Iranian Protests , MEK Trolls , Reckless American Officials

Iranian Protests , MEK Trolls , Reckless American Officials

Iranian Protests , MEK Trolls , Reckless American OfficialsEldar Mamedov, Lobe Log, November 27 2019:… These protests are fundamentally of the same nature as anti-austerity revolts in other countries, such as, most recently, Egypt and Chile. Neither of these countries is an object of American sanctions, nor is there any external-promoted regime change drive. This does not mean that there are no attempts to hijack legitimate economic grievances for regime change purposes. The fake news machine fueled by monarchist and Mujahedeen-e Khalk (MEK) trolls was in full swing trying to create an impression of a revolutionary situation. In addition, reckless statements by American officials, such as Richard Grenell, the ambassador in Germany, and Brian Hook, the special representative for Iran, gave credence to the hypothesis of external manipulation. Iranian Protests , MEK Trolls , Reckless American Officials 

Iranian Protests , MEK Trolls , Reckless American OfficialsUS – MEK meddling poisons grassroots democracy in Iran

Iranian Protests , MEK Trolls , Reckless American Officials

Can The Iran Crisis Be A Blessing In Disguise For Europe?

Popular protests in Iran came at a particularly delicate time for the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA). More than one year after the United States unilaterally withdrew and re-imposed extraterritorial sanctions against Iran, the JCPOA is hovering precariously on a brink of collapse. Currently, the only obvious path available for Iran and the U.S. to avoid a direct confrontation is the French President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative to mediate between them, and to issue a $15 billion credit line to Iran to cover its basic needs.

The eruption of the protests in Iran, however, seems to have dis-incentivized Washington from seeking to re-launch diplomacy with Tehran. Instead, the White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unambiguously sided with the protestors. They see the protests as evidence that their campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran is working.  Consequently, there is no point in talking to the “theocratic regime,” as it is, from their view, about to implode soon anyway.

This is likely to be a miscalculation. True, Iran consistently defied expectations and serially embarrassed experts, therefore humility is in order when assessing developments there. And the regime-imposed Internet shutdown at the outset of the protests does not contribute to better understanding them. Yet, any suggestion of an impending regime change in Iran should be met with skepticism.

Since its inception, the Islamic Republic has weathered multiple crises. Current turmoil was provoked not by the American sanctions, but by the government-imposed 50 percent hike in fuel prices. Ironically, in implementing the measure, the Rouhani administration followed the advice of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the very mainstay of American-led international financial order. As an economist Esfandiyar Batmanghelidj noted, doing so was fiscally sound, as Iran has unreasonably low petrol prices. According to  the IMF, subsidies to maintain them eat up to 1.6 percent of Iran’s GDP. These protests are fundamentally of the same nature as anti-austerity revolts in other countries, such as, most recently, Egypt and Chile. Neither of these countries is an object of American sanctions, nor is there any external-promoted regime change drive.

The fake news machine fueled by monarchist and Mujahedeen-e Khalk (MEK) trolls was in full swing trying to create an impression of a revolutionary situation. In addition, reckless statements by American officials, such as Richard Grenell, the ambassador in Germany, and Brian Hook, the special representative for Iran, gave credence to the hypothesis of external manipulation.

Is France Moving Against The MEK ?

This does not mean that there are no attempts to hijack legitimate economic grievances for regime change purposes. The fake news machine fueled by monarchist and Mujahedeen-e Khalk (MEK) trolls was in full swing trying to create an impression of a revolutionary situation. In addition, reckless statements by American officials, such as Richard Grenell, the ambassador in Germany, and Brian Hook, the special representative for Iran, gave credence to the hypothesis of external manipulation.

This push, however, is unlikely to succeed, for three main reasons. First, however alienated many Iranians feel with respect to the regime, their experience tells them that a violent revolution usually leads to worse, not better outcomes. Second, the fear of a bloody chaos and disintegration along the Syrian or Iraqi lines is genuine and runs deep. Third, the security apparatus is brutally effective in nipping any uprising in a bud and its job is being helped by credible allegations of external interference. Coincidence or not, but the latest wave of protests started to ebb after loud proclamations of a U.S. support.

That leaves the nuclear clock ticking as before the protests. Absent any negotiation and sanctions relief, Iran is likely to accelerate its own departure from the JCPOA. The much-feared next step may be enrichment of uranium up to 20 percent, which could trigger a sanctions snapback in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Iranians made it clear that this would lead them to abandon not only the JCPOA, but also consider leaving the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as well. All IAEA inspectors would then be expelled from the country. That, in itself, does not inevitably imply a dash for nuclear weapons. Iranians would be content with creating what Nasser Hadian, a political scientist from the Tehran university, calls  strategic ambiguity that would have the world guess about their intentions.

