At a press conference on Wednesday, August 8th, prominent Belgian and European lawyers announced new points regarding the Iranian regime’s foiled terror plot in Europe, including information on dignitaries from Europe and the Middle East who have asked to enter the case as private plaintiffs and to file their complaint against the Iranian regime.
At the conference, the representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)provided new information on Assadollah Assadi, the “third counselor” of the Iranian embassy in Vienna and the head of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence station there, who was the mastermind and commander of the plot and is currently detained in Germany. The new information obtained through the network of the People’s Mojahedin rganization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) from inside of the regime, revealed the decision-making structure and the hierarchy for the implementation of this plot.
Speakers at the conference were:
William Bourdon: Renowned human rights lawyer (France) in brief referred to the case on the table and confirmed the arrest of the Assadollah Assadi the terrorist diplomat.
Mr. Rik Vanreusel at the press conference in Brussels represented many European personalities & elected officials who’ve entered the case as private plaintiffs in this case of foiled attack against the rally for a free Iran.
Former Prime Minister of Algeria,Sid Ahmed Ghozali: I’m here because I was at Free Iran 2018 rally with hundreds of personalities who were the potential victims of this foiled attack. I am among the private plaintiffs filling a complaint against the Iranian regime.
Mohaddessin added: The Iranian Resistance’s information shows that Assadi was in charge of the MOIS station since June 2014, for several years, this outpost has coordinated the activities of all MOIS stations in Europe.
Mohaddesin further on went to say that after the US invasion of Iraq, Assadi was posted in Iraq as third secretary at the Iranian regime’s embassy in Baghdad in the beginning of 2004. Assadi’s mission was to collect intelligence about the coalition forces in Iraq, their headquarters and main centers, to identify the opponents of the Iranian regime among Iraqi personalities.
Mohaddessin said: According to investigation conducted by our sources in Iran, Assadi played a key role in terrorist plots, bombings and kidnapping against the MEK, coalition forces, and Iraqis between 2004 and 2008.
This is one of the most important MOIS apparatuses in the Europe operating under the supervision of Assadi. The new head of the German’s intelligence apparatus is Hossein Mahdian-fard.
Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of NCRI reiterated details regarding the command structure of the operation, an explanation on the structure and modus operandi of the MOIS is necessary. Assadi monitored & worked against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), whose members were based in Camp Ashraf at the time. Since March 2018, Assadi was working with the terror team and had several meetings with them to prepare them for this operation. He reported his work to Amiri-Moghadam. He is considered one of the most senior security officials of the regime and was involved in negotiations with the US forces in Iraq in 2007 on behalf of the Supreme National Security Council. Assadi led the attempted terrorist operation against the Paris gathering under the command of Amiri Moghdam.
The decision was made in January 2018 at the Supreme National Security Council Then Khamenei approved the operation MOIS Minister was directed to carry out the operation and Amiri Moghadam was the person directly responsible for the operation.
The head of the Intelligence Station of the regime’s embassy in Albania is Mostafa Roudaki, an officer of the Foreign Intelligence of the MOIS. Mohammadinia and Roudaki are both under Amiri Moghadam’s command. The terrorist plot in Albania was also commanded by Amiri Moghadam. The regime’s current ambassador to Albania, Gholam Hossein Mohammadinia, was previously the head of the International General Administration of the MOIS Foreign Directorate.
3 developments have undermined #Iran's regime since mid-2016: Relocation of PMOI members from Iraq to Albania. Worsening of economic/social crisis which has led to #IranProtests. End of Obama Admin's conciliatory policy that had helped the regime survive. #FreeIran2018pic.twitter.com/Q6FfYEOOf8
Intelligence apparatus in Germany. This is one of the most important MOIS apparatuses in the Europe operating under the supervision of Assadi. The new head of the German’s intelligence apparatus is Hossein Mahdian-fard.
