The Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence, recently released a report regarding the power and progress of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK). In it, regime officials admitted the young people of Iran’s attraction toward Mojahedin (MEK) as well as the high status of Mojahedin at home and at the international level.
Hashemi Nejad , director general of the state-funded ‘Habilian’ foundation stated, “We have held 300 exhibitions against MEK in Iran up to now,” and added “These days, MEK is getting recognized as a leading institute in Human Rights,” our duty is to discuss Human Rights issues against MEK since Iranian youths are the target of MEK.
This report against MEK, which the Intelligence Ministry officials call a detailed research totaling at least 8,000 words, has recently been published on the Habilian website, which is affiliated to the Ministry.
The report emphasizes that, “The Mojahedin Organization (MEK) is after… regime change and removal of the Velayat-e faqih regime in Iran….”
Regarding the patriotic role of Mojahedin in exposing the regime’s secret projects to obtain nuclear weapons, the report says: “Following exposure of the issue (nuclear weapons program), the media published reports in this regard and this was the beginning of a major crisis that resulted in the adoption of several resolutions and sanctions with the devastating effects which are still continuing.”
The Intelligence Ministry’s report cited the role of Mojahedin in the 2009 uprising, and admitted its fear of uprisings and revolts tied to the nationwide resistance and the Mojahedin. The report stated: “Mojahedin (MEK)… were still looking for an opportunity to strike the Islamic Republic of Iran, until the beginning of 2009 elections followed by the street riots, the group seized the opportunity and issued statements and messages to prepare the ground for achieving their goals… One of the goals (of the MEK) in 2009 election was to remove Velayat-e faqih and change the regime.”
The Mojahedin’s advancement in the international arena was also pointed out: “…In addition, members of the (MEK) organization hold meetings in France from time to time… In the recent years, the Mojahedin organization has held campaign and meetings in every international events and communities, including the United Nations, against the country and the system.”
The Intelligence Ministry report also outlined important methods to confront the MEK. It said: “Introducing and fully identifying the (MEK) organization (i.e. meaning distorting the image of the organization)… to prevent, in this way, people and new members from joining the organization which would lead to increased damage to the system.”
“Strengthening the borders and increasing the country’s defense power. By this action, we can prevent entry of the MEK members into the country… and so we will be able to avert and ward off the enemies of the system (regime) outside the borders,” the report concluded.
Why did the Intelligence Ministry make these admissions? It would appear to show that the power as well as the popular status of the MEK are widely welcomed by the Iranian youths.
The regime was unable to destroy the MEK by siege and missile attacks, and Mojahedin were able to maintain the integrity of their organization and transfer themselves to a safe place. The regime is frightened now. That is why the regime is attempting to frighten the Iranian people about the danger of Mojahedin.
Last month, in another piece of ‘research’ published on Habilian site, the Intelligence Ministry emphasized that ‘intellectual (thought) danger’ of unarmed Mojahedin is much more of a threat than an armed Mojahedin.
In an interview with Vatan Emrouz, September 4, 2016, Mohammad Javad Hashemi Nejad, the secretary general of the Habilian Institution, which is a branch of the Intelligence Ministry, warned about the danger of the MEK revelations, saying, “Mojahedin in the areas of human rights and related issues are present in the European Parliament and in the U.S. and any places where there is opposition to the system (regime)… Mojahedin are a dangerous force…”
This fear is due to the fact that the power and cohesion of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran has coincided with the weakness and ultimate decay of the Velayat-e faqih regime and the crises engulfing the regime, versus the fact that Iran’s society is on the verge of an uprising and revolution and is only waiting for a spark.
More about the People’s Mojahdin Organization of Iran (PMOI/ MEK)
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (Also known as MEK, or Mujahedin-e-Khalq / Mujahedeen-e-Khalq), was founded on September 6, 1965, by Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saeed Mohsen, and Ali-Asghar Badizadgan. All engineers, they had earlier been members of the Freedom Movement (also known as the Liberation Movement), created by Medhi Bazargan in May 1961.1
The MEK’s quest culminated in a true interpretation of Islam, which is inherently tolerant and democratic, and fully compatible with the values of modern-day civilization. It took six years for the MEK to formulate its view of Islam and develop a strategy to replace Iran’s dictatorial monarchy with a democratic government.
