Deconstructing Neoconservatives’ Manifesto for War With Iran

Deconstructing Neoconservatives’ Manifesto for War With Iran

Muhammad Sahimi, Anti War, October 02 2017:… For years Bolton has been advocating bombingIran’s nuclear facilities, either by Israel, the US, or both. He is also a lobbyist for Mujahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MEK, also known as MOK), an Iranian opposition group that for years was listed by the State Department as a terrorist organization, and is universally despised by the Iranian people … 

Mojahed Khalq Brother John Bolton has a memory lapse

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Deconstructing Neoconservatives’ Manifesto for War With Iran

by Muhammad Sahimi Posted on September 25, 2017

Ever since Donald Trump entered the presidential campaign of 2016, he has been attacking the July 2015 agreement that Iran signed with P5+1 – the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany – officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Calling it “a horrible agreement;” “the stupidest deal of all time,” and “the worst deal ever,” the President has been trying to find an excuse to take the United States out of the agreement. Finding such an excuse has not, however, been easy because the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has continuously certified that Iran has abided by its obligations under the JCPOA, the most recent of which was announced on 31 August.

In search of an excuse for leaving the JCPOA, the Trump administration dispatched Nikki R. Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Vienna, Austria, in order to convince the IAEA to demand inspecting Iran’s military sites. But, Yukiya Amano, Director-General of the IAEA, vigorously defended his agency’s work in Iran, declaring that, “The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under [the JCPOA] are being implemented. The verification regime in Iran is the most robust regime which currently exists. We have increased the inspection days in Iran, we have increased inspector numbers … and the number of images [taken from Iran’s nuclear sites] has increased. From a verification point of view, it is a clear and significant gain.” Haley then delivered a speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the same “think thank” that played a leading role in deceiving the American people to support the illegal invasion of Iraq, in which she laid out the Administration’s “arguments” for leaving the nuclear agreement. The speech, which was reminiscent of the arguments before invasion of Iraq in 2003, was replete with lies, exaggerations and innuendoes and outside the neoconservatives and Israel lobby convinced no one. Then, on 19 September the President went on ranting at the UN, calling the JCPOA “embarrassing” to the United States, and threatening to scuttle it.

But, the most comprehensive plan of action for leaving the JCPOA and eventually going to war with Iran was proposed by John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN and Assistant Secretary of State during the first term of President George W. Bush. For years Bolton has been advocating bombingIran’s nuclear facilities, either by Israelthe US, or both. He is also a lobbyist for Mujahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MEK, also known as MOK), an Iranian opposition group that for years was listed by the State Department as a terrorist organization, and is universally despised by the Iranian people for its collaboration with the regime of Saddam Hussein during Iran-Iraq war, and working with Israel to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists. Bolton also has very cozy relations with anti-Muslim hate groups, which only goes to show the depth of the man’s mental state.

Bolton’s comprehensive plan of aggression (BCPOA) against Iran is built upon lies, exaggeration, warmongering, and twisting the truth. Let us consider the essence of his “arguments” one by one:

BCPOAwe must explain the grave threat to the US and our allies, particularly Israel.

What is the threat? Iran’s path to making nuclear bomb – if it ever wanted to, for which there was no evidence – has been blocked. Iran gave up over 13,000 of its centrifuges that were enriching uranium; it stopped enriching uranium at 19.75 percent altogether; it demolished its under-construction heavy water nuclear reactor in Arak; it put its heavy water plant under the IAEA supervision and inspection (even though it did not have to); it converted its uranium enrichment facility in Fordo, which had been built under a mountain and could not be bombed, to a research facility; it shipped out its 10 tons of enriched uranium, and it signed and implemented the Additional Protocol that has granted the IAEA access to any site in Iran that it deems necessary to inspect. Iran’s air force belongs to museums. Iran’s army is equipped with the 1970s and 1980s armaments, and this is while the US and its allies have sold hundreds of billions of dollars worth of weapons to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab nations of the Persian Gulf.

