Who is Maryam Rajavi?

To see the subtitles have been translated into English please click on button “CC” at the bottom of the video clip.

Who is Maryam Rajavi?

Maryam Rajavi is currently the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
She was born in Tehran in 1953. She graduated from Sharif University of Technology studying metallurgy engineering. Her life as a political activist began in 1973.
Until 1978 Maryam Rajavi was active against the Shah’s regime as an official involved in the students’ movement association to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). From 1979 to 1981 she was a senior official of the PMOI Social Department.
In 1980 she was registered as a candidate for Tehran in the parliamentary elections. Her older sister, Narges, was executed in 1980 by the Shah’s intelligence service.
Her other sister, Masoumeh, studying industrial engineering, was arrested by the mullahs’ regime and executed while pregnant and after enduring excruciating tortures.
From 1985 to 1989 she served at the same rank of the PMOI Secretary General. She married Massoud Rajavi in 1985. From 1989 to 1993 she served as the PMOI Secretary General.
National Council of Resistance of Iran – Parliament-in-exile
In 1993 Maryam Rajavi was elected as the NCRI President-elect for the transition period.
Maryam Rajavi taking the position of NCRI President-elect presented a major political, social, cultural and ideological challenge against the ruling misogynist mullahs.
During her years in the NCRI Maryam Rajavi has pioneered the most difficult international campaigns against the mullahs’ velayat-e faqih dictatorship.
This includes delisting the PMOI, closing the legal case raised against the PMOI in France, and providing protection for and realizing the transfer of PMOI members out of Iraq.

The Story Of Iran’s Presidential Elections

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From left to right: Rouhani, Ahmadinejad, Raisi

By Heshmat Alavi

With former firebrand president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad entering Iran’s presidential election and spiraling the entire race into unprecedented crises, taking a more in-depth look into the history of elections in Iran is quite necessary.

Holding elections have been a tradition practiced by humanity for a few thousand years to manage society. Elections, based on the correct and conventional meaning of the word, became a traditional law in Iran following the Constitutional Revolution in the early 20th century. Although, the ruling monarchy had a tendency to either cancel elections altogether or holding farce polls.

Iranians only experienced true democracy during the prime ministry of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq, widely regarded as a leading champion of secular democracy and resistance to foreign domination in modern Iranian history. His short premiership, however, became the target of a 1953 coup d’etat backed by the American and British governments.

Following the 1979 revolution being hijacked by ultraconservative clerics led by Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran was transformed into a theocracy with zero tolerance for democratic norms. Khomeini began taking advantage of elections as a medium to deceive the people and an asset for foreign propaganda.

The first ever so-called “election” held in Iran came in the 1979 referendum asking the people to vote yes or no to the “Islamic Republic” without any prior knowledge of its structure, objectives or methods. The atmosphere created by Khomeini defined a no vote as literally backstabbing the 1979 revolution altogether.

Khomeini’s second sham election was even more dismal. He set aside all pledged plans for general elections and called for the establishment of an “Assembly of Experts.” This body was tasked to outline and shape the velayat-e faqih principle, Khomeini’s vision of the absolute rule over the people.

Iran under Khomeini held its first presidential election in 1980, in which Massoud Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), participated alongside nine other finalists. Knowing Rajavi enjoyed immense popular support, Khomeini resorted to the pretext that Rajavi had voted no to the Islamic republic constitution, and thus had him disqualified.

Khomeini followed the same principle of no tolerance in his regime’s first general elections, eliminating all candidates deemed anyhow disloyal to his reactionary and extremist mentality of imposing the utmost control over people’s lives.

Source: The Story Of Iran’s Presidential Elections

#IranOutOfSyria : Maryam Rajavi: Imagine if the recent reaction to the chemical attack had taken place 4 years ago.

Commemorating the martyrs of the epic battle in Ashraf on April 8, 2011

 

Fellow Iranians,

Sisters and brothers,

We have gathered today to honor the sixth anniversary of the epic battle of the PMOI in Ashraf on April 8, 2011, a stunning resistance and a glorious battle.

An unequal confrontation between residents of Ashraf who were empty-handed but proud on one hand, and the armed forces of the clerical regime’s puppet government in Iraq who were armed to the teeth, on the other. On that day, the Iraqi forces’ Humvees and APCs ran over the bodies of the PMOI, their bullets piercing their chests and heads. Thirty-six PMOI members gave their lives for Iran’s freedom.

