Iran Interlink, September 01 2017:… In Albania, Gazeta Impakt YouTube channel broadcast an hour and a half interview with Ehsan Bidi and Manuchehr Abdi. Both are ex-members there. They detailed how they were treated before coming to Albania and now by the MEK. Their main complaint concerns their current situation in Tirana. They are coming under pressure from the MEK and its backers in the Albanian government to stop them speaking out and …
Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – September 01, 2017
++ This week saw the anniversary of the 1981 assassination of Prime Minister Mohammad-Javad Bahonar and President Mohammad Ali Rajai by the MEK in Iran. Iran calls it ‘the day of fighting terrorism’. One of the events to mark this assassination was held in the old parliament building in Tehran. The event was titled ‘Terrorism – from Mojahedin to Daesh’. A statement from the Head of Parliament was read out as he could not attend. In his speech, the Deputy Head of Parliament said, “it is a sad joke that after sending the MEK and Daesh to commit acts of terrorism in Iran over three decades, ironically ‘they’ still accuse us of supporting terrorism”.
++ A gathering of Nejat Society members was held in Yazd this week. The invited speakers were Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Zahra Mir Bagheri and Abbas Mohammadpour. The explained in some detail to the families what is happening with the MEK and the ex-members in Tirana and how Nejat is talking with the government of Albania to arrange family meetings and help those who have separated from the MEK.
++ In Albania, Gazeta Impakt YouTube channel broadcast an hour and a half interview with Ehsan Bidi and Manuchehr Abdi. Both are ex-members there. They detailed how they were treated before coming to Albania and now by the MEK. Their main complaint concerns their current situation in Tirana. They are coming under pressure from the MEK and its backers in the Albanian government to stop them speaking out and exposing the realities of the MEK. This has reached the point that because of speaking out about the MEK, the UNHCR, the interior ministry of Albania and the refugee camps have thrown them out into the streets and cut their social benefits. When they went on hunger strike outside the UNHCR office they were threatened by staff there with ‘disappearance’ or prison. They complain that “the Pentagon and the CIA have brought their fight with Iran to Albania, but in this war, they are sacrificing people who don’t want to be terrorists”.
++ Other reports from Albania indicate that Maryam Rajavi has started a new round of oath taking, this time getting members to sign up to stay with the MEK until the end of the Trump administration. Rajavi tells them that ‘President Trump will go to war with Iran and we will go back to Iran’. Commentators ridicule this saying even Trump himself is not clear whether he’ll reach end of his term as President.
++ Other reports from Albania say that MEK members are trying to sneak into internet cafés and talk with their families. In response, the MEK has increased its surveillance tactics. On top of the previous system of only being allowed to go out in groups and compulsory reporting on each other, the MEK has now created a dedicated group of people just to follow those who have to go out for any reason. For example, for medical reasons. This group must clandestinely follow, take photos and report the activities of any MEK member outside the base.
++ Today it was reported that the MEK leaders have gathered all the disaffected members who still receive their weekly UN refugee allowance from them on condition of compliance with various restrictions – do not contact your family, do not contact other ex-members, do not talk about the MEK with anyone. These people have been told that after this month they will no longer receive their UNHCR financial allowance from the MEK. When they complained, insisting that they had abided by the rules, the MEK told them ‘the UNHCR informed us that the lease for the building we are using has ended and it must be evacuated’. The disaffected members objected ‘what’s that to do with us, we don’t live in that building’. The MEK answer was that ‘if we suffer you must too’. The UNHCR ironically still pays its money to the MEK organisation not individual refugees. Farsi commentary says, ‘this is what Saddam would do – pay per head of members as a lump sum to Massoud Rajavi’.
++ A government source in Albania has informed Iran-Interlink that the MEK is pushing hard for permission to move the members to a camp in an isolated town at the edge of Albania, 300 miles from the capital. This is to avoid any interference from any external body but mostly to make it extremely difficult for the MEK families to go there. The government has refused this saying it is not acceptable.
