Sahar Family Foundation, Albania, August 14 2017:… Unfortunately, we are also witness to brutal behavior by the Albanian government and police towards the families. The families come to Albania to visit their loved ones. Where on earth is visiting loved ones considered a crime so that in your country these suffering families have been interrogated by the police and been treated as criminals after being beaten up by the cult’s mobs? The separated …
Letter of Sahar Family Foundation to the Albanian Ministry of Internal Affairs
Warning about threats against the families and former MEK members
(Ministria e Punëve të Brendshme)
Sahar Family Foundation (SSF)
August 11, 2017
Ministria e Punëve të Brendshme
Dëshmorët e Kombit Boulevard, Tirana, Albania
Dear Mr Dritan Demiraj,
As you are aware, over 2,000 members of a terrorist cult known as the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK, MKO, NCR, NLA …) are residing in your country as UN refugees. These individuals are subjected to all kinds of cultic abuses and restrictions, including deprivation of family contact and visits.
To date, some 100 individuals have separated from this cult. They remain in Albania, but under an agreement made between the UNHCR and the MEK leaders, their UN refugee allowances are still paid directly to the Rajavi cult instead of to them as individuals. This diversion of the funds meant to cover their living expenses means that they remain under the control of the cult.
In addition, inside the MEK there are also some 100 individuals who we know want to leave but who are prevented from doing so due to the extreme measures of control imposed on the members. Some of these individuals are even kept in solitary confinement inside the cult.
Recently, Maryam Rajavi – the de facto leader of the cult after Massoud Rajavi’s disappearance – again made a trip to Albania to try to prevent members from leaving. In a meeting, she implicitly threatened those who want to leave. We know that her arrival in and departure from Albania is arranged to avoid her undergoing passport control procedures at the airport. During Rajavi’s visit, Ms Elona Gjebrea, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs responsible for anti-trafficking, participated in a cult meeting and expressed her full support for the terrorist group.
Lately an article was published in a website associated with the cult which threatens the families of members and the former members with death. Naturally, this caused a great deal of concern amongst them. In this article those who have left the organization and those who wish to visit their loved ones are defined as traitors and therefore, according to the cultic theories of this group, liable to summary execution. The Albanian government’s neglect and appeasement of this terrorist group has given them an open hand and has encouraged them to openly threaten people with death by assassination.
We also learned that the terrorist Rajavi cult has prepared facilities 27 kilometers outside Tirana so that it can move all the members to a remote and isolated place similar to Ashraf garrison in Iraq. There it is planned to hide them from external observation, inspection or intervention and deprive them of their liberty, basic human rights and prevent them from having any access to the outside world.
Unfortunately, we are also witness to brutal behavior by the Albanian government and police towards the families. The families come to Albania to visit their loved ones. Where on earth is visiting loved ones considered a crime so that in your country these suffering families have been interrogated by the police and been treated as criminals after being beaten up by the cult’s mobs?
The separated members of the Rajavi cult in Albania have complained to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and to the UNHCR many times about the misconduct and criminality of the cult toward themselves, the members and others. The response so far, however, is for each to hold the other body responsible for neglecting their legal duty.
Sahar Family Foundation warns against allowing death threats against the families and the separated members and will hold the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the police and security forces responsible for the deeds of the cult’s elements and reserves the right to pursue cases through legal assemblies and international organizations.
Sahar Family Foundation
For the attention of former MEK members in Albania: What is to be done?
Sahar Family Foundation, Tirana, Albania, May 28 2017:… The UNHCR must deal with each refugee in person. The relationship of the UNHCR with the Rajavi terrorist cult is in contradiction to the UN’s internal regulations and is not acceptable. Of course in the past, in Iraq, the UN and the UNHCR committed this breach of rules both in Ashraf garrison and in Liberty camp. Even if refugees rescind their right to receive the allowance directly and ask for it to be passed to someone else, the UNHCR should not …
For the attention of former MEK members in Albania:
What is to be done?
