Iran Interlink, August 09 2019:… John Bolton has become like Brexit for the British – impossible to ignore. Another article featuring him is published by the Daily Beast. Written by Lachlan Markay and Adam Rawnsley, this focuses on the response of American intelligence officials to a social media disinformation “that attempted to falsely implicate the White House National Security Adviser in a global money laundering and drug trafficking operation.” It appears that this is one of several attempts in which fake Twitter accounts were “organized in support of Iranian political interests”, but which could not be credibly linked to Iran. Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – August 09, 2019
Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – August 09, 2019
++ Many people reacted to an audio message purporting to be by Massoud Rajavi. Nobody believes it’s him whether he’s alive or not. Some note that all he’s saying is repeating the headlines of far-right American papers. Others say that from the time of Saddam he never had anything original to say. He has no strategy or policies, he just repeats headlines. Rajavi has always hoped for war and to get some of the spoils. Some quote the Farsi proverb – ‘waiting for the yoghurt pot to fall and break so as to lick the remains from the floor’. Some go further and say ‘there is nothing in the yoghurt pot for you’. Commentators remark that Rajavi’s hope is just a delusion. Saber from Tabriz says this message has been broadcast to get more share of Saudi money on one side and on the other side to give the members in Albania false hope so they won’t leave. Saber points out that they want to believe it because there is noting else for them. He refers to this alongside the demonstrations whose theme was asking America to put more sanctions on Iran. He lists the speakers (non-Iranian) and adds some photos of the demonstrators (non-Iranian). He comments, ‘you can sit and promote sanctions on Iranians, but it is ridiculous to say that Iranians want sanctions on themselves. Only the members in Albania will believe this.
++ There has been a surge of verbal support for MEK by Iranian personalities and such like – known people – who are being paid by the Saudis. Reactions in Farsi are not directed against these Iranians because they are known people but are, instead, scathingly critical of the Saudis. Typically, commentators say ‘The money you are spending to coerce them to say these things is making the situation worse. Clearly you can’t do this directly yourselves because your situation is known; Khashoggi shows you are not human rights activists. So, you create ‘human rights advocates’ but then destroy the pretence by having them support MEK. For example, Hashem Khastar claims to represent teachers in Iran and has published a lot of articles in support of MEK. Many have commented this week that ‘Whatever the problems or complaints of teachers in Iran, the last thing they want is to support terrorism or take the side of Saudis against their own government. You are not representing teachers. As a literate person yourself how can you not see this, unless you have been forced to say this.’
++ Catherine Shakdam writing in Citizen Truth worries about MEK influence in the White House. This question only arises due to the proximity of paid MEK advocates Rudi Giuliani and John Bolton to the White House and the perception that this offers the group a special hearing or privileged influence. The article points to the White House use of MEK ‘fake news’ to formulate its Iranian agenda and warns that in spite of its waning efficacy as a cult, the MEK’s “ability to taint the broad geopolitical discourse through ‘influencers’ should not be discounted”. In this context, Shakdam argues, Congressional oversight on the U.S. Executive branch is an important brake on an Iran policy based on Trump’s reckless tweets.
++ The MEK is only as clever as its leader. So, when the Los Angeles Times wrote a piece which touched a Rajavi nerve, there was only one thing to do – pay for an advert to refute the truths it told. Iran-Interlink commented: “Maryam Rajavi paid for an advert to answer an article in the Los Angeles Times. Evidence that neither she nor her group have any credibility, otherwise a fact-based reply would have been possible in the newspaper. Rather than answer the allegations against the MEK, Rajavi twists the facts to blame Iran for its lack of success.”
++ Giorgio Cafiero and Sina Azodi, in Inside Arabia, wrote another of those articles which charts the MEK’s “dark history of violence and acts of terrorism against American interests” and then swings by the question “how, one must ask, has a Marxist-Islamist group that defined itself based on an ideology hostile to America gained popularity in Washington?” According to what these writers unfold, this is more a result of US incompetence, delusion, stupidity, and of course avarice, than as a result any credibility MEK might have. Indeed, “Shrouded in secrecy and controversy while harmed by global media reports about its conduct in Albania, the MEK has justified its reputation as a cult organization” covers that adequately. As does the central point: “Realistically, the MEK lacks any means to mobilize support in Iran for an overthrow of the regime. Furthermore, if there is one thing that unites all Iranians of different affiliations, it is the loathing for a cult that sided with Iraq during its war against their homeland. But for American and British officials who vocally support it, public displays of solidarity with the MEK serve to enrage Iran’s government. They, on the other hand, continue to isolate the country politically and depress its economy through comprehensive sanctions. However, beyond angering those in power in Tehran, it is not clear what the US could achieve by providing more support to the MEK.”
++ John Bolton has amazed decent folk all over the globe with his bull-headed warmongering. Zeng Ziyi for the Chinese CGTN reports on Bolton’s ‘desperate attempt to waken the U.S. war machine’. Studded with choice phrases and juicy descriptions of Bolton’s miscreant behaviour (“he’s a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy”, according to a former colleague), the article paints a clear and unflattering picture of Bolton. Fox New host Tucker Carlson described him thus: “John Bolton is that kind of bureaucratic tapeworm. Try as you might, you can’t expel him. He seems to live forever in the bowels of the Federal agencies, periodically reemerging to cause pain and suffering, but critically, somehow never suffering himself.”
