Obscurity Looms For MEK – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Sep 24, 2021

Obscurity Looms For MEK – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Sep 24, 2021

Obscurity Looms For MEK Maryam RajaviIran Interlink, September 25 2021:… Meeting with Iran’s delegation at the UN General Assembly was, despite western media disinterest, of great interest to many countries, which did in fact hold meetings with foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. Those countries, in particular, which support the restoration of the JCPOA. Even the UK foreign minister Liz Truss met with him. Which kind of left America standing alone in an empty room clinging to its intransigence over its sanctions regime. Obscurity Looms For MEK  

The Trouble With Mujahedin KhalqThe Trouble With Mujahedin Khalq

Obscurity Looms For MEK – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Sep 24, 2021

Iran Interlink Weekly Digest Mojahedin Khalq MEK NCRI Rajavi cult++ Meeting with Iran’s delegation at the UN General Assembly was, despite western media disinterest, of great interest to many countries, which did in fact hold meetings with foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. Those countries, in particular, which support the restoration of the JCPOA. Even the UK foreign minister Liz Truss met with him. Which kind of left America standing alone in an empty room clinging to its intransigence over its sanctions regime. Years ago, the MEK would have been able to rally a couple of hundred supporters outside the UN to protest against Iran. This year, from their hidey-hole in Albania, desperate to appear relevant, they re-hashed on a website a previous speech by Mike Pompeo (which they had paid for) and pretended that he was supporting them now. The current theme of the MEKs activities is to denigrate president Ebrahim Raisi and create mistrust so as to prevent rapprochement between Iran and the west.

Obscurity Looms For MEK Maryam Rajavi

Behind the scenes the MEK is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia, whether directly or through intermediaries. But the driving force behind this anti-Iran push are extremist elements of the Israeli right. And as long as there are American politicians, former officials and military personnel and justice systems like Sweden’s willing to be corrupted by MEK dollars, this charade will continue. But Raisi himself spoke to this charade in his videoed speech when he denounced the use of terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy: “you cannot fight terrorism with double standards. You cannot make a terrorist group, such as ISIS and claim to fight it somewhere else”. Equally applicable to western support for the terrorist MEK.

++ Borna News in Iran published a long analytical piece by Middle East expert Jafar Ghannadbashi, outlining 14 actions taken by Saudi Arabia against Iran, each of which could lead to war or weaken western leverage against Iran. One of these actions is “to help the armed terrorist groups, one of which is the MEK. This means that a large part of all the expenses of the hypocrites in Albania and elsewhere is paid by Saudi Arabia. In addition to the seminars and conferences that are being held in Paris, apart from the separatist groups that are in the border areas of our country, Saudi Arabia also pays for them and supports them. Saudis have repeatedly said: ‘We will bring the war to the inside of Iran’.” According to Ghannadbashi, the money spent by Saudi and Israel to stop rapprochement between Iran and the west is a waste of money.

US Supporting MEK Terrorists In Albania

In English:

++ The MEK has entered a new phase which should be called the rise of the ‘Qajar’ Dynasty’ or the Third Ideological Revolution. Maryam Rajavi has consigned Massoud Rajavi and his ‘Rajavi Dynasty’ to obscurity and appointed at leadership level in the MEK her own daughter, her niece, her former husband’s niece’s daughter, along with a small cabal of loyal women, groomed specifically for their roles. For all we know, she might even be contemplating changing her name back to Qajar-Azodanlu to complete the coup. Massoud Khodabandeh wrote a long article outlining how this coup came about over forty years. “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.”

++ A short piece by Ali Alavi published by Iran Interlink says that Albania’s agreement to temporarily house nearly 500 Afghan refugees is simply a way for the Americans to vet them before choosing which ones are acceptable over there. “Albania is notorious as the backyard for US dirty work – a hub for financing, recruitment and training and dispatching ‘good’ terrorists. That’s why the terrorist cult Mojahedin Khalq (MEK) is based there.” Alavi pointed out that many of these Afghan refugees speak Dari which is very close to Farsi. “The newly arrived Afghan refugees who speak Farsi are ripe for recruitment by the MEK. They can be used to bulk out the audience at Maryam Rajavi’s fake gatherings. They can be used in the click farm at the MEK camp in Durres. They can be trained over the coming year or so, to replace some of the older MEK members in North America and Europe.”

