Rajavi Solves Israeli-Palestinian Riddle : Iran Did It – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Jun 04, 2021

Rajavi Solves Israeli-Palestinian Riddle : Iran Did It – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Jun 04, 2021

Rajavi Solves Israeli-Palestinian Riddle : Iran Did It Iran Interlink, June 04 2021:… Over the last two weeks, MEK sites and Maryam Rajavi have been keen to declare a victory for Israel after its massacre of Palestinians in Gaza which were condemned as war crimes throughout the world. Rajavi ludicrously then claimed that if Iran had not been involved, the Israelis and Palestinians would have no problems and would be living together in peace and harmony. Essentially, she claimed that Iran was behind the conflict. Rajavi Solves Israeli-Palestinian Riddle 

Rajavi Solves Israeli-Palestinian Riddle : Iran Did ItRajavi Silent On Palestine , Awaiting New Instruction

Rajavi Solves Israeli-Palestinian Riddle : Iran Did It – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Jun 04, 2021

Iran Interlink Weekly Digest Mojahedin Khalq MEK NCRI Rajavi cult++ Over the last two weeks, MEK sites and Maryam Rajavi have been keen to declare a victory for Israel after its massacre of Palestinians in Gaza which were condemned as war crimes throughout the world. Rajavi ludicrously then claimed that if Iran had not been involved, the Israelis and Palestinians would have no problems and would be living together in peace and harmony. Essentially, she claimed that Iran was behind the conflict. Her conclusion, of course, is that President Biden should attack Iran and bring about regime change, with her in charge obviously. This will make everything between Israel and Palestine OK. Among the reactions to this was a piece by Mansour Nazari in France which goes into detail about the history of the MEK. Nazari concludes that from the time of Saddam, for forty years, on every occasion and in every place, the MEK have been totally on the side of the enemies of Iranians: ‘Following the shadow of the enemies of Iran’.

From Anti-Imperialists to Pro-Zionists – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – May 21, 2021

++ According to a decree issued by Massoud Rajavi, the National Liberation Army no longer exists, and all membership has been dissolved. A new army has been established and everyone will have to write and ask to be a member of the new NLA. First they’re out, then they’re in again! The irony is that this is done in a mass meeting with closed doors so everyone is forced to comply or suffer the consequences (punishment). Among many reactions, commentators point out that the last four times the NLA was dissolved and resurrected were in Iraq when they had arms and armaments. Every time this was done Rajavi felt the organisation was collapsing. Now in Albania there is no army and there is no need for an army. It is clear though that the MEK leaders are weak and desperate. This is about pushing the residents of the camp in closed conditions with no contact with the outside world, to sign a commitment not to leave.

++ In an attempt to influence the election in Iran, MEK are full on telling people not to vote, especially those outside Iran. MEK claims to have cameras outside polling stations and the tacit support of the CIA, and they will kill people who vote. They threaten that there will be bombs in polling stations in Iran so people should keep away. The MEK claims its ‘sleeper cells’ are now active and will kill people. The MEK wants to create an atmosphere of fear – terrorist tactics. The basic message is: don’t go to vote. In order to attempt to dissuade people from voting MEK also claim that it’s obvious Ebrahim Raisi will win so it’s not a genuine election anyway. On that issue, Ebrahim Khodabandeh wrote a note in which he explains that while with the MEK at the time Khatami won the presidency, he was invited to go on Sky News on behalf of the MEK. Khodabandeh says that “our line, on which I was briefed, was to say that Khatami would definitely lose the election, that the regime could not change and that a snake will never give birth to a dove… When I went to the studio, although all the other guests were saying the same thing, I was hardline about it. However, it turned out that Khatami won and I remember on a later occasion when I met the interviewer, he said ‘I was led to believe the same thing’. It shows you can’t be certain of the election at any time. Nobody can predict the outcome.”

In English:

++ According to a piece by Nejat Society, the MEK honed its propaganda capabilities during the 1970s and 1980s, boasting of its deadly activities in Iraq and Iran – the assassination of six Americans in Iran, bombings, sabotage, indiscriminate murder of over 12,000 Iranians, cross border operations and military operations against Iraqi Kurds and Shiites in Iraq. This irrefutable evidence in its own words turned out to be counterproductive after the MEK was exposed to media scrutiny when the terrorist organization was moved to Albania and the controversial lifestyle of the MEK members invited investigation. This led to several damning reports by various media, including Der Spiegel and the BBC. The MEK cannot escape its past nor the fact that it is sustained on the back of 2000 modern slaves.

