The Rajavi Curse

The Rajavi Curse

The Rajavi CurseAnne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Iran Interlink, June 25 2021:… Rudi Giuliani is the latest in a long list of people who have advocated for Rajavi and the MEK, who have fallen from grace. Giuliani is, of course, the architect of his own downfall. His support for the MEK played only a small part in his long, often unsavoury career. (Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2020 Borat film played successfully on Giuliani’s dodgy reputation.) But Giuliani is in good company when we examine the roll call of individuals who have advocated for the MEK and subsequently lost their careers and their reputations – again often in only small part due to their association with the MEK. The Rajavi Curse 

The Rajavi CurseRudy Giuliani Maryam Rajavi ‘s lobbyist home raided by FBI

The Rajavi Curse

anne_Khodabandeh_Singleton_Tirana_1

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Rudi Giuliani is the latest in a long list of people who have advocated for Rajavi and the MEK, and who have fallen from grace. Giuliani is, of course, the architect of his own downfall. His support for the MEK played only a small part in his long, often unsavoury career. (Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2020 Borat film played successfully on Giuliani’s dodgy reputation.) But Giuliani is in good company when we examine the roll call of individuals who have advocated for the MEK and subsequently lost their careers and their reputations – again often in only small part due to their association with the MEK.

The common theme behind this phenomenon – which should be called the ‘Rajavi Curse’ – is corruption. Recently, the US Secretary of State sanctioned the former Albanian leader Sali Berisha over corruption. Berisha presided over the transfer of MEK from Iraq to Albania after 2013. Once they arrived in Albania, Berisha found a lucrative role in advocating for Maryam Rajavi and the MEK. His downfall reminds us of this ‘Rajavi Curse’.

MEK Problem For Albania Not Iran

Let’s be clear, all political persons and groups make alliances; some work out well, some work out badly. It should be well known by now that linking themselves to the Rajavis will always work out badly for everyone. From Robin Corbett (UK MP) who had to write denying he took money from the MEK shortly before his death. To Struan StevensonPaulo Casaca and Alejo Vidal-Quadras who abandoned their roles as MEPs after the taint of Maryam Rajavi touched them. Of course, John Bolton, Rudi Giuliani, John McCain and others in the US will be forever known as shills for the terrorist MEK. In Albania, former deputy anti-trafficking coordinator Elona Gjebrea, who fawned upon supreme slave owner Maryam Rajavi, was later linked to a mafia family. Now Sali Berisha is added to the long list of unfortunates touched by the Rajavi Curse. In June, Edi Rama’s government which is notoriously corrupt itself, impeached President Ilir Meta, citing corruption.

The Rajavi Curse

The Rajavi Curse

The roll call of the MEK’s backers is a who’s who of people in power who have tried over the years to inflict fatal damage on the Islamic Republic. They found, in the MEK, a group which offered a package of military, ideological and propaganda thrust which matched with their own anti-Iranian agendas. It mattered not a bit that the MEK members themselves are subjected to calamitous human rights abuses and extreme exploitation as modern slaves.

Several have been embroiled in scandals which are linked to their poor judgement like Sir David Amess, who as an MP advocated for Maryam Rajavi in parliament. Or Bob Torricelli and Bob Menendez who have peddled misinformation for, but not exclusively, the MEK. Others, like Dennis Hastert, are just bad characters and their willingness to shill for the MEK (Hastert appeared in MEK rallies in Paris), can be seen in that context.

Whatever their motivation for supporting and advocating for the MEK, these individuals have backed the losing side. A side which has lost because it is itself corrupt to the core. Maryam Rajavi is currently languishing in Albania, as far from Iran and its politics as could be imagined. Expelled from Europe in 2018, Rajavi has suffered nothing but diminishing forces and power. What we are witnessing as we see her advocates fail and fall along the way is not Rajavi’s power to corrupt people. Rather it is simply that it takes a level of corruption, greed and/or confidence trickery to allow a person to support such an unsavoury group. Whether that support is rooted in money, ideology, stupidity or brainwashing, the result is the same: the Rajavi Curse is toxic to all who come close.