Intelligence apparatus in France. Ahmad Zarif previously headed this apparatus. Over the past few months, he was supposed to be replaced and return to Iran. Another MOIS officer in France is Rasoul Ahadi Majdabadi.
On July 11, 2018 The Office of the Federal Prosecutor of Germany announced that it had launched an investigation into Assadi for activities as a foreign agent – or spy – and conspiring to carry out murder.
Background of this topic:
On June 30, Belgian authorities arrested a Belgian-Iranian couple with 500-grams of high-
explosive TATP and a detonator near Brussels. The couple, who had pretended to be
supporters of People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the main Iranian opposition group, were heading toward the "Free Iran" gathering in the outskirts of Paris. The gathering was held in support of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), with the participation of tens of thousands of private citizens and hundreds of political dignitaries from the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, in VillepinteParis on June 30, 2018.
On July 1, German authorities arrested Assadollah Assadi, on route to Austria where he
enjoyed diplomatic immunity. The German Federal Prosecutor stated on July 11 that Assadi had given the order for the operation to the couple and personally handed over the bomb to them in Luxembourg.
As you can see, the religious dictatorship in Iran is scared of the Iranian organized and powerful resistance, so has abandoned all political protocols, and with the entry of its so-called diplomats in Europe, it seeks to strike against Iranian resistance(NCRI/MEK) through terrorist operations. Of course, this shows to the whole world the democratic alternative address of this regime, but these scandalous efforts can not save the mullahs from a definite fall.
I put the full video of the conference at the beginning of the article and I would advise you to see it which contains very valuable information.
July 11, 2018 – Less than two weeks after the Iranian opposition convention in Paris where a massive crowd and a large number of international dignitaries joined to express their support for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) coalition as the alternative for the mullahs’ regime ruling Iran, and the following foiling of a terror plot blueprinted by Tehran involving the arrest of an Iranian diplomat and five other individuals in Belgium, Germany and France, the U.S. State Department held a briefing on Tuesday specifically saying the Iranian regime is using its embassies “as cover to plot terrorist attacks.”
This briefing also covered meetings between State Department officials and their counterparts abroad.
“We discussed new ways to deprive the regime of revenues to terrorize people and to terrorize other nations. We discussed how Iran uses embassies as cover to plot terrorist attacks,” the senior State Department official explained.
The Iranian regime is truly the world’s leading state-sponsor of terror; its ‘diplomat’ Assadollah Assadi was arrested two weeks ago in connection with a sophisticated terror plot during #FreeIran2018 Paris rally where prominent Americans were also in attendance. https://t.co/1q5yznM82T
“The most recent example is the plot that the Belgians foiled, and we had an Iranian diplomat out of the Austrian embassy as part of the plot to bomb a meeting of Iranian OPPOSITION leaders in Paris. And the United States is urging all nations to carefully examine diplomats in Iranian embassies to ensure their countries’ own security. If Iran can plot bomb attacks in Paris, they can plot attacks anywhere in the world, and we urge all nations to be vigilant about Iran using embassies as diplomatic cover to plot terrorist attacks,” the official added.
The Iranian regime has a history of plotting and staging terror attacks in the Green Continent.
“The most recent plot in Europe by Iranians is another chapter in a long history that dates back to 1984, when Iran was starting these hijackings on commercial airliners, bombings, assassinations,” the official continued.
“So, when you look at what Iran has done just in Europe since 1984 and continuing up to the present, all nations need to exercise vigilance to protect themselves against the Iranian threat. And this is only the most recent example of Iran using diplomatic cover to plot terrorism. And we certainly want all countries to make good decisions about their own security, and we think Iran presents an enduring threat to nations, and they need to be vigilant.”
When asked if the State Dept. takes the arrest of an Iranian regime diplomat seriously, the official confirmed and added, “We are working very closely with the Belgians and the Austrians and the Germans to get to the bottom of this plot to conduct a bomb attack in Paris that had two Americans speaking, attending.”
