Debate over Iran and policy vis-à-vis the Iranian regime has once again become an urgent matter discussed especially in Washington. The reason is clear: Despite all the illegitimate concessions provided by the Obama administration to the theocracy ruling Iran, not only has nothing changed regarding the mullahs’ actions, in fact they have become emboldened in regards to domestic oppression, meddling in the Middle East, especially Syria, and the production of weapons of mass destruction. It is quite natural that the approach towards and an evaluation of the main Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), is at the heart of these discussions.
The main argument is over a specific decision: choosing between a firm policy against the mullahs as the Godfather of terrorism in today’s world and supporting the Iranian people’s call for democracy, or standing alongside the ruling dictatorship as promoted by the regime’s lobbies and apologists.
Considering developments of the past 16 years, and especially the eight years under the Obama administration that went the limits and provided numerous concessions to the mullahs, defending the mullahs’ actions is considered impossible for anyone even with relative common sense.
The mullahs’ dictatorship and those who have been lobbying and justifying their hideous measures have once again resorted to their old tactics: claiming realpolitik and political realism only justifies appeasing the mullahs and attempting to win their hearts.
This alone is quite disgraceful, yet the political scene in Iran dictates other elements to realize this objective. Delegitimizing Iran’s democratic opposition, specifically the MEK, has been the inseparable portion of this policy. Labelling the MEK and distancing from this organization has been a constant demand raised by the mullahs’ from day one of the West’s efforts to find “moderates” in this regime, dating back to the 1980s Iran-Gate scandal.
The fact that the MEK is the main victim of the theocracy ruling Iran is not subject to debate. However, the question raised is as far as Tehran is concerned, why are the mullahs so sensitive about the MEK?
The Iranian regime’s first priority is to crackdown on the MEK, The Wall Street Journal wrote on May 7th, 2008, citing diplomats involved in nuclear talks with Tehran.
The reason is the MEK represents the all-out antithesis against the mullahs’ dictatorship in Iran.
Iran’s current fear of the MEK more than ever before is quite comprehendible. The theocracy ruling Iran is surrounded by increasing domestic and international dilemmas, threatening its very existence more than ever before.
More than a year into the nuclear deal none of Iran’s issues have been resolved. In fact, this subject has become an increasing conflict amongst Iran’s ruling factions.
On the other hand, social unrest and domestic support for the Iranian opposition has gained unprecedented scope. In addition to Iran’s unparalleled regional isolation, the international community has more than ever before focused on this regime’s threats.
In such a status quo, the widespread and growing presence of a democratic force, such as the MEK, around the world and across Iran, in line with the Iranian people’s increasing welcoming–especially amongst the youth–has rightfully triggered fear throughout the mullahs’ apparatus.
This is especially true since the mullahs’ regime had attempted to take advantage of the special situation in Iraq, investing and pursuing a 13-year plan in this country aimed at either massacring thousands of MEK members or forcing them to surrender. However, the mullahs’ plot failed and in 2016 the last group of MEK members mass-transferred out of Iraq safe and sound.
Who is the MEK and what do they promote?
The MEK is a national force with deep beliefs in a democratic, progressive and anti-fundamentalist perspective of Islam. The MEK, with widespread roots and social support, has for over 51 years been struggling against two dictatorships, the Shah and the mullahs, aiming to establish democracy, human rights and gender equality. The MEK is the pivotal force of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a democratic alliance consisting of Iran’s religious and ethnic minorities, seeking to establish a democratic, pluralistic and secular state. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi is the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran for the transition period.
The theocracy ruling Iran, condemned 63 times by various United Nations organs for flagrant violation of fundamental human rights, has executed 120,000 MEK members and supporters for supporting the MEK and defending human rights, freedom and democracy.
The youngest of these victims were 13-year-old girls whose only “crime” was reading MEK newspapers. 30,000 of these victims were political prisoner serving their terms. They were all massacred in the summer of 1988 under a fatwa issued by Iranian regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini. This massacre was so horrifying that in the past Mr. Montazeri, then successor to Khomeini, protested the measure and wrote to Khomeini describing the MEK as a mentality and logic that cannot be destroyed through killings. Khomeini dismissed Montazeri and he remained under house-arrest until he passed away.
MEK’s widespread social base
Despite the medieval crackdown, the MEK not only continued its struggle, but is also expanded and grew in size and strength. The reason is that MEK enjoys a widespread social base amongst three generations of Iranian society. The network of MEK supporters in Iran, amongst various walks of life including college professors, guilds, technocrats and marketers, is considered the largest non-government social network in the country.
By relying on this very network, the MEK has been able blow the whistle on the mullahs’ clandestine nuclear program and alert the world about the threat of this regime obtaining nuclear weapons. The MEK has also unveiled the mullahs’ plots and terror networks.
If back in 2002 the MEK had not exposed the Natanz (uranium enrichment) and Arak (plutonium production) sites, today the world would have before it the fundamentalist mullahs armed with nuclear weapons. Many senior U.S. government and former IAEA officials have emphasized time and again that the MEK had first informed the world about the existence of the Iranian regime’s nuclear program.
The MEK’s widespread network has also exposed this regime’s terrorist conspiracies in the region and across the globe. In the past few years the MEK has also provided detailed intelligence regarding the mullahs’ warmongering, and the export of crises and terrorism around the Middle East, most specifically in Syria.
MEK supporters in hundreds of cities across Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia, and literally anywhere allowing political and public activities, have established official organs very well known to host governments. These individuals are from the most educated, intellectual and constructive segments of Iran’s society who left their country for the sole reason of the crackdown and oppression imposed by the mullahs. They found their hope for a future Iran in an organized resistance. More than 110,000 took part in the MEK’s last large gathering in Paris in June 2013.
International recognition of the MEK and Iranian Resistance
The Iranian Resistance has been widely recognized and in addition to the most dignified American senators the majority of over 45 parliaments including the U.S. Congress, the British Parliament and the French National assembly have expressed their support for the MEK and Mrs. Rajavi’s plan for the future of Iran. The history of such support dates back to 1992 when a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives supporting the MEK.
Moreover, in the past few years an unprecedented bipartisan slate of senior U.S. official and military commanders have voiced their support for the Iranian Resistance and MEK.
MEK: Main victim of mullahs’ demonizing campaign
In the first 2½ years following the 1979 revolution in Iran the MEK focused all its efforts to use the democratic atmosphere and direct Iran’s society to a democracy. However, the fundamentalist mullahs, considering the slightest trace of democracy against their entire existence, from day one began oppressing all democratic forces, and specifically the MEK being the antithesis to the mullahs’ rule and their extremist perspective of Islam.
Finally, in June 1981 the mullahs’ forces launched bloodbaths and massacres against the MEK to confront their growing social support. The only solution left for the Iranian people was to either surrender in the face of fundamentalist or launch an organized resistance.
After failing to physically and politically eradicate the mullahs despite a ruthless and unprecedented massacre campaign, the mullahs resorted to an effort focused on demonizing the MEK by spreading lies and fabricated facts.
This fact that the MEK is the main subject of the mullahs’ demonizing campaign has been confirmed time and again in numerous annual intelligence reports issued by German and Dutch authorities, and even the Library of Congress in a publication requested by the Pentagon.
Western media have in numerous instances even exposed heavy budgets proposed by the mullahs’ regime to “academicians” and research institutes to publish anti-MEK articles or booklets.