Luisa Hommerich, Des Spiegel (Spiegel Online), February 19 2019:… Members of the Trump administration have been providing support to a political sect that aims to topple the Iranian regime in Tehran. Around 2,000 of its members live in a camp in Albania. Former members say it is subjecting followers to torture and psychological terror. In 2007, units of the People’s Mujahedin began to receive training at a U.S. military facility in the desert of Nevada — even though the group was still listed by Washington as a terrorist organization at the time.
Prisoners of Their Own RebellionThe Cult-Like Group Fighting Iran
Members of the Trump administration have been providing support to a political sect that aims to topple the Iranian regime in Tehran. Around 2,000 of its members live in a camp in Albania. Former members say it is subjecting followers to torture and psychological terror.
By Luisa Hommerich
Former People’s Mujahedin member Gholamreza Shekari (ALESSANDRO INCHES / DER SPIEGEL)
On a country road in northwestern Albania, a rather odd collection of men and women living together in a camp are busy preparing themselves to topple the Iranian regime. Three times per week, many of them apparently practice slitting throats, breaking hands, jabbing out eyeballs with fingers and performing the so-called Glasgow Smile, which involves cutting cheeks from the corner of the mouth up toward the ear. That, at least, is the story told by a former member of the group.
The camp, roughly the size of 50 football fields and surrounded by high fences, is located just a 35-minute drive from the lively bars of downtown Tirana, but the people inside live in something of a time capsule. Former members of the group report that most of the 2,000 camp residents aren’t allowed to possess mobile phones, watches or calendars, though members of the organization that operates the camp deny those claims.
“My daughter is living somewhere in there,” says Mostafa Mohammadi, a 61-year-old Iranian man with a high forehead and deep eye sockets. Her name is Somayeh, a woman of 38. Her father, who lives in Canada, claims that she is being held in the camp against her will, which is why he spent several months in Albania last year. During a meeting there, he said: “I don’t have anything to do with politics. Please, I just want to see my daughter.”
Just like everyone in the camp, Somayeh Mohammadi is a member of the People’s Mujahedin, a once-militant Iranian opposition group that was listed by the United States. and Europe as a terrorist group until 2012. These days, however, several members of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump are supporting the group, commonly known by the abbreviation MEK. Both the administration and the MEK, after all, want to see the end of the current regime in Iran — and now that the group has Washington’s backing, the Mujahedin apparently hopes that its time has finally come.
On the sidelines of the Middle East conference in Warsaw, which began on Wednesday, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of possible “war” with Iran. And at an MEK rally in Warsaw, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani called for regime change in Tehran.
For almost 30 years, several thousand members of the People’s Mujahedin lived in exile in Iraq, but in 2013, many of them moved to Albania. And since 2017, the majority of the group has lived in the isolated camp near Tirana.
Ever since the group set up shop in Albania, however, more and more members have defected. Some tell stories of torture experienced in the camp and of group sessions in which members are required to open up about their sexual fantasies. Women are allegedly forced to wear headscarves. And all of it takes place in the name of a phantom leader named Masoud Rajavi, who hasn’t been seen since 2003. Indeed, it isn’t even clear if he is still alive; photos from the 1990s show a mustachioed man in a green uniform.
The residents of the camp are just one part of the movement, which is led by Maryam Rajavi, the wife of the vanished leader. The 65-year-old commutes between Albania and her office in Paris, from which she leads the group’s political arm, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which is active in both Europe and the U.S. NCRI is structured as a kind of interim government, ready to take over in Tehran as soon as the current regime is toppled and the group has offices in many capital cities, including one in Washington not far from the White House. In Berlin, NCRI has an office in the Wilmersdorf district, located just southwest of the city center. The movement in Germany has just a few hundred members, but it has several thousand members around the world.
Maryam Rajavi is the acting leader of the People’s Mujahedin. Her husband has not been seen since 2003 (PHILIPPE WOJAZER / REUTERS)
And they have proven to be adept lobbyists, having won over influential supporters in recent years. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Giuliani have all spoken at NCRI events and they all view the group as a viable alternative to the current regime in power in Tehran.
“The mullahs must go, the ayatollah must go, and they must be replaced by a democratic government, which Madam Rajavi represents,” Giuliani said at an annual NCRI rally in Paris in June 2018. And he suggested that such a regime change could come soon: “Next year, I want to have this convention in Tehran!” he said. Both Giuliani and Bolton have even visited the group in Albania, and last Monday, the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, the national security adviser issued a video message addressing Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, in which he said: “I don’t think you’ll have many more anniversaries to enjoy.”
But who are Trump’s allies inside the secretive camp? Two lion statues guard the large iron gate at the camp’s entrance and guards call out “No, no!” if anyone stops out front. Three men march out of the gate and refuse to answer any questions, promising that interview requests will be responded to the next day. But nobody ever calls.
DER SPIEGEL never received a response from the People’s Mujahedin or from the NCRI to any of its interview queries prior to the visit, neither from Tirana, Paris or Berlin. A lawyer representing the group likewise declined to discuss the case of Somayeh Mohammadi. Indeed, the group only responded when DER SPIEGEL sent an email outlining the accusations that had been made against it, with an NCRI spokesman in Berlin essentially denying everything. On its websites, the organization claims to stand for democracy, human rights and the strict separation of church and state in Iran. “We want a pluralist system, freedom of parties and assembly,” it says, for example, in an article entitled “Maryam Rajavi’s Ten Point Plan for Future Iran.”
The statements suggest that once the People’s Mujahedin take over power in Iran, everything will immediately improve. But reports from those who have experienced life in the camp do not reflect that message. Instead, they appear to be prisoners of their own rebellion.
‘Lies, Manipulation and Fear’
It is, of course, undeniable that the regime in Tehran and the People’s Mujahedin are engaged in a propaganda war and lies from both sides are to be expected. But DER SPIEGEL has spoken with 15 former camp residents, some of them for several hours — and their stories are largely consistent on the most important point: The organization is essentially a sect that is difficult to escape.
Gholamreza Shekari, a slender 50-year-old man with bony cheeks, says he spent 27 years as a member of the People’s Mujahedin, adding “the organization’s public face is liberal. Internally, though, it works by way of lies, manipulation and fear.”
Shekari fell into the group of fighters as a 20-year-old, as many others apparently did as well — through false promises. In 1988, during the confusion of the Iran-Iraq War, he fled across the Iraqi border, where he met members of the People’s Mujahedin. “They spoke of freedom and democracy for Iran,” Shekari says. “And then they promised me that they would arrange a visa for Europe for me.” He believed them.
Later, he says, they took his documents and told him that if he left the group, he would end up in an Iraqi torture prison. An organization spokesman rejects the claim as a “ridiculous and fictitious film scenario.”
“They told us lies to ensure our obedience,” says Shekari. “We were guarded and forced to break off contact with our families.” Claims that fighters were banned from maintaining contact with their families are “baseless lies,” says the organization.
Shekari says that he repeatedly asked when he would be allowed to leave. But that turned out to be a mistake: According to Human Rights Watch, the organization began torturing members who wanted to leave the group or who asked critical questions in the mid-1990s.
“They insulted me as a spy, beat my shins until they were bloody and put out burning cigarettes on my skin,” Shekari says. After a week, he says, his lower legs were completely black. He rolls up his jeans to reveal scars covering his legs.
Ultimately, he says, the leader Masoud Rajavi gathered all those who had been tortured. “He threatened that if we ever spoke about it, we would be handed over to the Iraqis, which would mean additional torture or death.”
Group Denies Torture Claims
When confronted with these accusations, the spokesman for the organization’s German chapter says that “neither in the 1990s, nor before or after, did the group keep its members prisoner or torture them.”
Despite everything, Shekari remained with the organization for another 23 years, which at best could be explained as being the result of brainwashing. Only in Albania did the others allow him to leave, in September 2016. Now, he lives in a sparsely furnished apartment in Tirana and receives financial support from the UN Refugee Agency. He doesn’t have much choice but to stay where he is because, as an Iranian, getting visas is difficult and there are many countries to which he is not allowed to travel.
After he left the group, he says he received the equivalent of 350 euros per month from the group for half a year “so that I would keep my mouth shut,” Shekari claims. “The organization claims that we are all agents so that nobody believes us,” he says. “But I’m not working for anyone.”
The People’s Mujahedin used to receive funding from the erstwhile Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, but these days, group supporters collect donations and can often be seen in the pedestrian zones of German cities, showing passersby photos of executions in Iran. They operate under the cover of organizations with names like the “Association for Future Hope” or “Aid Organization for Human Rights in Iran.” According to the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, these and other groups are linked with the People’s Mujahedin. In a message written to DER SPIEGEL about the camp’s financing, the group wrote: “All costs are covered by supporters of the resistance both inside and outside of Iran.”
Security experts believe that the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel also provide the group with financial support, but there is no proof for that supposition. The organization writes: “We haven’t received even a single euro from any government.”
An ‘Ideological Revolution’
The transformation into a sect-like organization can be explained by history. After the overthrow of the shah, the militant group, still adamantly anti-American at the time, lost the ensuing power struggle and was persecuted by the religious regime under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini. The members fled to Iraq, from where they carried out terrorist attacks in Iran and fought against their own country in the Iran-Iraq War.
Fearing that the group might disintegrate, leader, Masoud Rajavi launched what he called an “ideological revolution” in 1985. He married the wife of a confidant and forced all others to get divorced, with children being sent abroad. Loyalties other than the one to the group’s leader were no longer to be tolerated — and that is when the personality cult surrounding Rajavi and his new wife Maryam began. Still today, many camp residents continue to wear the leader’s likeness on a chain around their necks.
