Regime Change Using MEK A Hopeless Plan

Regime Change Using MEK A Hopeless Plan

Regime Change Using MEK A Hopeless PlanDr. Dan Steinbock, FX Street, January 23 2020:… By November 2017, Bolton urged the US to have a contingency plan for a “Shah of Iran scenario” and regime change before February 2019; the 50th anniversary of the Iranian revolution. His change agent was Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian opposition group which advocates a violent coup in Iran. In the early 2010s, the UK, EU and the US considered MEK a terrorist organization until then-State Secretary Hillary Clinton de-listed the group, to exploit it in US-led destabilization. Regime Change Using MEK A Hopeless Plan 

Regime Change Using MEK A Hopeless PlanDesignating UANI MEK Terrorists

Regime Change Using MEK A Hopeless Plan

The Story of Trump’s Perilous Iran Escalation

The Trump assassination of major general Qasem Soleimani reflects regime change efforts – withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal, new sanctions, covert operations, undermined de-escalation, plunging oil production and diminished economic prospects – that have taken a perilous turn.

On January 3, 2020, the plane of Qasem Soleimani, major general of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and commander of its elite Quds Force, arrived at Baghdad International Airport. At the same time, the US MQ-9 Reaper, a prime assassination drone, was loitering in the area with other military aircraft.

At the Airport, Soleimani left with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Iran-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces. As they entered two vehicles, the convoy headed toward downtown Baghdad. At 1 am local time, the Reaper launched several missiles on Baghdad Airport Road. The two cars exploded in flames killing some 10 people, including Soleimani and al-Muhandis.

After the devastation, whatever was left of Soleimani could be identified only by his ring. Ironically, several perished Iranian and pro-Iranian commanders had been instrumental in the defeat of Islamic State.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington had made an “intelligence-based assessment” that Soleimani was “actively planning in the region” to attack US interests. In turn, President Donald Trump declared Soleimani was behind “imminent attacks” on US diplomatic facilities and personnel across the Middle East.

That’s the official story.

Maria Ryan Rudy Giuliani and Saudi Paid MEK Terrorists in Albania

Undermining de-escalation    

Afterwards, Trump’s team got caught offering mixed messages about Iran’s “imminent” attacks as a justification for Soleimani assassination. National security adviser Robert O’Brien says Trump authorized eliminating Soleimani who cooperated with his allies “to kill American diplomats and soldiers in significant numbers.” Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper claims there was “exquisite intelligence” indicating Soleimani was “conducting preparing military operations” akin to “terrorist activities” against the US. In turn, Pompeo seized Iran’s past behavior as justification.

None of these reasons, which stress attributed intentions rather than hard evidence, seem credible in the light of Iran’s efforts at multilateral diplomacy, its challenging economic conditions and the behind-the-façade attempt at de-escalation with Saudi Arabia. However, the mixed messages do reflect a longstanding US effort to justify “permanent war” in the Middle East and certain other hot spots. The House resolution to limit Trump’s war powers against Iran is a move in the right direction but it can neither reverse the past policy mistakes nor halt the current escalation.

In the subsequent TV address, Trump delivered his Orwellian soundbite. “We took action last night to stop a war… We did not take action to start a war.” And yet, several US planes were taking off from bases in the eastern United States toward the Middle East as Pentagon sent 3,500 members of the 82nd Airborne Division, one of the largest deployments in decades.

Amid mega rallies for Soleimani and Iraqi parliament calling for the expulsion of US troops from the country, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei spoke about the impending “retaliation.” Trump warned Tehran that any retaliation would result in US targeting 52 Iranian significant sites, including cultural sites. The allusion was to the number of American hostages during the Iran hostage crisis some 40 years ago.

Then came the bomb shell. Two days after the assassination, Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi addressed his country’s parliament suggesting that Soleimani was on a peace mission. According to Abdul-Mahdi, he had planned to meet Soleimani on the morning the general was killed to discuss a diplomatic rapprochement that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Abdul-Mahdi said Trump personally thanked him for the efforts creating the impression that Soleimani could safely travel to Baghdad, even as the White House was busy planning a hit.

