Can MEK Survive Coronavirus Infection In Albania ?

Can MEK Survive Coronavirus Infection In Albania ?

Can MEK Survive Coronavirus Infection In AlbaniaOlsi Jazexhi, Balkans Post, April 16 2020:… Shahin and Behzad Safari are both liars. The Albanian journalist Gjergji Thanasi, has sued Behzad for libel and slander after the later accused Gjergji Thanasi to be an Iranian agent. I hope Shahin Gobadi and Saffari will be able to properly defend themselves in the Albanian court for their insult against Gjergji Thanasi, and have not the fate of Quasimondo and Claude Frollo of Victor Hugo’s novel. Shahin Gobadi’s claim that “MEK has survived and flourished for 54 years … because of its reliance … on the Iranian people” is a lie and Shahin knows this very well. As an Albanian journalist who have visited and interviewed many people in Iran and many defectors in Albania, I can say that the people of Iran and even many Mojahedin inside their Manza camp hate MEK and do not consider them to be serious about what they claim. Can MEK Survive Coronavirus Infection In Albania 

MEK Trial In Albania Shahin GobadiMEK TRIAL IN ALBANIA

Can MEK Survive Coronavirus Infection In Albania ?

In an interview with the Balkans Post, Dr. Olsi Jazexhi, a Canadian-Albanian historian, argued that the possibility that coronavirus has infected the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK)’s camp in Albania is highly likely.

Can MEK Survive Coronavirus Infection In Albania

Dr. Olsi Jazexhi

The transcript of the interview is presented below:

Balkans Post: The Intercept has published a piece, according to which the MEK has isolated, disappeared, and tortured many of its cadres into submission, including forcing dozens of female members to have sex with Massoud Rajavi and undergo medical sterilization. What’s your view on this?

Olsi Jazexhi: Hello Balkanspost and thank you for interviewing me again.

The piece by Murtaza Hussain [and Matthew Cole] for The Intercept was an interesting investigation which exposes to the world the bizarre nature of the Iranian Monafeqeen or the Mojahedin-e Khalq ex-terrorist cult. The unfortunate soldiers of MEK are victims of two lunatic cult leaders, Maryam Rajavi and Massoud Rajavi. Today, five decades after the MEK was created we can see that it has achieved nothing expect terrorism, killings and hate of the Iranian people. After failing in their mission to overthrow the republican system of Iran, MEK soldiers have ended up as desperate and stateless refugees in Albania. The foreign fighters of MEK resemble very much with the jihadis of ISIS who are trapped in camps in Syria and have no place to go.

I have met a number of deradicalized MEK defectors who reside in Tirana and their stories are similar to what The Intercept shows. They have told us stories of torture, sexual abuse, radicalization and weird cultish indoctrination that Massoud and Maryam Rajavi have done with them.

Some of the defectors to whom I have spoken and have a very difficult life in Albania, have shown to me how their jihadi commanders were indoctrinating them to renounce a normal sexual life, not to marry, to abandon their families and relatives and to perceive human relations and love as sin from which they had to abstain.

One ex- Mojahedin member, Ehsan Bidi has shown to me how he was tortured, isolated and beaten by the MEK, because he did not obey to the orders of his jihadi commanders. Their stories resemble very much with stories of other jihadi and lunatic groups in Syria, Iraq, Egypt and the Middle East where foreign intelligence agencies play a crucial role on radicalization and creation of lunatic terrorist organizations such as MEK.

Can MEK Survive Coronavirus Infection In Albania

The imprisoned defector of MEK, Ehsan Bidi, denouncing MEK torture against him

BP: Why do MEK defectors have a difficult life in Albania?

OJ: As I have mentioned in my previous interviews, the Albanian government of Edi Rama and Pandeli Majko are ordered by the Americans to preserve in all possible ways the paramilitary existence and activities of the MEK in Albania. Our government has done anything within its power to intimidate MEK defectors who abandon jihad and return to civilian life to go back to the MEK camp. The strategy of the Americans and the Albanian government is to preserve MEK at any cost, since the Americans hope to use this lunatic cult against Iran and Iraq in the future.

