For a long time, the regime has feared the MEK’s popularity and embarked on massive propaganda campaigns against them, both domestically and internationally. They created documentaries and dramas, articles and art, magazines, and movies, all in various languages, in order to distort Iran’s history, make the regime look like the sole choice, and brainwash the youth.
One of the regime’s key propaganda tools was to have agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) pose as “former members” or “critics” of the MEK. (Sometimes, they would even recruit former members who had been expelled for their behavior.)
For a long time, the regime denied this, but state-run website Rahyaftegan not only confirmed the practice, but also names some of the MOIS agents, including Soltani, Khodabandeh, Ezati, Hosseini, Karimdadi, Mesdaghi, Yaghmai, and Pour-Hossain. Of course, Rahyaftegan portrays this as a “great” thing because it attacks the MEK, even asking if the MOIS is doing enough, but it is important that this was verified by an internal source.
The article goes on to speak about Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s address to young Basij members on May 17, where he asked them to try and turn their fellow young people away from the MEK. Rahyaftegan admits that the MEK is the “real threat” to the regime, citing the popularity of its leader Massoud Rajavi, who “was able to gather hundreds of thousands of youth to listen to his speeches”, which French Le Monde described in 1980 as “informative” and “eloquent”.
Rahyaftegan wrote: “Imam Khomeini, until his last days of life, every week warned about the MEK’s threat and that of Massoud Rajavi. After that, we have been witnessing the supreme leader [Khamenei], with his special wisdom, constantly warn about the MEK grouplet’s threat… These warnings are based on some realities in society. Don’t you see how Massoud Rajavi constantly sends messages for youth, uses specific verses and parts of Quran and the [sermons, letters, and sayings of Imam Ali], and as [Rajavi] says gives ‘Ideological’ instruction to the ‘Young Generation’? It is not irrelevant, that a large group of youth, from different social classes, from workers to elite students of the Sharif University of Technology are attracted to the MEK.”
Rahyaftegan then praised the arrest of the elite students, the MOIS impersonations, but said that it was not enough to stop the MEK.