Rajavi And Presidential Election – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – May 14, 2021

Rajavi And Presidential Election – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – May 14, 2021

Rajavi And Presidential Election - Iran Interlink Weekly DigestIran Interlink, May 14 2021:… For the past two weeks, the MEK’s Farsi sites have all been directed at the election in Iran. The aim of the messaging is to bring the number of voters down. To that end there is nothing they will not do or say; lies, misinformation, exaggeration, fake news. Over the past few days the MEK has begun threatening and cursing people who might vote, especially Iranians living outside the country. The message is that we are watching the embassies and if we see you there to vote, we will get retribution. Rajavi And Presidential Election 

Israel Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK In AlbaniaIsrael Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK In Albania

Rajavi And Presidential Election – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – May 14, 2021

++ For the past two weeks, the MEK’s Farsi sites have all been directed at the election in Iran. The aim of the messaging is to bring the number of voters down. To that end there is nothing they will not do or say; lies, misinformation, exaggeration, fake news. Over the past few days the MEK has begun threatening and cursing people who might vote, especially Iranians living outside the country. The message is that we are watching the embassies and if we see you there to vote, we will get retribution. Many commentators point out that this behaviour is what MEK have always done – intimidation and violence. They pretend to be democratic but have operated for decades with an unelected leader and a so-called president-elect. What is clear is that as a mercenary force, MEK are paid to do this.

Rajavi And Presidential Election - Iran Interlink Weekly Digest

Rajavi And Presidential Election In Iran

++ The second aim in the last two weeks has been to stop people criticising MEK. This has been directed at the members’ families and ex-members – a campaign of cursing and now threatening violence against ex-members to stop them talking. Former MEK member Ghorban Ali Hussein Nejad wrote a note on Facebook saying ‘MEK, you don’t make sense. It is now over one and a half years that I have given up talking about you. But still you have been plotting against me, trying to ruin my life. That shows that what you say is not true. Even when I stop talking, you don’t stop targeting me.’ Other commentators point to the irony of western governments who, even after years of MEK killing members and former members, still don’t take the threat seriously. What is the difference then between Europe and Saddam’s Iraq, they ask. Maybe they are following the same line: if you leave MEK it is safer for you to live in Iran than in the EU or North America.

++ As part of its election broadcasting, Iran TV had a programme about people who have registered for candidacy with the knowledge they will not be ratified. These are people who don’t accept the constitution – they want regime change – but register as a candidate. The programme pointed out that the very constitution they reject bars them from candidacy and there is an element of duplicity and deceit in their registration. As an example, the programme said the first person to do this was Massoud Rajavi who didn’t accept the post-Revolution constitution but wanted to be the president. Ayatollah Khomeini was quoted, who described Rajavi’s act as deceptive. Rajavi was, of course, rejected. In the same way, the current wannabe candidates are also being deceptive. Ironically, the MEK are delighted that the Iranian media has broadcast something about Massoud Rajavi. The Iran Efshahgar ‘attack site’ has happily mentioned this programme simply because it mentions Rajavi.

MEK In Albania Hijacks America’s Iran Policy

++ Everyone has commented on the situation of the Palestinians and Israel, saying ‘if there was any doubt that MEK was working for Israel there is no doubt now. MEK have remained silent, waiting for instruction what to say. They can’t even say anything for internal purposes because they have members who are not against Palestinians – remember the MEK trained with the PLO before the Revolution – but because the MEK get money from Israel they can’t say anything.

In English:

++ Nejat Society reported from Albania where former MEK members have benefitted from the vaccine programme. They enjoy the same healthcare as Albanian citizens. Two vaccine recipients denounced the MEK leaders who “do not want to see them happy and healthy”. Gjergjy Thanasi, an Albanian Christian, had handed out red-dyed Easter eggs – symbolic of Christ’s blood and a reminder of the days when communism snuffed out religious freedom in that country. The former members are also now free from the dictates of the Rajavi cult and live “inspired by their own free will and their own decisions… They are not forced to confess any of their thoughts and deeds to the commanders anymore.”

++ Anne Khodabandeh looked at the developments in the Vienna talks and wondered whether the US, in spite of saying Iran is not serious, is itself not serious about re-joining the JCPOA. The path is clear: the US must credibly lift sanctions and Iran will scale back its nuclear enrichment to agreed levels. But the US position, according to Khodabandeh, has been complicated by the inexplicable tolerance of the MEK and the Israeli sabotage and provocation activities. Khodabandeh concludes that although the US cannot control Israeli behaviour, it is possible to dismantle the MEK in Albania as had been agreed in 2016 as a goodwill gesture to Iran.

Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEK

++ Nejat Bloggers published a short piece exposing the hypocrisy of the MEK leaders who have enjoyed luxuries and comfort over the years while the ordinary members have suffered hardship and deprivation. According to one former member, at one time “under the pretext of financial problems, [MEK leaders] forced the members to grow a plant called “Mallow” in the Camp Ashraf in order to provide at least one meal per day.”

++ Iran’s Mehr News reported on the MEK picket in Vienna. The MEK protestors threatened and insulted Iran’s delegation “while intensive negotiations continue between Iran and P4+1 to reach an agreement on the full revival of JCPOA and the lifting of oppressive sanctions against the Islamic Republic”. The report said the MEK’s demand is to halt the nuclear talks and cancel the JCPOA completely. They are “quite noticeably being coordinated by the elements affiliated with the Iran International TV… One of them even clashed with police”.

Rajavi And Presidential Election – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – May 14, 2021

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Also read:
https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/mujahedin-e-khalq-mek-in-vienna/

Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK In Vienna

Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK In ViennaAnne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Iran Interlink, April 30 2021:… Iranian papers reported that a small gathering of Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) supporters took up position outside the Grand Hotel which hosts the talks, where they cursed and swore to try to intimidate the Iran delegation. Their demand: an end to diplomacy and for the US to declare war against Iran. Iran’s interpretation to its domestic audience in the run up to the presidential election in June, is that the West is simply playing games using anti-Iranian terrorists, and that this shows that neither America nor Europe is serious about the talks or establishing normal relations with Iran. Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK In Vienna 

US Iran Talks Undermined by MEK PresenceUS Iran Talks Undermined by MEK Presence

Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK In Vienna

Rajavi And Presidential Election 

By Anne Khodabandeh

As the Vienna talks about compliance with the JCPOA continue, participating countries need, of course, to report to their domestic audience via the media what has transpired, what their negotiating position has been and what they got for their efforts.

For President Biden, of course, there is the added burden of laying out the achievements of his first 100 days – failure to re-join the JCPOA as promised being a thorny issue. Iran however has found the perfect go to distraction. Iran – which is heading for presidential elections in June – can easily boost the righteousness of Ayatollah Khamenei’s negotiating red lines by framing the American approach to the talks as grounded in bad faith and bad intent. All it took was to mention that five supporters of the MEK have been in Vienna there to protest.

Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK In Vienna

Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK In Vienna

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Iranian papers reported that a small gathering of Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) supporters took up position outside the Grand Hotel which hosts the talks, where they cursed and swore to try to intimidate the Iran delegation. Their demand: an end to diplomacy and for the US to declare war against Iran. Iran’s interpretation to its domestic audience in the run up to the presidential election in June, is that the West is simply playing games using anti-Iranian terrorists, and that this shows that neither America nor Europe is serious about the talks or establishing normal relations with Iran.

In Iran, MEK has become shorthand for ‘the threat to national security from the west’. The negotiators do not need to defend their work. It is enough to denounce the MEK’s unchecked presence in Vienna to demonstrate that the blame lies on the west’s side. It would be foolish to underestimate just how despised the MEK are among Iranians. Every school child on a trip to their local war museum will pass through a section graphically describing the MEK’s deadly collaboration with Saddam Hussein during the eight-year war. The MEK waged a two-decade long terrorist campaign against Iranian civilians that, by its own admission, killed up to 17,000 people. Worse, the MEK continues to act as mercenaries to foreign powers which seek to damage Iranian national interests, including assassination of nuclear scientists, and generals Shirazi and Soleimani. With this history, it is unsurprising that Iran’s leaders find fertile soil to plant anti-west opinion in the population.

To be fair, Europe has tried to curtail MEK activity in recent years, finding it counter to its stated goals of diplomacy with Iran. In 2018 the MEK leader Maryam Rajavi was expelled from Europe on security grounds and set up her new headquarters in Albania. But in Albania support from within the Trump administration allowed the MEK to continue to conduct itself as it has for the past forty years – using intimidation, corruption and propaganda under the protection of the CIA to pursue its anti-Iranian agenda. Not only does this play a major factor in why Albania will not be able to join the EU, the presence of MEK supporters now in Vienna fatally undermines the EU’s position vis-à-vis Iran.

We wrote back in January and again in April that President Biden could score a quick and effective Iran policy win by dismantling the MEK in Albania where the CIA has a free hand. Among the benefits for his administration would be to help stem the flow of foreign funds and false propaganda narratives that continue to hinder and could even destroy America’s opportunity to re-join the JCPOA and position itself to influence future demands on Iran. It would also remove the MEK as a stick with which Iran can beat its opponents – as it has done in this case. Failure to grasp this simple equation is surely based in America’s blindness to its own growing weaknesses and to Iran’s growing military and diplomatic capabilities.

Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK In Vienna

Rajavi And Presidential Election 

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Also read:
https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/illir-nezaj-of-albania-mek-problem-for-human-rights/

Illir Nezaj of Albania Reveals MEK a Problem in International Forum

Illir Nezaj of Albania Reveals MEK a Problem for Human RightsAnne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Iran Interlink, March 13 2021:… Dr Illir Nezaj from the Albanian embassy in Geneva found himself reading a prepared statement defending the MEK presence in his country. In this speech, Nezaj claims ‘MEK is not a terrorist organization’. That will be news to the many thousands of victims of MEK terrorism in Iran, Iraq and beyond. Delighted that their man has done his job, the MEK lost no time in spreading this around social media, using the fake Heshmat Alavi account to disseminate the news. Illir Nezaj of Albania Reveals MEK a Problem in International Forum 

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) : Albania Accession TO EU – Open Letter to the NegotiatorsAlbania Accession TO EU – Open Letter to the Negotiators

Illir Nezaj of Albania Reveals MEK a Problem in International Forum

Illir Nezaj of Albania Reveals MEK a Problem for Human Rights

Dr Illir Nezaj of Albania defends his government  giving a terror training camp to remains of Saddam’s Private Army

By Anne Khodabandeh

A true indication of the dire state of Albania’s politics, and a red line for the EU was on display in the UN Human Rights Council this week; an international forum in which Albania’s small voice would not normally be expected to cause controversy. Yet as Iran criticised Javaid Rehman UN Special Rapporteur’s comments on human rights in Iran, Dr Illir Nezaj from the Albanian embassy in Geneva found himself reading a prepared statement defending the MEK presence in his country.

In this speech, Nezaj claims ‘MEK is not a terrorist organization’. That will be news to the many thousands of victims of MEK terrorism in Iran, Iraq and beyond. Delighted that their man has done his job, the MEK lost no time in spreading this around social media, using the fake Heshmat Alavi account to disseminate the news. (Apparently, the MEK have misplaced their English-speaking team since the translation is full of spelling and grammar errors.)

However, critics of the MEK have welcomed the speech as it acknowledges once and for all in an international arena, that the MEK are a problem for Albania. Historian and activist Olsi Jazexhi Tweeted:

“If MEK is not a terrorist organization why does it run a paramilitary camp in #Albania? Why its members are kept in isolation? Why #MEK is fighting its defectors in Tirana? Why #MEK is smuggling people like #HadiSaniKhani into Europe? Why MEK is attacking foreign and local media?”

Contrary to what Nezai claims, the MEK was expelled by Iraq’s government as a terrorist entity which belonged to Saddam Hussein’s regime. They arrived in Albania as a foreign terrorist entity. They remain a terrorist entity – the MEK was not disbanded or deradicalized as had been the plan. MEK leader Maryam Rajavi was expelled from the EU in 2018 due to security concerns after a failed false flag bomb plot was found to have involved MEK sympathisers in Belgium.

Rajavi is now in Tirana heading the nefarious, criminal activities of the MEK, including people trafficking. Anne Khodabandeh, long time MEK critic, Tweeted:

“Why are European security agencies investigating the troubling disappearance of former MEK member Hadi Sani Khani from Albania? He was trafficked by MEK into France and disappeared. What have MEK done with him? We expect full cooperation from Albanian authorities in this case.”

Khodabandeh also questioned MEK impunity in Albania, Tweeting:

“Understand that threatening violent regime change against another country is illegal under Albanian law. What do you think the MEK have been doing since they arrived in your country? https://exit.al/en/2017/04/17/senator-mccain-meets-mek-in-albania/

The MEK presence in Albania is controversial. It will certainly prevent Albania’s accession to the EU; nobody throws rubbish out only to open the back door and take it back in again! There are plenty of solutions to this conundrum. But none of them will be found without courage and honesty. Let’s see where Albania’s path takes it in the next weeks.

Illir Nezaj of Albania Reveals MEK a Problem in International Forum

Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK In Vienna 

Rajavi And Presidential Election 

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Also read:
https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/letter-to-commissioner-ylva-johansson/

Open Letter to EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva JohanssonAnne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Iran Interlink, February 18 2021:…  When you go to the Kakavia border crossing with Greece, where you will visit the Frontex-Albania joint border control operation, please be aware of the attempted illegal deportation of an Iranian refugee across that border last year at the behest of the MEK leader Maryam Rajavi. Ehsan Bidi, who came to Albania as a refugee (not with the MEK) and has been granted the right to residency, is currently being held in detention. Ehsan Bidi is – among many other former MEK members – an outspoken critic of Maryam Rajavi. In response, she demanded his deportation. Bidi was held in detention without charge or recourse to legal representation for a year. Open Letter to EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson 

Open Letter to EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva JohanssonThe Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) Intrusion in Albania, Threatens Regional Stability 

Open Letter to EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson

On Saturday, 20 February, you are scheduled to meet the President of the Republic of Albania, Ilir Meta; Prime Minister, Edi Rama; Minister of Interior, Bledi Cuçi; and the leader of the opposition, Luzlim Basha.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson

Letter To EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson

Please raise the issue of the Mojahedin- Khalq (MEK) presence in Albania with them.

