Maryam Rajavi Unelected President-Elect

Maryam Rajavi Unelected President-Elect

Maryam Rajavi Unelected President-ElectMassoud Khodabandeh, Middle East Strategy Consultants, UK, October 27 2021:… By 1996 it became clear Maryam was to be deported back to Iraq. She asked for one last face-saving event before going back. The UK granted her a 3-day visa, backed by a guarantee from France that they would take her back afterwards. The MEK announced a concert for the famous singer Marzieh at Earls Court in London with free tickets. At the last moment they changed the advertising pictures of Marzieh outside to pictures of Maryam. It didn’t help. When she returned to Iraq at least half the people who had come to Paris with her didn’t go back – including myself, Dr. Massoud Bani Sadr (NCRI Rep in USA) and Dr. Bahman Etemad (NCRI Rep in UK). Maryam Rajavi Unelected President-Elect 

massoud khodabandehThe Many Faces of the MEK, Explained By Massoud Khodabandeh

 

Maryam Rajavi Unelected President-Elect

By Massoud Khodabandeh

Massoud Khodabandeh

Massoud Khodabandeh

Without a trace of irony, the MEK this week is advertising its democratic credentials by celebrating the fact that Maryam Rajavi has been their ‘president-elect for a future Iran’ for the past three decades. Since 1993 not a single election has been held to affirm or reject her in this role. Many dictators have not served unopposed for so long and without even the pretence of an election. As someone involved in the process of Maryam Rajavi’s appointment to this position by her husband Massoud Rajavi, I can confirm that her situation is just as phoney now as it was then. Her role is entirely superficial.

In 1991, after losing western support by remaining in Iraq during the First Gulf War, Massoud Rajavi devised a plan to put Maryam centre stage as his pro-west advocate and to task her with re-gaining this support. First, he had to convince the handful of non-MEK members of the NCRI that she was up to this task. Although Massoud was acknowledged as an intelligent and charismatic leader, Maryam was held in such low esteem that it took two years of persuasion and bargaining before Massoud could convince the other NCRI members to accept her as the ‘interim president-elect of a future Iran’. That year, Rajavi also announced that the NCRI membership was increased from a dozen to 500 – 99 percent were MEK members, including myself – thereby diluting any challenge from the original members.

Maryam Rajavi Unelected President-Elect

Maryam Rajavi Unelected President-Elect

Since Saddam Hussein would not allow Massoud to leave Iraq, the aim was for Maryam to get out and emerge publicly in the west as the soft face of the ‘Resistance’ to announce the imminent toppling of the regime in Iran. Her role was to re-engage western politicians and gain their support for what Massoud described as the ‘only alternative’ to the Iranian regime.

Although Massoud’s mission for Maryam was serious, unfortunately her personality and capabilities were not up to it. Looking back over the years it is clear that her primary understanding of ‘doing politics’ was to simply pose and perform as if in a theatre show. A role she is still performing today in her every public appearance.

In 1993, I brought Maryam to Paris with a false passport. Massoud allocated her half the monthly allowance given by Saddam to fund the National Liberation Army and about 300 personnel, chosen by Maryam. This was supposed to be a new start for the NCRI, similar to when Massoud Rajavi escaped to Paris from Iran in 1981.

Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEK

However, as soon as Maryam arrived in Paris she asked Mohaddessin to talk to his CIA contact and ask for visa to the US. Mohaddessin warned her they wouldn’t issue one. They didn’t and that door was firmly closed. The CIA contact told them that for the time being no other MEK were allowed to travel to the States, not even Mohaddessin himself, and that if they tried to go with false passports, they would be severely punished. Of course, Maryam later blamed Mohaddessin and shunned him for a few months.

After arriving in Paris, Maryam’s limited capabilities soon became clear. Instead of undertaking political work – contacting politicians, networking and lobbying – about which she had no clue, Maryam focused on recruiting Iranian exiles. She poached famous music stars from the diaspora and had the MEK members trawl refugee populations to create ‘supporter numbers’. She used Massoud’s money to fund dinner parties to which she would invite western feminists to listen to her talks. Maryam, in her headscarf, lectured American, Scandinavian and European feminists in why they couldn’t be considered real feminists until they accepted Massoud Rajavi as their ideological leader.

