-Lehtinen, whose former Chief-of-Staff is leading the Trump Transition Team’s approach to Iran, forecasted “a flurry of Iran-related activities early in the New Year” and looked forward to the “opportunity to undo a lot of the problematic concessions that we have seen over the last few years,” adding an enthusiastic “I can’t wait!”
The Israel Project Boosts An Iranian “Terrorist Organization” (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult)
Ali Gharib, Lobelog, March 21 2016:… And yet the revisionism required to accept the latest TIP video’s promotion of Rajavi seems like a huge joke. It’s bad enough that the spot seeks to leverage statements by true defenders of Iranian human rights to suit its agenda—torpedoing the nuclear accord with Iran and, one presumes, eventually toppling the regime by whatever means necessary—but then here comes the MEK. The video holds up Rajavi as an “exiled leader.” …
The Israel Project Boosts An Iranian “Terrorist Organization”
Perhaps some right-wing Israel lobby groups can be forgiven for taking up the cause of the exiled Iranian opposition group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK). The more ignorant among them might see a group headed by a woman, Maryam Rajavi, who claims to champion a secular, human rights-respecting democracy in Iran. They don’t know about Rajavi and the MEK’s history: its violence, its cult-like behavior, and its own history of human rights violations. What they do see—however problematic it might be for the rest of us—is a group monomaniacally focused on overthrowing their nemesis, the Islamic Republic, and that’s good enough.
But the Israel Project (TIP), which featured Maryam Rajavi in an online video earlier this month denouncing the Iranian elections, gets no pass on using the MEK as a bludgeon against Iran. That’s because the Israel Project knows damn well what Rajavi and the MEK are. Consider what TIP head Josh Block had to say about the group in 2011, when he was at the inaptly named Progressive Policy Institute: “The MEK is a terrorist organization. Right? Let’s not kid ourselves.” Yes, let’s not.
And yet the revisionism required to accept the latest TIP video’s promotion of Rajavi seems like a huge joke. It’s bad enough that the spot seeks to leverage statements by true defenders of Iranian human rights to suit its agenda—torpedoing the nuclear accord with Iran and, one presumes, eventually toppling the regime by whatever means necessary—but then here comes the MEK. The video holds up Rajavi as an “exiled leader.” Leader of what? The Israel Project doesn’t say, and that itself is deeply problematic. It creates the impression that Rajavi is the head of an opposition movement that extends beyond merely the diehard adherents of the MEK.
A History with MEK
This isn’t the first time a right-of-center pro-Israel group has sought to bolster its anti-Iran messaging with the MEK. As the MEK lobbied to be removed from the US list of terrorist organizations, it enlisted the help of many pro-Israel figures. Perhaps the most anti-Iran Democratic senator, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, a perennial favorite of pro-Israel advocates, became the largest recipient of MEK cash—and worked to promote their interests—after the group was finally delisted in 2012. And during the fight over the Iran deal, the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) relied on the MEK for television ads put out by its anti-deal spin-off, Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran. Another ad by the group featured a military “expert” who just adores the MEK and even praised the group’s intelligence-gathering capabilities despite its embarrassingly well-known shortcomings.
Even the Israel Project, where, again, head honcho Josh Block considers the MEK a “terrorist organization,” has been playing this game. Just a few short days after the nuclear deal was struck the Israel Project’s Facebook page linked to an article from a ridiculously right-wing Jewish website approvingly quoting Rajavi’s opposition to the deal.
Here’s the thing: You really don’t need the MEK to tell you the Iranian elections are not, to say the least, free and fair. So what purpose does Rajavi’s inclusion serve here? A symbiotic one where the MEK tells these pro-Israel hawks exactly what they want to hear, and in return the groups portray the ex-terrorists as exactly what they are not: a reliable and respectable voice for shaping the future of Iran.
Therein lies an irony. With its assault, earlier in the short video, on the Islamic Republic’s byzantine and constrictive electoral regulations—where an unelected clerical body approves candidates or, more to the point, rejects them—the Israel Project was on the right track. Unless you are dead-set on regime change, Iran’s embattled reformers hold the key to ameliorating what ails that ancient land. And that’s why the Guardian Council locks them out. That said, Iranians have shown an irrepressible desire for reform even when the capital-R Reformers were locked out. In this election, that meant holding their noses and aligning with less-reform-minded figures, such as those belonging to moderate president Hassan Rouhani’s pragmatic conservative camp and even a few conservatives who were still not reactionary. In that, the bid that they played to, Iran’s reformers had a relatively successful election.
