Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Jan 10, 2020

Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Jan 10, 2020

Iran Interlink Weekly Digest Mojahedin Khalq MEK NCRI Rajavi cultIran Interlink, January 10 2020:… After the illegal assassination of general Qassem Soleimani, videos and audios in support of president Trump flooded Farsi social media. These all turned out to be fake. The only ones that were true were MEK outlets, which genuinely support Trump. Very quickly an audio emerged from Massoud Rajavi – presumed dead – as the only Iranian who officially and publicly supported Trump and endorsed the assassination. As usual in the audio he threatens the ex-members with death. But, his message and further statements by Maryam Rajavi say this assassination is not enough. ‘Now you have bombed the convoy in Iraq you should hit them and their places in Iran and Iraq and Syria’, scream the Rajavis. Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Jan 10, 2020  

Fox News MEK And Another Fake Photo 2Fox News MEK And Another Fake Photo 

Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Jan 10, 2020

Iran Interlink Weekly Digest Mojahedin Khalq MEK NCRI Rajavi cult++ After the illegal assassination of general Qassem Soleimani, videos and audios in support of president Trump flooded Farsi social media. These all turned out to be fake. The only ones that were true were MEK outlets, which genuinely support Trump. Very quickly an audio emerged from Massoud Rajavi – presumed dead – as the only Iranian who officially and publicly supported Trump and endorsed the assassination. As usual in the audio he threatens the ex-members with death. But, his message and further statements by Maryam Rajavi say this assassination is not enough. ‘Now you have bombed the convoy in Iraq you should hit them and their places in Iran and Iraq and Syria’, scream the Rajavis. In the end Massoud and Maryam both ask the Americans to re-arm the MEK. Other MEK outlets ranted, using foul language against anyone who doesn’t praise Trump. Ironically that includes the poet laureate of Iran who says he feels sad they have killed Soleimani. All the MEK sites went on full on attack against Mahmoud Dolatabadi. ‘How dare you say you are sad; your hands are soaked in blood and etc’, they screamed. This ranting caused a serious backlash for Rajavi, especially after everything died down and Trump didn’t go to war with Iran. News from inside MEK says that members of the NCRI are really angry about Rajavi jumping on the bandwagon without thinking it through. One spoke to MEK supporters in London. They told him ‘we have a thousand questions after this. Not least is that we MEK are on our backs, Maryam Rajavi has been deported from EU to Albania, Massoud has not been seen for decades and the US government is saying nobody allowed to talk to you. Instead of working on this you are asking for arms in Albania. To do what? Where? How?’ Further questions spilled out: ‘Are we Iranian or not? If we are, didn’t we see the number of people who came out in support of Soleimani?’ The NCRI representative says that ‘we [in the NCRI] all say the same things, we also have the same questions, but nobody in MEK is answering. It is a self-inflicted wound. You didn’t have to do this. Even the US and Israel didn’t ask us to support the assassination like that. This is the madness of Maryam Rajavi.’ As for the audio being genuine or not. Most MEK supporters think not. Especially after it was pointed out that the voice is that of a 30-year-old man. Rajavi – if alive – is around 70. So, members don’t believe this is his voice. Javad Firouzmand from Arya Association in Paris put out a short note directed at Rajavi in which he reminds him he’s always been trying to jump on somebody’s bandwagon – Khomeini, Saddam, Pompeo. He ends it by saying ‘once again you smelled a barbeque and invited yourself to the feast. But you are mistaken, that is the smell of branding donkeys!’

In English:

++ Before the illegal assassination of general Soleimani, Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and those accompanying them, news about the MEK focused on their failure to influence the fuel protests in Iran and their continued efforts to use social media to create fake news and pervert the narrative on Iran toward their regime change agenda. Post-Soleimani, it became clear that the MEK are totally isolated on this issue as the only Iranians who praised Trump and condemned Soleimani. Massoud Khodabandeh pointed out, in an article published by The Iranian and Responsible Statecraft, that “the blinkered aim of the Trump administration’s foreign policy to manufacture regime change against Iran by any means possible including all-out war has in fact resulted in the opposite result. Regime change is now in its coffin and the assassination of general Soleimani is the last nail hammered in.” And concluded that “the unwanted assassination of Soleimani will result in tectonic shifts in the world order. No matter how hard mainstream media in the West works to normalize America’s actions, security and military experts the world over will have their own ideas about what the future holds.”