In reference to a question on the party responsible the State Dept. officially explicitly said Washington believes the Iranian regime was behind this plot and described as “ludicrous” Tehran’s claims of this being a “false flag” plot carried out by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
The Iranian Regime has just passed its 39th anniversary, but it should not see its 40th.
In 1979, Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile to hijack the popular movement to overthrow the dictatorial monarchy. He took power from the people who had done all the hard work and instituted his own theocratic dictatorship.
Now, there is again a popular people’s protest in Iran- the biggest since 1979- and many in the West are wondering if this will be the end for the mullahs.
The protests, which began over a draft budget that would slash subsidies for the poor and increase military spending, has shaken the Regime by taking on an anti-regime slant.
Protesters attacked the buildings owned by suppressive forces, called for the removal of President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khomeini, and rejected Iran’s malign military escapades.
The Regime’s suppressive forces were stretched to breaking point and had to call back forces from fighting on behalf of Bashar Assad in Syria to try and suppress the protesters. The Regime reacted with violence, shooting at least 50 people in the streets, arresting 8,000, and killing 12 via torture in prison.
All of this suggests a Free Iran is coming sooner rather than later and it is time for the West to embrace this new reality.
Ivan Sascha Sheehan, from the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore, wrote: “Policy toward Iran has historically been an enigma for Western powers and for Washington in particular. It could even be argued that U.S. policy toward Iran has been the bete noire for bipartisan administrations — Republican and Democrat — since the 1979 revolution.”
The Iranian Regime and its apologists have long lied about the Regime’s popularity with the people, stability, regional meddling, suppression of the people, and its political makeup.
Simply, the Regime is incredibly unpopular amongst its people but it has long suppressed the people and distracted the world from this through international interference.
The Regime is not made up of “moderates” and “hardliners” because it doesn’t allow moderates to take political office, but it does allow its politicians to play at being moderates (making some nice speeches about human rights, not shouting “Death to America”) in order to gain concessions from the West when needed. Case in point, the nuclear deal, which did not improve the lives of the Iranian people but only the very rich.
The West much challenge these lies, put pressure on the Iranian Regime, and support the Iranian people.
Sheehan wrote: “An anti-regime uprising that has yet to conclude has left the regime vulnerable and defensive as it commemorates its 39th anniversary. If the world takes the proper course, there is no reason it should be allowed to celebrate its 40th.”
INU – After many years of the US attempting to appease the Iranian regime, American commitment to economic sanctions has been effectively reestablished, and even expanded, with President Trump’s announcement on October 13 that his administration would be targeting the entirety of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps for its support of global terrorism and its crimes against the Iranian people.
Trump has said that the Iranian people are the “longest suffering victims” of the Iranian regime. He and his foreign policy advisors have clarified that the emerging Iran strategy recognizes the difference between the government of the Islamic Republic and the people of Iran.
Many believe that the Trump administration sees a need for regime change and is willing to pursue this goal. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing that US policy in the Middle East should include the promotion of those domestic voices in Iran who support transitioning its government from its current dictatorship to a Democracy. Still, Tillerson did not specify who those voices are, although the resistance against the Islamic Republic is a known quantity.
The US has been slow to change its stance regarding the resistance movement, even though many American lawmakers have expressed support for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its main constituent group the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, or MEK in Persian).
On both sides of the Atlantic, the NCRI and MEK have widespread support among western politicians, who have given their support to the resistance’s agenda, including human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, gender equality and a non-nuclear Iran, as has been articulated in the 10 point plan of the NCRI President, Maryam Rajavi. The NCRI and MEK enjoy bipartisan support in Washington, as well as across Europe and in the Islamic world.