Hail to my dear fallen sisters, Asiyeh Rakhshani, Fatemeh Massih, Marzieh Pourtaghi, Nastaran Azimi, Fa’ezeh Rajabi, Mahdieh Madadzadeh, Shahnaz Pahlavani, and Saba Haftbaradaran. These heroines set the foundations of the PMOI’s new Central Council on that day by their courageous fight and endless sacrifice at the forefront of one thousand valiant women.

And hail to my dear fallen brothers, Hassan Avani, Jafar Bareji, Mohammadreza Yazdandoust, Golamreza Talghori, Ahmad Aghaii, Morteza Behesthi, Ali-Akbar Madadzadeh, Ghassem Etemadi, Nasser Sepahpour, Mohammadreza Pirzadi, Amir Massoud Fazlollahi, Hossein Ahmadi, Zohair Zakeri, Hanif Kafaii, Mohammad Ghayyoumi, Khalil Ka’abi, Saeed Chavoshi, Massoud Hajilouii, Saeedreza Pour Hashemi, Vargha Solaimani, Behrouz Sabet, Fereydoon Ayni, Zia’ollah Pour Nader, Mehdi Barzegar, Majid Ebadian, Alireza Taherlou, Bahman Atighi, and Mansour Hajian.

These heroes set up the new organization of the PMOI and once again hoisted the flag of full-fledged and selfless battle for freedom in Ashraf.

 

I would like to repeat Massoud (Rajavi’s) words to these martyrs when he said, “Hail to you who delivered on your promises in the most amazing and startling manner to fight with all your power… Hail to you who taught new lessons to humanity of our time, lessons that are unprecedented in the history of all nationalist, patriotic and revolutionary struggles… This is our enormous sacrifice for Iran’s freedom.”

And on behalf of myself, the PMOI and every freedom-loving Iranian, I would like to tell you that we will keep the flames of your memories and names, each and every one of you, alight and alive forever. The flame of your sacrifice will remain alight in our souls until our people will embrace their long-yearned-for freedom.

From Khamenei’s standpoint, the April 8, 2011 attack on Ashraf was a reaction to the popular uprisings in Iran, as was the case in 2009. Whenever Khamenei got stuck in the impasse of popular unrest at home, the nuclear sanctions and the war in Syria, he opted to attack the PMOI in Iraq which had been gradually occupied by the clerical regime.

In fact, the PMOI and the Iranian people’s uprising have always been identical phenomena for Khamenei.

The ruling mullahs in Iran hear the rallying cries of the PMOI, the army of freedom and the Iranian Resistance in every popular uprising which will ultimately put an end to their religious tyranny. Yes, the overthrow and termination of the mullahs’ regime is indisputable and inevitable.

Fellow compatriots,

Khamenei and Maliki’s savage attack on the PMOI in Ashraf on April 8, 2011, was one of the disastrous consequences of the policy of western countries, particularly the United States, over the past 16 years which was totally in the interest of Iran mullahs. The same is true with the other six massacres carried out in Ashraf and Camp Liberty and the transfer of the protection of Ashraf to the armed forces of the mullahs’ puppet government in Iraq.

It might be interesting for you to know that on the night of the attack, the U.S. forces based in Ashraf left the camp without prior notice. Like it or not, Maliki’s forces took advantage of this measure as a green light to carry out their mission.

At exactly 11.02 p.m., Mr. (Tahir) Boumedra sent a message to Ashraf. At the time, Mr. Boumedra headed the UNAMI’s human rights office. He had sent the message on behalf of the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. State Department’s desk in charge of the case of Ashraf. The message indicated that General Ali Ghaydan (commander of Maliki’s Ground Forces) had ordered security forces to seize Ashraf’s vacant lands without harming the residents. The message explicitly emphasized that based on Maliki’s order, the security forces must not resort to violence.

Paying homage to the martyrs of the April 8, 2011 epic battle in Ashraf-8

This is one of the documents submitted to the International Court in Spain (which is investigating the attack). The email maintained that the Prime Minister (i.e. Maliki) had stressed that the aim of the government of Iraq is to find a peaceful solution and he hopes that a humane solution would be found for the situation…

In less than six hours, however, the attack began with armored personnel carriers and automatic weapons opening fire on the residents. It thus became clear that Maliki’s message was a sheer lie attempted to drive the U.S. unit out of Ashraf and remove all obstacles for the massacre.

The policy of silence and inaction vis-à-vis the attack on Ashraf consequently paved the clerical regime’s way for more aggressions in the region, waging war on other countries and violating their national sovereignty.

If Khomeini had not established his theocratic rule in Iran under the banner of Shiism, the world would have never experienced the phenomena of Daesh and Sunni Caliphate which were the immediate byproducts of the religious fascism innovated and initiated by Khomeini.