Misreading the Green Movement
But even this the Israel Project cannot get right. Just after Rajavi fades off screen in the TIP video, an image of a bloody protester appears. “When Iran faced true moderates in 2009,” blare the block letters in the lower third, referring to the Iranian Green Opposition movement, “they slaughtered 36 people in the street.”
Josh Block might be happy to seize the Green Movement’s mantle, but only now that it is soaked in blood spilled by the regime. It is a grotesque display. Before the 2009 election, Block was saying the same things about the Reformists that would lead the Green Movement as he is today saying about the Rouhani-style moderates the Reformists have formed a tactical alliance with. In June 2009, when he was the spokesman for AIPAC, Block told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “All the candidates are selected and approved by the Mullah-run Guardian Council, which approves a few and spikes hundreds, so it’s more like an ‘election’ in the old USSR than anything else.”
Maybe, in a few years, Block will be singing Rouhani’s praises, claiming his mantle as well. This much is certain: as long as Block and his Israel Project are willing to leverage and boost Maryam Rajavi and the Mojahedin-e Khalq—a group that, again, Block thinks is a “terrorist organization“—they ought not to be taken very seriously on either Iranian politics or American Iran policy.
Mojahedin Khalq (MEK, Rajavi cult) lines up with Israel behind America’s back to kill Iranian nuclear scientists
Beritbart, March 24 2015:… NBC News somehow gains information from “senior Obama administration officials” that Israel had financed and trained the Iranian opposition group Mujahideen-e-Khalq, and adds that the Obama administration had nothing to do with hits on Iranian nuclear scientists. More daylight. More leaks. The same month, Foreign …
Mojahedin Khalq (MEK, Rajavi cult) lines up with Israel behind America’s back to kill Iranian nuclear scientists
[Iran Interlink: The extreme far right Israeli Settlers news outlet reports that the MEK has lined up with Israel to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists behind the back of the American Administration]
Extereme right Isareli Settlers outlet Beritbart: “A Complete Timeline of Obama’s Anti-Israel Hatred”
On Thursday, the press announced that the Obama administration would fully consider abandoning Israel in international bodies like the United Nations.
According to reports, President Obama finally called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to congratulate him – but the “congratulations” was actually a lecture directed at forcing Netanyahu to surrender to the terrorist Palestinian regime.
For some odd reason, many in the media and Congress reacted with surprise to Obama’s supposedly sudden turn on Israel. The media, in an attempt to defend Obama’s radicalism, pretend that Netanyahu’s comments in the late stages of his campaign prompted Obama’s anti-Israel action.
But, in truth, this is the culmination of a longtime Obama policy of destroying the US-Israel relationship; Obama has spent his entire life surrounded by haters of Israel, from former Palestine Liberation Organization spokesman Rashid Khalidi to former Jimmy Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, pro-Hamas negotiator Robert Malley to UN Ambassador Samantha Power (who once suggested using American troops to guard Palestinians from Israelis), Jeremiah Wright (who said “Them Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me”) to Professor Derrick Bell (“Jewish neoconservative racists…are undermining blacks in every way they can”). Here is a concise timeline, with credit to Dan Senor and the editors of Commentary:
February 2008: Obama says while campaigning, ‘There is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you’re anti-Israel.” At the time, as Dan Senor pointed out in The Wall Street Journal, Israel was run by the Kadima government run by Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni, and Shimon Peres, and was attempting desperately to bring the Palestinians to the table. Instead, the Palestinians launch war, as always.
June 2008: Obama tells the American Israel Public Affairs Conference that Jerusalem ought to remain undivided, attempting to woo Jewish votes. He then walks that back the next day, saying only that the capital shouldn’t be divided by barbed wire.
March 2009: The Obama administration reverses the Bush era policy of not joining the United Nations Human Rights Council. Secretary of State Clinton said, “Human rights are an essential element of American global foreign policy,” completely neglecting the UNHRC’s abysmally anti-Semitic record. The Washington Post reported that the administration joined the Human Rights Council even though they conceded that it “has devoted excessive attention to alleged abuses by Israel and too little to abuses in places such as Darfur, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.”
May 2009: Obama tells Netanyahu that “settlements have to be stopped in order for us to move forward.” Netanyahu announces a settlement freeze to comply. The Palestinians refuse to negotiate. Obama then slams Israel: “they still found it very hard to move with any bold gestures.”
June 2009: Obama tells the world in his infamous Cairo speech that Israel was only created based on Jewish suffering in the Holocaust. He then says that Palestinians have been similarly victimized by the Jews: “They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.”