++ Sahar site was down for three days last week. Sahar explained why this happened. It appears that some MEK lobbyists in America had approached the service provider in the US claiming that the Sahar website belongs to the intelligence ministry of Iran and that hosting it is against the sanctions regime and threatening that legal action will be taken. In addition, several lawyers have written to the service provider saying the same thing. According to Sahar’s investigations, a considerable amount of money has been spent on this. Sahar has contacted the service provider with documents to show who is behind Sahar. The provider thereby discovered that they had been set up and have apologised to Sahar and reinstated the site. Khodabandeh posted on Facebook – if you can’t deal with a few ex members and some families even outside the country, what is that ‘we will overthrow the regime’ slogan all about?
++ Sahar Family Foundation met with some officials in the Albanian ministry of internal affairs whose department is responsible for monitoring and looking after around 240 separated MEK members. One official gave a wide-ranging account of what is happening, in particular mentioning the MEK’s “hostile attitude towards the families trying to visit their loved ones inside the group” and said the government is aware that the MEK leaders are “trying to establish a government like system similar to what they practiced in Iraq, which is not acceptable”.
++ Habilian Association which represents victims of MEK terrorism inside Iran reported on a speech by former MEK member Ebrahim Khodabandeh to scholars of Astan Qods Razavi Endowment in Mashhad. Khodabandeh said the main focus of MEK international activity was to stoke ‘Iranophobia’. He talked about the criminal record of the group. He concluded by describing Iran’s attitude toward the MEK and its members. “…Do a research in a country like the U.S. and see what the sentence of high treason is. The Islamic Republic has shown the maximum mercy to an enemy group. I know more than 700 MEK members like myself who are freely living their lives. Many journalists who encountered us were surprised and wondered if it is possible.”
++ Mazda Parsi in Nejat Society calls the MEK ‘Masters of Propaganda’. He says, “There is a big mistake often made by certain American politicians: They allegedly are concerned about freedom of Iranian people but fail to understand the nature of a group which, in public, says good things about freedom and democracy but, actually it is committed to violence, human rights abuse and cult-like practices… The MEK are ‘masters of propaganda’. Many of its supporters are unaware of its dark history and also what is going on inside the group now.”
++ Tehran Times and Mehr News, Tehran, both ran pieces about the MEK assassination of President Mohammad Ali Rajaei and Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar in 1981.
++ Nejat Society published an open letter written by families of MEK members trapped in Albania to the UNHCR and the Albanian interior ministry. The families again raise the issue of family visits not being a crime and asking for help to allow MEK members to benefit from their international and financial rights so that they can make informed decisions about their futures.
Does Albania have an America problem?
Belen Fernandez, Middle East Eye, August 22 2017:… German citizen Khaled el-Masri, was flown to Albania when the CIA apparently didn’t know what else to do with him after having wrongfully abducted him from Macedonia to Afghanistan. el-Masri was “sodomised” and otherwise subjected to “torture” by CIA agents, according to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. Albania has also been referred to as a “dumping ground” for victims …
Does Albania have an America problem?
A willing rendition partner, a ‘dumping ground’ for Guantanamo Bay detainees, and now sending troops to fight IS in Iraq… What won’t Albania do for the US?
Among the more eccentric features of the Albanian landscape these days are an estimated 700,000 concrete bunkers scattered throughout the country’s farms, mountains, beaches, and city centres – an enduring testament to Albania’s Cold War history of self-imposed isolation under Stalinist ruler Enver Hoxha, who in addition to detecting ubiquitous enemies also banned religion and private cars.
After the fall of communism in the early 90s, certain of Albania’s international enemies were quickly rehabilitated – hence the current existence of a George W Bush Street in the capital of Tirana, a George W Bush statue in the village of Fushe-Kruje, and a (perhaps prematurely erected) Hillary Clinton statue in Sarande.