The defectors in Tirana have a very hard time with Albanian authorities. The UNHCR which was responsible for their relocation has abandoned them. Albanian authorities mistreat the defectors, have cut their financial support and refuse to renew the asylum papers to many of them. One defector, Ehsan Bidi has been imprisoned by Albanian authorities since August 2019, after they canceled his asylum status. Ehsan is being punished because he was critical of MEK and exposed their crimes in the media. The MEK which was embarrassed by his revelations did all it could to force the Albanian authorities to illegally remove his asylum status and imprison him.

The defectors present a very serious challenge for the existence of MEK, since they threaten its existence in three major ways:

  1. They reveal to the outside world the criminal and weird structure of the organization.
  2. By abandoning the organization, they motivate many of their comrades who are isolated in the camp to escape and start a peaceful civilian life.
  3. They reveal to the Iranian and international community the schizophrenic cultish nature of the MEK, and show to the world that the MEK has no relation with democracy and civilization. The defectors destroy the massive investment that the Trump administration has done to promote the MEK as an ‘opposition’ group to the democratic system of Iran.
Can MEK Survive Coronavirus Infection In Albania

MEK defectors demanding justice from the Albanian government in Tirana

They prove to the world that the MEK is not the ‘Iranian opposition’ as Rudy Giuliani, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton like to describe them, but instead it is a scary lunatic cult which is hated even by its own soldiers.

That is why the MEK hates and fights its defectors. If in Syria ISIS was decapitating its defectors, in Albania MEK is pushing the Albanian government to scare, intimidate and imprison them.

From the Archive: Mojahedin Khalq (MEK, Rajavi cult) in Iraq 2009

BP: What is going on with the MEK now in the time of coronavirus?

OJ: We know very little about the everyday dealings of the MEK in Albania. They are a very secretive and closed organization. Journalists from the New York Times, al Jazeera, BBC etc. who have approached them, have been attacked, insulted, intimidated and given very limited access to their camp.

Maryam Rajavi, the old leader of the cult who has many friends in the Trump administration has managed to silence the Albanian media and government. The MEK has created a state within a state and even the Albanian government cannot access it. The secrecy of the MEK camp can be compared to the Concentration Camps that China has built against the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.

Since we do not have access to their camp, we do not know how they are coping with coronavirus. Their 3000 or so members live separate from us and are kept in total lockdown. Since the outbreak of coronavirus, their commanders who before this were seen moving in Tirana now are not seen out anymore.

Some defectors claim that the MEK camp is suffering from coronavirus infection. Their camp of Manza is situated between Tirana and Durres. These are the cities which have most infected persons in Albania. We have infected doctors and nurses in the hospitals of Tirana and Durres, places where many old MEK soldiers receive treatment. Thus the possibility that coronavirus has infected their camp is highly likely.

MEK Terrorist Cult Members In Albania Who Mustn’t Think About Sex

On April 9, 2020, the MEK announced that one of their commanders, Babak Khalili had died. We do not know if his death was caused by coronavirus or other medical complications. Albanian authorities are not allowed to do postmortem analysis to dead Mojahedin. Since their members are not registered with Albanians’ national registry they can die as many as they want. They can even kill each other and no one will be able to trace and analyze the reasons of their death. Moreover, many MEK soldiers have entered into Albania with fake names and identities. By living in total isolation and secrecy and apart from their families, we can never find how many deaths MEK will face because of coronavirus.

However, if coronavirus has already penetrated the MEK camp, the cult members will die en masse. The vast majority of the Mojahedin are old, suffer from different disease, live close to each other and in case coronavirus enters the camp it will devastate the organization and few will survive.

BP: Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, has described the organization as a fringe group with mysterious benefactors that garners scant support in its home country. Is there any evidence to show who these “mysterious benefactors” are?

OJ: Karim Sadjadpour is right. The MEK is a fringe group. It has very few supporters among the Iranians. The MEK can be compared in many ways with Lord’s Resistance Army of Uganda (LRA). Like LRA it was listed as terrorist organization by the United States and later delisted. Maryam and Massoud Rajavi, the leaders of the MEK, resemble very much with Joseph Rao Kony of LRA. If Joseph Kony proclaimed himself a spokesman of God, Maryam and Massoud Rajavi proclaim themselves – according to testimonies of defectors – representatives of God.

