Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy

Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy

Maryam Rajavi Enemy of DiplomacyAnne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Iran Interlink, November 08 2021:… The Mojahedin’s fake Twitter account ‘Heshmat Alavi’ has surfaced again. This time to attack Representative Ilhan Omar and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) advocacy group. The MEK (through the Heshmat Alavi account) accuses Omar of “appeasing” the Iranian regime by advocating for diplomacy over war as a policy aim. The MEK claims that former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is feeding her, through various individuals linked to NIAC, narratives that “push Iran’s talking points”. But Iran’s talking points are not hidden or obscure; ‘don’t threaten us, lift sanctions’ appears to be the nub of it. Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy . 

Heshmat Alavi Deeply Humanitarian Transformation for BidenHeshmat Alavi Deeply Humanitarian Transformation for Biden

Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy

By Anne Khodabandeh

Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy

The Mojahedin’s fake Twitter account ‘Heshmat Alavi’ has surfaced again. This time to attack Representative Ilhan Omar and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) advocacy group. The MEK (through the Heshmat Alavi account) accuses Omar of “appeasing” the Iranian regime by advocating for diplomacy over war as a policy aim. The MEK claims that former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is feeding her, through various individuals linked to NIAC, narratives that “push Iran’s talking points”. But Iran’s talking points are not hidden or obscure; ‘don’t threaten us, lift sanctions’ appears to be the nub of it.

” Heshmat Alavi Gate ” , Trump and MEK

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

In January 2020, when Joe Biden was sworn in as president, we warned that he must act swiftly to establish a diplomatic route to differentiate his administration from the Trump administration in relation to Iran. He failed to do any such thing and US policy toward Iran has not changed, it is all sticks and no carrots. But Iran is not the same country it was even two years ago. There is no sign that Iran wants or needs to engage with the US. President Raisi is looking eastward for allies and is ‘diplomatically’ ignoring the US in real terms. Calls for diplomacy are an acknowledgement of this new reality.

Initially, in 2020, the MEK tried to attach itself to the Democratic Biden administration. However, Biden has proven incapable of either making new policy or taking any decisive action on Iran. In response, the MEK recently hitched up with Mike Pence. An indication that the MEK’s backers believe the Republicans are still the safe bet in confronting Iran.

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The Heshmat Alavi attack on Rep. Omar is characteristically wrong footed in that it completely fails to understand the irony of its own position. After what it believes to be a clever ‘whodunnit’ to join the dots of people Omar has been in contact with – all people who live out their professional lives in the full glare of public notice and accountability – Alavi demands that NIAC be investigated as a lobbying arm of the Iranian government.

Instead, the NCRI (aka MEK) should be investigated. In June BGR Group registered the NCRI (aka MEK) as a foreign principal (agent) in the USA. BGR Group was to provide public relations services for their annual conference. The document describes the NCRI as neither a state nor a political party, it claims instead to be a political organization acting as a “parliament-in-exile”. In section 10. The NCRI claims not to be owned, directed by, controlled by, financed by or subsidized in part by a foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign principal. This flies in the face of all available evidence that in fact the NCRI (aka MEK) has been funded and directed by a variety of the above, from Saddam Hussein to the Saudis, Israelis and elements in the US itself for decades.

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There is only one reason why the MEK, through disinformation, character assassination and false accusations, would need to totally reject any move toward increasing diplomatic relations with Iran. That is because the very existence of this group depends on conflict, violence and enmity. Unfortunately for Maryam Rajavi, the world has moved on without her.