++ Several outlets reported that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken banned Albania’s former PM Sali Berisha from entering the US on the grounds of corruption. Iran-Interlink reminded us that Berisha was instrumental in having the MEK removed from the US terrorism list, and that Albania’s political system benefitted financially from hosting the MEK there. Berisha was an enthusiastic advocate for MEK. And notoriously corrupt.

++ Massoud Khodabandeh wrote after news emerged that Albania’s Council of Ministers have approved legislation to streamline documentation for all foreigners in Albania, whatever their reason – holiday homes, work, asylum, etc. The initial White Card will convey the same rights as citizens except the right to vote. Former MEK members have already applied and been registered to receive the documentation. This will allow them to work, buy property and run businesses. Khodabandeh wrote that this documentation is applicable to all MEK members. To this end, Maryam Rajavi has tried to hide this information and force the members to commit to abrogate their individual rights in favour of obedience to the terms of MEK membership. This is impossible under Article 30 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

++ Italian and Albanian media reported that two old Iranian men who were caught smuggling 3 vials of Astrazenica vaccine from Germany via Italy to Albania. Under the title ‘MEK Crime Organisation’ Iran-Interlink revealed that the men are long-term MEK members living in Germany, and the 18-dose vaccine was probably destined for Maryam Rajavi. She prefers to remain separated in Tirana from the ordinary members, who are dying from COVID-19 in the closed camp in Manez. The Iran-Interlink piece covered the history of criminal activities of the MEK which are now the main activities of the cult.

++ Several outlets revisited historical MEK crimes and abuses, including abuse of women, assassinations, murders and more. Nejat Society drew attention to a current scandalous abuse of human rights as the family of 78-year-old Rahim Kiuhan seeks help from the international community to rescue him. Kiuhan has tried over many years to be able to contact his family. MEK has cruelly prevented this. As a result of the continuous mental and physical pressures imposed on him over this issue, he is now reportedly very ill in the MEK camp in Manez. Unfortunately, Kiuhan is one of many MEK members and their families suffering inhuman abuse at the hands of Maryam Rajavi and her acolytes, on whom the responsible officials and authorities have turned their backs.

++ Tehran Times reported on a speech by Iran’s Spiritual Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. In his address to the nation, Khamenei said that Iran is ‘stronger than ever’. He touched on American predictions that the IRI would not see its 40th anniversary; “I do not remember so many predictions of decay and collapse to have been made about any other system.” This was interpreted as referring to former US national security advisor John Bolton’s version of this prediction when he addressed a gathering of MEK members in a propaganda rally in 2017. [MEK leader Maryam Rajavi has since been expelled from the EU and is now isolated in Albania.]

Rajavi Solves Israeli-Palestinian Riddle : Iran Did It – Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – Jun 04, 2021

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/documentation-frees-mek-members/

Documentation Frees MEK Members

Massoud Khodabandeh - Documentation Frees MEK MembersMassoud Khodabandeh, Iran Interlink, May 23 2021:… The new legislation was approved by Albania’s Council of Ministers in December last year. It has now been reviewed by Albania’s Commission on European Integration, which announced that it meets EU requirements. According to Albanian officials, the legislation, which has been in the pipeline for a while, seeks to address shortcomings in the bureaucratic system so as to streamline documentation for various foreign individuals. Examples given are “residence permits of persons without citizenship; residence permits for pensioners; residence permits for travelling employees. Documentation Frees MEK Members 

The Many Faces of the MEK, Explained By Its Former Top Spy Massoud KhodabandehThe Many Faces of the MEK, Explained By Its Former Top Spy Massoud Khodabandeh

Documentation Frees MEK Members

By Massoud Khodabandeh

When the MEK cult was transferred to Albania in 2016, the members were brought by the UNHCR without documentation. They were given $100 US and a piece of paper stating they were being moved ‘on humanitarian grounds’. On arrival in Tirana, the MEK leaders swapped the 100 US dollars for 100 Albanian Lek (worth approximately one dollar). The arrivals were not given ID papers but were left as undocumented foreigners. A new law, however, named ‘For Foreigners’ will soon rectify this situation.

