The Iranian government has labeled the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), as a “terroristic cult. “Their followers hail them as Iran’s best hope for overthrowing the dictators and ushering in a new era of democracy.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), hosted its latest annual convention last weekend, that it had brought together tens of thousands of dissident Iranians from around the world, with rallies taking place in 17 major cities around the world.
Raisi, the former head of the judiciary, is known as “The Butcher” for his involvement in supervising post-revolution purges in the 1980s, when the new Islamic Republic’s authorities suffocated dissent, including the MEK. Raisi is accused of being directly responsible for the deaths of 30,000 people.
Although the State Department accused the regime of gunning down as many as 1,500 protestors in late 2019, even under moderate President Hassan Rouhani, his election may foreshadow an escalation of authoritarian control in Iran.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is 82 years old and allegedly ailing, chose Raisi. The ayatollah is likely to live only a few more years, therefore the future president must be ideologically pure and powerful enough to lead a turbulent transition.
The recent election saw a historically low turnout rate of less than 10%, indicating voter apathy in Iran.
The MEK’s network of poll watchers within Iran, according to Ali Safavi, a member of the NCRI foreign affairs committee, reported a turnout in the single digits. “Our message has found resonance among Iranians, a vast majority of Iranians,” Safavi told Newsweek outlet.
“From within the regime, there is absolutely no chance of any change…a viper will never give birth to a dove.” He added.
“A growing number of people will look for change outside of the regime, outside the ruling apparatus—whether the Khamenei faction or its rival faction.” And, of course, this presents us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spread our message.”
“Why not have an election in Iran tomorrow and see who gets the greatest number of votes?” Safavi explained. “The mullahs will certainly be booted out.”
“Quite frankly, we feel that the onus to overthrow this regime is on us and the Iranian people, and we have to organize it,” Safavi added. We aren’t idealists in the least. It will be a difficult journey ahead. It necessitates a significant amount of sacrifice, risk, time, and work.
“But we like our chances.” Newsweek wrote, citing Safavi.
The MEK, once a far-left militant group, today claims to be committed to a secular democratic society that represents all Iranians. According to Safavi and others, the MEK has no ambitions for power and is simply interested in supporting the regime’s demise and ushering in a new era of Iranian politics.
In 2006, Maryam Rajavi drew up a ten-point plan for a future Iran, which calls for a non-nuclear Iran operated under a “pluralist system” with separation of government and religion, as well as full freedom of expression and human rights and the repeal of Sharia law.