BCPOAThe JCPOA’s vague and ambiguous wording; its manifest imbalance in Iran’s direction; Iran’s significant violations and its continued, indeed, increasingly, unacceptable conduct at the strategic level internationally….. We can bolster the case for abrogation by providing new, declassified information on Iran’s unacceptable behavior around the world.

What is the imbalance? What has Iran gained in return for all of its aforementioned practical concessions? Congress has imposed new sanctions on Iran. The Trump administration has been actively discouraging the European Union from doing business with Iran, and the Treasury Department has been dragging its feet for issuing new license for US corporations to enter Iran market. All of these represent actual violations of US obligations toward the JCPOA. Major European banks are still reluctant to get involved with Iranian banks, and over two years after signing of the agreement, Iran has attracted only a small amount of foreign investment, much less than what the Rouhani administration had hoped for.

What are the ambiguous wordings of the JCPOA? The 159 page documentcovers every aspect of Iran’s nuclear program. Every word, every letter, and every comma in it was negotiated with much intensity. It is Bolton’s own claim that is vague and imprecise.

What are Iran’s “significant violations”? The IAEA has certified continuously Iran has abided by its obligations. Iran twice exceeded its limit on heavy water, but after the IAEA pointed them out, it quickly rectified the problem. Note also that, in the absence of a heavy water nuclear reactor, heavy water has no use. Once again, Bolton has resorted to exaggeration, at best, and outright lie, at worst.

And, what are Iran’s “increasingly, unacceptable conduct at the strategic level internationally”? Bolton is silent, but he is presumably referring to Iran’s intervention in Iraq and Syria, and its alleged support of the Houthis in Yemen. It was the Iraqi government that asked Iran for help after Daesh (also known as the ISIS and ISIL) suddenly took over large part of its territory in June 2014. Moreover, the Shiite-led government in Baghdad came to power after US invasion of that nation. If it were not for Iran’s help, Baghdad would have fallen to Daesh in 2014. Iran (and Russia) should not have intervened in Syria, but after Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Turkey, not to mention the United States, first intervened in Syria, as acknowledged by Joe Biden in his speech at Harvard University, and by Hillary Clinton in her 17 August 2014 e-mail to her confidante John Podesta, who could blame Iran? Never mind that Iran and Syria have a mutual defense treaty. As for Yemen, all objective experts and analysts believe that Iran has not given any large-scale aid to the Houthis (it could not, anyway, given that Yemen has been blockaded by Saudi Arabia, the US, and their allies); that before Saudi Arabia began its war crimes in Yemen, Iran was not really interested in their small and poor nation, and that the Houthis are not Iran’s “puppets.”

BCPOAunlike the JCPOA, the provisions of which shield Iran’s ongoing efforts to develop deliverable nuclear weapons.

What “ongoing efforts to develop deliverable nuclear weapons?” This is an outrageous lie, given the aforementioned concessions by Iran, and the fact that even hardliners, such as Defense Secretary James Mattis, support JCPOA. Bolton is willing to fabricate any lie in order to make his point.

BCPOAThe Administration’s explanation in a “white paper” should stress the many dangerous concessions made to reach this deal, such as allowing Iran to continue to enrich uranium; allowing Iran to operate a heavy-water reactor; and allowing Iran to operate and develop advanced centrifuges while the JCPOA is in effect.

These are, once again, lies. Iran only had one heavy-water reactor under construction, but after signing JCPOA, it destroyed it. Iran can enrich uranium only at very low levels, 3-5 percent, which cannot be used for any bomb making activities. Iran is not allowed to operate its advanced centrifuges, but can only carry out limited research on their further developments.

BCPOAUtterly inadequate verification and enforcement mechanisms and Iran’s refusal to allow inspections of military sites also provide important reasons for the Administration’s decision.

It is not clear what type of inspection regime Bolton considers as “adequate.” Apparently, he wants to prove a negative, which means that every inch of Iran’s territory must be inspected. I suppose Bolton, who has no expertise or experience with inspecting a nuclear program, and is simply a lying propagandist for the US neocons, believes that he knows better than the IAEA to inspect Iran’s nuclear program.