July 2009: Obama threatens to put “daylight” between the United States and Israel. He tells Jewish leaders, “Look at the past eight years. During those eight years, there was no space between us and Israel, and what did we get from that?” Except for Israel forcibly removing thousands of Jews from the Gaza Strip, the election of Hamas, and the launch of war by the Palestinians and Hezbollah, nothing happened. Obama then lectures the Jews about the need for Israeli “self-reflection.” The same month, Obama tells CNN that the United States would “absolutely not” give Israel permission to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.
September 2009: Obama tells the United Nations that “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.” Obama’s definition of Israeli settlements, as the world soon learned, included building bathrooms in a home already owned by Jews in East Jerusalem. Obama offers no serious criticism of the Palestinians.
March 2010: Obama follows up on his threatening language about settlements by deploying Vice President Joe Biden to Israel, where Biden rips into the Israelis for building bathrooms in Jerusalem, the eternal Jewish capital. Hillary Clinton then yells at Netanyahu for nearly an hour on the phone, telling him he had “harmed the bilateral relationship.” David Axelrod calls the building plans an “insult” to the United States. When Netanyahu visits the White House a week and a half later, Obama makes him leave via a side door.
April 2010: Obama refuses to prevent the Washington summit on nuclear proliferation from becoming an Arab referendum on the evils of Israel’s nukes.
June 2010: An anonymous “US defense source” leaks to the Times of London that Israel had cut a deal with the Saudis to use their airspace to strike Iran. The deal is scuttled.
May 2011: The State Department labeled Jerusalem not a part of Israel. The same month, Obama demanded that Israel make concessions to the Palestinians based on the pre-1967 borders, which Israelis call the “Auschwitz borders” thanks to their indefensibility.
November 2011: Obama and French president Nicolas Sarkozy are caught on open mic ripping Netanyahu, with Sarkozy stating, “I can’t stand him, he’s a liar,” and Obama replying, “You’re tired of him? What about me? I have to deal with him every day.”
December 2011: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rips into the State of Israel, stating that it is moving in the “opposite direction” of democracy. She said that Israel reminded her of Rosa Parks, and that religious people not listening to women sing – a millennia-long policy among some segments of the Orthodox – reminds her of extremist regimes, adding that it seemed “more suited to Iran than Israel.“
February 2012: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta tells David Ignatius at the Washington Postthat the possibility he worried about most was that Israel would strike Iran. The Post then adds, “Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June – before Iran enters what Israelis described as a ‘zone of immunity’ to commence building a nuclear bomb.” The goal: to delay any potential Israeli strike.
March 2012: NBC News somehow gains information from “senior Obama administration officials” that Israel had financed and trained the Iranian opposition group Mujahideen-e-Khalq, and adds that the Obama administration had nothing to do with hits on Iranian nuclear scientists. More daylight. More leaks. The same month, Foreign Policy receives information from “four senior diplomats and military intelligence officers” that the “United States has recently been granted access to Iran’s northern border.” Foreign Policy also reports that a “senior administration official” has told them, “The Israelis have bought an airfield, and the airfield is Azerbaijan.” Again, a potential Israeli strike is scuttled. The same day as the Foreign Policy report, Bloomberg reports a Congressional Research Service report stating that Israel can’t stop Iran’s nuclear program in any case. Columnist Ron Ben-Yishai of Yidioth Ahronoth writes that the Obama administration wants to “erode the IDF’s capacity to launch such strike with minimal casualties.”
June 2012: In an attempt to shore up the Jewish vote, top members of the Obama administration, including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and then-CIA director Leon Panetta were quoted by David Sanger of The New York Times talking about the President’s supposedly deep involvement in the Stuxnet plan to take out Iran’s nuclear reactors via computer virus. Until that point, it had been suspected but not confirmed that Stuxnet was an Israeli project. The Obama administration denied leaking the information. A year later, the State Department released emails showing that Sanger had corresponded regularly with all the top Obama officials, including correspondence on Stuxnet.
December 2012: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the Saban Forum on US-Israel Relations, where she says that Israelis have a “lack of empathy” for Palestinians, and that the Israelis need to “demonstrate that they do understand the pain of an oppressed people in their minds.”
March 2013: Obama forces Netanyahu to call Islamist Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to apologize for Israel’s actions to stop a terrorist-arming flotilla from entering the Gaza Strip to aid Hamas. Erdogan had recently labeled Zionism racism.
May 2013: Members of the Obama Pentagon leak information that Israel attacked the Damascus airport to stop a shipment of weapons to terrorist groups. Obama officials actually had to apologize for this leak, since it endangered American lives. They blamed “low-level” employees.