Where does the UNHCR refugee allowance of individual MEK members go?
One humanitarian issue which the international humanitarian and human rights organizations unfortunately totally ignore, of course for political interests, is the situation of former MEK (Mojahedin-e Khalq,Rajavi Cult) members in Albania.
Former members and the UNHCR
According to a deal made in Geneva between the UNHCR and the MEK, the entire refugee allowances due to individual MEK members who are resident in Albania is being paid to the MEK leaders to be spent as they wish and not paid to the individual members for their personal support.
During Saddam Hussein’s era in Iraq, Massoud Rajavi used to receive per head allowances from the Iraqi government. Rajavi used to exaggerate the number of individuals in his organization in order to get more money. Even those living in Europe and America or even the dead were included in the list. Members were brought into Iraq for training sessions or meetings and their arrival was registered, but their departure was not and by doing so the numbers for claiming payments was increased.
At the present time, the Rajavi cult has included even those who have defected the organization and those living outside Albania in the list it gives to the UNHCR. In this way, it receives extra refugee payments. It also means that those who have left the organization do not receive the allowance they are entitled to. In the cult’s list, there are some who have left the cult and even gone back to Iran, but the MEK still gets their allowances. It is doubtful that the UNHCR does not know about this.
Before members were transferred to Albania from Iraq, the Rajavi cult insisted that members sign letters asking for their monthly allowance to be paid directly to the MEK instead of to them as individuals. These letters were in English, so most members are unaware of the content of what they signed. And of course, those who have subsequently separated from the MEK are also included in this scheme. Such members were intent on gaining security and freedom and wrote and signed anything so they could escape their current circumstances in Iraq.
By this trick, the Rajavi cult managed to keep control of everyone wishing to leave the organization. What can someone do in an alien country, without any facilities, no job or money and not knowing the language? To those who leave the MEK, the cult only pays half the amount available to them as refugees, which does not cover even their most basic necessities. They are forced to depend on the MEK for housing and food. The allowances of some of these dissenting members have been cut on the false pretext that they contacted their family in Iran which, according to the cult, is equal to contacting the Iranian regime.
The other trick used by the Rajavi cult, which is always used inside the organization for controlling the members, is to place spies everywhere to report the conversations and actions of the others. These individuals in Albania get more allowances than the others even though everyone is entitled to the same amount. The same thing used to be done in the TIPF in Iraq to create differences between the defectors and generate an atmosphere of distrust amongst them.
Lawfully, the UN or the UNHCR have no right to have any direct relationship with organizations. No group can be considered as refugees, in particular if it is a political organization and even worse a terrorist cult. The UN or the ICRC or any other official international organization cannot play the role of benefactor for any organization against a country which is a member of the UN. The use of US gangs today, and Saddam Hussein in Iraq in the past, created from the MEK in which the members are considered individually as refugees is unlawful and against the regulations of the UN.
The UNHCR must deal with each refugee in person. The relationship of the UNHCR with the Rajavi terrorist cult is in contradiction to the UN’s internal regulations and is not acceptable. Of course in the past, in Iraq, the UN and the UNHCR committed this breach of rules both in Ashraf garrison and in Liberty camp. Even if refugees rescind their right to receive the allowance directly and ask for it to be passed to someone else, the UNHCR should not agree to this.
At the present time, regarding the advantage given to the cult by the UN, the members and the former members are alike under the control of the cult. They are all forced to obey the demands of the cult leader.
Maryam Rajavi has told those wishing to leave the organization: “do not suppose our hands are tied here in Albania”. She has emphasized that: “here is the land of the Pentagon and we are part of the Pentagon and our power now is even greater than when we were in Iraq under Saddam Hussein”, and by saying so she wanted to prevent members from leaving the group and tried to cover up her cult’s present weaknesses.