The Rajavi Curse 

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Maria Ryan Rudy Giuliani MEK Albania 1Maria Ryan Rudy Giuliani and Saudi Paid MEK Terrorists in Albania

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/mek-israel-derailing-failed-democrats-try-new-tactic/

MEK Israel Derailing Failed – Democrats Try New Tactic

Anne Khodabandeh - MEK Israel Derailing Failed Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Iran Interlink, May 09 2021:… On its arrival in Vienna at the start of April, Iran’s delegation was confronted with a small picket of MEK supporters who heckled and threatened violence against them. The MEK demand is to end all negotiations with Iran, scrap the JCPOA and declare war instead. Although the MEK leadership has been expelled from the EU to Albania, it still receives tacit support from within the US embassy there. While the MEK remains a minor irritant to Iran due to its history of treachery and terrorism, US tolerance of what it regards as a terrorist cult signals a lack of sincerity on America’s behalf. MEK Israel Derailing Failed – Democrats Try New Tactic. 

Anne Khodabandeh - When Iranians and Israelis QuarrelWhen Iranians and Israelis Quarrel

 

MEK Israel Derailing Failed – Democrats Try New Tactic

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has alleged that negotiators don’t yet know if Tehran is serious about making a deal in Vienna. The US negotiators are talking with Iran’s negotiators on the sidelines of the meetings of the remaining JCPOA signatories. But perhaps the opposite is true. In spite of severe provocation, Iran did not abandon the talks and has kept its baseline proposition – if the US wants to re-join the JCPOA it must credibly lift sanctions and Iran will scale back its nuclear enrichment to agreed levels. Maybe, by focusing heavily on Iran’s compliance without offering a clear commitment to lifting the sanctions, it is the US that is not serious about the talks.

Anne Khodabandeh - MEK Israel Derailing Failed

MEK Israel Derailing Failed

Of course, from the start, opponents of the JCPOA agreement tried to derail the talks in Vienna which involved the US on the sidelines. Israel, Saudi Arabia and US neocons have all objected to the nuclear deal in the past. They have been active during the talks to prevent progress. The US has not reacted to this interference.

On its arrival in Vienna at the start of April, Iran’s delegation was confronted with a small picket of MEK supporters who heckled and threatened violence against them. The MEK demand is to end all negotiations with Iran, scrap the JCPOA and declare war instead. Although the MEK leadership has been expelled from the EU to Albania, it still receives tacit support from within the US embassy there. While the MEK remains a minor irritant to Iran due to its history of treachery and terrorism, US tolerance of what it regards as a terrorist cult signals a lack of sincerity on America’s behalf.

On a more serious level, Israel embarked on a course of action which could have provoked Iran into retaliation and withdrawal from the talks. However, despite an attack on Iran’s nuclear plant and its naval presence in the Persian Gulf and beyond, Iran did not abandon the talks as anticipated. The aim of Israel, as with the MEK, has been to drive a wedge between Iran and the US and EU so as to end the talks. This has not worked. The US continues talking with Iran.

However, the US has not condemned the Israeli nuclear attack, nor taken steps to curtail the unwanted activities of the MEK. In this context, it is not clear whether the Americans have had to come up with a different tactic. Rather than relying on external sources of disruption and hindrance to control the terms of talks with Iran, the US is now playing the blame game: Iran is not serious.

The US accusation looks hollow. Allowing the MEK to continue with its false narratives disseminated from the click farm in Albania can only be read by Iran as acting in bad faith. The US cannot control the Israeli reaction. But it can act to stop the MEK activity. A return to the de-radicalisation program instigated by the Obama administration in 2016 would be a good place to start.

Iran Interlink

MEK Israel Derailing Failed – Democrats Try New Tactic

The Rajavi Curse

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Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) : Explaining Radicalisation for Prevent and Channel 

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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

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

The Rajavi Curse 

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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

The Rajavi Curse 

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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 

The Rajavi Curse

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

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