Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – December 16, 2016

Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – December 16, 2016

 Iran Interlink Weekly DigestIran Interlink, December 16 2016:… A further backlash occurred in Tirana. Maryam Rajavi has been pumping up her followers with promises that now Donald Trump has been elected as US President he has ‘personally assured me’ that he will help the MEK. However, now that Rudy Giuliani is out of the picture, it is clear there is no substance to her claims and the members have become deflated and depressed again …

Maryam Rajavi terrorist syriaThe Mojahedin Khalq (Rajavi cult) and Saddam’s daughter support the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)

(Maryam Rajavi directly ordered the massacre of Kurdish people)

http://iran-interlink.org 

Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – December 16, 2016

Iran Interlink Weekly Digest++ Politically, the MEK have been flying the flag for Syria this week, working hard to promote the West’s Aleppo agenda. Farsi commentators have suggested that the MEK did the same propaganda work for Saddam hoping the West would pay them, but see what happened to him. Not only will the MEK get nothing for promoting the Syrian issue, but it appears they have forgotten who they are and what they are for.

++ A further backlash occurred in Tirana. Maryam Rajavi has been pumping up her followers with promises that now Donald Trump has been elected as US President he has ‘personally assured me’ that he will help the MEK. However, now that Rudy Giuliani is out of the picture, it is clear there is no substance to her claims and the members have become deflated and depressed again.

++ In Tirana, the MEK is working flat out to somehow prevent any families from Europe or North America, or anywhere, from visiting Albania. They are very afraid of this happening.

++ Also in Tirana, former members have issued a collective statement warning about Rajavi’s new phase which involves intimidation and threats to kill former MEK members living in Albania. Gangs of MEK follow them in the street, swear at them and make life difficult for them in any way possible. Now the MEK are activated in this way their history shows there is a very real threat to the formers. The MEK have previously harmed, seriously injured and killed dissenters in Europe.

++ The MEK has trafficked several of its operatives out of Albania. Some have been seen in Sweden collecting money in the streets. One member of the public who had been approached for a charity donation showed the documentation used by the MEK to a former member who lives in Stockholm. He reported that the MEK does not use its own logo and instead prints Swedish governmental charity logos on its (false) documentation. They ask for National Insurance numbers and bank account details to process donations. The donations are demanded using ridiculous stories such as ‘there are over a thousand people on death row in Iran and if you don’t pay to help them immediately, they will die’. Three of these MEK members were recognised by the Stockholm resident as fully radicalised operatives, trained by Saddam’s Mokhaberat in dissembling, bomb making and assassination techniques among other skills. They use local MEK supporters as interpreters.

++ Neda-ye Haghighat website is running a project to collect the names, stories and photographs of internal victims of the MEK – those killed internally in one way or another. Each week the site publishes their stories along with evidence. This week, number 25 and 26 were published: the stories of Alireza Taherlou and Morteza Houdashtban who were killed by the MEK in Camp Ashraf whilst being imprisoned for dissent.

In English:

++ Will Bredderman in Observer Media reported that Rudi Giuliani had “had voluntarily ‘removed his name from consideration for a position in the new administration’ all the way back on November 29”. “… Giuliani, Trump and White House chief of staff-to-be Reince Priebus released a joint statement announcing the decision late today, an age-old practice for burying unflattering news. Priebus, the outgoing chairman of the Republican National Committee, stated that America’s mayor ‘was vetted by our team for any possible conflicts and passed with flying colors’— despite the payments he and his company Giuliani Partners have received from the Islamic State-funding government of Qatar or the registered terrorist group Mujahedin e-Khalq, a banished Iranian political party.”

