Iran Interlink, July 07 2017:… Iran – politics and media – has exploited the Villepinte occasion to the full. The main theme has been to bring up the western accusations against Iran on human rights issue and then relate that to allowing the gathering of Rajavi who is a known terrorist. Iran this week made a one-off documentary about the 7thTir when the headquarters of the Jomhouri Eslami Party was blown up and 73 leading …
Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – July 07, 2017
++ Among the Farsi reactions to Villepinte, several people have exposed Rajavi’s lies – she claimed that people from Syria, Iraq and prisoners in Iran are supporting her. She claimed that many Egyptian parliamentarians also support her. In response, the speaker of the Egyptian parliament published a notice in Iran’s Arabic Al Alam media saying this was a lie. Rajavi has extended what she does in European political circles – buying lobbyists and advocates and inventing statements of support from hundreds of MPs. Interestingly, after MEP Gérard Deprez’s fictional 265 parliamentary signatories was exposed as a lie, he promised to bring the list to France for Rajavi to publish on her websites. He didn’t. She didn’t.
++ Some Farsi commentators referred to Rudi Giuliani’s comeback. After failing to get a place in the Trump cabinet – largely because of his prior advocacy of the MEK – he has now given up on getting a proper job and given himself over to the MEK. In effect, Maryam and Rudi had to kiss and make up because neither of them could find anyone better. Others took amusement from the fact that every year, Rajavi claims there are 100,000 stuffed into that little salon.
++ On the same issue, the monarchist website Mashrouteh (Constitution) published a long, documented article about MEK terrorist activity at the time of the Shah, including the killing of American Rockwell International engineers. The piece also referred to Reza Pahlavi recently describing the MEK as traitors and a cult.
++ Former MEK members reported on the various pickets and demonstrations they held in Paris on the same day as Villepinte in order to further expose the controversy surrounding the event. A terrorist group which advocates violent regime change is allowed to do so from French territory. After the activities, formers met for a meeting in the evening to discuss further actions. Several formers also had meetings in the European Parliament as well leading up to the day.
++ Iran – politics and media – has exploited the Villepinte occasion to the full. The main theme has been to bring up the western accusations against Iran on human rights issue and then relate that to allowing the gathering of Rajavi who is a known terrorist. Iran this week made a one-off documentary about the 7thTir when the headquarters of the Jomhouri Eslami Party was blown up and 73 leading governmental officials were killed. The programme is called ‘Sar Cheshme Khounin’ – Sar Cheshme is the location of the Party HQ. The documentary focused on this event because the date of Rajavi’s Villepinte gathering coincided with that. This, says Iran, was a celebration of terrorism. In that case, how can Europe talk about human rights in Iran.
++ At the same time that Villepinte was the focus of Farsi comment and outrage, the Total and Iran petroleum companies signed a deal worth over 2bn. Commentators were critical saying ‘you cannot make such an agreement with a country which supports known terrorists’. The Iranian Foreign Ministry responded to this criticism saying that ‘the question has been raised with the French government and we believe the French are now on the same side as us, that these people should not be in Europe and their masters should take them somewhere else’.
++ Anne Khodabandeh from Iran-Interlink gave a presentation at the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) Annual Conference in Bordeaux. The theme: Cultic Dynamics and Radicalization. Cult experts and counter terrorism experts were able to access new information and share ideas. The Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) also met in Bordeaux before the ICSA Conference and extended their work to consult with ICSA members later in the week. Khodabandeh referred to her experience as a former member of the FTO Mojahedin Khalq to argue that the current trend of Radicalisation Awareness gave an opportunity to criminalise Cultic Abuse in the UK and elsewhere.
++ Press TV reported that Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif criticised France for giving a ‘green light’ to the MEK.
++ Mazda Parsi points out that the MEK’s advocates are paid for what they do. The West however, needs to realize that the MEK has no support at all among Iranians.
++ Several more items protested to France for allowing the MEK terrorist cult to advertise for violent regime change from inside the Republic. They also highlighted Saudi Arabia’s anti-Iran stance as the reason Saudi prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud attended the meeting.
++ Gazeta Impakt in Albania criticised the attendance at Villepinte of three politicians. The article argued that although ISIS supporters have been punished in the past, there appears to be no problem for supporters of the MEK even though this is a terrorist organisation.
