Hossein Jelveh, Press TV, September 25 2018:… In 2016 and 2017, Saudi Arabia’s former spy chief, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, attended MKO meetings in Paris. “Advance with God’s blessings,” bin Faisal said in a speech in the 2016 meeting, wishing the terrorists success in attempting “regime change” in Iran. In 2018, another meeting in Paris attracted Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to …
Traitors to the homeland
By Hossein Jelveh
(You can follow Hossein Jelveh on Twitter @hossein_jelveh)
When Iranians rose up against the tyrannical rule of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1979, they had a picture of what they wanted in its place. It took them a short while, however, to translate that picture into a functioning government that would, among the other things expected of it, establish security.
For nearly a year, a number of outfits openly engaged in armed activity against the new government inside the capital and other cities.
One group was particularly notorious: the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), known to most other countries by another acronym, the MEK, which espoused a twisted ideology of Marxism and terror combined.
MKO had its roots in a formerly Islamic, student movement against Mohammad Reza Shah, but it had dropped Islam and adopted Marxism along the way, purging those of its members who had refused to acquiesce.
In its metamorphosized form, and after the Islamic Republic was established, MKO would bomb government buildings, conduct targeted killings of prominent political and religious figures, and most grotesquely, carry out routine blind assassinations of ordinary Iranians out on the streets in an attempt to create a sense of instability, insecurity, and fear.
Fear, it thought, would ultimately lead to popular dissatisfaction with the new regime.
It was wrong. And it failed.
Soon, and as the republic gradually solidified, putting into order its security apparatuses, MKO was subdued. Many of its members were either taken into custody or taken out in well-planned security operations. Others either gradually came to their senses and defected, or fled the country.
Dead men (and women) walking
The killing sprees of MKO were finished. But the group itself wasn’t.
In September 1980, a little over a year and a half after the revolution, the then-regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Iran, wishing to topple the nascent republic and overtake territory.
That invasion started after Hussein won the blessing of the United States, via the then-National Security Advisor Zbigniew Berzinski, according to Sasan Fayazmanesh, in his book “The United States and Iran: Sanctions, wars and the policy of dual containment.” (Routledge, 2008)
For MKO, the war had an inherent irony. It both threw the group’s surviving members a lifeline and lay bare their most treasonous colors, hastening their effective death:
They joined the Iraqi invasion of their own fatherland, as rank and file — cannon fodder, really. The Iraqi dictator — who was himself overthrown in 2003 by his initial American backers — gave MKO military training and hardware, and a camp near the Iranian border.
Hussein, who eventually agreed to a truce in 1988, nevertheless mobilized MKO members in a relatively large-scale offensive against Iran days after the truce agreement. MKO declared it would be marching to Tehran in a matter of “48 hours.”
Again, it failed.
In a counter-offensive code-named “Operation Mersad,” Iranian armed forces not only thwarted MKO but also almost decimated the group. Bodies of helmeted, indoctrinated young men and women were strewn across the roads or stuck in the mangled wreckage of tanks and other armored vehicles, along Iran’s western borders after the operation.
When Saddam was toppled in 2003 and a new government took over, the group felt endangered. (It had been designated a terrorist organization by the US since 1997.) So, it was crucial that MKO now got another lease on life.
In the period between the end of the Iran-Iraq War and the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, political winds had already begun to shift, in a way that would somehow benefit MKO:
After he failed to overtake Iranian territory, Hussein invaded and annexed the fellow-Arab state of Kuwait, angering the very similarly fellow-Arab states that had funded his war machine against Iran just years earlier. He faced solid opposition, by a coalition of military forces, with the US at its head, which pushed him back to within Iraqi borders but stopped short of an invasion.
Training assassins and taking them off the terror list
But, no more an obedient friend of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and America, Hussein was bound to be taken out, a fate that met him in 2003.
What had remained intact of MKO in the ruins of Iraq, however, could still be exploited. At least, so thought Iran’s adversaries.
Saudi funding began to pour in. And “generously-compensated” legions of American lobbyists joined. To no one’s surprise, the group was taken off the State Department’s list of designated terrorist organizations in 2012.
