Archive | July 3rd, 2017

Velayati Blasts France for Hosting MKO Terrorists

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Velayati Blasts France for Hosting MKO Terrorists
Head of the Strategic Research Center of Iran’s State Expediency Council Ali Akbar Velayati lashed out at France for permitting the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCRI) terrorist group to hold a meeting in Paris, describing the move against the regional and international peace.

“We oppose the hostile acts carried out in Paris and naturally, hosting the terrorists and those who have a record of terrorist acts like the Monafeqin (hypocrites as the MKO members are called in Iran) will not benefit regional and international peace,”  Velayati said in a meeting with Secretary-General of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Christian Masset in Tehran on Monday.

He underlined Iran’s anti-terrorism efforts in the region, and said, “Had it not been for Iran’s resolve and principled policy, the terrorist groups and their supporters would have years ago entered the European countries and they couldn’t have been controlled.”

Before Velayati, the Iranian foreign ministry had also protested at France for permitting the MKO terrorist group to hold a meeting in Paris, blasting the European country’s double-standard approach on terrorism.

“Necessary protests have been leveled against France for giving permission to the terrorist group,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Sunday.

“Undoubtedly, the French side is making a serious mistake about the terrorist group. Terrorists are terrorists anywhere they are and Paris should avoid double-standards in this regard,”  he added.

On Saturday, the MKO terrorist group held a meeting in Paris, which was attended by some of the former US, European and Saudi Zio-Wahhabi officials, including former Saudi Mossad spy chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, who also delivered a speech.

On July 9, 2016, Paris hosted another annual meeting organized by the MKO terrorist group, which was also attended by Zionist Faisal.

The MKO, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and western targets.

The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly-established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran’s new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by the MKO members in 1981.

The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.

The terrorist group joined Saddam’s army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.

Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by ‘Israel’ and the neo-conservatives in the United States, who argued for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.

The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in September 2012, one week after Secretary of State Zionist Hillary Clinton sent the US Congress a classified communication about the move. The decision made by Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under the US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with the American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.

In September 2012, the last groups of the MKO terrorists left Camp Ashraf, their main training center in Iraq’s Diyala province. They have been transferred to Camp Liberty. Hundreds of the MKO terrorists have now been sent to Europe, where their names were taken off the blacklist even two years before the US.

The MKO has assassinated over 12,000 Iranians in the last 4 decades. The terrorist group had even killed large numbers of Americans and Europeans in several terror attacks before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Some 17,000 Iranians have lost their lives in terror attacks in the 35 years after the Revolution.

Rumors were confirmed last September about the death of MKO ringleader, Massoud Rajavi, as a former top Saudi intelligence official disclosed in a gaffe during an address to his followers.

Rajavi’s death was revealed after Saudi Zio-Wahhabi  Turki al-Faisal who was attending the MKO annual gathering in Paris made a gaffe and spoke of the terrorist group’s ringleader as the “late Rajavi” twice.

Faced with Zionist Faisal’s surprising gaffe, Rajavi’s wife, Maryam, changed her happy face with a complaining gesture and cued the interpreter to be watchful of translation words and exclude the gaffe from the Persian translation.

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Trump Is At War With Iran, Not ISIS

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Trump clearly has no intention of defeating terrorism

They say actions speak louder than words. Looking behind the Twitter storm which creates a smoke and mirrors effect to disguise the Trump administration’s true intents, one fact is blindingly clear; for this government, Iranians are first in the firing line.

This, of itself, is not unexpected. On the campaign trail Trump threatened to tear up the nuclear deal with Iran. So it was already clear he’s no fan of Iranians.

His first act as president has been to issue a direct and belligerent challenge to Iran – he included Iran in the Muslim ban and then declared that Iran is “on notice” after Iran test-fired a ballistic missile which it says is defensive. Iran is clearly in the crosshairs for Trump and his team.

And the evidence stacks up. As a barometer for any individual or even government’s aggressive approach to Iran, support for the Mojahedin Khalq (MEK aka Rajavi cult) is as accurate an indicator as any. The group has advocated violent regime change against Iran for three decades. Its supporters are in doubt that this is a rallying cry for a U.S.-led war.

Even before taking office, revelations about potential Trump administration advisers and officials giving support to the terrorist MEK cult caused concern among foreign policy experts. After all, anti-Iran pundits can choose from literally thousands of civil groups and personalities to act as advisors and partners in challenging Iran. The MEK’s dirty past includes the anti-Imperialist inspired murder of six Americans in pre-revolution Iran which it later celebrated in songs and publications. (The family of U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jack Turner – “We were the first victims of terror before there was ever a war on terror” – is currently seeking redress for his death.) The new president has apparently brushed aside such concerns and has chosen to surround himself with people who have advocated for the MEK.

Col. Jack Turner and Col. Paul Shaffer victims of Mojahedin Khalq terror campaign

By not denouncing the MEK Trump has done several things. One is to signal that he is at war not with Iran but with Iranians. The MEK is hated more profoundly than any of Iran’s current political leaders by Iranians inside and outside the country.

He also signals that his war is not with ISIS but with the country Iran. Donald Trump rose to victory in part on the promise to take on ISIS and defeat the group. Yet ISIS cannot be defeated except by a coalition of forces that includes Iran. The facts on the ground in Syria and Iraq demonstrate unequivocally that ISIS forces in Aleppo and Mosul have been defeated largely due to the involvement of Iran. Trump clearly has no intention of defeating terrorism.

But most importantly, this tolerance, even warmth, shown toward the MEK in American foreign policy circles is a message that can be read from afar and by everyone else in the world: the American war box is virtually empty. Aside from a handful of puny sanctions, bringing the MEK into the equation means that not only does the America not have a stick to wave at Iran, it appears foolish enough, befuddled by ideological zeal perhaps, to tie its fate to the most unlucky and doom-laden group there ever was.

Laughably, parasitically, the MEK has consistently tied its fate to whichever it assumed was the winning side. However, the choice of MEK sponsors no longer looks so astute. Ayatollah Khomeini quickly saw through the MEK’s smarmy overtures to share power and promptly exiled them from Iran. The next step was to ally with Saddam Hussein against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war – a feat of spectacular treachery for which no Iranian will ever forgive them. After Saddam’s fall the MEK believed that the chaos in Iraq which gave rise to the insurrection of Al Qaida in Iraq would somehow carry them forward. The MEK even flirted with support for ISIS and the Syrian Free Army hoping they would find a home in the new Caliphate. Instead, the MEK were evicted from their base and sent into deeper exile in Albania, a country with no axe to grind against Iran. Long term sponsors have included Israel – which tasked MEK operatives with the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists – and the anti-Shia Saudi Arabia. Both countries are bogged down with interminable troubles of their own. And now the MEK are hoping to cosy up with the Trump administration.

The Obama administration kept the MEK at arms’ length and never entertained direct support for the group. When the government of Iraq held the US, along with the UN, responsible for removing the MEK from Iraq to a third country, the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was forced to agree to remove the MEK from the US terrorism list before any third country would legally be able to accept them on their territory.

Since 2001 Trump’s predecessors have built up strong homeland defences and led counter-terrorism efforts particularly against the threat of ISIS to the US and Europe. It is now likely that this legacy will be squandered by an administration with an overriding hatred of Iran. Instead of understanding the benefit of developing strategic partnerships with countries like Iran and Iraq in the global fight against terrorism, the Trump administration would rather rain down terror on the Iranian people.

But the biggest delusion would be to believe that the MEK could be a reliable or effective partner in any sense. If Donald Trump has any insight into his own modus operandi – the erratic demands and refusal to take criticism – he will have a direct view of how the MEK operates. Aligning America’s foreign policy with the whims of a mind control cult will not secure victory over Iran. Instead, it will diminish America’s standing in the world, and it will certainly not make the world a better or safer place.

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Zionist Maryam Rajavi — MEK Propaganda Queen — Advertises Her Services For Iran’s Enemies 

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Massoud Khodabandeh,
Clearly this message is not aimed at Iranians. The clamour for regime change in Iran does not emanate from inside the country in spite of its many social, civic and political problems. Who then is Maryam Rajavi’s constituency? From whom is she hoping to garner support?Many constituencies outside Iran wish fervently for its destruction. It is enlightening that Maryam Rajavi’s … 

RFR5

What does it mean when we say ISIS operates as a mind control cult?

Maryam Rajavi — MEK Propaganda Queen — Advertises Her Services For Iran’s Enemies

Co-authored by Anne Khodabandeh

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The Middle East is in turmoil. Deaths and destruction are a daily occurrence throughout the region. Families flee their homes in fear, forced into an uncertain future. No end is in sight. Yet into this calamitous scenario a slick, sophisticated terrorist recruiter’s advert has popped up which ISIS itself could learn from.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) website carries a glamorous advertising campaign for a Grand Gathering. Surrounded by glitzy pictures of flag-waving youth, the central focus of this gathering is ‘Our pledge: regime change’.

Well, we all know what that means. Don’t we? Apparently not. Because this advertising doesn’t reflect the destruction wrought in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen. Here is no promise of jihad and the caliphate. It looks very much like a carnival. Which is exactly what it is – a show. So, what is meant by the promise of regime change?

The first port of call is to understand that the NCRI is just another name for the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) which was also known as the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA).

Back in 1994, MEK leader Massoud Rajavi tasked his wife Maryam to leave Iraq for America in order to regain political recognition of the Mojahedin Khalq as ‘the’ Iranian opposition which had been lost when he refused to abandon Saddam Hussein during the First Gulf war.

Refused entry to the USA as the leader of a terrorist entity Maryam instead took up residence in France as a refugee. But instead of meeting politicians to talk about how the MEK could overthrow the Iranian regime, she discovered she could simply create the illusion of support by paying both audience and speakers. She discovered a talent for dressing up, holding fancy dinner parties and talking about her cult ideology.

To create the appearance of a willing audience for her views, she recruited a rag-tag following of Iranian economic refugees who would happily turn up when paid for their services. She paid for feminists from North America, Europe and Scandinavia to visit Auvers-sur-Oise and attend dinner parties. She posed in her hijab to speak about her version of feminism to these western women; carefully spelling it out for them that they would never really understand what feminism is until they understood her husband Massoud Rajavi.

When Massoud recalled her to Iraq in 1997 she had spent a third of the total MEK budget and had no political support to show for it. She had lost around half the loyal MEK members who had defected whilst in Europe. With morale at an all-time low, Maryam was forced to retreat to Iraq with what remained of her personnel and leave the western bases in the hands of largely uneducated paid ‘supporters’.

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When allied forces next invaded Iraq in 2003 Maryam Rajavi again fled to France. This time, as luck would have it, western politics was focused on curtailing Iran’s nuclear programme which it insisted was aimed at creating a nuclear weapon. The MEK’s services as propaganda experts were just what was needed, ensuring the MEK’s ostensible survival as an opposition group.

But in reality the MEK was already in terminal decline. Its fighting forces, disarmed in 2003, are currently being transferred from Iraq to Albania by the UNHCR to begin a process of de-radicalisation and reintegration back into normal society. Nobody expects veterans with an average age of sixty to wage the terrorism of thirty years ago. Disarmament also allowed American experts to investigate years of complaints about human rights and cultic abuses inside the MEK. As long as the MEK was being used to muddy the waters of the nuclear negotiations, such details could be glossed over. But since last year when agreement was reached, the MEK’s murky past can no longer be dismissed.

The main reason, of course, is that the new theme for challenging Iran in the international community is based on the country’s dismal human rights record. But Maryam Rajavi has her own well documented human rights abuse dossier to answer for. The MEK, under whatever name it is used, is simply the wrong tool to use to demonise Iran.

Beyond this, the MEK is not the popular opposition its own advertising claims it to be. The group is almost universally despised among Iranians both inside the country and in the diaspora. Not only did the MEK fight alongside Saddam Hussein’s army during the devastating eight-year Iran-Iraq war, but the MEK’s anti-Iran role in the nuclear negotiations hit a nerve with most ordinary Iranians who regarded support for their country’s right to nuclear technology as an issue ofnationalism rather than politics.

Maryam Rajavi cannot get support from Iranians unless it is paid for. Nor can Maryam Rajavi deign to share a platform with any other Iranian opposition personality. So this year Maryam Rajavi will again do what she does best; pay audience and speakers alike to give the illusion of support.

So, back to the recent advertising campaign. Any publicity campaign will be successful if it is newsworthy. Maryam, however, simply churns out the same scenario ad infinitum. Starting with describing a terrible situation in Iran – based on news items that can be gleaned from any serious reporting outlet – she then proposes a ten-point plan for Iran, approved this year by Italian parliamentarians. And then she promises regime change.

Clearly this message is not aimed at Iranians. The clamour for regime change in Iran does not emanate from inside the country in spite of its many social, civic and political problems. Who then is Maryam Rajavi’s constituency? From whom is she hoping to garner support?

Many constituencies outside Iran wish fervently for its destruction. It is enlightening that Maryam Rajavi’s websites are home to a bizarre mixture of anti-Shia, anti-Iran, anti-Syria, items which reflect very closely the views of neocons, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Maryam Rajavi is not promising regime change, she is advertising her services as a propaganda queen.