++ Nejat Society asks a genuine question of Emmanuel Macron, “If the leaders of Al-Qaeda or ISIL celebrate in Tehran the beginning of their terrorism against the west, what would the reaction of the people of New York, London, or Paris be? If a country gives refuge to your country’s war traitors and allows them to act freely against your country, how would you feel?”
Iran Should Give France Ultimatum for MKO Gathering (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult, NCRI ..)
Iran Front Page (From Iranian Diplomacy), July 03 2017:… Perhaps here we should change the diplomatic language from a “moot point” to the “element of accusation”. Governments which have fallen victim to terrorism “enjoy the legitimate right to defend themselves against armed operations conducted by non-governmental dissident groups in a third country.” Under the current circumstances, Iran-France relations need a …
Iran Should Give France Ultimatum for MKO Gathering
An Iranian analyst says Tehran-Paris relations need to be redefined after the French capital recently hosted the annual gathering of the notorious anti-Iran terrorist group MKO.
The editor-in-chief of the Iranian Diplomacy news website has, in an analytical piece, talked about the recent gathering of the terrorist Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO or MEK) in the French capital of Paris.
Sergei Barseghian has underlined the need for a redefinition of Tehran-Paris ties given the European side’s support for the anti-Iran terrorist cult.
The following is the full text of article:
The gathering of MKO ringleader Maryam Rajavi’s cult in Paris was a repeat of last year’s show; there were even no new faces among the VIP guests, who included former officials of different countries. In other words, the MKO had failed to attract any new individuals. Turki al-Faisal, Bernard Kouchner, Newton Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Joe Lieberman, John Bolton, etc., all have delivered speeches at MKO gatherings before. However, no new member has joined their clan, which means a failure. The presence of former French President Bernard Kouchner at this year’s gathering and his delivering a speech must be strange. However, it was not the first time he made comments about Iran’s political system. He had made similar remarks during Iran’s 2009 post-election unrest when he was foreign minister. Turki al-Faisal’s comments should not be taken seriously, either. This Saudi prince, who claims Iran’s presidential elections are undemocratic, has objected to Riyadh’s handing over the throne to Mohammad bin Salman. The former US officials attending the gathering are the same individuals present in previous events. Bolton, Lieberman and Giuliani are the same people who wrote a letter to US President Donald Trump urging him to cooperate with the MKO against Iran.
The Associated Press and Fox News reported in early 2017 that Newton Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani had benefited from the MKO’s “generosity” for delivering speeches against Iran. Incumbent US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has confessed that he received $50,000 for delivering a five-minute speech. Still, Rajavi has failed to entrap any new bribees.
But what is important is that the MKO gathering was held just hours after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Paris. Of course, in reaction to the gathering, Zarif said the MKO get-together was a “moot point in relations” with France, and quoted French officials as saying that Paris has no relations with the MKO. But a terrorist group holding a gathering in another country attended by former officials of some other countries and marked by speeches against the legal and official system of a certain state (Iran) is something beyond a moot point, and is regarded as a “move against” international law, which the Iranian foreign ministry and embassy should not easily ignore. Moreover, the timing of Zarif’s trip is under serious criticism given that the date of the MKO’s gathering had already been announced. And there is some doubt about the French officials’ giving assurances that they have no connection with the MKO, especially at a time when they remain silent in the face of a gathering that the former French foreign minister calls a “family meeting.”
The issue cannot be settled simply by summoning the French ambassador or charge d’affaires in Tehran to the Foreign Ministry. Kouchner has claimed that “You were oppressed in my country, France, and I feel guilty for that.” By “being oppressed” he meant the French government’s attack on the MKO’s headquarters in Auvers-sur-Oise, a commune in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, in mid-2003. Some 300 members of the terror group were arrested in the raid on charges of planning to carry out terrorist operations. But France seems to have changed its approach toward the MKO since 2003, so much so that it hosts the terror group’s annual gathering.
The raid on the MKO’s base came a few days after then Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi hit out at his French counterpart Dominique de Villepin, saying it was unacceptable and not understandable that a terrorist organization was present in France and operating there.
“It seems these terrorists, who have dealt a blow to us in Iran, enjoy a sort of immunity in Auvers-sur-Oise,” Kharazi had noted at the time.