The reality is that most of the disasters engulfing and devastating the Middle East today were originally caused by Western governments and especially the United States’ concessions to the clerical regime in Iran.

 

Imagine if the recent reaction and response –to the chemical attack by Assad’s regime and the slaughter of defenseless people and innocent children– had taken place four years ago. Wouldn’t the situation in the region –with 11 million Syrian refugees and millions of homeless people– be completely different today?

Indeed, if there were not a four-year delay in responding to the chemical attacks, would the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) be able to fuel and expand its war and destruction in Syria? How could the number of deaths in Syria exceed half a million?

This is why the Syrian people and dissidents have welcomed the missile attack on Assad’s chemical centers and airbases. In contrast, the clerical regime has strongly condemned it. They tried to deny that there was any chemical attack by Bashar Assad. But if the religious dictatorship in Tehran was not involved in this inhuman crime, or had it not encouraged the Syrian dictator to carry out the attack, why would it need to conceal it?

This is the reason we declare: After years of appeasement of the Iranian and Syrian regimes, which had no outcome but more war crimes and more crimes against humanity, the disabling of the chemical centers, bases, and the machinery of war and repression in Syria must be completed by expelling the Iranian regime, the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its mercenary forces from Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

This is the reason we declare: Eviction of the godfather and main state-sponsor of terrorism in today’s world is the requisite to global and regional peace and tranquility and the uprooting of fundamentalism and terrorism.

Fellow Iranians,

My dear sisters and brothers,

In the (Persian) New Year celebration here, when I spoke on the boycott of the mullahs’ sham election, I reiterated that the vote of the overwhelming majority of the people of Iran is regime change and the overthrow of the Velayat-e Faqih regime which has usurped the Iranian people’s right to sovereignty.

In the early days of the New Year, Khamenei said that he would confront anyone who opposes, and actually rises up against, the regime’s election.

Now, mullah Ibrahim Ra’issi, one of the principal members of the Death Commission which issued the death decrees in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners, has been nominated to run for president. No other incident could so clearly demonstrate how politically desperate the regime is in every respect.

In the wake of the milestone uprising on December 27, 2009, Ra’issi shamelessly declared, “Anyone who helps the PMOI in any form and under any circumstances is considered a Mohareb (someone who wages war on God) because the PMOI is an organized force.” In fact, he has achieved the highest levels of the regime’s hierarchy because of his utmost callousness in spilling the blood of PMOI supporters and members.

Last July, in the great gathering of the Iranian Resistance in Paris, I also said, “both factions (of the regime) failed to find a way to preserve the regime. What is more, why should the Iranian people jump from the frying pan into the fire? No! The Iranian people reject both a black and a white turban. The Velayat-e faqih regime must be overthrown in its entirety.”

And as Massoud (Rajavi) said, “The people of Iran will not be contented with anything less than the overthrow of the Velayat-e Faqih religious dictatorship and the establishment of freedom and popular sovereignty. This has always been and will continue to be the core of our nationalist and patriotic campaign against the regime.”

We will keep the flame of your sacrifice alight until the day when the people of embrace freedom

On the day when mullah Hassan Rouhani became the regime’s president, I declared on behalf of the Iranian Resistance, that “Nothing will change in the absence of freedom of speech and human rights. As long as political prisoners are not released and the activities of (political) parties are not sanctioned, and as long as the regime continues with its aggressive policy in Syria and Iraq… nothing will change because the Vali-e faqih (Khamenei) knows that any serious change in these policies would lead to the overthrow of the entire regime. Nevertheless, we say, go ahead and test your chances.”

Now, let us look back at what happened during the four years of Rouhani in office: Three thousand executions; the horrific mass execution of PMOI members in Ashraf on September 1, 2013; escalation of the regime’s war against the people of Syria and Rouhani’s explicit support for Bashar Assad; and exorbitant expenditures from the country’s revenues on the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
The truth is that repression and plunder at home along with terrorism and war abroad comprise the main pillars of the regime’s existence and its fundamental policies, whether the mullahs in charge wear white turbans or black turbans, whether they are charlatans or executioners.

The overthrow of the mullahs’ religious tyranny & establishment of freedom & democracy in are within reach

The Velayat-e faqih regime and the religious dictatorship in Iran has no way out of its crises. The people of Iran boycott the sham election and vote for overthrow of the clerical regime.

The time has come for the Iranian people and Resistance to forge ahead and advance.

The time has come for fruition of our martyrs’ sacrifices. The time has come for long years of suffering by the PMOI and the people of Iran to bear result.