If LRA was supported by Sudan, the MEK was supported by Saddam Hussein in Iraq and now after the American invasion of Iraq, it is being openly supported by the United States and most probably Israel, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Many foreign journalists who visit Albania and meet MEK observers have raised your question: who finances the MEK and its existence in Albania? In an interview that I had for Counter Punch in December 2019, I said the following:

“Their organization, which is believed to have around 3000 members, needs a huge budget to run. Each MEK member used to take around 500 EURO per month to survive in Albania from UNHCR. The minimum budget that the MEK takes to sustain its members and camp is around 1.5 million EURO per month. It is believed that this budget comes from Saudi Arabia. In a year, they need at list 18 million EURO, without counting here the money that they spend for building their facilities and hosting periodic events where they invite retired and second-class politicians from the West who get free hotel, food, airplane tickets and some stipends for their attendance.”

As we can understand from the above, the MEK needs a state to finance its existence. While the U.S. government and Israel will most probably not spend their money with an ex-terrorist organization, I believe that the only state who can support it should be Saudi Arabia. Saudis have done such a thing with Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan or Jahbat al-Nusra in Syria and we should not be surprised if they pay the MEK bill as well.

BP: In a piece published by the Washington Post in September 2019, Shahin Gobadi, spokesman of the anti-Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) terrorist group, claimed that “a cursory review of the MEK’s history shows it has survived and flourished for 54 years, not because of having a voice in the White House but because of its reliance solely on the Iranian people and because it has been willing to pay the price for democracy in blood and treasure.” What could you say about these remarks?

OJ: Shahin Gobadi is an old man whom we have seen in the court of Durres in Albania attending the court case against his friend Behzad Saffari. Shahin is a very interesting personality, who like the rest of his Mojahedin are afraid from the media and do not dare to debate their ideas in public. Now that he is getting old Shahin resembles so much with Victor Hugo’s Quasimondo, the Hunchbacked Bell Ringer of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

Can MEK Survive Coronavirus Infection In Albania

Quasimodo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame Picture from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

Shahin and Behzad Safari are both liars. The Albanian journalist Gjergji Thanasi, has sued Behzad for libel and slander after the later accused Gjergji Thanasi to be an Iranian agent. I hope Shahin Gobadi and Saffari will be able to properly defend themselves in the Albanian court for their insult against Gjergji Thanasi, and have not the fate of Quasimondo and Claude Frollo of Victor Hugo’s novel.

Shahin Gobadi’s claim that “MEK has survived and flourished for 54 years … because of its reliance … on the Iranian people” is a lie and Shahin knows this very well. As an Albanian journalist who have visited and interviewed many people in Iran and many defectors in Albania, I can say that the people of Iran and even many Mojahedin inside their Manza camp hate MEK and do not consider them to be serious about what they claim.

Can MEK Survive Coronavirus Infection In Albania

On the left Shahin Gobadi walking outside Durresi’s court in Albania, September 2019

In the past 54 years, the MEK has seen only failures, wars, terrorism, betrayal of their nation and death. It has brought only suffering to Iranian people and even to their own members who today survive as desperate stateless refugees in Albania. After coming to Albania, the first thing that the MEK did was to ask the Albanian authorities and their American friends to expel any Iranian national who was living in Albania, freeze their bank accounts and prohibit any Iranian from entering the country. Is this how MEK loves the Iranians and relies on them? If the MEK loves the Iranians it will not fight them in the Balkans as it has done in the past years.

Shahin Gobadi’s statement that MEK “has been willing to pay the price for democracy in blood and treasure” is also fake for a number of reasons.

  1. The MEK is not a democratic organization. It does not fight for democracy. It is a totalitarian cult.
  2. The MEK is no longer a physical threat for Iran and it has no blood left to fight with the Iranian people. The vast majority of MEK members are old and cannot fight. Since their expulsion from Iraq and isolation in Albania, the MEK has transformed itself into a warmongering and fake news making organization.