++ An Iran Interlink editorial highlights the hypocrisy of the MEK celebrating Democracy Day when in its 57-year history it has never held an election among its members to choose its leaders or its policies.

++ Habilian Association published a collection of articles under the title ‘Mojahedin-e Khalq Uncovered: The Terrorist Group in the Eyes of International Media’. This comprises media articles and reports published on the MEK by governments, research institutes and think tanks that help us “to understand how MKO’s terrorism has been viewed by experts, journalists, politicians, governments and international organizations during the past 17 years.”

Obscurity Looms For MEK 

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/albania-and-iranian-mek/

Albania and Iranian MEK , A marriage Made in the US

Albania and Iranian MEKChristian Mamo, Emerging Europe, August 11 2021:…  “Albania will continue to host the MEK paramilitary base on its soil for as long as the Americans need them to,” says Olsi Jazexhi. “If one day the United States makes peace with Iran, MEK will be forgotten, dismantled, de-radicalised and its remaining members will finally live a peaceful civilian life. But for the time being they are useful and good terrorists which Albania must host.” Albania and Iranian MEK , A marriage Made in the US 

Albania and Iranian MEKI can buy Albanian President for a thousand dollars; Maryam Rajavi

Albania and Iranian MEK , A marriage Made in the US 

Albania and Iran’s dissident MEK: A marriage made in the US

Could hosting a banned Iranian dissident group compromise Albania’s security?

Some 30 kilometres west from Albania’s capital Tirana, nestled between a mountain range and the Adriatic Sea, lies the town of Manëz.

With a population of roughly 7,000 and picturesque views in every direction, it is a typical Albanian town, save for one fact: it hosts Camp Ashraf-3, the base of Iranian dissident group known as the People’s Mujahedin of Iran.

Going by its Farsi acronym of MEK, the group has had a presence in Albania since at least 2013. In its heyday, it was one of the main groups struggling against the imperial regime in Iran, playing a major role in the 1979 revolution before falling out with the newly-established Islamic Republic led by Ayatollah Khomeini.

Over time, the group’s significance diminished.

Currently, roughly 3,000 members of MEK are estimated to live in Camp Ashraf-3, a heavily fortified compound. The camp’s perimeter is lined with Iranian flags and guarded by Albanian private security.

And although the group gets little mainstream attention, it has actively been courted by powers hostile to Iran, primarily the United States. MEK’s leader, Maryam Rajavi (wife of one of the group’s founders, Massoud Rajavi, presumed dead since 2003) has met with prominent US politicians such as Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton and the late John McCain. An annual conference hosted by the MEK in Paris regularly draws visitors from various right-wing European political parties.

Despite this support, the group has next to no credibility in Iran, according to Houchang Chahabi, an Iranian-born professor of international relations at Boston University.

“They have been politically irrelevant in Iran since at least the mid-1980s, and have little to no domestic support,” says Professor Chahabi.

This raises the question of why Albania of all countries would drag itself into one of the world’s most tense geopolitical standoffs, between the United States and Iran, by agreeing to host a tiny, fanatical armed group, which until 2012 was designated as a terrorist group by the United States and most of the European Union.

Now described by various sources as a cult, a cartel, a dangerous extremist group, the group’s presence may even represent a threat to Albanians.

From revolutionaries to cult

MEK was founded in the 1960s by radical students opposed to Shah Reza Pahlavi. With an ideology combining Shia Islamism with Marxism, throughout the 1970s the group staged dozens of often suicidal attacks on security forces, as well as targeting western-owned hotels, airlines and oil companies.