I could see that this was not what Massoud Rajavi had envisioned when he tasked her to reinstate the MEK in western political circles and began to argue with Maryam. She must have complained to Massoud because I was soon recalled to Iraq. I was told that I was needed to sort out some technical problems in the underground nuclear bunker. But I soon realised Massoud wanted to check my loyalties. I played nice until he sent me back to Paris. Then I immediately travelled to London where I surrendered my French, Iraqi and Jordanian identity documents and announced my separation from the MEK. I got identity documents in my real name and went about reintegrating into society.

With Trump gone, is the MEK finished ?

By 1996 it became clear Maryam was to be deported back to Iraq. She asked for one last face-saving event before going back. The UK granted her a 3-day visa, backed by a guarantee from France that they would take her back afterwards. The MEK announced a concert for the famous singer Marzieh at Earls Court in London with free tickets. At the last moment they changed the advertising pictures of Marzieh outside to pictures of Maryam. It didn’t help. When she returned to Iraq at least half the people who had come to Paris with her didn’t go back – including myself, Dr. Massoud Bani Sadr (NCRI Rep in USA) and Dr. Bahman Etemad (NCRI Rep in UK).

By 1997, the loss of so many key members led to Massoud bringing as many as possible back to Iraq. Massoud even called me and tried to persuade me to return to Iraq as an NCRI member not as MEK. When I told him I had been too close to him and knew exactly why he was asking me to come to Saddam’s lawless land, he got angry and started swearing at Maryam who was sitting alongside him. Clearly, Massoud was furious with her for not only failing to get political support, but also losing many core members too. I had credible fear for my life.

Once outside the MEK, over the next year and a half it became clear to me that Massoud and Maryam were sending people into Iran not to kill but to get killed; to add to the blood bank that was already swelled by operation Eternal Light. Terror teams were being intercepted and arrested or killed at the point of entry from Iraq to Iran. Many died. It was obvious there was either a mole in the top level of the MEK or the top themselves were informing the Iranians. When the Iranian security services realised this they stopped killing MEK members and began to arrest and rehabilitate them. Members of these terror teams spoke out about their experiences: Arash Sametipour, Babak Amin, Marjan Malek. They became part of a movement of other ex-MEK members, inside and outside Iran, along with a nationwide association of families of those still inside MEK (Nejat Society), that began actively campaigning to expose the real nature of the MEK, NCRI and Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. The MEK was listed as a terrorist entity by major western countries.

In 2003, with the US invasion of Iraq, Maryam once again emerged on another passport in Paris. She was arrested under terrorism laws. However, some deal was done to free her as the MEK was restored to western favour and began to be used by an anti-Iran coalition of Neocons, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Eventually the MEK was removed from the terrorist lists and deployed in propaganda activity. The MEK members transferred from Iraq to Albania were set to work in a click farm, attempting to influence the narrative on Iran through social media. Maryam continued – increased even – her performances and shows. Her annual Villepinte event became a lucrative holiday trip for many politicians and former officials.

Documentation Frees MEK Members

Throughout all this time, I don’t believe it has mattered to Maryam or the members that the fortunes of the MEK were dictated and paid for by foreign powers. Her role, after her husband disappeared in 2003, was to simply maintain the group as an entity; a feat she failed back in the 1990s.

Now, after three decades, Maryam Rajavi is still putting on performance and shows which she, probably sincerely, believes demonstrate her credentials to lead Iran in some mysterious future when it is liberated somehow from its demonic leaders. The problem is, to be a leader, you need followers. The only followers Rajavi has are the enslaved members in Albania, along with some paid supporters and paid advocates. She hasn’t the ability to lead or to learn. Just as when she arrived in Paris in 1993, Maryam still doesn’t know or understand how to ‘do politics’. The tragedy is she also doesn’t see herself as the useful idiot in the fight against Iran, or that the MEK is a merely sideshow, at best an irritant, in the west’s interminable mission to defeat Iran. Performance is all. All hail the unelected president-elect of Iran.