The overthrow of the mullahs’ religious tyranny and the establishment of freedom and democracy are within reach, and will be realized with the efforts of the Iranian people and youths and by setting up 1000 bastions of rebellion, i.e. 1000 Ashraf’s.

Hail to freedom,
Hail to those who gave their lives for freedom, especially the martyrs of April 8, 2011.

via #IranOutOfSyria : Maryam Rajavi: Imagine if the recent reaction to the chemical attack had taken place 4 years ago. — iranarabspring

NCRI-U.S Revealing IRGC Terrorist Training Camps in Iran 14 Feb 2017

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On February 14, 2017, the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-US) held a press conference to share details of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) terrorist training bases.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director of NCRI-US, explained that the intelligence had come from the NCRI’s main constituent group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), which had previously exposed key information about Iran’s nuclear weapon program.

The unearthed information concerning the training facilities indicates a rise of recruitment of foreign nationals, an expansion that has been explicitly endorsed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Currently, the Quds Force, an operation division of the IRGC, is designated by the US Government under executive order 13224 as an entity engaged in terrorism, but the IRGC itself is not. The NCRI pointed out that there is no distinction between the IRGC and the Quds Force, either in the Iranian constitution or national budget.

Jafarzadeh showed maps and details of 14 terrorist training centers in Iran. The main headquarter, known as Imam Ali Garrison, is where terrorist training is provided to foreign nationals. He also included specifics on the types of training given to the mercenaries from around the world.

The conference emphasized the IRGC’s deep involvement in each of the “three pillars” upon which the regime’s power rests: the suppression of dissent inside Iran, the export of its Islamic revolution through terrorism and regional military operations, and the amplification of the Iranian military threat through the pursuit of WMDs.

IRGC’s connection to the international terrorist network was also discussed. Trainees were “dispatched to various countries in the Persian Gulf area, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.”

The NCRI said measures like designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization would decrease the likelihood of similar incidents in the West, and would strike a blow against the Iranian theocracy.

In his written statement, Jafarzadeh concluded: “If the day comes when the Tehran regime stops its export of terrorism and religious fascism; and if it reins in the Revolutionary Guards Corps, mandating it only to protect Iran from within Iran’s borders; and if it lets go of its hostility towards the United States and drops its ‘anti-imperialist’ slogans, that day the mullahs’ regime will collapse.”

Senator Torricelli Speaks Out Against Associated Press MEK Story

Senator Robert Torricelli released a letter in response to the article written by Jon Gambrell on February 5, 2017. The senator, who served as the legal representative of the MEK in the U.S. State Department hearings, took umbrage with the use of the phrases “cult”, “terrorist group” and accusations which include “killing Americans” and members “lighting themselves on fire”.

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“As I’m certain your reporter is aware, the State Department never offered evidence that the MEK ever engaged in terrorist activities, killed any American or worked contrary to American interests. No evidence was similarly offered to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Courts of Britain, France or the European Union who similarly either ordered the removal of a terrorist designation or ordered their governments to present evidence,” said Torricelli.

The senator then expressed that the AP owed an apology to the Americans that it had listed in the story and inferred that they had committed an ethical breach. “The Iranian regime has an active public relations presence in our country. It is their right to present information to the national dialogue. Your reporter, however, has fallen victim to it and done a great disservice to some very distinguished Americans united for the single purpose of regime change in Tehran,” said Torricelli.

He also said an apology was in order to the thousands of MEK member who risked their lives to share critical information about Iran’s nuclear program and reported Iraqi IED locations to American soldiers during the Iraqi occupation.

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The Iranian opposition issued their own rebuttal to the AP story on February 7, 2017. In it, they noted that the article didn’t reference the military officers, the lawmakers and court hearings that demonstrated the MEK was not a terrorist organization or involved in the activities that the AP article mentioned.

“The religious dictatorship ruling Iran and its lobby abroad have tried for years to discredit the Iranian opposition in an effort to proffer the appeasement of the ruling mullahs as a viable policy,” said Shahin Gobadi, press spokesman of The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

The U.S., UK and France all have findings that show there is no evidence that the group was involved in terrorism. Even the deaths referred to in the article have not been credited to the MEK, as reports from independent sources, as well as the U.S. State Department and well respected Iran experts. Yet none of these sources were mentioned in the article, noted the opposition rebuttal.

The local cease fire agreement of mutual understanding and coordination” signed between the U.S. military and the MEK in 2003, makes it clear that the MEK had not fired a single bullet against U.S. forces in Iraq.

The AP story also didn’t reference what the MEK has done to expose the Iranian regime’s terrorism and reveal their major nuclear sites, which triggered the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) inspections of the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz for the first time. Since then, the majority of the visits by the IAEA inspection teams have been to the sites first uncovered by the MEK.

