Maryam Rajavi Liar – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Dec 03, 2021

Maryam Rajavi Liar – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Dec 03, 2021

Maryam Rajavi LiarIran Interlink, December 03 2021:… Maryam Rajavi has found someone among the 348 Senators to hire a room in the French Senate for propaganda purposes. A few people are sent to attend and watch a link to Maryam Rajavi speaking from Albania where she was deported to. In English, French, Arabic, etc the MEK advertise that Maryam Rajavi sent a message to this group. On the face of it, the meeting is about the JCPOA talks and is anti-Raisi. But in reality, what she has done in Farsi is advertised it as though she is actually in the meeting in France. Maryam Rajavi Liar 

 Association for the Support of Iranians Living in Albania (ASILA) launched in AlbaniaAssociation for the Support of Iranians Living in Albania (ASILA) launched in Albania

Maryam Rajavi Liar – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Dec 03, 2021

++ In Albania, the Iranian-Albanian aid association ASILA was legally registered in response to the issue of ID cards to non-Albanian residents. This was followed by news of several high-ranking individuals leaving MEK this week. On the surface the MEK have been silent, but news has emerged that behind the scenes they are vigorously trying to recruit lawyers and others to help. They are also trying to find ex-members who are vulnerable and need money, to counter this association.

In a Facebook post, Hassan Heyrani says: “We know clearly that they [ex-members] are being approached by MEK with large amounts of cash to get together with the lawyers and others to discredit our Association. We warn Maryam Rajavi that this is not Iraq, and your organisation MEK, which is legally non-existent in Albania, trying to work against a registered organisation for helping Iranians will not turn out well for you. We will take you to court and expose you.”

In reaction, Maryam Rajavi has found someone among the 348 Senators to hire a room in the French Senate for propaganda purposes. A few people are sent to attend and watch a link to Maryam Rajavi speaking from Albania where she was deported to. In English, French, Arabic, etc the MEK advertise that Maryam Rajavi sent a message to this group. On the face of it, the meeting is about the JCPOA talks and is anti-Raisi. But in reality, what she has done in Farsi is advertised it as though she is actually in the meeting in France. Since she doesn’t have an audience in Iran and her only Farsi audience is MEK members, the only conclusion we can draw is that she is reacting to the loss of members because of the ID cards and wants to show to the members that she can still travel to France. What we call in English a big fat lie!

Maryam Rajavi Liar

Maryam Rajavi Liar

++ Mehdi Khoshhal in Germany wrote an article titled ‘The Phase of Court Cases’. He explains that MEK started with an armed anti-imperialist phase because their political predecessors were not radical enough. After the Revolution they started the political phase. Then after falling out with the new Khomeini regime went into military phase followed by a terrorism phase. That collapsed so they were reduced to a ‘cutting the fingertips of the regime’ phase. They moved on to a phase of eliminating all opposition outside Iran to leave them the only opposition group in case of regime change. The phase of everyone going to Iraq and the National Liberation Army phase faded when they lost half the forces in the Eternal Light operation. They then entered yet another ‘Internal Revolution’ phase (about 3 or 4 had already passed); this one added divorce and giving up children, giving up individuality and dreams etc. Then they came back to the phase of political lobbying, involving McCain, Bolton, Giuliani, etc. Between this, of course, they had a phase of self-immolation in Paris. Now MEK has arrived at the phase of court cases. Specifically, against an Iranian diplomat in Belgium and another against a former official in Sweden – which because of MEK has been moved to Albania where the knackered old people with Zimmer fames try to go and explain why they were not executed back in Iran and have now ended up in Albania. Khoshhal concludes that none of these phases are about what they are stated to be – not about Iran or regime change or human rights. This Swedish court phase is not about justice. It is obvious to all who know the MEK it is all about Rajavi. “All through the years I have seen these phases, they have been to support Rajavi against the ex-members. That is the fight, no one else is involved. I write this to promise that this court case will end, and this phase will end, but Rajavi will use it against ex-members not against Iran. Then use it inside the camp to say, ‘if you leave you will end up like them’.”

فاز دادگاه مجاهدین خلق

In English:

Iran Interlink Weekly Digest Mojahedin Khalq MEK NCRI Rajavi cult++ Following on from the interview with a former MEK child soldier in Germany by Luisa Hommerich, Mazda Parsi of Nejat Society has written about the memories of Zahra Moini – former MEK member and former ‘babysitter’ for the children who arrived in Germany during the First Gulf War. The treatment of these vulnerable children that she describes is harrowing. The cynical and brutal exploitation of them for financial gain and free labour is shocking, but not new. Others have written similar detailed accounts. A huge number of children, particularly girls, became victims of the Rajavi Cult in different ways.

++ Habilian Association in Iran has re-published some reporting from Germany about the MEK as a terrorist entity. One is titled ‘Rajavi’s Red Army’. Habilian writes: “Despite the publication of numerous reports by various intelligence services in Germany, why this intelligence nucleus is still present and active in this country still remains to be seen. After the disbanding of the Red Army Faction terrorist group, which had brought insecurity and violence for Germans for about two decades, the question is, what the Rajavi terrorist and leftist cult is doing in Germany? Terrorists are a time bomb wherever they are.”