The last time Masoud Rajavi was seen was in March 2003, shortly before the first American bombs began falling in Baghdad. But Maryam Rajavi continues speaking about her husband as though he were still alive. Not long after the beginning of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Americans captured the People’s Mujahedin’s camp and disarmed the group. Soon, though, the organization began claiming it backed the U.S., even though it had been fighting on behalf of Saddam Hussein only a short time before.
The group’s disarming could have spelled the end, but hardliners like then-U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney wanted to use them as leverage against Iran. Already in 2002, the group had worked with the Israeli secret service Mossad in revealing that Iran had begun covertly enriching uranium.
In 2007, units of the People’s Mujahedin began to receive training at a U.S. military facility in the desert of Nevada — even though the group was still listed by Washington as a terrorist organization at the time. And now, the Trump administration has taken the position that the People’s Mujahedin has been demanding for years: a hardline stance toward Iran. And the group believes that it has played a role: When Trump abandoned the nuclear deal with Iran in May, the group’s commanders celebrated as though they had just won a great victory.
Their list of supporters is currently longer than it has ever been, including numerous U.S. Senators and members of the U.S. military and security apparatus. The former Saudi Arabian intelligence chief, Turki Bin Faisal al Saud, is also a proponent. In the European Parliament, a group called Friends of a Free Iran advocates on behalf of the People’s Mujahedin as does a multipartisan group in the German federal parliament, the Bundestag, called the German Solidarity Committee for a Free Iran.
Trump confidant Rudy Giuliani: “The mullahs must go, the ayatollah must go, and they must be replaced by a democratic government, which Madam Rajavi represents.” (REUTERS)
In October, Martin Patzelt, a parliamentarian with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), visited the camp in Albania together with former Bundestag President Rita Süssmuth, also of the CDU. Süssmuth raved about the “joie de vivre culture” among the People’s Mujahedin, adding that the Iranian secret service has repeatedly propagated “terrible things” about the group.
The People’s Mujahedin has often rejected all manner of accusations as propaganda from Tehran. And it has been an effective strategy, in part because Iran has brutally persecuted the group in the past and executed thousands of its followers.
The depictions of those who have left the organization make it sound like the group is constantly on war footing. Eight residents sleep in each room and they have to get up between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. In addition to combat training, they also take care of construction projects in the camp. The defectors also say that around a thousand members work in the so-called “computer division,” allegedly using fake accounts to post pro-organization propaganda on Twitter and Facebook. Others, say former members, use the messenger service Telegram to entice new Iranian recruits to join them in Albania.
The group’s spokesman counters that claims that the organization is running a troll factory are merely an “attempt to cover up fake accounts belonging to the Iranian regime.”
Former group members say that there are some 200 commanders in the camp and they sometimes read out a letter from their vanished leader, including sentences like: “Have no fear, victory is ours, we will be in Iran.”
The question as to why the Albanian government tolerates the Iranian group in their country is one that the Interior Ministry in Tirana is not willing to answer. But U.S. government documents make it clear why the People’s Mujahedin ended up in Albania in the first place.
After the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the situation became increasingly dangerous for them. During her time in office, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped find a solution, together with the United Nations, and ultimately Albania agreed to accept a number of group members. In return, the U.S. donated $20 million to the UN Refugee Agency and pledged development aid to Albania.
Starting in 2013, group leaders began buying up more and more land and ultimately built the camp, including dozens of white containers and gray, two-story buildings. They house a large kitchen, a bakery, a music studio, a computer center and a dentistry practice — at least according to a propaganda video. On another one of the few videos from inside the camp, Somayeh Mohammadi can be seen, the woman whose father has been trying to free her for 21 years. In the clip, she is wearing a uniform with a headscarf and is being interviewed by two Albanian journalists. Her father, she says, is an agent of the Iranian regime and insists she wants to remain in the camp. “Here is a free country. If I want to go anywhere, I can go.”
The story that her father has to tell, one backed up with documents and video material, sounds quite different. Mohammadi himself was a long-time supporter of the organization and he collected donations for the group in Canada, where he has lived since 1994. When Somayeh was 17 years old, a woman from the organization offered her a “short trip” to the camp in Iraq.
‘The Organization Gives Nothing’
Somayeh never came back. The organization sent a cassette recording of Somayeh saying that she had decided to remain in the camp. Her father says that the organization lured him to places in various countries with the promise that he could see her, but instead used him in demonstrations. “The organization gives nothing without getting something in return,” Mohammadi says.
On one video from June 2003, Mohammadi can be seen in front of the French Embassy in Ottawa, apparently drenched in gasoline as he pulls out a match — which a journalist then knocks out of his hand. At the time, group leader Maryam Rajavi was in pre-trial detention in France on suspicions of terrorism and protesters in many countries had lit themselves on fire in front of French embassies. Because he too had apparently been preparing to do the same, Mohammadi was considered a hero within the group from that moment on. He was even allowed to visit his daughter in the camp. But he ultimately distanced himself from the group and began filming everything in an attempt at collecting evidence that she was being held against her will.
On Oct. 17, 2013, Somayeh sent a letter to Canadian authorities, in which she wrote: “Please help me return to my former country, Canada, as soon as possible.” But Somayeh doesn’t have a Canadian passport and the authorities were unable to help her.
But then, she apparently changed her mind yet again — and a book was even published in her name as a PDF document, in which she claims that she wants to stay with the People’s Mujahedin.
“Who knows what they did to her,” says her father.
(The article you are reading originally appeared in German in issue 8/2019 (February 16th, 2019) of DER SPIEGEL.)
America is turning Albania into a safe haven for international Jihadism: an interview with Dr. Olsi Jazexhi
Balkans Post, January 03 2019:… The Iranian Mojahedeen-e-Khalq organization which were designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and Canada until 2012, started to come to Albania in 2013. A few months after the Obama administration removed them from the terrorist list, the Americans asked the government of Sali Berisha in Albania to offer asylum to 250 Iranian Mojahedeen commanders who could not stay in Iraq …
America is turning Albania into a safe haven for international Jihadism: an interview with Dr. Olsi Jazexhi
In an interview with Balkans Post, Dr. Olsi Jazexhi, a Canadian-Albanian historian who is specialized in the history of Islam, nationalism and religious reformation in Southeastern Europe, said America is turning Albania into a safe haven for international Jihadism. Below, the full transcript of the interview has been presented:
Navid Nasr: When did the MEK come to Albania and for what ostensible reason?
Dr. Olsi Jazexhi: The Iranian Mojahedeen-e-Khalq organization which were designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and Canada until 2012, started to come to Albania in 2013. A few months after the Obama administration removed them from the terrorist list, the Americans asked the government of Sali Berisha in Albania to offer asylum to 250 Iranian Mojahedeen commanders who could not stay in Iraq. The coming of the Mojahedeen was not the first time that Albania had hosted international jihadis on her soil. In 2010 Albania gave asylum to five Chinese Uighurs who were captured with the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Americans jailed them in Guantanamo Bay and later sent them to Albania. Even though China protested against this move and accused Albania of breaking international laws and conventions, the Americans defended Albania for this illegal act.
The Albanian government of Edi Rama has hosted even many FETO (Fetullah Gulen Terrorist Organization) members, whom the government of Turkey has accused of terrorism in conjunction with the failed coup d’etat of 15 July 2016. In the past months, different media outlets and the Prime Minister of Bulgaria have claimed that Albania is planning to host jihadis of ISIS in the country, even though the Edi Rama government has denied this assertion.
The Iranian Mojahedeen are the largest group of foreign fighters that Albania has ever hosted. When the Americans brought the first group of Iranian jihadis into Albania, the Iranian government protested this move. At the time, Prime Minister Sali Berisha assured the Iranians that the MEK were being hosted in Albania only for humanitarian reasons and no action against Iran would be taken by this group.
However, time showed that unlike with the FETO members and the Uighurs, the Iranian Mojahedeen had come to Albania not just for asylum but their intention was to turn Albania into a second Afghanistan in the heart of Europe. At present the Mojahedeen are using Albania as a base to launch psychological, espionage and probably even jihadi military operations against Iran. In these illegal activities they are supported by some American senators, in the same way that the Mojahedeen were supported in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets in 1980s.
The governments of China, Turkey and Iran that suffer from international terrorism have in the past become very worried with the way the United States is using Albania, as a base for hosting international terrorist groups and organizations.
How many MEK fighters, members and cadre are in Albania at the present? Does anybody know their actual numbers?
Dr. Olsi Jazexhi: Most of the Mojahedeen who are in Albania live in the paramilitary camp of Manza which is situated near the port city of Durres. The camp which is closed to the public and journalists, receives time after time foreign delegations that MEK calls on in order to improve its public image. Its paid supporters like Struan Stevenson, Giulio Terzi, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Robert Toricelli, Rudy Giuliani, Ingrid Betancourt, Jérard Deprez etc claim that the group is open, democratic and anyone can visit them.
However, independent journalists from foreign and Albanian media who have attempted to go and visit the camp, including those from such outlets as the Guardian, Channel 4, Al Jazeera, Top Channel, TRT, Gazeta Shqiptare, CNN Albania etc have either been beaten, insulted as agents of Iran or prevented outright from entering the camp. Since an independent inspection of the Mojahedeen camp is not allowed, we cannot know their exact number and military structure. Many MEK defectors who have managed to escape from the camp and now live in freedom in Tirana, have shown the names of some of their commanders who move outside the camp to manage the affairs of the Mojahedeen. However since most of the defectors are foot soldiers, we do not possess exact numbers and a full breakdown of the structure of MEK’s paramilitary and ideological command. The Albanian Police has compiled a report on MEK, its numbers and the danger that they pose for Albania, but the numbers of this report do not match with the numbers that other state institutions have provided in Albania.