MEK Trial In Albania

The MEK owes its existence to Saddam Hussein and nowadays to the Americans, Saudis and Israelis who have dumped them to Albania. Shahin Gobadi, Maryam Rajavi and other MEK commanders know very well that their organization is living its last days of existence in Albania. The massive defections, the total isolation of its members and the war that Maryam Rajavi has declared on her defectors and any Iranian national who comes to Albania show the desperation that exists within the organization. Their hysteria against journalists, the media and their fear from facing the public opinion are very revealing.

If the U.S. administration and the Albanian government withdraw their support from the MEK and if the Saudis (or whoever pays their bill) cut their money, the MEK will be dismantled within a few weeks. Maryam Rajavi will face massive defections and without the protection of the Albanian government, her soldiers will riot and break free.

The declaration of Shahin Gobadi is a wishful thinking. Shahin Gobadi, Maryam Rajavi and the MEK command are desperate. Their time has run out and their utopic dream of turning Iran into a MEK-istan will never materialize.


Olsi Jazexhi is a Canadian-Albanian historian who is specialized in the history of Islam, nationalism and religious reformation in Southeastern Europe. His interest covers nationalism, radicalism, religious and ethnic identities in the Balkans.

Link to the source

Why the US Has Not Won a Real War (Colonel Wesley Martin, MEK and Maryam Rajavi)

Can MEK Survive Coronavirus Infection In Albania ?

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/olsi-jazexhi-mek-helping-albania-slide-toward-authoritarianism/

Olsi Jazexhi : MEK Helping Albania Slide Toward Authoritarianism

Olsi Jazexhi : MEK Helping Albania Slide Toward AuthoritarianismBalkans Post, August 10, 2019:… If you ask in private any Albanian politicians – including those who attend the MEK meetings with Maryam Rajavi – as to how much democratic MEK is, they will laugh. The most enthusiastic supporters of the MEK will tell you in private “we know that they are terrorists. But America has told us to support them and we do it.” Those who consider the MEK a “democratic alternative” to Iran’s democratically elected government should also proclaim Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Muhamed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia as champions of democracy in the world. Olsi Jazexhi : MEK Helping Albania Slide Toward Authoritarianism. 

MEK Terrorists in Albania Complicating Edi Rama’s EU Accession TalksMEK Terrorists in Albania Complicating Edi Rama’s EU Accession Talks

Olsi Jazexhi : MEK Helping Albania Slide Toward Authoritarianism

The American ‘democratic alternative against Iran’ is helping Albania slide toward authoritarianism

https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/MEK-Helping-Albania-Slide-Toward-Authoritarianism.jpg

The Balkans Post has conducted an interview with Dr. Olsi Jazexhi, a Canadian-Albanian historian who is specialized in the history of Islam, nationalism and religious reformation in Southeastern Europe. We discussed the latest developments in Albania and the MEK’s presence in the country.

The following is the full transcript of the interview:

Can MEK Survive Coronavirus Infection

BP: Dear Dr. Olsi Jazexhi. On June 30, 2019 Albania had municipal elections. These elections were boycotted by the opposition and the president. The ruling Socialist Party of Albania ran alone in this elections and Albania is looking more like North Korea rather than a European Democracy. What is going on with Albania?

OJ: Hello readers of Balkanpost.

OLSI JAZEXHI Albania

Dr. Olsi Jazexhi

The political situation of Albania has become very frightening in the last years. The Socialist Party of Albania which is headed by Prime Minister Edi Rama, a close friend of Tony Blair, Nicolas Sarkozy and George Soros is turning Albania into a one-party state like in the days of Enver Hoxha. Edi Rama, whose family belonged to communist nomenklatura has reinvented himself as a new autocrat of Albania. For this he has the backing of the Trump administration and top U.S. officials who do not care what goes on in Albania as long as the Rama government hosts the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and other extremist organizations in the country.