In his book Modern Albania: From Dictatorship to Democracy in Europe, Fred Abrahams, a special adviser at Human Rights Watch, describes the scene awaiting the convoy of visiting US Secretary of State James Baker in 1991: “[A]n ecstatic mob engulfed the cars, hoping to glimpse the guest from the West. Men threw flowers, kissed the windshields, and tried to carry Baker’s limousine into town.”
Similar enthusiasm was on display for the visit to the Muslim-majority nation of the aforementioned Bush in 2007, when, as Abrahams notes, the Albanian post office also “issued a set of commemorative stamps”.
I myself can safely report that Albania is the only country out of the 60-plus I have visited where my admission to being American has elicited the word “fantastic” in response. During my stay this summer in a small coastal town in south Albania, a town resident found it necessary to set off 4 July fireworks.
Of course, the US has got more than just a stamp collection out of the arrangement. International affection is, after all, meaningless unless it can be exploited for politico-economic gain.
Quid pro quo
For starters, as part of its newfound 90s alliance, the Albanian government not only demonstrated considerable hospitality vis-a-vis US drones before the era of drone obsession had even commenced but also participated in US extraordinary rendition schemes before renditions were really A Thing.
Of course, rendition became even more exciting following the launch of the war on terror – a bandwagon onto which Albania leapt and rode as far as Iraq and Afghanistan.
On one occasion in 2004, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, Khaled el-Masri, was flown to Albania when the CIA apparently didn’t know what else to do with him after having wrongfully abducted him from Macedonia to Afghanistan. During his intercontinental trajectory, el-Masri was “sodomised” and otherwise subjected to “torture” by CIA agents, according to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
Albania has also been referred to as a “dumping ground” for victims released from America’s favourite offshore penal colony, Guantanamo Bay.
As for global combat zones more proximate to Albania, we mustn’t forget a certain military campaign of 1998-99 that later enabled Telegraph headlines like this one: “Bill Clinton unveils statue of himself in Kosovo.”
Even the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman, who had advocated the US “pulverising” Serbia back to the year 1389, backtracked months later to hint that the war chronology might not have been exactly as advertised by the US & Co: “NATO bombed, and Mr Milosevic began ruthlessly killing and evicting Kosovar Albanians.”
Among NATO’s impressive wartime feats, incidentally, was the accidental bombing of Hoxha-era bunkers inside Albania, which were apparently mistaken for Serb positions.
In his Modern Albania, Abrahams discusses Washington’s use over the years of the Balkan territory to “house spy planes, to base troops, and to exert a moderate influence on ethnic Albanians in neighbouring Kosovo and Macedonia”.
Which brings us to the perennial question of how a country that so often bombs civilians to smithereens can preach moderation. The only plausible answer, it seems, is that superpowers are immune to logic – but not, as it turns out, to blowback.
Now, in an age in which the US is conveniently both fuelling and fighting terror, a programme by the name of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) is being forced down the world’s throat as a means of distracting from the fact that much of what the US itself does is extremely violent.
Unveiled during the rule of Barack Obama, the upshot of CVE is that Muslims are susceptible to radicalisation for reasons having nothing to do either with US wars on them or with other related activities such as the annual US inundation of Israel with billions of dollars to make Palestinian life a living hell.
Albania, naturally, has not been spared the CVE epidemic; last October, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) helped stage a conference on the subject in the city of Elbasan.
The following month, Albanian police claimed to have thwarted an Islamic State (IS) attack on Israel’s national football team, in Albania for a World Cup qualifying match. The mastermind was said to be Kosovo native Lavdrim Muhaxheri, described in The Independent as “the self-proclaimed ‘commander of Albanians in Syria and Iraq’”, who was then killed this June in a US coalition air strike on Syria – an event the coalition finally confirmed in August.
Earlier this year, meanwhile, reports surfaced that Albania would be redeploying troops to Iraq to assist in the fight against IS – thereby participating in yet more global non-solutions Made in USA.
The world’s destiny
But what, in the end, is the point of examining the intersections between US foreign policy and an obscure nation generally regarded as irrelevant to world affairs?