MKO members claim de Villepin had told Kharrazi that “I can tell you that Nicolas Sarkozy is preparing an operation in this regard.” If this admission by MKO terrorists is accepted, then the Iranian diplomacy will assume a much more important role. Perhaps here we should change the diplomatic language from a “moot point” to the “element of accusation”. Governments which have fallen victim to terrorism “enjoy the legitimate right to defend themselves against armed operations conducted by non-governmental dissident groups in a third country.” Under the current circumstances, Iran-France relations need a serious ultimatum and should be redefined, given that Paris has hosted an MKO banquet for former politicians with a past rife with failures. Another point is that not even one election has been held at the MKO while the terror group claims that there should be “elections and freedom” in Iran.
The MKO is the most hated terrorist group among Iranians because of its dark history of assassinations and bombings and for siding with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in his eight-year war against Iran in the 1980s.
One of the MKO’s deadliest terrorist operations was carried out on 28 June 1981 when a powerful bomb went off at the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party of Iran in Tehran, while a meeting of party leaders was in progress. Over 70 top Iranian officials were killed in the bomb blast.
Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist assaults since the victory of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 have fallen victim to MKO’s acts of terror.
ISIS Attacks in Tehran Expose US-Saudi Lies About Iran
Muhammad Sahimi, Anti War, June 08 2017:… Iran has long been a victim of terrorism. In the 1980s the Mujahidin-e Khalgh Organization, usually referred to as the MEK or MKO, murdered up to 17000 people in Iran. Even the United States listed the MEK as a terrorist organization for well over a decade. The Baluchi terrorist group Jundallah staged several terrorist attacks in Iran from its bases in Pakistan, killing scores of civilians. Just last month, Jaish al-Adl …
ISIS Attacks in Tehran Expose US-Saudi Lies About Iran
On Wednesday June 7 two groups of terrorists staged stunning attacks in Tehran, Iran. Three of the terrorists attacked the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 Revolution. One terrorist blew himself up, another was killed by the security forces, and a third one, apparently a woman, was arrested. At the same time, three other terrorists entered theMajles [parliament] building and took several people hostage, but were eventually killed by the security forces. Altogether, the terrorist attacks killed at least 12 innocent Iranians and injured more than 40. The Sunni terrorist group Daesh (also known as the ISIS or ISIL) took responsibility, and threatened more terrorist attacks. There are rumors in Tehran that the terrorist were Iranian Kurds recruited by Daesh.
These attacks have occurred exactly two weeks after President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia in which he took sides with that nation and other Sunni reactionary regimes in the Persian Gulf area against Iran, and declared that Iran provides “safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment” of the terrorist, and “Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.”
This is, of course, the same man who during his campaign last year told us that the Saudis were“mouth pieces, bullies, cowards,” who were “paying ISIS.” But, milking the Saudis to the tune of over $400 billion in arms sales, weapons that will be used to kill the people of Yemen and other Muslims in the region, has its price, and the price that Trump is paying is encouraging more support for terrorism by Saudi Arabia.
Iran has long been a victim of terrorism. In the 1980s the Mujahidin-e Khalgh Organization, usually referred to as the MEK or MKO, murdered up to 17000 people in Iran. Even the United States listed the MEK as a terrorist organization for well over a decade. The Baluchi terrorist group Jundallah staged several terrorist attacks in Iran from its bases in Pakistan, killing scores of civilians. Just last month, Jaish al-Adl, another Baluchi Sunni terrorist group, attacked from Pakistan and murdered 10 Iranian border guards. Iranian-Arabs, supported by Arab regimes of the Middle East, and in particular Saudi Arabia, have carried out several terrorist attacks in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan in southwest Iran.
At the same time, Iran has been at the forefront of the struggle against radical terrorist groups. It played a pivotal role in toppling the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in the fall of 2001. Without Iran’s help, Iraq’s Capital Baghdad would have fallen to Daesh in June 2014. The war in Syria has been imposed on the Syrian people by the terrorist groups that are supported by Saudi Arabia and its allies, namely, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Jordan, as acknowledged even by Joe Biden at Harvard University in October 2014, and by Hillary Clinton, and Iran has been fighting Daesh there. This is while Israel supports the Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda Syrian branch, by treating their wounded fighters in Israel and returning them to the fields.
And, yet, Trump’s national security team is virulently anti-Iran, espousing false propaganda and lies again that nation. In particular, Defense Secretary James “mad dog” Mattis has said, “Iran is not an enemy of ISIS [Daesh]; they have a lot to gain from the turmoil that ISIS creates,” and, “What is the one country in the Middle East that has not been attacked by ISIS? One. That is Iran. That is more than happenstance, I’m sure.” These statements are pure fabrication and are due to Mattis’ decades-long grudge against Iran. Israel, not Iran, is the only nation that has not been attacked by Daesh. Several plots for terrorist attacks by Daesh against Iran were discovered in the past before being carried out by them. Wednesday’s attacks by Daesh in Tehran exposed the lie propagated by Mattis. Most recently, Mattis said in Saudi Arabia, “Everywhere you look if there is trouble in the region, you find Iran,” which is another lie by the Defense Secretary. To see this, consider just the past six years, since the beginning of the Arab Spring.
