Today, we want to look at the Iranian Regime’s disinformation campaign, specifically targeted against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
Since the Iranian Regime stole power in 1979, they’ve made it the almost sole task of their Intelligence Ministry to aggressively target the MEK through dishonest reports in Iranian state media and sending disinformation agents out to discredit the MEK in foreign media and to foreign officials. The European Parliament has gone on record as saying that the Iranian intelligence ministry has a “long-running and sophisticated information campaign against the MEK with the aim of tarnishing the organization within Iran, and more importantly, in the international community”; an assessment that the intelligence agencies in the Netherlands and Germany also stand by.
In a 2011 report by the General Intelligence and Security Service (GISS) of the Netherlands, they advised that Iran’s “efforts to undermine the opposition [MEK]…in the Netherlands continued unabated” and that the Iranian Regime had launched a coordinated campaign in order to portray the MEK “in a highly negative light” to the media, politicians, and other public servants.
In fact, Dutch intelligence has been monitoring the Iranian intelligence services activities against the MEK, since at least May 2002, when they released a report stating that the MEK was the Iranian Intelligence Agency’s main interest.
It read: “[Iran’s intelligence ministry sought to] exert pressure on Western countries to condemn and ban this group [MEK]. The Intelligence Ministry tries to gather information on the People’s Mohahedin Organization [and its members]. They are trying, therefore, to destabilize the organization and demonize the [MEK] in the host country and thus end their political and social activities.”
While Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt fur Verfassungsschutz – BFV) has been tracking the Iranian Intelligence services’ targeting of the MEK since at least 2000.
In a report, the BFV wrote: “The exiled Iranian opposition [MEK] in Germany continues to remain in the focus of the reconnaissance activities of the Iranian Intelligence Services, VEVAK. As in the past years, the Iranian Intelligence Service tries to recruit active or former members of opposition groups. In many cases, this effort is accompanied by intimidation to put pressure on the person or on his relatives who live in Iran….”
So, to sum up, the Iranian Regime’s targeting of the MEK is nothing new. Indeed, it first became a high priority for the Intelligence services just after the 1991 Gulf War, when they drastically increased operations against the MEK in order to shut them down before they received too much attention in the West. The Iranian Regime created millions of publications and articles attacking the MEK and wrote thousands of letters to foreign leaders, accusing the MEK of things that are now long debunked.