In the lobbying campaign that was launched, “[m]any of the American supporters, though not all, accepted fees of $15,000 to $30,000 to give speeches to the group, as well as travel expenses to attend M.E.K. rallies in Paris,” The New York Times reported that same year.
Furthermore, American journalist Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer Prize winner who has written for The New Yorker, reported in 2012 that a number of MKO members were secretly trained by the United States Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at the Department of Energy’s Nevada National Security Site, a secretive training facility northwest of Las Vegas, in a program that began in 2005 and purportedly ended “sometime before President Obama took office.”
“The M.E.K.’s ties with Western intelligence [had already] deepened after the fall of the Iraqi regime in 2003,” Hersh wrote.
He also cited an NBC report — itself citing “two senior Obama Administration officials” — that said MKO “units… financed and trained by Mossad, the Israeli secret service” had been involved in the assassination of four Iranian nuclear scientists and an attempted attack on another one after 2007.
Funding ‘regime change’
But Iranian counterintelligence stopped any more such activity.
By 2016, MKO’s hands were increasingly tied. It had to fully leave its last camp in Iraq for the Albanian capital, Tirana. Yet, it was now being more openly embraced by Iran’s Western and Arab adversaries.
In 2016 and 2017, Saudi Arabia’s former spy chief, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, attended MKO meetings in Paris. “Advance with God’s blessings,” bin Faisal said in a speech in the 2016 meeting, wishing the terrorists success in attempting “regime change” in Iran.
In 2018, another meeting in Paris attracted Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to US President Donald Trump, and Stephen Harper, a former prime minister of Canada. Both of them, too, gave speeches advocating“regime change” in Iran.
In September came a revelation of how the group received funding for its “regime change” agenda all along the way: through Saudi smuggling networks and Saudi-linked black market sales.
Former MKO member Massoud Khodabandeh, “who personally oversaw the transfers,” told Jordanian newspaper Albawaba that “Saudi officials operating within the security apparatus of Turki bin Faisal al Saud, the head of Saudi intelligence at the time, and the late king Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, gave the MEK three tons of solid gold, at least four suitcases of custom Rolex watches and fabric covering the Kaaba, the most holy site in Islam. The transfers were worth hundreds of millions of dollars.”
“Gold and other valuable commodities were be shipped from Saudi Arabia to Baghdad. Then, they would be sold in black markets in Amman, Jordan[,] via Saudi-linked businessmen; the money would go to offshore accounts linked to the MEK, funding their operations.”
“Fraud and money laundering” were other source of revenue.
“From Washington D.C., to Tampa, Dallas, Los Angeles and even London, Stockholm and Paris, the MEK operated ‘cells’ that took part in fraud schemes and fake charities,” according to Albawaba, which cited an FBI investigation of the activities.
But, despite the showbiz and the speakers beckoned by the specter of Saudi money, MKO grew increasingly irrelevant in actual space in later years. That was when it took to the virtual.
In an article titled “Faking the online debate on Iran,” Al Jazeera looked at MKO’s latest anti-Iran activities, online.
Late last year, when short-lived protests erupted in some Iranian cities, MKO saw a virtual opening.
Hassan Shahbaz, another former MKO member, said, “Our orders would tell us the hashtags to use in our tweets in order to make them more active. It was our job to provide coverage of these protests by seeking out, tweeting and re-tweeting videos while adding our own comments,” according to Al Jazeera.
Hassan Heyrani, also a former member, said “several thousand accounts” were being run “by about 1,000-1,500” MKO members to turn anti-Iranian hashtags into top trends.
And bots came in handy, too. Lots of them.
Marc Owen Jones, a keen observer of online political propaganda by Saudi Arabia, told the Qatar-based news channel, “If you want to use bots to be effective, you need a lot of accounts, which means you might create a lot of accounts on a specific day or week or month. The majority of the accounts tweeting on the #FreeIran and #Iran_Regime_Change hashtag from late December  up to May, were created within about a four-month window. What that would suggest is that a lot of the activity on those hashtags came from bots.”
The MKO online propagandists may be aided by Saudi companies that, according to an earlier investigation by BBC, offer “automated ‘bot’ accounts” for as little as 200 dollars “to artificially boost the popularity of hashtags to make them trend on Twitter – in contravention of the social media network’s rules.”