Massoud Khodabandeh

Maryam Rajavi Unelected President-Elect


The Many Faces of the MEK, Explained By Its Former Top Spy Massoud Khodabandeh:. listen to the full conversation:


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Qajar Replaces Rajavi Dynasty – Maryam Rajavi Announces Third Ideological Revolution

Qajar Replaces Rajavi Dynasty - Massoud KhodabandehMassoud Khodabandeh, Iran Interlink, September 20 2021:… Maryam Rajavi has performed a coup to take over control of the MEK and completely eliminate every trace of Massoud. The nature of this coup became clear when Zahra Merikhi, who was re-appointed for two more years as Secretary General of the MEK, named three women as co-leaders with herself – Mahnaz Meimanat (62), Narges Azdanlou (40) and Rabiah Mofidi (39). Narges Azdanlou is Maryam Rajavi’s niece. Qajar Replaces Rajavi Dynasty – Maryam Rajavi Announces Third Ideological Revolution 

Massoud KhodabandehMujahedin Khalq Benefactors From Iraqi Saddam To Saudi MBS

Qajar Replaces Rajavi Dynasty – Maryam Rajavi Announces Third Ideological Revolution

Qajar Replaces Rajavi Dynasty - Massoud Khodabandeh

Qajar Replaces Rajavi Dynasty

By Massoud Khodabandeh

Maryam Rajavi Unelected President-Elect

Massoud khodabandeh

The worst sin that an MEK member can commit is to ask questions about Massoud Rajavi. Rajavi disappeared in March 2003 when the US invaded Iraq. It was assumed he was still holed up in Camp Ashraf – perhaps in the nuclear bunker – surrounded and protected by a hundred loyal followers. After 2011, when Camp Ashraf was emptied, his disappearance became the subject of intense speculation for many. But when Prince Turki bin Faisal delivered the coup de grace on Rajavi’s political life by offering condolences to Maryam Rajavi on his death, the question almost became irrelevant. Whether alive or dead, Rajavi’s public leadership of the MEK ended. Maryam became the de facto leader. But the dismay she showed at this announcement revealed that she wasn’t prepared for this change to be made public at this time.

Now, five years later, we can understand why. Maryam Rajavi has performed a coup to take over control of the MEK and completely eliminate every trace of Massoud. The nature of this coup became clear when Zahra Merikhi, who was re-appointed for two more years as Secretary General of the MEK, named three women as co-leaders with herself – Mahnaz Meimanat (62), Narges Azdanlou (40) and Rabiah Mofidi (39). Narges Azdanlou is Maryam Rajavi’s niece.

Qajar Replaces Rajavi Dynasty - Massoud Khodabandeh

Narges Azdanlou (40) Rabiah Mofidi (39) Zahra Merikhi (62) Mahnaz Meimanat (62)

In addition, Merikhi named six deputy leaders – Sepideh Pourtaqi (40), Azar Akbarzadegan (39), Ashraf Abrishamchi (39), Shiva Mameqani (40), Maryam Rezaei (30) and Vahideh Nabavi (34). Ashraf Abrishamchi is Maryam Rajavi’s daughter, Azar Akbarzadegan is the daughter of Jamileh Abrishamchi, her former husband Mehdi Abrishamchi’s sister. The other women are from families loyal to Maryam and Mehdi. The ages of nearly all these women reveal that Maryam is handing over control of the MEK to a younger generation of women groomed specifically for this purpose. Individually none of them have any qualification to lead the MEK other than being appointed by Maryam Rajavi. Of course, Maryam will remain in control of the whole membership of the organisation.

Qajar Replaces Rajavi Dynasty - Massoud Khodabandeh

Vahideh Nabavi (34) Shiva Mameqani (40) Maryam Rezaei (30) Zahra Merikhi (62) Sepideh Pourtaqi (40) Azar Akbarzadegan (39) Ashraf Abrishamchi (39)

The fact that Maryam has appointed members of her own family and trusted women to take over leadership of the MEK can only be because she is confident of controlling the finances of the MEK and because she is confident there will be no threat or challenge from any family, friend, associate or ally of Massoud. Looking at events from this perspective it is clear that Maryam, her former husband Mehdi Abrishamchi and her brother Mahmoud Qajar-Azodanlu have spent the past four decades plotting and building up to this moment. The moment when the Qajar Dynasty led by Maryam Qajar-Azodanlu replaced the Rajavi Dynasty led by Massoud Rajavi in the MEK.

What I hope to reveal in this piece is the slow – perhaps surprisingly slow – but relentless process which inevitably led the MEK to this point.

