Press TV, May 01 2019:… Bolton had been promoting the notorious and deadly anti-Iran terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) as “viable opposition” and an alternative to the establishment in the Islamic Republic. Zarif also attached another image captured from a profile published by The New Yorker on Monday that detailed Bolton’s idiosyncrasies, including by citing a former senior advisor to the US administration’s remarks that “John wants to bomb everyone.”
1- Zarif: World catching on to Bolton’s chronic warmongering
(Bolton warmongering MEK Iran)
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif highlights again how the US National Security Advisor John Bolton has been feverishly trying to push Washington towards war with Iran.
Tweeting on Tuesday, Zarif wrote, “Today, the world’s catching on to Amb. John Bolton’s chronic warmongering.”
The top diplomat cited many evidenced revelations across the US media and elsewhere to exemplify his remarks.
Today the world's catching on to @AmbJohnBolton’s chronic warmongering. But Iranians didn’t need to read a 10,000 word @NewYorker profile to be convinced: we've seen him shill for a cult terror group, and—along with his #B_Team accomplices—target Iranians with #EconomicTerrorism. pic.twitter.com/8n0UHyXOyq
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) April 30, 2019
The tweet incorporated a snapshot of a 2018 article in The New York Times that showed how Bolton had been promoting the notorious and deadly anti-Iran terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) as “viable opposition” and an alternative to the establishment in the Islamic Republic.
Zarif also attached another image captured from a profile published by The New Yorker on Monday that detailed Bolton’s idiosyncrasies, including by citing a former senior advisor to the US administration’s remarks that “John wants to bomb everyone.”
“But Iranians didn’t need to read a 10,000-word New Yorker profile to be convinced,” Zarif chided.
“We’ve seen him (Bolton) shill for a cult terror group,” he tweeted. The Iranian foreign minister was referring to evidence showing how Bolton had received a $40,000 “speaking fee” to address the MKO’s annual gathering in Paris.
“…and—along with his B-Team accomplices—target Iranians with Economic Terrorism,” he added.
Zarif was echoing remarks he had made to Fox News on Sunday, in which he identified the B-Team as Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The US has been pursuing a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran under US President Donald Trump, which has Bolton as its top security aide. The policy has seen Washington reinstating draconian economic sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic.
Washington has been enlisting the assistance of its regional allies in implementing the policy. Recently, it said that it would target every country potentially buying Iran’s oil as of May 2 with “secondary sanctions.”
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates immediately reported that they would be making up for potential shortages of the Iranian crude.
2- B-team targeting Iranians with economic terror, war: Iran FM
(Bolton warmongering MEK Iran)
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has slammed contradictory approaches pursued by US National Security Adviser John Bolton and what he calls “the B-Team,” saying they are targeting the Iranian nation with “economic terrorism.”
“While @AmbJohnBolton and the #B_Team say the Iranian people ‘deserve better’, they’ve admitted to targeting them with #EconomicTerrorism,” Zarif said in a post on his official Twitter account on Sunday.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) April 28, 2019
The Iranian foreign minister added that what the B-Team is doing by targeting the Iranian nation with “economic terrorism — and even war –” is a delusional pursuit of “regime-change,” questioning whether US President Donald Trump would let them realize their dreams of another “Forever War.”
The hawkish “B-team” is comprised of US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Speaking in a question-and-answer session at the Asia Society in New York on Wednesday, the Iranian foreign minister said the “B-team” is trying “to push Iran to take action” as a pretext for “crazy” and “adventurous” US actions.
“President Trump has a plan, but he’s being lured into not a plan but a trap,” Zarif said, adding, “It will cost another $7 trillion and even a greater disaster.”
Also in an interview recorded on Friday, which was aired on Fox News on Sunday, the Iranian foreign minister said all measures adopted by the administration of President Trump in dealing with Iran conveyed a message that “the United States is not reliable.”
“Maybe he [Trump] believes in America first, but America cannot be first in a globally insecure environment,” Zarif told the “FOX NEWS SUNDAY”.
“We all need to work together in a global environment that is safe and you can only live in a safe global environment if you respect yourself by respecting your signature,” he added.
He once again emphasized that the B-Team seeks to “lure” the US into a confrontation with Iran that Trump himself does not want.
“They have all shown an interest in dragging the United States into a conflict,” Zarif said of Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates plus White House National Security advisor.
3- Escalation of anti-Iran economic terrorism shows US panic, desperation: FM Zarif
(Bolton warmongering MEK Iran)
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the United States’ decision to intensify its economic pressure campaign against the Iranian people reveals its “panic” and “desperation,” a day after Washington moved to stop other countries from buying Iranian oil.
“Escalating #EconomicTERRORISM against Iranians exposes panic & desperation of US regime — and chronic failures of its client co-conspirators,” Zarif said in a tweet on Tuesday.
