Trump wants to meet Iran’s Rouhani. both allies and enemies stand in his way

Trump wants to meet Iran’s Rouhani. both allies and enemies stand in his way

Trump wants to meet RouhaniAdam Taylor, Washington Post, August 29 2019:… White House national security adviser John Bolton gave a speech at an event hosted by an Iranian exile group known as the Mujahedeen Khalq, MEK, or People’s Mujahedeen, where he openly called for the end of the religious regime that rules Iran. “The declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran,” Bolton told the audience. Trump on Monday reiterated an idea that is the exact opposite of Bolton’s proposal: “We are not looking for regime change in Iran.” It’s a message that the MEK, which has cultivated not only Bolton but also Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, will not like to hear. Trump wants to meet Iran’s Rouhani. both allies and enemies stand in his way 

Pssst, Whisper It, Even Iran’s Enemies Don’t Want Regime ChangePssst, Whisper It, Even Iran’s Enemies Don’t Want Regime Change

If Trump wants to meet Iran’s Rouhani, both allies and enemies will stand in his way

President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are scheduled to be in New York for the U.N. General Assembly in September. There is speculation that the two geopolitical rivals might meet on the sidelines of the event in a bid to de-escalate tensions between the United States and Iran.

Such a meeting would be a typical strategy for an American leader more focused on deals than dogma and willing to abruptly change his policy if it aids a negotiation. Trump met with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un after months of missile and nuclear tests last year; his administration has been willing to talk directly to groups as unsavory as the Afghan Taliban and even the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen.

But if Trump continues to pursue the idea of direct talks with his counterpart in Tehran, he will run into a serious backlash — not only from hard-liners in both Iran and the United States. The decision would again expose the distance between an opportunistic president and his ideological backers.

Both Trump and Rouhani have discussed the possibility of a meeting in recent days, with the U.S. leader sounding especially positive. “If the circumstances were correct, were right, I would certainly agree to that,” Trump said at a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron during the Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, on Monday. Trump later suggested that a summit could happen within weeks.

Advocates of a meeting hope that it might provide an off-ramp for tension between the United States and Iran. Last year, Trump pulled the United States out of an agreement between Iran and other world powers designed to limit Tehran’s nuclear program and subsequently reimposed U.S. sanctions on the country. Iran has stayed in the deal, but it broke some of its key limits on nuclear enrichment and has disrupted shipping in the Persian Gulf.

This summer, with Iran’s economy suffering real pain and the United States mulling bolstering its military forces in the region, there seemed to be the real possibility of another conflict in the Middle East, potentially even more devastating than the Iraq War. Even now, the situation remains fraught.

But while Trump’s push for dialogue with Rouhani might reduce the risk of conflict, it may also run counter to the views of some of his closest allies both at home and abroad. Mike Pompeo, Trump’s ever-loyal secretary of state, made his name in the House of Representatives opposing the 2015 nuclear deal that the United States signed under the Obama administration.

Earlier this year, Pompeo made a list of 12 strict demands that Iran would need to meet to rejoin negotiations. Trump contradicted this on Monday by suggesting that he could seek a “very simple” deal with Iran that focused on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. “Pompeo and Trump’s negotiating divergences cannot be ignored,” Tom Rogan of the Washington Examiner argues. “They are now crystal clear.”

White House national security adviser John Bolton gave a speech at an event hosted by an Iranian exile group known as the Mujahedeen Khalq, MEK, or People’s Mujahedeen, where he openly called for the end of the religious regime that rules Iran. “The declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran,” Bolton told the audience.

White House national security adviser John Bolton gave a speech at an event hosted by an Iranian exile group known as the Mujahedeen Khalq, MEK, or People’s Mujahedeen, where he openly called for the end of the religious regime that rules Iran. “The declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran,” Bolton told the audience.

Bolton Vs. Zarif On MEK

Trump on Monday reiterated an idea that is the exact opposite of Bolton’s proposal: “We are not looking for regime change in Iran.” It’s a message that the MEK, which has cultivated not only Bolton but also Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, will not like to hear.

Meanwhile, Trump’s greatest allies in the Middle East have thrown much of their support behind the American leader because of his tough Iran policy. They would balk if he reversed course. Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates oppose Iran’s nuclear ambitions but also its general regional influence — and though they fear a conflict with Iran, they worry about a capitulation to it as well.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, perhaps the closest of all of Trump’s foreign friends, may have taken matters into his own hands: Suspected Israeli airstrikes have hit targets in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq in recent days, raising concern about a war between a major American ally and Iranian-linked forces. Just weeks ahead of another Israeli election, U.S.-Iran reconciliation would be disastrous for Netanyahu.

If the proposed Trump-Rouhani meeting happens, it’d be thanks to the efforts of the American leader. Trump has been clear for a long time that he would meet with the Iranian president without preconditions; last year’s meeting with North Korea’s Kim shows his willing to ignore the advice of his domestic and international backers for the pageantry of a summit.

Trump Should Publicly Reject Giuliani and Mujahedin Khalq MEK Terrorism

Instead, the biggest obstacle to this meeting is not in Washington, but in Tehran, where Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has repeatedly rejected Trump’s personal diplomacy outreach, even though it was his sudden change of heart that allowed the 2015 nuclear deal to take place.

Iran hawks know this. “We were very lucky that until now the Iranians rejected all of Trump’s proposals for talks,” is how one senior Israeli official put it, according to a report by Axios’s Barak Ravid. For now, the chances of a reversal may be slim. “Khamenei’s legacy is at stake,” Henry Rome, an analyst with Eurasia Group, wrote in a note on Monday, pointing out that Khamenei is trying to find a successor.

Rouhani and his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, both have reputations as moderates, but they still require Khamenei’s approval for major moves. They also have plenty of reasons to be not so moderate on Trump — Zarif has been personally targeted by U.S. sanctions, while Rouhani has described the White House as “mentally crippled.”

On Tuesday, the Iranian president said that he would not meet with Trump unless the United States lifts sanctions. The demand also showed that Iran’s leaders have watched the aftermath of Trump’s interactions with North Korea’s Kim: The U.S. president still claims that his meetings with Kim were a victory, but there has been no meaningful progress on denuclearization and Trump’s allies have kept sanctions on North Korea.

With Trump about to start a potentially bruising election campaign and in the midst of a risky trade war, Iran’s leaders think they can get a better bargain. As Rouhani explained in a televised address on Tuesday: “We’re not interested in photos.”

Mujahedeen Khalq – MEK – touted as viable alternative

If Trump wants to meet Iran’s Rouhani, both allies and enemies will stand in his way

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sponsors MKO terrorists Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sponsors MKO terrorists 

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/nobody-can-be-comfortable-with-regime-change-involving-mek/

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”.

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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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