++ An Open Letter to Baroness Afshar by Anne Khodabandeh of Open Minds and published by Iran Interlink commiserated with the respected Iranian women’s rights advocate over a debate she called in the House of Lords last week. Whilst the other participants echoed her call for the UK government to put diplomatic pressure on Iran over its human rights record, Lord Alton, without a qualm of conscience, entered the debate by promoting and praising Maryam Rajavi and her “commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to other international instruments”. Khodabandeh described this as ‘throwing a mouse in the stew’ after a Persian proverb. “Rather than enjoying a free and productive discussion about human rights in Iran, the whole debate was contaminated by Lord Alton’s unwarranted support for a terrorist group which is known far and wide for its war crimes and crimes against humanity. We cannot now expect Iran not to take advantage of this speech and denounce the UK for double standards and supporting a terrorist group.”

++ Daniel Benjamin’s second article in Politico Magazine ‘Yes, We Do Know the MEK Has a Terrorist Past’ completely refuted an attempt by Robert Torricelli to do “what the group’s supporters always do: He rewrites history, and then smears the group’s critics”. Benjamin uses several examples of US governmental and academic assessments of the MEK’s sordid and bloody history over decades to trounce Torricelli’s attempts to whitewash the group’s past. He concludes “It’s probably too much to ask that Robert Torricelli or any of the renowned political figures supporting the MEK reconsider their views. But others in Congress and the public ought to consult the abundance of evidence of the MEK’s troubling history, including the abuse of its members relayed in reports by such observers as Human Rights Watch and the account of its efforts to buy influence on Capitol Hill contained in the memoir by former Congressman (and onetime Iran-based CIA operative) Robert Ney. A more informed debate about the MEK might start there.”

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Anne Khdabandeh Cults and Terror (Open Minds)Open Minds – Explaining Radicalisation for Prevent and Channel

Prevent Suffolk Conference 22 March 2016Anne Singleton, Prevent Suffolk Conference 22 March 2016
From Attraction to Action — How Young People Are Radicalized 

Also read:
http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=7979

House debate contaminated by Maryam Rajavi lobbyist Lord Alton (Open letter to Baroness Afshar) 

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) 2016Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Open Minds, December 12 2016:… As a Farsi speaker I am sure you will understand when I describe Lord Alton’s contribution as throwing a mouse in the stew (moosh andakhtane Lord Alton dar dige hoghoogh bashar); he ruined it for everyone. Rather than enjoying a free and productive discussion about human rights in Iran, the whole debate was contaminated by Lord Alton’s … 

Maryam Rajavi Saddam's private army NCRIIntroducing Maryam Rajavi as a human rights activist is the wrong tool for the wrong job

The Life of Camp Ashraf Mojahedin-e Khalq – Victims of Many Masters By Anne Singleton and Massoud Khodabandeh

Open Minds

House debate contaminated by Maryam Rajavi lobbyist Lord Alton (Open letter to Baroness Afshar)

Dear Lady Afshar,

baronness_haleh_afshar

Baroness Afshar

We are fortunate in the UK to have in the House of Lords an Iranian woman with your distinguished past as Professor of Politics at York University and as a highly-respected advocate for Iranian and Muslim women’s rights.

The House of Lords debate you called on December 8 was most welcome and timely. Your call to exert diplomatic pressure on Iran over its failure to administer true justice to its citizens and its mistreatment of named individuals was an admirable example of ‘speaking truth to power’.

“Having spoken truth to power all my life, I find that in this country I am invited to apply to join your Lordships’ House. I fear that in my own birthplace I would be put in prison and maybe the UK Government would not be able to help.”

Surely then you were as dismayed and frustrated as myself and many others that Lord Alton brushed aside your “deep personal experiences and knowledge of Iran” to opportunistically launch into his stock speech in support of the notorious National Council of Resistance of Iran (aka MEK, MKO, PMOI, Rajavi cult) and its leader Maryam Rajavi. To say this was an unwanted and irrelevant intervention is an understatement. Indeed, when he referred to Maryam Rajavi’s (fictitious) “commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to other international instruments”, I was deeply dismayed.

