Iran Front Page, April 15 2019:… Zarif pointed to the presence of the MKO terrorist group on French soil, and described it as a problem between Tehran and Paris. The Iranian foreign minister also announced the Islamic Republic’s readiness to hold talks and have cooperation with the French officials to solve the problems of the region. Pointing to the dangerous developments that recently unfolded in North Africa, including Libya and Sudan, FM Zarif noted they were the result of the intervention of some Arab countries in the region.
Iran Says Ready to Work with France to Settle Regional Woes
(Iran: France is still harbouring MEK)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic is prepared to join hands with the French government to resolve regional issues, especially those in Libya and Sudan.
Zarif made the comments in a Sunday meeting with the new ambassador of the French Republic to Tehran, Philippe Thiebaud, during which he presented a copy of his credentials at the beginning of his mission
In the meeting, FM Zarif referred to the historical and long-term relations between the two countries and the positive attitude of the people of Iran towards France, and called for the removal of the barriers in bilateral relations relying on the wisdom and prudence of the two states’ authorities.
Zarif pointed to the presence of the MKO terrorist group on French soil, and described it as a problem between Tehran and Paris.
The Iranian foreign minister also announced the Islamic Republic’s readiness to hold talks and have cooperation with the French officials to solve the problems of the region.
Pointing to the dangerous developments that recently unfolded in North Africa, including Libya and Sudan, FM Zarif noted they were the result of the intervention of some Arab countries in the region.
Elsewhere in his remarks, FM Zarif criticised the recent statement by the Group of Seven and the French ambassador to the United States regarding the peaceful nuclear activities of Iran, saying that such positions would destroy the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers.
For his part, the French ambassador referred to the recent talks between the presidents of Iran and France, underlining that Paris is willing to continue talks with Tehran on regional and international issues.
“The position of France, as underlined in the telephone conversation of the French president with President Rouhani, is to remain in the JCPOA and support and fulfil both sides’ obligations,” he noted.
Thiebaud referred to Iran’s fulfilment of its obligations under the JCPOA, and highlighted the efforts made by France and the role it played in the establishment and introduction of INSTEX, the European special purpose vehicle aimed at facilitating trade with Iran under the US sanctions.
France, Yellow Vests and the MEK (Mojahedin-e-Khalq, Rajavi cult)
Robert Fantina, Counter Punch, January 28 2019:…And what of French support for MEK? This follows the hypocrisy usually demonstrated by the United States. France, one of the signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), condemned the U.S. withdrawal from this international agreement, and French government officials are looking for a means to circumvent the threatened U.S. sanctions if its corporations continue to do business with Iran. Yet they support a terrorist organization whose sole purpose is the overthrow of the Iranian government …
France, Yellow Vests and the MEK (Mojahedin-e-Khalq, Rajavi cult)
No one today is surprised at the foreign policy of the United States. War, violation of international law and disdain for human rights are all characteristics of the criminal enterprise known as the U.S. government.
Most of the U.S.’s allies display some or all of these same vices, but some are often considered above such activities. One that is mistakenly believed to be better than the U.S. is France. A look at some of its current policies is instructive.
At present, there are two groups active in France. One is known as the ‘Yellow Vests’ an informal organization that started to protest an increase in fuel taxes, and expanded to oppose a wide range of practices of the government of President Emmanuel Macron that are seen as detrimental to the public. There was no well-established plan and no recognized leader.
The second organization is the MEK (Mujahideen-e Khalq), a terrorist organization that seeks the overthrow of the Iranian government. MEK members have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people.
One would think that a responsive government would react positively to protesters opposing government policies. Government officials would look at those policies; acknowledge the problems they cause, and work with the opposition, in this case, the Yellow Vests, to fully understand their concerns. Then they would work to resolve the issues.