Once again it is worth noting that withholding or reducing a refugee’s allowance by the MEK is against the law, particularly when the cult asks them to spy on others and write and sign whatever is wanted to establish the payments.
The present situation in Albania
For some time now anti-corruption activities have escalated in the country. For some months this year the parliamentary representatives of the Democratic Party refused to attend the assembly and boycotted the parliament. They demanded that the Prime Minister resign before the election since he might cheat. The parliament has appointed its speaker as the new President. He has announced that the election must go ahead but has given no guarantees to the opposition. The ambassadors of the US and western countries say that the elections, with or without the Democrats, must be held on the 18th June.
In the next few weeks some demonstrations and even street conflicts are expected in Albania since the Democrats have been ignored by the west but they have popular support and it seems there might even be violent clashes. The latest news is that the government and the opponents have reached an agreement but they did not reveal its contents. There is a possibility that they postpone the elections in order to sort things out beforehand.
One internal problem in Albania is corruption. The Albanian deputy interior minister Elona Gjebrea is an MEK lobbyist who is also devoted to the Neocons in the US. She has recently visited the UK in her role as the Albanian anti-trafficking coordinator. She was invited to the US before that and she follows US policy in this regard. Even the Albanian media is dissatisfied with her and question whether she is a deputy minister in the Albanian government or the MEK lobby, in particular when the elections are ahead.
A link to one example of protest against the deputy interior minister of Albania, who even says “I am a Mojahed-e Khalq”, can be read below.
The American paper Huffington Post has also written about Elona Gjebrea – responsible for countering slavery in Albania – giving support to Maryam Rajavi’s modern slavery. This has also been covered by the Albanian media. This article can be read in the link below.
The translation of the above mentioned article in the Albanian press can be reached in the link below.
When the Albanian government of Edi Rama agreed to host the MEK, an agreement was reached that no cost and no problem would ensue for the country and that everything would be under the supervision of the UNHCR. The agreement indicates that responsibility for all the members is with the UN and there should be no burden left on the shoulders of the people of Albania. The US promised the Albanian government that the MEK members transferred to Albania would all be under control.
What to be done?
One of the things can be done is that the former members show in different ways that they are not controlled by the cult and they are free. By doing this the promise made by the US to the Albanian government that everyone transferred into the country is under the control of the MEK and there is no need for direct involvement of Americans and Albanians, is broken. The same thing happened in Iraq and the US had to establish TIPF for the separated members with separate costs.
The former members in Albania do recognize that although the cult has taken away their UNHCR allowances, but at the same time it is very afraid of their freedom of action, particularly interviewing the press. They would even pay more if there is a chance of media coverage on these issues. Therefore, the formers can be encouraged to adopt a more active role instead of their present passive part.
The Rajavi cult has given letters to some former members stating that their allowances would be cut on the excuse that they have contact with the Iranian regime and has even published these letters in the cult’s websites. These are documents which could be used against the MEK and the UNHCR and even the Albanian government which must be held responsible for it. The Rajavi cult has exploited these individuals for their whole life and now refuses to pay them their minimum rights. The MEK should not be the intermediary for this payment.
The will of the former members is that a center under the supervision of the UNHCR and the Albanian government be established to deal with the refugees individually and not as a group. This wish must find its way into the media in the country. The former members can approach the UNHCR in Tirana and ask them why there is a breach of law and why their affairs have been left for the cult to deal with. They can give the result of their activities to the media to inform Albanian public opinion.
Any media pressure by the former members in English or Albanian on the UNHCR – which has illegally given their allowances to the MEK – and on the Albanian government, particularly the interior ministry which has become a lobby for the cult, will be useful and would have an effect on the elections.
The Rajavi terrorist cult has a pressure lever called the UN allowances, and of course the former members have an even more useful lever which is the public opinion and the special situation of the cult in Albania before the elections which can help them to gain their rights from the MEK.
Please let us know your opinions.