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Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy 

Iran Interlink 

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MEK – From Fanatical Terrorists to Fanatical Followers

MEK – From Fanatical Terrorists to Fanatical FollowersAnne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Iran Interlink, October 14 2021:… Clearly, the MEK are no longer needed as a brand either for funding or fronting anti-Iran efforts. To make matters worse, in Albania, Maryam Rajavi is beset by internal dissatisfaction among the members. Whether as a reaction to losing political and monetary support or as a distraction to divert the attention of the member from her failures, she has resorted to one of her husband’s old tricks – shake up the leadership line up. MEK – From Fanatical Terrorists to Fanatical Followers 

The Rajavi CurseThe Rajavi Curse

 

MEK – From Fanatical Terrorists to Fanatical Followers

By Anne Khodabandeh

MEK – From Fanatical Terrorists to Fanatical Followers

MEK – From Fanatical Terrorists to Fanatical Followers

Anne Khodabandeh Singleton Tirana Albania

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Experts and informed observers will be aware that over the past few months the MEK has been absent in public discourse regarding Iran. For a group which touts itself as the main opposition, this is nothing short of disaster. After being expelled from France three years ago and setting up her headquarters in Albania, Maryam Rajavi has worked hard to keep the MEK relevant. This meant continuing with the annual rallies in which paid speakers speak to rent-a-crowd audiences. Even though due to the COVID-19 crisis, even these events have been severely curtailed and forced online. It also meant accepting a new role for the MEK members in Albania. But, aside from the MEK slave members tapping and clicking into cyberspace, the MEK has been unable to make any breakthrough in the new political landscape concerning Iran.

The new president in America, Joe Biden, himself dithered and eventually failed to re-join the JCPOA and lift sanctions, in the process losing a key policy win. However, Iran also has a new president, Ebrahim Raisi, whose first foreign policy announcements defined Iran as looking toward its neighbours and beyond that, looking East. Usually, the MEK would slip itself between the two enemies. This time, Iran has turned its back and the MEK have simply fallen into the gulf and into obscurity. Much to the dismay of anti-Iran pundits, Iran’s newly appointed foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, met with many countries during the UN General Assembly – including the UK’s Liz Truss. The MEK were not able to stage any protest at the event.

In the past weeks, Maryam Rajavi has also failed to take any position about Iran, which for various reasons, political, social and economic has been in the news: Iran became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization;  the US agreed to withdraw combat troops from Iraq (something Iran’s leaders vowed to make happen after the illegal killing of general Soleimani, deputy commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and eight others); Iran’s naval commander highlighted the navy’s various successes; Iranian fuel successfully arrived in Lebanon to ease shortages there; Ali Landi, a 15-year-old boy who heroically rescued two women from a fire, died of severe burns; Iran’s women’s football team qualified for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup; Iran’s volleyball team beat Japan to win the 21st Asian Volleyball Championship. Maryam Rajavi and the MEK maintained complete silence over all this news, pretending none of it happened at all. Not even a word of criticism or scorn. Nothing. Just sliding rapidly into irrelevance.

Instead, the MEK personnel are being utilised behind the scenes. MEK members are being lined up to give witness testimony in a politicised court case in Sweden. The unstated aim of the trial is to dredge up events that took place three decades previously at the end of the Iran Iraq war in which political prisoners in Iran were executed. The defendant is accused of involvement in unlawful killings while Ebrahim Raisi was a judge in the trials. In this way, Raisi will be tarred with the same brush. But although this activity is straight out of the MEK playbook, this time the organisation is not being promoted. Indeed, it appears that efforts are being made to keep the toxic MEK/NCRI brand out of the reporting. Former MEK stooge, Struan Stevenson’s demand that Raisi be arrested does not mention the MEK, referring to one of its members in the UK only by his name. Even the Saudi backed Iran International TV fails to mention the MEK brand.

Clearly, the MEK are no longer needed as a brand either for funding or fronting anti-Iran efforts. To make matters worse, in Albania, Maryam Rajavi is beset by internal dissatisfaction among the members. Whether as a reaction to losing political and monetary support or as a distraction to divert the attention of the member from her failures, she has resorted to one of her husband’s old tricks – shake up the leadership line up.