Subsequently, Pompeo rushed to defend the assassination, again. “We know that [the report about Soleimani’s peace mission] wasn’t true,” he said. “We got it right.” Once again, he presented no hard evidence.

In reality, the US assassination appears to have been the latest effort to preempt de-escalation plans in the region, to reinforce Iran’s destabilization. It follows years of misguided covert operations. Here’s how it happened.

From Trump’s U-turn to new Iran sanctions

Only a few years ago, there was still great hope in Iran. After years of diplomacy, the comprehensive nuclear accord (JCPOA, July 2015) was achieved between Tehran and the so-called P5+1 nations; that is, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, France, Russia, UK, and the US, plus Germany together with the European Union (EU). Under the deal, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, while the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) gained access to all Iranian nuclear facilities.

To Iran, the deal offered relief from US, UN and multilateral sanctions on energy, financial, shipping, automotive and other sectors. These primary sanctions were lifted after the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) certification in January 2016 that Iran had complied with the agreement. Yet, secondary sanctions on firms remained in place, along with sanctions applying to US companies, including banks.

After the 2016 US election, the Congress with its Democratic majority – not president-elect Trump – paved the way for a U-turn. Following the House of Representatives, the Senate in late 2016 unanimously extended the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for a decade. Stunningly, the deal that President Obama had portrayed as his legacy in the region was shot down surprisingly fast. Intriguingly, most Democrats reversed their positions regarding the nuclear deal.

As Trump arrived in the White House, he began developing a far more muscular policy against Iran to benefit from Saudi economic and geopolitical support. In May 2017, Trump and Saudi Arabia’s then-king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud signed a historical arms deal, which totaled $110 billion immediately and $350 billion over a decade. Widely perceived as a “counterbalance” against the Iranian influence in the region, it cemented the ties between Saudi Arabia and the US. However, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reform efforts have been tarnished by harsh measures against members of his family and opposition, the Khashoggi murder and dismemberment, and the devastating war and famine in Yemen.

In return for the Saudi deal, the White House began a concerted push to counter Iran’s regional and strategic weapons programs, which had been excluded from the Iran deal. In May 2018, Trump signed National Security Presidential Memorandum 11, “ceasing U.S. participation in the [Iran nuclear deal]” and taking additional action to counter Iran’s “influence and deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon.”

That’s when the US effectively nullified a decade-long unified, multilateral approach to Iran’s activities, while setting in motion unilateral economic sanctions, which have affected not just U.S. businesses but targeted commerce from other major economies, particularly China, France, Russia, UK, Germany and the EU.

Even after Iran’s missile attacks against two bases of American troops, which seem to have purposefully shunned human targets, Trump promised further ratcheting up of economic sanctions against Iran. The use of sanctions is predicated on a purposeful effort to overthrow the Iranian government.

From Bolton’s “Shah scenario” to regime change  

The Trump administration has greenlighted clandestine efforts to weaken Iran’s “moderates” hoping to incite “hawks” into strategic moves that could be used as a pretext for regime change. In April 2018, Trump hired the neoconservative uber-hawk John Bolton as US National Security Advisor (he was booted less than a year and half later). A relic of the Bush era, Bolton had engaged in the “weapons of mass destruction” pretense that led to the Iraq War. Now he advocated regime change in Iran and other countries.

By November 2017, Bolton urged the US to have a contingency plan for a “Shah of Iran scenario” and regime change before February 2019; the 50th anniversary of the Iranian revolution. His change agent was Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian opposition group which advocates a violent coup in Iran. In the early 2010s, the UK, EU and the US considered MEK a terrorist organization until then-State Secretary Hillary Clinton de-listed the group, to exploit it in US-led destabilization.

MEK cult that murdered 6 AmericansMEK Assassinated Americans

By November 2017, Bolton urged the US to have a contingency plan for a “Shah of Iran scenario” and regime change before February 2019; the 50th anniversary of the Iranian revolution. His change agent was Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian opposition group which advocates a violent coup in Iran. In the early 2010s, the UK, EU and the US considered MEK a terrorist organization until then-State Secretary Hillary Clinton de-listed the group, to exploit it in US-led destabilization.