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ISIS Attacks in Tehran Expose US-Saudi Lies About Iran 

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Muhammad Sahimi, Anti War, June 08 2017:… Iran has long been a victim of terrorism. In the 1980s the Mujahidin-e Khalgh Organization, usually referred to as the MEK or MKO, murdered up to 17000 people in Iran. Even the United States listed the MEK as a terrorist organization for well over a decade. The Baluchi terrorist group Jundallah staged several terrorist attacks in Iran from its bases in Pakistan, killing scores of civilians. Just last month, Jaish al-Adl … 

تروریسم مجاهدین خلق فرقه رجوی در تهران
Twin attacks strike Iran’s parliament, Khomeini’s tomb
Link to the source

ISIS Attacks in Tehran Expose US-Saudi Lies About Iran

On Wednesday June 7 two groups of terrorists staged stunning attacks in Tehran, Iran. Three of the terrorists attacked the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 Revolution. One terrorist blew himself up, another was killed by the security forces, and a third one, apparently a woman, was arrested. At the same time, three other terrorists entered theMajles [parliament] building and took several people hostage, but were eventually killed by the security forces. Altogether, the terrorist attacks killed at least 12 innocent Iranians and injured more than 40. The Sunni terrorist group Daesh (also known as the ISIS or ISIL) took responsibility, and threatened more terrorist attacks. There are rumors in Tehran that the terrorist were Iranian Kurds recruited by Daesh.

These attacks have occurred exactly two weeks after President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia in which he took sides with that nation and other Sunni reactionary regimes in the Persian Gulf area against Iran, and declared that Iran provides “safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment” of the terrorist, and “Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.”

This is, of course, the same man who during his campaign last year told us that the Saudis weremouth pieces, bullies, cowards,” who were “paying ISIS.” But, milking the Saudis to the tune of over $400 billion in arms sales, weapons that will be used to kill the people of Yemen and other Muslims in the region, has its price, and the price that Trump is paying is encouraging more support for terrorism by Saudi Arabia.

Iran has long been a victim of terrorism. In the 1980s the Mujahidin-e Khalgh Organization, usually referred to as the MEK or MKO, murdered up to 17000 people in Iran. Even the United States listed the MEK as a terrorist organization for well over a decade. The Baluchi terrorist group Jundallah staged several terrorist attacks in Iran from its bases in Pakistan, killing scores of civilians. Just last month, Jaish al-Adl, another Baluchi Sunni terrorist group, attacked from Pakistan and murdered 10 Iranian border guards. Iranian-Arabs, supported by Arab regimes of the Middle East, and in particular Saudi Arabia, have carried out several terrorist attacks in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan in southwest Iran.

At the same time, Iran has been at the forefront of the struggle against radical terrorist groups. It played a pivotal role in toppling the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in the fall of 2001. Without Iran’s help, Iraq’s Capital Baghdad would have fallen to Daesh in June 2014. The war in Syria has been imposed on the Syrian people by the terrorist groups that are supported by Saudi Arabia and its allies, namely, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Jordan, as acknowledged even by Joe Biden at Harvard University in October 2014, and by Hillary Clinton, and Iran has been fighting Daesh there. This is while Israel supports the Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda Syrian branch, by treating their wounded fighters in Israel and returning them to the fields.

And, yet, Trump’s national security team is virulently anti-Iran, espousing false propaganda and lies again that nation. In particular, Defense Secretary James “mad dog” Mattis has said, “Iran is not an enemy of ISIS [Daesh]; they have a lot to gain from the turmoil that ISIS creates,” and, “What is the one country in the Middle East that has not been attacked by ISIS? One. That is Iran. That is more than happenstance, I’m sure.” These statements are pure fabrication and are due to Mattis’ decades-long grudge against Iran. Israel, not Iran, is the only nation that has not been attacked by Daesh. Several plots for terrorist attacks by Daesh against Iran were discovered in the past before being carried out by them. Wednesday’s attacks by Daesh in Tehran exposed the lie propagated by Mattis. Most recently, Mattis said in Saudi Arabia, “Everywhere you look if there is trouble in the region, you find Iran,” which is another lie by the Defense Secretary. To see this, consider just the past six years, since the beginning of the Arab Spring.

Saudi Arabia’s finger prints are on every trouble sport in the Middle East. Not only did Saudi Arabia support NATO attacks on Libya, it also provided “Arab legitimacy” for it by creating the false impression that all Arabs supported the attacks. Saudi Arabia opposed the revolution in Egypt, and supported the military coup that toppled the democratically-elected government of Mohamed Morsi. Saudi Arabia invaded Bahrain in order to prevent the Shiites, who make up 75 percent of Bahrain’s population, from gaining their democratic rights and overcoming discriminations by the Sunni minority.

Saudi Arabia’s role in creating Daesh is well documented. For example, in one secret e-mailHillary Clinton wrote, “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to Isis and other radical groups in the region.” Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen for over two years, committing war crimes, and Mattis and Pentagonsupport it. After Tunisia, Saudi Arabia provides more terrorists to Daesh than any other nation (and Iran has supplied none).

A few weeks ago, Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince and defense minister threatened Iran with war, claiming that, “We are a primary target for the Iranian regime,” accusing Iran falsely of seeking to take over Islamic holy sites in Saudi Arabia. “We won’t wait for the battle to be in Saudi Arabia. Instead, we’ll work so that the battle is for them in Iran,” Salman added. Speaking in Paris on June 6, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeirdeclared that Iran must be punished “for its support of al-Qaeda,” another lie by a fascist regime that spends billions of dollars every year to support terrorism. Al-Jubeir’s memory is short, but the world’s is not: Osama bin Laden was a Saudi citizen, as were 15 of the 19 terrorists that attacked the United States on 11 September 2001. Six out of every ten terrorists that joined al-Qaeda in Iraq, the forebear of Daesh, were Saudi citizens.

Iran and Iranians do not want any war with Saudi Arabia. They just re-elected President Hassan Rouhani because they support his moderate foreign policy that had kept Iran isolated from any attack by the Sunni terrorist groups, his rapprochement with the European Union, and his efforts for lessening tension with the United States. Saudi Arabia and its allies will be fully responsible for any war the might be imposed on Iran and its people.

Posted in USA, Iran, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on ISIS Attacks in Tehran Expose US-Saudi Lies About Iran 

Zio-Wahhabi Turki Al-Faisal: Iranian officials must be ‘brought to justice’

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Zio-Wahhabi Turki Al-Faisal with his Nazi master

The gathering of MKO ringleader Maryam Rajavi’s cult in the auditorium in Villepente Exhibition Center, near Paris, on Saturday in a massive expression of support to the Zio-agent MKO.

The gathering featured a large and varied selection of Zionist speakers from all over the world and across the political spectrum, including Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Turki Al-Faisal and delegation from the Syrian ISIS.

Addressing the conference, Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Turki Al-Faisal called for Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian officials to be brought to justice for their “crimes against the Iranian people,” who he described as the “first victims” of the Iranian regime.

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Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regimecrimes against the Iranian people

He said he was “honored” to be at the event, which was attended by thousands of people who fled “their country because of the dictatorship of the Mullahs’ regime.”

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Turki explained that what made Arabs and Iranians brothers, was “not only geography, but the humanitarian relationships.”

He added: “There are Arab tribes that lived in Iran and became families, and there are a lot of Persian families who came (to Saudi Arabia) to perform their pilgrimage and also became our families.”

He said all at the conference “stood together” as they shared a “mutual history” that helped the development of human civilization.

“All the (Gulf Cooperation Council) GCC countries and their neighbor Iran have always been living in harmony until the Khomeini revolution came into being in 1979,”  Zionist Turki added.

He said there was an “external strategy… to replace the concept of stability with the concept of coup and conflict.”

The rally focused on the prospects for democratic change in Iran and condemned the regime’s repression of human rights and record for regional intervention.
Zionist Speakers also voiced their support for change and solidarity with the Iranian opposition with the rallying cry of “free Iran.”

”The rally captured the growing momentum for change regarding Iran, including changes in policies and attitudes in the Middle East and Washington, and the prospect for a new approach toward the regime in the Islamic Republic”.

The array of speakers, which included several prominent Americans, including Zionist Rudy Giuliani, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former US Ambassador to the UN, Zionist John Bolton, as well as Congressmen Zionist Ted Poe, expressed hope that the changes taking place in the international community would culminate in a new approach toward Iran and a strategic partnership with the Iranian opposition.

Giuliani said he hoped the new US administration would take steps to “not only implement a new approach toward the regime in Iran, but to embrace the Iranian opposition in tackling a common problem.”

Zionist agent Maryam Rajavi , the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), struck a hopeful note for democratic change, stating: “The ruling regime is in disarray and paralyzed as never before. Iranian society is simmering with discontent and the international community is finally getting closer to the reality that appeasing the ruling theocracy is misguided.”

Zionist Rajavi highlighted the plight of Iran’s population under the current regime, and commended Iran’s political prisoners for supporting the gathering “from the depths of the regime’s torture chambers.”

“The sun of change is shining on Iran,” she added, to an enthusiastic crowd of thousands cheering “We are ready.”

Zionist Rajavi added that the international community must “recognize the resistance of the Iranian people to overthrow the mullahs’ religious dictatorship and designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization and evict it from the entire region.”

Zionist Gingrich praised the Iranian opposition as not only a just and pure movement, praising the leadership of Maryam Rajavi adding: “She is persistent in difficult times. She is a great leader. I thank each of you on her behalf to help her make her a truly historic figure. Our people want a constitution based on freedom, democracy, and equality.”

 

 

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Iranian Zionist puppet Annual Convention Calls for Regime Change

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Shameless Saudi Zio-wahhabi Turki al-Faisal with Zio-Nazi Lvni

Iranian opposition held its annual convention 2017 in auditorium in Villepente Exhibition Center, near Paris, on Saturday in a massive expression of support urging the world to adopt a firm approach toward the regime in Iran.
Hundreds of Zionist puppet prominent political figures and activists from all over the world attended the convention.

President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran ( NCRI ), Zionist Maryam Rajavi delivered a speech saying: “the regime’s overthrow is possible and within reach, and a democratic alternative and organized resistance exists that can topple it.”

Participants criticized Iran’s regional and international behavior and announced their support for the opposition in toppling the regime.

CIA Zionist agent Mujahid-e Khalq hoisted Iranian flags with lion and sun logos on it.

Mujahid-e Khalq is one of the CIA agent calling for regime change in Iran. The organization was formed in 1965 and was part of the factions that toppled the former regime.

Zionist Rajavi said that toppling the regime is crucial to ensure security and peace in the region.

“The only solution to free the people of Iran and establish peace and tranquility in the region, is the overthrow of the Iranian regime,”  declared Rajavi.

She said that the ruling regime is in disarray and paralyzed as never before, adding that the Iranian society is simmering with discontent and the international community is finally getting closer to the reality that appeasing the ruling theocracy is misguided.

Speaking about the recent presidential elections, Zionist Rajavi stated in fear of a repeat of the 2009 uprising, Khamenei had to back down from his plan in the presidential election sham to bring the name of Raisi, the executioner in charge of the 1988 massacre.

“The regime is not capable of reform because the so-called reformists who were in office for more than half of this regime’s rule, did nothing but serving the Welayat-e Faqih. This regime cannot be contained, because more than three decades of West’s concessions did not bring about any change in this regime,” NCRI leader said.

Rajavi highlighted the plight of Iran’s population under the current regime, and commended Iran’s political prisoners for supporting the gathering “from the depths of the regime’s torture chambers.”

Zionist Rajavi added that the international community must recognize the resistance of the Iranian people to overthrow the mullahs’ religious dictatorship and designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization and evict it from the entire region.

NCRI’s President underlined the Iranian Resistance’s unwavering belief in the people’s free choice, the separation of religion and state, women’s active and equal participation in political leadership, and the autonomy of various ethnic groups in the framework of Iran’s territorial integrity.

She added, “As I have reiterated, repeatedly, we want neither money, nor arms. We urge you to recognize the Iranian people’s right to overthrow the mullahs’ religious dictatorship.”

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Saudi Zio-wahhabi Turki al-Faisal with Zio-Nazi

Addressing the conference, chairman of the King Faisal Center for Islamic Studies Saudi Zio-wahhabi Turki al-Faisal called for Iranian Supreme Leader and Iranian officials to be brought to justice for their “crimes against the Iranian people,” who he described as the “first victims” of the Iranian regime.

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi Turki explained that what made Arabs and Iranians brothers, was “not only geography, but the humanitarian relationships.”

“All the (Gulf Cooperation Council) GCC countries and their neighbor Iran have always been living in harmony until the Khomeini revolution came into being in 1979,”  Zionist Turki added.

He said there was an “external strategy… to replace the concept of stability with the concept of coup and conflict.”

Zionist Faisal stressed that the Iranian elections are undemocratic and illegitimate because Khamenei appoints the candidates adding that the behavior of the Iranian regime does not qualify it to be a democratic system.

Former UN ambassador, Zionist John Bolton said during the Grand Gathering that the outcome of the US policy review will determine that the regime will not last.

Zionist Bolton added that Tehran must not be allowed to control the arch from Baghdad to Damascus to Lebanon. Iran’s regime is not only a nuclear threat but also a conventional threat to peace and security.

Tehran regime does not change its behavior, so the only solution is to change the regime, stated Zionist Bolton, adding that the US declared policy should be regime change and there is a viable opposition in this room.