One would also think that any reasonable government would condemn a well-organized and well-financed terrorist group, and offer no support to it in any form.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with the government of France. The reverse, unfortunately, is true. The Macron government works tirelessly and violently to end the Yellow Vest protests, while it welcomes and supports the MEK.
Why would this be? The explanation is not difficult to see.
Like most world leaders, Macron isn’t beholden to the people of France, but to keeping the rich where they are, with little or no consideration for those less fortunate. As in the United States, it is the middle class that bears the largest tax burden, while the poor lose entitlements such as assistance with buying food and paying for housing. The tax overhaul that was passed in the United States last year overwhelmingly benefited the rich, at the expense of everyone else. France seems to follow this model.
And what of French support for MEK? This follows the hypocrisy usually demonstrated by the United States. France, one of the signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), condemned the U.S. withdrawal from this international agreement, and French government officials are looking for a means to circumvent the threatened U.S. sanctions if its corporations continue to do business with Iran. Yet they support a terrorist organization whose sole purpose is the overthrow of the Iranian government.
What has Iran done to incur the wrath of France? The government of Iran worked with the Syrian government, one of its close allies, to defeat U.S.-backed rebels who were attempting the overthrow of the Syrian government. Iran also develops defensive weapons to protect its people from a possible attack by the U.S. or apartheid Israel.
Yet Iran hasn’t invaded another country since 1798; it occupies no countries, and its bombs only fell on terrorist-held sites in Syria, at the request of the Syrian government. Why would France object to a nation that honors international alliances, develops an effective defense system, and basically minds its own business on the global stage? And why would France work so diligently to destroy legitimate protests in its own cities?
The United States differs from Iran in many ways. Currently, the U.S. is bombing at least five countries. It continues to support anti-government rebels in Syria. Yet it gives unreserved support to the brutal apartheid Zionist regime, and has close ties with Saudi Arabia which, like Israel, has an abominable human rights record. Since the end of World War II, it is estimated that the U.S. has killed at least 20,000,000 people, by invading or supporting rebels in at least 30 countries. And the rebels it supports always oppose a democratically-elected government, and support a brutal and cruel dictator.
Domestically, the U.S. has the highest number of citizens per capita in its prisons, and hunger and poverty are among the highest for any industrialized nation.
Despite the clown-like Donald Trump inhabiting the White House, much of the world remains intimidated by the U.S.’s reckless use of its power. While Trump is bogged down in a ‘partial’ government shut-down, along with a variety of investigations into his questionable associations with foreign leaders and porn stars, he continues to control the most powerful military system, and the strongest economy, on the planet. France, like most other countries, bows and scrapes to the imperial U.S. master.
Yet all is not well on the French or U.S. fronts. The Yellow Vests aren’t showing any signs of going away anytime soon, and Trump’s bullying isn’t having the impact he would have liked. The fact that several nations are looking for ways around his threatened sanctions is in itself a good sign, one that is indicative of dwindling U.S. power and influence. While France praises the terrorist MEK, it also seeks ways of continuing to trade with Iran.
The United States is a world power in decline, as shown by the mixed signals that France is sending: support for an anti-Iran terrorist group, while also seeking to maintain the JCPOA. The leaders of any declining imperial nation will do all they can to stem the tide of their decreasing power, and this makes such nations even more dangerous, at least in the short-term. France’s government officials should be cautious about which other countries they align their policies with; short-term gains can result in disastrous long-term losses, and France, at this point, appears to be on the wrong side of history. It is hoped that it will soon change course, and seek domestic and international justice.
Iran: US masters responsible for today terror attack in Ahvaz. (Joint “al-Ahwaz” and “MEK” terror attack)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
Maryam Rajavi’s MEK is a defunct force in Iran foreign policy
Massoud Khodabandeh, Middle East Strategy Consultants, February 25 2019:… As the following articles show, the complex issue of ‘dealing’ with Iran cannot be solved by the Trump administration or the European Union using the defunct Mojahedin Khalq (MEK) to shake a stick at the country. Iran’s government and ruling system is proving far too sophisticated for this stupid ‘regime change’ narrative. Iranians – inside and outside – don’t want that. Time for a new policy maybe; one that acknowledges facts on the ground rather than the delusion of empire.
