(The MEK is the largest member group in the NCRI coalition of anti-regime and pro-democracy groups.)
The regime puts all its money and effort into attacking the MEK because the MEK is constantly revealing the regime’s crimes to the world, encouraging Iranians to overthrow the mullahs, and convincing the world to stand with the people against the regime. Often, the regime will use a so-called journalist to launch these attacks, with the hope that people don’t question what appears in a paper.
Enter “journalist” Murtaza Hussain, who emailed Safavi in the middle of March to ask for an urgent comment on the story he was writing about Rajavi. (The MEK, who first reported this response, wrote: “story is an apt word, considering that everything in it is pure fiction written by the mullahs”.)
Hussain wanted a response quickly, with such a short deadline for comment that it displayed the bias clearly, but Safavi recognized him from previous hit pieces about the MEK, where he displayed “blind hostility towards the MEK”, including one where he attacked Iranian investigative journalist Heshmat Alavi, who reported the truth about the regime. So Safavi did not respond personally to Hussain but rather hung him out to dry by publishing a 3,000-word retort.
Safavi wrote: “[He is] nothing more than a puppet of Iran’s ruling theocracy. As such, I do not consider his account worthy of a serious response on behalf of the Iranian Resistance, which has proudly waged a historic and blood-stained struggle for democracy against one of the most brutal dictatorships in modern history. This is a cause for which 120,000 proud Iranians have laid down their lives and it cannot be smeared by tactless innuendos and mullah clichés.”
However, Safavi did want to make some things clear to anyone not familiar with the MEK, including:
- Hussain whitewashed the mullahs’ crimes
- Hussain’s allegations, including “sexual exploitation, forced sterilization, [torture], and forcible alienation from their family members” are false and libelous, so the MEK would win in a court case
- The regime has been trying to defame the MEK Iran for over 40 years
- The regime is currently facing many domestic and international crises, including the coronavirus, so they are trying to put off their overthrow by discrediting the MEK
The regime attacks the MEK like this because they think it will hurt the group’s domestic and international support, because they absurdly think people will take the word of genocidal tyrants at face value, against an organization that prioritizes freedom and equality.
The regime is doing all of this because they see the MEK as an existential threat to the mullahs’ continued rule. Given the current feeling of people towards the regime, no wonder the mullahs are reacting like this.