Iran Interlink, July 27 2019:… It’s become a fashion. Every week someone in the MEK’s Albania camp dies. This week two people died in the camp. Interestingly there is no doctor, no coroner, no investigation and no involvement with any Albanian whatsoever. When asked about it the authorities say they are afraid of the Americans and that anyway the inside of the MEK camp is not within the jurisdiction of Albania. Talk to the American embassy they suggest. In the MEK’s camp people die and get buried and mysteriously disappear and even families are not allowed to attend the funeral. Iran Interlink Weekly Digest
Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – July 26, 2019
++ In Albania two MEK formers were attacked in the street and severely beaten. Rumours began that, of course the MEK did this. This week people inside the camp reported that some leaders have told them ‘if you go out and talk, this is what will happen to you’, which they say is tantamount to admitting they did it.
++ It’s become a fashion. Every week someone in the MEK’s Albania camp dies. This week two people died in the camp. Interestingly there is no doctor, no coroner, no investigation and no involvement with any Albanian whatsoever. When asked about it the authorities say they are afraid of the Americans and that anyway the inside of the MEK camp is not within the jurisdiction of Albania. Talk to the American embassy they suggest. In the MEK’s camp people die and get buried and mysteriously disappear and even families are not allowed to attend the funeral.
++ Good news, MEK formers have been issued work permits. After all the pressure the MEK and the US exerted on the UNHCR to not only give no succour to these people but to leave Albania completely, and all the pressure exerted on the Albanian government not to help or facilitate the survival of these MEK formers, they have succeeded in their aim. With the help of hunger strikes and demonstrations and the work of lawyers, the Albanian government has backed off and as a minimum has accepted that these people exist in their own right and are separate from the group supported by the US. They are accepted as individuals, not as commodities. The authorities have accepted they must issue work permits for these formers who live in Tirana. Many writing about this have said this is a huge setback for the MEK because they have used this lack of status to threaten people not to leave. They tell members ‘you will be destitute if you leave the camp’. Many write to congratulate the ex-members for their achievement and hard work over last few months.
++ In Albania, the MEK have put up a big banner inside camp with pictures of legendary folk who have worked for freedom in Iran (the likes of Mirza Kuchek Khan, etc). At the end of the panel they put Massoud Rajavi’s picture. This is taken to mean by commentators that after all these years that MEK has accepted that he is dead. The MEK has not responded, but it is now clear that the audio messages and statements given out in Massoud’s name are all false. Many have written about this from a cult perspective, pointing out that the MEK leadership had to wait for so long to admit his death because they were afraid the group would collapse. Only now that a new camp has been built and the members are trapped inside and have no real possibility of escape – especially since the MEK are under CIA protection – only now can they admit Rajavi is dead. The change from Massoud/Saddam to Maryam/Turki has become official and Turki’s condolences confirmed.
++ The issue of Kolahi’s elimination still rumbles on in the Farsisphere. Many write that in order to protect their own security services and cover up their mistakes with the MEK, Europe has brushed the affair under the rug with a form of censorship. Apparently, nobody is supposed to link this man with the MEK, nor talk about his passport which was given to him by the MEK, while they are still trying to blame Iran for his murder. This shows the hypocrisy of Europe and the Netherlands judicial service in particular.
++ The MEK’s Farsi sites have been on overdrive swearing at MEK former Fereshteh Hedayati. Hedayati was a member of the MEK’s Leadership Council who left some years ago, left Albania and now has taken refuge in Scandinavia. She is the most recent woman to expose the exploitation and abuse of women inside MEK; the naked dance, rape and the spurious hysterectomies. She has written her memoirs in a Farsi book. However, this has attracted widespread interest and she has been interviewed by various non-Farsi outlets, including in Norway, about what happened to women in MEK. MEK have responded by attacking her – bad mouthing her on their sites, publishing photoshopped pictures of her and documents obtained under coercion inside purporting to show her character – in the hope this will stop her talking. Observers say that ‘if we didn’t believe her before, now that MEK has reacted like this, we now clearly see she is telling the truth. If they do this to her now that she’s out, imagine what they did to her inside MEK. It’s surprising she and others are still alive.’
++ iPolitics in Canada outed and shamed former PM Stephen Harper for speaking at an MEK cult rally in Albania for the second year running. Jolson Lim gave some background to the group whose “members were said to engage in ‘public self-deprecation sessions, mandatory divorce, celibacy, enforced separation from family and friends, and gender segregation’ — allegations reinforced by independent reporting over the years.” “Thomas Juneau, a Middle East expert at the University of Ottawa, said while the group bills itself as a ‘viable democratic opposition to the Islamic Republic’, that’s far from the truth. ‘It is a violent, thuggish, corrupt cult’, he said. ‘It’s also a movement that has absolutely no support inside Iran’.” Juneau accused Harper of supporting the MEK so as to be seen to be taking a hard line against Iran. “It’s opportunism in the most cynical way possible”, he said.