++ John Bolton has become like Brexit for the British – impossible to ignore. Another article featuring him is published by the Daily Beast. Written by Lachlan Markay and Adam Rawnsley, this focuses on the response of American intelligence officials to a social media disinformation “that attempted to falsely implicate the White House National Security Adviser in a global money laundering and drug trafficking operation.” It appears that this is one of several attempts in which fake Twitter accounts were “organized in support of Iranian political interests”, but which could not be credibly linked to Iran. “The Daily Beast was initially alerted to “Belanger’s” tweets by a Twitter user claiming to be a U.S.-based freelance journalist covering the Middle East. The Twitter account was created in June, and has posted numerous tweets in broken and grammatically incorrect sentences consistent with someone whose first language is not English.” Blimey, it could be anyone!
Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – August 09, 2019
The MEK : Illusion vs. Reality
Robert Fantina, Counter Punch, August 02 2019:… The oddly named People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (known as the MKO or MEK), whose sole purpose is the overthrow of the people’s government of Iran, has been busy. Some of their members, who seem to be mainly elderly, are technologically savvy, and use social media to further their disgraceful cause. But they don’t just individually post to Facebook, Twitter and other sites; they establish accounts under a variety of names, and ‘tweet’ and post from them, thus giving the impression that the MEK has widespread support. The MEK : Illusion vs. Reality
The MEK : Illusion vs. Reality
The oddly named People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (known as the MKO or MEK), whose sole purpose is the overthrow of the people’s government of Iran, has been busy. Some of their members, who seem to be mainly elderly, are technologically savvy, and use social media to further their disgraceful cause. But they don’t just individually post to Facebook, Twitter and other sites; they establish accounts under a variety of names, and ‘tweet’ and post from them, thus giving the impression that the MEK has widespread support.
It does, however, have some significant support from the United States government, which once designated it a terrorist organization, but now embraces it.
One may wonder why the U.S., which purports to support the self-determination of people everywhere (except in Palestine, Iran, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Libya, Yemen, Syria, the Philippines, Guam, Cuba, and other places too numerous to name right now), would support an organization responsible for the deaths of many innocent people, that seeks the overthrow of the Iranian government. It really isn’t too much of a mystery. After the U.S. overthrew the democratic government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953, it installed the brutally oppressive Shah of Iran. His disregard for human rights and disdain for his own people was all fine with successive U.S. administrations, but in 1979, the people of Iran had had enough, overthrew him, and established the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Shah had done the bidding of the U.S. government; if any of its citizens disagreed, they simply disappeared. But once the new Islamic Republic of Iran was created, there was an entirely different set of rules by which the U.S. had to play, and they weren’t rules of the U.S.’s making. And it didn’t like them one bit. No longer did the U.S. have a complacent ally, which posed no threat to Israeli hegemony. No longer could the U.S. call the shots in the Straits of Hormuz. No, things were different now, and the mighty U.S. was no longer in control.
For years, the MEK was officially considered a terrorist organization by much of the world, but the U.S. rescinded that designation in 2012. Why it would endorse an organization whose sole purpose is the overthrow of a foreign government would be puzzling, but this is the hypocritical, terrorist United States we are discussing.
And what of the MEK? It’s current leaders, Maryam Rajavi and her husband, Massoud Rajavi, see themselves as the future rulers of Iran, if they are successful in their quixotic quest to thwart the will of 80,000,000 people. Outside of the repressive, anti-government circles of their own organization, they appear to have little Iranian support, although the U.S. would be happy to establish them as U.S. puppets.
And then there is the MEK’s distinguished journalist, Heshmat Alavi, a prolific anti-Iranian writer, who simply doesn’t exist! Yes, those tech-savvy MEK members created him, so they could write a variety of articles under one name, which would then become ‘prominent’ in anti-Iran circles.
Photographs purporting to be of dedicated MEK members, hard at work at their computer screens, probably writing articles that will be published under the name of a non-existent writer, or busy ‘tweeting’ and posting from accounts of non-existent people, indicate that most of them were probably born early in the terrorist reign of the Shah. This writer reviewed five such photographs, and of the dozens of people shown, perhaps two are under the age of sixty. There is nothing wrong with being older; wisdom often (but certainly now always) comes with years, but youthful optimism and enthusiasm have long since left these people. Even assuming that some Iranians, for some bizarre reason, support the MEK, these pictures represent the group that opposes the will of most of Iran’s 80,000,000 people. It is hard to imagine a dynamic leader emerging from this group of people, one who will inspire the masses to rise up against the very government they selected forty years ago.
So let us summarize: with the support of the United States and a few other governments, the MEK has assembled a group of mainly elderly people who create social media accounts under fictitious names, and ‘tweet’ and post anti-Iranian information. They write articles and submit them, often successfully (one must give them credit for deceiving some major U.S. news outlets) under the name of a non-existent journalist. Like all those social media accounts, said journalist is a figment of MEK’s creative imagination. They take their instructions from a woman who sees herself as Iran’s new savior. They see themselves as being able, with the assistance of the U.S., of course, to defeat the 40-year-old people’s revolution.
When this writer visited Iran in the summer of 2017, he found a modern, vital and exciting nation. Illegal and immoral U.S. sanctions have certainly taken a toll on the economy, but as a friend of his from Iran commented, Iranians are accustomed to sanctions, and manage fine anyway.
The MEK and its criminal members and leaders will not prevail; the Iranian people are proud of what they have accomplished, and will not allow a few disillusioned people, even those who have the support of the United States, to defeat them.
Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).
The MEK : Illusion vs. Reality