Ali Safavi NCRI Regime Change Using MEK Remember: MEK was an American excuse to invade Iraq

To support his economic sanctions with clandestine operations, Trump named Michael D’Andrea as the head of CIA’s Iran operations. Nicknamed “Ayatollah Mike,” he inspired the character of The Wolf in the Oscar-awarded movie Zero Dark Thirty (2012). Although D’Andrea failed to track Nawaf al-Hazmi, one of the hijackers who crashed American Airlines flight 77 into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, he was made head of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center few years later. With President Obama’s blessing, he also presided over hundreds of US drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. His operatives oversaw several interrogations, which a US Senate report has described as torture. And he has been blamed for the Camp Chapman attack in Afghanistan in which seven CIA operatives were killed.

When the then-CIA chief Mike Pompeo became Secretary of the State, his deputy Gina Haspel took charge of CIA. Following 9/11, Haspel oversaw a secret CIA prison in Thailand, which housed suspected Al-Qaeda operatives. Relying on “enhanced interrogation techniques,” she, like D’Andrea, was deeply involved in the detention and interrogation program condemned by the 2014 Senate report.

Worse, Haspel played a key role in the destruction of 92 interrogation videotapes that showed the torture of detainees in black sites. While the Bush and Obama era CIA leaders supported her CIA nomination, more than 100 retired US generals and admirals expressed “profound concern,” due to her record.

Plunging oil production   

D’Andrea and Pompeo favor regime change in Iran and some observers see their covert-operation influence in the 2019-20 Iranian protests in many cities. As Iranians have greatly suffered from US efforts at domestic destabilization and international insulation, some demonstrators are obviously motivated by economic woes. But it also seems that Bolton’s Shah scenario and its variations remain on the table, as evidenced by the role of the US-sponsored Pahlavi loyalists among some protesters.

In contrast, Iranians see oil as the main reason to US interest in the Middle East. Iran and Iraq hold some of the world’s largest deposits of proved oil and natural gas reserves. Combined, their reserves exceed those of Venezuela, which has the world’s largest proved reserves.

Between 2010 and 2013, the sanctions hurt Iran’s economy contributing to the fall of crude oil exports from 2.5 million barrels per day to 1.1 million by mid-2013. That, in turn, was compounded by the plunge in oil prices since early 2014. Following the nuclear deal, Iran’s production soared back to 4 million barrels. With Trump’s efforts at regime change, the capacity steadily decreased to 3.7 million barrels per day (Figure 1). Recent OPEC estimates suggest it has plunged to 2.8 million barrels.

Figure 1  Iran’s Petroleum Production and Consumption, 2011-2018

Regime Change Using MEK A Hopeless Plan

Source: EIA; Difference Group.

If Iran’s production capacity takes a further hit, that will penalize particularly its biggest importers China, India, South Korea and Turkey.

Diminished Prospects                     

Since Russia and China were expected to stay behind the Iran nuclear deal, the real question was whether the European powers – Germany, France, the UK, and the EU itself – would defend it. Unsurprisingly, the Trump administration targeted European businesses that did business in and with Iran after the nuclear deal. In June 2019, the EU created a mechanism (INSTEX) that allows European countries to trade with Iran despite US sanctions. But it was too little, too late. Brussels failed to sustain the Iran nuclear deal against Trump’s unilateral moves.

Before 2015, Iran’s economy shrank by 9% two years, due to sanctions. After stabilization, sanctions relief enabled Iran’s oil exports to return to nearly pre-sanctions levels, permitted Tehran to regain access to funds held abroad, boosting 7% overall economic growth in 2016. Foreign energy firms made new investments in the energy sector and major aircraft manufacturers sold Iran’s commercial airlines new passenger aircraft. The relief contributed to the victory of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani in the 2017 presidential election. Growth broadened to the non-oil sector. Real GDP growth was projected to rise toward 4.5% over the medium-term as financial sector reform was anticipated to take hold.