The main opposition against the Iranian theocracy was listed as a terrorist organization by the US State Department until 2012. However, it was included on that list because of the conciliatory nature of Iran strategy that was well established by 1997, when the MEK was given its false terrorist designation. The Clinton administration was hoping for rapprochement with the regime. It was willing to eliminate any possibility of cooperation with the MEK or NCRI as a precondition for relevant talks. On May 8, 2008, the Wall street Journal quoted several diplomats who were involved in the nuclear talks with Iran, saying, “Iranian officials have urged suppression of the MEK in negotiations with Western governments over Tehran’s nuclear program and other issues.”
The MEKand NCRIresorted to an unprecedented legal and political campaign and was able to show that it is a legitimate resistance with support inside of Iran and among the Diaspora. It was de-listed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.
The Trump administration believes that the entire notion of moderates within the Iranian regime is a fantasy. The first term in office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani oversaw a surge in executions and a severe crackdown on dissents throughout the country. Additionally, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Asma Jahangir, confirmed this in her October 25 report to the UN General Assembly. She said that while there are hopeful signs in the form of Rouhani’s statements, the actual human rights conditions in the Islamic Republic have only deteriorated.
There has been a reemergence of Iranian propaganda targeting the MEK, NCRI and their affiliates. It is believed that this propaganda by Tehran and its lobby will intensify as the US continues to pursue an assertive strategy with regard to the Islamic Republic. As well, MEK, NCRI activism, particularly inside of Iran, has seen a significant upswing in recent months. In fact, there has been increased activism regarding the the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, an overwhelming majority of them MEK supporters, during the summer of 1988.
The US has adopted a new Iran policy, and the Trump administration must build countermeasures to disinformation in its emerging Iran policy. The White House may soon declare itself an ally to the NCRI and a supporter of the cause of domestically-driven regime change in Iran.
Now is the decisive time for President Trump to formally recognise the Iranian Resistance, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and officially invite their leader Maryam Rajavi and her delegation to the White House.By lending Legitimacy and Creedence to the Iranian Resistance, Trump will be metaphorically speaking plunging a dagger into the lawless Mullah’s hearts on the International scene.
The US Administration’s new strategy should be focused on Regime Change in Tehran and Official Recognition of the Iranian Opposition ( NCRI-U.S. Rep Office ) as symbolic of Regime Change force, and the legitimate voice of the oppressed Persian people.The former US President Barack Hussein Obama abandoned and shunned the Iranian people when they last rose up in rebellion against the criminal Mullahs in 2009, to the eternal shame and dismay of the democratic world, now is the vital time for President Trump to make official…
How to deal with Iran has become a very controversial and complex matter for the Trump administration. Washington is currently weighing how to tackle Tehran’s belligerence through adopting a comprehensive Iran policy.
Delivering a significant blow to Tehran, a delegation of prominent United States senators were in the Balkans last weekend, visiting leaders and members of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), in Tirana, the capital of Albania.
The delegation consisted of
Senators Roy Blunt vice president of the Republican Conference and member of the Appropriation, Select Intelligence, Rules and Administration, Commerce, Science and Transportation committees
John Cornyn, the majority whip and a member of the Judiciary, Select Intelligence and Finance committees
Thom Tillis, a member of the Armed Services, Judiciary, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and Veterans’ Affairs committees
Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) — the political coalition consisting of the PMOI/MEK and a slate of other Iranian dissident groups and individuals — hosted the American senators for a meeting to discuss recent developments regarding Iran and the entire Middle East.
“Led by Senator Blunt, the delegation congratulated the safe and secure relocation of all Camp Liberty residents outside of Iraq and wished them success in their struggle for democracy and human rights in Iran,” according to an NCRI statement.
Rajavi took advantage of the occasion to extend her gratitude to the actions taken by the U.S. Senate, especially by Senator Blunt, to safeguard and protect thousands of MEK members during their stay at the camp in Iraq.
The MEK also enjoyed senate support during their tumultuous campaign of relocating each and every member outside of Iraq to safety.
This high-profile visit comes only three months after a similar visit by Senator John McCain, chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee, back in April when McCain met with NCRI President Rajavi and briefly visited the MEK members.