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Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) told a House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing that, “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 has been in existence since the 1960s and a majority of its founding members were executed during the early years of the Iranian regime. Since then, they have continued to work for a democratic Iran, as an alternative to the mullahs’ theocratic rule, which is riddled with human rights violations, executions and oppressive measures meant to keep the regime in power.

These two rebuttals clearly point to the mis-conceptions that continue to abound about the MEK and their role in Iran. The opposition rebuttal called the opening paragraph of the article an example of “editorializing” that “makes one wonder whether ulterior political motives by the ‘echo chamber’ crowd tasked to sell the Iran nuclear deal to (the) U.S. Congress and American public was at work here.”

As of February 8, 2017, there was no retraction of the article or apology made by the Associated Press.

Back Ground:

Who is the MEK?

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (also known as the MEK) was founded on September 6, 1965 by Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saeed Mohsen, and Ali-Asghar Badizadgan. All engineers, they had earlier been members of the Freedom Movement created by Medhi Bazargan in May 1961.

The MEK’s quest culminated in a true interpretation of Islam, which is inherently tolerant and democratic, and fully compatible with the values of modern-day civilization. It took six years for the MEK to formulate its view of Islam and develop a strategy to replace Iran’s dictatorial monarchy with a democratic government.

MEK’s Interpretation of Islam

The theocratic mullah regime in Iran believe they are the only ones that can interpret Islam. The MEK reject this view and the cleric’s reactionary vision of Islam. MEK’s founders and new members studied the various schools of thought, the Iranian history and those of other countries, enabling them to analyze the other philosophies and ideologies with considerable knowledge and to present their own ideology, based on Islam, as an answer to Iran’s problems.

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MEK’s Leadership Arrested

During the early 1970s, the Shah’s secret police arrested all MEK leaders and most of its members. In May 1972, the founders of the MEK, along with two members of the leadership, were put to death by firing squad after months of torture. The death sentence of Massoud Rajavi, a member of the MEK’s central committee, was commuted to life imprisonment due to an international campaign by his Geneva-based brother, Dr. Kazem Rajavi (who was later assassinated in April 1990), along with intervention of the French President Georges Pompidou and Francois Mitterrand. Today, he is the only surviving member of the original MEK leadership.

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During his imprisonment from 1975 to 1979, Massoud Rajavi stressed the need to continue to struggle against the shah’s dictatorship. At the same time, he characterized religious fanaticism as the primary internal threat to the popular opposition, and warned against the emergence and growth of religious fanaticism and autocracy. These positions remained the MEK’s manifesto until the overthrow of the shah’s regime.

Political Prisoners Released

When the shah was forced to flee Iran, the democratic opposition leaders had been either executed or imprisoned and could exert little influence on events. Using this political vacuum, Khomeini and his network of mullahs were able to hijack a revolution that began with calls for democracy and freedom and diverted it towards his fundamentalist goals. Thus, an exceptional chain of events allowed the mullahs to assume power in Iran.

Khomeini Cracks Down on the MEK

While the MEK argued that Khomeini represented the reactionary sector of society and preached religious fascism, Rafsanjani and other mullahs began to consolidate power by attacking the MEK, which was the largest organized political party in Iran. Khomeini set up an Assembly of Experts comprised of sixty of his closest mullahs and loyalist to ratify the principle of absolute supremacy of clerical rule as a pillar of the Constitution.

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The MEK launched a nationwide campaign against this move and refused to approve the new constitution. After they refused to support the Constitution with this pillar in it, the MEK was blocked from being able to participate in the political process within Iran.

Khomeini also ordered a crackdown on the MEK and its supporters. Between 1979 and 1981, some 70 MEK members and sympathizers were killed and several thousand were imprisoned.

In June 1981, during a peaceful demonstration to protest the crackdown, Khomeini ordered the Revolutionary Guards to open fire on the crowd, fearing that without the repression of the MEK that he might be forced to engage in serious reforms.

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Since that time, lran has actively targeted members of the MEK as victims of human rights violations. Over 120,000 of its members and supporters have been executed by the Iranian regime, including the 30,000 in 1988 by direct fatwa from Khomeini.

By the end of 1981, many of the members and supporters of the MEK went into exile, with their principal refuge being France. But after negotiations with the French government, the Iranian authorities were able to have them treated as undesirable aliens. Thus, the MEK relocated to Iraq.