Maryam Rajavi’s MEK is a defunct force in Iran foreign policy
As the following articles show, the complex issue of ‘dealing’ with Iran cannot be solved by the Trump administration or the European Union using the defunct Mojahedin Khalq (MEK) to shake a stick at the country. Iran’s government and ruling system is proving far too sophisticated for this stupid ‘regime change’ narrative. Iranians – inside and outside – don’t want that. Time for a new policy maybe; one that acknowledges facts on the ground rather than the delusion of empire.
1- Pro-Reform Group Condemns U.S. Sanctions As Iranian Opposition Becomes More Vocal
Radio Farda, February 25 2019
Link to the source
In a letter to political parties around the world, Iran’s Freedom Movement (Nehzate Azadi) has called for international condemnation of the United States’ withdrawal from the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), adding that U.S. sanctions will give Iranian hardliners the upper hand in the country’s domestic politics.
The Freedom Movement of Iran (FMI) is a pro-reform group with Shiite sympathies that briefly held the government immediately after the 1979 revolution but has been sidelined and not as active since then.
Calling the JCPOA a “model for the peaceful resolution of international conflicts,” the FMI said in the letter, “Rejection of this agreement weakens the value of endeavors in resolving international conflicts peacefully and the role of the United Nations in acting as a safeguarding mechanism for building international peace. The United States’ rejection of this international agreement also negates the significance of efforts in building pathways for peaceful co-existence of nations based on conflict resolution through negotiation and compromise.”
FMI acknowledged that the JCPOA did not address the United States’ concerns about Iran’s missile program and its ambitions in the Middle East, adding that “JCPOA was not initially intended to include the Iranian government’s regional political behavior – or any other issues,” but expressed the view that “these issues could be legitimately addressed in other forums with the consideration of the national security of all nations involved.”
It is not clear why Freedom Movement believes the Islamic Republic has any intention to discuss these issues with Western governments, particularly the United States. Iranian officials categorically reject any such dialogue.
FMI does not advocate the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, but believes in reforms and its members are tolerated to an extent in Iran and not treated as enemies of the regime. Members of the group even participated in the last local elections without any success.
In more than a decade the group has not been very vocal, preferring not to condemn many of the regime’s human rights abuses or its regional adventures. It has also not clearly supported the popular protests by ordinary people against economic hardship and lack of freedoms.
In the letter, the FMI expressed concern over the impact of sanctions on Iran’s middle class, adding that in Iran, “the middle class is exposed to the ravages of sanctions. The Iranian middle class predominately has been in the forefront of the battle for democracy and acted as the engine of change in the country.”
FMI charged that “the United States, with the support of right-wing politicians in Israel and the ruling elites in Saudi Arabia, has imposed sanctions on Iran which ultimately benefit those who are for war and conflict with this country,” adding that “sanctions have also strengthened the political position and power of the Iranian ultraconservatives who continue to encourage and support discord and antagonism in Iranian foreign policy.”
FMI also warned that “democratic changes cannot be achieved in Iran by Washington encouraging groups from outside of Iran who have aimed at toppling the Iranian government. With regards to Iran, democracy cannot be achieved through war, but rather obtained upon a period of sustained gradual reforms that are supported by the Iranian people and arise from within the country.”
Although the letter appears to support the Islamic Republic of Iran’s positions, the FMI stressed at the end of it that the “Freedom Movement of Iran has been under pressure both from the old and the new regimes, and its leaders and members have been arrested, imprisoned and tortured.”
The letter by a political organization that has not been overtly active for decades is yet another indication that the Iranian opposition has become more vocal after the nationwide protests in late 2017 and early 2018, which has weakened the regime in Tehran.