(Although not exactly well-liked by his cousin rulers, Saudi Prince Waleed bin Talal — a Twitter shareholder — may be pulling a few strings of his own, may he not?!)
All of that while Twitter recently closed — in the words of Foreign Minister Javad Zarif — the accounts of real Iranians while ignoring MKO’s anti-Iran propaganda activities.
Hello @Jack. Twitter has shuttered accounts of real Iranians, incl TV presenters & students, for supposedly being part of an 'influence op'. How about looking at actual bots in Tirana used to prop up 'regime change' propaganda spewed out of DC? #YouAreBots https://t.co/dTs0diYrM4
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) September 16, 2018
Khodabandeh, the former MKO member, told Al Jazeera that the group had “changed from a terrorist military organisation to an intelligence-based propaganda machine.”
He is wrong. MKO continues to be the terrorist organization that it has always been. The only difference now is that, facing Iranian power like never before, the group and its sponsors can only attempt online subversion against Iran. Like Saddam Hussein of Iraq, MKO and the House of Saud will have their expiration dates for the US. And until that day arrives, they can wiggle only as much.
MEK Gathering Or Rendezvous In Paris?!
Mazda Parsi, Nejat Society, September 09 2018:… At the end of June, they both traveled to Paris for the annual conference of Mujahadeen-e-Kak (MEK), an Iranian opposition-in-exile group..Somehow installed on a preconference panel, Ryan struck this person as generally intelligent, but clueless about foreign policy. Later, at the private dinner hosted by MEK leader Maryam Rajavi …
MEK Gathering Or Rendezvous In Paris?!
It seems that American advocate of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ the Cult of Rajavi) are not only motivated by the group’s large amounts of speaking fees but also by love affairs. On June 12th, 2018, Page Six was first to reveal the affairs of the former New York mayor and the personal attorney of Donald Trump attorney, Rudy Giuliani with Maria Rosa Ryan –both MKO supporters:
Rudy Giuliani cheated on his wife with a married New Hampshire hospital administrator, multiple sources told The Post.
The mayor-turned-presidential lawyer, 74, and Maria Rosa Ryan, 53, began their affair before he and wife Judith Nathan separated last month — and Nathan filed for divorce five days after the pair was spotted getting cozy at a resort hotel in the Granite State.
Giuliani, who has recently been the face of President Trump’s legal team, denied the affair to The Post Tuesday after it broke the story of his relationship with Ryan.
He acknowledged that he and Ryan had dinner and watched a movie at the posh spa — but claimed he was already “in effect separated’’ from Nathan at the time.
But Nathan, 63, angrily shot back in a statement, “My husband’s denial of the affair with the married Mrs. Ryan is as false as his claim that we were separated when he took up with her.”
Nathan filed for divorce April 4 — after Giuliani publicly stepped out with his mistress on a March 29 tour of the hospital she runs. The visit was covered by local TV news cameras.
The former US attorney — who as head of global consulting and security firms has done business for nations including Qatar and Colombia, as well as OxyContin drug giant Purdue Pharma — told reporters he was touring the tiny, rural hospital to learn about its cybersecurity program.
Local ABC-TV affiliate WMUR aired video of ”America’s Mayor” walking with Ryan through her 25-bed Cottage Hospital
Giuliani said he hopes to take what he can learn in Woodsville and incorporate it into his cybersecurity firm,” WMUR reported.
Ryan crowed to the Caledonian-Record newspaper that Cottage “was among the first hospitals in the nation to adopt the newest technologies’’ — and “that’s why we get a lot of attention from people like Rudy Giuliani.”
But after the hospital tour, Giuliani and Ryan — who lives with her husband, Robert, a former Marine, in Manchester — headed an hour north to the Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa in Whitefield.
The thrice-married Giuliani booked the posh resort’s spacious Summit Suite — with views of the Presidential Range — for the pair, sources said.
Past guests at the historic, four-star spot include Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, author Stephen King and former first lady Michelle Obama.
Giuliani and Ryan dined with three male guests in the resort’s private dining area, The Hunt Room, on March 29, according to sources. He ordered the $32 beef rib.
After dinner, “the woman went back to his room with him,” a waitress told The Post.