Today, the MEK is the oldest and largest anti-fundamentalist Muslim group in the Middle East. The MEK supports:

  • Universal suffrage as the sole criteria for legitimacy
  • Pluralistic system of governance
  • Respect for individual freedoms
  • Ban on the death penalty
  • Separation of religion and state
  • Full gender equality
  • Equal participation of women in the political leadership. The MEK is currently led by its central committee, which consists of 1,000 women.
  • Modern judicial system that emphasizes the principle of innocence, a right to a defense and due process.
  • Free markets
  • Relations with all countries in the world
  • Commitment to a non-nuclear Iran

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MEK remains the leading voice for democracy in Iran, supported by its interpretation of Islam that discredits the fundamentalist mullahs’ regime.

via  Senator Torricelli Speaks Out Against Associated Press MEK Story — The Media Express

Rebuttal from the MEK in Response to Misleading Associated Press Story

by-iran-news-update

ON FEBRUARY 5, 2017, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS RELEASED A STORY REHASHING OLD AND MIS-LEADING ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE IRANIAN OPPOSITION. THE IRANIAN OPPOSITION PROVIDED A REBUTTAL TO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS IN RESPONSE, BUT THE STORY WAS NOT CORRECTED OR RESCINDED AS OF FEBRUARY 7, 2017. 

Now, the rebuttal has been released to the public, to detail the facts and add insight into what the Iranian opposition believes to be “the crux of the matter”.

Shahin Gobadi, press spokesman of The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) stated, “The AP story, “Trump Cabinet pick paid by ‘cult-like’ Iranian exile group of February 5, is a rehashing of old and long-debunked allegations aimed at disparaging the principal Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and its bipartisan supporters. The religious dictatorship ruling Iran and its lobby abroad have tried for years to discredit the Iranian opposition in an effort to proffer the appeasement of the ruling mullahs as a viable policy.”

AP reporter Jon Gambrell ignored “facts regarding the conduct and history of the Iranian resistance. Instead of reporting the views of a large (number of) bi-partisan lawmakers in both chambers of the U.S. Congress, and the decisions by the highest U.S. and European Courts,…he has chosen to rely heavily on only two individuals, both of whom have been proponents of the appeasing (of) the murderous mullahs of Iran,” added Gobadi.

Gambrell’s sources have been proven to have little to no experience in the region, and have no up-to-date writings or reports about the issues facing Iran and the Middle East. Updated reports, books, and studies about the history, accusations and current conduct of the MEK, have published by many independent scholars and experts, but none of these sources were cited in the AP article.

Information Gambrell presented about the day to day life at Camp Ashraf was not verified by the, who have testified before Congress that allegations against the MEK were propaganda concocted by the Iranian regime’s intelligence services.

The rebuttal also called the opening paragraph an example of “editorializing” that “makes one wonder whether ulterior political motives by the ‘echo chamber’ crowd tasked to sell the Iran nuclear deal to (the) U.S. Congress and American public was at work here.”

23 bi-partisan signatories hand delivered a letter to President Trump, in which the officials wrote about the discredited allegations, noting that “Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security has for many years impaired the exiled opposition by covertly spreading false and distorted claims through third parties in the West. Other governments…closely monitor Iran’s influence operations on their soil; a thorough counter-intelligence investigation by the U.S. is clearly needed and long overdue.”

The U.S., UK and France all have proven findings, showing that there is no evidence the group was ever involved in terrorism. As far as the deaths referred to in the article, these have not been credited to the MEK, as reports from independent sources, as well as from the U.S. State Department, and from well-respected Iran experts. None of these sources were mentioned in the article, as noted the rebuttal.

The New York Times reported in 2004, that a 16-month investigation by seven different U.S. agencies, including the Departments of States, Defense, Treasury, Justice, the FBI, the CIA and the DEI “found no basis to charge any member of the group with the violation of American law.” Furthermore, U.S. military commanders have testified before Congress that MEK members never engaged the U.S. forces during the invasion of Iraq.

The local cease fire agreement of mutual understanding and coordination” signed between the U.S. military and the MEK in 2003, makes it clear that the MEK had not fired a single bullet against U.S. forces in Iraq.

Bi-partisan majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives and a very large group of bi-partisan Senators have lent their unequivocal support to the MEK for the past three decades, describing it as a “legitimate resistance movement,” despite being fully aware of these illegitimate accusations.

Most importantly, the AP story didn’t reference what the MEK has done to expose the Iranian regime’s terrorism and reveal their major nuclear sites, which triggered the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) inspections of the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz for the first time. Since then, the majority of the visits by the IAEA inspection teams have been to the sites first uncovered by the MEK.

Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) told a House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing that, “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.”