Especially since 2009 and onward, McCain has been a fierce critic of Tehran and strong supporter of the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom and democracy. He is especially known for his passionate tribute to the young Iranian woman Neda Agha Sultan who died “with her eyes open” on the streets of Tehran during the Green Revolution.
This significant meeting between a delegation of American senators and the Iranian opposition adds to Tehran’s long list of concerns.
New Congressional sanctions have placed Iran under extreme restrictions due to its ballistic missile drive, support for terrorism and proxy terror groups across the Middle East, and gross human rights abuses.
Iran, however, will not be reining in its belligerence any time soon.
“Iran’s parliament gave initial approval on Sunday to a bill to boost spending on Tehran’s missile program and the elite Revolutionary Guards in retaliation for new sanctions imposed by the United States,” according to Reuters.
This move would provide over $260 million to both Iran’s ballistic missile program and the terrorist-designated IRGC Quds Force.
Trump has signaled his intention of holding Iran in non-compliance with the pact aimed at curbing the regime’s nuclear program. Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the United Nations, has plans to meet with Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, prior to this organization’s set schedule to issue its September report on Iran’s nuclear program.
With such a move looming, Tehran received an important message from the meeting in Tirana. Senior congressional members are taking the lead in establishing an increasing consensus to take action in line with regime change policy in the face of the mullahs in Iran.
For many associated with the Iranian lobby and appeasers of the clerical regime in Tehran, the best way to prop up the regime is to discredit any alternative options presented to the international community. In addition, the lobby and appeasers continue to stress that regime change will lead to war. As an example, they point to the struggles of the Iraq government since the removal of Saddam by the U.S. and its allies.
However, history teaches us that any regime’s existence is limited when it begins with a violent upheaval. The current Iranian regime was born out of a revolution to end the rule of the Shah, but that revolution’s goal was to create a secular, pluralistic, and democratic Iran. However, the mullahs hijacked the revolution, creating a theocracy and suppressing any alternative political voices, including the MEK/PMOI.
Instead, to consolidate their power, the Iranian regime has relied on the typical tools of oppression, including the creation of a paramilitary and judiciary system that touches every section of Iranian society. The regime, using its lobby and appeasers, have been quick in attacking any publication or personalities that dare to speak up about the quest of the Iranian people to achieve their original dream of a democratic Iran.
Anyone who dares to talk about “regime change” is targeted for repressive measures. The MEK/PMOI have been high on the regime’s list, since the MEK/PMOI are the most dedicated and organized opposition with extensive routes and support at home, with the ability to materialize regime change.
The people’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) has been the subject of propaganda campaigns by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) at home and by regime lobbies and appeasers throughout the international community. This campaign is focused on discrediting the MEK/PMOI, by saying there is no democratic alternative to the Iranian regime and that regime change will result in war and increased instability within the region.
But why is the MEK/PMOI being targeted so directly? The MEK/PMOI is the oldest, largest, and most popular resistance movement within Iran. They form the core of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which is a coalition of opposition groups from all sectors of Iran. The PMOI/MEK was founded in September 1965 by three Iranian engineers who wanted to replace the Shah’s dictatorship with a democracy.
It is this continued support of democracy that has kept the MEK/PMOI so popular among Iranians. The MEK/PMOI believes that Islam is inherently tolerant and democratic, and fully compatible with the values of modern-day civilization. This vision is the cure to the current spread of extremism, which can be traced back to Iran and its mullahs. Yet, during the time of upheaval after the revolution, the MEK/PMOI leaders witnessed Ayatollah Khomeini’s hijacking of the revolution to create his theocracy.
Khomeini’s response to the efforts of the MEK/PMOI to stop the rise of this theocracy was brutal repression throughout the 1980s, including the massacre of some 30,000 political prisoners who were primarily members or supporters of the MEK/PMOI. Despite the escalation of attacks by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) throughout the years, the MEK/PMOI has never stopped promoting a pro-democracy vision of Iran. These actions demonstrated that the regime would only hold power by using brutality and repression to keep the Iranian people under their control.
