The following is an excerpt from the speech of Ms. Zahra Merrikhi, the Secretary General of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), marking the 57th anniversary of the founding of the MEK.
Marking the beginning of the 58th year of the founding of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), we pay homage to the pioneers of the true revolution of the Iranian people, our great founders, Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saeid Mohsen, and Ali Asghar Badizadegan, and we hail the standard-bearer of their glorious path, Massoud Rajavi.
On behalf of the MEK and their supporters inside Iran and abroad, we renew our pledge to continue this struggle until victory.
September 6, 1965, when this seed was planted in the suffering soil of Iran, was a watershed moment in Iran’s history and destiny.
Without it, how could our nation hope for a fate other than tyranny and darkness under the rule of the Shah and the mullahs?
Hanifnejad, facing the so-called “Islam-sheltering” regime of the Shah and the reactionary mullahs, including [Iranian regime’s first supreme leader Ruhollah] Khomeini, sitting idle abroad, shattered that era’s dogma.
Hanifnejad said that from a social and political perspective, the line is not drawn between believers in God and non-believers, but between exploiters and the exploited.
As such, since its inception, the Mojahedin’s historical and ideological position was the opposite of the fundamentalist mullahs. True to that ideological position, we rejected the Shah’s reign and the mullahs’ rule. The past century has seen our nation suffer under the rule of four brutal tyrants, but it has also seen the birth of a movement that has deep roots, is continuously growing, and has a brilliant future.
This organization, whose history is marked with its endless list of martyrs and the relentless efforts of its members, has advanced Iran’s fate beyond the closed circle of the Shah and the mullahs, making it possible for our people to play their part in a struggle that has lasted 57 years.
The Mojahedin’s near-six-decade endeavor contains great experience and lessons in the struggle for freedom. In these six decades, the MEK has successfully overcome many trials and tribulations, from the blow dealt by the Shah’s SAVAK in 1971 to destroy the organization by executing its founders, to its struggle against the Khomeini regime, the execution of its members in the 1980s and the massacre of political prisoners in 1988, to the horrific aerial air strikes on its bases in Iraq during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the disarmament of its members and the 14-year siege on camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq in the ensuing years.
The root of Mojahedin’s continued struggle for freedom
Let us now take a brief look at the MEK’s struggle and its results. This effort is a response to the imperatives and questions regarding the Iranian nation’s fate and freedom.
First and foremost is to bring about regime change, no matter what the cost. Next is the important issue of leadership.
A century after Iran’s Constitutional Revolution, how can we avoid seeing a nation’s revolution for freedom being hijacked by the Cossacks (of the Pahlavi era) or the mullahs?
How can one ensure that the achievements of these movements and revolutions— embodied in their leadership— are safeguarded and not stolen or destroyed?
How can one prevent the cycle of revolutionary and democratic movements being destroyed from being repeated?
And, how can one protect the revolutionary movement against opportunism and treachery?
Colonialist powers and the oppressive rule of Reza Pahlavi destroyed the Constitutional Revolution, The movements that succeeded it were also destroyed. A British-American engineered coup d’état overthrew the nationalist and democratic government of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, and the 1979 Revolution was drowned in the blood of the martyrs and the massacred prisoners of the 1980s.
And now, the question is, how to preserve and continue a progressive and forward-looking movement? And the greater question is, how can one help the Iranian people achieve freedom?
What enabled the MEK to draw the right lessons from the 1979 Revolution and other revolutions and movements in the contemporary history of Iran?
And indeed, what has given the MEK the strength to stay true to its ideals of freedom and equality, symbolized by its Central Council, composed entirely of competent and enlightened women?
The MEK have found the answer, first and foremost, in overhauling their patriarchal worldview, which was the key to preserving this democratic movement and critical to overcoming hardships while advancing in the face of the most difficult situations.
Commitment to continue the struggle for freedom
The remnants of the Shah regime are trying to create the impression that the 1979 Revolution was a mistake. Their real slogan, “death to the revolution and revolutionaries,” couldn’t be farther from the truth.
And those submitting to the regime hope for the destruction of the resistance movement altogether. In their mindset “change and movement” have no meaning; one must submit to standing idle and maintaining silence.
The regime’s supreme leader and his henchmen claim that revolution and regime change will not happen again. Ali Khamenei recently said that his God is the God of his predecessor Khomeini, who suppressed women and carried out mass executions in the 1980s. But the God of the MEK is the God of Abraham, who broke the idols; of Moses, who overthrew and drowned the Pharaoh; and of Mohammed, who broke the idols and cleansed the Kaaba. And the MEK’s vision is a democratic and free Iran led by Maryam Rajavi.
The inspiration for the MEK’s ideological transformation was and is the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime, which the organization is working towards every minute of every day. Describing a revolution in the making despite the calm and tranquil appearance of society, the MEK’s founder Hanifnejad said, “Under this calm and apparently placid surface, one sees a deep and turbulent ocean” and “will then find one’s historical responsibility and will step forth and act after taking the necessary steps. Not only will one reject defeat and bondage as the fate of the society, but will envision a decisive victory over evil by employing creativity and obtaining the necessary competencies.”
Indeed, this deep vision, seeing the revolution behind the calm appearance of society, shouldering historical responsibilities, firm action and having faith in victory, are what our ideological transformation continues to engage in. This is the roadmap of a resistance movement that is engaged in a formidable struggle that would have destroyed any other movement in its first steps.
This is the theory of victory following the century-long history of unfulfilled revolutions.
The murderous and misogynist mullahs, who have never stopped plotting to annihilate the MEK, are fully aware of how this theory and this transformation work in every domain, because they clearly realize that this transformation has preserved and helped our movement continues the struggle, advance, and achieve victories.
And this is why the mullahs attack and try to demonize this transformation, its values, and its achievements.
The mullahs’ history of fundamentalism, exploitation, misogyny, and brutal crackdown on the MEK have revealed their evil nature. But their ploys have no effect and will backfire on themselves.
Indeed, what will remain is the relentless struggle and rebellion against the destiny that the reactionaries and colonialists are trying to impose on the Iranian people. We will change that destiny.