Rajavi has introduced a profound change to the organisation of the MEK by appointing her own daughter and her niece to leadership roles. According to MEK expert, Massoud Khodabandeh, this effectively spells the end of the Rajavi Dynasty started by her husband Massoud Rajavi in the 1980s and replaces it with the beginnings of the Qajar Dynasty as members of her own family – Qajar-Azodanlu and her former husband, Mehdi Abrishamchi – are positioned to take control of the cult.

Significantly, several of the family and loyal aides recently promoted to lead the MEK, are French citizens. Unlike Rajavi herself, they will be able to move to Paris and restore the headquarters there. While there is no indication that the MEK will be able to resurrect its role as provocateur and mercenary force against Iran from Auvers-sur-Oise, it would surely be easier to take control of the vast personal wealth Rajavi has inherited from her husband through this change in personnel and location.

As the MEK appears destined to slide further into irrelevance and obscurity, we must ask what will become of the rank and file members languishing in Albania without hope or help. It cannot be that they continue to be exploited as modern slaves, without recourse to health or family. Hopefully, as the MEK’s role diminishes they will become more burdensome. In time, hopefully a short time, they may be dropped entirely and pushed out into the wider community. As for the leadership cadre, there is precedent for violent, destructive cults to fade into social cults. The Ismailis, who began with the Al Sabbah cult of assassins and are currently led by the Aga Khan, are a case in point. In time, the MEK will evolve from fanatical terrorists to fanatical followers. Followers without a struggle.

Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy 

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MEK celebrates its 57th anniversary as what?

MEK celebrates terrorism In AlbaniaAnne Khodabandeh (Singleton) , September 06 2021:… On 5th September the People’s Mojahedin e Khalq celebrated its 57th anniversary. But here’s a serious question: ‘As what?’ Is the MEK a terrorist group; a propaganda merchant; a mercenary militia group; a resistance movement; a liberation force; a democratic, feminist opposition group; a government in waiting? These are some of the descriptions attached to it by observers and by itself over its five-decade history. Sometimes it’s hard to pin down this chameleon like group. Just what, specifically, is the MEK? MEK celebrates its 56th anniversary 

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MEK Fanatical Terrorists celebrates its 57th anniversary as what?

Fanatical Terrorists Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy

By Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) 

On 5th September the People’s Mojahedin e Khalq celebrated its 57th anniversary. But here’s a serious question: ‘As what?’ Is the MEK a terrorist group; a propaganda merchant; a mercenary militia group; a resistance movement; a liberation force; a democratic, feminist opposition group; a government in waiting?

These are some of the descriptions attached to it by observers and by itself over its five-decade history. Sometimes it’s hard to pin down this chameleon like group. Just what, specifically, is the MEK?

MEK celebrates terrorism In Albania

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Until recently, the MEK kept company with extreme Neocons, Israeli Zionists and Saudis; John McCain, John Bolton, Rudi Giuliani, even Mike Pompeo headlined the MEK’s act. Basically, anybody who took an extreme anti-Iran stance and was prepared to embrace the MEK was welcomed as an ally. Money, of course, changed hands. With a new Democratic president in the US and a new Israeli prime minister, it remains to be seen which version of itself the MEK needs to publicly promote. Whatever that may be, its current attachments, loyalties and pay masters place the MEK at the very heart of what used to be described as American Imperialism.

So, the irony cannot be lost on us that the MEK of today purports to celebrate its 57th anniversary as an armed anti-Imperialist group. The MEK was created in response to the deadly oppression of the Shah and US Imperialism in Iran. The MEK’s founders believed that peaceful protest would not bring about the profound change needed to oust the Shah and his western backers and declared armed struggle. As part of this armed struggle, the MEK assassinated six American personnel in Iran and targeted western interests such as airline offices in Tehran with violent attacks.

