The reality is that it is a threat to the regime and it is clear that the regime has seen it as one for a long time because it has run sophisticated and elaborate smear campaigns against the MEK.
At the end of last year, protests broke out across the country and the people of Iran were calling for regime change. The protests were organised and the demands of the people were precise, specific and focused and the MEK played a big role in the organisation and mobilisation of the protests.
During the “Free Iran” gathering in Paris at the end of June, the widespread support inside and outside Iran for the Resistance was evident. A video from inside Iran showing the protesters holding placards in support of the Resistance and speaking about the huge role of the MEK shows that it is highly regarded and valued by a large portion of the population. Furthermore, it was shown that there is a huge following in every single one of Iran’s provinces – its support is not just centred around large cities.
Iranian regime officials can no longer deny that the Resistance is hugely significant and in recent days and weeks we are hearing about the reality of the situation.
At the end of July, the regime’s labour minister Ali Rabiei said that the opposition is an enemy of the regime and referred to its role during recent labour strikes. He said: “Today our enemies, particularly the MEK, are targeting the labor issues in the country, something that was very apparent in the issue of the truckers (…) Various networks were activated to transform this demand as a protest by the MEK in the shortest possible time.”
At the beginning of August, a member of Majlis (parliament), Ahmad Salek, who is part of the pro-Khamenei faction, said: “The slogans that were chanted in the demonstration were directed by the MEK through foreign news channels.”
An op-ed in a media outlet that is linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) recently warned about the increasing influence of the MEK. It said that the protests (which it describes as “illegal”) have evolved. In December and January, the protests were less focused than the most recent ones.
The publication also showed that the regime is fearful of what is to come next. “Recently, [Massoud] Rajavi gave a call to the so-called ‘resistance units’ and has promised that the turmoil will continue and escalate every day. He claims that the protests are becoming increasingly organized and the government doesn’t have the capacity to stop them. It’s worth reminding that the U.S. government expressed support for the protests in December and Maryam Rajavi stipulated that her organization was involved in the protests. The MEK is more ready than ever and has become directly involved in the chaos.”
The MEK is an organisation that has been, and continues to be, a great support to the people of Iran. It is not responsible for starting the protests in Iran – the Iranian regime is responsible for that. Without the Iranian regime’s corruption, neglect, mismanagement and interference abroad, the people in Iran would have no reasons to take to the streets.