However, while during the era of communism, Albania was a social welfare and an independent state, nowadays the Socialist Party of Albania which Edi Rama leads is turning Albania into a frightening authoritarian state. Since his coming to power in 2013 the Rama government has destroyed many social welfare institutions of the country, the healthcare, universities, schools and other state institution. He has cut social support for the needy and has forced thousands of Albanians to pay for their healthcare like never before. He is mass-privatizing and selling state assets and people are suffering as a result of his attack on basic welfare institutions of the country. The best beaches and lands of Albania are being sold to oligarchs and the government is forcefully stealing private properties of many individuals.

By ending state subsidies for the poor, jailing Albanians who cannot afford to pay their electricity bill, stealing agricultural and touristic lands for the oligarchs, not providing jobs for the workers and mass taxing businesses and farmers many Albanians have been forced to leave the country and find jobs elsewhere. Many others have ended up as drug dealers – since this is the only way how the poor can feed their families in impoverished Albania. The Albanian government and its American backers do not care for the welfare of the Albanians and the economic situation is becoming similar to that of many nations in South America.

On the other hand, major drug and criminal gangs have sided with Rama’s government which has helped them to privatize and steal major state assets for their businesses. The municipality of Tirana is the most important state institution which is accused in the media of siding with these criminal gangs. The municipality is headed by Erion Veliaj, an ex-evangelical preacher whose rise to power came thanks to the support of the U.S. Department of State and Soros Foundation. Erion Veliaj is destroying the green spaces of Tirana by building unending towers in every park and garden that he finds. Many businessmen complain about the high level of bribe that his men take from the constructors for granting them building permits. However the justice system which is controlled by the Americans and the Socialist Party does nothing against the mass corruption and electoral fraud that the Socialists do in the country.

BP: What is the ideology of Edi Rama’s government? He claims to be a Socialist but he is siding with the Capitalist mafia. On the other hand Albania is a Muslim majority country. Do Muslims have anything to say in what is going on in the country?

OJ: Even though Edi Rama’s family comes from a Christian Orthodox background, Rama has converted himself into a Catholic. Many of his government ministers, advisers and other apparatchiks are either fundamentalist Catholics or Evangelical Christians. Muslims who are the majority have no power. They are discriminated by the Rama government and the Americans who closely monitor the Muslim community and its mosques in the country. The Muslim Community of Albania which is the ‘Church of Islam’ in the country is under the Fethullah Gulen Network’s control and their American supervisors.

Political power in Albania is at the hand of criminal and fundamentalist groups. The ideology of Edi Rama’s government can be described as American style capitalism mixed with evangelical ideology. The mayor of Tirana, Erion Velija and the head of Tirana’s municipality council Tony Gogu are both protestant preachers – like you have Mike Pence in the United States. They worship Israel and American imperialism.

Rama’s government is accused by many Albanian and international media of grave corruption and racketeering scandals. Major European media like the Bild newspaper in Germany have published many wiretappings from Albanian prosecutors’ office which show how Edi Rama’s Socialist Party steals and blackmails the Albanians to win the elections. However, the Americans who have taken control of Albania’s judicial system do not ‘encourage’ Albanian prosecutors to turn Albania into a normal functioning democracy and establish a real democratic system in the country.

They like Albania to stay as it is. A corrupt mafia-like state ruled by an autocratic ruler who is an obedient ally of the United States. Albania is turning into a second Porto Rico or Haiti.

BP: In recent years, Albania has become a European hub for the promotion of MEK propaganda. What’s your take on this? How do you see the relations between the MEK and European countries? And why did Albania choose to become a country that hosts such a terrorist organization?

OJ: As I have stated before, Albania is a country which according to our president Ilir Meta is run by major criminal organizations and foreign embassies. Our municipal elections of 30 June 2019 which were boycotted by the opposition and declared non-valid by the president – but were forcefully organized by the socialists, have shown to all the Albanians that democracy and rule of law has died in Albania. Prime Minister Edi Rama has become like the dictator of Tunisia, Ben Ali. The Americans and the British who cry for democracy and human rights for Hong Kong, Russia, China, Syria, Turkey and Iran, and who export democracy via B-2 Bombers to Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya do not complain about the mono-party elections of Albania in 2019, the mass-arrest of Albanian politicians, protestors and journalists by the Rama government. If what is happening in Albania were to happen in Turkey, Russia or Iran, the BBC, CNN and other western medias would have protested endlessly and have asked for foreign intervention to bring democracy in those countries.