After the 1979 revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini, the MEK declared victory over US Imperialism. Its newspaper declared its extremist stance: ‘Let’s Create Another Vietnam for America!’ In its first two decades, the MEK attracted militant youth, prepared to kill and die for this cause. Those who have survived from those days make up the majority of the current MEK membership. After the mid-1980s, MEK leader Massoud Rajavi converted the group into a personality cult, using sophisticated psychological manipulation techniques to brainwash current and new members into obeying his whims. At this point, the terms of struggle became irrelevant, as every member’s real struggle was to stay loyal to an increasingly autocratic and unhinged set of terms: divorce your spouse and send your children away in order to focus solely on my leadership. Avoiding punishment and shunning became the fundamental preoccupation of every member.

Today, five decades on, it is unclear now whether these radicalised (brainwashed) members are able to think and gain the perspective needed to assess their predicament. Which is, the organisation they joined and devoted their whole lives to is built on the shifting sands of political and financial expediency and the base cowardice of Massoud Rajavi. The MEK of today is almost the opposite of the one they joined. Its ideology has evaporated and been replaced by mercenary expediency in the service of American Imperialism. So, by all means, let them celebrate 57 years of the MEK’s existence. But defining what that existence means has become an impossible dissociative conundrum for each and every member.

Iran Interlink

MEK Fanatical Terrorists celebrates its 57th anniversary as what?

Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy 

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Biden Dilemma : Iranians Saw Trump As A Mad Man But Blame America For Their Woes

Biden Dilemma Iranians Blame AmericaAnne and Massoud Khodabandeh, Iran Interlink, January 18 2021:… President Joe Biden will only have months to make a difference if he wants to pursue a diplomatic route. He must demonstrate through policies and actions that Trump was a hiccup, not the way things will be. Trump was not America. If Biden wants to start talking with Iran he must accept where Iran is now, not what it used to be. Confrontation and containment cannot be the starting point for negotiations; there will have to be more carrots. Biden Dilemma : Iranians Saw Trump As A Mad Man But Blame America For Their Woes 

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Biden Dilemma : Iranians Saw Trump As A Mad Man But Blame America For Their Woes

By Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh

After enduring four years of President Trump’s hostile and belligerent policies and actions – the Muslim travel ban, extreme sanctions, incitement to violence, support for terrorist groups, assassinations of nuclear scientists and of general Qasem Soleimani – the Iranian people are entitled to conclude that America is waging a war against them. And Iran has responded; maximum pressure resulted only in maximum resistance. The sanctions, unfortunate as they have been for Iran’s economy, have not destroyed it. Indeed, evidence is emerging that Iran’s resistance culture itself has led to an entrepreneurial response to overcome the restrictions. Iran’s military opened a trade and security corridor through Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean coast. A dedicated port is under construction. The U.S. can no longer control Iran’s finances since it is no longer limited to trading through Dubai. The only way to stop that is using bombs; an actual declaration of war, which puts Israel at risk.

Biden Dilemma Iranians Blame America

Trump and his allies spent four years trying to crush Iran, to force regime change and failing that, threats to bomb the country back fifty years. They failed. The unintended consequence of that failure has been the militarisation of Iran. The Revolutionary Guards have become stronger and their power embedded in the wider region with allies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon. Commemorations to mark the January 3rd anniversary of the assassinations of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were titled ‘Martyrs Without Borders’ signifying their wider relevance. Although Iraq is in step with Iran to eject American forces from the region, the Trump administration failed to understand that Ayatollah Khamenei’s ‘harsh revenge’ could be achieved as much through regional soft power and international law as military strikes.

Furthermore, the assassination of Soleimani unified Iran in a way that no internal politics could have hoped to achieve as Iranians rallied round their flag. Back in 2016, Iran’s leaders were almost equally divided between western leaning moderates and revolutionary hardliners. Now we hear president Rohani echoing the speeches of Ayatollah Khamenei, and foreign minister Javad Zarif amplifying the role of the Quds Force in Iran’s foreign policy. National unity against the perceived external threat of America has now created grounds for military officials to be allowed to run for president in June’s elections. If the military prevail, it will make conflict more likely, not less. Iran says its missile program is defensive, that it does not want war, but with missiles in Iran and Lebanon trained on U.S. interests in the region, Israel is clearly less safe than before.

