MEK Rajavi not a valid alternative for Iran

MEK Rajavi not a valid alternative for Iran

MEK Rajavi not a valid alternative for IranReza Alghurabi, Press TV, July 16 2019:… All of the Iranian Americans at the meeting, however, knew the group well and detested it. They knew its murderous history in Iran.” wrote Limbert. “They knew that a MEK-ruled Iran would bring them all the horrors of Stalinism—gulags, one-man (or -woman) rule, confiscations, and executions for being a member of the wrong social class . In its 1994 report about the group, the US Department of State emphasizes that the MEK would not be an authentic alternative to the Islamic Republic. MEK Rajavi not a valid alternative for Iran

MEK Rajavi not a valid alternative for IranGiuliani Bolton MEK and the Blood Money of Global Terrorism

MEK Rajavi not a valid alternative for Iran

1- The MEK is not a valid alternative

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(Reza Alghurabi is an Arab journalist who lives in Iran. He is a former researcher at the Beirut Center for Middle East Studies and an independent researcher and journalist writing in Iranian newspapers including the Khorasan daily.)

Exploiting Washington’s hostile policy toward Tehran, the Mojahedin-e Khalq organization (MEK) posit themselves as the alternative to the current government of Iran. To achieve that goal, they claim they have the support of a majority of Iranians. This claim is much disputed by academics and other specialists on Iran, who assert that in fact, the MEK has little support among Iranians. They argue that the Mojahedin’s activities since the group’s leadership fled from Iran in 1981, particularly their alliance with Iraq and the group’s internal oppression, have discredited them among the Iranian politics.

Think of Iranians living in the US. According to a 2018 poll among Iranian Americans by the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), only 6 percent said they supported the MEK as a legitimate alternative to the current government in Iran. This mirrors results of the organization’s survey at the previous year (2017) regarding favorability of Maryam Rajavi, leader of the MEK, which had shown that only 7% had a favorable view of her.

The MEK’s unpopularity in Iranian-American community is admitted by John Limbert, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran. In an article published in The American Prospect on June 5, 2019, Limbert has written about his recent lecture on the group and its influence to graduates of three of the world’s best universities.

“… All of the Iranian Americans at the meeting, however, knew the group well and detested it. They knew its murderous history in Iran.” wrote Limbert. “They knew that a MEK-ruled Iran would bring them all the horrors of Stalinism—gulags, one-man (or -woman) rule, confiscations, and executions for being a member of the wrong social class.”

In its 1994 report about the group, the US Department of State emphasizes that the MEK would not be an authentic alternative to the Islamic Republic:

Before that, in 1992, the then Assistant Secretary of State Robert Pelletreau through a written response to a subcommittee question about the MEK has referred to the group’s weak position among the Iranians:

The People’s Mojahedin Organization does not represent a significant political force among Iranians, partly because of its close links to the Iraqi Government.

The United States first placed the MEK on the Foreign Terrorist Organization list when the list was established in 1997. On its Background Information Appendix on the listed terrorist groups titled “Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1997,” the State Department confirmed that the group directs a worldwide campaign against the Iranian government that stresses propaganda and “occasionally uses terrorist violence.” The MEK’s stance among Iranians was not referred to in this report.

In 2009, RAND Corporation, an American think tank, released a Secretary of Defense’s sponsored investigation centering on the MEK titled The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq: A Policy Conundrum, in which the MEK’s unpopularity among Iranians was reflected:

Prior to its exile, the MEK was the most popular dissident group in Iran. It lost much of its popularity due to its willingness to fight with Saddam—the instigator of the destructive Iran-Iraq War—and to kill Iranian conscripts. It also lost much of its popularity due to Masoud Rajavi’s transformation of the MEK from an activist dissident group into an inward-looking cult.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sponsors MKO terrorists 

Jeremiah Goulka, former RAND Corporation’s analyst who was the leading writer of the 2009 report, later explained the cause of this unpopularity:

Once upon a time, the MEK did enjoy some measure of popular support in Iran. But after getting shoved aside by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s party after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the MEK spent the next two decades launching terrorist attacks against the new government and its military, harming bystanders in several instances. The MEK joined sides with Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), moving to camps in Iraq in 1986 and fighting against Iranian conscripts. Frustrated that Saddam failed to install it in power in Tehran by the end of the war, the MEK attempted its own invasion of Iran (using more of Saddam Hussein’s military munificence), resulting in the death of thousands of its members. These acts destroyed the MEK’s credibility among Iranians.

In 2011, at the height of an aggressive and well-funded lobbying campaign supported by a bipartisan cast of high-profile former public officials to remove the MEK from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, 37 leading Iran scholars signed a letter, published in the Financial Times, that warned against decision to delist the MEK. It was insisted in the letter that the MEK has “no political base” inside Iran and “no genuine support” among the Iranian population. Gary Sick, one of the signatories of that letter, who served on the National Security Council staff under Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan, described the MEK’s support inside Iran “very, very limited.”

