Members of Congress have long supported the MEK, as well as a list of former U.S. officials, western parliamentarians, and international rights activists. The MEK has been engaged for decades in a struggle for a secular, democratic and non-nuclear government to be established in Iran.

Why is the Iranian regime now pursuing intelligence operations identifying, perhaps with the goal of assassinating, opponents in the United States?

The popular uprisings in Iran have reached a tipping point, and Tehran seeks to survive by attacking its most genuine alternative — The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), of which the MEK is a part. This organization represents a powerful democratic alternative to the decaying regime. It is led by a woman, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.

Since the war with Iraq, the regime has sought to eliminate the MEK. In 1988, under a fatwa issued by then Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, the regime massacred political prisoners, more than 30,000 of them MEK sympathizers.

Now, in an attempt to stop international and local support, Tehran’s intelligence service uses propaganda to demonize the MEK. Recently, Google, Facebook, and Twitter closed down hundreds of these types of accounts. Failure to tarnish the MEK’s reputation has pushed Tehran to focus more intensely on elimination.

Two prominent activists in the United States, Alireza Jafarzadeh and Ali Safavi, were identified as potential targets of Tehran’s extensive intelligence and terrorism operation by affidavits and by the FBI. This revelation follows other recent terrorist attempts and intelligence operations by the regime.

One involved an Iranian diplomat, Asadollah Assadi, and at least two other individuals. They were formally accused by German authorities of plotting to bomb the Free Iran rally held by the MEK in Paris last June. Another involved two individuals accused of terrorism against the group’s members by authorities in Albania in March.

The MEK has played a pivotal role in organizing the current nationwide protests, making it a prime target of the regime.

After the U.S. exit from the Iran nuclear deal, the people of Iran have become more hopeful of moral and political support by Washington in their call for regime change.

In at least three ways, the balance of power in favor of the dissident majority is being tilted by the MEK.

1. The existence of a dissident majority is necessary, but insufficient. For its aspirations to materialize, an organized and dedicated movement is required. In late 2016, after the relocation of MEK members to Europe was complete, the organization rallied and organized anti-regime forces on a much broader scale, transforming scattered acts of protest into a nationwide show of opposition. In December 2017, the MEK marshaled its network inside and outside of Iran.

2. MEK members have overcome years of terrorism and attacks by the regime and its proxies in Iraq. They are willing to pay the ultimate price for liberty. The organization’s perseverance, courage and principled policies make it a role model for the younger generation of dissidents, especially women.

3. The MEK is a reliable and responsible alternative — a serious replacement after the regime’s eradication.

The desperate, fearful regime needs to eliminate the organizing power behind the protests and their most viable alternative, which is why they are targeting MEK activists inside the U.S. This must be taken seriously by American counter-terrorism agencies.