Saudi Arabia’s finger prints are on every trouble sport in the Middle East. Not only did Saudi Arabia support NATO attacks on Libya, it also provided “Arab legitimacy” for it by creating the false impression that all Arabs supported the attacks. Saudi Arabia opposed the revolution in Egypt, and supported the military coup that toppled the democratically-elected government of Mohamed Morsi. Saudi Arabia invaded Bahrain in order to prevent the Shiites, who make up 75 percent of Bahrain’s population, from gaining their democratic rights and overcoming discriminations by the Sunni minority.
Saudi Arabia’s role in creating Daesh is well documented. For example, in one secret e-mailHillary Clinton wrote, “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to Isis and other radical groups in the region.” Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen for over two years, committing war crimes, and Mattis and Pentagonsupport it. After Tunisia, Saudi Arabia provides more terrorists to Daesh than any other nation (and Iran has supplied none).
A few weeks ago, Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince and defense minister threatened Iran with war, claiming that, “We are a primary target for the Iranian regime,” accusing Iran falsely of seeking to take over Islamic holy sites in Saudi Arabia. “We won’t wait for the battle to be in Saudi Arabia. Instead, we’ll work so that the battle is for them in Iran,” Salman added. Speaking in Paris on June 6, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeirdeclared that Iran must be punished “for its support of al-Qaeda,” another lie by a fascist regime that spends billions of dollars every year to support terrorism. Al-Jubeir’s memory is short, but the world’s is not: Osama bin Laden was a Saudi citizen, as were 15 of the 19 terrorists that attacked the United States on 11 September 2001. Six out of every ten terrorists that joined al-Qaeda in Iraq, the forebear of Daesh, were Saudi citizens.
Iran and Iranians do not want any war with Saudi Arabia. They just re-elected President Hassan Rouhani because they support his moderate foreign policy that had kept Iran isolated from any attack by the Sunni terrorist groups, his rapprochement with the European Union, and his efforts for lessening tension with the United States. Saudi Arabia and its allies will be fully responsible for any war the might be imposed on Iran and its people.
Demonizing Iran To Prevent the Nuclear Agreement
Muhammad Sahimi, Anti War, July 04 2015:… In advancing this narrative, Netanyahu has been helped by the Mujahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MEK, also known as MKO) and its lobby in the United States. The MEK is an Iranian armed opposition cult that sided with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, and acted as his internal …
Demonizing Iran To Prevent the Nuclear Agreement
Since April 2 when the Lausanne Accord was signed by Iran and P5+1 – the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany – the opposition, namely, the neoconservatives, the Republican Party, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and their lobbies in the United States has been in high gear to prevent the signing of the comprehensive agreement whose deadline is now July 7, after the two sides could not complete their negotiations by the original deadline of June 30.
Right after the announcement of the Accord, the opposition went to work. Two days after the announcement Bill Kristol, the Godfather and “little Lenin” of the necons, declared that the best way of defeating the efforts of the Obama administration is creating the conditions that wouldkill the nuclear accord, forcing the President not to sign any agreement. Speaker of the House John Boehner was reported telling a Jewish group that the Republicans do not have the votes to override the President’s vote of Congress’ rejection of the nuclear agreement. Thus, the best way to defeat the administration is to prevent any final agreement in the first place.
The breadth and depth of the campaign against an agreement with Iran are completely unprecedented. When Richard Nixon re-established diplomatic relations with China in 1972andBill Clinton did the same with Vietnam in 1995, we did not see the type of backlash against them that we are seeing today against a nuclear agreement with Iran. At the height of the Cold War the enmity toward the Soviet Union was less intense than against Iran now, even though the Soviets were far more powerful than Iran is or will ever be. Compared with Iran, even the reaction to re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba has been relatively mute. And why this is so? It is all because of Israel and its lobby and allies in the United States.
So, what is the best way of killing the final agreement? The usual way: demonizing Iran by lies, exaggerations, half-truths, innuendoes and insinuations.