The Americans do not care for democracy in Albania. The only interest that they have with Albania is to use it for any illegal activity that the United States does in Europe and in the Middle East. The MEK which contrary to Albanian and European laws runs a paramilitary camp in Albania is totally protected by the Albanian government and its ministers like Pandeli Majko. The MEK has created a state within a state in Albania like Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda created in Afghanistan in the era of Mullah Omar. Albanian police, courts, prosecutors etc. have no power over the MEK. If any state body will ever dare to challenge what the MEK is doing – they will face the wrath of the Americans. By hosting the MEK and supporting its illegal activities the Americans have turned Albania into a kind of a European Guantanamo Bay.

The European Union and many European neighbors of Albania – the Italians, the Greeks, the French and the Germans who are not happy with what is going on with the MEK – do not dare to speak about it. As we have seen with the Iranian nuclear deal, Europe is no longer independent. Many European states do not enjoy freedom and independence in their foreign relations like France enjoyed during the era of Charles de Gaulle, or those that Russia, China and Iran enjoy nowadays.

BP: The Trump administration officials openly support the MEK as a “democratic alternative” to the current Iranian political system. Why is the White House supporting a group that does not have a social base among Iranians?

OJ: The Trump administration is supporting the MEK because they hate the democratic and independent system of Iran. They hate Iran because Iran supports Palestine and does not abandon the Palestinians, and because it has not allowed itself to become a dictatorial regime like Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.

While the MEK is a ruthless totalitarian cult, which keeps as slaves thousands of its soldiers and its democratic credentials are similar to those of Khmer Rougue in Cambodia, the Americans portray it as the “democratic alternative” to Iran’s democratically elected government. If you ask in private any Albanian politicians – including those who attend the MEK meetings with Maryam Rajavi – as to how much democratic MEK is, they will laugh. The most enthusiastic supporters of the MEK will tell you in private “we know that they are terrorists. But America has told us to support them and we do it.”

Those who consider the MEK a “democratic alternative” to Iran’s democratically elected government should also proclaim Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Muhamed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia as champions of democracy in the world.

BP: Backed by U.S. warmongers, Israelis and Saudis, the MEK’s aim is regime change in Iran. What’s your analysis on the role of these countries against the Islamic Republic, especially through their support for the MEK?

OJ: Well, from what we have seen in Albania, the MEK is a puppet terrorist organization which has no power to challenge the military might of Iran. The MEK is a paper tiger which is waved by the Americans and the Israelis to harass the Iranian society. Its 4000+ terrorist members that Albania hosts are not a serious challenge for the Islamic Republic of Iran in military terms. The jihadis of the MEK are mostly old, broken and abandoned by their families. They reside in Manza Camp which is a prison like paramilitary camp where most MEK soldiers are not allowed to go out, marry and live a free life. Many MEK soldiers suffer from cancer and other diseases. They live in fear for the crimes they have committed in the past. If they go out of Albania they have no place to hide. Turkey, Russia, China, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran etc. all consider them to be terrorists and they will end up in jail. The Americans do not give them asylum in the United States. For this reason they are “condemned” to live with Maryam Rajavi and the cult – because this is the only way they can feed themselves and find protection. The Americans, the British, the Israelis etc. will not take them into their countries. They are stateless desperate terrorist like the DAESH terrorists who hide in the deserts of Syria. The only difference between the MEK and DAESH is that the MEK are “our good terrorists” while DAESH are “not useful terrorists” anymore.

The Iranians, even those who do not like the present government, hate the MEK and will never humiliate themselves to associate with a lunatic cult like the MEK. The U.S. claim that the MEK represents a democratic alternative to the present Iranian government is a ludicrous claim, which only a lunatic who might see Ku Klus Klan (KKK) as the democratic alternative to the present U.S. government might believe. The MEK’s paid supporters like Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton, etc. do not even themselves believe in this idiocy. However, they need to prop up the myth of the MEK as a viable militant opposition against the government of Iran for their geopolitical reasons. The Americans have offered to Iran to hand the MEK back to Iran, if Iran would agree not to support Palestine. But Iranians have refused and for this reason they are stuck in Albania.