Former NY Mayor, Zionist Rudy Giuliani said the only way for stability in the Middle East is through a regime change.

“You, I, my government and your leadership, we see Iran in exactly the same way. The regime is evil and it must go. Free Iran,” said Zionist Giuliani.

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Washington’s New Threat Against Syria, Russia and Iran: Invitation to False Flag Operation

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On Monday 26th June, the White House released a statement saying that the United States had “identified potential preparations for another chemical attack by the Assad regime…” It went on to say: “If, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.”

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, followed that statement by tweeting,

“Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia & Iran who support him killing his own people.”

On Tuesday morning, speaking on BBC 4 Today programme, the British Defence Minister Sir Michael Fallon was asked how Britain would respond to another American attack on Syria, and he responded “we will support” future US action in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

With these unsubstantiated statements on Syria, the Trump Administration is dragging the world towards the law of the jungle. As if the situation in the Middle East was not bad enough, these warlike statements have made the situation much worse, and are in fact leading us towards a major confrontation in the Middle East with unimaginable consequences.

Some 14 years ago, in total violation of international law and without any authorization by the Security Council, former US President George W. Bush launched a barbaric attack on Iraq, which destroyed the country, killed and wounded more than a million people, and gave rise to ISIS that has since waged a campaign of terrorism throughout the world.

Far from having learned any lessons from that disastrous mistake, the Trump Administration seems intent on committing a similar mistake on a grander scale. During the campaign, Candidate Trump accused the former US Administration of having created ISIS, not indirectly but deliberately. He spoke about America having spent six trillion dollars on illegal wars in the Middle East and having nothing to show for it. He vowed that he would not be interested in regime change and was intent on resolving international disputes through negotiations and deals.

Whether he has changed his mind or whether the neocons in the Administration and the deep state have infiltrated and dominated his administration makes little difference. The clear fact is that the Trump Administration is acting in a dangerous and arrogant way and is dragging the world towards another catastrophe.

Shortly after coming to power, President Donald Trump and his disgraced National Security Advisor Michael Flynn singled Iran out for condemnation and put her on notice, despite the fact that the Iranian government had spent hundreds of hours in constructive talks not only with the United States, but with all the permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany and had reached a landmark agreement that was then endorsed by the Security Council.

The agreement blocked all the paths to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, even if she ever had any intention of manufacturing them, something that Iran has denied, and years of investigation have not provided a shred of evidence to the contrary.

President Trump chose Saudi Arabia, the home of Wahhabi fundamentalism that has provided the ideological framework for nearly all the militant Sunni terrorist groups from Al Qaeda, to the Taliban, to Boko Haram and finally to ISIS and its various affiliates, which have created mayhem throughout the world, including the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, as the venue for his first foreign visit. While in Riyadh, he bizarrely formed a “coalition against extremism” with Saudi leaders at its head.

However, as Trump made absolutely clear in his speech to the unelected Arab monarchs, the main aim of the coalition was to unite those Sunni potentates against Iran.

US rocket artillery system in Syria (Source: South Front)

In the past few weeks, America has launched a number of attacks on the positions of the forces allied with the Syrian government in their battle against ISIS. On 18th May and 6th June, American aircraft bombed pro-Syrian militias in southern Syria. They shot down two Iranian-made drones on 8th and 20 June, and on 18th June a US fighter shot down a Syrian aircraft near the town of Tabqah, west of Raqqa, while the Syrian aircraft was attacking ISIS forces in Raqqa. American and Israeli forces have also frequently attacked the forces affiliated with the Syrian government.

On 6th April, the day when Trump was playing host to the Chinese President, he fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at the air base from which a Syrian aircraft that had allegedly used chemical weapons had taken off. This was despite the fact that the United Nations was still investigating the source of the attack and some evidence produced since, including an article by award winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, have cast doubt on the veracity of those accusations.

As Syrian forces, backed by Russia and Iran, are gaining the upper hand and pushing the terrorists and the insurgents out of Syria, the intensity of Israeli and American attacks on Syrian government forces has increased.

From the start of the crisis in Syria, there have been a number of theories based on some leaked information that claimed that the entire debacle in Syria was part of a vicious plot by Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States, initially supported by Turkey and Qatar, to isolate Iran and to cut off any links between Iran and Hezbollah through Syria.

Sadly, all the recent events seem to confirm those assumptions. The US Secretary of State has openly spoken about the need for regime change in Tehran, and many members of Congress have also backed those calls. The US Congress has again imposed new sanctions on Iran in clear violation of the JCPOA. American courts have blocked huge Iranian assets and have turned them over to the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, despite the fact that 15 out of the 19 terrorists were Saudi citizens.

A court is considering at the moment the confiscation of a major building belonging to an Iranian foundation in New York again on flimsy charges.

However, whether those theories about US involvement in Syria in support of Israel and against Iran were correct or not, the fact remains that the Trump Administration, once again supported by Britain, is engaged in an illegal and dangerous course of action that may result in a major confrontation between Russia and Iran on the one hand, and the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia on the other.

There is no need to point out that these actions are in clear violation of the UN Charter and are aggressive actions taken illegally in a sovereign state. However, there are a number of points that need to be stressed in this connection:

1. On the basis of which authority is the United States engaging in hostile acts in Syria against that country’s legal government? Russian and Iranian forces have been invited by the Syrian government to fight against the terrorists. By what authority does the United States station her forces in that country and attack Syrian forces?

2. Is the Trump Administration sincere in wanting to fight against ISIS or not? If it is, then why has it intensified its attacks on Syrian and allied forces just at a time when ISIS is on the verge of collapse?

3. Does the Trump Administration believe in democracy, free elections and the rule of law or not? If it does, then how is it possible to side with a number of autocratic rulers in Riyadh on the day when millions of Iranians took part in competitive and vibrant elections with 76 per cent turnout to choose their new president?

4. Is the Trump Administration interested in changing the behavior of the Iranian government, with greater freedoms and more emphasis on human rights, or is it intent on regime change no matter what, in order to please its Israeli and Arab clients? Iran has moved a long way towards greater openness at home and greater coexistence with the West, as evidenced by the JCPOA. Is it not wiser to allow these democratic practices to take their course in the only country in the Middle East with the greatest potential for democracy and cooperation with the West?

5. Has the Trump Administration calculated the cost of another major war in the Middle East, which might prove to be even more disastrous than the invasion of Iraq and Libya? If it hasn’t, is it not time for the international community to tell the US Administration that it will not bear the brunt of another unnecessary catastrophe in the Middle East?

6. During the campaign, candidate Trump often talked about how good it would be to cooperate with Russia to fight ISIS. Russia and Iran have been the two countries that have been fighting ISIS both in Syria and Iraq ever since that terrorist organization was formed. If Trump meant what he said, why is he not cooperating with Russia to finish the job in Syria, instead of hampering Russian and Iranian efforts in support of the Syrian government to restore peace to that country? Have Trump and his generals thought about the consequences of a confrontation with Russia for America and the world?

7. Does the Trump Administration believe in resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict with some justice for the hard-pressed Palestinians who have lived under a brutal occupation for more than 50 years, or is it going to turn a blind eye to their suffering by supporting Israel’s illegal occupation? For the sake of sustainable peace in the Middle East, would it not be better to put some pressure on Israel to reach a fair settlement with the millions of Palestinians either on a one-state or a two-state solution, instead of destabilizing the Middle East in support of unreasonable Israeli demands?

8. During the campaign, Mr. Trump strongly criticized President Obama for having set a red line for Syria not to use chemical weapons, and then did nothing when Syria allegedly used chemical weapons. Does he realize that by issuing such statements he is making an open invitation to the terrorists to undertake such false flag operations and then he will be boxed in and would have no option but to launch a heavy attack on Syria, whether the government was responsible for the use of chemical weapons or not?

9. Finally, does the Trump Administration believe in the rule of law, the supremacy of the Security Council and the need for negotiations and talks, or does it believe in the law of the jungle? If it believes in the rule of law and peaceful resolution of conflicts, it should clearly stop any action that is not authorized by the Security Council and that goes against international law.

The world is poised at a very critical juncture.

The events in Syria could either lead to the restoration of stability in that war-torn country whose people have gone through unimaginable hardships, or it can pave the way for a global confrontation the outcome of which is too frightening to contemplate.

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on Washington’s New Threat Against Syria, Russia and Iran: Invitation to False Flag Operation

With ISIS or MKO! Proxy War Go on for the US Warmongers (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult, MEK)

NOVANEWS
By Mazda Parsi

تروریسم امریکا داعش مجاهدین خلق مریم رجوی البغدادی

While American Congressman Rohrabacher believes that terror attacks by ISIS that kill innocent people in Iran are legitimate when directed against a hostile regime, his country’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirms that his goal about Iran, remains regime change.

According to Think Progress, Tillerson said the US policy as it stands is to rely on “elements inside of Iran” who can be supported toward the end goal of regime change, with the hope it would be a “peaceful transition of that government.” [1]

As Think Progress asserts, “elements inside of Iran who can be supported toward the end goal of regime change” might be the Mujahedin Khalq terrorist organization (the MKO/ MEK/ Cult of Rajavi). [2] Coincidently the MKO has bribed several US Congressmen such as Dana Rohrabacher in exchange for their support.

On Thursday, June 8th, the day after the twin attacks in Tehran, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) praised the recent Islamic State attack as a “good thing” and suggested that maybe the United States should work with the militant organization. [3]

“It’s no surprise that Rohrabacher is so anti-Iran he is willing to praise the Islamic State for conducting an attack in the country”, writes Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani of Think Progress. “The congressman is a vocal supporter of regime change as well as a huge advocate of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a cult-like group known for human rights abuses which wants to overthrow the Iranian government and which was classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government until 2012.”[4]

On the other hand, we see Congressman Ted Poe who is also an ardent supporter of the MKO and he is the very person who encouraged Secretary Tillerson to imply his support for the anti-Iran groups like the MKO. “Tillerson’s remarks were in response to questioning from Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), a vocal supporter of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), whose members were in attendance at the briefing”, states Daruis Namazi of National Iranian American Council (NIAC). “Rep. Poe (R-TX) asked Tillerson whether the U.S. supports “a peaceful regime change” and whether it is U.S. policy “to lead things as they are or set up a peaceful long-term regime change.” Tillerson implied that, it was U.S. policy to move toward supporting regime change, stating the U.S. would “work toward support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of those governments.” [5]

As a matter of fact, “Peaceful transition of government” is nothing but a mirage. As far as the US hardliners count on terrorist violent groups like the MKO, ISIS etc. nothing will be peaceful. Namazi believes, “Such an endorsement is more likely to be a boon to groups seeking to violently overthrow the Iranian government, such as the MEK. As a result, the Trump administration could be headed toward repeating the mistakes of the U.S.-sponsored overthrow of Mohammad Mossadeq in 1953.” [6]

The American journalist Tony Cartalucci goes further implying that the US has already started the agenda of violent regime change in Iran using proxy forces like the MKO. He bases his arguments on the official document of the Brookings Institution 2009, titled, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran”. In the paper, “the use of then US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organization Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK) as a proxy for instigating a full-fledged armed insurgency not unlike that which is currently unfolding in Syria was discussed in detail.” [7]

As Cartalucci reports, Brookings policy makers admit the MKO’s violent past including the assassination of six US military personnel and civilians in the 1970s in Iran. However, the group was delisted in 2012 following a multi-million-dollar lobbying campaign. Since then the group reopened its Washington office and ratcheted up its large scale anti-Iran drive but it was not successful.  “However, despite these efforts, MEK was not capable then or now of accomplishing the lofty goal of instigating full-fledged insurrection against Tehran, necessitating the use of other armed groups,” Cartalucci writes. [8]

Other armed group’s seems to include the ISIS for the US warmongers which will not substantially be able to lead a “peaceful” transition of governments. The so-called “peaceful transition” will not be fulfilled by using the MKO either. The group’s violent past with terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of thousands of innocent civilians and government officials is undeniable. Moreover, the MKO’s alliance with the then Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the eight years of the Iran-Iraq war eradicated the little support they enjoyed among the Iranian public opinion.

Pual Pillar of the National Interest clarifies how the MKO’s violent past helped the Iranian security forces get experienced enough to cope with such incidents. “The principal perpetrator of terrorism in Iran over the past four decades has been the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the Marxist/Islamist cult/terrorist group that prior to the revolution had claimed Americans among its victims,” Pillar writes.  “Thanks largely to the MEK’s activity, Iran necessarily has had much experience in countering terrorism.  Khamenei lost the use of his right arm when he was injured by an MEK bomb in an assassination attempt in 1981.” [9]

Obviously, proxy wars using terrorist groups and/or ethnic minorities is of no use but causing the Iranian people more united. As they proved it after the last week’s terrorist attacks in Tehran sharing images and messages of solidarity like #together-with-Iran and #united-we-stand.