During the past year, the two main opposition groups outside Iran, the royalists and the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK) have been more active than ever and developments about and around them have been given more prominence in the media.
The royalists have highlighted the symbolic significance of Prince Reza Pahlavi and established at least two networks of young Iranian activists (Farashgard) with the aim of toppling the Islamic Republic, and the newly established network of technocrats and academics named Qoqnous (Sphinx) with the objective of reconstructing Iran. Meanwhile, the MeK has been more politically active than ever, garnering support from among political groups and Western officials.
In the latest developments, 10 political groups active in the Iranian provinces of Kurdistan, Azerbaijan and Sistan-Baluchistan formed an alliance in Hanover, Germany on Saturday 23 February. The alliance “Solidarity for Freedom and Equality in Iran” has announced its objective as “toppling the Islamic Republic.”
The coalition includes five militant Kurdish parties as well as other militant groups from Khuzestan and Azarbaijan, and a few groups including democratic secular republicans and Marxists.
The freedom movement of Iran may have noticed the changing situation and its letter to political parties around the world could be its way of making itself known as a player that once had a role in the government, hoping to secure a place in the country’s future in case dramatic changes take place.
2- ‘Enough Is Enough: Iran Won’t Give US More Concessions’
Iran Front Page, February 25 2019
Link to the source
A senior conservative journalist says Tehran has not gained much from the US in return for the many concessions it has given Washington.
Hossein Shariatmadari, the managing director of the conservative Iranian newspaper Kayhan, has, in an editorial published by the daily, taken a swipe at Tehran’s performance in dealing with the US government. The full text of the analytical piece follows.
In his book titled “The Prince,” Niccolò Machiavelli says sometimes it would be very wise to seem crazy! This recommendation is explained by Herman Kahn in one of his books. He says maybe the best way to impose our policies would be to pretend that we are a little nervous and emotional. In this deterrent game, says Kahn, the side which seems to be determined and has left no path to return would have a better chance of gaining concessions from the other side, which has entered the scene with a modest and calm behaviour. He says this is the same place where unwise wisdom is allowed. According to him, pretending to be abiding by an unwise policy may be the best strategy to adopt in the face of a crisis.
It should be noted that when someone feels they are facing an opponent who complies with no laws and regulations and who may make any crazy move when confronted, they prefer to give in to the opponent’s demands in order to spare themselves of this lunatic!
The United States and its European allies have exactly used this ploy in dealing with Iran, and, unfortunately, they have somehow succeeded in taking advantage of this tactic due to the inaction of some Iranian foreign policy officials!
After resigning as US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley said in a speech at Charlotte conference that he always regarded Trump a short-tempered person who was unpredictable during negotiations in order to scare the other side. This was what Trump wanted and the mission assigned to her, she says.
It would be unfair if we do not mention this point. While many politicians across the world and some politicians inside the country have fallen for this ploy by Washington and referred to Trump as a lunatic, the supreme Leader described him as someone who pretends to be mad.
And there are reports that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has extended Iran’s suspension from the FATF’s blacklist for another four months. Why? The only reason for this 4-month suspension would be Iran’s resistance to their humiliating demand with regards to the approval of the four bills related to the FATF, especially the Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) law and the Palermo Convention. The FATF had threatened that Iran would face tough consequences if Iran failed to ratify the bills. However, the ratification of the FATF would mean “suicide for fear of death!”
Despite insistence by the administration and a number of MPs, the Expediency Council was tasked with deciding on whether or not to approve the bills. Fortunately, most members of the council realized the disgraceful and disastrous nature of the FATF and have, so far, refused to give the go-ahead to the ratification of the bills. In other words, when the FATF saw its threats were ineffective, it has suspended Iran on the blacklist in a bid to make the Expediency Council approve the humiliating bills.
