The thing is that the Regime has a viable alternative in the form of the oldest, largest, and most popular resistance organization in Iran, which has fought two separate regimes since it was founded in 1965. That is the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
In order to help you earn more about the MEK, we have created an in-depth series. In this part, we will learn about the Regime’s attempts to destroy the MEK.
Make no mistake about it. The Iranian Regime knows that the MEK is the biggest and most consistent threat to their rule, which is why the mullahs try every trick in the book to destroy the MEK. That’s why Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini declared the MEK as the main opposition and banned the MEK in the 1980s.
In fact, in 1985, when the US asked Iran for help to free US hostages held in Lebanon, the mullahs demanded that the US declare the MEK to be a Marxist and terrorist organisation in exchange. In 2003, the Regime convinced France to raid the Paris headquarters of MEK parent coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and claim that the MEK was “intent to prepare acts of terrorism”. Why? Well, as discovered in a subsequent court case, there was no evidence to support the claims against the MEK and the raid was completed in order for French companies operating in Iran to gain lucrative business contracts
Since the beginning, the Regime has also tried to undermine the MEK using a major propaganda campaign to promote the idea that the MEK is not popular in Iran or that there is something shadowy about them. Some former MEK members have even been bribed/tricked/coerced into leaving the group or acting as undercover agents. They spread Regime-sponsored lies about the MEK to government officials, NGOs, and the media.
There are countess Regime lies about the MEK kidnapping and torturing Iranians or killing US soldiers in Iraq (oddly enough, both things that the Regime does), but why would the Regime need to do this? Surely, if the MEK were not a popular force domestically or internationally, there would be no need to run an expensive campaign against them. Surely, if the MEK were responsible, the US and international human rights organisations would be blaming them, rather than the mullahs.
Through vilifying the MEK, the Regime is able to dismiss their opposition and blame them for the mullahs’ crimes. But the only reason they do that is because of great public support for the MEK and their ideas for a free, democratic, republic. The MEK is still the main opposition in Iran and public support for them is only growing by the day.
In our next piece, we will look at MEK support in Iran.