++ Anti War writer Dave DeCamp also focused on the MEK rally in Albania to criticise a political class. This time corrupt Americans who take money from the MEK. The usual roll call of Giuliani, Lieberman, Ridge, Rohrabacher, Poe had an added star this year – the currently serving US House Representative for Texas, Lance Gooden. He remarkably made what might have been the most hilarious statement at the rally: “The first thing I learned about Iran is that the most respected individual among the Iranian community is Madame Rajavi… We have to have regime change in Iran.”
++ Reza Alghurabi in the American Herald Tribune pointed out an uncomfortable fact: that the MEK terrorists in Albania are complicating Edi Rama’s EU accession talks. It’s almost as though Albanian politicians from all sides simply can’t help themselves. No matter how much they try to want to join the EU club their reflexive corruption blocks this at every turn. The presence of the MEK terrorist cult in Albania, tolerated, nay enabled in its criminality by the government, is an added spanner in the works.
++ Mazda Parsi has, as usual, written an incisive piece for Nejat Society. Parsi examines the MEK’s involvement in creating a false narrative about Iran through social media and asks, ‘what will the group gain in exchange?’ Quoting several experts, Parsi makes the case that the MEK is used to manufacture misinformation and fake popularity to support the Trump administration’s pro-war policies. There is no answer to the question though, what does the MEK gain from its services? Perhaps the answer is just that, ‘war against Iran’. It’s just hard to imagine how the MEK would actually benefit from that scenario.
++ Iran Front Page interviewed a former MEK member, Saeed about how he was the victim of deceptive recruitment by the MEK in a Dutch refugee camp. Saeed explains that he had left Iran in search of a better future but then describes how MEK operatives recruited and brainwashed him and eventually took him to Iraq. Saeed holds the Netherlands accountable as an accessory to this. “Europe, which claims to be and advocate of human rights and claims to be fighting terrorism, has practically paved the way for a terrorist group such as the MKO, so that they are able to do anything from recruiting members to raising money. People like me are the victims of the irresponsibility of the likes of the Dutch government.”
++ After Mehr News published a report that Maryam Rajavi had travelled to Israel to meet with PM Netanyahu, Neri Zilber in the Daily Beast, exposed this as fake news. The headline says it all: ‘Fake Tweets Put Israel in Bed With Iranian Exile ‘Terrorists’ – We’re looking at the new face of cyber-ops in our hyperconnected, digitized world. It too often resembles the real thing. And it looks like Iranians are pretty good at it.’ Zilber unpicks the story and how he realised it was false, even looking at the language used on the social media account responsible for the fake news. Zilber concludes: “The story, a classic case of fake news and disinformation, was luckily stopped before it was able to travel halfway around the world—although the Iranian media is likely still flogging the ‘report’. Yet the real moral is just how much time, effort, and resources were invested to make this particular profile seem like the real personal account of the French consul general in Jerusalem. This is the new face of psy-ops and cyber-ops in our hyperconnected, digitized world, and it all too often resembles the real thing.”
++ Iran Front Page claims to have a leaked audio of one of the MEK’s top members complaining about ‘criminal’ US Presidents. Mehdi Abrishamchi, addressing a gathering of the most trusted loyalists of the Rajavi cult, expresses his “deep dissatisfaction with the regional approach adopted by many of US presidents, from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush and Barack Obama”. Also, “Despite the explicit support of senior Trump administration officials for the MKO at their gatherings, Abrishamchi says he does not pin any hope on Trump, and just wishes the US president would not harm them.” Shame that Presidents don’t jump to the MEK’s whistle, eh!
++ Mazda Parsi in Nejat Society refuses to let the MEK’s wounds scab over and heal. This time, Parsi musters several experts and analysts who all express dismay that American ‘officials, politicians and retired military officers’ are so happy to take money from the MEK terrorist cult for promoting them in the face of overwhelming evidence that the MEK is just simply a no-good group. According to Parsi there is some kind of magic formula for turning former terrorists into pro-democracy patriots. “MEK agents which are being brought in from Albania are organized in troll farms and may be used to carry out some false flag and blame it on Iran. Money seems to be the catalyst of these interactions. But where does the MEK’s money come from? To be continued”
Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – July 26, 2019