But then came the Trump U-turn. In May 2018, he had the U.S. withdraw from the nuclear deal, while secondary sanctions drove Iran’s economy into mild recession as major companies exited the country rather than risk being penalized by the US. The value of Iran’s currency declined sharply. Even before the US escalation, Iran’s economy was expected to undergo a second consecutive year of recession and contract by 8.7% in 2019/20. Inflation was estimated to reach 38% annually with mounting fiscal pressures. Economic expansion, which began after the nuclear deal, has been undermined. Neither is stagnation enough for the Trump administration. What the White House is fostering is progressive contraction (Figure 2).

Figure 2   Iran: GDP Growth and Supply Side Components, 2011-22

Regime Change Using MEK A Hopeless Plan

Source: World Bank; Difference Group

Following the drastic re-escalation, Iran’s economy will have to cope with even more challenging downward risks. And if oil exports were to be curtailed further, the economy could enter into a steeper recession and suffer from high inflation rates. In such a status quo, the challenge of protecting the vulnerable households would put additional pressure on the government finances and potentially the rial. Unfortunately, that may be precisely the White House’s objective.

“The challenges highlight the crucial role of further economic diversification by focusing on non-oil sources of growth and government revenues,” the World Bank stated in a recent update. In reality, economic diversification can only be built on peaceful conditions and political stability, which allow governments to proceed with a medium-term diversification. Such preconditions predate Trump’s Iran policy that has undermined years of international, multilateral diplomacy.

The net effect is the most dangerous escalation in the Middle East in decades and possibly the last nail in the fragile global economic prospects that could cause a synchronized global contraction in the course of 2020.

Dr. Dan Steinbock is an internationally recognized strategist of the multipolar world and the founder of Difference Group. He has served at the India, China and America Institute (USA), Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (China) and the EU Center (Singapore).

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MEK Terrorists And UANI CEO Rudy Giuliani

Regime Change Using MEK A Hopeless Plan

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Assassination of Qassem Soleimani Spells End of Regime Change

Assassination of Qassem Soleimani End of Regime ChangeMassoud Khodabandeh, Iranian.com, January 07 2020:… 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 fuel protests in Iran in November was to repeat false information published by the Mojahedin Khalq (MEK) about the death toll. When the U.S. foreign secretary retweets MEK propaganda it destroys any trust among Iranians that the U.S. has their interests in mind. Assassination of Qassem Soleimani End of Regime Change 

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

Assassination of Qassem Soleimani Spells End of Regime Change

Trump’s foreign policy errors – who can trust America now?

by 

Assassination of Qassem Soleimani Spells End of Regime Change

Anyone who believes that President Trump’s order to illegally assassinate Iranian general 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.

Regime change is now in its coffin and the assassination of general Soleimani is the last nail hammered in.

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 JCPOA might have appeared to be a strongarm tactic to Trump, but to America’s allies in Europe it looked like a betrayal, 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 general 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 Assad because of genuine grievances against that regime. The outcome of US 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 Iran are now allies of Syria in that struggle.

In another reckless act of overturning Obama’s legacy, the new Trump administration halted Hillary Clinton’s plan to de-radicalise the Mojahedin 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.

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 fuel protests in Iran in November was to repeat false information published by the Mojahedin Khalq (MEK) about the death toll. When the U.S. foreign secretary 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, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo oversaw the U.S. bombing of Iraqi militia forces which 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 general Soleimani and Iraqi militia leaders at an international airport not only allows Iran to describe the US 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.

Assassination of Qassem Soleimani Spells End of Regime Change

But it would be a mistake to believe that the U.S.’s ME foreign policy mistakes only impacted that region. In 1981 France gifted the CIA some land to host the anti-Iran 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.

The unwanted assassination of general Soleimani is predicted to result in tectonic shifts in the world order.

In 2018, John Bolton, as 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. 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 op by the MEK used to blame and demonise Iran. Other MEK murders, assassinations and acts of violence in the European Parliament took place. Suspicions of the anti-democratic use of the MEK were confirmed as it was revealed that MEK were used to fund Spain’s far-right Vox party in its E.U. election bid. This led several European countries including Germany and the Netherlands as well as France and Belgium to expel MEK leaders and cadre, including leader Maryam Rajavi, to Albania.

In Albania, the American-backed MEK has caused multiple headaches for the government and the opposition there. The worst result of which has been the E.U.’s refusal to allow Albania to join the union. Having got rid of 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 behaviour in the international scene. It acts with callous cruelty and indifference against enemies and allies alike.