Anne Singleton: Key to de-radicalization of MEK hostages in Albania are their families
IMPAKT 55 – Muxhahedinet iraniane ne Shqiperi. Interviste eksluzive me Anne Singleton
MEK’s Maryam Rajavi blackmails Albania to become the new ‘Saddam regime’ for them.
Massoud Khodabandeh, Top topic, May 08 2017:… Rajavi then publishes these alongside letters signed by American personalities in support of the MEK. The letters from the Americans are addressed to the Albanian Prime Minister and bear the familiar hallmark of MEK authorship. (One letter published by the MEK is signed in blue ink. We can only speculate how the MEK obtained the original letter which should have been sent directly from the Americans to the Albanian PM!) …
MEK’s Maryam Rajavi blackmails Albania to become the new ‘Saddam regime’ for them.
The forced relocation of the MEK organisation from Iraq to Albania resulted in drastic changes within the group. No longer forced to endure the extremes of heat and cold in Baghdad, living alongside ordinary family neighbours for the first time in two decades and the loss of their leader Massoud Rajavi have all profoundly affected the members. They now have the ‘luxury’ to think and their changed environment and circumstances have led them to challenge the leadership.
Defections started almost immediately and the MEK is now in the grip of a crisis of disaffection. The problem was exacerbated when Sahar Family Foundation moved its operation from Baghdad to Tirana. Sahar was created to offer support and help to families of MEK members who were trying to get in touch with their estranged loved ones in the MEK while they were based in Iraq. The MEK leaders regard families and familial relations as “poison” and have tried every way possible to prevent these families contacting their loved ones in the group.
Now that Sahar has begun its work in Albania, the new MEK leader Maryam Rajavi has panicked. Sahar began by reminding the UNHCR and Albanian authorities of the international laws governing refugees, in particular UN human rights conventions and articles, and how the MEK rejects these norms.
Maryam Rajavi reacted by shooting herself in the foot. https://www.mojahedin.org/news/197420
Maryam’s counter campaign is based on the tactics used by Massoud Rajavi in Iraq – blackmail and coercion – but it is too little and too late and has lost its potency.
Soon after Sahar started its campaign to inform Albanian authorities of the MEK’s illegal and scandalous behaviours, Rajavi announced that three disaffected individuals, Hadi Sanikhani, Gholamreza Shokri and Sarfaraz Rahimi, had made contact with their families in Iran and declared them therefore to be ‘agents of the regime’. For this reason, she said, “we will cut their refugee allowances from now”. The MEK then said that the only way for their UNHCR money to be restored was for these individuals (and others) to write whatever the MEK dictates. In Saddam’s prisons the MEK also used such coercive tactics to force compliance and silence.
The three individuals went to the UNHCR office and explained what had happened. The UNHCR advised them to go the MEK’s HQ and talk to them. There they were threatened and attacked by MEK operatives. Two of them have since published their account of the events, but Sarfaraz Rahimi has given in and accepted to write for them. He writes what they dictate against the other two – who are understandably complaining about having no food or money in Tirana – condemning them as agents of the Iranian regime.
Rajavi then publishes these letters of Rahimi alongside letters signed by American personalities in support of the MEK.
The letters from the Americans are addressed to the Albanian Prime Minister and bear the familiar hallmark of MEK authorship. (One letter published by the MEK is signed in blue ink. We can only speculate how the MEK obtained the original letter which should have been sent directly from the Americans to the Albanian PM!)
This combination of letters (forced confessions alongside Americans letters to the Albanian PM claiming Iran is operating against the MEK in Albania under the guise of cultural centres, etc) had two aims. One was to warn dissidents inside the MEK what will happen if they leave or disobey orders. The other aim was to get the Albanian government to back the MEK and replicate the role played by Saddam Hussein in the group’s survival by punishing dissent, only this time in Albania.
