At the beginning of September, the Iranian Resistance marked the 55th anniversary of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) with a special ceremony at their current headquarters in Albania.
The ceremony was centred on a speech by Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, which we will cover in this short series.
In this part, we will look at Maryam Rajavi’s comments on the founding of the MEK and the Iranian Resistance leader Massoud Rajavi came led the organization in most difficult times.
Maryam Rajavi heralded that MEK as the clearest sign of the Iranian people’s perseverance against the Shah, saying that they provide hope for the future, as well as the blueprints for a free Iran. The MEK, she noted, was a significant factor in the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 and will be the main group that topples the mullahs.
Maryam Rajavi said that it was important to honour the three initial founders of the MEK – Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saeed Mohsen, and Asghar Badizadegan – all of whom were murdered by the Shah for their political activism.
She said: “One of the first lessons Hanifnejad taught PMOI/MEK members in the early days [was that] it is inconceivable to wage a professional and full-fledged struggle without a devoted organization [and] when a qualified organization and a leadership structure does not exist, there can be no fundamental change or transformation.”
Maryam Rajavi cited that this was the case during the 1906 Constitutional Revolution and even the 1979 antimonarchic revolution, because whilst the MEK had inspired the people to rebel, the founders and leaders had been arrested and imprisoned on bogus charges during the 1970s, which left the MEK in the hands of “pseudo-leftist opportunists”. All bar one was executed before the Shah fled.
The only MEK leader left alive was Massoud Rajavi, whose brother was a renowned intellectual living in Europe and was able to wage an international campaign to spare his life, which meant that he was freed from prison days after the Shah was deposed. Maryam Rajavi explained that Massoud Rajavi reinvigorated the MEK so that it could stand strong in defiance of the next dictatorship – the mullahs.
Maryam Rajavi said: “Massoud Rajavi protected this movement from colonial deviations, opportunism and raids, placing it at the centre of a democratic alternative. He also elevated this organization to the level of a liberation army, which is celebrating its fourth fundamental rejuvenation.”
Indeed, Massoud Rajavi did not merely lead the MEK, he actually mounted an army – the National Liberation Army – against the regime and he will continue to fight for the Resistance until his dying breath.
Maryam Rajavi said: “Every one of you knows the real price and you have experienced it for years. You must pass this on to the next generation of protesters. The organization, army and a truly democratic and nationalist alternative represent the triangle of fundamental deficiencies of our people’s struggles since the Constitutional Movement, despite all the sacrifices made. They have suffered from their absence and they have paid a heavy price.”