The top Iranian diplomat’s tweet came after the White House said in a statement that the US president has decided not to renew waivers that allow eight countries to buy Iranian oil without facing Washington’s sanctions.
The US threatened sanctions against the countries that refuse to stop purchasing Iranian oil by May 1.
The decision, which primarily affects China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey, sent oil prices to their highest levels since October 2018 on Tuesday, raising concerns about global crude supply.
Earlier on Monday, China, which is Iran’s largest crude customer, said it had formally complained to the US over the decision, pledging that it will continue efforts to protect the legitimate rights of Chinese firms in the face of American threats.
Tehran has said it considers no value and credit for the US sanctions waivers and is in touch with its foreign partners, including Europeans and neighbors, to counter any adverse consequences of the bans.
‘Iran takes no ‘advice’ from foreigners’
Elsewhere in his post, Zarif hit out at US President Donald Trump over his tweet a day earlier, in which he attempted to suggest that John Kerry, the ex-American secretary of state, is breaking a US law by giving “advice” to Iran.
“Iran is being given VERY BAD advice by @JohnKerry and people who helped him lead the U.S. into the very bad Iran Nuclear Deal. Big violation of Logan Act?” tweeted Trump, on the same day that his administration announced that it would be ending waivers from the oil sanctions.
In response to Trump’s claim, Zarif said, “REAL news, @realdonaldtrump: Inheritors of ancient Persian civilization don’t base strategy on “advice” of foreigners—let alone Americans.”
Escalating #EconomicTERRORISM against Iranians exposes panic & desperation of US regime—and chronic failures of its client co-conspirators.
REAL news, @realdonaldtrump: Inheritors of ancient Persian civilization don't base strategy on "advice" of foreigners—let alone Americans.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) April 23, 2019
The Iran Protests, Regime Change, And The MEK
Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh, Lobe log, January 17 2018:… The MEK is a fringe, cult-like group that was once on the U.S. terrorism list. Rajavi’s appearances, in which she talks as though she represented the Iranian people, provided Iran’s leaders with a gift. Among other angry Farsi commentary, she provoked a hashtag storm on Twitter, with Iranians of every political stripe telling Rajavi in English …
The Iran Protests, Regime Change, And The MEK
by Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh
When protests broke out in Iran at the end of 2017, most countries maintained a hands-off approach. After all, these countries maintain diplomatic and trade relations with the Iranian government. Even some influential U.S. observers recommended caution. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, for instance, tweeted: “With humility about how little we know about what’s happening inside Iran, this much is clear: it’s an Iranian moment and not anyone else’s. But the rights of people to protest peacefully and voice their aspirations are universal and governments everywhere should respect that.”
But other American observers, eager to exploit the protests for their own purposes of promoting regime change in Iran, quickly rushed in where the more cautious feared to tread. The first push came from the media. Lacking any organizations or opposition leaders to interview inside Iran, some American media substituted Iranian exiles as representatives of the people. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s Monarchists got some coverage.
But it was Maryam Rajavi, leader of the notorious Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), who received the most coverage, appearing by video link on Fox News and Voice of America.
The MEK is a fringe, cult-like group that was once on the U.S. terrorism list. Rajavi’s appearances, in which she talks as though she represented the Iranian people, provided Iran’s leaders with a gift. Among other angry Farsi commentary, she provoked a hashtag storm on Twitter, with Iranians of every political stripe telling Rajavi in English and Farsi to #shutuprajavi. It is hard to overstate how much Iranians both inside and outside the country hate the MEK.
Indeed, the Iranian media immediately translated Maryam Rajavi and the MEK’s social media output and video speeches into Farsi to inform all Iran’s citizens how the US was hoping to impose the MEK on the country through regime change. Some Iranians might want regime change but what comes after is just as important. No Iranian wants the MEK to substitute for the mullahs.
Later, what had begun as working-class protests against economic hardship and government corruption were quickly politicized by agitators who instigated violence. Iran’s Spiritual Leader Ayatollah Khamenei attributed these incidents of violence to “foreign interference,” naming America, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and their proxy, the MEK. Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), announced that the MEK trained a number of people involved in the violence. Iran’s intelligence service in the western Iranian province of Lorestan also said it had disbanded and arrested four members of a terrorist cell linked to the MEK in Boroujerd. Iran also claimed to have uncovered a network of agitators organized from Afghanistan and Iraqi Kurdistan that planned to launch violent actions later in 2018. The spontaneous and widespread working-class protests had apparently triggered the network into action ahead of schedule.
If the plan had been to provoke Iran’s security services into a harsh crackdown on the protesters, which the Western media could then present as human rights violations, it largely didn’t work. Instead, the establishment brought out its supporters in big counter-demonstrations. Above all, when the protests turned violent, ordinary people went home. They wanted no part in manufactured regime change. Iran’s hardliners know that the most effective way to denounce the protests without resorting to bans or violence is to blame the MEK. This allows them to spin their suppressive activities to the populace as counter-terrorism.