The goal is certainly not to augment sensational coverage of the Balkans as a dangerously overlooked “hotbed” of Islamic radicalism – the terror hub on our doorstep, as it were – or to suggest that Albanian history pre-US-love-affair has no bearing on present dynamics and that everything is perfectly black and white.
Rather, the point is to draw attention to the destructive ways in which power reverberates across the earth – where, it bears emphasising, the vast majority of countries happen to be in the same boat as Albania in terms of perceived earthly irrelevance.
Recounting Bush’s 2007 descent upon Albania, Abrahams quotes the reaction of Edi Rama, then the mayor of Tirana and now the country’s prime minister: “The US is something that is really crucial for the destiny of the world.”
Unfortunately, destiny has now entailed the bestowal of honorary citizenship on none other than Donald Trump by the mayor of a town outside Tirana. Let’s just hope there’s enough space for all of us in those bunkers.
– Belen Fernandez is the author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work, published by Verso. She is a contributing editor at Jacobin magazine.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.
Photo: Albanians look at a statue of former US president George W Bush unveiled in downtown Fushe-Kruje (AFP)
MEK’s Maryam Rajavi blackmails Albania to become the new ‘Saddam regime’ for them.
Massoud Khodabandeh, Top topic, May 08 2017:… Rajavi then publishes these alongside letters signed by American personalities in support of the MEK. The letters from the Americans are addressed to the Albanian Prime Minister and bear the familiar hallmark of MEK authorship. (One letter published by the MEK is signed in blue ink. We can only speculate how the MEK obtained the original letter which should have been sent directly from the Americans to the Albanian PM!) …
MEK’s Maryam Rajavi blackmails Albania to become the new ‘Saddam regime’ for them.
The forced relocation of the MEK organisation from Iraq to Albania resulted in drastic changes within the group. No longer forced to endure the extremes of heat and cold in Baghdad, living alongside ordinary family neighbours for the first time in two decades and the loss of their leader Massoud Rajavi have all profoundly affected the members. They now have the ‘luxury’ to think and their changed environment and circumstances have led them to challenge the leadership.
Defections started almost immediately and the MEK is now in the grip of a crisis of disaffection. The problem was exacerbated when Sahar Family Foundation moved its operation from Baghdad to Tirana. Sahar was created to offer support and help to families of MEK members who were trying to get in touch with their estranged loved ones in the MEK while they were based in Iraq. The MEK leaders regard families and familial relations as “poison” and have tried every way possible to prevent these families contacting their loved ones in the group.
Now that Sahar has begun its work in Albania, the new MEK leader Maryam Rajavi has panicked. Sahar began by reminding the UNHCR and Albanian authorities of the international laws governing refugees, in particular UN human rights conventions and articles, and how the MEK rejects these norms.
Maryam Rajavi reacted by shooting herself in the foot. https://www.mojahedin.org/news/197420
Maryam’s counter campaign is based on the tactics used by Massoud Rajavi in Iraq – blackmail and coercion – but it is too little and too late and has lost its potency.
Soon after Sahar started its campaign to inform Albanian authorities of the MEK’s illegal and scandalous behaviours, Rajavi announced that three disaffected individuals, Hadi Sanikhani, Gholamreza Shokri and Sarfaraz Rahimi, had made contact with their families in Iran and declared them therefore to be ‘agents of the regime’. For this reason, she said, “we will cut their refugee allowances from now”. The MEK then said that the only way for their UNHCR money to be restored was for these individuals (and others) to write whatever the MEK dictates. In Saddam’s prisons the MEK also used such coercive tactics to force compliance and silence.
The three individuals went to the UNHCR office and explained what had happened. The UNHCR advised them to go the MEK’s HQ and talk to them. There they were threatened and attacked by MEK operatives. Two of them have since published their account of the events, but Sarfaraz Rahimi has given in and accepted to write for them. He writes what they dictate against the other two – who are understandably complaining about having no food or money in Tirana – condemning them as agents of the Iranian regime.
Rajavi then publishes these letters of Rahimi alongside letters signed by American personalities in support of the MEK.