What we know for sure is that MEK is headed by Maryam Rajavi, the second wife of Massoud Rajavi, the deceased Rehber (“Leader”) of MEK. She has built a cult like image of herself and portrays herself to MEK soldiers as a holy woman with supernatural powers. While for the MEK members she is depicted as a holy person, to the Western audiences she portrays herself as the president-elect of Iran, even though MEK is a totalitarian organization which does not organize free elections and does not tolerate any form of disobedience.
The MEK members live very isolated lives and are under the total control of their commanders. They have no phones, no free access to the internet and live in prison-like conditions behind the walls of their paramilitary camp. They are radicalized on a daily basis, made to believe that if they walk out of their camp Iran will kill them, and that their only salvation will come if they continue to live like soldiers and believe in the holy mission of Maryam Rajavi who will establish her own rule over Iran. They are not allowed to have sex, to marry, to talk to their families or to walk out of their camp in freedom. If they manage to escape, the organization labels them Iranian agents and traitors.
As the Albanian police report of 2018 shows, MEK is very ruthless with its defectors who want to deradicalize themselves and abandon the Jihad. Many defectors who have abandoned the Mojahedeen have received death threats. In July 2018 when Mostafa Mohammadi, the Canadian father of Sommayeh Mohammadi was in Tirana to meet his daughter who had been abducted by the MEK in 1997, MEK attacked and hospitalized him and kept Sommayeh in total isolation even though this is contrary to Albanian law. MEK has total control over its members and getting open access to them is impossible not only for journalists but even for their international supporters.
Until 2018 we were told that Albania is hosting around 3000 Mojahedeen. In 2016 Voice of America announced that Albania would take 2000 Mojahedeen in exchange for 20 million USD. However, the latest numbers from the Albanian Institute of Statistics show that in 2017 Albania had accepted 2.195 Iranians, while in 2016 it received 1.963. If we include here those who came in 2013 the total number of the Mojahedeen as of 2017 should be around 4.400 people. We have not included here the numbers of those who came during 2018 since their number is still a secret.
We have learned from the media that the Americans are planning with the Albanian government to build a new camp in Albania between Tirana and Durres. This camp will host some 4.000 people. We do not know if this camp will be used to host the Mojahedeen who live in Manza, or the defeated soldiers of DAESH / ISIS jihadis as the Bulgarian Prime Minister declared in Albania in June 2018.
From the data that we possess we can conclude that up til now Albania has probably received around 4.500 Mojahedeen. From these, around 400 have managed to escape and abandon the jihad and live a civilian life or have smuggled themselves into Europe. The remaining 4000 are still radicalized and loyal to Maryam Rajavi’s jihad (their slogan is to free Iran) against the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
What activities are they engaging in inside of Albania?
Dr. Olsi Jazexhi: The radicalized MEK members who live in the paramilitary camp of Manza, or Ashraf 3 as Maryam Rajavi calls it are engaged in a number of illegal activities. From what the defectors have told us, we know that the MEK camp in Manza is run as a paramilitary organization. Even though we do not have any information that proves that they possess weapons, the defectors show that the MEK camp is run as an army. It is protected by an armed private Albanian Security company. Inside the camp MEK has a high command which gives orders and runs the everyday life of the Mojahedeen. The supreme commander of the Mojahedeen is Maryam Rajavi and her dead husband Massoud Rajavi. Maryam Rajavi, who has total control over the MEK, directs the organization through a commanding council where people like her first husband, Mehdi Abrishamchi are major people who supervise the organization.
The common soldiers of MEK are segregated inside the camp. The women live in their barracks, and the men live in theirs. They are not allowed to mix with each other and men and women cannot speak with each other unless they are ordered to do so. Common soldiers are not told that Massoud Rajavi is dead. MEK defectors have told me that, on a periodic basis, they get recorded messages from Paris, where the voice of Massoud is played on tape where he tells the soldiers to wait for the moment when they will launch their jihad and free Iran from the Mullahs.
Inside the MEK camp there are a number of other commanders whose names are not known. We see time after time some of their commanders come to Tirana and meet government officials, or as in the case of the beating of Mostafa Mohammadi, they lead MEK gangs to beat their opponents. Some of the commanders that we have seen in Tirana are Behzad Saffari, Jila Deyhim and Ahmed Taba. They were trained by the Mukhabarat of Saddam Hussein and some have even killed or tortured people in Iran and Iraq. Some MEK commanders, like Farid Mahoutchi, have changed their names or surnames after coming to Albania, since in the past they have been accused of killing people in Iraq and leading tank divisions against the Kurds.
MEK analysts believe that inside the MEK camp there are other commanders who in the past have made major terrorist attacks. It is believed that they have changed their names and appearance and now hide happily and unpunished for their past crimes and assassinations. Apart from these, in the Manza camp there are many other MEK members who are simple soldiers. Many of them work in maintenance, some work as dentists, some are self-made doctors, some are cooks etc. However, around 2.000 of these soldiers have in the recent months turned themselves into cyber jihadis. As a recent Al-Jazeera documentary revealed, from the Manza camp, MEK organizes fake news production, twitter attacks, propaganda and espionage against Iran and European governments that support the Nuclear Deal with Iran. MEK is not shy to show that it works day and night to overthrow the government of Iran, even though such an act is considered a terrorist crime in Albania and all MEK members who do this should be imprisoned from four up to ten years.
But as you might imagine, the Americans have put pressure on Albania to save MEK from the laws of Albania. MEK today is like the Mojahedeen during the Soviet war. They are great American patriots!
How is MEK using Albania as a base of operations aiding the organization both regionally and internationally when it comes to its efforts at weakening and undermining the Iranian government?
Dr. Olsi Jazexhi: MEK is attacking the government of Iran from Albania in a number of ways. Since their coming to Albania, MEK has engaged itself in a massive recruitment drive for supporters. By offering money, gifts, free trips to Paris and Rome in support of Maryam Rajavi’s protests against Iran, and by indoctrinating innocent Albanians with hate against Iran, they have created a large number of followers who believe that the government of Iran is criminal and should be overthrown. Their American and European supporters have exerted a lot of pressure on major Albanian political parties, the Socialists and Democrats, to send their members to the Paris meetings of Maryam Rajavi and speak against Iran. MEK commanders do weekly activities and meeting with Albanian deputies, government officials and even youth whom they radicalize by spreading fake news against Iran. In the same way that DAESH and Jabhat al-Nusra managed to indoctrinate many Muslims in the Balkans to join the Jihad in Syria against Bashar al-Assad’s government, by claiming that Assad was killing his own people, MEK is doing the same. If you see the websites run by MEK, like the NCRI, they produce fake news on a daily basis. This news is translated in Albanian and is then sent to Albanians via email or Facebook.
The news that MEK produces claims that Iran is killing its own people, beating women, hanging and torturing prisoners etc. These same tactics were used by DAESH and many Western media outlets in 2012 who created the idea that Bashar al-Assad was killing his own people in Syria. The same tactics were used even in Libya against the government of Muammar al-Gaddafi. As a result of this, we had thousands of European Muslims join the Jihad in Syria. Now, MEK is preparing a Jihad 2.0. against Iran. They are mass-radicalizing many Albanians, Europeans and Iranians with hate against Iran. We have government ministers in Albania, like Pandeli Majko who have already declared themselves to be Mojahedeen and dream to go one day to Tehran and do Jihad against the government of Iran.
MEK is proving very effective in radicalizing many Albanian politicians, officials and youth. By using Albania as a base they are launching anti-Iran campaigns even in Europe. In the European parliament, in the Italian and French senate, and in other parliaments in Europe they have managed to recruit and radicalize a number of MP’s who now believe that MEK is a democratic organization, while Iran lives in a dictatorship.
While, after coming to Albania from Iraq, MEK lost its capacity to carry direct terrorist attacks against Iran, it is developing new grounds of Jihad against Iran. By producing fake news on daily basis – such as the story about an alleged terrorist attack against MEK in Albania in March 2018 – they are depicting Iran as a terrorist country that wants to kill Europeans. This kind of fake news is creating much enmity and hatred in Europe. The CIA and Israeli Mossad are making great use of MEK in their geostrategic war against Europe, Iran and the Nuclear Deal. MEK, its paid supporters and fake news are being used as a major blackmailing tool against Europe to force her to cut her relations and trade with Iran.
The MEK have turned Albania into a second Iraq – like the Iraq of Saddam Hussein – from where they are harassing Iran. The Americans have ordered the Albanian authorities not to interfere in their business. Pandeli Majko, a minister in the present Albanian government told Maryam Rajavi on December 15 that Albania is a castle for MEK. They can do whatever they want here.
Is Albania itself deriving any benefit from hosting the MEK on its soil?
Dr. Olsi Jazexhi: Albania is deriving no benefit but only headaches, scandals and bad name for what it is doing with MEK. The media in the Balkans and the region, from Serbia, to Greece, Macedonia and Italy, have reported with great concern the coming of MEK to Albania. Europeans are also upset with what Albania is doing.