“We were all surprised because he is really getting on in years, and she was quite a bit younger than him. We were all like, ‘Hmmm,’ ” the server added.
Hotel staff noted that while Giuliani didn’t seem as if he was trying to hide his girlfriend from them, he was careful to meet with Ryan only in more secluded areas of the resort.
A male assistant for the former New York City mayor made sure that his boss was on the hotel’s “VIP list’’ and arranged for him to watch “The Godfather” and “Godfather II” in its private movie-screening room.
“[Giuliani] was VIP, so when he requested the movies, I made sure to have them ready for him,” a hotel employee said. “We all recognized him right away. We were all very impressed.”
On August 31, an investigated report on what has happened to the Giuliani couple was covered by the New York Magazine. Interviewing Rudy’s third wife Judith, the NY Magazine’s columnist Tish Durkin gives a detailed account on the affairs of the President’s attorney. In parts of the report the journalist states that Ryan and Giuliani travelled to Paris together to attend the MKO-run rallies:
Ryan seems to be a very well-respected figure in the field of rural health care. Her involvement in Iranian-dissident politics, however, is new and strikingly coincident with Rudy’s. At the end of June, they both travelled to Paris for the annual conference of Mujahadeen-e-Kak (MEK), an Iranian opposition-in-exile group.
“He had this woman with him, and her daughter and granddaughter,” recalls one attendee, still aghast at the revealing attire all three sported at a conservative Muslim event. (Having married as a teenager, Ryan is both about two decades younger than Rudy and a grandmother.) Somehow installed on a preconference panel, Ryan struck this person as generally intelligent, but clueless about foreign policy. Later, at the private dinner hosted by MEK leader Maryam Rajavi, Ryan was no more covered up, but the personal nature of her relationship with the former mayor was more clearly exposed.
 Marsh, Julia & Reuven Fenton & Gabrielle Fonrouge, Rudy Giuliani’s wife filed for divorce after his affair with married woman, Page Six, June 12, 2018.
Durkin, Tish, The Giulianis Break up and Rudy breaks down? How Judi diagnoses her ex’s new “dissembling” condition, NY Magazine, August 31, 2018
Trump has tough sell recruiting Iranian-Americans in campaign against Tehran
Nahal Toosi, Politico, July 20 2018:… One Iranian diaspora faction that has supported many Trump policies is the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, a group with leftist roots that the U.S. previously listed as a terrorist outfit. But the MEK has few backers in Iran, even though it has major defenders among Trump’s aides and confidants. Among those who’ve spoken at MEK events are Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton. It’s not …
Trump has tough sell recruiting Iranian-Americans in campaign against Tehran
Divisions in the community and opposition to the administration’s travel ban face Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he addresses leaders this weekend.
By NAHAL TOOSI
As President Donald Trump looks for ways to pressure the Islamist government in Tehran, he is seeking the support of Iranian-Americans in the U.S. — even though his administration has barred their Iranian relatives from visiting, imposed sanctions on their ancestral homeland and is suspected of sidelining an Iranian-American official partly due to her heritage.
Prominent members of the Iranian-American community have been invited to a gathering on Sunday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Simi Valley, California, where he will deliver a speech, titled “Supporting Iranian Voices,” and engage in a Q&A, according to the State Department.
The unusual outreach to Iranian-Americans is a facet of a ramped-up public diplomacy campaign the Trump team is pursuing as part of a broader, if still fuzzy, strategy on Iran, a country that the White House maintains is a major threat to America and its Middle East allies.
Already, the administration has issued 12 demands of Iran’s clerical leaders, a list so broad that some analysts say it amounts to a call for regime change. The administration has also increased its use of social media targeting Iranians, using Twitter and other platforms to cheer on protests in Iran, highlight the government’s economic mismanagement and, especially lately, challenge its abuse of human rights.
In a May speech in which he unveiled the 12 demands, Pompeo promised that the Trump administration would “advocate tirelessly for the Iranian people,” adding: “The regime must improve how it treats its citizens.”
But trying to get Iranian-Americans on board with Trump’s agenda will be a tricky task.