When, after a failed coup, Massoud Rajavi fled to Paris in 1981, he could not have anticipated this ultimate betrayal. At that time, he was confidently gathering together a National Council of Resistance, led and controlled by himself, in anticipation of returning to Iran and forming a government. At this time it was clear Rajavi had support from the CIA. The MEK was still led by a polit bureau of leading members, with Massoud as the spokesman. Mousa Khiabani, member of the polit bureau, later described as Rajavi’s ‘right-hand-man’, remained in Iran to lead the internal resistance. Although there was speculation that Rajavi wanted Khiabani dead, this is countered by the fact he also left his wife Ashraf Rabbii, his soulmate, and their infant son Mohammad (aka Mustafa) in Iran. On February 8, 1982, they were killed in a shoot-out with government forces in their safe house. It was later discovered that somebody had tipped off the officials. By chance, baby Mohammad survived and was sent to live with his grandparents, and later allowed to join his father in Paris.

At that time, I was operating from our base in Iranian Kurdistan. Less than a month after Mousa Khiabani was killed, Mehdi Abrishamchi – described by the MEK as Massoud’s ‘right-hand-man’  – left Iran. I was told to pick him up on the road between the cities of Baneh to Sardasht and bring him to our base. From there I passed him through Jordan to Paris. A few months later, his wife, Maryam, was brought to Kurdistan and passed via Turkey to Paris in 1982. Once in Paris, Maryam and Mehdi had a daughter, named Ashraf after Massoud’s dead wife.

Months after his wife’s death, Massoud Rajavi had married Firouzeh Bani Sadr – daughter of former president Abolhassan Bani Sadr who fled with Rajavi to Paris in 1981 – in what was assumed to be a political alliance. Firouzeh was very young and studying medicine at university in Paris. A year later, I was re-called to Paris. When I arrived, I found that Maryam Abrishamchi had rapidly installed herself as head of Massoud Rajavi’s office and had brought two other people in with her. One of these was Sharzad Sadr Haj Seyed Javadi who was the wife of her brother Mahmoud Azadonlou; they had a child Narges Azadonlou. And Hussain Rahimi, brother of Bijan, friend of the Abrishamchi family who died of cancer. I joined this team. It was also immediately obvious to me that Maryam was not going home at all and was staying with Massoud in the same room, pretending to be the housekeeper for Massoud and Firouzeh.

Maryam asked me to be responsible for Firouzeh’s security and to report all her actions. I was brought back to Paris for this task on the advice of Ebrahim Zakeri. (In Iran Zakeri had been responsible for the MEK’s intelligence work. He recruited Mohammad-Reza Kolahi and Masoud Keshmiri.) Eventually, Maryam manipulated and interfered in Firouzeh’s life to the point that she was forced to run away and in 1984 get divorced.

Meanwhile, while I was in Rajavi’s inner circle, Maryam got pregnant and with the help of Massoud’s brother, Saleh Rajavi a GP, we took her for an abortion. Soon after this, in 1985, Massoud announced the first Ideological Revolution. Maryam divorced Mehdi and married Massoud and adopted the name Rajavi to become the joint leader of the MEK. The same day, Massoud arranged for Mehdi to marry Mina (aka Azar) Khiabani, sister of Mousa, who was under his protection. She was under 18 and Abrishamchi was 38 years old.

Thus began promotion of the Rajavi brand. The chant ‘Iran Rajavi, Rajavi Iran’ was used in all gatherings, public or behind closed doors. The name Rajavi became etched into every member’s consciousness. The polit bureau was no more. To establish his leadership, Massoud began to eliminate anyone who he judged to be a threat or rival. He instigated internal court cases in which he was both prosecutor and judge. Members who did not accept his Ideological Revolution and Maryam’s position as his ideological equal were put on trial. Those who still refused to submit were denounced as traitors and condemned to execution. However, because they were in France, this could not be done. Instead, such ‘traitors’ were excommunicated and shunned, sent out of the organisation with nothing, to survive as best they could. One famous example was Parviz Yaghoubi who was one of the original members of the MEK. He was married to Ashraf Rabbii’s sister. Both were thrown out of the organisation and became destitute in Paris, even living in a park for a while. Others who resisted Massoud and Maryam’s leadership were demoted to basic tasks. For example, Mohammad Tohidi and Mohammad Ali Jaberzadeh Ansari, who were top theoreticians in MEK ideology, were demoted to write articles and papers. The only people who were trusted to stay in the leadership cadre were those chosen by Maryam not Massoud. Her former husband Abrishamchi of course, and Mohammad Mohaddessin because he proved himself loyal by spying on other members, particularly Tohidi who was head of the political section before Mohaddessin took over. Also, Ebrahim Zakeri as a trusted person. For Maryam this was not an issue of men or women, she surrounded herself with people she could trust and rely on.