The only people who are benefiting from hosting the MEK is organized crime and some Albanian politicians who run gangs of drug dealers. Many Albanian politicians, like Prime Minister Edi Rama, Minister of Diaspora Pandeli Majko etc are building personal relationships with American politicians like John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani, Patrick Kennedy etc, who are opening their doors to Washington. In their yearly “Free Iran” meetings that MEK organizes in Paris, Maryam Rajavi is enabling many corrupt Albanian politicians to meet major European and American neocon politicians. And this is a lot for them.
Is there any internal debate inside the country on whether or not it should be playing host to this organization? What do the Albanian people think of all this?
Dr. Olsi Jazexhi: When the news of MEK’s coming to Albania broke out in 2016, many Albanian analysts, journalists and the general public protested against their coming. They compared MEK to ISIS and did not want them in the country. They said why are we exporting a foreign conflict and a terrorist organization into our country.
MEK has spent a lot of money the past several years by paying journalists in major TV stations like Vizion +, News 24 etc to portray them as “harmless” war refugees, asylum seekers, victims of the “Iranian regime” etc. The public discontent for the coming of MEK was silenced by the coming of many US senators in Albania, people like John McCain, John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani etc who ordered and dictated to Albanians to welcome the MEK. When many politicians were asked why the Americans brought MEK to Albania and not to the United States instead; the answer was: America gave us Kosovo, so we have to give them something in return.
The campaign by American warmonger senators like John McCain and John Bolton to silence the fears of Albanians about the MEK was quite successful. However in July and August 2018 when the Albanian public learned that MEK was keeping hostages in its camp, as with the case of Sommayeh Mohammadi, the public was shocked. When MEK started attacking journalists, as was the case with Channel 4, many TV stations and news portals were appalled. The public was shocked to see Sommayeh Mohammadi, the daughter of Mostafa Mohammadi, being kept in isolation and paraded in front of the camera by MEK commanders like Farid Toutonchi and being made to denounce her father as an agent of Iran. Albanians have gone through these staged TV denunciations during the era of communism and they understood then the monstrous nature of MEK.
To counter these scandals, MEK paid a lot of money to silence the media and show itself as a democratic organization which was targeted by the Ministry of Intelligence of Iran. They brought some retired European and American guests in their camp, who tried to convince the Albanian public that MEK was good. They produced a few TV interviews inside their camp with paid journalists who tried to show that everybody was happy in the MEK “resort” of Manza.
Some newspapers and TV stations that reported on past MEK crimes and their present isolation and indoctrination of their members, were later silenced. Some journalists claimed that MEK blackmailed them, while MEK commanders met with media owners and offered them “sponsorship agreements” to buy their silence.
What is the position of the Albanian media on the MEK? Other than yourself, are there dissenting voices and if so are they getting any airtime?
Dr. Olsi Jazexhi: The beating of Mostafa Mohammadi and the hostage issue of Sommayeh Mohammadi was generally portrayed accurately in many media outlets in Albania. Albanians who had many of their fellow citizens join the Jihad in Syria could not understand and tolerate MEK for doing the same thing with young Iranians.
Most Albanian journalists know what MEK is. Some journalists who have written against MEK have been blackmailed by their commanders or the owners of their media. But since Albania has no real independent media and the two major political parties of Albania, the Democratic and the Socialist parties, have been ordered by the Americans to support MEK – the public debate is silenced from the top. No Albanian politician dares to attack MEK and no major media outlet dares to criticize MEK openly, since the Mojahedeen will accuse them of being agents of Iran.
On the other hand, MEK hides itself from the Albanian public and media. Their 4000 members live in isolation in Manza camp and are not allowed to walk in public and meddle with the public. Albanians do not see them in the streets. They live in a prison and in their isolated reality and Albanians do not know what happens beyond the Manza camp.
Whenever news against MEK breaks out in international media, MEK supporters like Struan Stevenson, Giulio Terzi, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Ingrid Betancourt, Jérard Deprez, Rudy Giuliani etc rush to Albania, or publish pieces written by MEK, where they defend MEK and accuse Iran, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence, Iranian agents etc of making up stories. MEK translates their pieces and publishes them in some major newspapers who work with the MEK and the story gets over. MEK commanders who have blood on their hands do not show themselves in public. They use people like Struan Stevenson, Giulio Terzi, Alejo Vidal-Quadras and others to say what they want to say. They do not accept public debates and a democratic debate about their nature and activities. Many Albanian media outlets have asked MEK to come out and have a public debate about their activities in Albania, but they never show up. Even their paid supporters like Struan Stevenson, Giulio Terzi, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Ingrid Betancourt, Jérard Deprez, Rudy Giuliani do not dare to debate the MEK issue with Albanians. When these people come to Albania they make monologues. They go to paid studios, deliver their attacks on Iran and defense of MEK and then run away.
Albania is a US colony where democracy does not work. When the Americans do not want to debate something in our country, they have ways and means to do that. And unfortunately Albania, as Minister Pandeli Majko declared to Maryam Rajavi on December 15, 2018 has become a castle for MEK.
Explain the role that the MEK played in the recent expulsion of Iranian diplomats from Tirana.
Since their coming to Albania, MEK has continuously attacked the Iranian embassy in Tirana. In their fake news articles they claim that the Iranian Embassy is a nest of snakes that is about to launch a terrorist attack against the Mojahedeen and kill them. For this, they have continuously asked from the Albanian government to close the Iranian embassy. They have conveyed this request to their European and American supporters too.
MEK and Maryam Rajavi was and is very anxious with any activity that Iran does in Albania or in the Balkans. In March 2018 when the Bektashi Community of Albania organized a congress for Imam Ali and celebrated the Festival of Nowrooz with its Bektashi community and the Iranian diplomats in Tirana, MEK asked the Albanian authorities to interrupt this religious event and arrest two Iranian journalists – by falsely claiming that they were terrorists.
After failing to find any terrorists among the Bektashi Albanians and the Iranians, Maryam Rajavi continued with her demands to close the Iranian Embassy in Tirana and expel the “Mullah’s diplomats”. Rajavi, who depicts herself as the president-elect of Iran, is jealous of the presence of the Iranian Embassy in Tirana, since she claims to be the representative of Iran in Albania and not the government of Iran.
The MEK are worried by the Iranian presence in Tirana for two major reasons. Reason number one is that they suspect that the Iranian Embassy is helping many MEK members to deradicalize themselves, abandon MEK and return back to Iran. This is a nightmare scenario for MEK, since many of its members are tired with their military life. They want to break free and return to a normal civilian life. MEK defectors have told me that inside the MEK camp there are hundreds of members who want to abandon MEK, escape from the camp, get married, find a job and forget their past terrorist life. For this reason, MEK is doing all it can to keep its members isolated from Iran and their families in Iran.
Reason number two is the Iranian families. MEK has asked the Americans, to order the Albanian government to stop any Iranian family from coming to Albania to meet their enslaved children who are with the MEK. MEK commanders tell their members that if you talk to your families, you are agents of the Mullahs. The families and the Iranian Embassy are two major factors that can deradicalize MEK soldiers and convince them to return to a peaceful normal life. For this reason Maryam Rajavi did all she could to degrade the Iranian Embassy’s activity in Tirana and she is doing all in her power, together with the Americans, to keep her soldiers isolated from their families in Iran.
The order that John Bolton gave via twitter to the Albanian government on 20 December 2018 to expel the Ambassador of Iran and another diplomat from Albania was a major victory for Maryam Rajavi. The attack against the Iranian Embassy was made in a full coordination with Israel and the office of Benjamin Netanyahu, who praised Prime Minister Edi Rama for removing the Iranian ambassador. The Albanian government, who cannot say no to America and Israel, had to obey Maryam Rajavi’s request and remove the ambassador from the country.
However, the Albanian government was not happy with this major scandal that John Bolton and Maryam Rajavi forced Albania into. Until this very moment, Prime Minister Edi Rama, President Ilir Meta and Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati have made no statement about the expulsion of the Iranian diplomats. They are not happy with what MEK forced them to do, and now they have finally understood what MEK is capable of doing in Albania.
The reason that the Americans gave for the expulsion of the Iranian diplomats from Tirana, was that they were planning to stage a terrorist attack against MEK. This is what Maryam Rajavi had been saying for many months. The next dream of Maryam Rajavi would probably be to take over the Iranian Embassy in Tirana and turn it into her residence. Time will show if the Americans and their Albanian vassals will enable her to do this next diplomatic scandal.
What leverage does the US government have with the Albanian government? Is there any kind of implied or implicit threat behind their asking the country to host the MEK? What can the US really do if Albania says no?
Dr. Olsi Jazexhi: If Albania says no to the American dictate to host MEK or ISIS fighters, the Prime Minister and the President of Albania can end up like Mossadegh in Iran. Albania is not an independent country. The US Embassy in Tirana and its ambassadors are the supreme leaders of the country. If you read the Wikileaks on Albania, you will see how the Americans have files for almost every politician in the country.
What is the best way for Albanians, or citizens of any other country, to voice their displeasure with the Albanian government and its policy with regards to the MEK?
Dr. Olsi Jazexhi: We as Albanian citizens, but even the citizens of other countries, must ask the United States to stop funding and supporting terrorist organizations like DAESH, Nusra, and MEK.
The Albanian government, which is not free to do what it wants, must be pressured through EU agencies, civil society organizations, the media and other international organizations, to stop its support for MEK and other terrorist groups. We must tell Albanians that they must stand up for their independence and not allow their country to be treated as an American colony.
The European Union, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which are not happy with what Albania is doing, must be asked to raise their voice against the MEK’s activities. These three organizations must extend their deradicalization programs over to the MEK and must not use their programs only against Albanian Muslims who want to do Jihad in Syria.