Reactions were not as Rajavi wanted or anticipated. Inside the MEK and among ex-members there has been outrage. It seems to everyone that after three decades of unpaid work for the MEK and Saddam Hussein, the day someone leaves they instantly confess, in their own writing, to being an agent of the Iranian regime. There are only two possibilities: the organisation is lying and takes forced confessions, or the organisation is a training ground for agents of the regime.
Others complain that although the Americans have the right to recruit people as mercenaries, they do not have the right not to pay them and force them to be gladiators in Albania.
Albanians themselves see this MEK presence as yet further evidence that America is using their country for any and every form of corruption and illegal activity. Albania is still notorious as a centre for narcotics, arms smuggling and people trafficking in spite of efforts to clean up the country so it can join the EU. Albanians complain that their country is reportedly being used to smuggle US arms to Syria and other places for so-called ‘moderate’ rebels, that NATO uses Albania to conduct activities it can’t perform in the US or EU and that the CIA and the Pentagon have turned Albania into an extra-judicial base for nefarious activities. And now John Bolton and Senator John McCain alongside others use Albania as a springboard to pursue unclear political agendas which may include training terrorists and providing land and logistic for groups which are to be deployed in other countries.
Along with dumping nuclear waste and Guantanamo Bay prisoners, Albania now has had the MEK dumped on it. Instead of getting advice and support to de-radicalise these fanatics the government is being blackmailed and corrupted into performing the same role as Saddam Hussein undertook to protect and deploy the MEK.
Trump’s MEK version of events won’t secure victory against Iran, lets ISIS off the hook
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 of Iran. Trump clearly has no intention of defeating terrorism.
Trump’s MEK version of events won’t secure victory against Iran, lets ISIS off the hook
They say actions speak louder than words. Looking behind the Twitter storm which creates a smoke and mirrors effect to disguise the Trump administration’s true intents, one fact is blindingly clear; for this government, Iranians are first in the firing line.
This, of itself, is not unexpected. On the campaign trail Trump threatened to tear up the nuclear deal with Iran. So it was already clear he’s no fan of Iranians.
His first act as president has been to issue a direct and belligerent challenge to Iran – he included Iran in the Muslim ban and then declared that Iran is “on notice” after Iran test-fired a ballistic missile which it says is defensive. Iran is clearly in the crosshairs for Trump and his team.
And the evidence stacks up. As a barometer for any individual or even government’s aggressive approach to Iran, support for the Mojahedin Khalq (MEK aka Rajavi cult) is as accurate an indicator as any. The group has advocated violent regime change against Iran for three decades. Its supporters are in doubt that this is a rallying cry for a US-led war.
Even before taking office, revelations about potential Trump administration advisers and officials giving support to the terrorist MEK cult caused concern among foreign policy experts. After all, anti-Iran pundits can choose from literally thousands of civil groups and personalities to act as advisors and partners in challenging Iran. The MEK’s dirty past includes the anti-Imperialistinspired murder of six Americans in pre-revolution Iran which it later celebrated insongs and publications. (The family of U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jack Turner – “We were the first victims of terror before there was ever a war on terror” – is currently seeking redress for his death.) The new president has apparently brushed aside such concerns and has chosen to surround himself with people who have advocated for the MEK.
By not denouncing the MEK Trump has done several things. One is to signal that he is at war not with Iran but with Iranians. The MEK is hated more profoundly than any of Iran’s current political leaders by Iranians inside and outside the country.
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 of Iran. Trump clearly has no intention of defeating terrorism.
But most importantly, this tolerance, even warmth, shown toward the MEK in American foreign policy circles is a message that can be read from afar and by everyone else in the world: the American war box is virtually empty. Aside from a handful of puny sanctions, bringing the MEK into the equation means that not only does the America not have a stick to wave at Iran, it appears foolish enough, befuddled by ideological zeal perhaps, to tie its fate to the most unlucky and doom-laden group there ever was.