Once the situation is pushed to that extreme, only two paths become available: further securitization of Iran under the Article 7 of the United Nations Charter, or new, post-JCPOA negotiations. Consistent with Iran’s tactics in the last months, more pressure would certainly invite more resistance from Iran, both on the nuclear file and in the region. Those who like President Hassan Rouhani and foreign minister Javad Zarif still advocate for diplomacy will have fewer arguments to convince the ultimate decider, Ayatollah Khamenei, to back their line. The hardliners who reject any accommodation with the West, by contrast, will see their power increased, perhaps as soon as the next parliamentary elections in February 2020. That would leave war as a way to break the deadlock. President Donald Trump, however, consistently showed reluctance to engage in a new, and assuredly disastrous, conflict in the Middle East that could cost him re-election. A Democratic president would be even less inclined to embark on a warpath at the beginning of his or her mandate.

Which makes a return to diplomacy at some point inevitable. The sooner it happens, the lower the costs and risks for all involved. Once Iran is referred to the UNSC, the likelihood of a full-blown nuclear crisis will increase—the reluctance of U.S. presidents to engage in wars should not be taken as a guarantee that they will never stumble into one. Likewise, some elements within Iran, far more radical than Khamenei, might be tempted to push things to the brink. Even if both sides will escalate merely to accumulate chips for an eventual bargaining, the risks that the conflict will spiral out of control can never be underestimated. And credible negotiations are more likely with the current government of Iran than an alternative, which is another reason why Hook’s jubilation at protests is so woefully misplaced.

The Many Faces of the MEK, Explained By Massoud Khodabandeh

To prevent a nuclear crisis from materializing, Europe needs to step in and deliver Macron’s credit lines to Iran as a way of keeping it within the JCPOA. In situations of acute security threat, the EU is capable of acting, including by putting money where its mouth is: it happened in 2016 when the EU struck a pragmatic deal with Turkey on migration management. Washington’s reaction to the protests in Iran leaves no space for doubts: there is simply no time left for Europe to wait for U.S. approval of its initiatives on Iran. Macron’s plan should be implemented without any further delay.

The alternative to such a bold action for Europe would be either a war that will directly affect its security, or negotiations at some point between the U.S. and Iran, with Europe absent from the table. If the EU seizes the momentum now, it has a chance of proving itself as a serious geopolitical player. In this sense, the Iran crisis may yet prove to be a blessing in disguise. If not, Macron’s stark warning of Europe fading into irrelevance will prove to be sadly prescient.

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ELDAR MAMEDOV

Eldar Mamedov has degrees from the University of Latvia and the Diplomatic School in Madrid, Spain. He has worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and as a diplomat in Latvian embassies in Washington D.C. and Madrid. Since 2007, Mamedov has served as a political adviser for the social-democrats in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (EP) and is in charge of the EP delegations for inter-parliamentary relations with Iran, Iraq, the Arabian Peninsula, and Mashreq.

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Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” with Regime Change Involving MEK

Iranian Protests , MEK Trolls , Reckless American Officials

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Iranian Protests And MEK Absence Inside IranIranian Protests And MEK Absence Inside Iran

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US uses MEK to fuel unrest in Iran

US uses MEK to fuel unrest in IranTehran Times, November 18 2019:… Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), has said that anti-revolutionary elements and the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO or MEK) are behind the unrest over gasoline price hike in Iran, an MP said on Sunday. “Mr. Shamkhani pointed to documents which show that in the past two days, organized groups of anti-revolutionaries attacked police forces. They carried fire weapons and caused harms to banks and public properties,” Ahmad Amirabadi stated. US uses MEK to fuel unrest in Iran 

Mojahedin_Khalq_MEK_Ch_4_News_AlbaniaThe shadowy cult Trump advisors tout as an alternative to the Iranian government

US uses MEK to fuel unrest in Iran

Shamkhani says anti-revolutionary elements behind unrest in Iran

US uses MEK to fuel unrest in Iran M. Hanif Jazayeri Heshmat Alavi

TEHRAN – Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), has said that anti-revolutionary elements and the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO or MEK) are behind the unrest over gasoline price hike in Iran, an MP said on Sunday.

“Mr. Shamkhani pointed to documents which show that in the past two days, organized groups of anti-revolutionaries attacked police forces. They carried fire weapons and caused harms to banks and public properties,” Ahmad Amirabadi stated.

Shamkhani attended a meeting of the Majlis (parliament) on Sunday. The meeting was closed to cameras.

The government decided on Friday to cut petrol subsidies to fund support for the poor. Petrol in Iran still remains among the cheapest in the world.