June 2013: The Obama administration leaks specific information regarding Israeli Arrow 3 anti-ballistic missile sites. Weeks later, US sources tell CNN that Israel attacked a Syrian installation full of Russian-provided missiles. The same month, “American intelligence analysts” tell the New York Times that Israeli strikes had not been effective. All that information was classified.
June 2014: Three Jewish teenagers are kidnapped, including an American, and murdered by Hamas. The Obama administration immediately calls on Israel for restraint, and says it will continue to work with a Palestinian unity government including Hamas. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says that the Obama administration wants “the Israelis and the Palestinians continue to work with one another on that, and we certainly would continue to urge that… in spite of, obviously, the tragedy and the enormous pain on the ground.” Throughout the ensuing Gaza War, in which Hamas fired rockets at Israeli civilians and tunnels were uncovered demonstrating Hamas’ intent to kidnap Israeli children, the Obama administration criticized Israel’s prosecution of the war.
August 2014: In the middle of a shooting war, Obama stopped weapons shipment to Israel. According to the Wall Street Journal, Obama found out that Israel asked the Defense Department for shipments of Hellfire missiles. Obama personally stepped in and blocked the shipments.
October 2014: Jeffrey Goldberg, court Jew for the Obama administration, releases an article in The Atlantic quoting Obama officials calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit.” Goldberg, naturally, blames Netanyahu (of course, he also wrote in 2008 that any Jew who feared Obama on Israel was an “obvious racist”).
January 2015: Obama deploys his campaign team to defeat Netanyahu in Israel. A group titled “One Voice,” funded by American donors, pays for the Obama campaign team, led by Obama 2012 field director Jeremy Bird. The announcement comes days after Speaker of the House John Boehner’s invite to Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress. Obama quickly announced he would not meet with Netanyahu, making the excuse that the meeting would come too close to the election.
March 2015: Netanyahu wins. Obama refuses to call him to congratulate him for two days. When he does, he threatens to remove American support in the international community, even as he moves to loosen sanctions and weapons embargoes on Iran.
Nothing has changed. Obama is who he always was. The mask has simply been removed.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.
The Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and Its Media Strategy: Methods of Information Manufacture
Iran Interlink, February 04 2015:… A review authored by Massoud and Anne Khodabandeh has been published in Asian Politics and Policy, Media Reviews. The article titled ‘The Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and Its Media Strategy: Methods of Information Manufacture’ looks at the MEK’s historical manipulation of various media over thirty years …
Asian Politics and Policy
The Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and Its Media Strategy: Methods of Information Manufacture
A review authored by Massoud khodabandeh and Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) from Middle East Strategy Consultants has been published in Asian Politics and Policy, Media Reviews. (Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2015)
The article titled ‘The Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and Its Media Strategy: Methods of Information Manufacture’ looks at the MEK’s historical manipulation of various media over thirty years. Other terrorist entities such as Al Qaida and ISIS have only recently shown themselves media savvy and have been able to create artificial reputations through exploiting both media and internet communications. In this review the authors demonstrate that the MEK has long pursued this propaganda strategy.
“… this overview seeks to demonstrate how and why, through a sophisticated and persistent media campaign, the MEK has created a place for itself on the Iranian political scene totally disproportionate to its capabilities and support base; and how from this aggrandized position the MEK has exerted a negative influence over Western opinion and policymaking toward the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and Iraq, which began long before and reaches far wider than its role in Tehran’s nuclear dossier. Also, this review seeks to indicate that while this propaganda campaign has been highly successful for the MEK, it has been deliberately detrimental to the growth of a civil opposition movement in Iran as well as significantly affecting Western foreign policy toward the IRI in adverse ways.
“The MEK stands out as perhaps a unique example of a belligerent entity that exploits to the maximum a range of propaganda methods and outlets in the West to project itself in the international community as a constructive, almost benign, force. Far from avoiding publicity, the MEK has done everything in its power to maximize what can be described as its virtual presence. In addition to its native Farsi, the group disseminates information about and projects an image of itself in English, French, German and Arabic, in print, in broadcast and on Internet media. But insofar as it has no popular support among indigenous or diaspora Iranians, its image as a popular resistance movement has been largely invented.”