The new legislation was approved by Albania’s Council of Ministers in December last year. It has now been reviewed by Albania’s Commission on European Integration, which announced that it meets EU requirements. According to Albanian officials, the legislation, which has been in the pipeline for a while, seeks to address shortcomings in the bureaucratic system so as to streamline documentation for various foreign individuals. Examples given are

“residence permits of persons without citizenship; residence permits for pensioners; residence permits for travelling employees, i.e. those foreign nationals working in different countries, not in an office or in an institution headquarters and whose work mostly involves travelling; and permits for those who use real estate owned by them in the Republic of Albania”.

The first Iranians to benefit from the new law are those who have rejected membership of the MEK but who, without proper documentation, have struggled to establish themselves in society. Journalist Gjergji Thanasi, who has followed the plight of these former MEK members for the past four years, explained the changes:

“previously there was a problem with getting various permits from different departments – residence, work, travel, etc. Now, foreigners will be issued with a single permit, a White Card, which gives them all the rights of Albanian citizenship, except the right to vote. After a while, they will be issued a Green Card which will entitle them to full citizenship rights.”

Massoud Khodabandeh - Documentation Frees MEK Members

Documentation Frees MEK Members

For the former MEK members, this has been a welcome development. Hassan Heyrani said:

I have been managing a coffee shop to make a living. But I can now incorporate my own business and buy property. This will make a huge difference in all our lives. The White Card will even allow us to arrange family reunions”.

The former members have applied for the single permit and have received registration numbers pending the issue of the White Cards in a month or two.

The new law also applies to the MEK members in Camp Ashraf 3 in Durres county. MEK leader Maryam Rajavi has already been reported to be working to hide this law from the members, and to take steps to mitigate its effects. Members are being asked to sign papers waiving any rights to independent life. They must swear an oath to identify as a member of the MEK cult rather than an individual with individual rights. The problem for Rajavi is that although she has already denied the members every one of the rights and freedoms contained in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one of the principles set out by Article 30 in this document is that nobody can give away or waive their own rights and freedoms.

Heyrani anticipates this could be the end of the MEK as a cult.

“Once the members become aware that they can leave the organisation and enjoy the rights and benefits of Albanian citizenship, Rajavi’s hold over them will be broken”, he said. This author reminds readers that when the MEK were in Iraq, the members were also undocumented: “Members used organisational names rather than their own, to ‘lose their individuality’. Those who needed to travel used fake passports, or passports belonging to other members and supporters. The members were told that this was for security purposes since the Iranian government were spying on them. The real reason was to prevent members having valid documentation. Members were reminded that if they tried to leave the organisation, the punishment under Saddam Hussein for anyone without identity papers or a passport was an automatic 8 prison sentence as an illegal immigrant. That meant, most members would not dare leave. Several who leave did were imprisoned in Abu Ghraib prison under this law.”

In Albania, Maryam Rajavi has benefitted from the notorious corruption in the country, from government down. She has benefitted from the tacit support of the CIA. This has allowed her to hold the members as undocumented slaves, totally dependent on the organisation for all their basic needs. People who managed to leave the cult have often struggled for some time to survive without the necessary documents that would allow them to work. In a matter of weeks, this situation will end. All the Iranians who came to Albania in 2016 will be able to register for the new documentation which will facilitate their break with the Rajavi cult and enable them to live freely and healthily in society.

A summary of the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1: We are all born free. We all have our own thoughts and ideas and we should all be treated the same way.

Article 2: The rights in the UDHR belong to everyone, no matter who we are, where we’re from, or whatever we believe.

Article 3: We all have the right to life, and to live in freedom and safety.

Article 4: No one should be held as a slave, and no one has the right to treat anyone else as their slave.

Article 5: No one has the right to inflict torture, or to subject anyone else to cruel or inhuman treatment.

Article 6: We should all have the same level of legal protection whoever we are, and wherever in the world we are.

Article 7: The law is the same for everyone, and must treat us all equally.

Article 8: We should all have the right to legal support if we are treated unfairly.

Article 9: Nobody should be arrested, put in prison, or sent away from our country unless there is good reason to do so.

Article 10: Everyone accused of a crime has the right to a fair and public trial, and those that try us should be independent and not influenced by others.

Article 11: Everyone accused of a crime has the right to be considered innocent until they have fairly been proven to be guilty.