Bolton’s reference to military sites is pure nonsense and hyperbole. The Additional Protocol stipulates that the IAEA can request access to such sites in order to resolve questions about undeclared nuclear materials and activities. However, the IAEA can only do so if it has credible evidence, which is currently nonexistent, and even then it is allowed only to carry out “location-specific environmental sampling” at or near the suspected sites. What Bolton wants is scrapping all international agreements, so that his thirst for war can be satisfied.

The JCPOA also has provisions regarding this issue. Section Q of Annex 1 of the JCPOA stipulates that if the IAEA has concerns regarding undeclared nuclear materials or “activities inconsistent with the JCPOA” at undeclared sites, it can request access to such a site. Section T of the same Annex contains commitments regarding various activities relevant to developing a nuclear warhead. Thus, the IAEA can, in principle, demand access to any site where it suspects such activities may be going on. But, the demand for access must be based on credible evidence. The Trump administration has no such evidence, but Bolton and the Administration want to push for visits to military sites, not because there is any evidence justifying the demand, but rather to have Iran rightfully reject it, so that they can claim that Iran has “violated” its obligation, or that it has something to hide. The goal is to justify creating a new “reality,” as Bolton puts it, akin to what George W. Bush administration tried to do by creating its own nonexistent “reality.”

In his demand for inspecting Iran’s military sites, Bolton is supported by the usual suspects; the so-called experts, such as David Albright and his non-jihadi ISIS that has, nevertheless, been waging a jihad against Iran and its peaceful nuclear program. Albright, the expert of “last resort” for the neocons such as Bolton, together with his usual gang, issued a statementdemanding the revival of an old issue that was resolved with the JCPOA, namely, visiting the Parchin site 35 km southeast of Tehran that has been producing conventional ammunition for Iran since 1930s.

After all of his lies, exaggerations, and fabricated stories, Bolton begins his BCPOA for abrogating the JCPOA. This part of his proposal is sheer fantasy. It is as if the world has forgotten about his lies and those of other neocons about Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. It is as if the world does not know that Bolton and his neocon comrades are ultimately responsible for the bloodshed and destruction in the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan that have been going on for over 16 years. His suggestions include explaining “why the deal is harmful to US national interests.” Never mind the interest of the rest of the world, the JCPOA is in true national interests of the US

In his fantasy world Bolton also believes that the US can fool the rest of the world. He states that if the US abrogates the JCPOA, “Iran is not likely to seek further negotiations once the JCPOA is abrogated, but the Administration may wish to consider rhetorically leaving that possibility open in order to demonstrate Iran’s actual underlying intention to develop deliverable nuclear weapons, an intention that has never flagged.” So, not only does Bolton, in his utter imbecility, believe that “rhetoric” alone would do the “trick;” he also wants to use it to demonstrate Iran’s intention to develop “deliverable nuclear weapons.” How the two are connected is beyond my comprehension.

As usual, Bolton also demonstrates his hatred of the UN and international treaties that has always been part of his thinking in fantasy land. As part of his fantasy proposal Bolton demands that “unilateral US sanctions should be imposed outside the framework of Security Council Resolution 2231 so that Iran’s defenders cannot water them down.” So, surprisingly, Bolton actually recognizes that Iran does have its own defenders, which goes against all of his rhetoric regarding building an international coalition against Iran. Over the past several days, France’s President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May, as well as Federica Mogherini, the European Union foreign policy chief, made it clear to President Trump that they vigorously support the JCPOA.

Bolton’s plan is also crude and cruel. He demands ending “all visas for Iranians, including so called “scholarly,” student, sports, or other exchanges.” As Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden admitted, it is Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Sunni Arab states of the Middle East that supported Daesh and other terrorist groups. Saudi Arabia citizens make up the second largestgroup among the Daesh terrorists; they constituted 40-45 percent of all foreign fighters that went to Iraq to fight with the U.S. forces after Iraq was occupied, and they are more likely than citizens of any other Muslim country to join the terrorist groups. 15 out of 19 terrorists that were responsible for the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 were Saudi citizens, and yet it is the Iranian people that should be punished.

