Opinion

It is becoming blatantly obvious that Rajavi cannot prevent the attrition of his members. His best scenario was that they would die in an assault on Iran, but this didn't happen. One of the things people believe is that he wants them back in Camp Ashraf because it is nearer to Iran and he can devise a way to get them killed in some violence.

Middle East Strategy Consultants

In spite of Rajavi's attempts to exert control, residents are still managing to escape from Liberty and the families are still waiting outside the camp demanding to have access to their loved ones.

 

On one level Martin Kobler briefed the European Parliament about the MEK's lack of cooperation. On another level the Farsi language websites and blogs are vibrant with the stories of ex-members who have recently come out and are giving personal accounts of individual suffering as well as describing the desperate psychological condition of those still left inside. Two weeks ago five more residents escaped the camp. In Liberty no one has a voice, but anyone who comes out now joins this wave of exposure.

 

In a clear attempt to keep them together the MEK spent a lot of money sending two top commanders from Paris to Tirana to stop the new arrivals from contacting the outside world. It was no use.

 

As the first group arrived they lost no time in contacting their friends - other ex-members who have already made it to Europe. They now give daily updates which include their own names, the names of MEK loyalists sent from Liberty with them, and how they are resisting the MEK's bribes and threats to silence them. They describe their efforts to survive this onslaught and instead try to get into contact with their families and friends and the outside world.

 

In response, Massoud Rajavi, initially describing this as a plot concocted by Iran's Intelligence Ministry in Europe, warned that anyone contacting Europe based ex-members will endanger the lives of their families in Iran (although he didn't explain how). When this failed to deter them Rajavi shifted to a scenario in which these people themselves who resist confinement are the agents of the Iranian regime (after thirty years in the camp in Iraq).

 

It is becoming blatantly obvious that Rajavi cannot prevent the attrition of his members. His best scenario was that they would die in an assault on Iran, but this didn't happen. One of the things people believe is that he wants them back in Camp Ashraf because it is nearer to Iran and he can devise a way to get them killed in some violence. It should be noted that the average age of these people is around 50 years.

 

By Masood Khodabandeh

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