Article 12: Nobody has the right to enter our home, open our mail, or intrude on our families without good reason. We also have the right to be protected if someone tries to unfairly damage our reputation.

Article 13: We all have the right to move freely within our country, and to visit and leave other countries when we wish.

Article 14: If we are at risk of harm we have the right to go to another country to seek protection.

Article 15: We all have the right to be a citizen of a country and nobody should prevent us, without good reason, from being a citizen of another country if we wish.

Article 16: We should have the right to marry and have a family as soon as we’re legally old enough. Our ethnicity, nationality and religion should not stop us from being able to do this. Men and women have the same rights when they are married and also when they’re separated. We should never be forced to marry. The government has a responsibility to protect us and our family.

Article 17: Everyone has the right to own property, and no one has the right to take this away from us without a fair reason.

Article 18: Everyone has the freedom to think or believe what they want, including the right to religious belief. We have the right to change our beliefs or religion at any time, and the right to publicly or privately practise our chosen religion, alone or with others.

Article 19: Everyone has the right to their own opinions, and to be able to express them freely. We should have the right to share our ideas with who we want, and in whichever way we choose.

Article 20: We should all have the right to form groups and organise peaceful meetings. Nobody should be forced to belong to a group if they don’t want to.

Article 21: We all have the right to take part in our country’s political affairs either by freely choosing politicians to represent us, or by belonging to the government ourselves. Governments should be voted for by the public on a regular basis, and every person’s individual vote should be secret. Every individual vote should be worth the same.

Article 22: The society we live in should help every person develop to their best ability through access to work, involvement in cultural activity, and the right to social welfare. Every person in society should have the freedom to develop their personality with the support of the resources available in that country.

Article 23: We all have the right to employment, to be free to choose our work, and to be paid a fair salary that allows us to live and support our family. Everyone who does the same work should have the right to equal pay, without discrimination. We have the right to come together and form trade union groups to defend our interests as workers.

Article 24: Everyone has the right to rest and leisure time. There should be limits on working hours, and people should be able to take holidays with pay.

Article 25: We all have the right to enough food, clothing, housing and healthcare for ourselves and our families. We should have access to support if we are out of work, ill, elderly, disabled, widowed, or can’t earn a living for reasons outside of our control. An expectant mother and her baby should both receive extra care and support. All children should have the same rights when they are born.

Article 26: Everyone has the right to education. Primary schooling should be free. We should all be able to continue our studies as far as we wish. At school we should be helped to develop our talents, and be taught an understanding and respect for everyone’s human rights. We should also be taught to get on with others whatever their ethnicity, religion, or country they come from. Our parents have the right to choose what kind of school we go to.

Article 27: We all have the right to get involved in our community’s arts, music, literature and sciences, and the benefits they bring. If we are an artist, a musician, a writer or a scientist, our works should be protected and we should be able to benefit from them.

Article 28: We all have the right to live in a peaceful and orderly society so that these rights and freedoms can be protected, and these rights can be enjoyed in all other countries around the world.

Article 29: We have duties to the community we live in that should allow us to develop as fully as possible. The law should guarantee human rights and should allow everyone to enjoy the same mutual respect.

Article 30: No government, group or individual should act in a way that would destroy the rights and freedoms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Documentation Frees MEK Members

Rajavi Solves Israeli-Palestinian Riddle : Iran Did It 

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Massoud Khodabandeh - Biden Dilemma Iranians Blame AmericaBiden Dilemma : Iranians Saw Trump As A Mad Man But Blame America For Their Woes

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MEK cult in Albania poses public health risk

MEK cult in Albania poses public health riskMassoud Khodabandeh, Responsible Statecraft (First Published April 25 2020) :… The Albanian authorities, including the security services, do not have access to the camp. According to investigative journalist Gjergji Thanasi, who lives in Durres county near the MEK camp, the Health Ministry “deals with Camp Ashraf 3 as if it does not exist. There is not a single line in the Durres Municipality health officials’ paperwork written about the camp and its residents. No Albanian health official has ever entered the camp.” This means that no matter how hard epidemiologists may be working to trace the contacts of positive cases throughout the country, the MEK will not submit to allow Health Ministry staff inside the camp to test the individuals there. Thanasi goes on to explain, “the MEK have their own doctors, nurses, and dentists. When they have seriously ill patients, they hire private ambulances to transport them to a public hospital in Tirana.” MEK cult in Albania poses public health risk 