Why do Bolton and the neoconservatives hate Iran so unabashedly? They have made it clear that they believe the US should rule the world. They disguise this wish under the term “US leadership.” To them, international treaties and organizations are useful only to the extent that they protect and advance what they consider as the US interests, which are almost never the true national interests of the United States. Bolton and the neoconservative have never seen a war that they have not liked it. They see Iran not as a threat to the national security of the United States – which Iran is not – but as an impediment to US imperial ambitions for completely dominating the Middle East and its natural resources. This, and only this, is the reason for the neoconservatives constantly trying to provoke a war with Iran.

Muhammad Sahimi is a professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. For the past two decades he has published extensively on Iran’s political developments and its nuclear program. He was a founding lead political analyst for the website PBS/Frontline: Tehran Bureau, and has also published extensively in major websites and print media. He is also the editor and publisher of Iran News and Middle East Reports and produces a weekly commentary for broadcasting that can be watched at http://www.ifttv.com/muhammad-sahimi.

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Mojahedin_Khalq_Rajavi_Cult_Regime_ChangePssst, Whisper It, Even Iran’s Enemies Don’t Want Regime Change

Under President Macron, France can play a pivotal role in Western relations with Iran

مریم رجوی البغدادی مجاهدین خلق داعش تروریسم تهرانISIS Drew On MEK Expertise For Terror Attacks On Tehran (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult) 

The MEK’s dirty past includes the anti-Imperialist inspired murder of six Americans in pre-revolution Iran which it later celebrated in songs and publications

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http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=8492

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 … 

تروریسم مجاهدین خلق فرقه رجوی در تهرانTwin attacks strike Iran’s parliament, Khomeini’s tomb

رودی جولیانی و دونالد ترامپ مجاهدین خلف قرفه رجویTrump Is At War With Iran, Not ISIS

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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 weremouth 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.

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زهره قائمی فرمانده ترور صیاد شیرازیBBC: Who are the Iranian dissident group MEK? (Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, PMOI, …) 

ISIS ISIL Mojahedin Khalq Rajavi cult FlaqsAlbania’s destabilization? You have forgotten hundreds of Mojahedin!

تعلیم دیدگان صدام مجاهدین خلق رجوی از عراق تا آلبانیShould we be afraid of Senator McCain meeting with the Mojahedin Khalq (Rajavi cult, MEK, MKO, …) in Albania?

مسعود خدابنده نیکلا پدی پارلمان اروپاDebate in the European Parliament ‘What is to be done about the Iranian Mojahedin Khalq (MEK)?’

The MEK’s dirty past includes the anti-Imperialist inspired murder of six Americans in pre-revolution Iran which it later celebrated in songs and publications

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http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=6419

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 …

2014-09-16-USIran.jpgMassoud Khodabandeh: America Must Make Its Underlying Intentions Toward Iran Clear

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Demonizing Iran To Prevent the Nuclear Agreement

محمد سهیمیSince 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 20092011and2012, 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.

(END)

McCain Is the MEK’s Newest Fan (aka Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult)

Massoud Khodabandeh: The Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and Its Media Strategy:
Methods of Information Manufacture

Also read:
http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=7866

National Security: Could Maryam Rajavi (Mojahedin Khalq) blackmail her friends in high places – Rudi Giuliani, John Bolton and Newt Gingrich 

مسعود خدابندهMassoud 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 … 

Can Albania deradicalise Mojahedin Khalq Rajavi cultMassoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post: Can Albania Meet its Obligations and De-radicalize an Influx of Terrorists into Europe? 

Link to the source (Huffington Post)
Link to the source (Top Topic)

National Security: Could Maryam Rajavi (Mojahedin Khalq) blackmail her friends in high places – Rudi Giuliani, John Bolton and Newt Gingrich


John Bolton speaks at an MEK rally

As the reverberations of the American election echo and ripple across America and around the world, some of its repercussions are already being felt – demonstrations, racist attacks, global market and currency fluctuations, the Russian reaction and more. But as President-elect Trump considers who to appoint to the most influential positions in his Administration, the hopeful candidates may want to consider repercussions which may arise from their own backgrounds.