Read the full article at:
Khodabandeh, M. (2015), The Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and Its Media Strategy: Methods of Information Manufacture. Asian Politics & Policy, 7: 173–177. doi: 10.1111/aspp.12164
MEPs support for MEK terrorists undermines human rights pressure on Iran
(letter to Federica Mogherini)
Massoud Khodabandeh, Middle East Strategy Consultants, London, December 09 2014:… By publishing an article directed by the MEK, a group of MEPs has played directly into the hands of Iran’s hardliners. The MEPs Gérard DEPREZ, Tunne KELAM, Ryszard CZARNECKI EP Vice-President, Eduard KUKAN, José BOVÉ, Julie WARD, and Rina Ronja KARI are …
MEPs support for MEK terrorists undermines human rights pressure on Iran
Open Letter to Federica Mogherini, the new EU foreign policy chief
As you are aware the Iranian Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group works through the “Friends of a Free Iran” in the European Parliament. This parliament is to give a platform today (December 10) to the second-in-command of this group Maryam Rajavi (a private room has been hired in the buildings by one of the MEK’s lobbyists purely for lobbying purposes). Not only that, a group of MEPs has boldly written to you demanding you change your policy to suit this woman. What possibly can be their motive? As a European citizen and an expert in the field of cults and terrorism, I cannot agree that you ignore such a presence in the parliament. It cannot be in the best interests of the European Parliament as a home to democracy to give a platform to for what is an undemocratic stance toward the people of Iran.
By publishing an article directed by the MEK, a group of MEPs has played directly into the hands of Iran’s hardliners. The MEPs Gérard DEPREZ (ALDE – Belgium), Tunne KELAM (EPP – Estonia), Ryszard CZARNECKI EP Vice-President (ECR – Poland), Eduard KUKAN (EPP – Slovakia), José BOVÉ (Greens – France) Julie WARD (S&D – UK) and Rina Ronja KARI (GUE/NGL – Denmark) are members of the MEK’s ‘Friends of a Free Iran’ in the European Parliament.
The article starts with the claim that Ban Ki Moon said people should hold their governments to account. He did not say that the EP should interfere in the internal affairs of another country. Certainly these MEPs have no mandate to hold another country’s government to account in this way. It is not their elected government, but that of a sovereign nation with its own electorate. It is certain Ban Ki Moon was referring to this electorate when he made this statement.
However, let us allow that Iran’s human rights record, like that of every other country of the world, should come under proper scrutiny. The proper bodies to conduct such research are those quoted by these MEPs – the UN – in particular the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran – Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty International. The reports of these bodies are public knowledge and widely available.
(Interestingly, in addition to all these human rights bodies, there is hardly a group or organisation or government, and not a single Iranian opposition group inside or outside Iran which has not condemned the Mojahedin Khalq for its human rights abuses time and time again.)
Now, if the MEPs do indeed see fit to challenge Iran over this issue on International Human Rights Day, is it not proper to do so directly, through dialogue, communication and diplomacy, rather than a futile rant. A rant which, in addition, quotes the second-in-command of the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group, Maryam Rajavi. This group of MEPs has been persuaded – somehow – to have her words put into their mouths as though they cannot make their own statements or figure out their own political arguments. (The MEK shoehorned one of their favourite words, ‘embolden’, into the piece but didn’t manage to get another favourite, ‘appeasement’ in.)
As a result they stupidly allow themselves to say such things as “Tehran has also been the center [sic] for the expansion of terrorism and fundamentalism throughout the region, endangering world peace and security.” The article cannot and does not present any evidence for this opinion. Indeed, most sensible people anywhere would point first to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States as the source of increased terrorism and fundamentalism in the region. But then, the MEK are known advocates of ISIS and other terrorist groups.
Relying on this argument, these MEPs are demanding less dialogue with Iran, not more. Again, back to the ‘let’s bomb Iran or at least disrupt dialogue’ narrative.
Such nonsense has delighted Iran. The semi-official Fars News Agency has immediately translated the article for distribution among Farsi speakers in Iran and worldwide. What better argument could the hardliners have that the issue of human rights is being politicised than to have the leader of a notorious terrorist group put their words into your mouth.
These MEPs really need to get to grips with the fact they are being manipulated into pursuing an agenda not of their own making, which ultimately serves to worsen human rights in Iran and to help crush any indigenous opposition movements and activities. Any Iranian not associated with the MEK terrorist group – on any side of the argument – will tell them this.
Massoud Khodabandeh, Iranian.com, May 05 2014: … these anti-Iranian hardliners in the USA, headed by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, already failed in a provocative bid to bring the Mojahedin Khalq’s second-in-command Maryam Rajavi to the US to speak in Washington to coincide with the nuclear talks. Such a visit could have only one purpose; the hope that Iran would …
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 …
Farideh Farhi, Lobelog, April 22 2014: … members (some of them with links to the exiled Iranian opposition group, the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK), such as Spanish EPP member Alejo Vidal-Quadras and British ECR member Struan Stevenson) proposed amendments deleting the call for an opening of the EU office in Tehran, fully in line with the position of their supposed enemies — Iranian hardliners …