 

References:

[1]Varkiani, Adrian Mahsa, Tillerson calls for regime change in Iran, Think Progress, June 15, 2017

[2] ibid

[3] Varkiani, Adrienne Mahsa, Republican congressman praises ISIS attack in Iran, says US should, Think Progress, June 10, 2017

[4] ibid

[5] Namazi, Darius, Secretary Tillerson Eschews Iran Diplomacy in Favor of Regime Change, NIAC Council, June 15, 2017

[6] ibid

[7] Cartalucci, Tony, Tehran Was Always America’s And Thus The Islamic State’s Final Destination, New Eastern Outlook, June 11, 2017

[8] ibid

[9] Pillar, Paul R, Terrorism in Tehran: Reality Confounds Rhetoric Mujahedin Khalq, the National Interest, June 11, 2017

Posted in USA, IranComments Off on With ISIS or MKO! Proxy War Go on for the US Warmongers (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult, MEK)

The West must realize that the MKO is not popular (aka Mojahedin Khalq, MEK, Rajavi cult)

NOVANEWS

Mazda Parsi, Nejat Society 

As the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO/the cult of Rajavi) is holding its so-called annual grand gathering in Paris, its supporters try to be grateful for their luxurious trip to Paris donated to them by the group. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Department of the United States, Tom Ridge is a well-paid advocate of the MKO. Together with a number of his colleagues … 

مجاهدین خلق فرقه رجوی داعش تروریسم تهرانIran Unites as Tehran Struck by Middle East’s Proxy Wars

Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher lobby for MEK and ISIS
Americans take responsibility for recent joint Saudi/ISIS/MEK terror attacks (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi Cult, MKO, PMOI, NCRI …) 

As the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO/the cult of Rajavi) is holding its so-called annual grand gathering in Paris, its supporters try to be grateful for their luxurious trip to Paris donated to them by the group.

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Department of the United States, Tom Ridge is a well-paid advocate of the MKO. Together with a number of his colleagues, Ridge has been paid thousands of dollars for his speeches in support of the group as well as his first class flights to France and his luxurious hotel rooms in Paris every year.

Therefore, the hefty payments have convinced him to forge the truth. In his recent article, published by Arabnews, just two days before the grand gathering he claims that “many Iranians have boycotted the presidential election” in Iran! He claims that the large voter turnout is the “regime propaganda” while the entire world-wide media have admitted that the Iranians’ participation in the recent presidential elections was great. Aljazeera, for instance described the election as “a massive voter turnout”. “Long queues were seen outside polling stations across the country, and voting time was extended by five hours”, according to BBC.

However, Mr. Ridge prefers to neglect the truth and instead call for support for the MKO declaring his plan to attend the group’s rally in Paris, ”which is expected to draw upward of 1000,000 Iranian expatriates from around the world, and will be broadcast live to millions of Iranians.”

He seems to be so naïve that he cannot recognize the huge number of non-Iranians who are bused to the so-called grand gathering from around Europe including college students, African and middle eastern refugees and a lot more irrelevant people who have been promised a free trip to the lovely memorable French capital, Paris.

He claims that millions of Iranians watch the MKO’s masquerade show live while the 80-milllion Iranian population who almost all have access to the Internet and satellite TV channels, hardly ever know the MKO or even if they know the group they do not sound eager to know about it or to follow its news.

Mr. Ridge’s is made forget the violent background of the MKO. Ironically, he advises the international community to “encourage the democratic transformation of Iran by supporting democratic alternatives to the current regime”. This is an alarming sign of his poor judgment about the MKO and its situation among the Iranian public opinion.

Indeed, various sources emphasize that the MKO enjoys very little support in Iranian public because of its cooperation with Saddam Hussein during the eight years of Iran-Iraq war and moreover due to its violent bloody struggle against the government that took the lives of thousands of Iranian civilians.

“The group is wildly hated inside Iran and has almost no support in the Iranian diaspora”, writes Daniel Larison of the American conservative. “It is widely unrepresentative to what most Iranians in Iran and elsewhere want for their country.”

Posted in Europe, France, IranComments Off on The West must realize that the MKO is not popular (aka Mojahedin Khalq, MEK, Rajavi cult)

Terrorist organization: People’s Mujahedin of Iran ‘MKO’

NOVANEWS

Posted by: John Phoenix

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Emblem of the People's Mujahedin of Iran.svg

سازمان مجاهدين خلق
Abbreviation
MKO, MEK, PMOI
Leader
Maryam Rajavi and Massoud Rajavi[a]
Secretary-General
Zohreh Akhyani[3]
Founded
5 September 1965; 51 years ago
Split from
Freedom Movement[4]
Headquarters
Paris, France(1981–1986;[5] 2003–)
Newspaper
Mojahed[6]
Military wing
National Liberation Army (NLA)
Political wing
National Council of Resistance(NCR)
Membership (2011)
5,000 to 13,500 (DoD estimate)[5]
Ideology
Political position
Left-wing
Religion
Shia Islam
Colours
     Red
Website

www.mojahedin.org

Armed wing of MKO
National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA)[11]
Participant in Black September, Iranian Revolution, Iran hostage crisis, Consolidation of the Iranian Revolution, Iran–Iraq War, 1991 uprisings in Iraq, 2003 invasion of Iraq, 2011 Camp Ashraf raid, 2013 Camp Ashraf attack, Iran–Israel proxy conflict, Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict
Ir-nla.gif

NLA flag used since 1987
Active 1971–1977[12]
1979[13]present[14]
Since 20 June 1987 as NLA[15]
Leaders
  • Maryam Rajavi, deputy commander-in-chief[16]
  • Mousa Khiabani, Commander (1981–1982;KIA)[17]
  • Ali Zarkesh, Commander (1982–1988;KIA)[17]
  • Ebrahim Zakeri, Head of ‘Security and Counter-Terrorism’ (1993–2003)[18]
Area of operations Iran and Iraq[19]
Strength Brigade (at peak)[20]
Allies
Opponents
Battles and wars Operation Eternal Light

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran or the Mojahedin-e Khalq (Persian: سازمان مجاهدين خلق ايران‎, translit. Sāzmān-e mojāhedin-e khalq-e irān‎, abbreviated MEK, PMOI or MKO) is an Iranian political–militant organization[5] in exile that advocates the violent overthrow of the government of Iran while claiming itself as the replacing shadow government.[28][29]

According to a 2009 report published by the Brookings Institution, the organization appears to be undemocratic and lacking popularity but maintains an operational presence in Iran, acting as a proxy against Tehran.[30]

It is designated as a terrorist organization by Iran and Iraq, and was considered a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom and the European Union until 2008 and 2009 respectively, and by Canada and the United States until 2012. Various scholarly works, media outlets, and the governments of the United States and France have described it as a cult.[b] The organization has built a cult of personality around its leaders Massoud and Maryam Rajavi.[33]

It was founded on 5 September 1965 by six Muslim students who were affiliated with the Freedom Movement of Iran;[4] however in a coup-style ideological transformation, leftist members hijacked the Muslim group and adopted a Marxist platform in 1975.[38] The organization engaged in armed conflict with the Pahlavi dynasty in the 1970s and played an active role in the downfall of the Shah in 1979. They hailed “His Highness Ayatollah Khomeini as a glorious fighter (Mojahed)” and urged all to remain united behind him against plots by royalists and imperialists.[13]

Following the revolution, they participated in March 1979 referendum and strongly supported the Iran hostage crisis, but boycotted the Islamic Republic constitutional referendum in December 1979, being forced to withdraw their candidate for the Iranian presidential election in January 1980 as a result. Furthermore, the organization was unable to win a single seat in the 1980 Iranian legislative election. Allied with PresidentAbolhassan Banisadr, the group clashed with the ruling Islamic Republican Party while avoiding direct and open criticism of Khomeini until June 1981, when they declared war against the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran and initiated a number of bombings and assassinations targeting the clerical leadership.[6]

The organization gained a new life in exile, founding the National Council of Resistance of Iran and continuing to conduct violent attacks in Iran. In 1983, they sided with Saddam Hussein against the Iranian Armed Forces in the Iran–Iraq War, a decision that was viewed as treason by the vast majority of Iranians and which destroyed the MEK’s appeal in its homeland.[39]

The group says it renounced violence in 2001.[40] However, the MEK has been accused by numerous commentators of being financed, trained, and armed by Israel to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists and educators.[41]

While the MEK’s leadership has resided in Paris, the group’s core members were for many years confined to Camp Ashraf in Iraq, particularly after the MEK and U.S. forces signed a cease-fire agreement of “mutual understanding and coordination” in 2003.[42] The group was later relocated to former U.S. military base Camp Liberty in Iraq[43] and eventually to Albania.[44]

In 2002 the MEK revealed the existence of Iran’s nuclear program. They have since made various claims about the programme, not all of which have been accurate.[45][46]

Other names

The group had no name until February 1972.[47]

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran is known by a variety of names including:

  • Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MEK)
  • The National Liberation Army of Iran (the group’s armed wing)
  • National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) – the MEK is the founding member of a coalition of organizations called the NCRI.[48][49] The organization has the appearance of a broad-based coalition; however, many analysts consider NCRI and MEK to be synonymous[11] and recognize NCRI as only “nominally independent” political wing of MEK.[50][51][52]
  • Monafiqeen (Persian: منافقین‎‎) – the Iranian government consistently refers to the People’s Mujahedin with this derogatory name, meaning “the hypocrites“.[53]

Note: The acronym MEK is used throughout this article, as it is commonly used by the media and national governments around the world to refer to the People’s Mujahedin.

Membership

According to Albert V. Benliot, most analysts agree that MEK members tend to be “more dedicated and zealous” than those of other organizations.[54]

1980s

According to George E. Delury, in early 1980 the organization was thought to have 5,000 hard-core members and 50,000 supporters, with the Paykar faction capable of attracting 10,000 in university areas. In June 1980, at perhaps the height of their popularity, the Mojahedin attracted 150,000 sympathizers to a rally in Tehran.[55] Pierre Razoux estimates MEK’s maximum strength from 1981–1983 to 1987–1988, about 15,000 fighters with a few tanks and several dozen light artillery pieces, recoilless guns, machine guns, anti-tank missiles and SAM-7s.[56] Jeffrey S. Dixon and Meredith Reid Sarkees estimate their prewar strength to be about 2,000, later peaking to 10,000.[57]

Post-2000

The MEK was believed to have a 5,000–7,000-strong armed guerrilla group based in Iraq before the 2003 war, but a membership of between 3,000–5,000 is considered more likely.[58] In 2005, the U.S. think-tank the Council on Foreign Relations stated that the MEK had 10,000 members, one-third to one-half of whom were fighters.[59] According to a 2003 article by the New York Times, the MEK was composed of 5,000 fighters based in Iraq, many of them female.[60] BMI Research‘s 2008 report estimates MEK’s armed wing strength 6,000–8,000 and its political wing around 3,000, thus a total 9,000–11,000 membership.[61] A 2013 article in Foreign Policy claimed that there were some 2,900 members in Iraq.[62] In 2011, United States Department of Defense estimated global membership of the organization between 5,000 and 13,500 persons scattered throughout Europe, North America, and Iraq.[5]

History

Before the Revolution (1965–1979)

Foundation

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran was founded on 5 September 1965 by six former members of the Liberation or Freedom Movement of Iran, students at Tehran University, including Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saied Mohsen and Ali-Asghar Badizadegan. The MEK opposed the rule of Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, considering him corrupt and oppressive, and considered the Liberation Movement too moderate and ineffective.[63] They were committed to the Ali Shariati‘s approach to Shiism.[64] Although the MEK are often regarded as devotees of Ali Shariati, in fact their pronouncements preceded Shariati’s, and they continued to echo each other throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s.[65]

In its first five years, the group primarily engaged in ideological work.[66] Their thinking aligned with what was a common tendency in Iran at the time – a kind of radical, political Islam based on a Marxist reading of history and politics. The group’s main source of inspiration was the Islamic text Nahj al-Balagha (a collection of analyses and aphorisms attributed to Imam Ali). Despite some describing a Marxist influence, the group never used the terms “socialist” or “communist” to describe themselves,[67] and always called themselves Muslims – arguing along with Ali Shariati, that a true Muslim – especially a true Shia Muslim, that is to say a devoted follower of the Imams Ali and Hossein – must also by definition, be a revolutionary.[65] However, they generously adopted elements of Marxism in order to update and modernize their interpretation of radical Islam.[68]

The group kept a friendly relationship with the only other major Iranian urban guerrilla group, the Organization of Iranian People’s Fedai Guerrillas (OIPFG).[69]

Schism

In October 1975, the MEK underwent an ideological split. While the remaining primary members of MEK were imprisoned, some of the early members of MEK formed a new organization that followed Marxist, not Islamic, ideals; these members appropriated the MEK name to establish and enhance their own legitimacy.[70] This was expressed in a book entitled Manifesto on Ideological Issues, in which the central leadership declared “that after ten years of secret existence, four years of armed struggle, and two years of intense ideological rethinking, they had reached the conclusion that Marxism, not Islam, was the true revolutionary philosophy.” Mujtaba Taleqani, son of Ayatallah Taleqani, was one of these converts to Marxism.