MEK’s interpretation of Islam
The theocratic mullah regime in Iran believe interpreting Islam is their exclusive domain. The MEK reject this view and the cleric’s reactionary vision of Islam. The MEK’s comprehensive interpretation of Islam proved to be more persuasive and appealing to the Iranian youth.
MEK’s founders and new members studied the various schools of thought, the Iranian history and those of other countries, enabling them to analyze other philosophies and ideologies with considerable knowledge and to present their own ideology, based on Islam, as the answer to Iran’s problems.
MEK’s leadership’s arrest during the 70s.
The Shah’s notorious secret police, SAVAK, arrested all MEK leaders and most of its member’s in1971. On May 1972, the founders of the MEK, Mohammad Hanifnejad , Saeed Mohsen and Ali Asghar Badizadegan, along with two members of the MEK leadership, Mahmoud Askarizadeh and Rasoul Meshkinfam, were put before death squads and were executed after long months of imprisonment and torture. They were the true vanguards, who stood against the dictatorial regime of Shah. However, they are also recognized for their opposition to what is today known as Islamic fundamentalism.
The death sentence of Massoud Rajavi, a member of MEK’s central committee, was commuted to life imprisonment as a result of an international campaign by his Geneva based brother, Dr. Kazem Rajavi (assassinated in April 1990 in Geneva by mullahs’ agents) and the personal intervention of the French President Georges Pompidou and Francois Mitterrand. He was the only survivor of the MEK original leadership.
Massoud Rajavi’s critical role in characterizing religious extremism
From 1975 to 1979, while incarcerated in different prisons, Massoud Rajavi led the MEK’s struggle while constantly under torture for his leading position.
Massoud Rajavi stressed the need to continue the struggle against the shah’s dictatorship. At the same time, he characterized religious fanaticism as the primary internal threat to the popular opposition, and warned against the emergence and growth of religious fanaticism and autocracy. He also played a crucial role when some splinter used the vacuum in the MEK leadership who were all executed or imprisoned at the time, to claim a change of ideology and policy. Massoud Rajavi as the MEK leader condemn these individual’s misuse of MEK’s name while continuing to stress the struggle against dictatorship. His efforts while still in prison forced these individuals to no longer operating under the name of MEK and adopting a different name for their group. These positions remained the MEK’s manifesto until the overthrow of the shah’s regime.
Release of Political Prisoners on the last days of the Shah
A month before the 1979 revolution in Iran, the Shah was forced to flee Iran, never to return. All democratic opposition leaders had by then either been executed by the Shah’s SAVAK or imprisoned, and could exert little influence on the trend of events. Khomeini and his network of mullahs across the country, who had by and large been spared the wrath of SAVAK, were the only force that remained unharmed and could take advantage of the political vacuum. In France, Khomeini received maximum exposure to the world media. With the aid of his clerical followers, he hijacked a revolution that began with calls for democracy and freedom and diverted it towards his fundamentalist goals. Through an exceptional combination of historical events, Shiite clerics assumed power in Iran.
Khomeini’s gradual crackdown on MEK in fear of their popular support
In internal discourses, Rajavi the remaining leader of the MEK, argued that Khomeini represented the reactionary sector of society and preached religious fascism. Later, in the early days after the 1979 revolution, the mullahs, specifically Rafsanjani, pointed to these statements in inciting the hezbollahi club-wielders to attack the MEK.
Following the revolution, the MEK became Iran’s largest organized political party. It had hundreds of thousands of members who operated from MEK offices all over the country. MEK publication, ‘Mojahed’ was circulated in 500,000 copies.