Over decades, report after report by human rights bodies including various offices of the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have charted the appalling violation of every single article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by Maryam Rajavi and her late husband in relation to their own followers. Surely it is common knowledge – at least among Iranians – that members of the MEK are held in a state of modern slavery and subjected to bizarre cultic abuses.

As a Farsi speaker I am sure you will understand when I describe Lord Alton’s contribution as throwing a mouse in the stew (moosh andakhtane Lord Alton dar dige hoghoogh bashar); he ruined it for everyone.

Rather than enjoying a free and productive discussion about human rights in Iran, the whole debate was contaminated by Lord Alton’s unwarranted support for a terrorist group which is known far and wide for its war crimes and crimes against humanity. We cannot now expect Iran not to take advantage of this speech and denounce the UK for double standards and supporting a terrorist group.

Some in the west perhaps forget that the Iranian establishment controls the narrative on the MEK in Iran and not Maryam Rajavi, and that it has lost no opportunity in the past to bring victims of MEK bombings as well as former members to the screen to testify to the MEK’s (irrefutable) acts of terrorism, treachery and human rights abuses.

As a result of its bloody and treacherous past the MEK is reviled both inside and outside Iran. I would challenge anyone to find an Iranian who has not been paid or brainwashed by the MEK who would advocate for the group. What possible motive could Lord Alton have to support this group for three decades in full knowledge of their past and current human rights abuses? What possible benefit could be brought to the debate on human rights in Iran by such support?

As a respected member of the House and an Iranian woman who for decades has advocated for women and human rights you know that this directly damages every effort by activists and protestors inside and outside Iran to democratically challenge and change their government’s suppressive, discriminatory and harmful policies. Support for Maryam Rajavi and the MEK plays directly into the hands of the hardliners who like nothing better than to point to UK support for MEK terrorism to justify their continued crackdown on civil protest.

(END)

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Comrades in Arms – Sexual abuse by Massoud and Maryam Rajavi
https://youtu.be/jpDUMaIntS8

Anne Khodabandeh London Sep 2014Expert in cultic abuse and terrorism in the MEK speaks in London charity meeting

آن خدابنده سرگی بلیسکوPresident of MIVILUDES Serge Blisko with Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) of the FST. FECRIS 2015

U.S. pushes Mojahedin Khalq to accept Albanian asylum offer (2013)

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton Baghdad university)Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), University of Baghdad:
MEK’s Western backers are complicit in their deaths

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) and Nasrin Ebrahimi, European Parlaiment:Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) and Nasrin Ebrahimi, European Parlaiment:
Silencing the victims of Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult, PMOI, NCRI …) to promote Maryam Rajavi

Anne Singleton from Iran-Interlink visits Camp New Iraq (Formerly Ashraf) in wake of violence by loyalists of the Rajavi cultAnne Singleton from Iran-Interlink
visits Camp New Iraq (Formerly Ashraf)
in wake of violence by loyalists of the Rajavi cult

‘No Exit’ – Human Rights Abuses Inside the Mojahedin Khalq Camps – Human Rights Watch, May 2005

Document on Mojahedin Khalq released by RAND (The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq, A Policy Conundrum)

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Also read:
http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=6574

Open Letter to Susana Klien and Caroline Haworth of Womankind Worldwide

A number of survivors of Rajavi cult,  August 31 2015:… This summer, your charity floated an engaging invitation on its Facebook page for women to nominate their ‘women’s rights idol’. Sadly, perhaps inevitably, Womankind was then inundated with nominations and praise for Maryam Rajavi. The effect has been to hijack the page and spoil its intent. The Mojahedin are …

محمدی و حسین نژاد قربانیان فرقه رجوی مجاهدین خلقOur story thus far: Another Mojahedin attack on two fathers and the sister of MEK’s captives

Maryam Rajavi Saddam's private army NCRICouncil of Foreign Relations, 2014: Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK). Backgrounders

(Received with many thanks – Iran Interlink)

Open Letter to Susana Klien and Caroline Haworth of Womankind Worldwide

تعدادی از زنان نجات یافته از فرقه رجوی مجاهدین خلق

As the outgoing and the incoming CEOs you will both be sensitive to the enduring reputation of your valuable charity Womankind Worldwide. We hope therefore that you are aware by now that you have become the latest target for another of the Mojahedin Khalq’s deceptive propaganda campaigns.

