MEK a U.S. tool against Iran

MEK a U.S. tool against Iran

MEK a US tool against IranProfessor Tim Anderson, Balkans Post, August 19 2019:… Yes it is quite possible that Albania will de destabilized by U.S. proxies the MEK, and also by DAESH members. Between 2013 and 2016 Washington moved the 2,900 Camp Ashraf MEK members to Albania, where they had also moved some former DAESH/ISIS fighters (Spahiu 2018; Khodabandeh and Khodabandeh 2018). The U.S. and NATO appear to be using Albania as a home for these terrorist ‘assets’; and the Albanian government seems to expect some leverage with the U.S. for performing this hosting service. MEK a U.S. tool against Iran: Australian expert 

Mojahedin Khalq MEK Rajavi Iranian Cult The shadowy cult Trump advisors tout as an alternative to the Iranian governmen

MEK a U.S. tool against Iran: Australian expert

For decades the MEK has been a tool the U.S. has tried to use against Iran, even though the U.S. had it listed as a terrorist group until 2012, an Australian expert has said.

In an interview with Balkans Post, Professor Tim Anderson said, “With few other options, Washington has tried to clean up the image of a group which has become little more than a personality cult, with no real support inside Iran.”

MEK a US tool against Iran

The following is the full transcript of the interview:

BP: The Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) terrorist group has ramped up its activities aimed at bringing about a regime change in Iran. What’s your take on this issue?

Tim Anderson: For decades the MEK has been a tool the U.S. has tried to use against Iran, even though the U.S. had it listed as a terrorist group until 2012. With few other options, Washington has tried to clean up the image of a group which has become little more than a personality cult, with no real support inside Iran.

Initially the MEK opposed the Shah’s regime and participated in the 1979 Revolution, but it quickly turned on the new government and its supporters. After the MEK was driven out of the country it was adopted by the Iraq-Saudi-CIA bloc, helping Saddam Hussein in his aggression against Iran. With Saddam’s support the MEK created a ‘National Liberation Army’ (NLA) of Iran, based in Baghdad, and used this to destroy Iranian villages, even during a UN brokered ceasefire. Their role in the slaughter of Iranian patriots destroyed the MEK’s reputation within Iran (Carey 2018). Very quickly the group’s hybrid anti-imperialist, socialist and Islamic philosophy was abandoned as it became an opportunistic cult (Merat 2018).

In the 1990s they continued as mercenaries for Saddam Hussein, helping suppress Iraqi Shi’a and Kurd resistance in Iraq (USDOS 2007; Merat 2018). After the 2003 invasion of Iraq they were protected by U.S. forces at the ‘Camp Ashraf’ base, precisely because they were seen as a tool which could be used against Iran (Cartalucci 2018). The U.S. Brookings Institute admitted that the MEK was “undemocratic and enjoys little popularity in Iran itself”. Nevertheless, the think tank recognized that the MEK might be used as a proxy force. However, to do so openly “Washington would need to remove it from the list of foreign terrorist organizations” (Pollack et al 2009). The Obama administration did that in 2012 (USDOS 2012).

MEK Terrorists in Albania Complicating Edi Rama’s EU Accession Talks

BP: How effective are they in their anti-Islamic Republic agenda?

Tim Anderson: They are not at all effective inside Iran, but have some appeal to some shallow western politicians and NGOs, many of whom have been paid to visit or praise cult leader Maryam Rajavi. The MEK has been adopted by Washington as a proxy force, like the al Qaeda groups used against Iraq and Syria, but with a distinct ideology. They are a nominal ‘alternative’, like the many other exile bodies set up by Washington for Iraq, Libya and Syria. Their tiny support within Iran is not considered that important. They are useful to denounce, destabilize and attack (Parsi 2018; Carey 2018). They also help confuse gullible people in the organized misinformation campaigns against Iran.

BP: Would the presence of the MEK in Albania threaten the country’s stability?

Tim Anderson: Yes it is quite possible that Albania will de destabilized by U.S. proxies the MEK, and also by DAESH members. Between 2013 and 2016 Washington moved the 2,900 Camp Ashraf MEK members to Albania, where they had also moved some former DAESH/ISIS fighters (Spahiu 2018; Khodabandeh and Khodabandeh 2018). The U.S. and NATO appear to be using Albania as a home for these terrorist ‘assets’; and the Albanian government seems to expect some leverage with the U.S. for performing this hosting service. The MEK in Albania runs social media campaigns, attacking Tehran and promoting its leader, Maryam Rajavi (Merat 2018).