Iranians are not surprised by the involvement of the MEK in violence. They know the group and its history. A visitor to any war museum in Iran will find a section dedicated to the MEK’s military collaboration with Saddam Hussein. New Iranian films and TV docudramas educate a new generation about the MEK terrorism, which caused thousands of civilian deaths.
Nevertheless, the MEK’s backers have worked for years to whitewash the group’s past crimes for a Western audience. For anti-Iran elements in the United States, the MEK has been a useful tool by leaking faked information during the nuclear negotiations and posing as human rights advocates. This carefully constructed narrative of victimhood and supposedly democratic values has allowed the MEK to operate in political circles where they could push the regime change agenda.
Meanwhile, in Albania, the MEK was busy secretly reconstructing the terrorist training camp it had lost in Iraq. When former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton negotiated an agreement to transfer 3,000 MEK fighters from Iraq to Albania, funding was earmarked to establish an Institute for De-Radicalisation so that the MEK could be successfully rehabilitated back into society. That didn’t happen. In this past year, Senator John McCain(R-AZ) and former UN ambassador John Bolton both visited Albania to promote the MEK and its regime-change agenda.
These and other MEK activities have driven a wedge between Europe and the Trump administration. Even before the protests, European parliamentarians had demanded a ban on the MEK, particularly after an incident of MEK violence on parliamentary premises. Relations between France and Iran now make it possible for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to directly demand that France curtail the MEK’s activities there.
In an attempt to maneuver her way out of this isolation and irrelevance, Maryam Rajavi recently published an article in the Wall Street Journal as though none of this had happened. It is just one more attempt by the MEK to portray itself as an influential representative of the Iranian people. But if the MEK had even one iota of influence inside Iran, the protests would have become much more violent. Instead, all the MEK seems to have accomplished is to provide Iran’s hardliners with a convenient rationale for suppressing an authentic civic movement for change.
Massoud Khodabandeh is the director of Middle East Strategy Consultants and has worked long-term with the authorities in Iraq to bring about a peaceful solution to the impasse at Camp Liberty and help rescue other victims of the Mojahedin-e Khalq cult. Among other publications, he co-authored the book “The Life of Camp Ashraf: Victims of Many Masters” with his wife Anne Singleton. They also published an academic paper on the MEK’s use of the Internet. Anne Khodabandeh is a UK expert in anti-terrorist activities and a long-standing activist in the field of deradicalization of extremists. She has written several articles and books on this subject, along with her husband, who is of Iranian origin. Photo: Maryam Rajavi (jalal4liberty via Flickr)
(Bolton warmongering MEK Iran)
Trump and Iran Nuclear Deal: ‘On the Road to Nowhere’
Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, November 06 2017:… Many analysts believe that MeK’s mysterious largesse originated in the treasury of the Saudi regime, a sworn enemy of the Iran’s Shia regime. NBC, quoting Obama administration sources, claimed the Mossad was an important funder as well. Meir Dagan, Israel’s former Mossad chief, publicly boasted of Israeli acts of terrorism sponsored inside Iran. Clearly, these sorts of operations need Iranian insiders …
Trump and Iran Nuclear Deal: ‘On the Road to Nowhere’
October 9, 2017 By Richard Silverstein
As the October 15thdeadline for Pres. Trump to certify Iranian compliance with the P5+1 nuclear deal, the administration through various media leaks made clear it will refuse to do so. His grounds for refusal are the flimsiest imaginable: Iran has engaged in objectionable behavior which the President wishes violated the deal, but doesn’t. That’s an exceedingly thin reed on which to hang an entire policy.
Trump and the GOP are locked into a rejectionist, even nihilist approach toward Iran. This should be familiar to many Americans, because It’s very similar to the one being used against North Korea. Threats, bellicosity, all substitute for a real policy. Furthermore, they elevate countries and foreign policy issues far above their real importance, even to the brink of nuclear war. Does anyone believe that whatever issues we may have with North Korea, it’s worth the death of tens of millions of Asians and Americans to prove a point?
In Iran’s case, the war hawks object to Iran’s missile tests and its support for fellow-Shia in Syria and Lebanon. They also side with their oil rich Sunni allies in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, who declare Iran to be a mortal threat. In truth, none of these Iranian actions violate the nuclear deal which, as its title suggests, only deals with nuclear issues.
If the Trump administration accepted the P5+1 agreement, and then sought to negotiate a separate one dealing with some of all of these issues, this would he a far more constructive approach. But the GOP knows that many of these issues involve far more players than just Iran, including Syria, Russia, Sunni Islamists like al-Qaeda and ISIS, and their proteges, among them Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. In other words, you can’t isolate Iran’s role without taking into account the roles of all the other parties intervening in Syria.