In particular, Rudi GiulianiJohn 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).

Newt Gingrich bows to Maryam Rajavi

It is certain that neither these three hopefuls nor the MEK believed they would make a comeback. Rudi Giuliani, John Bolton and Newt Gingrich are not Republican favourites. But apparently, with the election of Donald Trump, their time has come. The MEK also didn’t think Trump could win and therefore advertised for Hillary Clinton in their websites.

Rudi Giuliani with Maryam Rajavi

In American politics, such things can be quickly glossed over, dismissed as political strategies. But Donald Trump does need to take this past into consideration. What Rudi Giuliani, John Bolton and Newt Gingrich do not know is that the MEK have a full record of all their meetings, dialogue and discussions. After being tutored by Saddam’s Intelligence service the MEK learned to film and record every conversation with an external person, particularly people like Rudi Giuliani, on every occasion whether in the US, Paris or Europe, even during dinner gatherings. This means that every time they hosted speakers and supporters in Paris or America these meetings were recorded. The MEK is now in possession of hundreds of hours of audio/video recordings as well as emails and phone calls of individuals like these three who have been mingling openly over the past decade with people they took to be ordinary oppositionists, but were in fact trained agents of the MEK and Saddam. The recordings can be edited and published by the MEK to suit the time, need and place.

John Bolton with Mojahedin Khalq operatives

The MEK’s hope was, of course, that by recording these private conversations they could be used in future to pressurise or even blackmail individuals if needed. They perhaps didn’t have any hope then that these individuals would reach such high office. As such this is a national security concern for the US. No one knows what is in the tapes and no one knows how these three, who have done everything for a fee in the past, would be able to stop the MEK from exposing them.

These three entered into paid lobbying for a group such as Mojahedin Khalq knowingly (perhaps not envisaging a day which they could be back in the game) accepting the end of their careers as officials. If they are now brought back and appointed to key positions, US policy could simply be taken hostage by a notorious terrorist organisation such as the Mojahedin Khalq.

Even if these three gave assurances that the paid support they gave to Maryam Rajavi and her terrorist cult Mojahedin Khalq has been done purely on straightforward lobbying grounds, no one can be certain that a decade of recordings and document gathering by the MEK would not end up producing enough leverage to highjack the national security of the United States and or its allies across the globe.

President Trump (and security advisors) simply can’t afford to take such a risk with the future of the country.

*** 

Khodabandeh co-authored the book ‘The Life of Camp Ashraf – Victims of Many Masters’

(Massoud Khodabandeh: 4th report, Baghdad October 2014)

2015-10-29-1446141457-4261917-syria2013Aleppo.jpgMassoud Khodabandh, Huffington post Nov. 2015:
Syrian Negotiations Won’t Provide One Winner But Will Ensure Violence Is Absolute Loser

*** 

Also read:
http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=7471

Maryam Rajavi — MEK Propaganda Queen — Advertises Her Services For Iran’s Enemies 

Maryam RajaviMassoud 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? From whom is she hoping to garner support?Many constituencies outside Iran wish fervently for its destruction. It is enlightening that Maryam Rajavi’s … 

What does it mean when we say ISIS operates as a mind control cult?

Link to the source

Maryam Rajavi — MEK Propaganda Queen — Advertises Her Services For Iran’s Enemies

Co-authored by Anne Khodabandeh

2016-06-30-1467308500-6000440-download.jpg

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’.

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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.

***

Also read:

  • Michael Ware with MEK Mojahedin Khalq Rajavi cult NCRINational 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 … 

    Maryam Rajavi Saddam's private army NCRIAssociated 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. … 

    Wesley Martin Mojahedin Khlq Rajavi cult 1Iran 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 … 

    Col. Jack Turner Col. Paul ShafferMassoud 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 … 

    مسعود خدابندهMassoud 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 … 

    مسعود خدابندهMassoud 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 … 

     mek_albania_June2013Iran 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 … 

    mojahedin-khalq-albania-pm-ramaAnne 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 … 

    Radicalised Mojahedin Khalq from Iraq to AlbaniaAnne 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

    Maryam RajaviMassoud 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