Laughably, parasitically, the MEK has consistently tied its fate to whichever it assumed was the winning side. However, the choice of MEK sponsors no longer looks so astute. Ayatollah Khomeini quickly saw through the MEK’s smarmy overtures to share power and promptly exiled them from Iran. The next step was to ally with Saddam Hussein against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war – a feat of spectacular treachery for which no Iranian will ever forgive them. After Saddam’s fall the MEK believed that the chaos in Iraq which gave rise to the insurrection of Al Qaida in Iraq would somehow carry them forward. The MEK even flirted with support for ISIS and the Syrian Free Army hoping they would find a home in the new Caliphate. Instead, the MEK were evicted from their base and sent into deeper exile in Albania, a country with no axe to grind against Iran. Long term sponsors have included Israel – which tasked MEK operatives with the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists – and the anti-Shia Saudi Arabia. Both countries are bogged down with interminable troubles of their own. And now the MEK are hoping to cosy up with the Trump administration.
The Obama administration kept the MEK at arms’ length and never entertained direct support for the group. When the government of Iraq held the US, along with the UN, responsible for removing the MEK from Iraq to a third country, the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was forced to agree to remove the MEK from the US terrorism list before any third country would legally be able to accept them on their territory.
Since 2001 Trump’s predecessors have built up strong homeland defences and led counter-terrorism efforts particularly against the threat of ISIS to the US and Europe. It is now likely that this legacy will be squandered by an administration with an overriding hatred of Iran. Instead of understanding the benefit of developing strategic partnerships with countries like Iran and Iraq in the global fight against terrorism, the Trump administration would rather rain down terror on the Iranian people.
But the biggest delusion would be to believe that the MEK could be a reliable or effective partner in any sense. If Donald Trump has any insight into his own modus operandi – the erratic demands and refusal to take criticism – he will have a direct view of how the MEK operates. Aligning America’s foreign policy with the whims of a mind control cult will not secure victory over Iran. Instead, it will diminish America’s standing in the world, and it will certainly not make the world a better or safer place.
Some related documents:
Lets create another Vietnam for America(pdf).
(Mojahedin English language paper April 1980)
Letter to Imam (Khomeini) (pdf).
(Mojahedin English Language paper April 1980)
Some questions unanswered regarding the US military invasion of Iran (pdf).
(Mojahedin English Language paper June 1980)
link to one of the Mojahedin Khalq songs
advocating terror and killing Americans
(In Persian written and distributed after the Iranian Revolution)
Maryam Rajavi — MEK Propaganda Queen — Advertises Her Services For Iran’s Enemies
, 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? From whom is she hoping to garner support?Many constituencies outside Iran wish fervently for its destruction. It is enlightening that Maryam Rajavi’s …
Maryam Rajavi — MEK Propaganda Queen — Advertises Her Services For Iran’s Enemies
Co-authored by Anne Khodabandeh
The Middle East is in turmoil. Deaths and destruction are a daily occurrence throughout the region. Families flee their homes in fear, forced into an uncertain future. No end is in sight. Yet into this calamitous scenario a slick, sophisticated terrorist recruiter’s advert has popped up which ISIS itself could learn from.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) website carries a glamorous advertising campaign for a Grand Gathering. Surrounded by glitzy pictures of flag-waving youth, the central focus of this gathering is ‘Our pledge: regime change’.
Well, we all know what that means. Don’t we? Apparently not. Because this advertising doesn’t reflect the destruction wrought in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen. Here is no promise of jihad and the caliphate. It looks very much like a carnival. Which is exactly what it is – a show. So, what is meant by the promise of regime change?
The first port of call is to understand that the NCRI is just another name for the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) which was also known as the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA).
Back in 1994, MEK leader Massoud Rajavi tasked his wife Maryam to leave Iraq for America in order to regain political recognition of the Mojahedin Khalq as ‘the’ Iranian opposition which had been lost when he refused to abandon Saddam Hussein during the First Gulf war.
