MEK celebrates its 57th anniversary as what?

MEK celebrates its 57th anniversary as what?

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

Anne Khodabandeh Letter To EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva JohanssonAnne Khodabandeh Letter To EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson

MEK celebrates its 57th anniversary as what?

By Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) 

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

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

MEK celebrates terrorism In Albania

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

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

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

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

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

Iran Interlink

MEK celebrates its 57th anniversary as what?

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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

Afghan Refugees in Albania 

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MEK celebrates its 57th anniversary as what?

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