On Monday in Yahoo News, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) was discussed. Formed in 1965, it is the largest and best-organized Iranian opposition movement, and is the main component of the coalition, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which acts as the parliament-in-exile.
The NCRI and MEK, have been committed to a secular, democratic, non-nuclear republic; with gender equality; freedom of religion, thought, press, and association; support for peace in the Middle East; and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights high on their agenda, the report says.
The MEK was critical in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb. By relying on a vast network inside Iran, they were instrumental in exposing Iran’s nuclear weapons program. MEK revelations of the weapons program significantly contributed to the world peace and the national security of the United States, by triggering the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz and Heavy Water Facility in Arak in 2002 for the first time. Since then, most of the visits by the IAEA inspection teams have been to the sites exposed by the MEK.
The role the MEK had played in getting the world attention on Iran’s nuclear weapons program has been repeatedly pointed to by Senior U.S. officials, including President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
President Bush emphasized that the MEK’s revelation of Natanz prompted an international campaign to stop the nuclear weapons program of Iran. “Iran has concealed its — a nuclear program. That became discovered, not because of their compliance with the IAEA or NPT, but because a dissident group pointed it out to the world.”
Many of the key front companies exposed by the MEK were eventually sanctioned by the Treasury Department. They include Mesbah Energy, Novin Energy, Kalaye Electric, Kavoshyar Company, andFarayand Technique.
In July 2011, the MEK exposed the SPND, a new nuclear organization overseeing the entire nuclear program and run by the military. The U.S. Government designated that entity in 2014. In addition, many companies, key nuclear experts, and military institutions exposed by the MEK have been sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council resolutions 1737, 1747, and 1803.
Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) told a House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing “We all owe a debt of gratitude to the MEK for bringing this information to the world, and causing the United States and the world to focus on the problem.”
The MEK played a key role in exposing terrorist operations by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and its entity, the Qods Force. MEK’s intelligence on Qods Force operations in Iraq saved many lives, and thwarted many terrorist operations by the Iranian regime. They documented the details of the Qods force production and shipment of advanced EFP’s (Explosively Formed Projectiles), which were the number one killer of U.S. forces in Iraq. The MEK also exposed Iran’s involvement in the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 American servicemen.
The MEK has gained extensive support among a large bi-partisan group of members of congress over the past two decades. Congress strongly rejected MEK’s FTO designation, which it viewed as a goodwill gesture to Tehran, as 99 members (52 D and 47 R) called for the group’s delisting. Secretary Hillary Clinton revoked the designation in 2012, after being urged by the U.S. Court of Appeals- DC Circuit.
Congress held hearings in the House and the Senate supporting the safety & security of thousands of MEK members based in camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq, which were being subject to attacks instigated by Tehran. There were several pieces of legislations in support of MEK members in Iraq, e.g., H.Res.704 with 224 co-sponsors (126 D and 98 R).
Additionally, for the fiscal year 2016, the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by President Obama,became law, and included language in support of the “security and protection” of MEK members in Camp Liberty, Iraq.
The resettlement of all members of “exiled Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin e-Khalq, or MEK,” from Iraq to Europe in September 2016, was lauded by Secretary of State John Kerry, who emphasized that “their departure concludes a significant American diplomatic initiative that has assured the safety of more than 3,000 MEK members whose lives have been under threat…I first became involved in this effort when I was in the Senate … I’m very proud that the United States was able to play a pivotal role in helping to get this job done.”
The MEK has been in the forefront of opposition to the regime since early days of the 1979 revolution, when it soon become the number one target of the Iranian regime’s repression. The rulers of Iran view the MEK as a threat because of its support at home, with its undermining of the regime’s Islamic extremist ideology among a vast majority of the Iranian population, especially the youth.
The modern, tolerant and democratic view on Islam held by the MEK opposes the Islamic fundamentalists and the velayat-e faqih system. They are a main victim of repression in Iran. By direct order of Supreme Leader Khomeini, the Iranian regime massacred 30,000 political prisoners, most members of MEK in summer 1988. Over 100,000 of its members have been murdered since 1981, and many of its supporters arecurrently jailed in prisons across the country. Most of those arrested and sentenced to death after the summer 2009 uprising in Iran, belonged to the MEK.
Tehran waged an international effort to have the MEK designated as a terrorist organization, after having failed to physically eliminate them. After all the designations were overturned in Europe and the U.S. with the help of over 20 court rulings, Tehran embarked upon a multi-million-dollar campaign of character assassination and demonization, which described the MEK as a cult. None of those efforts succeeded.