In the meantime, Massoud was intent on eliminating male rivals. Ali Zarkesh, second in command of the MEK at this time, was brought from Tehran to Paris and asked to accept the marriage and leadership of Maryam. He refused and was placed under house arrest until he was sent – demoted to the rank of ordinary soldier – to the Forough Javidan operation in which he was killed. Later, the driver of Ebrahim Zakeri in that operation confessed that Zakeri had ordered him to shoot Zarkesh whenever possible. And he did. Zarkesh was not killed by Iranians but by the MEK. During the Forough Javidan operation, I was in the war room as the communications officer, passing messages between Massoud, the Iraqi command and the field. Maryam was also there and constantly talking privately to Massoud. Eventually, I passed the order to have Ebrahim Zakeri, Mehdi Abrishamchi and two other higher ranking MEK members brought back to the camp. All the others were left to be killed.

After the failed Forough Javidan operation, Massoud instigated the second Ideological Revolution. This involved married members divorcing from their spouse and every member swearing to celibacy in order to devote themselves fully to ‘the struggle’. It also involved Maryam explaining the fiction that Massoud was so far advanced in his ideology that no one in the organisation could understand him but had to go through her to reach him. What this meant in reality was to totally obey all Maryam’s orders. This also began the isolation of Massoud from the organisation. He was untouchable and unreachable. Maryam was the one the members should admire and emulate. This was compounded when Massoud and Maryam appointed Fahimeh Arvani as Secretary General of the MEK. This elevated Maryam even further.

A further phase of Maryam’s creeping control was the introduction of an all-female Leadership Council of six women and six deputies, effectively eliminating all Massoud’s friends and top MEK members by default. Members were told they must ideologically connect to one of these to reach Maryam. Again, this was about submission and obedience. There was no ‘ideology’ as such. Maryam established a regime of rewards and shunning. She gathered women members around her who were totally obedient. It didn’t matter if they were illiterate or had no skills, as long as they were willing to kill or die for her. If they didn’t obey, she would change them immediately. Although there were strong, capable and educated women such as Ozra Taleghani, Soraya Shahri, Fatemeh Tahouri, Fatemeh Ramezani and more in the MEK, Maryam ignored them and chose uneducated rough necks. Among Beheshteh Shadrou, Sedighe Hosseini, Mahvash Sepheri, Fahmeh Arvani, Mojgan Parsaii and Zahra Merikhi, only Parsaii could read or write properly.

Maryam dispensed rewards to these obedient devotees; physical, emotional and material advantages such as having a driver or cleaner; some were awarded with a male member of Maryam’s cortege like toyboys. Maryam began to groom obedient, good-looking women for Massoud to sleep with, instigating the forced hysterectomies to prevent pregnancies. The women Maryam manipulated were so deranged by her treatment that some ended up as actual torturers against dissenting members.

It is significant that although structurally the MEK was led by these women, Maryam kept several male members very close. Primarily her former husband Mehdi who has not left her side since their divorce. It is also interesting that none of Massoud Rajavi’s family were able to stay close to him and the organisation.

In addition to his son, Massoud Rajavi had several siblings who were all sympathetic to the cause. His sister in Iran was executed. His brother Kazem Rajavi, a diplomat for the Shah, had saved Massoud from execution after his arrest in 1971. Two decades later he was assassinated at his home in Switzerland in spite of tight security around him. Nobody claimed responsibility, but indications are that inside information about Kazem was used.  Another brother, Ahmad was a doctor in the UK. The MEK annoyed him so much that he left without selling his house in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, escaping with his wife and kids to America. He couldn’t understand why he was subjected to such pressure and harassment. Mahmoud Rajavi, a mechanical engineer in Isfahan, came to live in Belgium. He tried to stay with the MEK but again they did enough to make him vanish and go quiet, never to be seen again. The last time I saw him, he said, ‘I wish my brother luck. Nobody in their right mind would want to be leader of the Mojahedin’.