One way of demonizing Iran is by rebuking the President for wanting to reach an agreement with such a “despicable” state as Iran. Over at the Washington Post, neoconservative and Israel’s agent Jennifer Rubin has been working hard to advance this narrative. After claiming that the President is delusional, and starting with her column of April 6 – Iran framework: not good, not a deal – Rubin has been propagating all types of sheer nonsense about Iran, the administration, and the nuclear negotiations. A few days later Rubin claimed that the Obama administration is prepared to give Iran anything and everything for a deal. This is baseless as one important obstacle to the negotiations has been the U.S. excessive demands, well beyond the international agreements and Iran’s obligations toward them.
In another column on June 21 Rubin claimed that “Democrats, Republicans and neutral experts reject Iran sellout.” Who are these neutral experts? One is Olli Heinonen, former IAEA Deputy Director for Safeguards, who has a strong and deserving reputation for being anti-Iran, and amember of pro-Israel lobby United against a Nuclear Iran (UANI). He is also the man who claimed that Iran is only 2-3 weeks away from a nuclear bomb. Two other such “neutral experts” are Eric Edelman and Dennis Ross. Edelman, a member of the conservative Foreign Policy Initiative, claimed that any nuclear agreement with Iran can be torched by Obama’s successor. As an ardent supporter of Israel, Ross does not need any introduction. The UANI published a page-long warning in the New York Times, talking about the “dangers” of an agreement with Iran that is not tough enough. The funds for these activities are provided by Sheldon Adelson, the pro-Israel billionaire and the man who called for dropping a nuclear bomb on Iran.
Another way of demonizing Iran is to insist that Iran continues to have a nuclear weapons research program, and has something very horrendous to hide. Over at New York Times, David Sanger, Michael Gordon – remember his collaboration with the Times’ chief propagandist Judith Miller and her sensational stories about Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction? – and company continue to publish their agenda and opinion as “facts.” Sanger continues to insist that Iran’s nuclear weapon research program, if it ever existed, has continued sporadically since 2003, despite the fact that the National Intelligence Estimates of 2007, reaffirmed in 2009, 2011and2012, concluded that the program was halted in 2003. Sanger also insinuates the same bycontinuing to claim that “some of Iran’s most sensitive nuclear work has been done in its military sites,” despite the fact that even the totally politicized International Atomic Energy Agency under Yukiya Amano, a minion of the West, does not make such a claim. And why Sanger insists on this? By relying on the discredited “laptop of death,” supposedly stolen in Iran and delivered to Western intelligence agencies and the fact that Iran is not willing to go beyond its legal obligations and allow the IAEA to inspect its military sites.
Sanger and the Times still insist on the relevance of the totally discredited “possible military dimensions (PMD)” of Iran’s nuclear program, allegations based on the same laptop. They never interview true experts and at least allow them to voice their opinion. [Julian Pecquet of al-Monitor makes the same type of claims.] Robert Kelly, a former IAEA expert; nuclear physicistYousaf Butt, and a failed CIA sting operation against Iran’s nuclear program that prompted the IAEA to reassess some of its so-called evidence for the PMD, have completely discredited the allegations about the PMD.
Yet a third way of demonizing Iran is by claiming that if the illegal crippling economic sanctions imposed on Iran are lifted, Iran will have access to billions of dollars of its foreign currency reserves frozen in Western financial institutions, and will spend it all on its allies in the Middle East, hence making that turbulent region more unstable. An article by David Rothkopf, the CEO and Editor of Foreign Policy group is typical of this line of demonizing Iran. In his articleRothkopf claims that after the sanctions are lifted, Iran will have access to $120 billion of its foreign currency reserves. Over a period of 15 years, the apparent duration of the nuclear agreement, Iran will make at least another $300 billion by exporting its oil. Thus, Rothkopf argues that Iran will have made $420 billion by the end of the nuclear agreement, and claims that while Iran will shore up its economy, it will also continue its meddling in the Middle East.
The claim is made while Saudi Arabia, the US staunch ally in the Middle east, has used its approximately $770 billion foreign currency to support terrorist groups in Syria, the military coup in Egypt that toppled the democratically elected government of Mohamed Morsi, has been attacking the defenseless people of Yemen, intervened in Bahrain to suppress the democratic movement there, and provided political cover for the NATO alliance to attack Libya that turned that prosperous nation into a no man’s land populated by some of the worst Sunni terrorist groups, from al-Qaeda to the Islamic State.
