Over the past 120 years, the experience of many opposition movements that have struggled against dictatorship has shown that the major challenge of any movement is not the continuation of the struggle, but achievement, which bears the fruit of the struggle and bloodshed.
Throughout Iran’s history, opportunists, fake opposition individuals, groups, and overnight alternatives have often tried to undermine the achievements of the people and their pioneers. From their point of view, organizations like the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and their predecessors like Satarkhan (who led the Constitutional Movement) and Mirza Kuchik Khan (the leader of the Jungle Movement) at the turn of the 20th Century, are good people, provided that they lay down their weapons after the victory, leave the political scene altogether, or act as mercenaries of a new regime led by these opportunists.
Many supporters and lobbyists of the overthrown Shah’s regime and the mullahs constantly berate the MEK for refusing to follow this path and for working to establish a truly democratic alternative that would bring the struggle of the previous decades to fruition. In their view, organizations like the MEK must pay the price of freedom with flesh and blood but should have no right to have a say in the future once the status quo is overturned. This explains the hostility and the animosity exhibited towards the MEK by these so-called opposition figures or entities.
For the first time in the history of Iran’s contemporary movements, the MEK has managed to change the narrative, emphasizing that in a situation where it would be impossible to conduct a transparent and freely conducted survey, the sole criterion for political legitimacy is the degree to which an organization wages a resistance. One of the MEK’s most significant achievements has been its exposure to the policy of appeasement, which has empowered the regime for more than four decades. At the same time, they have exposed the regime’s dangerous ambitions. Absent such revelations, life in Iran today would be very different today in that it would have:
- already reached the ability to build an atomic bomb, to be used to blackmail and advance its expansionist and terrorist policies.
- expanded its warmongering policy and exported terrorism with the aim of exporting its brand of medieval ideology to other countries in the Middle East and holding its citizens hostage.
- not be as isolated as it is today, and therefore would have adversely affected the stability of other nations.
- been able to repress the people’s protests with free rein and with foreign help.
- Compelled the people and their Resistance to pay a higher price to overthrow this regime.
The Iranian regime’s state-run media have acknowledged the impact of the MEK in shaping international policy vis-a-vis Iran. On April 17, the state-run daily Mardom Salari wrote, “Although (the Mojahedin) are a small group, they have been able to find a special place in shaping hostile US foreign policy towards Iran. One of the most obvious manifestations of this group’s lobbying can be found in the US Congress.”
They added, “In recent years, we have seen the passage of bills, resolutions, and speeches in support of the (MEK) and against the Islamic Republic. The turning point was the tabling of a resolution in which a group of members of Congress called on the State Department to remove the (MEK) from the list of terrorist groups.”