This summer, your charity floated an engaging invitation on its Facebook page for women to nominate their ‘women’s rights idol’. Sadly, perhaps inevitably, Womankind was then inundated with nominations and praise for Maryam Rajavi. The effect has been to hijack the page and spoil its intent.

The Mojahedin are not doing this to promote women’s rights and cannot point to a single real-life example of what Maryam Rajavi is supposed to have done to help women. Instead they are trying to whitewash their savage past and evade the court cases and allegations of gross human rights abuses inside the organisation.

We are all witnesses to the cruelties Maryam Rajavi has inflicted on the female members of the cult she created with her fugitive husband Massoud Rajavi. Maryam Rajavi is indisputably responsible for the deaths and mistreatment of tens of women members. And this is an ongoing problem. Only this month Maryam Rajavi’s response to a young Iranian Canadian woman who visited her headquarters in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, searching for her sister, was to send a gang of thugs into the street to beat her up. This is not the action of a defender of women’s rights.

Have no doubt, Maryam Rajavi’s notoriety is known worldwide – from the US State Department and Human Rights Watch to the Human Rights Ministry of Iraq. And closer to home, the Foreign and Commonwealth office and the Home Office in the UK.

Although we are confident that you have no intention of allowing the reputation of Womankind Worldwide to be tarnished by association with this cult and its leaders, we thought a friendly heads-up to be appropriate at this stage. All of us are happy to provide more information on this issue. The following links are a good starting point.

Yours sincerely,

Batoul Soltani – Germany
Open letter of Iranian Women’s Association to Mr. Otto Bernhardet: Do you know who Maryam Rajavi is?

Homeyra Mohammad Nejad – Germany
Open letter to Mrs. Jane Holl Lute

Nasrin Ebrahimi – Switzerland
Beware of Maryam Rajavi’s deception (open letter to Régine Deforge)

Zahra Mirbagheri – Iran
78 signatories: Mojahedin Khalq terror group are threatening to kill us in your country (Open letter to François Hollande)

Zahra Moini – Germany
President Hollande should curtail violent activities of Mojahedin Khalq (Rajavi cult) in France

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) – U.K.
Silencing the victims of Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult, PMOI, NCRI …) to promote Maryam Rajavi

And some relevant links:

In 1997, the Home Secretary excluded Mrs Rajavi from the UK on the ground that “ We need to take a firm stance against terrorism”. That exclusion remains in force.
http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2014/11/12/government-may-weigh-rights-against-national-security-without-courts-interference/

Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK). Backgrounders
http://www.cfr.org/iran/mujahadeen-e-khalq-mek/p9158

No Exit: Human Rights Abuses inside the Mojahedin Khalq Camps
http://www.hrw.org/legacy/backgrounder/mena/iran0505/

UN: continued concerns about abuses committed by the PMOI/MeK leadership.
http://www.uniraq.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1567:unami-half-yearly-report-on-human-rights-january-to-june-2013&Itemid=605&lang=en

New document on Mojahedin Khalq released by RAND (The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq, A Policy Conundrum)
http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG871.html

State Department’s Report on Mojahedin Khalq Orgainsation, Rajavi cult
http://www.iran-interlink.org/?mod=view&id=2309

Iran Interlink Fourth Report from Baghdad
http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=5536

Comrades in Arms – Sexual abuse by Massoud and Maryam Rajavi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpDUMaIntS8&feature=youtu.be