++ The MEK is also mentioned in some articles as having a negative influence on US foreign policy, acting through proxies like Giuliani, Bolton and Mukaskey. This led to Pompeo ordering American officials not to talk with them according to Nick Wadhams in Bloomberg. “’Direct U.S. government engagement with these groups could prove counterproductive to our policy goal of seeking a comprehensive deal with the Iranian regime that addresses its destabilizing behavior,’ the cable said. Exiled Iranian opposition groups ‘try to engage U.S. officials regularly to gain at least the appearance of tacit support and enhance their visibility and clout.’ Cut Ties With MEK – Pompeo Ordered Officials.”

Fox News MEK And Another Fake Photo MEK Sell Fake News to Buy War

Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Jan 10, 2020

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Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump

Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump 1Massoud Khodanbandeh, Responsible Statecraft, January 09 2020:… In another reckless act of overturning Obama’s legacy, the new Trump administration halted Hillary Clinton’s plan to de-radicalise the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) in Albania. Since then, American anti-Iran politicians have stuffed the MEK down the throats of the international community as the regime change opposition that will bring freedom and democracy to Iran. Since Iranians hate the MEK more than the current Islamic Republic, this has been a gift to the hard-liners in Iran. To quell every protest or demonstration since then, Iran’s security forces have only to claim that MEK are involved in inciting violence for the ordinary people to go home and announce their abhorrence of the MEK. Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump 

 Pompeo Uses MEK Fabrications Assassination of Qassem Soleimani Pompeo Uses MEK Fabrications

Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump

After Soleimani’s Assassination, There Will Be No Regime Change in Tehran


Massoud Khodabandeh

Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump 2

Anyone who believes that President Trump’s order to illegally assassinate Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani, Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and several more Iraqis, was an act of strength has not been properly paying attention. This is the latest in a series of stupid policy errors by this administration which have not only strengthened the hand of America’s enemies but have also now ensured that the rest of the world, with the exceptions of Israel and Saudi Arabia, now at best views the U.S. with mistrust, or at the very worst hate America more than any other country on earth. This is a remarkable achievement for a man who promised to end the “endless wars” and “drain the swamp.”

Trump started his presidency with the ambition of overturning the Obama administration’s achievements. However, he inherited a foreign policy already predicated on waging war and which was soon re-staffed and promoted by Republican warmongers. In this context, withdrawing unilaterally from the Iran nuclear deal might have appeared to be a strong-arm tactic to Trump, but to America’s allies in Europe it looked like a betrayal, and a slap in the face. Still, none were willing to come out on the side of Iran at that time. Even Russia and China were holding back at that stage. So, what were the steps in between which culminated in late December in an unprecedented four days of joint naval manoeuvres between Iran, China, and Russia in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman? What happened to embolden this trio to flex military muscle in the Middle East?

A review of these steps reveals that the blinkered aim of the Trump administration’s foreign policy to manufacture regime change against Iran by any means possible including all-out war has in fact resulted in the opposite result. Regime change is now in its coffin and the assassination of Soleimani is the last nail hammered in.

Instead of promoting freedom and democracy in the Middle East, American interference is destroying every possibility of ordinary people rising up and demanding change from their own governments. In Syria, the people rose up against President Bashar al-Assad because of genuine grievances against that regime. The outcome of U.S. support for Sunni extremists in Syria has been a swing from people supporting the American aim of ousting Assad to rallying behind their own terrible government to save them from the spread of Islamic fundamentalism. With an irony that can be lost on no one, authoritarian Russia and the theocracy in Iran are now allies of Syria in that struggle.

Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump 1

In another reckless act of overturning Obama’s legacy, the new Trump administration halted Hillary Clinton’s plan to de-radicalise the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) in Albania. Since then, American anti-Iran politicians have stuffed the MEK down the throats of the international community as the regime change opposition that will bring freedom and democracy to Iran. Since Iranians hate the MEK more than the current Islamic Republic, this has been a gift to the hard-liners in Iran. To quell every protest or demonstration since then, Iran’s security forces have only to claim that MEK are involved in inciting violence for the ordinary people to go home and announce their abhorrence of the MEK.

American actions are consolidating people around their own hated governments instead of helping them express their legitimate demands. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s response to the anti-government protests in Iran in November was to repeat false information published by the MEK about the death toll. When Pompeo retweets MEK propaganda it destroys any trust among Iranians that the U.S. has their interests in mind.