It seems likely the group is still backed by Saudi money and Israeli advisers. In September 2018 the MEK was linked to an attack on a military parade in the southwest Iranian city of Ahvaz (MNA 2018). Saudi sponsorship of the MEK-linked ‘al Ahwazia’ group was strongly suspected by Iranian authorities (Osman 2018). DAESH may also have been involved. With common sponsors and a common safe haven in Albania, the two terrorist groups might be working together.

BP: Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani recently told Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” that the MEK represents the democratic alternative to the Islamic Republic. Considering that he is currently working for U.S. President Donald Trump, is it safe to assume that he’s echoing the Trump administration’s true Iran policy?

Tim Anderson: Yes, there is a concerted effort by many within the Trump administration to promote the MEK. NATO has also been ‘normalizing’ the MEK among the European states, as various European figures have endorsed or attended their ‘Free Iran’ rallies in recent years. For example, Trump advisor John Bolton is reported to have been paid large sums of money to advocate for the MEK (Merat 2018), while Trump’s legal advisor Rudy Giuliani has also visited the MEK in Albania, on the invitation of Maryam Rajavi (Jazexhi 2018).

In Albania Shedding Light on Bizarre Behaviour of MEK Cult

BP: Over the years, many have argued that due the group’s unpopularity within Iran and its undemocratic nature, it cannot be a legitimate alternative to the current government in Iran. What’s your view on this?

Tim Anderson: The MEK has virtually no support within Iran, not even amongst those nationalists who oppose the current form of government. Many remember its traitorous actions during the war with Saddam Hussein. Since the 1980s it became a foreign creation, ready to work for any anti-Iranian sponsor. It is only capable of occasional terrorist acts and funded PR events.

Dr. Tim Anderson is Director of the Sydney-based Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies. He has worked at Australian universities for more than 30 years, teaching, researching and publishing on development, human rights and self-determination in the Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East. In 2014 he was awarded Cuba’s medal of friendship. He is Australia and Pacific representative for the Latin America based Network in Defence of Humanity. His most recent books are: Land and Livelihoods in Papua New Guinea (2015), The Dirty War on Syria (2016), now published in ten languages; and Countering War Propaganda of the Dirty War on Syria (2017). His next book Axis of Resistance is due out in 2019.


References

Carey, James (2018) ‘The MEK: from revolutionary group to imperialist asset’, Mint Press, 24 January, online:
https://www.mintpressnews.com/mekrevolutionary-group-imperialist-asset/236653/

Cartalucci, Tony (2018) ‘The US has delisted anti-Iranian MEK terrorists still openly committed to violence’, Global Research, 2 October, online: https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-us-has-delisted-anti-iranian-mekterrorists-still-openly-committed-to-violence/56558

Jazexhi, Olsi (2018) ‘Is Albania a Partner of the US In Supporting International Terrorism?’, Global Research, 27 March, online:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/is-albania-a-partner-of-the-us-in-supportinginternational-terrorism/5633671

Khodabandeh, Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh (2018) ‘US Forces Albania To Take IS Fighters After Hosting MEK’, LobeLog, 8 June, online: https://lobelog.com/trump-forces-albania-to-host-islamic-state/

Merat, Arron (2018) ‘Terrorists, cultists – or champions of democracy?’ The wild story of the MEK’, The Guardian, 9 November, online: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/nov/09/mek-iran-revolution-regimetrump-rajavi

MNA (2018) ‘Iran: US masters responsible for today terror attack in Ahvaz (joint “al-Ahwaz” and “MEK” terror attack)’, Mehr News Agency, 22 September, online: https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/iran-usmasters-responsible-for-today-terror-attack-in-ahvaz-joint-al-ahwazand-mek-terror-attack/

Osman, Marwa (2018) ‘Ahvaz Terrorist Attack Exposes US’s New Chapter of Regime Change Wars’, Al Ahed, September, online: https://english.alahednews.com.lb/44667/269#.W6j0R5NKhbU

Parsi, Trita (2018) ‘Why Trump’s hawks back the MEK terrorist cult’, The New York Review of Books, 20 July, online: https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/07/20/why-trumps-hawks-back-the-mek-terrorist-cult/

Pollack, Kenneth, Daniel Byman, Martin Indyk, Suzanne Maloney, Michael O’Hanlon and Bruce Riedel (2009) ‘Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran’, The Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute, Analysis paper No 20, June, online:
https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/06_iran_strategy.pdf

Spahiu, Ebi (2018) ‘MEK in Albania—Potential Implications and Security Concerns for Albania’, Terrorism Monitor, Volume: 16 Issue: 19, The Jamestown Foundation, 12 October, online:
https://jamestown.org/program/mek-in-albania-potential-implications-and-securityconcerns-for-albania/

