Recommended read: Michael Totten’s account of the MEK

A recommended read for anyone wanting to know a little more about the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK), is Michael J. Totten’s account of the MEK in his article ‘Hanging with the People’s Mujahadeen of Iran’, published in World Affairs.

Totten, a contributing editor for World Affairs, writes: “In 1997, US President Bill Clinton added Iran’s People’s Mujahadeen (Mujahideen Khalq in Persian, or MEK) to the list of designated foreign terrorist organizations, and in 2012 his wife Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took them off.”

“One of them erred and erred badly.”

In addition to giving a bit of background on the MEK, Totten writes about his personal experience of attending an MEK rally in Paris just this month. The rally was called “Free Iran.”

It included speeches from the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia), former Vermont Governor Howard Dean (Democrat), former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (Democrat), former Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-Rhode Island.), former Senator Robert Torricelli (D-New Jersey), and former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge (Republican). Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (Republican) was also scheduled to be there, but couldn’t make it.

The keynote speaker was Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the main opposition coalition which includes the MEK. Rajavi, Totten says, is Iran’s Daenerys Targaryen, an exiled woman who wishes to overthrow an illegitimate government by rallying forces around her from abroad.

The account in World Affairs goes on to point out the Iranian opposition’s 10-point political platform for a future Iran which includes:

1.                  A republic based on universal suffrage.

2.                  Individual freedoms, including free expression and a free press.

3.                  The abolition of the death penalty.

4.                  Separation of mosque and state.

5.                  Gender equality.

6.                  The rule of law.

7.                  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

8.                  Private property and a market economy.

9.                  A foreign policy based on peaceful coexistence.

10.              A non-nuclear Iran.