Iranian-Americans, while generally well-educated, economically well-off and unhappy with the government in Tehran, hold diverse political views. Many support gradual reform in Iran and disdain what they see as Trump’s ethnic and religious chauvinism. Some support a change of leadership and are happy to see a U.S. president stand up to the clerics in Tehran. There are monarchists and hard-core secularists among them. And many simply try to avoid politics altogether.
“I don’t think that anyone in U.S. politics really understands the fractures in the Iranian-American community,” said Kia Hamadanchy, an Iranian-American from California who recently mounted an unsuccessful Democratic bid for Congress. “But I do think it is smart for the administration, as public relations, to seek Iranian-American voices who support their policies, even if their policies are wrong-headed or dumb and not supported by the majority in the community.”
The divisions have become apparent in recent days as prominent Iranian-Americans have debated among themselves whether to accept the invitations to the Pompeo speech.
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans told POLITICO that some of its representatives would attend. PAAIA stressed that it disagreed with many of the administration’s policies, including Trump’s decision to scuttle the nuclear agreement, which gave Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
Still, “it’s important for Iranian-Americans to have a direct line of communication with officials that create and implement policy that affects our community,” the group said in a statement.
The National Iranian American Council, on the other hand, said its staff appeared to have been blackballed by the administration and that it might stage protests against Pompeo’s speech. The organization, a major defender of the Iran nuclear deal whose leaders have vociferously criticized Trump, has not gone so far as to urge Iranian-Americans to decline the invitation.
But it is warning them not to get used as props.
“Just as the Bush administration cultivated a few Iraqi exiles and talked about human rights to provide legitimacy for a disastrous invasion of Iraq,” the group said, “the Trump administration appears intent on using Iranian exiles to advance dangerous policies that will leave the Iranian people as its primary victims.”
Sunday’s event is being held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Center for Public Affairs. A State Department spokesman said Pompeo would take questions from the audience, although an invitation to the gathering indicated that questions must be submitted in advance.
The audience is not limited to Iranian-Americans, and lawmakers are expected to be among the attendees. Choosing to hold the event in California, however, is logical given the large number of the state’s residents with Iranian ancestry, estimated in the hundreds of thousands at least.
The State Department declined to say who among the Iranian diaspora it had invited, but the guest list appears to include a range of activists, analysts and business leaders, as well as representatives of the Iranian-American Jewish community and other minority groups.
An Iranian-American community organizer said invitees had been assured there would be an opportunity to talk to Pompeo and other administration officials beyond the speech and Q&A. The invitations sent to the Iranian-Americans include an after-program dinner.
Some Iranian exiles targeted by the Islamist government have also been invited, although it’s not clear how many will attend. They include Masih Alinejad, who has fought the Iranian leadership’s rules mandating that women wear headscarves and who recently released a book about her efforts.
Alinejad won’t attend because she doesn’t want her cause to be affiliated with any political faction, said Nazee Moinian, a well-connected Iranian-American consultant who spoke on Alinejad’s behalf.
Moinian, who is Jewish and advised Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign on Iran policy, plans to attend. She noted the diverse views held by Iranian-Americans but maintained that the “common denominator for all who are going is that they know this regime in Tehran does not serve the interests of the Iranian people.”
Others who plan to attend said they were doing so partly out of curiosity, even if they are deeply unhappy with some Trump administration policies on Iran.
The travel ban in particular has galled Iranian-Americans. The ban covers a handful of mainly Muslim countries, but Iranians are the largest group affected. Trump says the ban is an anti-terrorism measure, but, although it has some exceptions, the way the administration has implemented it has effectively kept out of the U.S. numerous ordinary Iranians, including some who’d hoped to go to college here and many who simply wanted to visit relatives.
Opponents of the travel ban say it is a cruel, bigoted and hypocritical policy by an administration that insists it cares about the people of Iran.
“If the administration really cared about the human rights of Iranians, it would lift the travel ban,” said one Iranian-American who plans to attend Pompeo’s speech but asked not to be identified by name.
Iranian-American activists have also been troubled by other moves the Trump administration has made that smack of discrimination against Muslims or others from the Middle East.