Refused entry to the USA as the leader of a terrorist entity Maryam instead took up residence in France as a refugee. But instead of meeting politicians to talk about how the MEK could overthrow the Iranian regime, she discovered she could simply create the illusion of support by paying both audience and speakers. She discovered a talent for dressing up, holding fancy dinner parties and talking about her cult ideology.
To create the appearance of a willing audience for her views, she recruited a rag-tag following of Iranian economic refugees who would happily turn up when paid for their services. She paid for feminists from North America, Europe and Scandinavia to visit Auvers-sur-Oise and attend dinner parties. She posed in her hijab to speak about her version of feminism to these western women; carefully spelling it out for them that they would never really understand what feminism is until they understood her husband Massoud Rajavi.
When Massoud recalled her to Iraq in 1997 she had spent a third of the total MEK budget and had no political support to show for it. She had lost around half the loyal MEK members who had defected whilst in Europe. With morale at an all-time low, Maryam was forced to retreat to Iraq with what remained of her personnel and leave the western bases in the hands of largely uneducated paid ‘supporters’.
When allied forces next invaded Iraq in 2003 Maryam Rajavi again fled to France. This time, as luck would have it, western politics was focused on curtailing Iran’s nuclear programme which it insisted was aimed at creating a nuclear weapon. The MEK’s services as propaganda experts were just what was needed, ensuring the MEK’s ostensible survival as an opposition group.
But in reality the MEK was already in terminal decline. Its fighting forces, disarmed in 2003, are currently being transferred from Iraq to Albania by the UNHCR to begin a process of de-radicalisation and reintegration back into normal society. Nobody expects veterans with an average age of sixty to wage the terrorism of thirty years ago. Disarmament also allowed American experts to investigate years of complaints about human rights and cultic abuses inside the MEK. As long as the MEK was being used to muddy the waters of the nuclear negotiations, such details could be glossed over. But since last year when agreement was reached, the MEK’s murky past can no longer be dismissed.
The main reason, of course, is that the new theme for challenging Iran in the international community is based on the country’s dismal human rights record. But Maryam Rajavi has her own well documented human rights abuse dossier to answer for. The MEK, under whatever name it is used, is simply the wrong tool to use to demonise Iran.
Beyond this, the MEK is not the popular opposition its own advertising claims it to be. The group is almost universally despised among Iranians both inside the country and in the diaspora. Not only did the MEK fight alongside Saddam Hussein’s army during the devastating eight-year Iran-Iraq war, but the MEK’s anti-Iran role in the nuclear negotiations hit a nerve with most ordinary Iranians who regarded support for their country’s right to nuclear technology as an issue ofnationalism rather than politics.
Maryam Rajavi cannot get support from Iranians unless it is paid for. Nor can Maryam Rajavi deign to share a platform with any other Iranian opposition personality. So this year Maryam Rajavi will again do what she does best; pay audience and speakers alike to give the illusion of support.
So, back to the recent advertising campaign. Any publicity campaign will be successful if it is newsworthy. Maryam, however, simply churns out the same scenario ad infinitum. Starting with describing a terrible situation in Iran – based on news items that can be gleaned from any serious reporting outlet – she then proposes a ten-point plan for Iran, approved this year by Italian parliamentarians. And then she promises regime change.
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? From whom is she hoping to garner support?
Many constituencies outside Iran wish fervently for its destruction. It is enlightening that Maryam Rajavi’s websites are home to a bizarre mixture of anti-Shia, anti-Iran, anti-Syria, items which reflect very closely the views of neocons, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Maryam Rajavi is not promising regime change, she is advertising her services as a propaganda queen.
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
Massoud Khodabandeh, Toptopic, July 03 2016:… So, back to the recent advertising campaign. Any publicity campaign will be successful if it is newsworthy. Maryam, however, simply churns out the same scenario ad infinitum. Starting with describing a terrible situation in Iran – based on news items that can be gleaned from any serious report