Through the scarecrow of the MEK, the Americans and their supporters milk the Saudis and Emiratis and convince the Wahhabi despots of the Middle East to continue to side with them and Israel against Iran and Palestine. If the MEK did not exits, the Americans and Israelis would have to invent one, like they did with DAESH and al-Nusra in Syria.

The only danger that the MEK currently represents for Iran is its espionage, propaganda and fake news against Iran. The MEK can also carry limited terrorist actions against Iran.

However Iran, Russia, China and the Europeans have so far shown that they do not take the MEK seriously.

BP: How is the response of the Albanian public towards MEK?

OJ: Well, our media in Albania do not dare to speak much about the MEK. In the past years the MEK has attacked many foreign and Albanian journalists and media by accusing them as “agents of Iran” when they exposed the slave-like conditions of their members. The MEK has complained to the Americans against these journalists and media and they have achieved some kind of success in destroying the freedom of the press in the country. In 2019, the Albanian media has censored much of its news about them – and have instead adapted the American jargon – by describing them as “the democratic opposition” of Iran. In 2018 our media investigated their abuses of their members, but now they do not do that anymore.

In private every Albanian hates the MEK and every journalist knows who they are. Even Sokol Balla a pro-MEK apologetic journalist whose TV has supported the illegal activities of the MEK and refuses to make an open debate about the MEK – because he does not want to upset the Americans, have asked “how the MEK members can live in isolation like they do” and abandon a civilian way of life. If you go on Facebook and many social forums you will see the outrage that the Albanians have with the MEK’s presence in Albania. They ask for their deportation. Even those whom the MEK pays or those who attend their meetings – in private accept that they are lunatics and dangerous but they do not dare to say that in public.

In the recent days when many artists and intellectuals are protesting in Tirana against the Edi Rama government – who is destroying the Italian built national theater of Tirana – some protestors who are upset with the American support for the autocratic regime of Edi Rama are using irony to protest the sad reality of their country. The Trump administration that describes the MEK as “the democratic alternative to the current Iranian political system” is helping Albania to slide toward authoritarianism.

A few days ago, one protestor against the Edi Rama government and the mayor of Tirana made an ironic poster towards the U.S. Embassy in Albania. In the poster he is telling to the Americans:

USA Embassy! Destroy the theater. Do anything you want.

Only the Mojaheedens should not be harassed!

This picture which talks more than 1000 words shows the desperate situation and the negative impact towards democracy that the MEK’s presence is creating in Albania. The Americans are supporting the Edi Rama government which is turning Albania into a one-party system. They are supporting the authoritarian policies and erosion of democracy because their major interest with Albania at present is the preservation of the MEK. They are supporting the destruction of the environment and the cultural heritage by the mayor of Tirana. The only thing that they are asking from the Albanian government is: Protect the MEK and do anything against your people and democracy.

The European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe etc. who must intervene and speak against the authoritarian regime of Edi Rama – like the cry wolf they do against Turkey and Iran – are keeping mum. The civil society of Albania feels abandoned. They are witnessing the destruction of the environment and democracy, while the Americans are using their country as a MEK terrorist base “to bring democracy” to Iran.

Many Albanians would like to ask the Americans: why do you want to export democracy in Iran, when you are supporting an authoritarian regime in our country? However, many Albanians have now understood that the democratic system that the Americans would like to install in Iran will look like the regime of Edi Rama or the cult of Maryam Rajavi. A “democracy” like the democracy of the time of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi when the U.S. Embassy was determining the fate of the Iranian nation.

Olsi Jazexhi is a Canadian-Albanian historian who is specialized in the history of Islam, nationalism and religious reformation in Southeastern Europe. His interest covers nationalism, radicalism, religious and ethnic identities in the Balkans.

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Olsi Jazexhi : MEK Helping Albania Slide Toward Authoritarianism

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Can MEK Survive Coronavirus Infection

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