Qajar Replaces Rajavi Dynasty - Massoud Khodabandeh

Massoud Rajavi Dynasty eliminated

The brother who stayed closest was Saleh, a doctor in France. Because Saleh was established in Paris with friends and colleagues, he could not be manipulated in the same way as the other brothers. At first, he gave his house and land in Auvers-sur-Oise to make the MEK compound. Then he bought the house beside that. This wooden building burned down, and the insurance paid for a concrete house with anti-bullet windows and glass etc specifically for Massoud and Maryam. Saleh then bought the next neighbour’s house. Later they forced him to give half of this to the MEK as well. By this time his French wife refused to continue to stay with them and left. His son, uncharacteristically, became an addict. After this Saleh became deflated and more obedient. In the early years in France, I remember while building this concrete house we bought a jacuzzi to install for Maryam. But when she came to inspect it she got angry saying, ‘The house is in the name of Saleh Rajavi and after the revolution, when we go back to Iran, this will be his. He has milked us enough all these years. So, I don’t want him to have a jacuzzi.’ So, we had to rip it out and sell it half price. Her jealousy was so obvious she couldn’t hide it from me. At this point Saleh was eliminated, not in person, but was certainly side-lined as a close confidant. If that failed, she would certainly have had incriminating information to use against him as well.

Maryam’s family is from the Qajar dynasty which ruled Iran before the Pahlavi family. While she was in Paris, Maryam was visited from time to time by her extended family. One of these which I remember was Ali Mirza Khan, a Qajar price married to Mihandokht Ghotbi. The family lived in Germany, but he was regarded as the Qajar prince. He visited Maryam and chatted about the return of the Qajar dynasty. He said, ‘We were robbed of our rights twice. Once by Pahlavi and once by Khomeini’. After he died his son Babak, with the backing of Turkic and Azari groups and the support of the west, claimed he was the rightful king and would be taking over Iran. Babak went straight to the source of the money. He is now living in luxury in Germany, trying to annoy Iran. This is the background of Maryam and her tribe.

Perhaps the most significant indication as to Maryam and perhaps Mehdi’s intentions and ambitions can be found in the way the children were brought up. Mohammad Rajavi and Ashraf Abrishamchi were brought up by Maryam’s brother Mahmoud and his wife Shahrzad alongside their daughter Narges Azodanlou. They lived in a big mansion a ten-minute drive from Auvers. They had servants, a cook and two drivers. Whatever was needed, Mahmoud would contact me to provide it as head of security.

After Massoud and Maryam went to Iraq the children stayed in Paris and went to school there. As they were growing up they were regularly taken to Baghdad to visit their parents and then back to Paris. Once they reached their teens, the girls wouldn’t stay, but they insisted on keeping Massoud’s son in the barracks in Camp Ashraf with the ordinary rank and file. Among the rank and file were a lot of low life characters, criminals and perverts who had joined the MEK to escape justice in Iran and elsewhere. Among these Mohammad witnessed a lot of things that shocked and traumatised him. For example, the rape of underaged kids, violent fights and abuses, etc. Clearly it was planned to expose him to these horrors which the girls were spared. They said they were toughening him up but in fact they broke him.

With Mohammad living in Iraq in these conditions, Maryam brought Massoud Rajavi to accept that he’s gone mad, and something must be done with him. They isolated him in such a way he couldn’t contact his father until 2003 when they had to leave Iraq. When they brought him back with them to Paris, now a young man, he refused to stay with them and ran away. He went to Norway with the ‘help’ of supporters who are known to be in contact with Maryam. They effectively contained and suppressed him so that even though he began to write against the MEK, they managed to brand him as a ‘useless person’.

The different treatment of these children reflects the different agendas and ambitions of the adults around them. Maryam Rajavi gave responsibility for their upbringing to her brother and his wife, her close associate and sister-in-law, Shahrzad. (The luxury in which they were living reflects Maryam’s own propensity for luxury. Very few people in the MEK knew that Maryam insisted on going on holiday in Europe every year for a few weeks. Each summer I took her to the south of France and Spain with a small entourage of trusted people to look after her, such as Alireza Babakhani, Shahrzad and Mohammad Ali Tashayod. Tashayod was famous in Iran as head of the MEK’s militia after the revolution. He left Iran with Massoud. He had no particular skills but was totally trustworthy, so he was used for cleaning and cooking, etc.)