An Unfinished documentary for my daughter – Trapped in Rajavi cult, Mojahedin Khalq
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEb5-ZBuk4k

Miss Mohammady: Our story thus far: Another Mojahedin attack on two fathers and the sister of MEK’s captives
http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=6454

Behind the deceptive face of Maryam Rajavi’s Women’s Day meeting in Berlin
http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=5906

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Judit Neurink: Iranian resistance group MKO to move to Albania

Also read:
http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=2462

Silencing the victims of Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult, PMOI, NCRI …) to promote Maryam Rajavi – March 2013

Anne Singleton (Khodabandeh), Middle East Strategy Consultants, March 06 2013: … These women face a backlash of ‘power and money’ to stop them talking, while the same ‘power and money’ grooms the perpetrator, Maryam Rajavi, to talk about the rights of women and criticise marriage laws and say how they should be changed in the favour of women. ‘Power and money’ believe the MEK should not only be removed from terrorism lists but should be paraded in parliaments as exemplars of feminism. ‘Power and money’ are so dishonest that they cast the MEK in the role of victim while condemning the former women members as torturers, spies and agents …

(Maryam Rajavi directly ordered the massacre of Kurdish people)
 
Anne Singleton (Khodabandeh), Middle East Strategy Consultants, March 06 2013
http://www.mesconsult.com
Author of “Saddam’s Private Army” and “The life of Camp Ashraf”
http://www.camp-ashraf.com
International Women’s Day on 8 March is rooted in women’s demands for better working pay and conditions, and for voting rights, and has expanded to encompass women’s global struggle for equal rights and equal participation in social, political and economic processes.
In spite of considerable progress, continued vigilance and action are required to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life all over the world.
In this context what are we to understand about Maryam Rajavi’s claim to feminist credentials?
Rather than take Maryam Rajavi’s words and image at face value, let us examine her actions and behaviour toward women in her own organisation. The best people to help in this respect are the women members of the Mojahedin. Understandably, current female MEK members cannot speak freely about their experience of being in this organisation because they must only iterate the MEK’s public stance.
However, those women who have recently left the MEK are certainly free to talk about the situation for women inside the MEK. Even so, their courage must be acknowledged. Not only is it difficult for women to break social taboos to talk about sexual abuse, but like whistleblowers everywhere, they are subjected to enormous pressure to keep quiet.
Indeed, just a glance at the difficulties faced by these women in recent months speaks volumes about the MEK’s real approach to women. Since making public statements in a conference held the Autumn of 2012 about sexual abuses committed by the MEK leaders, Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, against them and other women members, the following incidents have taken place against these women.
Batoul Soltani previously spoke out about the abuse of women in the MEK in both Baghdad and now in Europe where she lives. She was recently attacked in front of her house and her neighbours had to come to her rescue. The MEK have published indecipherable false documents on their websites alleging that while she was a member of the Mojahedin’s Leadership Council (the highest rank after the Rajavis), she was working for the Iranian Intelligence Ministry. Batoul joined the MEK with her husband and two month old baby when she was barely eighteen years old. She had been a member for over twenty years.
Nasrin Ebrahimi, who now lives in Switzerland, was fourteen years old when she was taken to the MEK’s Camp Ashraf in Iraq. She was only able to escape after the American army forced the MEK to disarm in 2003. Nasrin was invited to the European Parliament to testify about her experience as a woman in the Mojahedin. After that she suffered such severe harassment by the MEK that she changed country twice to escape them. Police have had to protect her for some time against the MEK. Recently she has again been approached and threatened in Switzerland for joining the group of women exposing the abuses.
Zahra Bagheri crawled combat-style over a kilometre for hours in the dark to escape Camp Ashraf. Her body was so lacerated and bleeding that the Iraqi soldiers who found her wept on seeing her injuries. She spent several weeks in hospital recovering from this ordeal. In addition she has had to undergo various operations in Germany because of neglect of her medical conditions while she was in Ashraf. She also joined the other women in the Autumn 2012 conference. The MEK are currently using her two sisters and her brother who remain in Camp Liberty to perform on their TV to swear at Zahra and their mother.
In the last two months, three more women have escaped from Camp Liberty. Seeing this treatment is it surprising that they are reluctant to talk to human rights investigators in Iraq even though privately they corroborate the experiences told by the women above.
They talk about Maryam Rajavi grooming young women and having them dance naked for her and Massoud. They say that after raping them Massoud gives them a medallion with his picture on it. There are 100 names, perhaps more, of women who have had hysterectomies; that is one in ten women in the MEK. They say this is done so that Rajavi can order them to sleep with him or any other man without fear of pregnancy.
 