In former Secretary of State John Kerry’s farewell speech, he stated, “And one of the things that I am very proud of is the effort we made – I remember going to hearing after hearing, and you remember all those folks you’d see up there in those yellow jackets representing the Mujahedin-e Khalqu – MEK as we’ve known them – and we got 3,000 of them out of Camp Liberty and to places where they are safe and their lives are saved from being attacked regularly, as they were.”

“Why would the U.S. Secretary of State and his Department undertake such a massive effort to save the lives of members of a ‘cult-like’ group that has been engaged in ‘terrorism’ and ‘killing Americans’ in the first place, if they believed such allegations were true?” asked Gobadi.

More about the People’s Mojahdin Organization of Iran (PMOI/ MEK)

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (Also known as MEK, or Mujahedin-e-Khalq / Mujahedeen-e-Khalq), was founded on September 6, 1965, by Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saeed Mohsen, and Ali-Asghar Badizadgan. All engineers, they had earlier been members of the Freedom Movement (also known as the Liberation Movement), created by Medhi Bazargan in May 1961.1

The MEK’s quest culminated in a true interpretation of Islam, which is inherently tolerant and democratic, and fully compatible with the values of modern-day civilization. It took six years for the MEK to formulate its view of Islam and develop a strategy to replace Iran’s dictatorial monarchy with a democratic government.

MEK’s interpretation of Islam

The theocratic mullah regime in Iran believe interpreting Islam is their exclusive domain. The MEK reject this view and the cleric’s reactionary vision of Islam. The MEK’s comprehensive interpretation of Islam proved to be more persuasive and appealing to the Iranian youth.

MEK’s founders and new members studied the various schools of thought, the Iranian history and those of other countries, enabling them to analyze other philosophies and ideologies with considerable knowledge and to present their own ideology, based on Islam, as the answer to Iran’s problems.

MEK’s leadership’s arrest during the 70s.

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Massoud Rajavi Iranian Resistance Leader

The Shah’s notorious secret police, SAVAK, arrested all MEK leaders and most of its member’s in1971. On May 1972, the founders of the MEK, Mohammad Hanifnejad , Saeed Mohsen and Ali Asghar Badizadegan, along with two members of the MEK leadership, Mahmoud Askarizadeh and Rasoul Meshkinfam, were put before death squads and were executed after long months of imprisonment and torture. They were the true vanguards, who stood against the dictatorial regime of Shah. However, they are also recognized for their opposition to what is today known as Islamic fundamentalism.

The death sentence of Massoud Rajavi, a member of MEK’s central committee, was commuted to life imprisonment as a result of an international campaign by his Geneva based brother, Dr. Kazem Rajavi (assassinated in April 1990 in Geneva by mullahs’ agents) and the personal intervention of the French President Georges Pompidou and Francois Mitterrand. He was the only survivor of the MEK original leadership.

Massoud Rajavi’s critical role in characterizing religious extremism

From 1975 to 1979, while incarcerated in different prisons, Massoud Rajavi led the MEK’s struggle while constantly under torture for his leading position.

Massoud Rajavi stressed the need to continue the struggle against the shah’s dictatorship. At the same time, he characterized religious fanaticism as the primary internal threat to the popular opposition, and warned against the emergence and growth of religious fanaticism and autocracy. He also played a crucial role when some splinter used the vacuum in the MEK leadership who were all executed or imprisoned at the time, to claim a change of ideology and policy. Massoud Rajavi as the MEK leader condemn these individual’s misuse of MEK’s name while continuing to stress the struggle against dictatorship. His efforts while still in prison forced these individuals to no longer operating under the name of MEK and adopting a different name for their group. These positions remained the MEK’s manifesto until the overthrow of the shah’s regime.

Release of Political Prisoners on the last days of the Shah

A month before the 1979 revolution in Iran, the Shah was forced to flee Iran, never to return. All democratic opposition leaders had by then either been executed by the Shah’s SAVAK or imprisoned, and could exert little influence on the trend of events. Khomeini and his network of mullahs across the country, who had by and large been spared the wrath of SAVAK, were the only force that remained unharmed and could take advantage of the political vacuum. In France, Khomeini received maximum exposure to the world media. With the aid of his clerical followers, he hijacked a revolution that began with calls for democracy and freedom and diverted it towards his fundamentalist goals. Through an exceptional combination of historical events, Shiite clerics assumed power in Iran.

Khomeini’s gradual crackdown on MEK in fear of their popular support

In internal discourses, Rajavi the remaining leader of the MEK, argued that Khomeini represented the reactionary sector of society and preached religious fascism. Later, in the early days after the 1979 revolution, the mullahs, specifically Rafsanjani, pointed to these statements in inciting the hezbollahi club-wielders to attack the MEK.