During the 1979 revolution, they were crucial in the final gun battles against the Shah’s police. However, it did not take long for things to sour between the various factions involved in the revolution. The Ayatollah Khomeini-led Islamist faction ended up seizing most of the political power.

Following massive street protests organised by the MEK, the Islamic Republic cracked down hard on the group, executing thousands of supporters and driving many to flee across the border to Iraq, where they were hosted and armed by Saddam Hussein.

Tens of thousands MEK members participated in the Iran-Iraq War, fighting alongside the Iraqi military which was indiscriminately bombing Iranian cities and using banned chemical weapons. This caused what credibility they had left in Iran – and clearly they used to have a lot, as evidenced by their massive support during the revolution and the post-revolutionary period – to dissipate.

An attempted incursion into Iran in 1988 by an 8,000-strong mechanised MEK force, at the closing stages of the Iran-Iraq War, ended in crushing defeat. The group began resembling more of a cult than a political party – the 1988 defeat was partially blamed on members being too distracted by “trivialities” like love, friendship and parenthood to be zealous enough fighters.

Throughout the 1990s, MEK helped Saddam Hussein brutally quell uprisings in the aftermath of the first Gulf War, implicating themselves in some horrendous atrocities, particularly against Kurds.

Following the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the MEK began piquing the interest of US hawks. It had toppled hostile regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan with ease, and the insurgencies which would end up bogging it down had yet to fully take off. It was widely believed that Iran would be the next country on the list – and the MEK looked like convenient on-the-ground partners.

However, events in Iraq took an unanticipated turn. The country’s post-Saddam government forged closer ties with Iran, particularly under the leadership of Nouri al-Maliki. Between 2009 and 2013, Iraqi security forces raided MEK compounds multiple times, killing over 100 members.

This alarmed the MEK’s western sponsors which began looking for alternative countries to base the group in. They reached out to several of their Eastern European partners, with Romania identified as an ideal location. However, only one country responded to the request positively: Albania.

MEK officially renounced violence and between 2013 and 2016, between three and five thousand members were relocated to Albania, with the help of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), overseen by the governments of Sali Berisha and Edi Rama.

Violation of sovereignty?

Few even within Albania know of MEK’s existence. Those that do have asked questions about the implications of hosting such a group: fears were raised that the presence of the MEK forces Albania to inherit a decades-long struggle between a major regional power in the Middle East and a terrorist group with cult-like characteristics, at the behest of the United States.

However, Professor Olsi Jazexhi, an Albanian historian and lecturer at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, believes that there is little immediate security threat to Albania as a result of the group’s presence.

“Iran has attacked MEK terrorists in the past in Iraq, however at present it cannot do anything against MEK in Albania. Albania is a NATO member country and its security is guaranteed by the Americans,” he says.

Dr Zijad Bećirović, director of the International Institute for Middle Eastern and Balkan Studies in Ljubljana agrees with this view.

“Iran does not attach much importance to this group. Albania is a member of NATO and Iran would not want to risk a confrontation,” Dr Bećirović tells Emerging Europe.

This may be particularly true in light of how MEK renounced violence as a precondition of its relocation to Albania. Now, according to interviews conducted by The Guardian with MEK defectors, members spend most of their time posting propaganda comments on online forums demonising the Iranian government.

Furthermore, the group appears to have fallen far from its heyday as one of the trailblazers of the Iranian revolution to becoming something not unlike a cult.

Members are forced to divorce their spouses upon joining. Celibacy is strictly enforced, and daily, members have to confess their sexual urges in front of their peers. Dozens of women have allegedly been sterilised by the group’s doctors under false pretences, presumably to sever them from “distractions” such as raising children.

Dr Bećirović believes that the US clearly played a major role in bringing the group to Albania.

“Albania is a reliable ally of the United States. This was also shown in how Albania hosted prisoners of war from Afghanistan captured by the United States. It is quite certain that the MEK would not have come to Albania without the mediation or role of the United States.”