Thus after May 1975 there were two rival Mujahedin, each with its own publication, its own organization, and its own activities.[71] A few months before the Iranian Revolution the majority of the Marxist Mujahedin renamed themselves “Peykar“, on 7 December 1978 (16 Azar, 1357); the full name is: Organization of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class. This name was after the “League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class“, which was a left-wing group in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, founded by Vladimir Lenin in the autumn of 1895.[72]

Anti-American campaign

On 30 November 1970 a failed attempt was made to kidnap the U.S. Ambassador to Iran, Douglas MacArthur II.[73] This was followed by an assassination attack in May 1972 against USAF Brig. Gen. Harold Price. Price survived the attack but was wounded.[74][75] The CIA’s former Chief of Station in Tehran, George Cave, described the attack as the first instance of a remotely detonated improvised explosive device.[76]

In the years between 1973 and 1975, armed operations within the MEK intensified, while primary members of the MEK remained imprisoned.[77] In 1973 ten major American-owned buildings were bombed including those of the Plan Organization, Pan-American Airlines, Shell Oil Company, Hotel International, and Radio City Cinema.[78]

Lt. Col. Louis Lee Hawkins, a U.S. Army comptroller, was shot to death in front of his home in Tehran by two men on a motorcycle on June 2, 1973.[73][74][79][80] A car carrying U.S. Air Force officers Col. Paul Shaffer and Lt. Col. Jack Turner was trapped between two cars carrying armed men. They told the Iranian driver to lie down and then shot and killed the Americans. Six hours later a woman called reporters to claim the MEK carried out the attack as retaliation for the recent death of prisoners at the hands of Iranian authorities.[73][74][81] A car carrying three American employees of Rockwell International was attacked in August 1976. William Cottrell, Donald Smith, and Robert Krongard were killed. They had been working on the Ibex system for gathering intelligence on the neighboring USSR.[73][82] Leading up to the Islamic Revolution, members of the MEK, conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.[83] According to the U.S. Department of State and the presentation of the MEK by the Foreign Affairs group of the Australian Parliament, the group conducted several assassinations of U.S. military personnel and civilians working in Iran during the 1970s. After the revolution the group actively supported the U.S. embassy takeover in Tehran in 1979.[84]

MEK supporters have claimed that the assassinations and bombings were carried out by the Marxist leaning splinter group Peykar, who “hijacked” the name of the MEK, and were not under the control of imprisoned leaders such as Massoud Rajavi.[77]

“The political phase” (1979–1981)

The group supported the revolution in its initial phases.[85] MEK launched an unsuccessful campaign supporting total abolition of Iran’s standing military, Islamic Republic of Iran Army, in order to prevent a coup d’état against the system. They also claimed credit for infiltration against the Nojeh coup plot.[86]

It participated in the referendum held in March 1979.[85] Its candidate for the head of the newly founded council of experts was Masoud Rajavi in the election of August 1979.[85]However, he lost the election.[85] The group also supported for the occupation the US embassy in Tehran in November 1979.[85] In January 1980, Rajavi announced his candidacy for the presidency, but he was banned, since he was regarded by Ayatollah Khomeini as ineligible.[85] In February 1980, concentrated attacks by Hezbollahi members began on the meeting places, bookstores, and newsstands of Mujahideen and other leftists, driving the left underground in Iran. Hundreds of MEK supporters and members were killed from 1979 to 1981, and some 3,000 were arrested. Ultimately, the organization called for a massive half-a-million-strong demonstration under the banner of Islam on June 20, 1981, to protest Iran’s new leadership, which was also attacked. Following the June 20 protests, Massoud Rajavi formed the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Tehran.[87][self-published source?]

In the immediate aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the MEK was suppressed by Khomeini’s revolutionary organizations and harassed by the Hezbollahi, who attacked meeting places, bookstores, and kiosks of the Mujahideen.[88] Toward the end of 1981, several PMOI members and supporters went into exile. Their principal refuge was in France.[89]

Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield describes this period in an article in The National Interest Magazine “when confronted with growing resistance in the spring of 1981 to the restrictive new order that culminated in massive pro-democracy demonstrations across the country invoked by MEK leader Massoud Rajavi on June 20, Khomeini’s reign was secured at gunpoint with brute force, driving Iran’s first and only freely elected president, Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, underground and into permanent exile. This fateful episode was described by Ervand Abrahamian as a “reign of terror”; Marvin Zonis called it “a campaign of mass slaughter.”[90]

Electoral history

Year Election/referendum Seats won/policy References
1979 Islamic Republic referendum Vote ‘Yes’ [6]
Assembly of Experts election

0 / 73 (0%)

[91]
Constitutional referendum Boycott [6]
1980 Presidential election Vote, no candidate [6]
Parliamentary elections

0 / 270 (0%)

[91]

Armed conflict with the Islamic Republic government (1981–1988)

Protests against the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini (20 June 1981)

Following the 1979 revolution, the newly established theocratic government of Ayatollah Khomeini moved to squash dissent. Khomeini attacked the MEK as elteqati (eclectic), contaminated with Gharbzadegi (“the Western plague”), and as monafeqin (hypocrites) and kafer (unbelievers).[92] In February 1980 concentrated attacks by hezbollahi pro-Khomeini militia began on the meeting places, bookstores and newsstands of Mujahideen and other leftists[93] driving the Left underground in Iran. Hundreds of MEK supporters and members were killed from 1979 to 1981, and some 3,000 were arrested.[94]

On 30 August a bomb was detonated killing the popularly elected President Rajai and Premier Mohammad Javad Bahonar. An active member of the Mujahedin, Massoud Keshmiri, was identified as the perpetrator, and according to reports[by whom?] came close to killing the entire government including Khomeini.[unreliable source?] The reaction to both bombings was intense with many arrests and executions of Mujahedin and other leftist groups, but “assassinations of leading officials and active supporters of the government by the Mujahedin were to continue for the next year or two.”[95]

Following the Iraqi invasion of Iran in 1980, MEK called Saddam Hussein an “aggressor” and a “dictator“.[32]

In 1981, the MEK formed the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) with the stated goal of uniting the opposition to the Iranian government under one umbrella organization. The MEK says that in the past 25 years, the NCRI has evolved into a 540-member parliament-in-exile, with a specific platform that emphasizes free elections, gender equality and equal rights for ethnic and religious minorities. The MEK claims that it also advocates a free-market economy and supports peace in the Middle East. However, the FBI claims that the NCRI “is not a separate organization, but is instead, and has been, an integral part of the [MEK] at all relevant times” and that the NCRI is “the political branch” of the MEK, rather than vice versa. Although the MEK is today the main organization of the NCRI, the latter previously hosted other organizations, such as the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran.[48]

Eventually, the majority of the MEK leadership and members fled to France, where it operated until 1986, when tension arose between Paris and Tehran over the Eurodif nuclear stake and French citizens kidnapped in the Lebanon hostage crisis. After Rajavi flew to Baghdad, the hostages were released.[citation needed]

Operation Eternal Light and 1988 executions

Rajavi shaking hands with Saddam Hussein

In 1986, after French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac struck a deal with Tehran for the release of French hostages held prisoners by the Hezbollah in Lebanon, the MEK was forced to leave France and relocated to Iraq. Investigative journalist Dominique Lorentz has related the 1986 capture of French hostages to an alleged blackmail of France by Tehran concerning the nuclear program.[96]

The MEK transferred its headquarters to Iraq. Near the end of the 1980–88 war between Iraq and Iran, a military force of 7,000 members of the MEK, armed and equipped by Saddam’s Iraq and calling itself the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA), went into action. On July 26, 1988, six days after the Ayatollah Khomeini had announced his acceptance of the UN brokered ceasefire resolution, the NLA advanced under heavy Iraqi air cover, crossing the Iranian border from Iraq. It seized and razed to the ground the Iranian town of Islamabad-e Gharb. As it advanced further into Iran, Iraq ceased its air support and Iranian forces cut off NLA supply lines and counterattacked under cover of fighter planes and helicopter gunships. On July 29 the NLA announced a voluntary withdrawal back to Iraq. The MEK claims it lost 1,400 dead or missing and the Islamic Republic sustained 55,000 casualties (either IRGC, Basij forces, or the army). The Islamic Republic claims to have killed 4,500 NLA during the operation.[97] The operation was called Foroughe Javidan (Eternal Light) by the MEK and the counterattack Operation Mersad by the Iranian forces.

A large number of prisoners from the MEK, and a lesser number from other leftist opposition groups (somewhere between 1,400 and 30,000),[98] were executed in 1988, following Operation Eternal Light.[99][c][101][102][103] Dissident Ayatollah Montazeri has written in his memoirs that this massacre, deemed a crime against humanity, was ordered by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and carried out by several high-ranking members of Iran’s current government. Recently The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed a Special Rapporteur on Human Rights violations for Iran, to take action on such actions since 1988.[104]

According to The Economist, “Iranians of all stripes tend to regard the group as traitors” for its alliance with Saddam during the Iran–Iraq War.[105] Massoud Rajavi personally identified Iranian military targets for Iraq to attack, an act the New York Times describes as betrayal.[106]

Post-war Saddam era (1988–2003)

In the following years the MEK conducted several high-profile assassinations of political and military figures inside Iran, including Asadollah Lajevardi, the former warden of the Evin prison, in 1998, and deputy chief of the Iranian Armed Forces General Staff Brigadier General Ali Sayyad Shirazi, who was assassinated on the doorsteps of his house on April 10, 1999.[107]

In April 1992, the MEK attacked 10 embassies, including the Iranian Mission to the United Nations in New York. Some of the attackers were armed with knives, firebombs, metal bars, sticks, and other weapons. In the various attacks, they took hostages, burned cars and buildings, and injured multiple Iranian ambassadors and embassy employees. There were additional injuries, including to police, in other locations. The MEK also caused major property damage. There were dozens of arrests.[108]

The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) cracked down on MEK activity, carrying out what a US Federal Research Division, Library of Congress Report referred to as “psychological warfare.”[109]

2003 French arrest

Members protesting arrest of Rajavi

In June 2003 French police raided the MEK’s properties, including its base in Auvers-sur-Oise, under the orders of anti-terrorist magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière, after suspicions that it was trying to shift its base of operations there. 160 suspected MEK members were then arrested. In response, 40 supporters began hunger strikes to protest the arrests, and ten immolated themselves in various European capitals. French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy (Union for a Popular Movement) declared that the MEK “recently wanted to make France its support base, notably after the intervention in Iraq”, while Pierre de Bousquet de Florian, head of France’s domestic intelligence service, claimed that the group was “transforming its Val d’Oise centre [near Paris]… into an international terrorist base”.[110]

U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, a Republican from Kansas and chairman of the Foreign Relations subcommittee on South Asia, then accused the French of doing “the Iranian government’s dirty work”. Along with other members of Congress, he wrote a letter of protest to President Jacques Chirac, while longtime MEK supporters such as Sheila Jackson-Lee, a Democrat from Texas, criticized Maryam Radjavi’s arrest.[60]

Following orders from MEK and in protest to the arrests, about ten members set themselves on fire in front of French embassies abroad and two of them died. French authorities released MEK members as a result.[32]

Post-US invasion of Iraq (2003–present)

During the Iraq war, the coalition forces bombed MEK bases and forced them to surrender in May 2003.[111] U.S. troops later posted guards at its bases.[112] The U.S. military also protected and gave logistical support to the MEK as U.S. officials viewed the group as a high value source of intelligence on Iran.[113][page needed]

After the 2003 invasion of Iraq, MEK camps were bombed by the U.S., resulting in at least 50 deaths. It was later revealed that the U.S. bombings were part of an agreement between the Iranian regime and Washington. In the agreement Tehran offered to oust some al-Qaeda suspects if the U.S. came down on the MEK.[114]

In the operation, the U.S. reportedly captured 6,000 MEK soldiers and over 2,000 pieces of military equipment, including 19 British-made Chieftain tanks.[115][116] The MEK compound outside Fallujah became known as Camp Fallujah and sits adjacent to the other major base in Fallujah, Forward Operating Base Dreamland. Captured MEK members were kept at Camp Ashraf, about 100 kilometers west of the Iranian border and 60 kilometers north of Baghdad.[117]

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared MEK personnel in Ashraf protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention. They were placed under the guard of the U.S. Military. Defectors from this group are housed separately in a refugee camp within Camp Ashraf, and protected by U.S. Army military police (2003–current)[needs update], U.S. Marines (2005–07), and the Bulgarian Army (2006–current)[needs update].[118]

On 19 August 2003, MEK bombed the United Nations compound in Iraq, prompting UN withdrawal from the country.[119]

In May 2005, Human Rights Watch issued a report describing prison camps within Iraq run by the MEK and severe human rights violations committed by the group against former members during the period from 1991 to 2003.[120] The report prompted a response by the MEK and a few friendly European MPs, who published a counter-report in September 2005.[121][self-published source?] They stated that HRW had “relied only on 12 hours [sic] interviews with 12 suspicious individuals”, and stated that “a delegation of MEPs visited Camp Ashraf in Iraq” and “conducted impromptu inspections of the sites of alleged abuses.” Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca (PP), one of the Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament, alleged that Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) was the source of the evidence against the MEK.[121] In a letter of May 2005 to HRW, the senior US military police commander responsible for the Camp Ashraf area, Brigadier General David Phillips, who had been in charge during the year 2004 for the protective custody of the MEK members in the camp, disputed the alleged human rights violations.[122]

In July 2010, the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal issued an arrest warrant for 39 MEK members, including Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, for crimes against humanity committed while suppressing the 1991 uprisings in Iraq.[123]

Iraqi government’s 2009 crackdown

On 23 January 2009, and while on a visit to Tehran, Iraqi National Security Advisor Mowaffak al-Rubaie reiterated the Iraqi Prime Minister’s earlier announcement that the MEK organisation would no longer be able to base itself on Iraqi soil and stated that the members of the organisation would have to make a choice, either to go back to Iran or to go to a third country, adding that these measures would be implemented over the next two months.[124]

