The unrest continues, and we must recognize the significance of the initial uprising, according to Lord Maginnis of Drumglass, an independent Ulster Unionist member of the U.K. House of Lords and prominent member of the British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF).
One of the most important driving forces behind that unrest is the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK/PMOI), a pro-democracy opposition group that has called for regime change since the earliest days of the Islamic Republic.
In fact, as the unrest raged, Iran’s Supreme Leader specifically credited the MEK with planning and organizing the anti-government demonstrations. Although the MEK is not well known in the Western world, it will be soon, Lord Maginnis believes.
During the last 40 years, the regime has cloaked the group with propaganda that has sought to portray the MEK as ineffectual, cultish, and lacking in popular support. Despite these efforts to demonize the Iranian Opposition, the MEK continues to grow, both inside Iran and throughout the world.
The Iranian public immediately responded to the President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, Maryam Rajavi, who praised the initial protests and called for a “year full of uprisings.” The regime has struggled to quell the demonstrations that resulted after her call.
A growing number of prominent politicians and Middle East experts who actively oppose the regime, and promote the MEK as the hope for Iran’s democratic future. At the annual rally organized outside Paris last summer, under the banner of the MEK-led coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), hundreds of experts attended and spoke to the crowd. The natural alliance that exists between Iran’s pro-democratic Resistance movement and the Western governments was underscored at that event.
As well, immediately before that gathering commenced on June 30th, two Iranian operatives were arrested in possession of 500 grams of explosives, attempting to cross from Belgium into France. A leading Iranian diplomat in Europe, acting on orders from Tehran, planned to have the explosives set off at the rally, potentially killing American and European dignitaries alongside hundreds of Iranian expatriates. Three months earlier, a similar plot had been thwarted in Albania, where more than 2,000 MEK activists had been relocated from Iraq three years earlier.
Tehran is right to be concerned by the the MEK’s domestic organizing and the international community’s economic and diplomatic pressure. In its desperation, its relations with Europe are deteriorating.
The United States and Europe should actively support the MEK and its affiliates inside the Islamic Republic. Observers of Middle Eastern affairs should realize that the current domestic unrest in Iran points toward the possibility of a change of government. Taking action to promote such an outcome with the Iranian economy crumbling, the ordinary people angry, and the Resistance gaining traction inside the country, seems obvious.
Promoting the community and increasing public awareness through better news media information will allow the NCRI, with its well defined objectives, to gain the support it needs.