Qajar Replaces Rajavi Dynasty - Massoud Khodabandeh

Maryam and Mahmoud Ghajar Azodanlou Dynasty Promoted

Now, four decades after the revolution, the older generation of MEK members is dying, ill and ailing. It was only a matter of time before a new generation of MEK members would need to be assigned leadership roles. In retrospect we can now see how, over time, Maryam and her inner circle have not only eliminated Massoud’s family, but they have also purged the younger generation of anyone else who might present a challenge. The sons and daughters of MEK members who were brought back into the organisation after being evacuated during the 1991 Gulf War, have been manipulated and selected for their suitability to serve Maryam’s agenda. She made sure second-generation members lose sympathy or loyalty to Massoud and his family. His picture no longer appears next to Maryam’s but has been put on a billboard along with a series of Iranian martyrs like Mohammad Mossadegh in the new camp in Albania.

Looking back over MEK history after this recent leadership announcement, it is clear that there was a deliberate attempt by Maryam Rajavi to protect and promote her family and friends in the organisation. Whether motivated by jealousy or ambition, she pushed the Rajavi family out. Her control over the MEK became almost inevitable after Massoud disappeared in 2003. The Massoud-Saddam combination became the Maryam-Faisal combination. But when Faisal announced five years ago that Massoud Rajavi was dead, it was clear she was not ready to show her hand. Whether she had not fully groomed her daughter and the other women for this role, or she had not assumed full control over the money, the time has now arrived. In effect, Maryam Rajavi has instigated a third Ideological Revolution – the Qajar Dynasty’s leadership of the MEK.

(END)

Qajar Replaces Rajavi Dynasty – Maryam Rajavi Announces Third Ideological Revolution

Maryam Rajavi Unelected President-Elect 

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Mujahedin Khalq BenefactorsThe Many Faces of the MEK, Explained By Its Former Top Spy Massoud Khodabandeh

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Also read:
https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/biden-dilemma-iranians-blame-america-not-only-trump-the-mad-man/

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 

Biden Dilemma : Iranians Blame AmericaTrump Campaign Used Mujahedin-e-Khalq ( MEK ) Troll Farm In Albania

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

Maryam Rajavi Unelected President-Elect 

MEK In Albania Hijacks America's Iran PolicyAmerica’s Iran Policy Backed Into a Corner By MEK in Albania

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/tectonic-shift-in-world-order-after-unforced-error-by-trump/

Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump

Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump 1Massoud Khodanbandeh, Responsible Statecraft, January 09 2020:… In another reckless act of overturning Obama’s legacy, the new Trump administration halted Hillary Clinton’s plan to de-radicalise the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) in Albania. Since then, American anti-Iran politicians have stuffed the MEK down the throats of the international community as the regime change opposition that will bring freedom and democracy to Iran. Since Iranians hate the MEK more than the current Islamic Republic, this has been a gift to the hard-liners in Iran. To quell every protest or demonstration since then, Iran’s security forces have only to claim that MEK are involved in inciting violence for the ordinary people to go home and announce their abhorrence of the MEK. Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump 

 Pompeo Uses MEK Fabrications Assassination of Qassem Soleimani Pompeo Uses MEK Fabrications

Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump

After Soleimani’s Assassination, There Will Be No Regime Change in Tehran


Massoud Khodabandeh

Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump 2

Anyone who believes that President Trump’s order to illegally assassinate Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani, Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and several more Iraqis, was an act of strength has not been properly paying attention. This is the latest in a series of stupid policy errors by this administration which have not only strengthened the hand of America’s enemies but have also now ensured that the rest of the world, with the exceptions of Israel and Saudi Arabia, now at best views the U.S. with mistrust, or at the very worst hate America more than any other country on earth. This is a remarkable achievement for a man who promised to end the “endless wars” and “drain the swamp.”

Trump started his presidency with the ambition of overturning the Obama administration’s achievements. However, he inherited a foreign policy already predicated on waging war and which was soon re-staffed and promoted by Republican warmongers. In this context, withdrawing unilaterally from the Iran nuclear deal might have appeared to be a strong-arm tactic to Trump, but to America’s allies in Europe it looked like a betrayal, and a slap in the face. Still, none were willing to come out on the side of Iran at that time. Even Russia and China were holding back at that stage. So, what were the steps in between which culminated in late December in an unprecedented four days of joint naval manoeuvres between Iran, China, and Russia in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman? What happened to embolden this trio to flex military muscle in the Middle East?