Despite this, the MEK/PMOI has continued to receive support and demonstrations held throughout Iran show that the Iranian people are not cowed by the regime, but still believe in a free Iran.
In the recent 2017 election, hundreds of video clips and photos of banners and placards hanging from pathways and auto routes on billboards, were published on Telegram and YouTube channels, showcasing the vast magnitude of the activities of those who support the MEK/PMOI. The slogan, “My vote is regime change”, echoed throughout the country.
The regime’s election was therefore quickly ended in the first round to avoid further opportunities for protest. Yet, internally, the regime is suffering from deep divisions about how to ensure its survival, as the domestic unrest continues to grow.
Dr. Rafizadeh, a leading Iranian-American political scientist, president of the International American Council on the Middle East, and best-selling author in an opinion piece in Huffington post publishing 8 video clips of MEK activities inside Iran, wrote: “The activists of the network of the Iranian opposition movement, the National Council of Resistance of Iran and its group the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), inside Iran have been engaged in an extensive campaign nationwide, calling on Iranians to boycott the elections. Finally, from my perspective, it is critical to point out that Iranian leaders fear the soft power of oppositional groups more than the military and hard power of foreign governments. That is why Iranian leaders and media outlets normally react forcefully and anxiously to activities by the opposition such as the recent critical move, where Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently met with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Tirana, Albania. Iran’s oppositional groups can be a very powerful tool to counterbalance the Islamic Republic.”
This support has not gone unnoticed by the regime, whose leadership has continued to try to clamp down on the MEK/PMOI by blocking access to the internet and monitoring social media posts and clips. They have also tried to block the MEK/PMOI Telegram website and associated channels, only to be rejected each time.
In addition to using blunt force on people, the regime invests heavily in the massive propaganda effort it mobilizes through state-controlled media and via its lobbies and paid agents abroad, in order to discourage more support for the MEK, which is the main drive for regime change in Iran. The extent of the anti MEK propaganda has increased particularly after the July 1, 2017 gathering in Paris, which had a clear message, “Regime change in Iran is within reach.” Some 100,000 Iranian diaspora and supporters of MEK gave energy to it.
This is why it serves the regime’s purposes to continually dangle the threat of war over the heads of its people. It also helps the Iran lobby’s PR efforts to cast Iran like some poor, defenseless nation under threat by the big bad U.S. and its allies, such as Saudi Arabia or the Iranian resistance movement, the MEK/PMOI.
Trita Parsi, the head of the National Iranian American Council and staunch advocate for the Iranian regime, appeared on Bloomberg to beat the war drum again, as well as attacking the Trump administration for not living up to the Iran nuclear deal, even though Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced the renewal of the compliance certification for another 90 days.
But the Trump administration also is asserting that Iranian regime’s development of ballistic missiles; support of terrorism and militancy; complicity in atrocities by the government of Syrian dictator, Bashar Assad; cyberattacks on the U.S.; and other actions “severely undermine the intent” of the nuclear accord and support additional sanctions as a response to these actions.
The real threat to the Iranian regime though lies not within sanctions, but in the simple acts of defiance that the Iranian people undertake themselves such as the hanging of banners on Tehran’s overpasses bearing the image of MEK/PMOI leader Mrs. Maryam Rajavi; an act punishable by death if the perpetrators were caught.
The regime is also threatened by every protest over low wages or unsafe working conditions. In many ways large and small, the process of regime change can happen slowly, methodically, and inexorably.
Mrs. Rajavi, in a recent speech at the annual gathering of the Iranian resistance movement and supporters of MEK/PMOI, opined that the movement did not require outside assistance from governments, such as the U.S., to succeed. It only needed the recognition by such governments to be empowered to bring about peaceful regime change and give birth to a democratic Iran.
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.
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.)
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.