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 learn more about the MEK, we have created an in-depth series. In this part, we will learn about how the Regime tried to discredit the MEK for their role in the 2009 uprising through a series of statements by Regime officials and state-run media outlets.
During the 2009 uprising over the rigged election, many thousands of people were arrested, including MEK members and supporters. Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) said in documents about the uprising that roughly 60% of the young people there had been involved with or influenced by the MEK.
Most Regime members acknowledged the key role of the MEK in the uprising, which proves that the MEK is not insignificant at all; a charge that the mullahs often like to levy against the MEK. Let’s look at some of the statements
Iran’s Deputy Minister of Intelligence said that MEK members attended the protests after a rallying call from MEK members, while MOIS media outlet Neday-e Enghelab said that the MEK had a “comprehensive and well-calculated plan” to increase the protests. Fars News Agency also advised that many MEK members were present and working to “overthrow the regime”.
However, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Intelligence called them “opportunistic”, a term that doesn’t fit freedom fighters. He also used a slur to describe them, pretended that the MEK was part of an “armed” rebellion against Iran, and accused them of waging war on God. The MEK had laid down their arms about five years before this uprising and they were only seeking to overthrow the mullahs, not kill God or destroy Iran. While Fars repeated the lie that the MEK was planting bombs.
Many MEK members were arrested for taking part in the protests, as should be clear from above, but let’s look at some of the statistics.
- Seven MEK members arrested by MOIS agents in Ghazvin province, about 150 km northwest of Tehran for protesting in Ghazvin and Tehran
- 16 MEK members tried before the notorious Judge Salavati in December 2009; five sentenced to the “most severe punishment”, which is execution
- Six MEK members executed for their roles in the protests at some point in 2010, according to Tehran Chief Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi
- MEK members Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Hajaghaei were executed in January 2011 for their involvement in the protests
Abdolreza Mohabati, a deputy prosecutor in Tehran, said that the MEK members taking part in the protests were trained at Camp Ashraf in Iraq, but it is unclear what he means by that or if it is true.
In our next piece, we will look at how the Regime uses propaganda against the MEK to try and trick the Iranian public and the world at large into thinking the MEK are somehow insignificant or evil.