One case that caught the community’s attention was that of Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, an accomplished U.S. civil servant who was pushed out of a top State Department position after discussions among Trump administration officials that included the false assertion that she was born in Iran. Nowrouzzadeh was also attacked by the conservative media, which questioned her loyalty to Trump and her role in helping craft the Iran nuclear deal.
Most Iranian-Americans, according to surveys commissioned by PAAIA, supported keeping the nuclear deal, which was negotiated under President Barack Obama.
Trump’s decision to scrap the agreement, and thus reimpose sanctions, has many Iranian-Americans worried about the effect those sanctions will have on ordinary Iranians who already deal with a shaky economy. But, anecdotally at least, some hope that the sanctions will help prompt the collapse of the clerical leadership, and they point to recent protests in Iran as signs of the strain.
One Iranian diaspora faction that has supported many Trump policies is the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, a group with leftist roots that the U.S. previously listed as a terrorist outfit. But the MEK has few backers in Iran, even though it has major defenders among Trump’s aides and confidants. Among those who’ve spoken at MEK events are Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton.
It’s not clear whether anyone affiliated with the controversial group has been invited to Pompeo’s speech. A spokesman for the MEK did not respond to a request for comment.
Some Iranian-Americans, meanwhile, support restoring the monarchy in Iran, whose shah fled amid the late-1970s revolution that brought the Islamists to power. Reza Pahlavi, the son of the late shah, lives in the U.S. and describes himself as an advocate for secular democracy in Iran. His office said on Wednesday that it is aware of the event and that Pahlavi “supports and encourages” such dialogue. It did not say whether Pahlavi was invited.
Among those hoping to attend is Goli Ameri, an Iranian-American businesswoman who served as an assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs during the administration of George W. Bush.
“We are fortunate to call a country home that respects and solicits the voice of its citizens,” Ameri said.
Pompeo and Trump Plan to Exploit and Silence Iranian Americans
National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Washington, D.C. July 17 2018:… It should be abundantly clear that Secretary Pompeo, who called for bombing Iran instead of negotiations, is no friend of the Iranian people. Similarly, Trump – whose national security advisor and lawyer have elevated the voices of an undemocratic, human rights abusing cult, the MEK, to become the next leadership of Iran – does not have the Iranian …
Pompeo and Trump Plan to Exploit and Silence Iranian Americans
Washington, D.C. – Jamal Abdi, the Vice President for Policy of the National Iranian American Council, issued the following statement in response to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that he will address Iranian Americans in Simi Valley later this month:
“The quest for human rights and democracy in Iran can only be owned by the Iranian people. It cannot be owned by the U.S., Israel, or Saudi Arabia. It cannot be decided by Iran’s government or even Iranian exiles.
“What President Trump and Secretary Pompeo want is to exploit Iranian Americans and co-opt the Iranian people to provide legitimacy for the Trump Administration’s Iraq War redux for Iran. Just as the Bush Administration cultivated a few Iraqi exiles and talked about human rights to provide legitimacy for a disastrous invasion of Iraq, the Trump Administration appears intent on using Iranian exiles to advance dangerous policies that will leave the Iranian people as its primary victims.
“If Sec. Pompeo really wants the Iranian-American community to embrace the Trump agenda, he must start with a sincere apology and rescind Trump’s ban that is dividing Iranian Americans from their friends and loved ones in Iran. He should apologize for the Administration’s move to banish the most prominent Iranian-American national security official from policymaking decisions due to her heritage. Moreover, he should apologize for the decision to strip the Iranian people of their hope for relief from sanctions and greater connections with the outside world, instead ensuring they will be crushed between U.S. sanctions and resurgent hardline forces in Iran’s government that have benefited from Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear accord.
“It should be abundantly clear that Secretary Pompeo, who called for bombing Iran instead of negotiations, is no friend of the Iranian people. Similarly, Trump – whose national security advisor and lawyer have elevated the voices of an undemocratic, human rights abusing cult, the MEK, to become the next leadership of Iran – does not have the Iranian people’s best interests at heart. The Trump Administration’s close coordination with Benjamin Netanyahu and Mohammad Bin Salman, who are motivated by their own political gain and regional power dynamics rather than any love for democracy or the Iranian people, should dispel any notion this campaign is about helping ordinary Iranians.