According to a statement published by National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company, the price for a liter of regular gasoline was increased to 15,000 rials (nearly 35 cents at the official rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) from 10,000 rials and the monthly ration for each passenger car was set at 60 liters. Additional purchases would cost 30,000 rials per liter.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday expressed support for the decision.

Speaking to his theology students, Ayatollah Khamenei said he has previously announced that since he is not an expert on the issue, he would support any decision made by heads of the three branches of government and the experts.

The Leader voiced sympathy with people who feel the decision would harm them economically, but condemned any act of sabotage that has been carried out by some hooligans and supported by Iran’s enemies.

US uses MEK to fuel unrest in Iran

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US government supports MEK , Iranian terrorist group

US government supports MEK , Iranian terrorist groupCyrus Shamloo, The Wilson Times, September 05 2019:… MEK terrorists, allied with sympathizers in Albania and Kosovo, have targeted Shi’a and Sufi Islamic institutions. It is also believed by some Albanian journalists, who have been intimidated by the Albanian government and MEK, that Ashraf 3 and Camp Bondsteel are being used to train MEK and other Middle Eastern mercenaries for a war against Iran to effect a NATO-led regime change operation. US government supports MEK , Iranian terrorist group 

US government supports MEK , Iranian terrorist groupSecretary of State Mike Pompeo sponsors MKO terrorists 

US government supports MEK , Iranian terrorist group

The MEK was founded in 1965 and it has the unusual distinction of taking action to overthrow both the former government of the shah of Iran and the Islamic Republic of Iran by relying on terrorist actions. In the early 1970s, the MEK embarked on a program of assassinating Iranian officials and U.S. personnel in Iran.

The Iranian Revolution of 1979 saw the MEK’s program of bombings and shootings increase in intensity. The MEK is led by the husband-wife team of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, who opponents and ex-members of the MEK describe as leaders of what has become known as the “Rajavi Cult.” The Rajavis abhor criticism and have been known to silence former MEK members-turned-critics by having them constantly harassed or worse, assassinated. There were nine assassinations between 1970-79).

After the United States ousted Saddam Hussein in the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, the MEK forces were confined to U.S.-protected compounds in Iraq, the most prominent being Camp Ashraf, the former U.S. military’s Camp Liberty. The new Iraqi government demanded the MEK forces leave Iraq. Acceding to Iraqi demands, the United States relocated 3,000 MEK members to the Manez base in Albania, which the MEK calls “Ashraf 3.”

The MEK, which reportedly receives support from Israel’s Mossad, is said to be involved in money laundering and sex trafficking through the intensive use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Not surprisingly, MEK forces joined with ISIL forces in battling against Syrian and Iraqi government forces. The MEK saw ISIL as a natural ally in fighting pro-Iranian governments in Baghdad and Damascus. It was well-known to Western intelligence agencies that the MEK and ISIL had established an alliance, but, nevertheless, the Barack Obama administration removed the MEK from the U.S. State Department’s terrorist list in 2012. From 1997 to 2012, the United States officially designated the MEK as a foreign terrorist organization.

After ISIL forces were routed in Syria and Iraq, the United States pressured Albania to allow the Islamist terrorists to join their MEK allies in Albania. ISIL terrorists and their families have reportedly been housed in buildings in Tirana that were formerly occupied by MEK members prior to their transfer to the Manez base. From their Albanian base, MEK operatives have easily entered Kosovo, the location of another major NATO military base at Camp Bondsteel, near Ferizaj in eastern Kosovo.

MEK terrorists, allied with sympathizers in Albania and Kosovo, have targeted Shi’a and Sufi Islamic institutions. It is also believed by some Albanian journalists, who have been intimidated by the Albanian government and MEK, that Ashraf 3 and Camp Bondsteel are being used to train MEK and other Middle Eastern mercenaries for a war against Iran to effect a NATO-led regime change operation.

The MEK enjoys widespread support in the Trump White House, as well as in the U.S. Congress. One of the MEK’s biggest boosters is Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton. On April 1, 2017, Bolton addressed an MEK Nowruz (Persian New Year) conference in Albania and declared that the MEK would be celebrating taking power in Tehran before 2019.

The MEK is represented in Washington by the law firm of Joseph diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing. DiGenova almost became Trump’s personal attorney. However, diGenova took his name out of consideration due to conflicts of interest and Giuliani accepted the job.

The Trump administration’s neocons, notably Bolton and Giuliani, are hell-bent on regime change in Iran. They are ramping up their terrorist army in the Balkans for such a future war. Politics makes for strange bedfellows.

Cyrus Shamloo

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US government supports MEK , Iranian terrorist group

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