MEK In Albania Hijacks America's Iran PolicyAmerica’s Iran Policy Backed Into a Corner By MEK in Albania

MEK cult in Albania poses public health risk

Rajavi Solves Israeli-Palestinian Riddle : Iran Did It 

Written by
Massoud Khodabandeh

With its small population of 2.8 million people, the Republic of Albania may appear to have a more manageable task (depending, of course, on the availability of health care resources) of testing and tracking contacts to halt the spread of the coronavirus, than countries with multiple millions of citizens living in large, sprawling cities and conurbations. But as Albania extends its lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the country faces a specific problem that some other countries also face — notably South Korea — the presence of a closed and secretive cult in the midst of the population.

MEK cult in Albania poses public health risk

MEK cult in Albania poses public health risk

Since its arrival in Albania in 2016, the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), also known as the Rajavi cult after its leaders Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, the group has caused problems for the authorities and citizens of their host country. Exploiting the unresolved problems of crime, corruption, and a weak state dependent on American approval, the MEK has manipulated, bribed, and intimidated its way into the political, media, and criminal elements of Alabania. According to well-known historian Olsi Jazexhi, the MEK has even perverted Albania’s foreign policy making it a hub for anti-Iran activities and creating a security nightmare for Albania’s police and security services.

Now the group poses another risk to the country — a public health risk that cannot be assessed or managed.

In 2017, both tacit support from the Trump administration, and overt support from neoconservative personalities, enabled MEK leaders to evade a planned de-radicalization program and instead build a closed secure camp in Manez — a remote town in the county of Durres — to house up to 2,000 cult members. Camp Ashraf 3 — as it is known — is guarded by private armed security personnel as well as MEK officials; only invited persons are allowed entry. Before this mass incarceration, dozens of members took advantage of the move to Albania to separate from the group. They reported terrible human rights abuses and conditions of modern slavery in the MEK. Journalists were refused entry to the camp to interview members locked up there.

For the majority of MEK members then, a lockdown may seem irrelevant since they were already in forced isolation from the outside world, but for Albania, the existence of the group in the country poses a real dilemma.

Although most cult members will not emerge in public, the group relies on regular supplies from outside, particularly food and medicine, and those who emerge to procure these supplies are part of a greater chain of contacts that stretch all the way to Italy. Not only are MEK members who move around Albania unaccountable and untraced, the MEK is notorious for trafficking its own members past national borders.

The MEK’s leading members made frequent trips to Italy in the early months of this year, exposing them to COVID-19. In this respect, it is important to acknowledge that the MEK members are not all based in the closed camp. Last year, MEK leader Maryam Rajavi was forced to leave her base in France and set up her new headquarters in Albania. Many leading members live in the capital Tirana and occupy a variety of premises — from business offices to an entire floor of the International Hotel in Skanderbeg Square in Tirana. Where are those people now? What contact did they have between Italy and the residents of Camp Ashraf 3? Durres county is the epicenter of the current coronavirus epidemic in Albania. Have MEK members inside been infected?

We don’t know and we may never know. The Albanian authorities, including the security services, do not have access to the camp. According to investigative journalist Gjergji Thanasi, who lives in Durres county near the MEK camp, the Health Ministry “deals with Camp Ashraf 3 as if it does not exist. There is not a single line in the Durres Municipality health officials’ paperwork written about the camp and its residents. No Albanian health official has ever entered the camp.”

This means that no matter how hard epidemiologists may be working to trace the contacts of positive cases throughout the country, the MEK will not submit to allow Health Ministry staff inside the camp to test the individuals there. Thanasi goes on to explain, “the MEK have their own doctors, nurses, and dentists. When they have seriously ill patients, they hire private ambulances to transport them to a public hospital in Tirana.”

What is deeply concerning in this crisis, however, are the messages emerging from the camp and covertly passed to those who are concerned with their welfare. Over a thousand families of these disappeared MEK members, who have been trying for two decades to gain contact with their loved ones, say these messages are alarming. They say that the MEK leaders have blocked every form of access to medical care and hospital visits have been cancelled. They also report that some people have gone missing and nobody knows where they are. Everyone inside the camp is worried about the virus and that they are getting no help. They say there is a general sense of dread about the spread of COVID-19.