President Joe Biden will only have months to make a difference if he wants to pursue a diplomatic route. He must demonstrate through policies and actions that Trump was a hiccup, not the way things will be. Trump was not America. If Biden wants to start talking with Iran he must accept where Iran is now, not what it used to be. Confrontation and containment cannot be the starting point for negotiations; there will have to be more carrots.

Iran experts are focused on re-joining the JCPOA. But this will not be enough on its own to recalibrate relations between the two countries. Not only will Iran expect sanctions to be lifted but will feel entitled to demand compensation for the financial losses suffered under extreme sanctions. People were denied medicine. Iranians saw Trump as a mad man, but they blame America for their woes. The damage done by Trump will take years to redress, but there is no reason why trust building cannot begin straight away. To start with Biden must treat Iran with respect. Acknowledge that assassinations and incitement to violence and terrorism are not how civilized countries behave.

Of course, the new presidency will be hampered by America’s internal problems. Biden inherits a deeply divided country. Yet, the decades long problem of Iran could very well offer a route to a new bipartisan consensus on a way forward. Although Trump has gone, the Adelson family, Neocons and Fox News will still be there; war is still on the agenda. Theirs is not a battle between Democrats and Republicans, but between warmongers and peacemakers. Their agenda doesn’t depend on who is the president. They want to defeat Iran. If Trump couldn’t do it, they will force the Democrats to do it. They want a war at any price. If Biden cannot prevent war, they will have won.

In this respect, this expert would advocate a much easier, cheaper and effective course of action to start with. Biden should immediately restore the Obama administration’s plan to deradicalize the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) terrorist cult in Albania. The MEK are, of course, the darlings of both the anti-Iran cabal in the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, and the hardliners in Iran. Both sides have used the MEK to destroy Iran’s indigenous opposition movement and to control the prevailing narrative on Iran in international politics.

By dismantling and deradicalizing the MEK, Biden can score easy wins in a variety of arenas. In Albania it would free around two thousand members from conditions of modern slavery, allowing them to reintegrate into normal society and be reunited with their families. It would relieve the Albanian government and security services of the headache caused by MEK crime, corruption and impunity in their country. For Iranians who universally regard the MEK with loathing as traitors and cultists, it would send a clear message that America will not tolerate terrorism or human rights abuses in pursuit of its foreign policy aims. Iran’s people would view dismantling this terrorist group as a goodwill gesture; building a modicum of trust that may sway some voters in June to have faith in the efficacy of diplomacy with the west.

But the most significant win for Biden would be to start tackling the corruption inside America which facilitated Trump’s belligerent agenda and that of his backers. Dismantling the MEK would stem one of the hidden conduits for the flow of foreign money and false narratives into America.

The MEK paid thousands of dollars for the likes of Rudi Giuliani and John Bolton to attend their rallies in Paris and Tirana to peddle the false narrative that the only way to deal with Iran is confrontation, regime change and war. The Heshmat Alavi scandal which exposed an industry of fake social media messages and accounts and a click farm in Albania, revealed that what had previously been covert activity had, under Trump, become mainstream.

In America, Professor Raymond Tanter has been tasked with creating a bi-partisan group to undermine the work of the new Biden administration. Funding for this project relies on the kind of corruption that has become embedded in the body politic. The example of MEK funding for the extreme right Vox Party in Spain reveals how the MEK use individual and fake association accounts to channel foreign funds into anti-Iran projects.

It is incumbent on the Biden administration to approach relations with Iran on a new page. Purging the old regime need not be as difficult as it first appears. The costs of erasing any traces of the MEK from that page are low, the benefits are great and many.

Biden Dilemma : Iranians Saw Trump As A Mad Man But Blame America For Their Woes

Afghan Refugees in Albania 

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