Addressing the opponents of the FATF, A pro-government economic analyst says, “Why do you insist that we be regarded as terrorists in the world?”. He claims there are misgivings of treasons when it comes to the opponents of the FATF. In response, we should say, “Why are you insisting on introducing the IRGC, the Quds Force, the Intelligence Ministry, the Defense Ministry, etc., as terrorists? If you are unaware of the contents of the CFT, why are you expressing views on a subject you know nothing about? And if you know about it, then we should ask ‘Isn’t it treason to describe the IRGC, the Quds Force, the Defense Ministry and Intelligence Ministry as terrorists?’ Or ‘Should we [instead] oppose the ratification of bills whose approval would sound the death knell to national security and result in the surrender of Iranian people to Takfiri terrorists? Hasn’t the FATF officially announced that it does not accept Iran’s definition of terrorism, and hasn’t the US Treasury’s website officially described the aforementioned entities as terrorists?’
One should ask those supporting the ratification of the said bills what will happen if Iran does not accept the FATF.
Mr Zarif says, “Neither me, as Foreign Minister, nor Mr Rouhani, as President, can give any guarantees that the ratification of the CFT would solve any of our economic problems! But it can strip the US of some of the pretexts it has!”
Mr Zarif does not explain, first, which pretexts? Isn’t the existence of the Islamic Republic’s establishment the United States’ main pretext? And, second, in return for so many concessions that we have given, what have we gained over the past five years and a few months except the increase of sanctions and the dozens of hostile cases that the White House has opened against us?
Bitten once, no wise person should be bitten again from the same spot. Do we have to be bitten dozens of times before we come to our senses? Just mention one single concession that we have got from them. Go ahead, please!
What is INSTEX, whose implementation has been conditioned by the FATF upon the ratification of the four bills? “Oil for Food and Drugs!” Isn’t this so-called trade channel with Europe anything other than the humiliation of the Iranian nation? We are supposed to transfer to European banks the forex gained from selling oil! In return, we are supposed to purchase goods from European countries, and not any other countries; but what commodities? Only medicines and food! So far, everything is in the Europeans’ interests. Well, what about our share? Will they buy petroleum from us? The answer is “No.” Will European banks lift the sanctions? Again the answer is “No.” Then what is INSTEX and what benefit does it have for us? Practically nothing! Isn’t it so?
And what countries are supposed to monitor its implementation? Read on!
The supervision is based in France, a country which has overtly turned into a safe haven for terrorists. Members of the MKO terrorist group, who, by their own admission, have murdered some 14 thousand Iranians (The true figure is 17,000) are present in France. During the arrest of members of one of the decision-making centres of ISIS terrorists in Iraq, it was revealed that 13 of those apprehended were French officers involved in the terrorist group’s plans.
The project is managed by Germany, a country which wouldn’t allow the plane carrying Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to fuel despite the fact that Zarif was travelling to Germany at the official invitation of that country to attend the Munich conference. Also, Germany has been holding one of Iranian diplomats in detention for months despite his diplomatic immunity.
And the auditing job lies with the government of the UK, a country which, according to Mr., Zarif, does not allow Iran to open even one bank account.
Finally, we hope the recent ploy by the US and its allies will have no bearing on the calculations of the respected members of the Expediency Council and we hope they will keep in mind this part of remarks by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei that “The proposals made by them (hegemonic powers) generally include deception, deceit and lies. Today, the Iranian nation regards a number of European governments along with the United States as deceitful and unreliable. The government of the Islamic Republic [of Iran] should carefully preserve its borders with them, not step back an inch from its revolutionary and national values and not be afraid of their hollow threats.”