The letters from the Americans are addressed to the Albanian Prime Minister and bear the familiar hallmark of MEK authorship. (One letter published by the MEK is signed in blue ink. We can only speculate how the MEK obtained the original letter which should have been sent directly from the Americans to the Albanian PM!)
This combination of letters (forced confessions alongside Americans letters to the Albanian PM claiming Iran is operating against the MEK in Albania under the guise of cultural centres, etc) had two aims. One was to warn dissidents inside the MEK what will happen if they leave or disobey orders. The other aim was to get the Albanian government to back the MEK and replicate the role played by Saddam Hussein in the group’s survival by punishing dissent, only this time in Albania.
Reactions were not as Rajavi wanted or anticipated. Inside the MEK and among ex-members there has been outrage. It seems to everyone that after three decades of unpaid work for the MEK and Saddam Hussein, the day someone leaves they instantly confess, in their own writing, to being an agent of the Iranian regime. There are only two possibilities: the organisation is lying and takes forced confessions, or the organisation is a training ground for agents of the regime.
Others complain that although the Americans have the right to recruit people as mercenaries, they do not have the right not to pay them and force them to be gladiators in Albania.
Albanians themselves see this MEK presence as yet further evidence that America is using their country for any and every form of corruption and illegal activity. Albania is still notorious as a centre for narcotics, arms smuggling and people trafficking in spite of efforts to clean up the country so it can join the EU. Albanians complain that their country is reportedly being used to smuggle US arms to Syria and other places for so-called ‘moderate’ rebels, that NATO uses Albania to conduct activities it can’t perform in the US or EU and that the CIA and the Pentagon have turned Albania into an extra-judicial base for nefarious activities. And now John Bolton and Senator John McCain alongside others use Albania as a springboard to pursue unclear political agendas which may include training terrorists and providing land and logistic for groups which are to be deployed in other countries.
Along with dumping nuclear waste and Guantanamo Bay prisoners, Albania now has had the MEK dumped on it. Instead of getting advice and support to de-radicalise these fanatics the government is being blackmailed and corrupted into performing the same role as Saddam Hussein undertook to protect and deploy the MEK.
Trump’s MEK version of events won’t secure victory against Iran, lets ISIS off the hook
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, February 07 2017:… He also signals that his war is not with ISIS but with the country Iran. Donald Trump rose to victory in part on the promise to take on ISIS and defeat the group. Yet ISIS cannot be defeated except by a coalition of forces that includes Iran. The facts on the ground in Syria and Iraq demonstrate unequivocally that ISIS forces in Aleppo and Mosul have been defeated largely due to the involvement of Iran. Trump clearly has no intention of defeating terrorism.
Trump’s MEK version of events won’t secure victory against Iran, lets ISIS off the hook
They say actions speak louder than words. Looking behind the Twitter storm which creates a smoke and mirrors effect to disguise the Trump administration’s true intents, one fact is blindingly clear; for this government, Iranians are first in the firing line.
This, of itself, is not unexpected. On the campaign trail Trump threatened to tear up the nuclear deal with Iran. So it was already clear he’s no fan of Iranians.
His first act as president has been to issue a direct and belligerent challenge to Iran – he included Iran in the Muslim ban and then declared that Iran is “on notice” after Iran test-fired a ballistic missile which it says is defensive. Iran is clearly in the crosshairs for Trump and his team.
And the evidence stacks up. As a barometer for any individual or even government’s aggressive approach to Iran, support for the Mojahedin Khalq (MEK aka Rajavi cult) is as accurate an indicator as any. The group has advocated violent regime change against Iran for three decades. Its supporters are in doubt that this is a rallying cry for a US-led war.
Even before taking office, revelations about potential Trump administration advisers and officials giving support to the terrorist MEK cult caused concern among foreign policy experts. After all, anti-Iran pundits can choose from literally thousands of civil groups and personalities to act as advisors and partners in challenging Iran. The MEK’s dirty past includes the anti-Imperialistinspired murder of six Americans in pre-revolution Iran which it later celebrated insongs and publications. (The family of U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jack Turner – “We were the first victims of terror before there was ever a war on terror” – is currently seeking redress for his death.) The new president has apparently brushed aside such concerns and has chosen to surround himself with people who have advocated for the MEK.
