This is unprecedented, as for decades it has been the policy of the Iranian regime to keep quiet about the MEK and its domestic and global impact. This change in behavior appears to stem from the MEK’s increased presence in domestic affairs and popular support for their activities.
The regime is unable to deny the MEK’s strength and resilience anymore, so they are forced to show how scared they are about the MEK’s further plans and defend the regime’s crimes against the MEK.
Mustafa Pourmohammadi, who served as the Interior Minister and the Minister of Justice and was a key figure in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners (mainly MEK activists) in Iran, is one of the most vocal opponents of the MEK in the regime.
He said he was “proud” of his role in the massacre of the MEK, and that the regime was currently at war with the MEK.
Mehdi Hasheminejad, a senior official of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), said: “The presence of 1500 people round the clock in three shifts indicates that they had planned the protests and this was done in service of the global arrogance. As our officials pointed out, the planning of the enemy played a key role in the unrest that took place in our country in 2018. So, our attitude must recognize the enemy and its targets, so that we will be able to counter them.”
While Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmanifazli said: “The current situation should not make us negligent so as to ignore the protests, not see the disenchantment or prevent it, not provide proper response and assume that these do not exist. Any incident can lead to a major development. We have to be vigilant.”
This shows that the regime’s officials are more than aware that the MEK is helping to organize the ongoing nationwide protests, which reveals a common regime claim to be a lie. The regime often says that the MEK has no serious presence in Iran, which cannot possibly be true.
Mahmoud Shaeri, the commander of the 71st Division during the Iran-Iraq War, even admitted that the MEK is the most active and most powerful opposition group against the regime, stressing that the MEK’s continuation of activity is related to its “deep, calculated and judicious” actions.
He said: “The MEK is still potential and current threat for the Islamic Republic. Their movement is alive. The MEK has been the basis for all of the sanctions against us. If the MEK was not around, the West still would have imposed sanctions on us; however, the MEK provides them with first-rate and accurate information.”
This refers to the MEK’s numerous revelations about the regime’s nuclear and ballistic missiles programs, as well as their terrorist activities in the region, and the violations of human rights at home.