Maryam Rajavi Liar – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Dec 03, 2021

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/well-funded-exile-regime-change-outfits-are-hardly-paragons-of-virtue/

Well-funded exile regime-change outfits are hardly paragons of virtue

Well-funded exile regime-change outfitsKourosh Ziabari, Asia Times, November 24 2021:… Aside from its perfidious alliance with Saddam Hussein during the internecine Iran-Iraq War in 1980s, when it opened fire on its fellow citizens in multiple operations, MEK has worked in cahoots with some of the most reactionary politicians in the United States and far-right parties in Europe, and accepted funding from Saudi Arabia, to advocate for augmented sanctions on Iran. Well-funded exile regime-change outfits are hardly paragons of virtue  

Massoud KhodabandehMujahedin Khalq Benefactors From Iraqi Saddam To Saudi MBS

Let’s face it: Iranian opposition is not a democratic voice

While the Iranian regime certainly warrants criticism, well-funded exile regime-change outfits are hardly paragons of virtue

There is no shortage of critical commentary, analysis and coverage of the undemocratic practices of the Iranian government and its defiance of its international obligations. In newspapers and on cable television and online platforms, a fusillade of alarming updates is fired every day at Iran’s nuclear program, its imprisonment of journalists, political activists and dual nationals, and its regional escapades.

To be sure, governance structures are flawed, social fissures are deepening rapidly, promises of adherence to human rights are mere window-dressing and, because of inveterate mismanagement, the national economy is collapsing, as are the livelihoods of millions of Iranians.

Well-funded exile regime-change outfits

Well-funded exile regime-change outfits

Against this backdrop, it might appear that “negative” accounts of Iran are cropping up in TV news bulletins and newspaper front pages more frequently, and commentators are predisposed to be more scrupulous when contemplating the oil-rich nation’s developments.

Yet the truth is that Iran is not getting so much unfavorable attention because it is an unmatched cesspool of authoritarianism, militancy, poverty and human-rights abuses. Publicity around Iran is in part swayed by a constellation of influential, well-off opposition groups in exile, which despite a clear lack of uniformity and congruity, aspire to overthrow the Islamic Republic and replace it with a democracy.

Indeed, introducing democracy to Iran would be a lofty ideal to contribute to and fight for. Any sane mind would agree that a pluralistic government that caters to the needs of every citizen and refrains from intruding into people’s lives would be an epiphany for a nation that has lived through a checkered history of foreign intervention and domestic repression for some 200 years.

But are these kaleidoscopic opposition groups the “saviors” that will cultivate democracy in Iran and put national interest above anything else when they rule the roost, including ideological dogmas, ethnic divisions and partisan interests? The answer is a clear, if not resounding, “no.”

Amid the numerous opposition factions operating in the form of think-tanks, advocacy organizations, political action networks, armed groups and separatist parties, some cliques tend to be household names.

MEK

The most notable is Mujahedin-e-Khalq, which has touted “democratic regime change” as its key principle. Until 2012, MEK was on the US State Department’s blacklist of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The decision of then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton to de-list it was a bombshell, incensing Iranians of all stripes, including those who didn’t sympathize with the government in Tehran.

Aside from its perfidious alliance with Saddam Hussein during the internecine Iran-Iraq War in 1980s, when it opened fire on its fellow citizens in multiple operations, MEK has worked in cahoots with some of the most reactionary politicians in the United States and far-right parties in Europe, and accepted funding from Saudi Arabia, to advocate for augmented sanctions on Iran.

It is indeed the entitlement of every advocacy or lobbying organization to peddle the narratives it finds favorable and attuned to its collective mindset, and invest in influencing public opinion to further its agenda.

The caveat concerning MEK’s worldview and methods, however, is that, although the organization is no longer officially recognized as a terrorist entity by the US government, it is so cryptic in its workings and so unethical in its conduct that the majority of Iranians reckon it to be a shadowy cult, leaving it with little to zero credibility among the populace it professes to be fighting for.

How much funding MEK receives remains a mystery, like the fate of its erstwhile leader Massoud Rajavi, who went missing in Iraq in 2003, and the organization refuses to let anyone get wind of his whereabouts or possible death. But what can be inferred from scattered pieces of information available is that the outfit rakes in substantial outlays, and spends them freewheelingly.

The dissident group, for example, donated €971,890 (around US$1 million) to Spain’s far-right party Vox between December 2013 and April 2014 to coax its leaders to pressure the Iranian government and gainsay it in its public pronouncements.

The thrust to persuade then-US president Barack Obama’s administration to unban MEK was actually a multimillion-dollar campaign, including paychecks of US$1.5 million to three leading Washington lobby firms, DLA Piper, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and DiGenova & Toensing.

Even so, what is more menacing about MEK is that despite its frequent invocation of the idea of democracy and its espousal of civil liberties, its affiliates and activists have long resorted to undemocratic tactics, propaganda techniques and coercion to silence their critics and proselytize their doctrine.