Khomeini set up an Assembly of Experts comprised of sixty of his closest mullahs and loyalists to ratify the principle of velayat-e faqih (absolute supremacy of clerical rule) as a pillar of the Constitution. The MEK launched a nationwide campaign in opposition to this move, which enjoyed enormous popular support. Subsequently, the MEK refused to approve the new constitution based on the concept of velayat-e faqih, while stressing its observance of the law of the country to deny the mullahs any excuse for further suppression of MEK supporters who were regularly targeted by the regime’s official and unofficial thugs.
Khomeini sanctioned the occupation of the United States embassy in 1979 in order to create an anti-American frenzy, which facilitated the holding of a referendum to approve his Constitution, which the MEK rejected.
MEK’s endeavors to participate in the political process avoiding an unwanted conflict with government repressive forces
The MEK actively participated in the political process, fielding candidates for the parliamentary and presidential elections. The MEK also entered avidly into the national debate on the structure of the new Islamic regime, though was unsuccessful in seeking an elected constituent assembly to draft a constitution.
The MEK similarly made an attempt at political participation when [then] Massoud Rajavi ran for the presidency in January 1980. MEK’s leader was forced to withdraw when Khomeini ruled that only candidates who had supported the constitution in the December referendum – which the MEK had boycotted- were eligible. Rajavi’s withdrawal statement emphasized the MEK’s efforts to conform to election regulations and reiterated the MEK’s intention to advance its political aims within the new legal system”. (Unclassified report on the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran(PMOI/ MEK) by the Department of State to the United States House of Representatives, December 1984.)
However, the MEK soon found itself in a direct struggle against the forces of the regime’s Supreme leader. The MEK’s differences with Khomeini dated back to the 1970s, and stem from its opposition to what is known today as Islamic extremism. Angry at the position taken by the MEK against his regime and worried about the MEK’s growing popularity, Khomeini ordered a brutal crackdown against the MEK and its supporters. Between 1979 and 1981, some 70 MEK members and sympathizers were killed and several thousand more were imprisoned by the Iranian regime.
June 20, 1981- Khomeini’s order to open fire on peaceful demonstration of half-a-million supporters of MEK
The turning point came on 20th June 1981, when the MEK called a demonstration to protest at the regime’s crackdown, and to call for political freedom which half-a-million supporters participated at. Khomeini ordered the Revolutionary Guards to open fire on the swelling crowd, fearing that without absolute repression the democratic opposition (MEK) would force him to engage in serious reforms – an anathema as far as he was concerned; he ordered the mass and summary executions of those arrested.
Since then, MEK activists have been the prime victims of human rights violations in Iran. Over 120,000 of its members and supporters have been executed by the Iranian regime, 30,000 of which, were executed in a few months in the summer of 1988, on a direct fatwa by Khomeini, which stated any prisoners who remain loyal to the MEK must be executed.
Having been denied its fundamental rights and having come under extensive attack at the time that millions of its members, supporters and sympathizers had no protection against the brutal onslaught of the Iranian regime, the MEK had no choice but to resist against the mullahs’ reign of terror.
“Towards the end of 1981, many of the members of the MEK and supporters went into exile. Their principal refuge was in France. But in 1986, after negotiations between the French and the Iranian authorities, the French government effectively treated them as undesirable aliens, and the leadership of the MEK with several thousand followers relocated to Iraq.” (Judgment of the Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission, November 30, 2007.)
The MEK today is the oldest and largest anti-fundamentalist Muslim group in the Middle East. It has been active for more than a half century, battling two dictatorships and a wide range of issues. The MEK supports:
• Universal suffrage as the sole criterion for legitimacy
• Pluralistic system of governance
• Respect for individual freedoms
• Ban on the death penalty
• Separation of religion and state
• Full gender equality
• Equal participation of women in political leadership. MEK is actually led by its central committee consist of 1000 women.
• Modern judicial system that emphasizes the principle of innocence, a right to a defense, and due process
• Free markets
• Relations with all countries in the world
• Commitment to a non-nuclear Iran
The MEK remains a strong and cohesive organization, with a broad reach both worldwide and deep within Iran. MEK is the leading voice for democracy in Iran, supported by its interpretation of Islam that discredits the fundamentalist mullahs’ regime.