However, despite this, Bećirović acknowledges that Albania also has its own interests in hosting the MEK. “In this way, Albania strengthens its role in the region and international relations and its position with the United States and western allies.”

‘The US runs Albania’

Others, like Olsi Jazexhi, see the whole situation as evidence of American hegemony over Albania.

“Albania today is ruled by the US embassy in Tirana. The embassy vets our politicians – like the Guardian Council in Iran – and it decides which politicians enter parliament or not. The hosting of MEK in Albania is not an Albanian affair, but an American-Israeli affair.”

However, lately, the MEK has been back on the Iranian government’s radar. In November 2020, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a senior official in Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, was assassinated. Some local news reports indicated that over 60 people were involved in the assassination.

Iranian government sources blamed the assassination on MEK, acting in conjunction with Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. The unconfirmed reports of there being several dozen people involved in the operation indicate a high level of collusion between locals and the architects of the assassination. MEK has demonstrated its members’ zeal, fanaticism, and willingness to collaborate with enemies of Iran – it would not be preposterous to suggest that they may have played a part in the killing.

The incident also echoed how during a string of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists from the late 2000s to the early 2010s, the Iranian government persistently claimed the involvement of MEK sleeper cells.

Regardless of whether or not the MEK were involved in the assassinations, it is clear that they have been identified as the United States’ partner in Iran, should anything happen between the two countries.

This, however you slice it, means that the group is actively collaborating with a country that has been persistently hostile to Iran for over four decades.

And that means that as long as tensions remain between the US and Iran, MEK will continue to be useful to its patrons – meaning Albania will continue hosting them.

“Albania will continue to host the MEK paramilitary base on its soil for as long as the Americans need them to,” says Olsi Jazexhi.

“If one day the United States makes peace with Iran, MEK will be forgotten, dismantled, de-radicalised and its remaining members will finally live a peaceful civilian life. But for the time being they are useful and good terrorists which Albania must host.”

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Albania and Iranian MEK 

Obscurity Looms For MEK

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Also read:
https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/after-being-deported-from-eu-maryam-rajavi-threatens-albanians/

After Being Deported From EU, Maryam Rajavi Threatens Albanians

After Being Deported From EU, Maryam Rajavi Threatens AlbaniansD. Olsi Jazexhi, Tiranan, Albania, September 01 2020:… The ex-terrorist Mujaheden el-Halk organization has attacked Olsi Jazexhi and Gjergji Thanasi two Albanian journalists who investigate the illegal and terrorist activities of MEK from Albania. They level a number of accusations against Olsi. He responds to all these accusations and invites the Mojahedin military command and their supreme jihadi leader Maryam Rajavi to face Olsi in a public debate about their criminal and illegal activities in Albania. After Being Deported From EU, Maryam Rajavi Threatens Albanians

Gjergji Thanasi Olsi Jazexhi Ask For Protection Against Mujahedin Terrorists In AlbaniaGjergji Thanasi Olsi Jazexhi Ask For Protection Against Mujahedin Terrorists In Albania

After Being Deported From EU, Maryam Rajavi Threatens Albanians

Obscurity Looms For MEK 

Olsi Jazexhi responds to threats @ slander that Maryam Rajavi and her ex-terrorist gang make to him

The ex-terrorist Mujaheden el-Halk organization has attacked Olsi Jazexhi and Gjergji Thanasi two Albanian journalists who investigate the illegal and terrorist activities of MEK from Albania. They level a number of accusations against Olsi. He responds to all these accusations and invites the Mojahedin military command and their supreme jihadi leader Maryam Rajavi to face Olsi in a public debate about their criminal and illegal activities in Albania.