EU bodies must ask Albania and the Americans to come out with an action plan to deradicalize MEK in the same way that they are jailing and deradicalizing ISIS sympathizers. France must do the same. They must not allow Maryam Rajavi to use French soil as a base for violent Jihadi propaganda against Iran or any other country. The Europeans must ask MEK to open its camp, deradicalize its members, stop its Jihadi propaganda and its members must be allowed to marry, find jobs and start free civilian lives.
We must also ask international media to come to Albania, investigate the MEK and put pressure on the Albanian government to open the MEK camp to media and the public. The Mojahedeen must abandon their violent jihad, integrate and deradicalize. The same policies that Europe is implementing against radicalized Wahhabi Muslims must be implemented against MEK. The Mojahedeen must be taught to live in a secular democracy and stop their illegal activities.
If the United States and Israel want to wage war against Iran, they should not do this through illegal and terrorist groups and should not use Albania as a rogue state for such criminal activities.
Pandeli Majko prefers to get paid by Mojahedin Khalq (Rajavi cult MEK), leaving Tirana to burn
Gazeta Impakt, December 19 2018:… On December 15, 2018, at a time when all Albania is protesting demand that the Rama government be dismissed, Rama’s Minister of the Diaspora Pandeli Majko has gone to the annual meeting of Maryam Rajavi with her jihadists at the Mojahedin Camp in Manzas. At this meeting, Pandeli has attacked the government of Iran and has expressed his support for the Iranian terrorist group …
Link to the source (Albanian)
Translated by Iran Interlink
Pandeli Majko prefers to get paid by Mojahedin Khalq (Rajavi cult MEK), leaving Tirana to burn
December 18, 2018
On December 15, 2018, at a time when all Albania is protesting against the corrupt regime of the Resurgence government of Rama, and the Albanian people demand that the Rama government be dismissed, Rama’s Minister of the Diaspora instead of solving the Albanian students’ problems who are protesting against the government, has chosen to resolve Iran’s problems. Together with a bunch of international opportunists, Pandeli has gone to the annual meeting of Maryam Rajavi with her jihadists at the Mojahedin Camp in Manzas.
At this meeting, Pandeli has attacked the government of Iran and has expressed his support for the Iranian terrorist group that the corrupt Rama government harbors and enables with better conditions than Albanians in the jihadist camp in Manzas. Pandeli, who was cheered on by Iranian terrorists and the old terrorist old woman Rajavi, spoke in the jihadist tone, “Thank you very much”. Very excited and talking in broken English he said among other things:
“It’s a great honor as always to talk to you. Not as a minister or a former prime minister, but primarily as your friend. I know, as Mr Patrick Kennedy said earlier, it is a question why Albania has an Iranian official embassy in Tirana, and at the same time we host you. Why both? It’s a simple and honest question. And my answer is that we have had the official Tehran Embassy here for years, and they are here because of international law. But you are here for another cause. The Iranian Embassy represents the country today, while the MEK represents the Iran of the future.
“I am very proud that I and many of my friends are in the hands of Maryam Rajavi, one of the few women who will, with her leadership, change not only the future of Iran but also of the Middle East.
“I know that much news exists that says MEK is a terrorist group, they have done this and have done that. But this does not bother me at all! Because we know you, you came here under the umbrella of the UN and UNHCR. You and terrorism are two different things. You do not have diplomats who use diplomatic status to hide behind as terrorists. But some Iranian officials have done so. And acting like a terrorist while pretending to be a diplomat is a contradiction. But this is not up to me or Albanians, Iranian officials must give their full explanation. Things have changed, and times will change quickly. It is certain that the time is coming, and this piano melody that is playing here in Tirana will be sung throughout Iran as a song.
“I will not speak much, for many reasons, since today I did not know I even had to give a speech. But when you have friends like Hassan, who just said to me: ‘Pandeli, it’s your turn to talk’, believe me when I stand before you myself, a government official, but now that I have met you I know you very well and I’m sure that you and your families now understand that you are not just refugees like a few years ago, but you are now in your land. You have done in less than a year, performed a miracle by building a city. We Albanians say in Albanian: my home is my homeland. Albania is your homeland.
Pandeli’s speech was one of several at this meeting held by Maryam Rajavi – who along with the others cried over the problems of the Iranian people, people whom she, her husband and her jihadists have killed over the years. Maryam Rajavi’s lips did not mention anything about Albania, which is blocked by protesters demanding regime change. The whole problem for the old terrorists, but also Minister Pandeli Majko who eats Albanian bread, has been Iran.
Pandeli’s speech above, which broke international law and domestic law by saying ‘I do not care that you are terrorists, etc.’, tells of Rama’s arrogance, bribery and thievery. At a time when Tirana and all of Albania are consumed by protest, Pandeli and Maryam Rajavi have chosen to pretend to be a whore when a village burns.
Video of Pandi’s speech, Maryam Rajavi and her followers can be seen here:
Ndersa Tirana digjet, Pandeli Majko mbeshtet terroristet iraniane
Gazeta Impakt –
December 18, 2018
Në datë 15 dhjetor 2018, në një kohë që e gjithe Shqipëria është në protestë kundër regjimit të korruptuar të qeverisë së Rilindjes, Rama, dhe populli shqiptar kërkon rrëzimin e qeverisë Rama, ministri i Diaspores se qeverise Rama në vend që të zgjidhi hallet e studentëve shqiptarë që protestojnë kundër regjimit të qeverisë së tij, ka zgjedhur të zgjidhë hallet e Iranit. Sëbashku me një tufë aventurierësh ndërkombëtarë, Pandi ka shkuar në takimin vjetor që plaka Marjam Rajavi bën me xhihadistët e saj në kampin muxhahedin të Manzës.
Në këtë takim Pandi, ka sulmuar qeverinë e Iranit dhe ka shprehur mbështetjen e tij për grupin terrorist iranian që qeveria e korruptuar Rama strehon dhe trajton me kushte me të mira sesa shqiptarët në kampin xhihadist të Manzës. Pandi i cili është brohoritur nga terroristët dhe terroristet plaka iraniane të cilët i thonin me ritëm xhihadist “Falemnerit shumë”, i ngazëllyer dhe duke folur një anglishte të çalë ka thënë ndër të tjera:
Është nder i madh si gjithmonë që flas para jush. Jo si ministër apo ish-kryeministër, por në radhë të parë si miku juaj. Unë e di sikur z. Patrick Kenedi tha më parë, është një pyetje pse Shqipëria ka një ambasadë të Iranit zyrtar në Tiranë. Dhe në të njëjtën kohë ne u strehojmë ju. Pse të dy? Është një pyetje e thjeshtë dhe e sinqertë. Dhe përgjigja ime është se ne kemi ambasadën e Teheranit zyrtar këtu prej vitesh, dhe ata janë këtu për shkak të ligjit ndërkombëtar. Por ju jeni këtu për një shkak tjetër. Ambasada e Iranit përfaqëson vendin e sotëm, ndërsa MEK-u përfaqëson MEK-un e të ardhmes.
Unë jam shumë krenar që unë dhe shumë miq të mi jemi në duart e Marjam Rajavit, një prej pak grave që me udhëheqjen e saj do të ndryshojë jo vetëm të ardhmen e Iranit, por edhe të Lindjes së Mesme.
Unë e di që shumë lajme ekzistojnë që thonë se MEK-u është terrorist, kanë bërë këtë e kanë bërë atë. Por mua nuk më plas fare! Sepse ne u dimë ju, keni ardhur këtu nën umbrellën e OKB-së dhe UNHCR-së. Ju dhe terrorizmi jeni dy gjëra të ndryshme. Ju nuk keni diplomatë që përdorin statusin e diplomatit si terroristë. Por disa zyrtarë të Iranit e kanë bërë këtë. Dhe të sillesh si terrorist por të hiqesh si diplomat është kontraditë. Por sulucioni i kësaj nuk më takon mua apo shqiptarëve, por Irani zyrtar duhet të japi sqarim të plotë. Gjërat kanë ndryshuar dhe kohët do ndryshojnë shpejt. Është e sigurtë se koha që po vjen, dhe kjo melodi pianoje që po bie këtu në Tiranë do të këndohet në të gjithë Iranin si një këngë.
Nuk po flas shumë, për shumë arsye. Por edhe nga që sot nuk e dija që duhej të mbaja fjalim. Por kur ke miq sikur Hasani, i cili sapo më tha: Pandeli, është radha jote të flasësh, më besoni që kur qëndroj para jush vetja më duket si një zyrtar i qeverisë, por tani që u njoh ju shumë mirë jam i sigurtë që ju dhe familjet tuaja e kuptoni tani që ju nuk jeni vetëm refugjatë si disa vite më parë, por tani ju jeni në tokën tuaj. Ju keni bërë për më pak se një vit, mrekulli duke ndërtuar një qytet që ne shqiptarët i themi në shqip: shtëpia ime është atdheu im. Shqipëria është atdheu juaj.
Fjalimi i Pandit ka qënë një nga disa fjalime që janë mbajtur në këtë tubim nga Marjam Rajavi e cila qante ndër të tjera hallet e popullit të Iranit, popull të cilin ajo, burrat e saj dhe xhihadistët e saj e kanë vrarë ndër vite. Marjam Rajavia dhe zarat e saj nuk kanë përmendur asgjë rreth Shqipërisë e cila është e bllokuar nga protestat dhe kërkojnë ndryshim regjimi. I gjithë halli i terroristes plakë por edhe i ministrit Pandeli Majko, që ha bukën e shqiptarëve ka qenë Irani.