It is public knowledge that the MEK instigated forced divorces long before the fall of Saddam so that for twenty years there have been no children in the MEK. In interviews with the BBC they proudly announced it and defended this policy. According to recent escapees, Rajavi has told the MEK the following: ‘According to Islamic rule, if a woman turns against her husband he has the right to kill her. According to the Internal Revolution you are all my wives. So if any of you betrays me and leaves the MEK I have the right to kill you under Islamic law.’ On the MEK websites they have published Massoud Rajavi’s threat: ‘I have evidence about everybody and if they leave I will expose them.’ It is thought he may have film of sexual acts.
(Women “rewarded” with pendants and robes after sexual ordeal)
 
The MEK have for decades used violence, intimidation and harassment to prevent former members from speaking publicly about the abuses taking place inside the organisation.
News of these activities is suppressed because some people think that terrorism is a useful tool. These women face a backlash of ‘power and money’ to stop them talking, while the same ‘power and money’ grooms the perpetrator, Maryam Rajavi, to talk about the rights of women and criticise marriage laws and say how they should be changed in the favour of women. ‘Power and money’ believe the MEK should not only be removed from terrorism lists but should be paraded in parliaments as exemplars of feminism. ‘Power and money’ are so dishonest that they cast the MEK in the role of victim while condemning the former women members as torturers, spies and agents.
No one expects ‘power and money’ to take the side of victims, but to turn the tables in this way is truly sickening
***

Dear Washington: Kick Out This Iranian Militant Cult

Holly Dagres, Huffington Post, December 12 2014:… Maryam Rajavi’s marriage to one of the original founders of the MEK symbolized the transformation from an organization to a “cult of personality.” With the money provided by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein–they formed an alliance due to a deep disdain for the Iranian regime–to “construct self-sufficient camps” …

Discovering Iran (Women of Iran, Washington just doesn’t get it)

ثریا سپهرپور - اولریشSoraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, Foreign Policy Journal, November 08 2014:…In addition to the “Iran experts”, Washington has found itself other sources of ‘intelligence’, foremost; the Mojahedeen Khalg (MEK) terrorist cult. This group feeds Washington information provided them by Israel. Previous to this assignment, the cult was busy fighting alongside Saddam …

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 …

Azar (Mona) Hossein Nejad asks UNHCR to transfer her sister out of Camp Liberty

Azar Hossein Nejad, Hossin Nejad weblog, January 01 2015:…  I am contacting you to ask for your help regarding the situation of my sister, Zeinab Hossein Nejad, a 36 years old woman who is living in Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq.  I never saw my parents or sister during my childhood and youth as all of them had to run for their lives. They left Iran along …  

European Conservatives line up with Iranian hardliners (Stevenson, Vidal-Quadras)

فریده فرحیFarideh 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 …

Zahra Moeini: Situation of women in Camp Liberty (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult)

زهرا معینیNejat Association reporting from , Ashraf news, April 21 2014: …  Massoud Rajavi has ordered the officials of the Camp to intensify the limitations against women especially after the revelations by Batoul Soltani and other dispatched members who bravely exposed the internal affairs especially the sexual scandals of the cult leader such as ‘Salvation dancing’ …