Iran Interlink, December 14 2018:… Last week alone, MEK created ten new sites, with specific tags that will dominate Google News. The people inside MEK say the goal is to push down the recent damning media reports. The whole organisation has become one big click farm, not just Albania, including supporters. The informers say it’s all lies. MEK is trying to say we didn’t kill Americans, we weren’t with Saddam etc …
Iran Interlink, December 14 2018:… Dr. Mowaffak al Rubaie: The GOI does not deal with the MEK as an organization. We deal with the residents as individuals. The GOI has informed them that as members of a foreign terrorist organization they cannot remain in Iraq and must choose whether to return to their country of citizenship or some other country. Remaining in Iraq is not an option. The GOI has taken steps to assure their security while …
David William Pear, The Greenville Post, December 13 2018:… The fact that Mujahideen-e-Khalq, MEK has killed US citizens in terrorist attacks did not hinder some US politicians from accepting large speaking fees at their conventions, even when MEK was still on the US terrorist list. The US has also instigated instability inside Iran and supported external attacks by terrorist groups such as Mujahideen-e-Khalq, or MEK …
Tasnim News, December 13 2018:… The US has extended its sponsorship of terrorism to a vicious terrorist cult, the MKO, that has murdered more than 17,000 Iranians and many Iraqis and who currently cozy up to the highest political figures in Washington to destabilize Iran through terrorist activities. Here, Mr. President, I would like to stress that according to the Charter, this Council represents all Member States thus its decision should …
Sarah Lazare, In These Times, December 11 2018:… She has also repeatedly vocalized her support for the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), alongside John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich. With virtually no legitimacy within Iran, the MEK is a favorite among neocons because it aggressively lobbies for U.S. military confrontation with Iran, and arguing that its head, Maryam Rajavi, is the rightful leader of Iran. The organization …
Nejat Society, December 11 2018:… The violent nature of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ the Cult of Rajavi) has always been the important issue of critics and arguments between journalists, analysts and those politicians who support the group and consider it as a democratic alternative to the Iranian government. “The MEK’s efforts over the past two decades to convey a benign public image completely …
IRNA, December 11 2018:… ‘They spread terrorism in the region in the name of human rights. Today, Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) is no different from Daesh (ISIS); human rights cannot grow with bombing exploding mosques and religious centers.’ The advisor to the chief of the judiciary on international affairs added, ‘The enmity of the US and the West with Islam is deep-rooted; now that Iran is the heartland of the …
Aawa Association, December 08 2018:… Anne Khodabandeh, placed the MEK’s current survival in the context of Neoconservative support. This means that in spite of well documented severe human rights violations, the MEK’s ‘regime change’ narrative is supported by paid advocates. The danger however is that the MEK will escalate their false flag ops in Europe which are blamed on Iran, only this time Europeans may be killed …
Iran Interlink, December 07 2018:… A week-long Exhibition and introductory Speakers panel were held at the Press Club in Brussels this week, organised by Aawa Association of Germany. The panel was chaired by Reza Jabelli, Service Etat Civil et Population. Panellists were Anne Khodabandeh, Open Minds, De-Radicalization Consultant, and two female MEK survivors, Batoul Soltani and Homeira Mohammad Nejad …
James Carden with Dr. Trita Parsi, The Nation, December 06 2018:… The MeK is of little use if the objective is regime change, due to their immense unpopularity in Iran, the Trump administration seems to believe that they can be helpful for regime collapse and a potential Civil War, mindful of this terrorist organization’s extensive experience in sabotage, terrorism, assassinations, and even regular warfare. The MeK is a violent terrorist cult …
Nejat Society, December 03 2018:… Since the relocation of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization in Albania and defections from the group, more revelations were made. Gholam Reza Shekari who left the group in 2017 recounted his traumatic experience of torture in the MKO’s jail in an interview with Spiegel. Shokri said that they had closed their eyes and took him to a clandestine jail. “They insulted me calling me spy of the Mullah’s regime,” he recounts …
Various sources, December 02 2018:… Dear Mr SOKOL BALLA and the Vision Plus TV in Albania, I suggest that the next time you want to report about the MEK, it would be better to ask them about their past, about forced divorces, working with Saddam Hussein, and imprisonment and torture inside Camp Ashraf. And in addition, invite investigative delegations to