On 29 July 2009, eleven Iranians were killed and over 500 were injured in a raid by Iraqi security on the MEK Camp Ashraf in Diyala province of Iraq.[125] U.S. officials had long opposed a violent takeover of the camp northeast of Baghdad, and the raid is thought to symbolize the declining American influence in Iraq.[126] After the raid, the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, stated the issue was “completely within [the Iraqi government’s] purview.”[127] In the course of attack, 36 Iranian dissidents were arrested and removed from the camp to a prison in a town named Khalis, where the arrestees went on hunger strike for 72 days, 7 of which was dry hunger strike. Finally the dissidents were released when they were in an extremely critical condition and on the verge of death.[128][129]

Iran’s nuclear programme

The MEK and the NCRI revealed the existence of Iran’s nuclear program in a press conference held on 14 August 2002 in Washington DC. MEK representative Alireza Jafarzadeh stated that Iran is running two top-secret projects, one in the city of Natanz and another in a facility located in Arak, which was later confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency.[130]

Journalists Seymour Hersh and Connie Bruck have written that the information was given to the MEK by Israel. Among others, it was described by a senior IAEA official and a monarchist advisor to Reza Pahlavi, who said before MEK they were offered to reveal the information, but they refused because it would be seen negatively by the people of Iran.[131][132] Similar accounts could be found elsewhere by others, including comments made by US officials.[130]

However, all of their subsequent claims turned out to be false. For instance, on 18 November 2004, MEK representative Mohammad Mohaddessin used satellite images to falsely state that a new facility exists in northeast Tehran, named “Center for the Development of Advanced Defence Technology”.[130]

In late 2005, they held a conference and announced that Iran was digging tunnels for missile and atomic work at 14 sites, including an underground complex near Qom. Commenting on the allegations, Mohamed ElBaradei, then head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said “We followed whatever they came up with… And a lot of it was bogus.” Frank Pabian, a senior adviser at Los Alamos National Laboratory, however said “they’re right 90 percent of the time… That doesn’t mean they’re perfect, but 90 percent is a pretty good record.”[133]

In 2010 the NCRI claimed to have uncovered a secret nuclear facility in Iran. These claims were dismissed by US officials, who did not believe the facilities to be nuclear. In 2013, the NCRI again claimed to have discovered a secret underground nuclear site.[134]

In 2012, the MEK were accused by the Iranian government and US officials, who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity, of being financed, trained, and armed by Israel’s secret service to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists.[41][135][136] Former CIA case officer in the Middle East, Robert Baer argued that MEK agents trained by Israel were the only plausible perpetrators for such assassinations.[137]

In 2015, MEK again falsely claimed to have found a secret nuclear facility they called “Lavizan-3”. The site was revealed to be operated by a firm which produces identification documents for Iranian government.[138]

Alleged involvement in Syrian Civil War

According to the official Iran newspaper, in August 2012, a number of MEK members detained by the Syrian government confessed that the MEK is training militants on Turkish soil near the border with Syria. The report also said they cooperate foreign-backed militants in Syria through the Jordanian borders and are stationed at a base called ‘Hanif’, which is “disguised as a hospital”.[139]

On 30 May 2013, Georges Malbrunot of Le Figaro wrote that two members of the organization were found dead in Idlib, citing a “European parliamentarian in contact with the anti-government rebels“.[140]

In August 2013, Qassem Al-Araji, a member of the Security Commission in the Iraqi Parliament, stated that the organization is engaged in Syrian Civil War against Bashar al-Assad’s government.[141]

In June 2014, when Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took Mosul, MEK website gave a triumphalist account of the conquest, referring to ISIS as “revolutionary forces”. However in April 2015, it called the former an “extremist group” and asked the United States to fight ISIL by regime change in Iran.[142]

Following the 2017 Tehran twin attacks on the Iranian parliament and the Mausoleum of Ruhollah Khomeini, ISIL claimed responsibility but some observers suspected the involvement of different actors, including MEK. It was partly because of the target (MEK leaders had said Ayatollah Khomeini’s tomb would be among their first), in addition to use of a female attacker and cyanide pill, a regular MEK practice. The organization condemned the attacks and denied that it was involved.[143][144]

Relocation from Iraq

On January 1, 2009 the U.S. military transferred control of Camp Ashraf to the Iraqi government. On the same day, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced that the militant group would not be allowed to base its operations from Iraqi soil.[145]

In 2012 MEK moved from Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya in Baghdad (a onetime U.S. base formerly known as Camp Liberty). A rocket and mortar attack killed 5 and injured 50 others at Camp Hurriya on February 9, 2013. MEK residents of the facility and their representatives and lawyers appealed to the UN Secretary-General and U.S. officials to let them return to Ashraf, which they say has concrete buildings and shelters that offer more protection. The United States has been working with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on the resettlement project.[146]

On September 9, 2016 the more than 280 MEK members remaining were relocated to Albania.[44]

Ideology

Before the revolution

The MEK’s ideology of revolutionary Shiaism is based on an interpretation of Islam so similar to that of Ali Shariati that “many concluded” they were inspired by him. According to historian Ervand Abrahamian, it is clear that “in later years” that Shariati and “his prolific works” had “indirectly helped the Mujahedin.”[147]

In the group’s “first major ideological work,” Nahzat-i Husseini or Hussein‘s Movement, authored by one of the group’s founders, Ahmad Reza’i, it was argued that Nezam-i Towhid (monotheistic order) sought by the prophet Muhammad, was a commonwealth fully united not only in its worship of one God but in a classless society that strives for the common good. “Shiism, particularly Hussein’s historic act of martyrdom and resistance, has both a revolutionary message and a special place in our popular culture.”[69]

As described by Abrahamian, one Mojahedin ideologist argued

“Reza’i further argued that the banner of revolt raised by the Shi’i Imams, especially Ali, Hassan, and Hussein, was aimed against feudal landlords and exploiting merchant capitalists as well as against usurping Caliphs who betrayed the Nezam-i-Towhid. For Reza’i and the Mujahidin it was the duty of all muslims to continue this struggle to create a ‘classless society‘ and destroy all forms of capitalism, despotism, and imperialism. The Mujahidin summed up their attitude towards religion in these words: ‘After years of extensive study into Islamic history and Shi’i ideology, our organization has reached the firm conclusion that Islam, especially Shi’ism, will play a major role in inspiring the masses to join the revolution. It will do so because Shi’ism, particularly Hussein‘s historic act of resistance, has both a revolutionary message and a special place in our popular culture.”[148]

After the revolution

According to the publicly stated ideology of the MEK, elections and public suffrage are the sole indicators of political legitimacy. Their publications reported that the Word of God and Islam are meaningless without freedom and respect for individual volition and choice. Their interpretation of Islam and the Quran says that the most important characteristic distinguishing man from animals is his free will. It is on this basis that human beings are held accountable. Without freedom, no society can develop or progress. Although its leaders present themselves as Muslims, the MEK describes itself as a secular organization: “The National Council of Resistance believes in the separation of Church and State.”[149][self-published source?]

In more recent years under the guidance of Maryam Rajavi the organization has adopted strong principles in favor of women. Women assumed some senior positions of responsibility within the ranks of the MEK and although women make up only a third of fighters, two-thirds of its commanders are women. Rajavi ultimately believes that women should enjoy equal rights with men.[150][self-published source?]

View on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict

In the beginning, MEK used to criticize the Pahlavi dynasty for allying with Israel and Apartheid South Africa,[151] even calling them racist states and demanding cancellation of all political and economic agreements with them.[152] MEK opposed Israeli–Palestinian peace process[153] and was anti-Zionist.[32]

The Central Cadre established contact with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), by sending emissaries to Paris, Dubai, and Qatar to meet PLO officials. In one occasion, seven leading members of MEK spent several months in the PLO camps in Jordan and Lebanon.[154] On 3 August 1972, they bombed the Jordanian embassy as a means to revenge King Hussein‘s unleashing his troops on the PLO in 1970.[155]

After their exile, the MEK changed into an ‘ally’ of Israel in pursuit of its ideological opportunism.[32][156]

MEK leader Maryam Rajavi publicly met with the President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas on 30 July 2016 in Paris, France.[157]

View on the United States

Before their exile, the MEK preached “anti-imperialism” both before and after revolution. The Mojahedin Organization praised writers such as Al-e Ahmad, Saedi and Shariati for being “anti-imperialist”.[158] Rajavi in his presidential campaign after revolution used to warn against what he called the “imperialist danger”.[159] The matter was so fundamental to MEK that it criticized the Iranian government on that basis, accusing the Islamic Republic of “capitulation to imperialism” and being disloyal to democracy that according to Rajavi was the only means to “safeguard from American imperialism”.[160] However, after exile, Rajavi toned down the issues of imperialism, social revolution, and classless society. Instead he stressed on human rights and respect for “personal property[161] (as opposed to “private property“, which capitalists consider to be identical to “personal property” while Marxists do not).

Following the September 11 attacks, the organization publicly condemned the event but its members at the camps reportedly rejoiced and called it “God’s revenge on America”.[162]

The ‘ideological revolution’ and the issue of women’s rights

On 27 January 1985, Rajavi appointed Maryam Azodanlu as his co-equal leader. The announcement, stated that this would give women equal say within the organization and thereby ‘would launch a great ideological revolution within Mojahedin, the Iranian public and the whole Muslim World’. At the time Maryam Azodanlu was known as only the younger sister of a veteran member, and the wife of Mehdi Abrishamchi. According to the announcement, Maryam Azodanlu and Mehdi Abrishamchi had recently divorced in order to facilitate this ‘great revolution’. As a result, the marriage further isolated the Mojahedin and also upset some members of the organization. This was mainly because, the middle class would look at this marriage as an indecent act which to them resembled wife-swapping. (especially when Abrishamchi declared his own marriage to Musa Khiabani‘s younger sister). The fact that it involved women with young children and the wives of close friends was considered a taboo in traditional Iranian culture. The effect of this incident on secularists and modern intelligentsia was equally outrageous as it dragged a private matter into the public arena. Many criticized Maryam Azodanlu’s giving up her own maiden name (something most Iranian women did not do and she herself had not done in her previous marriage). They would question whether this was in line with her claims of being a staunch feminist.[163]

According to Iranian-Armenian historian Ervand Abrahamian, “the Mojahedin, despite contrary claims did not give women equal representation within their own hierarchy. The book of martyrs indicates that women formed 15 percent of the organization’s rank-and-file, but only 9 percent of its leadership. To rectify this, the Mojahedin posthumously revealed some of the rank and file women martyrs especially those related to prominent figures, into leadership positions.”[164]

According to Country Reports on Terrorism, in 1990 the second phase of the ‘ideological revolution’ was announced during which all married members were ordered to divorce and remain celibate, undertaking a vow of “eternal divorce”, with the exception of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. Shortly thereafter, all children (about 800)[32] were separated from their parents and sent abroad to be adopted by members of the group in Europe or North America.[32][165]

In 1994, “self-divorce” was declared as the further phase of the ‘ideological revolution’. During this process all members were forced to surrender their individuality to the organization and change into “ant-like human beings”, i.e. following orders by their instinct.[32]

Sociologist Eileen Barker has described the MEK’s “metamorphism” as follows:[32]

Years Nature Ideology Strategy Tactics Organization
1965–1978 Guerilla Syncretic, Islam and Marxism Armed struggle Terrorism Democratic centralism
1979–1981 Political Peaceful political Recruiting
Street demonstration
1981–1985 Terrorist Terrorism Terrorism
Lobby abroad
1985–2003 Terroristdestructive cult No public utterance after ‘ideological revolution’, subject to Survivalist doctrine Terrorism / War Terrorism Despotism
Activism
2003–2012 Provocation for military action against Iran Remain in Iraq
Keep members
Lobby abroad

Propaganda campaign

From the very beginning, the MEK pursued a dual strategy of using armed struggle and propaganda to achieve its goals,[166] and its proliftic international propaganda machine has been successful in misleading a considerable portion of the Western media since the 1980s.[167] Their propaganda aims to present them as a “democratic alternative” to the current Iranian government which defends Western values such as secularism and women’s rights. It also to tries erase its history of anti-Zionism and anti-Americanism, as well as totalitarian ideology and terrorist practices. As part of its public propaganda campaign, the MEK distributes numerous publications, reports, books, bulletins, and open letters to influence the media and Western parliamentarians.[168]

Media activity

The organization owns a free-to-air satellite television network named Vision of Freedom (Sima-ye-Azadi), launched in 2003 in England.[169] It previously operated Vision of Resistance analogue television in Iraq in the 1990s, accessible in western provinces of Iran.[170]

The organization is active on social media, most notably Twitter. It runs an isolated cluster of apparently “full-time activists” and spambots, which interact only with each other.[171][172] The cluster makes efforts to position itself as an organisation of human rights defenders. However, these efforts are rarely reciprocated, signaling their insularity.[171]According to digital research by the UK-based Small Media Foundation, the cluster’s “dependence on automated bots to disseminate information demonstrates that although the MEK is taking social media sites seriously as a platform for broadcasting news and propaganda, they lack the supporter network necessary to make a significant impact within the Iranian Twittersphere. As a result, the MEK is making use of automated bots to artificially inflate its follower count, and create an illusion of influence amongst Iranian Twitter users”.[172] National Council of Resistance of Iran, Mohajedin.org, Maryam-Rajavi.com, Hambastegi Meli, Iran News Update and Iran Efshagari are among accounts openly affiliated with the group.[171]