Following the revolution, the MEK became Iran’s largest organized political party. It had hundreds of thousands of members who operated from MEK offices all over the country. MEK publication, ‘Mojahed’ was circulated in 500,000 copies.

Khomeini set up an Assembly of Experts comprised of sixty of his closest mullahs and loyalists to ratify the principle of velayat-e faqih (absolute supremacy of clerical rule) as a pillar of the Constitution. The MEK launched a nationwide campaign in opposition to this move, which enjoyed enormous popular support. Subsequently, the MEK refused to approve the new constitution based on the concept of velayat-e faqih, while stressing its observance of the law of the country to deny the mullahs any excuse for further suppression of MEK supporters who were regularly targeted by the regime’s official and unofficial thugs.

Khomeini sanctioned the occupation of the United States embassy in 1979 in order to create an anti-American frenzy, which facilitated the holding of a referendum to approve his Constitution, which the MEK rejected.

MEK’s endeavors to participate in the political process avoiding an unwanted conflict with government repressive forces

The MEK actively participated in the political process, fielding candidates for the parliamentary and presidential elections. The MEK also entered avidly into the national debate on the structure of the new Islamic regime, though was unsuccessful in seeking an elected constituent assembly to draft a constitution.

The MEK similarly made an attempt at political participation when [then] Massoud Rajavi ran for the presidency in January 1980. MEK’s leader was forced to withdraw when Khomeini ruled that only candidates who had supported the constitution in the December referendum – which the MEK had boycotted- were eligible. Rajavi’s withdrawal statement emphasized the MEK’s efforts to conform to election regulations and reiterated the MEK’s intention to advance its political aims within the new legal system”. (Unclassified report on the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran(PMOI/ MEK) by the Department of State to the United States House of Representatives, December 1984.)

However, the MEK soon found itself in a direct struggle against the forces of the regime’s Supreme leader. The MEK’s differences with Khomeini dated back to the 1970s, and stem from its opposition to what is known today as Islamic extremism. Angry at the position taken by the MEK against his regime and worried about the MEK’s growing popularity, Khomeini ordered a brutal crackdown against the MEK and its supporters. Between 1979 and 1981, some 70 MEK members and sympathizers were killed and several thousand more were imprisoned by the Iranian regime.

June 20, 1981- Khomeini’s order to open fire on peaceful demonstration of half-a-million supporters of MEK

The turning point came on 20th June 1981, when the MEK called a demonstration to protest at the regime’s crackdown, and to call for political freedom which half-a-million supporters participated at. Khomeini ordered the Revolutionary Guards to open fire on the swelling crowd, fearing that without absolute repression the democratic opposition (MEK) would force him to engage in serious reforms – an anathema as far as he was concerned; he ordered the mass and summary executions of those arrested.

Since then, MEK activists have been the prime victims of human rights violations in Iran. Over 120,000 of its members and supporters have been executed by the Iranian regime, 30,000 of which, were executed in a few months in the summer of 1988, on a direct fatwa by Khomeini, which stated any prisoners who remain loyal to the MEK must be executed.

Having been denied its fundamental rights and having come under extensive attack at the time that millions of its members, supporters and sympathizers had no protection against the brutal onslaught of the Iranian regime, the MEK had no choice but to resist against the mullahs’ reign of terror.

“Towards the end of 1981, many of the members of the MEK and supporters went into exile. Their principal refuge was in France. But in 1986, after negotiations between the French and the Iranian authorities, the French government effectively treated them as undesirable aliens, and the leadership of the MEK with several thousand followers relocated to Iraq.” (Judgment of the Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission, November 30, 2007.)

MEK Today

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The MEK today is the oldest and largest anti-fundamentalist Muslim group in the Middle East. It has been active for more than a half century, battling two dictatorships and a wide range of issues. The MEK supports:

• Universal suffrage as the sole criterion for legitimacy

• Pluralistic system of governance

• Respect for individual freedoms

• Ban on the death penalty

• Separation of religion and state

• Full gender equality

• Equal participation of women in political leadership. MEK is actually led by its central committee consist of 1000 women.

• Modern judicial system that emphasizes the principle of innocence, a right to a defense, and due process

• Free markets

• Relations with all countries in the world

• Commitment to a non-nuclear Iran

The MEK remains a strong and cohesive organization, with a broad reach both worldwide and deep within Iran. MEK is the leading voice for democracy in Iran, supported by its interpretation of Islam that discredits the fundamentalist mullahs’ regime.

Source: Rebuttal from the MEK in Response to Misleading Associated Press Story