Investigative journalists have documented how MEK has been financing troll farms across Europe to manipulate the discourse on Iran on social media, unleash vitriol on journalists and academics who push for a more nuanced understanding of Iran affairs, and implant misinformation in the global media’s coverage of the Middle East.

In one instance in April, Facebook shuttered 300 MEK-associated accounts believed to have been run from a troll farm in Albania.

There is no evidence negating that the MEK leadership and members do not tolerate criticism toward their policies and actions, and this is in some measure an upshot of the MEK’s cult-like nature demanding unconditional homage to the institutional diktat.

To cite a personal experience, I was the subject of a whopping smear campaign back in 2017 when I published an article in The Huffington Post deploring the French government for providing a safe haven to the MEK and condoning its recourse to violence in the past.

As soon as the story went viral, hundreds of Twitter accounts began slandering me – posting identically worded tweets – as an apologist of the Islamic Republic, and some of them went so far as to claim that I was a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps!

But I was not the last journalist to be earmarked for MEK mudslinging. Describing the group’s critics as being on the payroll of the Islamic Republic is a convenient way of undermining their impartiality and professional credentials, which unfortunately works to fool uncritical, credulous laymen.

Pahlavi monarchists

The other major coalition of dissidents includes the monarchists, scattered across Europe and North America, who sing the praises of the dethroned Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and wish the country to be once again ruled by the Pahlavi clan, epitomized by the late Shah’s vaunted son Reza Pahlavi now residing in Washington, DC.

The monarchists are not as notorious as MEK, enjoy a wider popular base, represent a louder voice and often get access to leading US think-tanks and media organizations. They are also doing well in terms of raising funds for their regime-change advocacy, and their chieftain, Reza Pahlavi, is a more palatable personality than MEK figureheads.

Yet, slowly, it is dawning on more people that the future of Iran in the hands of Reza Pahlavi and his devotees would not necessarily be that of a free and democratic nation. At least the media corporations and public personalities championing the revival of monarchy are unwittingly imparting such an impression.

Manoto TV and Iran International, two popular London-based outlets broadcasting for the Persian-speaking audiences with marked monarchial leanings, are finding their standing dented as a result of overt bias against the Iranian government, now extending into prejudice against the entirety of Iran as a geopolitical reality, altering their function as media organizations into opposition mouthpieces.

Cloying sketches of the Islamic Republic’s “atrocities” and “barbarity” have yielded coverage that is neither professional nor standard, but merely indoctrinating.

Instead, extravagant ovations for the Pahlavi family, together with occasional publicity for separatist groups wishing to split the country into pieces, and even giving airtime to notorious members of violent groups who have carried out terror operations in Iran, have worked in tandem to make these networks platforms for anti-regime agitprop rather than objective reporting.

High-profile correspondents and anchors work with these stations, which means they have been successful in recruiting seasoned staff. But even they do not engage in candid debate about the policies and performance of their media organizations, and when they do, reception of criticism is rare, and in many cases, troll armies identifying with them bombard the proponents of alternative views on social media with threats and insults.

Mirroring their foes

The problem with the Iranian opposition groups is not that they are outspoken in their opprobrium of the government or see no better alternative than regime change. Also, it is not a hindrance that virtually all opposition factions are based outside the country and make prescriptions for a strangled population to jump through hoops to confront the government, while themselves enjoying the freedom and safety of Western states.

The main issue is that in creating a discourse and momentum to counter the Islamic Republic, the opposition is almost replicating the negative policies and practices of the very regime it wants deposed.

Trying to warn against the perils of ideological governance and political Islam, the opposition is indulging in bad-mouthing the entire community of Muslims and denigrating a faith 1.5 billion people practice worldwide.

Painting Muslims as backward and retrograde, including Iranian adherents who don’t necessarily toe the government line in determining their lifestyle, has become the new normal exuded by the diaspora dissidents and their media strongholds.

Bickering on social media and trading expletives with their detractors instead of encouraging civil and respectful debate, refusing to admit to and correct errors and rebuffing well-reasoned, cogent criticism are the hallmarks of the online behavior of the majority of the opposition celebrities.

They constantly raise the specter of revenge for the Islamic Republic authorities and their partisans. This doesn’t really smack of a democratic vision.

Their moral decline is mirrored in the fact that they underwrite any option that generates the outcome they seek to realize – regime change – be it foreign intervention, multiplied economic sanctions, instigation of street violence or the geographical disintegration of the country.

Of course, there are eminent individuals in the ranks of opposition, but they are exceptions to a cast-iron rule. As it stands, the opposition has failed to signal that it is a democratic voice, and if its members claim they will bless the future of Iran with universal values, it should be taken with a pinch of salt. The alternative to a bad situation is not a parlous one.

Kourosh Ziabari is an Iranian journalist and reporter. He is the recipient of a Chevening Award from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He is also an American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at Stanford (AMENDS) Fellow. He was a finalist in the category of Local Reporter of the Year in the 2020 Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism.

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Well-funded exile regime-change outfits are hardly paragons of virtue

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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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