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Estimating Support for the MEK in Iran: Part 3

Despite the Iranian regime's effort to conceal the Mojahedin-e Khalq MEK/PMOI popular welcome, the people announce their support of the MEK.

The Iranian Regime often tries to spread this bogus claim that there is little to no support for the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) inside Iran. As we said in our previous piece since the MEK is illegal in Iran and support of them can be punishable by death means that it’s hard to determine the exact number of Iranian supporters, but there are some ways to estimate support. 

In previous pieces, we’ve discussed how to determine support for the MEK through their TV channel, Iran National Television (INTV or Voice of Freedom). We conclude that the MEK must enjoy widespread support in Iran because otherwise there would be no donations to continue the channel, no viewers watching it, and no visitors to its website. This is especially important when you consider that to watch the MEK’s channel, you need to use a satellite dish, something banned in Iran and potentially resulting in a fine, as well as the removal of the dish. Some have even been arrested for owning a dish. 

Now we will look at Iran’s anti-MEK television propaganda and you should consider why the regime would need to produce these programs if the MEK were an “insignificant group.” 

The regime regularly produces to defame the MEK, even a long-running soap opera. The number of TV series and films that attacked the MEK rose dramatically after the 2009 uprising, where the MEK led the people to the streets to protest a rigged election. Let’s look at some of these programs: 

  • Zel's Sevom is a TV series that focuses on “The birth and demise of the MEK group”, produced at the Sima-Film center 
  • Georgia is a show about the MEK that authorities said would have a “considerable impact in eliminating the [MEK] from the political scene in Iran”. 
  • Gery-e Khamoush is a documentary “about [the] confessions of MEK members, although it’s worth noting that documentaries are supposed to be based on facts 
  • Parvaneh is a 15 part series on the MEK that was produced to celebrate the anniversary of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s return to Iran and was broadcast on national TV 
  • Black Dream is a 15-part TV series about the MEK produced in 2013. The regime was too afraid to highlight the MEK’s actions because they thought that it would “advocate” for the MEK, which means they do have support in Iran. 
  • An End to End is a TV series that, according to the regime, “studies the terrorist MEK group from the beginning of its formation until now”, uncovering its “ugly acts”, exposing the reality” and leaving viewers to make up their own judgments.  The first episode says that Maryam Rajavi, the head of the MEK, is not worthy of being analyzed and studied. 

As you can imagine, these shows are not based on facts and only show the regime’s bias and hatred of the MEK. They were even scared that their anti-MEK propaganda would drive more people to the MEK.

 

In our next piece, we will look at the 2009 uprising. 

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