Fjalimi i Pandit më sipër, ku ai thyen ligjin ndërkombëtar dhe ligjin shqiptar e thotë; mua nuk më intereson që ju jeni terroristë, etj, tregon arrogancën, banditërinë dhe kusarinë e qeverisë Rama. Në një kohë që Tirana dhe gjithë Shqipëria janë në protestë, Pandi dhe plaka Marjam Rajavi kanë zgjedhur që të krihen sikur kurva që krihet kur fshati digjet.
Video-fjalimi i Pandit, Marjam Rajavi dhe zarave te saj mund te shihet ketu:
From the Archive: Mojahedin Khalq (MEK, Rajavi cult) in Iraq 2009
Iran Interlink, December 14 2018:… Dr. Mowaffak al Rubaie: The GOI does not deal with the MEK as an organization. We deal with the residents as individuals. The GOI has informed them that as members of a foreign terrorist organization they cannot remain in Iraq and must choose whether to return to their country of citizenship or some other country. Remaining in Iraq is not an option. The GOI has taken steps to assure their security while …
(From the Iran Interlink Archive)
An Interview with Iraq’s National Security Advisor Dr. Mowaffak al Rubaie
about Camp Ashraf by Anne Singleton
April 5, 2009
Anne Singleton, Iran Interlink, April 05, 2009
After 2003 the disarmed Iranian terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) organisation was consolidated from various locales in Iraq and protected by US forces at Camp Ashraf in Diyala province; a bizarre anomaly in Iraqi and coalition efforts to bring unity and peace to the country. The Government of Iraq has long regarded the MEK as a foreign terrorist group which continues to threaten internal security and is culpable for aiding Saddam Hussein in the violent suppression of Kurdish and Shia uprisings in 1991. Successive announcements in 2008 by President Jalal Talabani and Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari made clear their government’s determination to expel all the MEK members as soon as possible.
But solving the conundrum as to why the group has been protected and promoted by western interests for all this time has become clearer since January this year when responsibility for Camp Ashraf was handed over to the Government of Iraq by the Coalition Forces. As the Government of Iraq has moved swiftly to fulfil its decision to expel members of the MEK from the country, so the protests by those who have a stake in the continued presence of the group have intensified.
During March, three debates were held in the UK parliament by members supporting the MEK. In spite of being on the US terrorism list since 1997, CBS and CNN news channels have broadcast MEK films showing its personnel obstructing Iraqi authorities as they try to perform their duties. Additionally, the Washington Post has quoted an MEK spokesman in which he is threatening the Government of Iraq that “a human catastrophe” will follow further action.
Even though Europe and the UK have un-proscribed the group as it claims to no longer believe in violence, no moves have been made to have European and British citizens and those with residency rights removed from Camp Ashraf to safety. Instead, powerful lobbies who have used the MEK for their own interests are continuing their efforts to force the Government of Iraq to maintain the infrastructure of a terrorist organisation in its country. Keeping the group in Iraq can only serve the interests of those Saddamists who still believe the group will give them leverage over the Government of Iraq.
Spearheading Government plans to remove the MEK is Iraq’s national security advisor Dr. Mowaffak al Rubaie. His role is to advise the Government of Iraq and coordinate policies and activity in relation to national security and intelligence matters.
Over several months Dr. al Rubaie has fielded criticisms and attacks with repeated assurances that the residents of Camp Ashraf will be treated according to international human rights standards and that none would be forcibly repatriated. To date, nothing has occurred at Camp Ashraf to give any cause for concern to human rights organisations. In recent weeks two MEK members departed Camp Ashraf voluntarily. One confessed that he had been instructed to commit suicide in order to implicate Iraq’s Army. These two men, who were protected and comfortably accommodated by the Iraqi Government under observation by the ICRC and the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights, spoke openly of the human rights violations perpetrated by the leaders on MEK members. It was partly in response to this information that Dr. al Rubaie has focused efforts to protect the individuals inside the camp.
Indeed Dr. al Rubaie’s plan for the difficult task of dismantling an extremist cult has revealed an enlightened, humanitarian approach which could become a blueprint for tackling similar organisations worldwide.
However, as the clamour continues, I asked Dr. al Rubaie for an interview in order to further clarify his Government’s approach to events at Camp Ashraf.
Anne Singleton: You want to move the residents from Camp Ashraf for their own protection, yet the MEK commanders say they must remain in Camp Ashraf. What do you think motivates them?
al Rubaie: The self-appointed leaders at Camp Ashraf will have to speak for themselves. What I will address is how the residents of Camp Ashraf have cooperated or not cooperated with the policies and decisions of the Government of Iraq. The GOI does not deal with the MEK as an organization. We deal with the residents as individuals. The GOI has informed them that as members of a foreign terrorist organization they cannot remain in Iraq and must choose whether to return to their country of citizenship or some other country. Remaining in Iraq is not an option. The GOI has taken steps to assure their security while beginning to exercise sovereignty at Camp Ashraf as we do in every other part of our country. Ashraf is not above the law. Any infractions of Iraqi law will be handled by the GOI authorities with attention to due process and humanitarian standards. To date, the residents of Camp Ashraf have created a series of obstacles to the legitimate exercise of sovereignty by the GOI and this will not be tolerated. They must cooperate in order to avoid obstructing our authorities carrying out their legitimate duties.
AS: Some observers speculate that MEK leader Massoud Rajavi is in the anti-nuclear bunker inside Camp Ashraf and that is why the commanders refuse to move. Do you think this is possible?
MR: We do not know exactly what is within the bounds of Camp Ashraf. The GOI has informed the residents that we will diligently and progressively examine all areas of Ashraf to ensure there is no contraband, that there are no illegal activities taking place, and that they must cooperate with this legitimate exercise of Iraqi sovereignty and enforcement of the rule of law.
AS: You have spoken of ‘detoxifying’ the people in Camp Ashraf. Could you explain what this means and why you feel it is necessary? What do you hope to achieve?
MR: As you know from observing the behavior of the MEK and from their history, this is an indoctrinated and tightly disciplined organization of extremist zealots who have employed terrorism and at times even self-immolation to secure their aims. In normal everyday language we can say that they have been “brainwashed”. As is common in organizations of this type, the indoctrination and discipline rely on the continuous pressure of their leaders and the total control by them of their environment. Therefore, individuals have little ability to exercise their free will because they exist in this closed environment and fear for personal reprisals if they are discovered to have deviated from the approved line of responses. As we strive to determine from each individual where they wish to go since they cannot remain in Iraq, we are conducting individual surveys and a census which are open to oversight by the ICRC and the UN. We believe that if we can separate individuals from the all-encompassing domination by their leaders, we can allow them to begin to exercise their rights as individuals and make appropriate choices. That is, we hope to remove them from the toxic effects of their indoctrination and leaders.
AS: CBS and CNN have been broadcasting clips showing women shouting at and insulting Iraqi soldiers from behind closed gates. Could tell us more about what these scenes depict.
MR: You will have to ask CBS and CNN when and under what circumstances they obtained their filmed scenes. What I can tell you is that the Iraqi Army unit posted to defend and secure Camp Ashraf has been in full control since 20 February and has exercised patience and extreme restraint in spite of the staged provocations and demonstrations that Ashraf’s self-appointed leaders have launched in defiance of the legitimate exercise by the GOI of its sovereignty.
AS: Families are concerned about having access to their relatives without MEK minders being present. Do you see a time in the near future that such visits can be facilitated?
MR: The GOI has already facilitated visits by families and has provided the residents of Camp Ashraf written procedures which are fully permissive. Our security forces at Camp Ashraf have and will continue to facilitate legitimate family visits with no interference by either the MEK or anyone else. These visits are also completely open to ICRC and UN observation. The MEK have been the obstacle to establishing a comfortable facility for such family visits.
AS: The MEK claim that the Government of Iraq has not allowed medical personnel or medical supplies into the camp and that this has resulted in the deaths of some women and that others are dying. They want ICRC and UNHCR intervention. What is your response to this allegation?
MR: These allegations are false and baseless.
AS: The MEK’s supporters have paid millions in legal fees to have the group removed from the UK and European Council terrorism lists. Have any of the group’s western supporters offered to help remove these people to their countries?
MR: The GOI has communicated with ambassadors from the European Union and all other countries we suspect have citizens or persons with some claim to residency in their countries. We have asked them to offer to allow those with status in their countries to return and to consider hosting others who may want to reside in their countries. We have facilitated visits by representatives of these countries to Camp Ashraf. We are hopeful that this level of openness and transparency by the GOI will persuade these countries to allow such returns.
AS: In your view, what can the UK, European and other western governments do to help resettle the MEK?
MR: These governments can agree to allow their citizens and others who have status in their country to return.
AS: The Washington Post quoted MEK member Mohammad Mohaddessin clearly threatening that self-immolations similar to 2003 and other suicide acts would be performed by the residents of Camp Ashraf. What is your response to this?
MR: We have and will continue to treat the residents of Camp Ashraf humanely and in accordance with Iraqi law and international law and conventions. We will not initiate acts of violence against them. We do expect them to cooperate in our efforts to exercise our sovereignty according to the rule of law. Should they choose extremist acts such as self-immolation, it will be their decision which we would regret.