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

Assassination of Qassem Soleimani Spells End of Regime Change

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Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEK

Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEKMassoud Khodabandeh, Lobe Log, August 23 2019:… So, when Giuliani says we should be “comfortable” with this group, right-minded people the world over can honestly and unequivocally answer, “No, we are not comfortable ignoring this harsh reality just because the MEK amplifies an anti-Iran message to the world, and no, we don’t believe the MEK have any kind of future in Iran”. Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEK 

MSNBC_Massoud_KhodabandehThe MEK’s man inside the White House (Maryam Rajavi cult, Mojahedin Khalq)

Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEK

By: Massoud and Anne Khodabandeh (Middle East Strategy Conslultants)

Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEKLeaked photo of MEK’s Albanian headquarters

In 2017, John Bolton promised the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK)—wrongly, it turned out—that they would be celebrating in Tehran before the Iranian Revolution’s 40th anniversary in February 2019. This July, at the MEK’s five-day conference in Albania, keynote speaker Rudy Giuliani still insisted the MEK is a “government in exile” and claimed the MEK is “a group that should make us comfortable having regime change”.

For context, promoting a group which is universally despised by Iranians inside and outside the country as traitors already stretches credulity. There is no evidence that Iranians are calling for severe sanctions against themselves. Nor are they calling for regime change. The MEK’s only audience in this respect are a warmongering cabal of Americans, Saudis, Israelis, and British, who like to hear what they want to hear. The rest of the world just isn’t that comfortable with this bizarre, terrorist cult.

Lately, even Europe has distanced itself from lending succour to the group. The MEK no longer has free access to the European Parliament where its activists would harass the MEPs and their staff. This year the MEK was barred from holding its annual Villepinte rally in France and was also banned from rallying by Germany. As a result of this, MEK leader Maryam Rajavi has decamped from Paris to Albania and the MEK announced that Albania is the group’s new headquarters.

The move from Iraq to Albania ought to have allowed unprecedented access to Western journalists keen to investigate the honey pot around which the anti-Iran cabal buzz with excitement. They were soon disappointed, as the MEK built a de facto extra-territorial enclave in Manëz and posted armed guards to keep out unwanted attention. But although the group were physically hidden from view, they were very exposed through their cyber activities.

Although it had been known for some time that the MEK operates a click farm from Albania, it was Murteza Hussain in The Intercept who revealed how the MEK uses fake social media accounts to curate a false narrative about Iran to influence US policy. The Heshmat Alavi scandal focused media attention on what is really happening inside the MEK behind the slickly marketed brand image that Giuliani so admires. This endeavour to scrutinise the MEK has been aided by a series of photographs which were leaked from inside the MEK’s camp in Albania and published in Iran. The photos are very revealing, but in ways that the MEK probably didn’t intend or realise when they were taken. Since the MEK so zealously hides its inner world from public scrutiny, these photos offer us an unguarded glimpse into the operational and organisational life of the cult.

The fact that the photos were taken at all is significant. At first glance they could be showing a session for seniors at the local library or community centre. But we see the women are wearing military uniforms and the men are all wearing similar shirts. Some are wearing ties. This is something the MEK don’t ever do unless in a public facing role. This indicates the images have been deliberately staged for a particular external audience. Certainly they were not meant for internal consumption, but neither is this for the wider public or else they would be on the MEK’s own websites. Based on information about the MEK already in the public domain, we can assume these photos were commissioned by Maryam Rajavi as a marketing ploy to ‘sell’ the MEK brand to financiers and backers.

Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEKLeaked photos showing MEK members at work

There is clearly a deliberate effort to show that the MEK are “professional” workers in this computer room. Everyone is posed looking intently at a screen. Nobody is “off duty” in the pictures; yawning, stretching, drinking coffee, the normal activities of any workers. There is no evidence of relaxed, friendly chat between co-workers, everyone looks very serious. There are no cups of coffee or snacks on the desks. No pictures of family, husbands, wives, children, pets even. No plants or flowers. In spite of the rows of desks being squashed together closely, everyone looks very isolated.