In another remarkable example of how Pompeo has frittered away American power and influence, just weeks ago, disgruntled Iraqi citizens were in the streets demonstrating against Iranian interference in their country. Instead of supporting them, Pompeo oversaw the U.S. bombing of Iraqi militia forces that were fighting against ISIS. The Iraqi people cannot take the U.S. side over this no matter how anti-Iran they are. If America had done nothing, said nothing, Iraqi people would still be in the street demonstrating against their own government. Instead, different Iraqis attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Now, in a pivotal act of hubris, the illegal assassination of Soleimani and Iraqi militia leaders at an international airport not only allows Iran to describe the U.S. as a terrorist state, but has brought Iranians of every belief together to rally together to mourn a national hero, the man who saved Iran from ISIS.

But it would be a mistake to believe that the U.S.’s Middle East foreign policy mistakes only impacted that region. In 1981, France gifted the CIA some land to host the MEK outside Paris from where they could plan their armed resistance to the new regime. Although France did not use the MEK politically as America did, their presence was tolerated. Until, that is, MEK activities began to impact European security and democracy.

In 2017, John Bolton, just before he became Trump’s National Security Advisor, promised the MEK they would celebrate in Tehran before the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution in February 2019. That did not happen, of course. But events subsequent to this promise certainly indicated there were already plans afoot to use the MEK to undermine European policy toward Iran. A bomb plot against the MEK in France was discovered by security forces in France and Belgium to have been a false-flag operation by the MEK used to blame and demonize Iran. After numerous acts of violence and confirmation that the MEK had funded Spain’s far-right Vox party in its EU election bid, several European countries, including Germany and the Netherlands as well as France and Belgium moved to expel MEK leaders, including leader Maryam Rajavi, to Albania.

In Albania, the MEK have caused multiple headaches for the government and the opposition there. The worst result of which has been the EU’s refusal to allow Albania to join the union. After kicking out the MEK, no European country would allow them to enter through the back door again.

Significantly, what these policy steps over time have revealed to America’s foes and her friends alike is that the U.S. cannot be trusted. The Trump administration has shown a reckless disregard for normal behavior in the international scene. It acts with callous cruelty and indifference against enemies and allies alike.

The unwanted assassination of Soleimani will result in tectonic shifts in the world order. No matter how hard mainstream media in the West works to normalize America’s actions, security and military experts the world over will have their own ideas about what the future holds.

End

Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/nobody-can-be-comfortable-with-regime-change-involving-mek/

Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEK

Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEKMassoud Khodabandeh, Lobe Log, August 23 2019:… So, when Giuliani says we should be “comfortable” with this group, right-minded people the world over can honestly and unequivocally answer, “No, we are not comfortable ignoring this harsh reality just because the MEK amplifies an anti-Iran message to the world, and no, we don’t believe the MEK have any kind of future in Iran”. Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEK 

MSNBC_Massoud_KhodabandehThe MEK’s man inside the White House (Maryam Rajavi cult, Mojahedin Khalq)

Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEK

By: Massoud and Anne Khodabandeh (Middle East Strategy Conslultants)

Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEKLeaked photo of MEK’s Albanian headquarters

In 2017, John Bolton promised the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK)—wrongly, it turned out—that they would be celebrating in Tehran before the Iranian Revolution’s 40th anniversary in February 2019. This July, at the MEK’s five-day conference in Albania, keynote speaker Rudy Giuliani still insisted the MEK is a “government in exile” and claimed the MEK is “a group that should make us comfortable having regime change”.

For context, promoting a group which is universally despised by Iranians inside and outside the country as traitors already stretches credulity. There is no evidence that Iranians are calling for severe sanctions against themselves. Nor are they calling for regime change. The MEK’s only audience in this respect are a warmongering cabal of Americans, Saudis, Israelis, and British, who like to hear what they want to hear. The rest of the world just isn’t that comfortable with this bizarre, terrorist cult.

Lately, even Europe has distanced itself from lending succour to the group. The MEK no longer has free access to the European Parliament where its activists would harass the MEPs and their staff. This year the MEK was barred from holding its annual Villepinte rally in France and was also banned from rallying by Germany. As a result of this, MEK leader Maryam Rajavi has decamped from Paris to Albania and the MEK announced that Albania is the group’s new headquarters.

The move from Iraq to Albania ought to have allowed unprecedented access to Western journalists keen to investigate the honey pot around which the anti-Iran cabal buzz with excitement. They were soon disappointed, as the MEK built a de facto extra-territorial enclave in Manëz and posted armed guards to keep out unwanted attention. But although the group were physically hidden from view, they were very exposed through their cyber activities.

