by Mahmood Hakamian
It is no secret that the Iranian mullahs have spent years trying to smear the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) within Iran. They would do anything to stop the Iranian people joining the MEK, even going so far as to ban the MEK in the 1980s.
When that didn’t work, the regime turned to state-sponsored propaganda, in the form of attack websites, fake documentaries, and even anti-MEK propaganda exhibitions.
Anti-MEK propaganda exhibitions
The Regime decided that the best way to stop young, educated Iranians from taking part in political activism or joining the MEK (as they did in the 2009 uprising) was to stage propaganda exhibitions at schools and universities.
Overall, there were over 120 anti-MEK exhibitions in 36 Iranian cities between April 2010 and December 2012, which aimed to portray the MEK as criminals to the younger generation. The exhibitions claimed that the MEK had a “long history of violence and terror”, which was a barefaced lie. The Regime did, however, concede that the MEK was an integral part in the 2009 anti-regime uprising.
From 2013, these exhibitions decreased, but the Regime does still hold anti-MEK events in places of learning.
MEK Show Trials
The Regime also held “show trials” at universities to demonstrate that the MEK were enemies of the state. The first of these was held at Alama University, while MEK members were fleeing persecution by the Regime in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, in October 2013
The Regime has published hundreds of anti-MEK books to malign the resistance groups, including some that are fraudulently published under the names of former MEK members who have been threatened or coerced by the Regime.
These books are given out at Regime rallies and events but are also sent to foreign politicians and reporters, hoping to sway their influence.
Anti-MEK Organizations and Attack Websites
There are a number of organisations, set up by the Regime, whose sole purpose is to defame the MEK by promoting negative propaganda. This includes the Habilian Association, the Nejat Association, Edalat [Justice] Association, and the Association for Victims of Violence.
All of these groups maintains a website that spews anti-MEK propaganda daily, but the Regime also has many other websites that attack the MEK, both in English and in Farsi. Here are just a few to watch out for:
Anti-MEK Propaganda TV
The mullahs have also produced many TV programmes and documentaries for the Regime’s state-run TV that defame the MEK, something that only increased after the 2009 uprising. Here are just a few:
• Zel’e Sevom – about the birth and demise of the MEK, which is ridiculous as the MEK is still going strong.
• Gery-e Khamoush – a ‘documentary’ featuring forced confessions from MEK members
• Parvaneh – a 15 part series, commissioned for the anniversary of Ayatollah Khomeini’s rule
• An End to End – studies that MEK from its formation until today
• Black Dream – a 15-part series that the Regime edited as they feared it would increase support for the MEK