Iranian regime propagandist Iman Goudarzi recently noted that the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) has been successful in appealing to women in particular, as well as gaining popularity across the country from all sectors of society.

He said: “Most of the members of the MEK were graduated from universities…. The MEK managed to show a new face of women to young girls… many academics and even young students and teenagers were attracted to this organization and a major part of those arrested in the 80s were 16- and 17-year-old teenagers.”

The regime has long tried to portray the MEK as unpopular in Iran, but the recent uptick in anti-regime activities and protests with the MEK’s leading role has caused them to retract their claims.

Goudarzi then expressed regret that no anti-MEK propaganda films were made in the lead up to the 2009 nationwide uprising that sprung up after the elections, as well as President Hassan Rouhani’s resolution in the National Security Council.

He said: “Mr. Rouhani adopted a resolution in the National Security Council to forbid any activity regarding the MEK. Unfortunately, until 2009, we didn’t make any documentary about the MEK.”

Of course, it is no wonder that women flock to the MEK given the misogynist nature of the regime, which has curtailed women’s rights in education, employment, and every area of life since the mullahs took power in 1979. The MEK was not only fighting to restore women’s rights in Iran but also showed how women could (and should) serve a key role in the political sphere. Not only is the MEK headed by a woman, but half of the positions are held by women.

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Meanwhile, the regime tortured and executed thousands of women throughout the 1980s.

Massoumeh Malek Mohammadi, 63, a deputy Secretary-General of the MEK, told a conference earlier this year that she’d seen Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) opening fire on a peaceful demonstration by MEK supporters in Tehran in June 1981.

She also spoke about being arrested by the regime in 1983, imprisoned, and tortured for three years.

She said: “Like tens of thousands of PMOI members and supporters, I spent the early years of the 1980s in prison. The stories of Khomeini’s henchmen committing inhuman crimes against their prisoners have been told to some extent. But little is known about our sisters and how courageously they resisted and endured the tortures in jail. I witnessed part of the tortures and killings in prisons.”

The MEK wrote: “While the regime continues to suppress women’s rights in Iran, women have continued to play a key role in leading the resistance of the MEK against the tyranny of the mullahs… The MEK and NCRI fight for everything that the Iranian regime has taken away from Iranian women. It is no wonder that the regime’s own analysts are afraid of the appeal that MEK has among Iranian women.”