By not denouncing the MEK Trump has done several things. One is to signal that he is at war not with Iran but with Iranians. The MEK is hated more profoundly than any of Iran’s current political leaders by Iranians inside and outside the country.
He also signals that his war is not with ISIS but with the country Iran. Donald Trump rose to victory in part on the promise to take on ISIS and defeat the group. Yet ISIS cannot be defeated except by a coalition of forces that includes Iran. The facts on the ground in Syria and Iraq demonstrate unequivocally that ISIS forces in Aleppo and Mosul have been defeated largely due to the involvement of Iran. Trump clearly has no intention of defeating terrorism.
But most importantly, this tolerance, even warmth, shown toward the MEK in American foreign policy circles is a message that can be read from afar and by everyone else in the world: the American war box is virtually empty. Aside from a handful of puny sanctions, bringing the MEK into the equation means that not only does the America not have a stick to wave at Iran, it appears foolish enough, befuddled by ideological zeal perhaps, to tie its fate to the most unlucky and doom-laden group there ever was.
Laughably, parasitically, the MEK has consistently tied its fate to whichever it assumed was the winning side. However, the choice of MEK sponsors no longer looks so astute. Ayatollah Khomeini quickly saw through the MEK’s smarmy overtures to share power and promptly exiled them from Iran. The next step was to ally with Saddam Hussein against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war – a feat of spectacular treachery for which no Iranian will ever forgive them. After Saddam’s fall the MEK believed that the chaos in Iraq which gave rise to the insurrection of Al Qaida in Iraq would somehow carry them forward. The MEK even flirted with support for ISIS and the Syrian Free Army hoping they would find a home in the new Caliphate. Instead, the MEK were evicted from their base and sent into deeper exile in Albania, a country with no axe to grind against Iran. Long term sponsors have included Israel – which tasked MEK operatives with the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists – and the anti-Shia Saudi Arabia. Both countries are bogged down with interminable troubles of their own. And now the MEK are hoping to cosy up with the Trump administration.
The Obama administration kept the MEK at arms’ length and never entertained direct support for the group. When the government of Iraq held the US, along with the UN, responsible for removing the MEK from Iraq to a third country, the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was forced to agree to remove the MEK from the US terrorism list before any third country would legally be able to accept them on their territory.
Since 2001 Trump’s predecessors have built up strong homeland defences and led counter-terrorism efforts particularly against the threat of ISIS to the US and Europe. It is now likely that this legacy will be squandered by an administration with an overriding hatred of Iran. Instead of understanding the benefit of developing strategic partnerships with countries like Iran and Iraq in the global fight against terrorism, the Trump administration would rather rain down terror on the Iranian people.
But the biggest delusion would be to believe that the MEK could be a reliable or effective partner in any sense. If Donald Trump has any insight into his own modus operandi – the erratic demands and refusal to take criticism – he will have a direct view of how the MEK operates. Aligning America’s foreign policy with the whims of a mind control cult will not secure victory over Iran. Instead, it will diminish America’s standing in the world, and it will certainly not make the world a better or safer place.
Some related documents:
Lets create another Vietnam for America(pdf).
(Mojahedin English language paper April 1980)
Letter to Imam (Khomeini) (pdf).
(Mojahedin English Language paper April 1980)
Some questions unanswered regarding the US military invasion of Iran (pdf).