Iran’s missile tests, which so enflame Israel and the GOP, do not violate the JPOA. That doesn’t stop the anti-Iran media and GOP from declaring that they do. Of course, it would be possible to open a new round of negotiations to restrain them. But only in the context of an open process in which all parties are treated with respect. Something sorely lacking in current U.S. foreign policy. The current thinking seems to be that the U.S. will simply declare Iran must stop missile testing, Iran will acquiesce, and demand nothing from us in return. Nor should it have the right to do so.
But that’s simply not the way international negotiations work (as Trump, of all people, should understand). If one party wants the other to give away something, then you must give something in return. There simply is no sense of reciprocity in U.S. policy. Which is why it is doomed to failure. Iran will not be brow-beaten into submission. You might even reduce Iranians to eating grass as North Koreans once did during a famine, and they still wouldn’t buckle. So unless the U.S. is prepared to pursue a policy of outright sadism leading to the death of tens of thousands through starvation and plague, we are doomed to fail.
That’s what the worst elements of the neocon policy élite want to see. Former administration officials like Tom Ridge and Washington think tanks allied with the Israel Lobby have published screeds calling for violent overthrow of the Iranian regime. Their op-eds are bought and paid for by former terror groups like the MeK charged with assassinating U.S. diplomats. Ridge alone has earned tens of thousands of dollars for giving 15-minute speeches addressed to MeK gatherings around the globe. Scores of other past officials including Howard Dean, Rudy Giuliani, Ed Rendell, John Bolton, have also joined the gravy train.
When Sam Husseini questioned Ridge at an MeK press conference about this, it was not received kindly:
I asked Ridge about any financial arrangement between him or the other speakers and the MEK. He reacted with anger, questioning my motives and my affiliations. Rendell said in much calmer tone that no one was getting paid for today’s event but that people there had been paid for other speeches at other events. One of the speakers indicated that Ridge had personally paid for today’s event. Ridge in his remarks derided the notion that money would ever influence men of the stature of those speaking at the event. I asked if he was arguing that there was no problem of money influencing politics. Rendell cut that off.
Many analysts believe that MeK’s mysterious largesse originated in the treasury of the Saudi regime, a sworn enemy of the Iran’s Shia regime. NBC, quoting Obama administration sources, claimed the Mossad was an important funder as well. Meir Dagan, Israel’s former Mossad chief, publicly boasted of Israeli acts of terrorism sponsored inside Iran. Clearly, these sorts of operations need Iranian insiders and MeK is a likely culprit. The same NBC report asserted that the MeK participated in the assassination of five Iranian nuclear scientists. I reported here, based on a high-level Israeli former military officer, that the Mossad and MeK jointly coördinated the attacks. Other journalists have reported that the Saudis gave Israel $1-billion for various operations to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program including the assassinations and the Stuxnet malware attack.
It would be totally in character for the MeK to accept funding from Iran’s enemies, as it was once sheltered in Iraq by Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war.
Returning to the U.S. president, the problem with the Trump approach is that he has no strategy, no ultimate vision for future relations between the U.S. and Iran. As the old Talking Heads song went: “We’re on the road to nowhere.” His policy is designed for media sound bytes and tweets. It’s pure posturing. This is something that could end up getting many millions killed. And for what? To mollify the ego of a madman? That would be our madman, not their’s.
It’s pitifully ironic that amidst all the gnashing of teeth about Iran’s supposed effort to attain nuclear weapons the GOP dominated Congress shows no sense of outrage for Israel’s 200 weapon stockpile and its refusal to join the Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Unlike Israel, Iranian leaders have never contemplated or advocated using nuclear weapons against their enemies during wartime. Unlike Israel, Iran is a member of NPT and has permitted numerous inspections of its facilities by the IAEA, which has affirmed the country’s adherence to the JPOA. Israel on the other hand has never permitted legitimate inspections of its Dimona nuclear reactor, which produces its nuclear weapons.
This week, the Nobel committee awarded its Peace prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Iran, though it does not have nuclear weapons, has made clear that it will never use them or deploy them. Israeli leaders have urged their use during past wars. If Iran knew that its enemies heeded the call of this NGO for a nuclear ban, it would have no need for such weapons, even were it to be pursuing their production. The fault and burden here is on Israel which has them, not Iran which doesn’t.
One hopes that this award will increase pressure on Israel to abandon the folly of its own nuclear arsenal. In Israel’s case, nuclear weapons have enabled it to pursue a reckless, rejectionist policy toward its neighbors. WMD enables it to avoid dealing with a festering, decades-old political problem. Trump’s reckless decertification of the nuclear deal could lead Iran to follow the same path.
(Bolton warmongering MEK Iran)