Iran is besieged by economic problems, caused partly by the crippling economic sanctions. President Hassan Rouhani has promised his nation that after the nuclear agreement is signed and the sanctions are lifted, his administration will be focused on improving the economy. Indeed, if Rouhani cannot deliver on his promises, his government will be toppled by Iran’s hardliners who oppose the many concessions that Iran has made to P5+1 in order to reach the nuclear agreement.
A forth way of demonizing Iran is by claiming that Iran is similar to the Islamic State and “1000 times worse” and “bigger.” Making this absurd claim has been Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s way of preventing the nuclear agreement. This is while Iran has been fighting the IS in Iraq, and in fact many experts believe that only Iran can defeat the IS. At the same time, Israel has been working with Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda branch in Syria, in an attempt to defeat the Iran-backed regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
In advancing this narrative, Netanyahu has been helped by the Mujahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MEK, also known as MKO) and its lobby in the United States. The MEK is an Iranian armed opposition cult that sided with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, and acted as his internal security forces against his regime’s opponents. Up until September 2011 it was on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organization. The MEK leader Maryam Rajavi has made the same claims as Netanyahu’s, calling the Islamic Republic the IS’ “Godfather.” She even testified via satellite before a congressional subcommittee, repeating the same nonsense.
Parallel to Israel, and perhaps even coordinated with it, the MEK lobbyists in the United States have been making the same type of claims, advocating that the US should help the MEK to topple the regime in Tehran, even though the cult is universally despised in Iran. Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state and a fellow at the conservative Family Research Council, Clare Lopez, a former CA operative and senior Vice President at CSP, and Raymond Tanter, a cofounder of the defunct Iran Policy Committee that advocated military confrontation with Iran, have been advocating this narrative.
At the same time the same discredited people who sold the American people the idea that Saddam Hussein’s regime had weapons of mass destruction, and that it was a terrible regime against its own people, are also trying to do the same with Iran. Former CIA Director James Woolsey, one of the leading liars about Iraq and proponents of its illegal invasion, is now telling us that “a nuclear Iran is a nightmare.” Frank Gaffney, director of hardline neoconservativeCenter for Security Policy and a leading Islamophobe, has claimed that the nuclear agreement with Iran is a “fraud” perpetuated by the President on the American people, because “It will not prevent Iran from getting the bomb, period.” He is the man who was “delighted” that the US invaded Iraq.
And, of course, those who have advocated the military option against Iran have not been idle, andhave been aided by the media. CNN had a report on how bunker-busting bombs that can supposedly destroy even Iran’s Fordo site deep under a mountain are on standby to attack Iran, if the negotiations fail. At Business Insider Jeremy Bender has been publishing one scary story after another about how the bunker-busting bombs can be used against Iran. Bloomberg has also reported on the possible use of such bombs against Iran. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK), an MEK supporter, has claimed that bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities can be done easily in only “a few days.” Cotton has also called on the President not to cooperate with Iran because “it has blood of hundreds of Americans on its hands,” whereas it was in fact the MEK that assassinated American advisers in Iran in the 1970s.
When Mohammad Khatami, a reformist, was Iran’s president, and Rouhani and Iran’s current Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, were his chief diplomat and nuclear negotiator, the George W. Bush administration prevented the three European countries, Britain, France and Germany, from reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran that would have severely limited Iran’s nuclear program. Now that Rouhani and Zarif, two moderate politicians, are leading Iran and its efforts for a nuclear compromise, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and their allies in the United States are doing their utmost to prevent the agreement from materializing. Iran has made all the necessary concessions to reach the agreement. If nuclear negotiations fail, it will be either because the Obama administration has excessive demands, or it may buckle and break under the pressure by the War Party in the United States. This time, the world will blame the US and its allies.
Muhammad Sahimi, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and the NIOC Chair in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Southern California, is co-founder and editor of the website, Iran News & Middle East Reports.