MEK’s Western backers are complicit in their deaths (aka Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult)
Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Middle East Strategy Consultants, December 27 2013: … In the past year over 8,000 people have died in violent incidents in Iraq. The problem is not that the MEK are being singled out for attack, the real problem is that nobody is allowed to get inside Camp Liberty to help rescue these people from their enforced captivity. Nobody is allowed to help them or …
Middle East Strategy Consultants,
Author of “Saddam’s Private Army” and “The life of Camp Ashraf”
MEK’s Western backers are complicit in their deaths (aka Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult)
This is the second time head of the Mukhtar Army Wathiq al-Battat has claimed responsibility for attacks on the MEK. In February, in an interview with Al-Mada Press, al-Battat said he did not rule out the possibility of further attacks on Camp Liberty, and emphasized that they are waiting in ambush for the terrorist MEK until they leave Iraq. In a separate interview with the Associated Press, al-Battat said, “It is time for the people of the MEK to leave Iraq. We have demanded that the government kick the group out of the country, but the Iraqi government did not respond positively to our demand”.
In the past year over 8,000 people have died in violent incidents in Iraq. The problem is not that the MEK are being singled out for attack, the real problem is that nobody is allowed to get inside Camp Liberty to help rescue these people from their enforced captivity. Nobody is allowed to help them or to relocate them or save their lives. In spite of the diverse efforts of various parties, MEK leaders have refused to allow any party to help or rescue the residents first in Camp Ashraf and latterly in Camp Liberty.
Maryam Rajavi may be able to lie to and deceive the captive members and those supporters who have not the intellectual or moral capacity to question or challenge her script, but these are the facts:
· In 2003, the IRI offered an amnesty to rank and file members who renounced their membership of the terrorist group and other political activity can return home under the supervision of the Red Cross in Iran. To date this has been honoured.
· Iraq’s constitution, its polity and its judicial system will never allow the MEK terrorist organisation to remain in the country. To date the government and the security services have shown commendable restraint and compliance with international law, above the demands of national law, as embodied by the agency of UNAMI.
· Since 2009, America and European countries have offered to take several of the captives; initially those who have had previous connection with their countries or have family members there.
· The UN has instigated refugee determination interviews to assess the eligibility of all the captives. Some have been enabled to be transferred to Albania after such interviews.
· Individual families have travelled to Iraq on several occasions to try to reach their relatives. For three years families of residents held vigil outside Camp Ashraf demanding contact with their loved ones which the MEK leaders denied.
To date the Rajavis have refused to cooperate with all of these attempts to help and rescue the residents and take them to safety.
As a result, since 2003 there have been numerous deaths among the residents of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty: through rocket or missile attack (including this latest one), during interventions by the Iraqi military, untreated illness and disease, uninvestigated suicides or murders. Most of these could have been prevented. It is no longer acceptable that the Rajavis blame every other party to this crisis and refuse to acknowledge their part. Nobody will buy that any more. If there was even one iota of accountability in the totalitarian system of the MEK the leadership would have been expelled by now.
But is it ludicrous to imagine that one or even two people – whether Maryam and/or Massoud Rajavi – are capable of acting alone to prevent all this help from reaching the people in the camp. There are others who have a clear interest in keeping them locked away behind closed doors.
For years now the presence of the MEK in Iraq has had nothing to do with Iran. The MEK’s own policy of ‘regime change’ or ‘overthrow of the Iranian regime’ was abandoned several years ago, possibly as long ago as 2003. Since then the MEK has been taken up and used by western backers to interfere in the internal affairs of Iraq. This was made abundantly clear in the work of the European Parliament’s Iraq Delegation which shamelessly supported and promoted the MEK’s presence in Iraq in defiance of the government’s decision to expel the group and in spite of the constitutional requirement to remove them.
All the lobbying on behalf of the MEK is to do with preserving it as a terrorist organisation for its backers to use in pursuit of their anti-Iraq agenda. There is no intention on the part of those who use the group to have it dismantled, or to have the residents rescued. The group must either remain in Iraq or, if pushed, they must move altogether without anyone talking with them. Although it is glib to claim that MOSSAD and the CIA are the MEK’s main backers, we only have to look at a recent report from Sofia which reveals that during a visit to Romania, the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Romanian Foreign Minister discussed the possibility of settling all 3000+ MEK members together near the city of Craiova. In other words, if this terrorist group must be moved, it must be moved as a whole. That such a discussion and plan could take place at this level is ample evidence that even at the highest levels of power there is no intention of dismantling the group and helping the individual members out of captivity. Instead there is a sense of ownership which clearly states ‘this is our terrorist group, we will do as we like with it and use it as we like’.
Such owners pay for the name of the MEK – and the 3000 members to pretend it is a viable group. They are playing with the lives of these people for their own agenda and as long as the MEK are useful in this way they won’t allow help to be given or anyone to go in to rescue them. While Maryam Rajavi lives with every convenience and comfort in Paris, the rest must remain in Iraq, targets for missile attacks. For the MEK leaders every one of them who dies is a martyr and every one of them who survives is a witness. It is clear what the outcome should be for the Rajavis. They will expend their blood in whatever way suits them to fulfil the agenda of their backers, but clearly they will end up killing all of them sooner or later. And those who use the MEK in any way and deny help to the individuals are complicit in this scenario.
UK must rescue modern slaves from clutches of Mojahedin Khalq (Rajavi cult) in Iraq
Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Middle East Strategy Consultants, November 24 2013: … When assessing these considerations it is vital that the UK government remember that these people are victims of modern slavery, and above all that their lives are in danger at the hands of their ‘owners’ Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. Several residents of Camp Liberty are already on enforced hunger …
UK must rescue modern slaves from clutches of Mojahedin Khalq (Rajavi cult) in Iraq
The recent discovery of three modern slaves in a quiet area in London has echoes of the situation of the three thousand hostages in Camp Liberty in Iraq. In each case the victims were brought together thirty years ago to live collectively as part of a shared political ideology. In London, as in Iraq, this went wrong when the use of emotional and physical abuse was used to enslave the victims against their will.
Just as the three women in London have had traumatic and disturbing experiences, so the escapees from Camp Liberty have described the systematic use of psychological, emotional and physical abuses behind closed doors to keep them under the control of brutal, exploitative leaders.
As in London, the victims of the Mojahedin Khalq are left emotionally fragile and highly vulnerable. Their needs for a careful and compassionate process of recovery and rehabilitation are similar. This can only be achieved if they are protected from their former ‘owners’ who will try their utmost to collect them back up and return them to conditions of slavery.
Under the terms of an agreement struck between UNAMI and the government of Iraq in 2009 to remove the Mojahedin Khalq organisation from Iraqi territory in line with the country’s constitution, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees has asked the UK to re-admit 52 residents of Camp Ashraf who were previously settled in the UK but no longer have immigration status. Each individual will be assessed by the UNHCR to ensure they have not been complicit in acts of terrorism or other activities incompatible with refugee status.
When assessing these considerations it is vital that the UK government remember that these people are victims of modern slavery, and above all that their lives are in danger at the hands of their ‘owners’ Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. Several residents of Camp Liberty are already on enforced hunger strike over a spurious issue; their option to continue or not has been removed as they are being denied access to food. Other residents have already been killed through the deprivation of medical treatment, or having been placed in direct danger of attack as occurred in the 1st September incident at Camp Ashraf.
Just as the London victims were enslaved for thirty years, so the members of the Mojahedin Khalq have been isolated and abused behind closed doors for thirty years. The government of Iraq and UNAMI must act to open the doors of the camp and gain access to these residents. Western governments must make a genuine effort to undertake the rescue of these victims and give them refuge. Above all they must ensure that they are saved from further abuse when they arrive in their countries as, without safe and targeted support, the Mojahedin Khalq leaders – who operate openly and freely in western countries – will easily search them out and enthral them once again.
Loving families offer security and a future for Camp Liberty residents in Iraq
Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), September 17 2013: … Once it is acknowledged that the residents of Camp Liberty are individuals and not pawns to be deployed or destroyed, and the MEK leaders are required to restore their basic freedoms, then solutions as to what can be done with them will not be difficult to find. First and foremost of these is to reunite them …
Loving families offer security and a future for Camp Liberty residents in Iraq
As usual, when a crisis erupts among the Mojahedin Khalq in Iraq, the world and his dog are ready to jump in and use it as a platform to push their own agenda based on their own interpretation of events.
We have US lobbyists in Washington telling the UN – which is conducting an investigation on the ground – not only who perpetrated the attack but also what to do about it. We have Iran dancing with joy over the ‘elimination’ of its enemies, though more circumspectly adding that Iran itself will pursue vengeance through legal channels.
It’s easy to sit outside the country and talk. It’s easy to hold the Iraqis responsible for everything that happens in their country in disregard of the blatant interference from every side.
The long suffering government of Iraq – which is also conducting an investigation of its own – yet again reminds UNAMI and Western governments that the MEK cannot stay in their country. For thirty years the Mojahedin Khalq has been working there for the benefit of America and western interests; which paid a middleman called Massoud Rajavi for their services. The MEK consequently killed thousands of Iraqis. The country cannot now be expected to continue to play host to such a terrorist group.
But behind all the noise and squabbles of the various political bodies there echoes a profound silence. We never, ever get to hear from the people who are themselves directly involved, the MEK rank and file. Of course, on September 1st, the day of the attack on Camp Ashraf, the MEK leadership almost instantly broadcast its own ‘Hollywood Blockbuster’ version of events, with films of the assailants creeping up on the camp and graphic pictures of the aftermath; images replete with contradictions and inconsistencies.
But what of the victims, those survivors and injured who have now been taken to Camp Liberty? What of the people already in Camp Liberty? We never get to hear how they feel, nor about whether they are worried about being the next targets, nor about how they want their futures to unfold.