USDOS (2007) ‘Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK)’, Foreign Terrorist Organizations’, US State Department, 30 April, online: https://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2006/82738.htm

USDOS (2012) ‘Delisting of the Mujahedin-e Khalq’, US Department of State, Bureau of Counterterrorism and countering violent extremism, 28 September, online: https://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/266607.htm

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MEK a U.S. tool against Iran: Australian expert

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US-Backed MEK In Albania Akin To Dumping Toxic Waste Without A Decontamination PlanUS-Backed MEK In Albania Akin To Dumping Toxic Waste Without A Decontamination Plan

Mojahedin Khalq MEK Rajavi Cult in Iranians in AlbaniaMojahedin Khalq MEK Rajavi Cult Iranians in Albania

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/mek-impunity-undermining-democracy-in-america/

MEK Impunity Undermining Democracy

MEK Impunity Undermining Democracy Massoud Khodabandeh, Lobe Log, June 18 2019:… This is the tip of the iceberg. MEK interference in the internal affairs of America goes well beyond online attacks on Iran. In 2016, the Organization of Iranian American Communities in the US—a front for the MEK—announced a “General Elections Mobilization Effort,” publicly urging its members to “fulfill their civic duty through active engagement in the 2016 general elections to help inform candidates of our communities’ policy priorities.” MEK Impunity Undermining America’s Democracy .

MEK Impunity Undermining DemocracyBolton’s Plans For A False Flag Op Involving MEK Are Already Underway

MEK Impunity Undermining Democracy in America

by Massoud Khodabandeh

Even before its inception, the Trump administration was accused of foreign interference and repeated counter allegations that such charges are fake news. Now, even as House Democrats are squeezing whatever advantage they can from the Mueller investigation into Russian influence, a fresh allegation of foreign interference has emerged.

MEK Impunity Undermining Democracy

An investigation by The Intercept revealed that the White House used an article written by “Heshmat Alavi” to justify President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. After probing the propaganda element in Alavi’s other articles, former members of the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) have confirmed that the group is linked to the article. According to one such former member, Hassan Heyrani, “Heshmat Alavi is a persona run by a team of people from the political wing of the MEK. This is not and has never been a real person.”

Heyrani said the fake persona has been managed by a team of MEK operatives in Albania, where the group has one of its bases, and is used to spread its message online. Heyrani’s account is echoed by Sara Zahiri, a Farsi-language researcher who focuses on the MEK. Zahiri, who has sources among Iranian government cybersecurity officials, said that Alavi is known inside Iran to be a “group account” run by a team of MEK members and that Alavi himself does not exist.

This new scandal—Heshmatgate—involves a wide political and media class that has become so besotted with an unrealistic anti-Iran agenda that it has left the door open to an unchecked, unverified flow of MEK propaganda throughout American politics and the media. Thanks to these regime-change advocates, a foreign group funded by a foreign government has easily manufactured a false narrative aimed at sending American soldiers to die in a war with Iran that is against U.S. national interests.

The MEK’s target audience is not Iran or Iranians. It barely services its Farsi language outlets. The MEK is almost universally hated by Iranians everywhere and has no credibility among them.

After 2003, the MEK’s military strategy in Iraq under benefactor Saddam Hussein gave way to an intelligence-based strategy under the patronage of Prince Turki Al Faisal, the former intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia. The MEK is now based in Albania where, under more favourable conditions facilitated by the Trump administration, it has been allowed to build and equip a troll farm using the infamous slave labour of its hapless members. Its aim is to influence people in the English-speaking world through online activity.

The Intercept revealed just one case of MEK’s deceptive anti-Iran work. But this is the tip of the iceberg. MEK interference in the internal affairs of America goes well beyond online attacks on Iran. In 2016, the Organization of Iranian American Communities in the USa front for the MEK—announced a “General Elections Mobilization Effort,” publicly urging its members to “fulfill their civic duty through active engagement in the 2016 general elections to help inform candidates of our communities’ policy priorities.”

In America, warmongers and regime change pundits, John Bolton and Rudi Giuliani in particular, openly support the MEK. The MEK exploits this impunity to the full. Critics of the MEK are subjected to character assassination and defamation campaigns. Journalist Jason Rezaian writes, “These efforts actively sought to undermine our credibility about the best approach to deal with Iran and resorted to personal attacks in order to do so.”