Although it had been known for some time that the MEK operates a click farm from Albania, it was Murteza Hussain in The Intercept who revealed how the MEK uses fake social media accounts to curate a false narrative about Iran to influence US policy. The Heshmat Alavi scandal focused media attention on what is really happening inside the MEK behind the slickly marketed brand image that Giuliani so admires. This endeavour to scrutinise the MEK has been aided by a series of photographs which were leaked from inside the MEK’s camp in Albania and published in Iran. The photos are very revealing, but in ways that the MEK probably didn’t intend or realise when they were taken. Since the MEK so zealously hides its inner world from public scrutiny, these photos offer us an unguarded glimpse into the operational and organisational life of the cult.

The fact that the photos were taken at all is significant. At first glance they could be showing a session for seniors at the local library or community centre. But we see the women are wearing military uniforms and the men are all wearing similar shirts. Some are wearing ties. This is something the MEK don’t ever do unless in a public facing role. This indicates the images have been deliberately staged for a particular external audience. Certainly they were not meant for internal consumption, but neither is this for the wider public or else they would be on the MEK’s own websites. Based on information about the MEK already in the public domain, we can assume these photos were commissioned by Maryam Rajavi as a marketing ploy to ‘sell’ the MEK brand to financiers and backers.

Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEKLeaked photos showing MEK members at work

There is clearly a deliberate effort to show that the MEK are “professional” workers in this computer room. Everyone is posed looking intently at a screen. Nobody is “off duty” in the pictures; yawning, stretching, drinking coffee, the normal activities of any workers. There is no evidence of relaxed, friendly chat between co-workers, everyone looks very serious. There are no cups of coffee or snacks on the desks. No pictures of family, husbands, wives, children, pets even. No plants or flowers. In spite of the rows of desks being squashed together closely, everyone looks very isolated.

There might be nothing wrong with that. After all, employers want to see their workers busy. But organisational photographs are also about marketing a brand, which includes marketing the core values of an entity. A group which claims, as the MEK does, that it is funded by public donations to struggle for democracy and human rights would surely want to create an image in the mind of the public about transparency, effectiveness, and positivity. By way of contrast, see how Human Rights Watch advertises its work culture. Even a quick Google image search on ‘call center worker’ reveals pictures of relaxed and smiling workers rather than people who look like battery hens. This is not the image any normal company or government office would use to promote their workplace.

In the MEK’s advertising photos the workers are gender segregated. Men sit in one room, women in another. The women all wear hijab. There is no pluralism here. The use of garden chairs and workers using glasses unsuited to screen work reveals that this management doesn’t care at all about the safety, comfort or wellbeing of the workers. They are using a mixture of outdated monitors and laptops. The cables are frayed and tangled.

There is no indication that the workers are happy at their workstations or enjoying their work. Why would they be with the picture of their leader bearing down on them, as in all dictatorships, lest they forget why they are there and who is in charge? (The picture of a solitary Maryam Rajavi is a clear acknowledgement that her husband Massoud Rajavi is dead.)

The MEK’s cultic system means that decisions are imposed from the top down. This means that those decisions are only as intelligent as the leadership. What Rajavi doesn’t understand is that these photos show beyond any words that the MEK doesn’t share our values. The leader is selling unthinking, unquestioning, obedient slaves, people who won’t act or speak unless ordered to do so. And that would only be ordered if it were productive for the MEK, regardless of the needs or desires of the worker.

What these images portray are conditions of modern slavery. These are elderly people who are unable to escape this cult and are coerced into performing work for which they receive no recompense. They exist on cruelly basic accommodation and sustenance, whereby even asking for new underwear puts the petitioner under question about their loyalty to the leader and the cause. They cannot leave because in Albania they have nowhere to go, no identity documents or work permits, no money, and they do not speak the local language. And also because the Trump administration wants the MEK to be there.

So, when Giuliani says we should be “comfortable” with this group, right-minded people the world over can honestly and unequivocally answer, “No, we are not comfortable ignoring this harsh reality just because the MEK amplifies an anti-Iran message to the world, and no, we don’t believe the MEK have any kind of future in Iran”.

(End)

Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEK

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The Many Faces of the MEK, Explained By Its Former Top Spy Massoud KhodabandehThe Many Faces of the MEK, Explained By Its Former Top Spy Massoud Khodabandeh

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