According to Thanasi, employees of Durres Municipality who engaged in disinfecting streets, squares, flea markets, and agriculture produce markets had contacted the MEK camp via the local Manez council officials offering to disinfect the camp. “We were thanked profusely before our offer was very politely turned down. The commanders at the camp insisted they had already thoroughly disinfected the camp”, Thanasi was told. The Municipal workers however added there was “no evidence this had been done.”

Outside the camp, local residents have observed the MEK’s efforts to deal with the crisis. Speaking to Thanasi, one resident said, at the camp entrance, Albanian armed security guards and MEK members have been observed wearing masks and gloves, “but those on duty at a second gate do not always use protective gear.”

It appears that in public, MEK personnel will wear the masks and gloves, but a group of MEK members who work in a small facility outside the camp fence opposite the main entrance generally do not wear protection. It could be that a shortage of PPE means the MEK has to adopt a public relations exercise to be seen to observe distancing, isolation and protective measures. More cynically, the patchy distribution of protective gear could be linked to a hierarchy of privilege.

Without official oversight, it is not known how many MEK members will contract the virus and how many will die as a result. What is known is that since arriving in Albania, dozens of MEK members have died — reportedly from old age and illness — yet their reported cause of death cannot be relied upon.

MEK leaders mostly refuse post-mortem examinations. The MEK leaders are just as unlikely to report incidences of COVID-19 infections and deaths. MEK members are especially susceptible to the ravages of this virus. Their average age is around 65, with some members in their seventies and eighties. Many members have underlying health issues, and weakness brought on by the decades of overwork and harsh living conditions endured in Iraq. Rajavi herself is so frightened of succumbing to the virus that back in March she had one of her parliamentary lobbyists raise the possibility of travelling to the UK where even as a visitor she could access world class medical facilities.

Clearly, even if the MEK does eventually allow sick members to be tested and gain access medical care, Albania is barely equipped to deal with a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus among the indigenous population. If this troublesome group consumes badly needed resources, the finger of blame will surely go to Albania’s corrupt politicians who allow this group to flout the country’s laws and national interests and pursue its own agenda. That finger of blame must as well point directly at the Trump administration too. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is happy to use MEK propaganda churned out by the troll farm in Camp Ashraf 3 by enslaved members to attack Iran and justify the continuation of extreme sanctions. What responsibility will he take for the health and wellbeing of these people and the people of Albania.

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Link to the source 

Rajavi Solves Israeli-Palestinian Riddle : Iran Did It 

Documentation Frees MEK Members 

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Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump

Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump 1Massoud Khodanbandeh, Responsible Statecraft, January 09 2020:… In another reckless act of overturning Obama’s legacy, the new Trump administration halted Hillary Clinton’s plan to de-radicalise the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) in Albania. Since then, American anti-Iran politicians have stuffed the MEK down the throats of the international community as the regime change opposition that will bring freedom and democracy to Iran. Since Iranians hate the MEK more than the current Islamic Republic, this has been a gift to the hard-liners in Iran. To quell every protest or demonstration since then, Iran’s security forces have only to claim that MEK are involved in inciting violence for the ordinary people to go home and announce their abhorrence of the MEK. Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump 

 Pompeo Uses MEK Fabrications Assassination of Qassem Soleimani Pompeo Uses MEK Fabrications

Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump

After Soleimani’s Assassination, There Will Be No Regime Change in Tehran


Massoud Khodabandeh

Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump 2

Anyone who believes that President Trump’s order to illegally assassinate Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani, Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and several more Iraqis, was an act of strength has not been properly paying attention. This is the latest in a series of stupid policy errors by this administration which have not only strengthened the hand of America’s enemies but have also now ensured that the rest of the world, with the exceptions of Israel and Saudi Arabia, now at best views the U.S. with mistrust, or at the very worst hate America more than any other country on earth. This is a remarkable achievement for a man who promised to end the “endless wars” and “drain the swamp.”

Trump started his presidency with the ambition of overturning the Obama administration’s achievements. However, he inherited a foreign policy already predicated on waging war and which was soon re-staffed and promoted by Republican warmongers. In this context, withdrawing unilaterally from the Iran nuclear deal might have appeared to be a strong-arm tactic to Trump, but to America’s allies in Europe it looked like a betrayal, and a slap in the face. Still, none were willing to come out on the side of Iran at that time. Even Russia and China were holding back at that stage. So, what were the steps in between which culminated in late December in an unprecedented four days of joint naval manoeuvres between Iran, China, and Russia in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman? What happened to embolden this trio to flex military muscle in the Middle East?