For American politicians and lobbyists these individuals are only pawns in a political game which they propose to win at all costs. For the Iranians and the Iraqis these are terrorists who do not deserve a voice. More importantly, as UNAMI officials can confirm, the people in Camp Liberty are being held incommunicado by the leaders of the cult. And as long as the MEK plays its valuable role as a brand on which to hang an advertising campaign then nobody is looking for a solution.
However, America has a moral duty toward these individuals who have done so much for them. America also has an international obligation to the government of a sovereign Iraq after ‘liberating’ the country from former American ally Saddam Hussein and killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in the process. America must put pressure on the MEK leaders to finally get out of Iraq, to open up the camp and allow the residents to leave as individuals and not as members of a terrorist group. This of course simply requires quiet, dignified co-operation with the UN and Iraqi officials who are there to oversee and facilitate exactly this occurrence. Even the MEK’s own Iranian supporters in the west are begging the leaders for such co-operation.
Once it is acknowledged that the residents of Camp Liberty are individuals and not pawns to be deployed or destroyed, and the MEK leaders are required to restore their basic freedoms, then solutions as to what can be done with them will not be difficult to find. First and foremost of these is to reunite them with their families. The 52 people who died in Camp Ashraf all had families. The remainder who have been transferred to Camp Liberty all have families, as do all the other residents there. Since 2003 many of these families have sought contact with their loved ones and been denied by the MEK leadership who are afraid of the compassionate influence their presence exerts over their loved ones. In 2009 a determined group of families set up a permanent picket outside Camp Ashraf resulting in the decision of several MEK to leave the camp and return to civilian life; this gradual process of attrition continues at Camp Liberty. Observers on the ground are in no doubt that had families still been permitted to remain there as a normalising presence, then the events of September 1st would not, could not have occurred.
When looking for a permanent solution for the residents, anybody with any sincerity must acknowledge that the involvement of these people’s families can offer the emotional, financial and mental security needed for them to return to normal life wherever they finally settle. Beyond this, the normalising presence of families at Camp Liberty will forestall the opportunity for further attacks.
Directly targeting critics – New tactic by Rajavi cult – aka Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group
Mohammad Karami, Paris, November 28 2013: … after the recent exposures and revelations by the survivors of the cult, in particular after Dr. Karim Ghasim, Dr. Mohammad Reza Rohani left the National Council of Resistance (NCRI, another name for Mojahedin Khalq) and the recent revelations made by Hadi Afshar (Saeed Jamali), Iraj Mesdaghi and others, the Leadership …
Translated by Iran Interlink
Directly targeting critics – New tactic by Rajavi cult – aka Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group
According to news coming from inside the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist cult HQ in France, after the recent exposures and revelations by the survivors of the cult, in particular after Dr. Karim Ghasim, Dr. Mohammad Reza Rohani left the National Council of Resistance (NCRI, another name for Mojahedin Khalq) and the recent revelations made by Hadi Afshar (Saeed Jamali), Iraj Mesdaghi and others, the Leadership of the MEK have held a meeting chaired by Maryam Rajavi (Joint leader of the cult with her husband Massoud Rajavi) in which they have been discussing the effects of the revelations as well as deciding a line of action for damage limitation to the cult.
At the end of this meeting they decided the following lines of action to counter the effects of the revelations made by survivors of the cult and by political personalities as well as criticisms made by some of the nearest people to the organisation who now demand explanations:
– to create a false negative impression of the ex members and critics in their places of residence and among their social circles, and to start gathering signatures against them in these place;
– to collect some signatures and then make petitions and increase the number by adding false names (as they usually do) and then send these en-mass to all the relevant local places including town halls, churches, Party HQs etc and introduce these critics as terrorists who are in direct contact with Iran and the secret services of that country and therefore a danger to their society;
– to commission their paid lobbyists in parliaments, paid MPs and other bought, known people (working or retired) to create false documents against the critics of the terrorist organisation and send them to the foreign ministries of the relevant countries and other places;
– to gather factual information about the individuals, add false information between the lines, and produce documents against them. Then send their paid lobbyists to meet with judicial channels, police, politicians etc and produce damaging reports against these critics.
One such example is Amrollah Ebrahimi, a paid agent of the Mojahedin Khalq (NCRI,MKO ,MEK, Rajavi cult) who is tasked to gather and organise lobbyists among Netherlands’s Members of Parliament. Another part of his job is to employ character assassination against given targets on the internet to portray them as corrupt by falsifying stories about them.
It is noticeable that up to this point there has not been any evidence that this expensive line of action and tactic has worked as the only people who have been listening to this disinformation are the cult members.
2013/10/18 by Iran Interlink
Mohammad Razaghi, Paris,October 18 2013: … Ali Mansouri was resident in Turkey between 1980 and 1998 and was in charge of gathering intelligence from inside Iran. He himself would travel to Iran every now and then. The MEK, of course, was very keen to keep him and his work secret. I remember clearly a […]
2013/05/05 by Iran Interlink
Nasrin Ebrahimi, Nim Negah, Switzerland, April 10 2013 (Translated by Nejat Society): … Nasrin Ebrahimi is a former member of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization, who fled the group in 2006. She was one of the first survivors of the Cult-like MKO who dared to reveal the corruption of the leaders of the group. She was the first […]
2013/06/19 by Iran Interlink
Mohammad Karami, Faryade Azadi, Paris, June 19 2013: … As you know, Mojahedin Khalq Organisation (aka; MKO, MEK, NCRI,…) have booked a salon in Parc des Exposition de Villeprinte to celebrate the start of their terror activities in June 1981 killing many civilian people. 17 June is also the aniversary of the arrest of Mrs. […]
David William Pear, The Greenville Post, December 13 2018:… The fact that Mujahideen-e-Khalq, MEK has killed US citizens in terrorist attacks did not hinder some US politicians from accepting large speaking fees at their conventions, even when MEK was still on the US terrorist list. The US has also instigated instability inside Iran and supported external attacks by terrorist groups such as Mujahideen-e-Khalq, or MEK …
Tasnim News, December 13 2018:… The US has extended its sponsorship of terrorism to a vicious terrorist cult, the MKO, that has murdered more than 17,000 Iranians and many Iraqis and who currently cozy up to the highest political figures in Washington to destabilize Iran through terrorist activities. Here, Mr. President, I would like to stress that according to the Charter, this Council represents all Member States thus its decision should …
Sarah Lazare, In These Times, December 11 2018:… She has also repeatedly vocalized her support for the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), alongside John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich. With virtually no legitimacy within Iran, the MEK is a favorite among neocons because it aggressively lobbies for U.S. military confrontation with Iran, and arguing that its head, Maryam Rajavi, is the rightful leader of Iran. The organization …
Nejat Society, December 11 2018:… The violent nature of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ the Cult of Rajavi) has always been the important issue of critics and arguments between journalists, analysts and those politicians who support the group and consider it as a democratic alternative to the Iranian government. “The MEK’s efforts over the past two decades to convey a benign public image completely …
IRNA, December 11 2018:… ‘They spread terrorism in the region in the name of human rights. Today, Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) is no different from Daesh (ISIS); human rights cannot grow with bombing exploding mosques and religious centers.’ The advisor to the chief of the judiciary on international affairs added, ‘The enmity of the US and the West with Islam is deep-rooted; now that Iran is the heartland of the …
Aawa Association, December 08 2018:… Anne Khodabandeh, placed the MEK’s current survival in the context of Neoconservative support. This means that in spite of well documented severe human rights violations, the MEK’s ‘regime change’ narrative is supported by paid advocates. The danger however is that the MEK will escalate their false flag ops in Europe which are blamed on Iran, only this time Europeans may be killed …
Iran Interlink, December 07 2018:… A week-long Exhibition and introductory Speakers panel were held at the Press Club in Brussels this week, organised by Aawa Association of Germany. The panel was chaired by Reza Jabelli, Service Etat Civil et Population. Panellists were Anne Khodabandeh, Open Minds, De-Radicalization Consultant, and two female MEK survivors, Batoul Soltani and Homeira Mohammad Nejad …
James Carden with Dr. Trita Parsi, The Nation, December 06 2018:… The MeK is of little use if the objective is regime change, due to their immense unpopularity in Iran, the Trump administration seems to believe that they can be helpful for regime collapse and a potential Civil War, mindful of this terrorist organization’s extensive experience in sabotage, terrorism, assassinations, and even regular warfare. The MeK is a violent terrorist cult …
Nejat Society, December 03 2018:… Since the relocation of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization in Albania and defections from the group, more revelations were made. Gholam Reza Shekari who left the group in 2017 recounted his traumatic experience of torture in the MKO’s jail in an interview with Spiegel. Shokri said that they had closed their eyes and took him to a clandestine jail. “They insulted me calling me spy of the Mullah’s regime,” he recounts …
Various sources, December 02 2018:… Dear Mr SOKOL BALLA and the Vision Plus TV in Albania, I suggest that the next time you want to report about the MEK, it would be better to ask them about their past, about forced divorces, working with Saddam Hussein, and imprisonment and torture inside Camp Ashraf. And in addition, invite investigative delegations to
Arron Merat, The Guardian, December 01 2018:… Ex members accuse Maryam_Rajavi of coordinating routine sexual abuse. Many of these women lost their wombs.They fought for the Iranian revolution – and then for Saddam Hussein. The US and UK once condemned them. But now their opposition to Tehran has made them favourites of Trump White House hardliners …