Maryam Rajavi — MEK Propaganda Queen — Advertises Her Services For Iran’s Enemies
, Huffington Post, July 08 2016:… Clearly this message is not aimed at Iranians. The clamour for regime change in Iran does not emanate from inside the country in spite of its many social, civic and political problems. Who then is Maryam Rajavi’s constituency? From whom is she hoping to garner support?Many constituencies outside Iran wish fervently for its destruction. It is enlightening that Maryam Rajavi’s …
Maryam Rajavi — MEK Propaganda Queen — Advertises Her Services For Iran’s Enemies
Co-authored by Anne Khodabandeh
The Middle East is in turmoil. Deaths and destruction are a daily occurrence throughout the region. Families flee their homes in fear, forced into an uncertain future. No end is in sight. Yet into this calamitous scenario a slick, sophisticated terrorist recruiter’s advert has popped up which ISIS itself could learn from.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) website carries a glamorous advertising campaign for a Grand Gathering. Surrounded by glitzy pictures of flag-waving youth, the central focus of this gathering is ‘Our pledge: regime change’.
Well, we all know what that means. Don’t we? Apparently not. Because this advertising doesn’t reflect the destruction wrought in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen. Here is no promise of jihad and the caliphate. It looks very much like a carnival. Which is exactly what it is – a show. So, what is meant by the promise of regime change?
The first port of call is to understand that the NCRI is just another name for the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) which was also known as the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA).
Back in 1994, MEK leader Massoud Rajavi tasked his wife Maryam to leave Iraq for America in order to regain political recognition of the Mojahedin Khalq as ‘the’ Iranian opposition which had been lost when he refused to abandon Saddam Hussein during the First Gulf war.
Refused entry to the USA as the leader of a terrorist entity Maryam instead took up residence in France as a refugee. But instead of meeting politicians to talk about how the MEK could overthrow the Iranian regime, she discovered she could simply create the illusion of support by paying both audience and speakers. She discovered a talent for dressing up, holding fancy dinner parties and talking about her cult ideology.
To create the appearance of a willing audience for her views, she recruited a rag-tag following of Iranian economic refugees who would happily turn up when paid for their services. She paid for feminists from North America, Europe and Scandinavia to visit Auvers-sur-Oise and attend dinner parties. She posed in her hijab to speak about her version of feminism to these western women; carefully spelling it out for them that they would never really understand what feminism is until they understood her husband Massoud Rajavi.
When Massoud recalled her to Iraq in 1997 she had spent a third of the total MEK budget and had no political support to show for it. She had lost around half the loyal MEK members who had defected whilst in Europe. With morale at an all-time low, Maryam was forced to retreat to Iraq with what remained of her personnel and leave the western bases in the hands of largely uneducated paid ‘supporters’.
When allied forces next invaded Iraq in 2003 Maryam Rajavi again fled to France. This time, as luck would have it, western politics was focused on curtailing Iran’s nuclear programme which it insisted was aimed at creating a nuclear weapon. The MEK’s services as propaganda experts were just what was needed, ensuring the MEK’s ostensible survival as an opposition group.
But in reality the MEK was already in terminal decline. Its fighting forces, disarmed in 2003, are currently being transferred from Iraq to Albania by the UNHCR to begin a process of de-radicalisation and reintegration back into normal society. Nobody expects veterans with an average age of sixty to wage the terrorism of thirty years ago. Disarmament also allowed American experts to investigate years of complaints about human rights and cultic abuses inside the MEK. As long as the MEK was being used to muddy the waters of the nuclear negotiations, such details could be glossed over. But since last year when agreement was reached, the MEK’s murky past can no longer be dismissed.
The main reason, of course, is that the new theme for challenging Iran in the international community is based on the country’s dismal human rights record. But Maryam Rajavi has her own well documented human rights abuse dossier to answer for. The MEK, under whatever name it is used, is simply the wrong tool to use to demonise Iran.
Beyond this, the MEK is not the popular opposition its own advertising claims it to be. The group is almost universally despised among Iranians both inside the country and in the diaspora. Not only did the MEK fight alongside Saddam Hussein’s army during the devastating eight-year Iran-Iraq war, but the MEK’s anti-Iran role in the nuclear negotiations hit a nerve with most ordinary Iranians who regarded support for their country’s right to nuclear technology as an issue ofnationalism rather than politics.
Maryam Rajavi cannot get support from Iranians unless it is paid for. Nor can Maryam Rajavi deign to share a platform with any other Iranian opposition personality. So this year Maryam Rajavi will again do what she does best; pay audience and speakers alike to give the illusion of support.
So, back to the recent advertising campaign. Any publicity campaign will be successful if it is newsworthy. Maryam, however, simply churns out the same scenario ad infinitum. Starting with describing a terrible situation in Iran – based on news items that can be gleaned from any serious reporting outlet – she then proposes a ten-point plan for Iran, approved this year by Italian parliamentarians. And then she promises regime change.