A review of these steps reveals that the blinkered aim of the Trump administration’s foreign policy to manufacture regime change against Iran by any means possible including all-out war has in fact resulted in the opposite result. Regime change is now in its coffin and the assassination of Soleimani is the last nail hammered in.

Instead of promoting freedom and democracy in the Middle East, American interference is destroying every possibility of ordinary people rising up and demanding change from their own governments. In Syria, the people rose up against President Bashar al-Assad because of genuine grievances against that regime. The outcome of U.S. support for Sunni extremists in Syria has been a swing from people supporting the American aim of ousting Assad to rallying behind their own terrible government to save them from the spread of Islamic fundamentalism. With an irony that can be lost on no one, authoritarian Russia and the theocracy in Iran are now allies of Syria in that struggle.

Tectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump 1

In another reckless act of overturning Obama’s legacy, the new Trump administration halted Hillary Clinton’s plan to de-radicalise the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) in Albania. Since then, American anti-Iran politicians have stuffed the MEK down the throats of the international community as the regime change opposition that will bring freedom and democracy to Iran. Since Iranians hate the MEK more than the current Islamic Republic, this has been a gift to the hard-liners in Iran. To quell every protest or demonstration since then, Iran’s security forces have only to claim that MEK are involved in inciting violence for the ordinary people to go home and announce their abhorrence of the MEK.

American actions are consolidating people around their own hated governments instead of helping them express their legitimate demands. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s response to the anti-government protests in Iran in November was to repeat false information published by the MEK about the death toll. When Pompeo retweets MEK propaganda it destroys any trust among Iranians that the U.S. has their interests in mind.

In another remarkable example of how Pompeo has frittered away American power and influence, just weeks ago, disgruntled Iraqi citizens were in the streets demonstrating against Iranian interference in their country. Instead of supporting them, Pompeo oversaw the U.S. bombing of Iraqi militia forces that were fighting against ISIS. The Iraqi people cannot take the U.S. side over this no matter how anti-Iran they are. If America had done nothing, said nothing, Iraqi people would still be in the street demonstrating against their own government. Instead, different Iraqis attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Now, in a pivotal act of hubris, the illegal assassination of Soleimani and Iraqi militia leaders at an international airport not only allows Iran to describe the U.S. as a terrorist state, but has brought Iranians of every belief together to rally together to mourn a national hero, the man who saved Iran from ISIS.

But it would be a mistake to believe that the U.S.’s Middle East foreign policy mistakes only impacted that region. In 1981, France gifted the CIA some land to host the MEK outside Paris from where they could plan their armed resistance to the new regime. Although France did not use the MEK politically as America did, their presence was tolerated. Until, that is, MEK activities began to impact European security and democracy.

In 2017, John Bolton, just before he became Trump’s National Security Advisor, promised the MEK they would celebrate in Tehran before the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution in February 2019. That did not happen, of course. But events subsequent to this promise certainly indicated there were already plans afoot to use the MEK to undermine European policy toward Iran. A bomb plot against the MEK in France was discovered by security forces in France and Belgium to have been a false-flag operation by the MEK used to blame and demonize Iran. After numerous acts of violence and confirmation that the MEK had funded Spain’s far-right Vox party in its EU election bid, several European countries, including Germany and the Netherlands as well as France and Belgium moved to expel MEK leaders, including leader Maryam Rajavi, to Albania.

In Albania, the MEK have caused multiple headaches for the government and the opposition there. The worst result of which has been the EU’s refusal to allow Albania to join the union. After kicking out the MEK, no European country would allow them to enter through the back door again.

Significantly, what these policy steps over time have revealed to America’s foes and her friends alike is that the U.S. cannot be trusted. The Trump administration has shown a reckless disregard for normal behavior in the international scene. It acts with callous cruelty and indifference against enemies and allies alike.

The unwanted assassination of Soleimani will result in tectonic shifts in the world order. No matter how hard mainstream media in the West works to normalize America’s actions, security and military experts the world over will have their own ideas about what the future holds.

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