A review of these steps reveals that the blinkered aim of the Trump administration’s foreign policy to manufacture regime change against Iran by any means possible including all-out war has in fact resulted in the opposite result. Regime change is now in its coffin and the assassination of Soleimani is the last nail hammered in.

Instead of promoting freedom and democracy in the Middle East, American interference is destroying every possibility of ordinary people rising up and demanding change from their own governments. In Syria, the people rose up against President Bashar al-Assad because of genuine grievances against that regime. The outcome of U.S. support for Sunni extremists in Syria has been a swing from people supporting the American aim of ousting Assad to rallying behind their own terrible government to save them from the spread of Islamic fundamentalism. With an irony that can be lost on no one, authoritarian Russia and the theocracy in Iran are now allies of Syria in that struggle.

Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump 1

In another reckless act of overturning Obama’s legacy, the new Trump administration halted Hillary Clinton’s plan to de-radicalise the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) in Albania. Since then, American anti-Iran politicians have stuffed the MEK down the throats of the international community as the regime change opposition that will bring freedom and democracy to Iran. Since Iranians hate the MEK more than the current Islamic Republic, this has been a gift to the hard-liners in Iran. To quell every protest or demonstration since then, Iran’s security forces have only to claim that MEK are involved in inciting violence for the ordinary people to go home and announce their abhorrence of the MEK.

American actions are consolidating people around their own hated governments instead of helping them express their legitimate demands. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s response to the anti-government protests in Iran in November was to repeat false information published by the MEK about the death toll. When Pompeo retweets MEK propaganda it destroys any trust among Iranians that the U.S. has their interests in mind.

In another remarkable example of how Pompeo has frittered away American power and influence, just weeks ago, disgruntled Iraqi citizens were in the streets demonstrating against Iranian interference in their country. Instead of supporting them, Pompeo oversaw the U.S. bombing of Iraqi militia forces that were fighting against ISIS. The Iraqi people cannot take the U.S. side over this no matter how anti-Iran they are. If America had done nothing, said nothing, Iraqi people would still be in the street demonstrating against their own government. Instead, different Iraqis attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Now, in a pivotal act of hubris, the illegal assassination of Soleimani and Iraqi militia leaders at an international airport not only allows Iran to describe the U.S. as a terrorist state, but has brought Iranians of every belief together to rally together to mourn a national hero, the man who saved Iran from ISIS.

But it would be a mistake to believe that the U.S.’s Middle East foreign policy mistakes only impacted that region. In 1981, France gifted the CIA some land to host the MEK outside Paris from where they could plan their armed resistance to the new regime. Although France did not use the MEK politically as America did, their presence was tolerated. Until, that is, MEK activities began to impact European security and democracy.

In 2017, John Bolton, just before he became Trump’s National Security Advisor, promised the MEK they would celebrate in Tehran before the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution in February 2019. That did not happen, of course. But events subsequent to this promise certainly indicated there were already plans afoot to use the MEK to undermine European policy toward Iran. A bomb plot against the MEK in France was discovered by security forces in France and Belgium to have been a false-flag operation by the MEK used to blame and demonize Iran. After numerous acts of violence and confirmation that the MEK had funded Spain’s far-right Vox party in its EU election bid, several European countries, including Germany and the Netherlands as well as France and Belgium moved to expel MEK leaders, including leader Maryam Rajavi, to Albania.

In Albania, the MEK have caused multiple headaches for the government and the opposition there. The worst result of which has been the EU’s refusal to allow Albania to join the union. After kicking out the MEK, no European country would allow them to enter through the back door again.

Significantly, what these policy steps over time have revealed to America’s foes and her friends alike is that the U.S. cannot be trusted. The Trump administration has shown a reckless disregard for normal behavior in the international scene. It acts with callous cruelty and indifference against enemies and allies alike.

The unwanted assassination of Soleimani will result in tectonic shifts in the world order. No matter how hard mainstream media in the West works to normalize America’s actions, security and military experts the world over will have their own ideas about what the future holds.

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Maryam Rajavi Unelected President-Elect 

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