Clearly this message is not aimed at Iranians. The clamour for regime change in Iran does not emanate from inside the country in spite of its many social, civic and political problems. Who then is Maryam Rajavi’s constituency? From whom is she hoping to garner support?
Many constituencies outside Iran wish fervently for its destruction. It is enlightening that Maryam Rajavi’s websites are home to a bizarre mixture of anti-Shia, anti-Iran, anti-Syria, items which reflect very closely the views of neocons, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Maryam Rajavi is not promising regime change, she is advertising her services as a propaganda queen.
National Geographic, March 04 2017:… Leading MEK members squirm under the knowing gaze of Michael Ware. Watch the shifty looks and glances as the MEK representatives try to lie about their true intentions. They admit to wanting regime change, but claim to be pacifists. Ware asks ‘Why does a political organization still need to have a para-military organization?’ He then cleverly gets them to …
Associated Press, February 16 2017:… The group at one point successfully infiltrated the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, according to a State Department report. And a series of bombings attributed to the MEK accompanied visits by presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter to Iran, including one to target an American cultural center. In 1973, MEK assailants wearing motorcycle helmets shot dead U.S. Army Lt. …
Iran Interlink, February 15 2017:… The following OpEd by MEK advocate Col. Wes Martin was published first in The Hill, followed by Mojahedin Khalq’s “Iran Probe” and the “NCRI” websites. Iran Interlink has published it here as indication of how hysteria has become the new normal in American published writing. A form of madness appears to have infected US politics and now all and sundry are dancing …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, February 07 2017:… He also signals that his war is not with ISIS but with the country Iran. Donald Trump rose to victory in part on the promise to take on ISIS and defeat the group. Yet ISIS cannot be defeated except by a coalition of forces that includes Iran. The facts on the ground in Syria and Iraq demonstrate unequivocally that ISIS forces in Aleppo and Mosul have been defeated largely due to the involvement
Gazeta Impakt, Albania, Translated by Iran Interlink, January 01 2017:… According to Fatos Klosi, former director of the National Intelligence Service, the American CIA chief has warned Albania that Donald Trump will renounce support for the MEK terrorists and it will be the Albanian Government itself which must deal with internal security and must confront a group trained militarily from the time of Saddam Hussein …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, December 24 2016:… That can only happen if journalists and investigatory bodies (human rights, nuclear experts, war crimes, etc) are able to base their work on facts and not the fake and fictionalised fantasies of stooges like the MEK, which are clearly designed to misinform on these issues. The information laundry cycle is not difficult to follow – the Washington Times takes its report …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, November 12 2016:… In particular, Rudi Giuliani, John Bolton and Newt Gingrich. Putting aside their weak personalities as well as their individual neoconservative agendas, the common thread which links these names together is their decade long support for the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist organisation (also known as Saddam’s Private Army or Rajavi cult). It is certain that …
Iran Interlink, October 30 2016:… Local observers in Tirana are reporting that the Mojahedin Khalq cultic terror group (MEK) is buying and creating several sandwich and kebab shops in the city and is using the MEK members to work in these fast-food businesses. On the surface this may look like a positive move. In an article titled ‘Albania: What would a de-radicalization program for the Mojahedin Khalq involve’, it was …
Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh, Iran Interlink, October 16 2016:… In spite of American promises, no de-radicalisation programme is in place to deal with over 2500 members of the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group who have relocated to Tirana from Iraq. The MEK has a long history of violent and criminal activity. This has not stopped now they are in Tirana. Unless the Albanian government introduces its own programme, it must accept …
Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington post (and Top Topic), October 09 2016:… For the local citizens, mystery surrounds their arrival and their lifestyle. Should these secretive and covert neighbours be treated with suspicion or kindness? At a local level, the first thing neighbouring families need to be aware of is that among all MEK members, sexual relations have been banned for over 25 years. This means there are no marriages or children or young people in the organisation. More troubling …
Massoud & Anne Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, July 14 2016:… Whether Rajavi is already dead or now killable is not known – only he can answer this – but he and his whole organisation are certainly now, body and soul, in the capable hands of the Saudi Prince. If he is still alive, Rajavi’s only role is to act as go-between to instruct his wife what she must do on behalf of the Saudis. If he is dead
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, July 08 2016:… Clearly this message is not aimed at Iranians. The clamour for regime change in Iran does not emanate from inside the country in spite of its many social, civic and political problems. Who then is Maryam Rajavi’s constituency? Fro