(Mojahedin English Language paper June 1980)
link to one of the Mojahedin Khalq songs
advocating terror and killing Americans
(In Persian written and distributed after the Iranian Revolution)
National Geographic, March 04 2017:… Leading MEK members squirm under the knowing gaze of Michael Ware. Watch the shifty looks and glances as the MEK representatives try to lie about their true intentions. They admit to wanting regime change, but claim to be pacifists. Ware asks ‘Why does a political organization still need to have a para-military organization?’ He then cleverly gets them to …
Associated Press, February 16 2017:… The group at one point successfully infiltrated the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, according to a State Department report. And a series of bombings attributed to the MEK accompanied visits by presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter to Iran, including one to target an American cultural center. In 1973, MEK assailants wearing motorcycle helmets shot dead U.S. Army Lt. …
Iran Interlink, February 15 2017:… The following OpEd by MEK advocate Col. Wes Martin was published first in The Hill, followed by Mojahedin Khalq’s “Iran Probe” and the “NCRI” websites. Iran Interlink has published it here as indication of how hysteria has become the new normal in American published writing. A form of madness appears to have infected US politics and now all and sundry are dancing …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, February 07 2017:… He also signals that his war is not with ISIS but with the country Iran. Donald Trump rose to victory in part on the promise to take on ISIS and defeat the group. Yet ISIS cannot be defeated except by a coalition of forces that includes Iran. The facts on the ground in Syria and Iraq demonstrate unequivocally that ISIS forces in Aleppo and Mosul have been defeated largely due to the involvement
Gazeta Impakt, Albania, Translated by Iran Interlink, January 01 2017:… According to Fatos Klosi, former director of the National Intelligence Service, the American CIA chief has warned Albania that Donald Trump will renounce support for the MEK terrorists and it will be the Albanian Government itself which must deal with internal security and must confront a group trained militarily from the time of Saddam Hussein …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, December 24 2016:… That can only happen if journalists and investigatory bodies (human rights, nuclear experts, war crimes, etc) are able to base their work on facts and not the fake and fictionalised fantasies of stooges like the MEK, which are clearly designed to misinform on these issues. The information laundry cycle is not difficult to follow – the Washington Times takes its report …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, November 12 2016:… In particular, Rudi Giuliani, John Bolton and Newt Gingrich. Putting aside their weak personalities as well as their individual neoconservative agendas, the common thread which links these names together is their decade long support for the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist organisation (also known as Saddam’s Private Army or Rajavi cult). It is certain that …
Iran Interlink, October 30 2016:… Local observers in Tirana are reporting that the Mojahedin Khalq cultic terror group (MEK) is buying and creating several sandwich and kebab shops in the city and is using the MEK members to work in these fast-food businesses. On the surface this may look like a positive move. In an article titled ‘Albania: What would a de-radicalization program for the Mojahedin Khalq involve’, it was …
Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh, Iran Interlink, October 16 2016:… In spite of American promises, no de-radicalisation programme is in place to deal with over 2500 members of the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group who have relocated to Tirana from Iraq. The MEK has a long history of violent and criminal activity. This has not stopped now they are in Tirana. Unless the Albanian government introduces its own programme, it must accept …
Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington post (and Top Topic), October 09 2016:… For the local citizens, mystery surrounds their arrival and their lifestyle. Should these secretive and covert neighbours be treated with suspicion or kindness? At a local level, the first thing neighbouring families need to be aware of is that among all MEK members, sexual relations have been banned for over 25 years. This means there are no marriages or children or young people in the organisation. More troubling …
Massoud & Anne Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, July 14 2016:… Whether Rajavi is already dead or now killable is not known – only he can answer this – but he and his whole organisation are certainly now, body and soul, in the capable hands of the Saudi Prince. If he is still alive, Rajavi’s only role is to act as go-between to instruct his wife what she must do on behalf of the Saudis. If he is dead
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, July 08 2016:… Clearly this message is not aimed at Iranians. The clamour for regime change in Iran does not emanate from inside the country in spite of its many social, civic and political problems. Who then is Maryam Rajavi’s constituency? Fro
Massoud Khodabandeh, Toptopic, July 03 2016:… So, back to the recent advertising campaign. Any publicity campaign will be successful if it is newsworthy. Maryam, however, simply churns out the same scenario ad infinitum. Starting with describing a terrible situation in Iran – based on news items that can be gleaned from any serious report