After Being Deported From EU, Maryam Rajavi Threatens AlbaniansRemember: MEK was an American excuse to invade Iraq

Link to the source

After Being Deported From EU, Maryam Rajavi Threatens Albanians

Obscurity Looms For MEK 

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Radicalized Mojahedeen In Albania Use Government Prisons

Olsi & Gjergji discuss the threats that Maryam Rajavi & MKO do to media and democracy in Albania

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/eu-denies-rajavi-entry-iran-interlink-weekly-digest-aug-28-2020/

EU Denies Rajavi Entry – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Aug 28, 2020

Iran Interlink Weekly Digest Mojahedin Khalq MEK NCRI Rajavi cultIran Interlink, August 28 2020:… Now Rajavi is trying to escape this mess. Some days ago, she attempted to return to France, where she had previously had her headquarters, but was turned back. Rajavi was expelled from France and MEK activity severely curtailed two years ago after several incidents – including a suspicious bomb plot in 2017 – caused EU security services to reassess the risk of hosting this maverick group. Rajavi joined the bulk of MEK members in Albania and established a new headquarters there. EU Denies Rajavi Entry – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Aug 28, 2020 

Maryam Rajavi AlbaniaAlbania Accession TO EU – Open Letter to the Negotiators

EU Denies Rajavi Entry – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Aug 28, 2020

After Being Deported From EU, Maryam Rajavi Threatens Albanians

Obscurity Looms For MEK 

Iran Interlink Weekly Digest Mojahedin Khalq MEK NCRI Rajavi cultFollowing the humiliating failure to force the illegal deportation of former MEK member Ehsan Bidi from Albania, reports indicate that Maryam Rajavi is facing difficulty containing doubt and criticism among the members in the Manez camp. Rajavi boasts to the members that she can order the Albanian establishment to fulfil her demands because she is backed by the CIA. So confident was she of her powers that she had already published news of Bidi’s deportation on her websites – pages she was forced to quickly retract, though not before implicating herself in the plot along with some of Albania’s corrupt politicians and officials. The members felt the crushing blow of being betrayed and deceived.

Now Rajavi is trying to escape this mess. Some days ago, she attempted to return to France, where she had previously had her headquarters, but was turned back. Rajavi was expelled from France and MEK activity severely curtailed two years ago after several incidents – including a suspicious bomb plot in 2017 – caused EU security services to reassess the risk of hosting this maverick group. Rajavi joined the bulk of MEK members in Albania and established a new headquarters there.

EU Denies Rajavi Entry – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Aug 28, 2020

In 2003, when Rajavi and her leading lieutenants were arrested on terrorism charges in France, it was not possible to deport her because the MEK was based in Iraq which was deemed unsafe. However, now that Rajavi and the MEK members are established in the NATO country of Albania, it has been possible to refuse her entry to the EU. The fact that Rajavi is building an even bigger MEK base near Tirana International (aka Rinas) Airport has alerted EU security services to the danger of creating a ‘bridge’ by allowing Rajavi and other members to move freely between Albania and France and the rest of Europe. Although the MEK is no longer on the EU terrorism list, the group is still regarded in security circles as a dangerous, violent extremist entity.

However, it is not only Rajavi who is trying to escape Albania and seek refuge in the west. Her top lieutenants, Mehdi Abrishamchi and Mohammad Mohaddessin have tried to make their way to the United States. It is known that Abrishamchi was turned away. Even though the top MEK members use a multiple of passports with fake identities it appears that the security services in Albania, the EU and the US have enough intelligence to thwart these tricks.

What is significant in these attempts is why they are happening now. In spite of being strictly forbidden, several members have contact with the outside world. Their reports are of disillusionment and despair among the members at every level. The Ehsan Bidi debacle is the latest in a series of disturbing and unpalatable events in the group’s recent history. In this case, experts and observers are getting indications of a breakdown in order in the camp which may be difficult to recover from. No wonder Rajavi is lining up an escape route.

EU Denies Rajavi Entry – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Aug 28, 2020

After Being Deported From EU, Maryam Rajavi Threatens Albanians

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Maryam Rajavi In Albania - Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Jun 26, 2020Mojahedin-e Khalq MEK Defectors Talk About The Inside Of Rajavi Cult

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