As we said in our previous piece, the fact that the MEK is illegal in Iran and support them can be punishable by death, which means that it’s hard to determine the exact number of Iranian supporters, but there are some ways to estimate support.
We will continue our look at the 2009 uprising by examining the comments on the MEK’s involvement made by Iranian officials.
Iran’s Deputy Minister of Intelligence said that members of the MEK took to the streets and led the protests after a call from the MEK leaders, but added that the MEK members were arrested due to the ridiculous assertion that they are an armed organization against Iran
He reported that seven MEK members were arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) agents in Ghazvin province, about 150 km northwest of Tehran, and sent to prison.
Through their contacts in Iran, the MEK found that the MOIS, in secret reports, determined that “60% of the youth arrested were in contact with the [MEK] or were influenced by them”. Again, this shows domestic support for the MEK. The MOIS’s media outlet Neday-e Enghelab also admitted that the MEK’s plan in the uprising was “comprehensive and well-calculated”.
While Abdolreza Mohabati, a deputy prosecutor in Tehran, said that “some of those arrested were members of the [MEK] who were trained in Camp Ashraf in Iraq… [and] some of the members of the [MEK] were members of Karrubi’s election headquarters.”
Later that year, on December 27, the holy day of Ashura, 16 defendants, many of them MEK members, were brought before Judge Salavati for their role in the protests, with one report saying the defendants “had contacts with [the MEK], were active with regards to organizing [and] moved to overthrow the regime and worked in line with [the MEK]”.
Judge Salavati charged five detainees with cooperating with the MEK for taking part in the protests and gave them the “most severe punishment”. He said that the “core of the MEK has not been eradicated…As long as the core of that organization remains in place, all of its members and supporters…are mohareb, even if they are not involved in its armed wing.”
In January 2011, officials in Iran confirmed the execution of MEK members Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Hajaghaei, for their roles in the protests.
— IranNewsUpdate (@IranNewsUpdate1) November 1, 2019
The Tehran Prosecutor’s Office said: “These two hypocrites were members of an active network of the said group [MEK] and were involved in the [post-election] riots under the guidance of their ringleader in England.”
As a small point, we should note that MEK members are Iranians and there is no foreign power at work here.
While Tehran Chief Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said: “The execution of six active members of the opposition [MEK] who were arrested following the demonstrations after the presidential elections of last year, had been confirmed.”
In our next piece, we will look at the regime’s anti-MEK propaganda.