In 2016, 2,901 individual MEK members were transferred to Albania from Iraq by the UNHCR. Although classified as “refugees”, they were not granted legal documentation in Albania – they do not have ID cards, work permits, travel permits, etc. This has left them dependent on the MEK leader Maryam Rajavi for their subsistence. In Albania, as in Iraq, they are held in a closed camp in conditions of modern slavery. The systematic application of coercive control means they are not able to make independent, informed decisions about their health and welfare or their economic and social activity. Even if they were, the barriers to escaping the MEK are great.

When the MEK’s irresponsible response to the COVID-19 pandemic threatened the lives of the members, their families appealed to the UN Commission on Enforced Disappearances to make contact with individual members so they could ascertain the health and welfare of their loved ones. This has not yielded results. Families are still denied contact with the MEK camp residents by the leader Maryam Rajavi. Albania’s health officials are still denied access to the camp to check on conditions there.

Anne_Khodabandeh_Singleton_2019

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

The MEK presence in Albania has caused controversy. The MEK modus operandi means top level politicians of all parties, as well as media leaders and police and security have been co-opted into supporting the MEK’s anti-Iran agenda as policy. The politicisation of the MEK presence in Albania has come at a high cost to the individual members, to Albanian security, to the democratic and judicial processes of the country, and to foreign policy decisions which have resulted in Albania unnecessarily becoming the front line of the conflict between the EU and Iran.

Local residents near the MEK camp have protested several times about the impunity and preferential treatment of the camp against their own interests. Electricity and water suppliers prioritise the MEK camp leaving them with intermittent supplies, human sewage from the camp has been pumped onto agricultural land, and land earmarked for the expansion of the local cemetery has been appropriated so that MEK dead are buried in preference to the residents’ relatives. The situation in untenable whereby the natural rights and interests of local Albanian citizens are subordinated to the activities and demands of a foreign political cult.

 

Political leaders in Albania must be held to account for this anomaly. They must answer for MEK impunity and MEK interference in the running of the country.

When you go to the Kakavia border crossing with Greece, where you will visit the Frontex-Albania joint border control operation, please be aware of the attempted illegal deportation of an Iranian refugee across that border last year at the behest of the MEK leader Maryam Rajavi.

Ehsan Bidi, who came to Albania as a refugee (not with the MEK) and has been granted the right to residency, is currently being held in detention. Ehsan Bidi is – among many other former MEK members – an outspoken critic of Maryam Rajavi. In response, she demanded his deportation. Bidi was held in detention without charge or recourse to legal representation for a year. After which the national police tried illegally dumping him at the Greek border. After the intervention of friends and lawyers, Bidi was brought back to Tirana. Only for him to be detained again ‘pending deportation’. Since there is no possibility of this ever happening, the treatment of Bidi (who, as I remind you has been granted the right to residency), can only be classed as cruel and unusual treatment under the articles of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The only possible reason for this treatment is to suit the demand of Maryam Rajavi to eliminate critics.

Political leaders in Albania should explain why and how this foreign political cult has gained such influence over Albania’s political, judicial, security and media bodies that it threatens the national interests of that country and its people. Maryam Rajavi has been expelled from France and is not able to visit any EU country. The reasons for this are based on security and political considerations. It is inconceivable that with the MEK established in Albania and infecting every element of government, the EU will accept Albania’s accession to the EU of which you are a representative.

In 2013, when Joe Biden was Vice President in the Obama administration, a deal was struck by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to de-radicalise the MEK once they arrived in Albania. Under the Trump administration this plan was shelved, allowing the MEK to regroup and continue its nefarious practices. It may be possible that your report could contain the recommendation that this programme be resumed. This would relieve Albania of the onus to act unilaterally against the MEK. It would allow Albania’s accession to move forward. It would alleviate relations between the US, EU and Iran. More than anything it would restore basic human rights to the MEK members trapped in this cult with no hope and no future.

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) 

Open Letter to EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson 

Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK In Vienna 

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The Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) Intrusion in AlbaniaWith Trump gone , is the MEK finished ?

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