Crowd renting

MEK demonstrators carrying Lion and Sun flags and those of ‘National Liberation Army of Iran’

According to Kenneth R. Timmerman, the group regularly organizes rent-a-crowd protests worldwide and hires hecklers.[173]

Zaid Jilani and Paul R. Pillar have also cited similar observations.[174][175]

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has published diaries of a Kyrgyz student based in Prague who was recruited to travel to Paris for a MEK rally, in which most of the “protesters” were like her.[176] Michael Rubin has found the story “against the backdrop” of MEK.[177]

However according to Cheryl Benard et al, despite impressiveness of the group’s financial and logistical abilities, such mobilizations are unlikely and implausible because all demonstrators cannot be bought in exchange for exhausting rallies and public figures attending may face “vituperation” for supporting the group.[178]

Indoctrination

Upon entry into the group, new members are indoctrinated in ideology and a revisionist history of Iran. All members are required to participate in weekly “ideologic cleansings”.[179]

MEK is known for its long-term lobbying effort, especially in the United States,[2] where it competes against the National Iranian American Council.[180] It spent heavily to remove itself from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, having paid high-profile officials upwards of $50,000 for each appearance to give speeches calling for delisting.[180]DiGenova & Toensing and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld are among the advocacy groups paid by the organization.[181] The actual sum paid is vague, but the total could be in the millions of dollars.[182][183]

According to investigative work by Scott Peterson and acknowledged by Scott Shane, Glenn Greenwald and Joby Warrick, some prominent US officials from both political parties have received substantial sums of cash to give speeches in favor of MEK, and have become vocal advocates for the group, specifically for removing them from the terrorist list. They include Democrats Howard Dean, Ed Rendell, Wesley Clark, Bill Richardson, and Lee Hamilton, and Republicans Elaine Chao, Rudy Giuliani, Fran Townsend, Tom Ridge, Michael Mukasey, and Andrew Card. There are also advocates outside the government, such as Alan Dershowitz and Elie Wiesel.[183][184][185][186]

MEK in popular culture

The organization has been subject to a number of films, including:

Fraud and money laundering

Other than funds provided by foreign states (such as Saudi Arabia and Iraq under Saddam Hussein), the organization raises money through fraud and money laundering.[119]According to a RAND Corporation policy conundrum, MEK supporters seek donations at public places, often showing “gruesome pictures” of human rights victims in Iran and claiming to raise money for them but funnelling it to MEK.[119] A 2004 report by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) states that the organization is engaged “through a complex international money laundering operation that uses accounts in Turkey, Germany, France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates”.[196]

French case

In 2003, French judiciary charged twenty four members of the group including Maryam Rajavi for “associating with wrongdoers in relation with a terrorist undertaking”, lifting the probes in 2006 except for nine members still investigated for possible money laundering. All charges including money laundering were dropped in 2014.[197]

Germany

In Germany, a sham charity was used by the MEK to support “asylum seekers and refugees” but the money went to MEK. Another front organization collected funds for “children whose parents had been killed in Iran” in sealed and stamped boxes placed in city centers, each intaking DM 600–700 a day with 30 to 40 people used in each city for the operation. In 1988, the Nürnberg MEK front organization was uncovered by police, and the tactic was exposed. Initially, The Greens supported these organizations while it was unaware of their purpose.[198]

In December 2001, a joint FBI-Cologne police operation descovered what a 2004 report calls “a complex fraud scheme involving children and social benefits”, involving the sister of Maryam Rajavi.[196] The High Court ruled to close several MEK compounds after investigations revealed that the organization fraudulently collected between $5 million and $10 million in social welfare benefits for children of its members sent to Europe.[119]

United Kingdom

It operated a UK-based sham charity, namely Iran Aid, which “claimed to raise money for Iranian refugees persecuted by the Islamic regime” and was later revealed to be a front for its military wing.[199][182] In 2001, Charity Commission for England and Wales closed it down[200] after finding no “verifiable links between the money donated by the British public [approximately £5 million annually] and charitable work in Iran.”[119]

United States

Seven supporters were detained by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for funnelling more than $1 million to the organization through another sham charity, Committee for Human Rights in Iran.[119][201] They were later charged in a 59-count indictment with “providing and conspiring to provide material support or resources to a Foreign Terrorist Organization“.[199]

On 19 November 2004, two front organizations called the “Iranian–American Community of Northern Virginia” and the “Union Against Fundamentalism” organized demonstrations in front of the Capitol building in Washington, DC and transferred funds for the demonstration, some $9,000 to the account of a Texas MEK member. Congress and the bank in question were not aware of that the demonstrators were actually providing material support to the MEK.[199]

Assassinations

Bomb debris after assassination of President Mohammad-Ali Rajaei and Prime Minister Mohammad-Javad Bahonar in 1981

More than 16,000 people have been killed in violent attacks conducted by MEK since 1979.[202] From August 26 1981 to December 1982, it orchestrated 336 attacks.[203]

During the fall of 1981 alone more than 1,000 officials were assassinated to take revenge, including police officers, judges and clerics. Their most notorious assassination was the Hafte Tir bombing in June 1981. Later, many low ranking civil servants and members of the Revolutionary Guards were also targeted. It also failed to assassinate some key figures, including Iran’s current leader Ali Khameni. When the security meseares around officials improved, MEK started to target thousands of ordinary citizens who supported the government and Hezbollahis.[204]

The organization has claimed responsibility for the following assassinations, among others:

Timeline of assassinations

Failed attempts and other attacks
  • October 1971: In the group’s first operation, they failed to kidnap son of Ashraf Pahlavi and the Shah’s nephew Shahram Shafiq.[47]
  • May 1972: U.S. Air Force General Harold price was wounded in attempted assassination. Attacks on Tehran police station, In Hafteh (This Week) journal, U.S. Information Office, Hotel International, Iran-American Society, the mausoleum of Reza Shah, and offices of General Motors, Pepsi Cola, and the Marine Oil Company.[119]
  • 3 August 1972: Bombing of Jordanian embassy in Tehran[119] during King Hussein‘s state visit.[155]
  • September 1972: Bombings of Civil Defense Organization Center, Imperial Club, Municipal Department Store, Dept. of Military Industries exhibition hall, and police armory in Qom.[119]
  • June 1973: Bombing of facilities of Pan-Am Airlines, Shell Oil, Radio City Cinema, Hotel International, and an export company.[119]
  • February 1974: Attack on police station in Isfahan.[119]
  • April 1974: Bombing of offices of Oman Bank and Pan-American Oil and of gates of British embassy; attempted bombing of SAVAK center at Tehran University.[119]
  • June 1974: Bombing of gendarmerie post in Tehran and offices of U.S. company ITT.[119]
  • February 1975: Bombing of gendarmerie post in Lahijan.[119]
  • 5 May 1975: MEK member Morteza Samadiyeh-Labbaf was injured in attempted assassination by fellow MEK members, taken to hospital, arrested by SAVAK and eventually executed on 24 January 1976.[207]
  • June 1975: Failed to assassinate an American diplomat in Tehran.[215]
  • 22 June 1981: A bomb blast at Qom railway station killed eight and injured twenty-three.[216]
  • 1 July 1981: MEK plan to blow up the Parliament building was foiled.[216]
  • 20 July 1981: MEK gunmen failed to kill MP Habibollah Asgaroladi.[217]
  • 2 August 1981: Two explosions in Kermanshah and Tehran killed twenty.[218]
  • 12 August 1981: An overruned attack on IRGC headquarters in Tehran with machin guns and rockets.[218]
  • 21 August 1981: Twelve people died in a Tehran IRGC contingent skirmish.[218]
  • 27 September 1981: Hundreds of MEK members clashed with IRGC near University of Tehran campus. It left seventeen killed and forty wounded.[219]
  • 15 April 1982: Attack on friday prayer Imam in Rasht.[119]
  • 18 February 1983: Assassination attempt on a Khomeini representative in Khorasan province.[119]
  • 2 July 1987: Iranian diplomat in Madrid, Spain, survived a car bomb, as well as an injured bystander.[119]
  • April 1992: Bombing at a Tehran public building killed two children.[220]
  • 16 July 1992: Iran’s FM Ali Akbar Velayati who was visiting Potsdam, Germany was attacked by MEK.[221]
  • 20 August 1992: A MP from Kuhdasht survived grenade explosion at his house.[221]
  • 11 October 1992: Destruction of six IRGC vehicles in Qom; bombing of gas station and office of Tehran IRGC commander.[119]
  • 12 October 1992: Bomb exploded at the mausoleum of Ruhollah Khomeini.[221]
  • May 1993: Two guards were killed in the attack on communications facility of the National Iranian Oil Company in Kermanshah.[214]
  • 2 November 1994: An Iranian diplomat on mission in Denmark attacked.[119]
  • June 1995: Bombed oil refineries and other sites in west and south Iran.[221]
  • 7 May 1998: Attack on Iran’s deputy FM in Austria.[119]
  • June 1998: Mortar attack on Defense Industries Organization; bombing of Revolutionary Prosecutor’s office and Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran.[119]
  • July 1998: Bombing of Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran; armed attack on Iranian official in Rome, Italy.[119]
  • 14 September 1998: Attempt to kill Gen. Mohsen Rafighdoost failed.[222]
  • January 1999: Ali Razini, head of Tehran’s judiciary, was wounded after motorcyclist hurled a hand grenade at his car. The explosion killed one and injured three.[223] Mortar attack on Ministry of Intelligence in Tehran.[119]
  • 25 November 1999: Mortar attack at Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz.[119]
  • 5 February 2000: President Mohammad Khatami was unharmed in mortar attack on his residency in Pasteur Street, which reportedly killed a print shop worker and injured five others.[224]
  • March 2000: Mortar attack on residential housing complex; cross-border mortar attack on Iranian territory; attack on Iranian military forces near border.[119]
  • April 2000: Attempt to assassinate the commander of Nasr Headquarters, interagency board responsible for coordinating Iran’s policies on Iraq.[225]
  • May 2000: In several powerful explosions in Kermanshah, MEK claimed “dozens of agents had been killed or wounded”.[226] Six people were injured in a mortar attack near Tehran’s police headquarters.[227]
  • June 2000: Plot to assassinate Ali Akbar Velayati was foiled.[228] Rocket attack on Ministry of Defense.[119]
  • October 2000: A mortar attack targetting the command centre of special anti-riot forces in northern Tehran, left no casualties.[229]
  • August 2000: Mortar attack on city of Mehran; rockets fired near Salehabad and Khoramshahr.[119]
  • November 2000: Mortar attack near Musian and on Kermanshah.[119]
  • January 2001: Gen. Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf survived a mortar attack on the headquarters of Law Enforcement Force.[230] Five rockets fired at IRGC base in Tehran; mortar attack on Supreme Court and other government buildings in Tehran.[119]
  • March 2001: Rocket attack on Iranian security forces headquarters in Tehran and regional office in Shahr-e ziba, Tehran.[119]
  • 19 August 2003: MEK bombed the United Nations compound in Iraq, prompting UN withdrawal from the country.[119]

Status among Iranian opposition

An October 1994 report by the U.S. Department of State notes that other Iranian opposition groups do not cooperate with the organization because they view it as “undemocratic” and “tightly controlled” by its leaders.[54]

Due to its anti-Shah stance before the revolution, the MEK is not close to monarchist opposition groups and Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s deposed crown prince. Iran’s deposed president, Abolhassan Banisadr, ended his alliance with the group in 1984, denouncing its stance during the Iran–Iraq War.[54]

Rival exiled groups question the organizations’s claim that it would hold free elections after taking power in Iran, pointing to its designation of a “president-elect” as an evidence of neglecting Iranian people.[54]

Designation as a terrorist organization

The countries and organizations below have officially listed MEK as a terrorist organization:

Currently listed
 Iran Designated by the current regime[231] since 1981, also during Pahlavi dynasty[232] until 1979
 Iraq Designated by the post-2003 government[123][233][234]
Formerly listed
 United States Designated on 8 July 1997, delisted on 28 September 2012[228]
 United Kingdom Designated on 28 March 2001,[228] delisted on 24 June 2008[228]
 European Union Designated in May 2002,[228] delisted on 26 January 2009[228]
 Canada Designated on 24 May 2005,[235] delisted on 20 December 2012[236]
Other
 Australia Not designated as terrorist but added to the ‘Consolidated List’ subject to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 on 21 December 2001[237]
 United Nations The group is described as “involved in terrorist activities” by the United Nations Committee against Torture in 2008[238]

The United States put the MEK on the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations in 1997. However, since 2004 the United States also considered the group as “noncombatants” and “protected persons” under the Geneva Conventions because most members had been living in a refugee camp in Iraq for more than 25 years.[239] In 2002 the European Union, pressured by Washington, added MEK to its terrorist list.[240]

MEK leaders then began a lobbying campaign to be removed from the list by promoting itself as a viable opposition to the mullahs in Tehran. In 2008 the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denied MEK its request to be delisted despite its lobbying.[241]