This revelation comes at the tail end of another scandal, the Iran Disinformation Project.This project, funded by the State Department, was ostensibly launched to expose and counter Iranian government propaganda. It paid for social media accounts to smear and discredit Iranian-American human rights activists, academics and journalists who criticize the Trump administration’s hard-line policies on Iran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo must answer for the actions of the State Department, but who is behind the MEK and the mysterious Heshmat Alavi? How much influence does the MEK wield in Washington? And on whose behalf?

The formula for MEK activity is “the MEK and somebody’s money.” This explains how, back in 2014 just before the European Parliament elections, “somebody’s” money was used to fund the campaign of an Islamophobic far-right party called Vox. Investigations into electoral misconduct revealed that “at least 971,890 euros” was gifted through thousands of contributions ranging from 200 to 5,000 euros from individual MEK members and supporters. The money did not originate with the MEK, but the money laundering was facilitated through the organization by Vox co-founder Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a long-term MEK advocate while he was vice-president of the European Parliament.

In Albania, enjoying the freedom granted by such money and impunity, the MEK is playing out in microcosm what it does in North America and Western Europe. After the MEK arrived in Albania, local journalists were disturbed by its bizarre behavior and filed reports on this activity. In response, the MEK used bribery and corruption to buy publishers and a broadcaster there. They use intimidation tactics to silence journalists. One journalist confessed to me he felt afraid in his own country when the MEK, accompanied by hired armed Albanian security personnel, followed him. In a public space, they photographed him and made verbal threats, demanding that he hand over his phone on which he had earlier filmed activity outside the MEK camp gate.

MEK corruption and deception is insidious and highly dangerous. In America, neoconservatives use the MEK as tool to destroy the Democratic Party. MEK members inside the Albanian troll farms have admitted to me that, in addition to the usual “regime change” and “nuclear” tags they use, more recent additions include the names of various U.S. political candidates and “Virginia” with a view to swaying electoral opinion in the primaries. Since the MEK is not a benign group, it is under heavy surveillance. It would be naïve to believe that the intelligence services do not know the identity of the three individuals behind the Heshmat Alavi persona as well as the others who work in the troll farm.

Saudi money and U.S. political advocacy help the MEK exploit America’s democratic systems to expand its influence. According to The Independent, “MEK articles were picked up by US government funded Voice of America’s Persian-language service.” In 2003, I gave testimony to the UK parliament that the MEK’s cult nature was an even greater threat than its terrorist or violent behavior. The MEK regards its needs superior to any considerations of law, morality, or mortality.

Back in 2001, commentator Elizabeth Rubin warned that the MEK “is not only irrelevant to the cause of Iran’s democratic activists, but a totalitarian cult that will come back to haunt us.”

Massoud Khodabandeh is the director of Middle East Strategy Consultants and has worked long-term with the authorities in Iraq to bring about a peaceful solution to the impasse at Camp Liberty and help rescue other victims of the Mojahedin-e Khalq cult. Among other publications, he co-authored the book “The Life of Camp Ashraf: Victims of Many Masters” with his wife Anne Singleton. They also published an academic paper on the MEK’s use of the Internet.

MEK Impunity Undermining  Democracy in America 

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We lie We cheat We use MEK terrorists” Heshmat Alavi Gate ” , Trump and MEK

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Bolton Vs. Zarif On MEK

Bolton Zarif MEK IranMassoud Khodabandeh, Lobe Log, May 03 2019:… Hillary Clinton did not take money from the MEK while it was listed as a terrorist entity. And taking the group off the U.S. terrorist list, though controversial at the time due to the MEK’s own well-funded pressure campaign, was not wrong, as it enabled the UNHCR to relocate the members to the safety of a third country. Her plan to correct the mistakes of the Bush administration was a vital step toward making the Middle East and the rest of the world, including the United States, a safer place. Meanwhile, John Bolton continued to take money to promote the MEK’s warmongering agenda against American interests. (Bolton Zarif MEK Iran MEK Impunity Undermining Democracy )

مسعود خدابنده آن سینگلتون پارلمان اروپا 2018Secret MEK troll factory in Albania uses modern slaves (aka Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, NCRI ,Rajavi cult)

Link to the source

Bolton Vs. Zarif On MEK 

By: Massoud Khodabandeh (Middle East Strategy Conslultants)

Bolton Zarif MEK IranHillary Cinton and John Bolton

When Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took to the airwaves during his visit to the UN in New York, particularly for an interview with Fox News, a frisson of surprised anticipation swept the American political polity. How was it possible that Iran, the pariah nation, not only had the audacity to enter the lion’s den, but from there to lecture the lion on its dirty behavior!