There might be nothing wrong with that. After all, employers want to see their workers busy. But organisational photographs are also about marketing a brand, which includes marketing the core values of an entity. A group which claims, as the MEK does, that it is funded by public donations to struggle for democracy and human rights would surely want to create an image in the mind of the public about transparency, effectiveness, and positivity. By way of contrast, see how Human Rights Watch advertises its work culture. Even a quick Google image search on ‘call center worker’ reveals pictures of relaxed and smiling workers rather than people who look like battery hens. This is not the image any normal company or government office would use to promote their workplace.

In the MEK’s advertising photos the workers are gender segregated. Men sit in one room, women in another. The women all wear hijab. There is no pluralism here. The use of garden chairs and workers using glasses unsuited to screen work reveals that this management doesn’t care at all about the safety, comfort or wellbeing of the workers. They are using a mixture of outdated monitors and laptops. The cables are frayed and tangled.

There is no indication that the workers are happy at their workstations or enjoying their work. Why would they be with the picture of their leader bearing down on them, as in all dictatorships, lest they forget why they are there and who is in charge? (The picture of a solitary Maryam Rajavi is a clear acknowledgement that her husband Massoud Rajavi is dead.)

The MEK’s cultic system means that decisions are imposed from the top down. This means that those decisions are only as intelligent as the leadership. What Rajavi doesn’t understand is that these photos show beyond any words that the MEK doesn’t share our values. The leader is selling unthinking, unquestioning, obedient slaves, people who won’t act or speak unless ordered to do so. And that would only be ordered if it were productive for the MEK, regardless of the needs or desires of the worker.

What these images portray are conditions of modern slavery. These are elderly people who are unable to escape this cult and are coerced into performing work for which they receive no recompense. They exist on cruelly basic accommodation and sustenance, whereby even asking for new underwear puts the petitioner under question about their loyalty to the leader and the cause. They cannot leave because in Albania they have nowhere to go, no identity documents or work permits, no money, and they do not speak the local language. And also because the Trump administration wants the MEK to be there.

So, when Giuliani says we should be “comfortable” with this group, right-minded people the world over can honestly and unequivocally answer, “No, we are not comfortable ignoring this harsh reality just because the MEK amplifies an anti-Iran message to the world, and no, we don’t believe the MEK have any kind of future in Iran”.

(End)

Nobody Can Be “Comfortable” With Regime Change Involving MEK

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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

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Bolton Vs. Zarif On MEK

Bolton Zarif MEK IranMassoud Khodabandeh, Lobe Log, May 03 2019:… Hillary Clinton did not take money from the MEK while it was listed as a terrorist entity. And taking the group off the U.S. terrorist list, though controversial at the time due to the MEK’s own well-funded pressure campaign, was not wrong, as it enabled the UNHCR to relocate the members to the safety of a third country. Her plan to correct the mistakes of the Bush administration was a vital step toward making the Middle East and the rest of the world, including the United States, a safer place. Meanwhile, John Bolton continued to take money to promote the MEK’s warmongering agenda against American interests. Bolton’s False Flag Op Involving MEK

مسعود خدابنده آن سینگلتون پارلمان اروپا 2018Secret MEK troll factory in Albania uses modern slaves (aka Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, NCRI ,Rajavi cult)

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Bolton Vs. Zarif On MEK  

By: Massoud Khodabandeh (Middle East Strategy Conslultants)

Bolton Zarif MEK Iran Bolton’s False Flag Op Involving MEKHillary Cinton and John Bolton

When Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took to the airwaves during his visit to the UN in New York, particularly for an interview with Fox News, a frisson of surprised anticipation swept the American political polity. How was it possible that Iran, the pariah nation, not only had the audacity to enter the lion’s den, but from there to lecture the lion on its dirty behavior!

Of course, this is a spat that Iran cannot easily win. What mattered most was that Zarif did not go for the throat of the lion but instead those who are pulling its chain. In short, he accused a “B team”  of actively working to wage war on his country. And he singled out National Security Advisor John Bolton for supporting the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a group that believes in fomenting violent regime change in Iran.