In 2011, several former senior U.S. officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, three former chairmen of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, two former directors of the CIA, former commander of NATO Wesley Clark, two former U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations, the former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, a former White House Chief of Staff, a former commander of the United States Marine Corps, former U.S. National Security Advisor Frances Townsend, and U.S. President Barack Obama‘s retired National Security Adviser General James L. Jones called for the MEK to be removed from its official State Department foreign terrorist listing on the grounds that they constituted a viable opposition to the Iranian government.[242]
In April 2012, Seymour Hersh reported that the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command had trained MEK operatives at a secret site in Nevada from 2005 to 2009. According to Hersh, MEK members were trained in intercepting communications, cryptography, weaponry and small unit tactics at the Nevada site until President Barack Obama took office in 2009.[243] Hersh also reported additional names of former U.S. officials paid to speak in support of MEK, including former CIA directors James Woolsey and Porter Goss; New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; former Vermont Governor Howard Dean; former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Louis Freeh and former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.[243]

The National Council of Resistance of Iran has rejected allegations of Hersh.[244][self-published source][245]

Removal of the designation

The United Kingdom lifted the MEK’s designation as a terrorist group in June 2008,[246] followed by the Council of the European Union on January 26, 2009, after what the group called a “seven-year-long legal and political battle.”[241][247][248] It was also lifted in the United States following a decision by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton[43] on September 21, 2012 and lastly in Canada on December 20, 2012.[249]

The Council of the European Union removed the group’s terrorist designation following the Court of Justice of the European Union‘s 2008 censure of France for failing to disclose new alleged evidence of the MEK’s terrorism threat.[247] Delisting allowed MEK to pursue tens of millions of dollars in frozen assets[248] and lobby in Europe for more funds. It also removed the terrorist label from MEK members at Camp Ashraf in Iraq.[241]

On 28 September 2012 the U.S. State Department formally removed MEK from its official list of terrorist organizations, beating an October 1deadline in an MEK lawsuit.[43][250]Secretary of State Clinton said in a statement that the decision was made because the MEK had renounced violence and had cooperated in closing their Iraqi paramilitary base. An official denied that lobbying by well-known figures influenced the decision.[251][252]

37 individuals including Ervand Abrahamian, Shaul Bakhash, Juan Cole and Gary Sick among others, published “Joint Experts’ Statement on the Mujahedin-e Khalq” on Financial Times voicing their concerns regarding MEK delisting.[253] The National Iranian American Council denounced the decision, stating it “opens the door to Congressional funding of the M.E.K. to conduct terrorist attacks in Iran” and “makes war with Iran far more likely.”[43] Iran state television also condemned the delisting of the group, saying that the U.S. considers MEK to be “good terrorists because the U.S. is using them against Iran.”[254]

See also

Splinter groups
Installations

References

Notes
  1. Jump up^ Since 1993, they are “Co–equal Leader”[1] however Massoud Rajavi has disappeared in 2003 and leadership of the group has practically passed to his wife Maryam Rajavi.[2]
  2. Jump up^ Scholarly works:[31][32][33][34] Media outlets:[35] France[36] and United States:[37]
  3. Jump up^ In this operation MEK penetrated as deep as 170 km into Iranian soil and very close to Kermanshah, the most important city in western Iran.[100]
Citations
  1. Jump up^ Steven O’Hern (2012). Iran’s Revolutionary Guard: The Threat That Grows While America Sleeps. Potomac Books, Inc. p. 208. ISBN 1597977012.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b Stephen Sloan; Sean K. Anderson (2009). Historical Dictionary of Terrorism. Historical Dictionaries of War, Revolution, and Civil Unrest (3 ed.). Scarecrow Press. p. 454. ISBN 0810863111.
  3. Jump up^ “Annual Congress elects Zohreh Akhyani as new Secretary General”. NCR Iran. 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c Houchang E. Chehabi (1990). Iranian Politics and Religious Modernism: The Liberation Movement of Iran Under the Shah and Khomeini. I.B.Tauris. p. 211. ISBN 1850431981.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Aaron Schwartz (April 2014). “National Security and the Protection of Constitutional Liberties: How the Foreign Terrorist Organization List Satisfies Procedural Due Process”. The Penn State Journal of Law & International Affair. 3 (1): 293–323. ISSN 2168-7951.
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Peter J. Chelkowski, Robert J. Pranger (1988). Ideology and Power in the Middle East: Studies in Honor of George Lenczowski. Duke University Press. p. 250. ISBN 0822381508.
  7. Jump up^ Eileen Barker (2016). Revisionism and Diversification in New Religious Movements. Routledge. p. 174. ISBN 1317063619. Looking at the original official ideology of the group, one notices some sort of ideological opportunism within their ‘mix and match’ set of beliefs.
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b Mehrzad Boroujerdi (1996). Iranian Intellectuals and the West: The Tormented Triumph of Nativism. Syracuse University Press. p. 117. ISBN 9780815604334. …the ideological worldview of Mojahedin rested upon two of the main characteristics of Iranian social thought at the time: nationalism and populism.
  9. Jump up^ Bashiriyeh, Hossein. The State and Revolution in Iran (RLE Iran D). Taylor & Francis. p. 74. ISBN 9781136820892. Thus the Mojahedin’s opposition to Western influence and its call for economic freedom from the West led it to reject the system of capitalism and to present a radical interpretation of Islam. This was also true of the radical Islamic nationalist movement as a whole.
  10. Jump up^ Fred Reinhard Dallmayr (199). Border Crossings: Toward a Comparative Political Theory. Lexington Books. p. 136. ISBN 9780739100431. To provide an Islamic justification for their populist program, Mojahedin often utilized the euphemism coined by Shariati.
  11. ^ Jump up to:a b Kenneth Katzman (2001). “Iran: The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran”. In Albert V. Benliot. Iran: Outlaw, Outcast, Or Normal Country?. Nova Publishers. p. 97. ISBN 1560729546.
  12. Jump up^ Stephanie Cronin (2013). Reformers and Revolutionaries in Modern Iran: New Perspectives on the Iranian Left. Routledge. p. 191. ISBN 1134328907.
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b Abrahamian, Ervand (1989). Radical Islam: The Iranian Mojahedin. I.B. Tauris. pp. 171–172. ISBN 1850430772.
  14. Jump up^ Mary Ann Tétreault; Ronnie D. Lipschutz (2009). Global Politics as if People Mattere. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 97. ISBN 0742566587. US. military leaders in Iraq signed a cease-fire agreement with the MKO in April 2003 that allowed it to keep all its weapons, including hundreds of tanks and thousands of light arms, as long as it did not attack US. forces
  15. Jump up^ John H. Lorentz (2010). “Chronology”. The A to Z of Iran. The A to Z Guide Series. 209. Scarecrow Press. pp. June 1978. ISBN 1461731917.
  16. Jump up^ Seyyed Hossein Mousavian (2008). “Iran-Germany Relations”. Iran-Europe Relations: Challenges and Opportunities. Routledge. ISBN 1134062192.
  17. ^ Jump up to:a b Tom Lansford (2015). “Iran”. Political Handbook of the World 2015. CQ Press. ISBN 1483371557.
  18. Jump up^ “Honoring a Great Hero for Iran’s Freedom, World Peace and Security: Hon. Edolphus Towns of New York in the House of Represetitives, 27 March 2003”. United States of America Congressional Record. Government Printing Office. 2003. p. 7794.
  19. ^ Jump up to:a b Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO); National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA); People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI); National Council of Resistance (NCR); National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI); Muslim Iranian Student’s Society, Global Security, retrieved 5 November 2016
  20. Jump up^ Yaghoub Nemati Voroujeni (Summer 2012), “Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK) Organization in the Imposed War”, Negin-e-Iran (in Persian), 41 (11): 75–96
  21. Jump up^ Mark Edmond Clark (2016), “An Analysis of the Role of the Iranian Diaspora in the Financial Support System of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq“, in David Gold, Terrornomics, Routledge, p. 65, ISBN 1317045904
  22. Jump up^
  23. Jump up^
  24. Jump up^ Arie Perliger, William L. Eubank (2006), “Terrorism in Iran and Afghanistan: The Seeds of the Global Jihad”, Middle Eastern Terrorism, Infobase Publishing, pp. 41–42, ISBN 9781438107196
  25. ^ Jump up to:a b United States. Dept. of State. International Information Administration. Documentary Studies Section, United States Information Agency, United States Information Agency. Special Materials Section, United States. International Communication Agency (1980). Problems of Communism. 29. Documentary Studies Section, International Information Administration. p. 15. There is evidence that as earlt as 1969 it received arms and training from the PLO, especially Yasir Arafat’s Fatah group. Some of the earliest Mojahedin supporters took part in black september in 1970 in Jordan.
  26. ^ Jump up to:a b Mark Edmond Clark (2016), “An Analysis of the Role of the Iranian Diaspora in the Financial Support System of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq“, in David Gold, Terrornomics, Routledge, pp. 67–68, ISBN 1317045904
  27. ^ Jump up to:a b Anoushiravan Ehteshami, Mahjoob Zweiri (2012), Iran’s Foreign Policy: From Khatami to Ahmadinejad, Sussex Academic Press, p. 135, ISBN 0863724159
  28. Jump up^ Frank Bolz, Jr., Kenneth J. Dudonis, David P. Schulz (2016). The Counterterrorism Handbook: Tactics, Procedures, and Techniques. Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigations (4 ed.). CRC Press. p. 459. ISBN 1439846685.
  29. Jump up^ Jonathan R. White (2011). Terrorism and Homeland Security (7 ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 371. ISBN 1133171184.
  30. Jump up^ Kenneth M. Pollack, Daniel L. Byman, Martin S. Indyk, Suzanne Maloney (2009). “Toppling Tehran”. Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran. Brookings Institution. p. 164. ISBN 9780815703792. The group itself also appears to be undemocratic and enjoys little popularity in Iran itself. It has no political base in the country, although it appears to have an operational presence.
  31. Jump up^ Abrahamian 1989, pp. 260-261.
  32. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i Eileen Barker (2016). Revisionism and Diversification in New Religious Movements. Routledge. pp. 172–176. ISBN 1317063619.
  33. ^ Jump up to:a b Reese Erlich, Robert Scheer (2016). Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis. Routledge. pp. 99–100. ISBN 1317257375.
  34. Jump up^ Masoud Kazemzadeh (2002). Islamic Fundamentalism, Feminism, and Gender Inequality in Iran Under Khomeini. University Press of America. p. 63. ISBN 0761823883.
  35. Jump up^ Elizabeth Rubin (13 July 2003). “The Cult of Rajavi”. The New York Times. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  36. Jump up^ پاسخ سخنگوی وزارت امورخارجه فرانسه به سوالی در مورد سازمان مجاهدین خلق در کنفرانس مطبوعاتی 13 ژوییه 2016 [Spokesperson of French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Answer To A Question About People’s Mojahedin Organization In The 13 July 2016 Press Conference] (in Persian), Embassy of France in Tehran, Iran, 13 July 2016, retrieved 1 August 2016, پرسش: موضع فرانسه نسبت به سازمان مجاهدین خلق چیست؟ پاسخ: دولت فرانسه هیچگونه تماسی با مجاهدین خلق ندارد. وجه خشن و غیردموکراتیک این سازمان موجب شده که بسیاری از سازمانهای حقوق بشر بر ماهیت فرقه ای و امتناع این سازمان از چشم پوشی قطعی از خشونت صحه بگذارند.
  37. Jump up^ Owen Bennett Jones (15 April 2012). “An Iranian mystery: Just who are the MEK?”. BBC News. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  38. Jump up^ Vahabzadeh, Peyman (March 28, 2016) [December 7, 2015]. “FADĀʾIĀN-E ḴALQ”. In Yarshater, Ehsan. Encyclopædia Iranica. Bibliotheca Persica Press. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  39. Jump up^ Afshon Ostovar (2016). Vanguard of the Imam: Religion, Politics, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Oxford University Press. pp. 73–74. ISBN 0190491701.
  40. Jump up^ Kroeger, Alex (2006-12-12). “EU unfreezes Iran group’s funds”. BBC. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
  41. ^ Jump up to:a b “Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News – Rock Center with Brian Williams”. rockcenter.nbcnews.com. Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  42. Jump up^ People’s Mojahedin Of Iran- Mission Report. L’Harmattan. September 2005. p. 12. ISBN 2-7475-9381-9.
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  44. ^ Jump up to:a b “Iranian opposition group in Iraq resettled to Albania”. Reuters. September 9, 2016.
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  55. Jump up^ George E. Delury (1983), “Iran”, World Encyclopedia of Political Systems & Parties: Afghanistan-Mozambique, World Encyclopedia of Political Systems & Parties, 1, Facts on File, p. 480, ISBN 9780871965745
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Bibliography

  • Abrahamian, Ervand (1982). Iran Between Two Revolutions. Princeton University Press.
  • Abrahamian, Ervand (1989). Radical Islam: The Iranian Mojahedin. IB Tauris.
  • Abrahamian, Ervand (Oct 1, 1992). The Iranian Mojahedin. Yale University Press.
  • Keddie, Nikkie (1981). Roots of Revolution.
  • Moin, Baqer (2001). Khomeini. Thomas Dunne.
  • Stevenson, Struan (2015). Self-Sacrifice – Life with the Iranian Mojahedin. Birlinn, Edinburgh, ISBN 978 1 78027 288 7.

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