Of course, this is a spat that Iran cannot easily win. What mattered most was that Zarif did not go for the throat of the lion but instead those who are pulling its chain. In short, he accused a “B team”  of actively working to wage war on his country. And he singled out National Security Advisor John Bolton for supporting the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a group that believes in fomenting violent regime change in Iran.

A goaded Bolton went on Fox News to reply. But instead of answering Zarif’s accusations, Bolton merely blamed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for taking the MEK off the U.S. terrorism list in 2012. This was fantastic hubris. Bolton himself supported the MEK all the time it was on the list, attending rallies and taking speakers’ fees worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Bolton’s accusations against Clinton do not hold water. He, along with then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, started the war with Iraq partly on the pretext that Saddam Hussein supported terrorist groups, including the MEK, as an instrument of his foreign policy. Bolton was also on board with Rumsfeld when the United States unilaterally granted Protected Persons status to the MEK even while it was recognized a terrorist entity—in direct violation of international law.

With the election of President Obama in 2009, newly appointed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was left to clear up the mess Bolton and the cabal of neoconservatives created in Iraq. One of those problems was continued U.S. support for the MEK (which the United States designated a terrorist entity in 1997). With the help of a new tough negotiator in the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, Clinton set about finding a peaceful resolution to the standoff between the sovereign Iraqi government and the unwanted and parasitic MEK.

Clinton searched for third countries to absorb the MEK. But the MEK, enjoying the backing of anti-Iran regime change pundits in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States (including Bolton), dug in its heels and refused to be disbanded. In the end, only the dependent NATO ally Albania agreed to take the group’s members. Clinton authorized $10 million for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to transfer the MEK to Albania. She paid another $10 million for the establishment of a de-radicalization institute in Tirana to first deal with the MEK as preparation for handling returning Islamic State families. Another $10 million languishes in the account of the U.S. embassy in Tirana, money to rehabilitate the MEK members into normal society that Bolton and his cabal blocked.

All this was written into an agreement between the governments of Iraq, the United States, and Albania along with the UNHCR and the MEK. At that time this author was working as a consultant to the Iraqi government on security issues, including the safe containment and deportation of the MEK. I was relieved when the Obama administration found a safe and above all a peaceful solution to the threat posed by the MEK to the security of Iraq. I was pleased to find in this agreement specific steps toward humanizing individual MEK members and restoring them to normal life and their families.

As someone familiar with the MEK, John Bolton must then and is certainly now fully cognizant of the beneficial elements of this agreement. Yet, almost as soon as President Trump was elected, the de-radicalization project was put on hold, allowing the MEK over the next year to regroup and reactivate its anti-Iran activities. With the support of Bolton, former Senator John McCain, Rudi Giuliani, and a whole cast of minor cheerleading warmongers, the MEK has constructed a purpose-built closed training camp in Albania in which the members are kept as modern slaves to serve the MEK’s propaganda and terrorist agenda.

For all her faults, Hillary Clinton did not take money from the MEK while it was listed as a terrorist entity. And taking the group off the U.S. terrorist list, though controversial at the time due to the MEK’s own well-funded pressure campaign, was not wrong, as it enabled the UNHCR to relocate the members to the safety of a third country. Her plan to correct the mistakes of the Bush administration was a vital step toward making the Middle East and the rest of the world, including the United States, a safer place. Meanwhile, John Bolton continued to take money to promote the MEK’s warmongering agenda against American interests.

Before 2016, Iran did not have a diplomatic presence in Albania. Its embassy there dealt primarily with economic and cultural relations. But in 2018, the Albanian government of Edi Rama expelled two newly arrived Iranian diplomats at the behest of the Trump administration. John Bolton boasted about the achievement. Due to overt US support for the MEK, Iran drew its front line not in the Middle East but on the edge of the EU.

Now, with the Iranian foreign minister boldly speaking to the media inside the United States, Bolton has been reduced to deflecting rather than rebutting his accusations. Bolton’s master plan for a war against Iran has not only backfired but prompted Tehran to redraw its front line once again, this time in Washington, DC itself.

Massoud Khodabandeh is the director of Middle East Strategy Consultants and has worked long-term with the authorities in Iraq to bring about a peaceful solution to the impasse at Camp Liberty and help rescue other victims of the Mojahedin-e Khalq cult. Among other publications, he co-authored the book “The Life of Camp Ashraf: Victims of Many Masters” with his wife Anne Singleton. They also published an academic paper on the MEK’s use of the Internet.

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Bolton Zarif MEK Iran MEK Impunity Undermining Democracy 

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