“As Americans, we have a vital role to play in ensuring our democratically elected government does not start wars on false pretenses or destroy lives in our names. As Iranian Americans, our voices are particularly vital when it comes to the U.S. government’s efforts regarding our ancestral homeland. We will not be exploited or silenced at this critical moment in history.”
National Geographic, March 04 2017:… Leading MEK members squirm under the knowing gaze of Michael Ware. Watch the shifty looks and glances as the MEK representatives try to lie about their true intentions. They admit to wanting regime change, but claim to be pacifists. Ware asks ‘Why does a political organization still need to have a para-military organization?’ He then cleverly gets them to …
Associated Press, February 16 2017:… The group at one point successfully infiltrated the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, according to a State Department report. And a series of bombings attributed to the MEK accompanied visits by presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter to Iran, including one to target an American cultural center. In 1973, MEK assailants wearing motorcycle helmets shot dead U.S. Army Lt. …
Iran Interlink, February 15 2017:… The following OpEd by MEK advocate Col. Wes Martin was published first in The Hill, followed by Mojahedin Khalq’s “Iran Probe” and the “NCRI” websites. Iran Interlink has published it here as indication of how hysteria has become the new normal in American published writing. A form of madness appears to have infected US politics and now all and sundry are dancing …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, February 07 2017:… He also signals that his war is not with ISIS but with the country Iran. Donald Trump rose to victory in part on the promise to take on ISIS and defeat the group. Yet ISIS cannot be defeated except by a coalition of forces that includes Iran. The facts on the ground in Syria and Iraq demonstrate unequivocally that ISIS forces in Aleppo and Mosul have been defeated largely due to the involvement
Gazeta Impakt, Albania, Translated by Iran Interlink, January 01 2017:… According to Fatos Klosi, former director of the National Intelligence Service, the American CIA chief has warned Albania that Donald Trump will renounce support for the MEK terrorists and it will be the Albanian Government itself which must deal with internal security and must confront a group trained militarily from the time of Saddam Hussein …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, December 24 2016:… That can only happen if journalists and investigatory bodies (human rights, nuclear experts, war crimes, etc) are able to base their work on facts and not the fake and fictionalised fantasies of stooges like the MEK, which are clearly designed to misinform on these issues. The information laundry cycle is not difficult to follow – the Washington Times takes its report …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, November 12 2016:… In particular, Rudi Giuliani, John Bolton and Newt Gingrich. Putting aside their weak personalities as well as their individual neoconservative agendas, the common thread which links these names together is their decade long support for the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist organisation (also known as Saddam’s Private Army or Rajavi cult). It is certain that …
Iran Interlink, October 30 2016:… Local observers in Tirana are reporting that the Mojahedin Khalq cultic terror group (MEK) is buying and creating several sandwich and kebab shops in the city and is using the MEK members to work in these fast-food businesses. On the surface this may look like a positive move. In an article titled ‘Albania: What would a de-radicalization program for the Mojahedin Khalq involve’, it was …
Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh, Iran Interlink, October 16 2016:… In spite of American promises, no de-radicalisation programme is in place to deal with over 2500 members of the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group who have relocated to Tirana from Iraq. The MEK has a long history of violent and criminal activity. This has not stopped now they are in Tirana. Unless the Albanian government introduces its own programme, it must accept …
Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington post (and Top Topic), October 09 2016:… For the local citizens, mystery surrounds their arrival and their lifestyle. Should these secretive and covert neighbours be treated with suspicion or kindness? At a local level, the first thing neighbouring families need to be aware of is that among all MEK members, sexual relations have been banned for over 25 years. This means there are no marriages or children or young people in the organisation. More troubling …
Massoud & Anne Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, July 14 2016:… Whether Rajavi is already dead or now killable is not known – only he can answer this – but he and his whole organisation are certainly now, body and soul, in the capable hands of the Saudi Prince. If he is still alive, Rajavi’s only role is to act as go-between to instruct his wife what she must do on behalf of the Saudis. If he is dead
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, July 08 2016:… Clearly this message is not aimed at Iranians. The clamour for regime change in Iran does not emanate from inside the country in spite of its many social, civic and political problems. Who then is Maryam Rajavi’s constituency? Fro