A goaded Bolton went on Fox News to reply. But instead of answering Zarif’s accusations, Bolton merely blamed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for taking the MEK off the U.S. terrorism list in 2012. This was fantastic hubris. Bolton himself supported the MEK all the time it was on the list, attending rallies and taking speakers’ fees worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Bolton’s accusations against Clinton do not hold water. He, along with then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, started the war with Iraq partly on the pretext that Saddam Hussein supported terrorist groups, including the MEK, as an instrument of his foreign policy. Bolton was also on board with Rumsfeld when the United States unilaterally granted Protected Persons status to the MEK even while it was recognized a terrorist entity—in direct violation of international law.

With the election of President Obama in 2009, newly appointed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was left to clear up the mess Bolton and the cabal of neoconservatives created in Iraq. One of those problems was continued U.S. support for the MEK (which the United States designated a terrorist entity in 1997). With the help of a new tough negotiator in the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, Clinton set about finding a peaceful resolution to the standoff between the sovereign Iraqi government and the unwanted and parasitic MEK.

Clinton searched for third countries to absorb the MEK. But the MEK, enjoying the backing of anti-Iran regime change pundits in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States (including Bolton), dug in its heels and refused to be disbanded. In the end, only the dependent NATO ally Albania agreed to take the group’s members. Clinton authorized $10 million for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to transfer the MEK to Albania. She paid another $10 million for the establishment of a de-radicalization institute in Tirana to first deal with the MEK as preparation for handling returning Islamic State families. Another $10 million languishes in the account of the U.S. embassy in Tirana, money to rehabilitate the MEK members into normal society that Bolton and his cabal blocked.

All this was written into an agreement between the governments of Iraq, the United States, and Albania along with the UNHCR and the MEK. At that time this author was working as a consultant to the Iraqi government on security issues, including the safe containment and deportation of the MEK. I was relieved when the Obama administration found a safe and above all a peaceful solution to the threat posed by the MEK to the security of Iraq. I was pleased to find in this agreement specific steps toward humanizing individual MEK members and restoring them to normal life and their families.

As someone familiar with the MEK, John Bolton must then and is certainly now fully cognizant of the beneficial elements of this agreement. Yet, almost as soon as President Trump was elected, the de-radicalization project was put on hold, allowing the MEK over the next year to regroup and reactivate its anti-Iran activities. With the support of Bolton, former Senator John McCain, Rudi Giuliani, and a whole cast of minor cheerleading warmongers, the MEK has constructed a purpose-built closed training camp in Albania in which the members are kept as modern slaves to serve the MEK’s propaganda and terrorist agenda.

For all her faults, Hillary Clinton did not take money from the MEK while it was listed as a terrorist entity. And taking the group off the U.S. terrorist list, though controversial at the time due to the MEK’s own well-funded pressure campaign, was not wrong, as it enabled the UNHCR to relocate the members to the safety of a third country. Her plan to correct the mistakes of the Bush administration was a vital step toward making the Middle East and the rest of the world, including the United States, a safer place. Meanwhile, John Bolton continued to take money to promote the MEK’s warmongering agenda against American interests.

Before 2016, Iran did not have a diplomatic presence in Albania. Its embassy there dealt primarily with economic and cultural relations. But in 2018, the Albanian government of Edi Rama expelled two newly arrived Iranian diplomats at the behest of the Trump administration. John Bolton boasted about the achievement. Due to overt US support for the MEK, Iran drew its front line not in the Middle East but on the edge of the EU.

Now, with the Iranian foreign minister boldly speaking to the media inside the United States, Bolton has been reduced to deflecting rather than rebutting his accusations. Bolton’s master plan for a war against Iran has not only backfired but prompted Tehran to redraw its front line once again, this time in Washington, DC itself.

Massoud Khodabandeh is the director of Middle East Strategy Consultants and has worked long-term with the authorities in Iraq to bring about a peaceful solution to the impasse at Camp Liberty and help rescue other victims of the Mojahedin-e Khalq cult. Among other publications, he co-authored the book “The Life of Camp Ashraf: Victims of Many Masters” with his wife Anne Singleton. They also published an academic paper on the MEK’s use of the Internet.

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Bolton’s False Flag Op Involving MEK

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Bolton’s False Flag Op Involving MEK

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