After the State department’s announcement in September 2012 that the group would be removed from the terrorist list, a senior state department official asserts that the Department does not consider the MEK as a viable opposition for the Iranian Government:

I want to be very clear about this. We do not see the MEK as a viable opposition or democratic opposition movement. We have no evidence and we have no confidence that the MEK is an organization that could promote the democratic values that we would like to see in Iran. There is nothing in the way they govern themselves that would suggest they’re interested in adopting democratic principles….

Michael Rubin, the resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, has admitted public hatred in Iran from the MEK, based on his direct exchange with Iranian people. Rubin, who, according to himself, has spent seven months in the Islamic Republic of Iran for completing his Ph.D. dissertation, wrote in The National Interest that “absolute hatred of the Mojahedin e-Khalq” was only one item that all Iranians agree on it.

Iranians’ public hatred toward the MEK has been stated by John Limbert, too: “By all reports, much of Iran’s population—whatever its view of the Islamic Republic—shares this deep hatred of the MEK. Most Iranians are not deceived by its claims of being democratic. They know its history.”

As stated above, the MEK’s unpopularity among Iranians is not something that is unknown to the US officials. They know very well how despised the MEK is in Iran and has no support as an opposition force. They couldn’t have any illusion about the MEK’s claims of having a popular base to play the role of an alternative to the current government of Iran. So, why the US officials continue to support them? Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), answers to this question:

Unlike other Iranian opposition groups, however, the MEK can mount military operations. Its members are experienced in sabotage, assassinations, and terrorism, as well as in guerrilla and conventional warfare. These are not qualities that lend themselves to any project of democratization, but are extremely useful if the strategic objective is to cause either regime change (by invasion) or regime collapse (by destabilization).

In 2012, Trita Parsi’s organization warned that the MEK was an Iranian version of the Iraqi National Congress, the opposition-in-exile to Saddam Hussein led by Ahmed Chalabi, which the neoconservatives in Washington tirelessly promoted in the early 2000s to provide grounds for going to war in Iraq. The MEK calculates that by provoking a war between the US and Iran, a goal that this group is obviously looking for, it would move into the wreckage and pick up the pieces.

A US-Iran war, aside from inflicting heavy damage on Iran, would also involve Americans in yet another fiasco in the Middle East. According to Limbert, “We [Americans] would again find ourselves in a quagmire that would make Iraq look simple. We should reject the self-serving assumption that military action against Iran will be easy and without cost. It will be neither.”

2- Western hawks steal show at Iran-bashing MKO event

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US and European figures, including President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, have attended an annual conference held by anti-Iran Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorists in Albania.

Giuliani addressed the event held at the terrorist group’s Ashraf 3 headquarters in Tirana on Saturday, calling for regime change in Iran and defending Trump’s confrontational policies toward Tehran.

“I’m proud of my government to tear up that nuclear deal,” he said, referring to Trump’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Where Rudy Giuliani’s Money Comes From ( Maryam Rajavi, MEK, NCRI)

Other US politicians addressing the meeting included former Pennsylvanian Governor Tom Ridge, who also served in George W. Bush’s White House in the Department of Homeland Security.

Former FBI director Louis Freeh, former US House Representative for California Dana Rohrabacher and former US House Representative for Texas Ted Poe also took turns to rant against Iran.

The US officials all called for regime change in Tehran and expressed their support for the MKO which is widely detested in Iran because of its history of betrayals and crimes.

 

Trump has said his administration is not seeking regime change in Tehran but Iranian officials have rejected the claim, saying the US would have definitely done so if it could.

Addressing the gathering, former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman supported Trump’s hostile policies, praising him for pulling Washington out of the nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions on Iran.

Regular faces in the terror group’s meetings also include US National Security Adviser John Bolton, former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, and former Saudi Arabian spy chief Prince Turki al-Faisal.

A November 2016 report by US-based magazine Politico revealed that a number of Trump’s top nominees for sensitive national security posts had accepted money from the notorious terror group.

The MKO is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community, but it enjoys backing in some European capitals as well as the United States.

According to the British daily The Guardian, the MKO is known to rely on busing refugees and young eastern Europeans to fill up its lavish events in Europe, where most of the group’s members are known to reside.

Massoud Khodabandeh, a former high-ranking MKO, once claimedthat officials of the Saudi spy agency gave the MKO three tons of solid gold and at least four suitcases of custom Rolex watches.

The MKO has a dark history of assassinations and bombings against the Iranian government and nation. It notoriously sided with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in his eight-year war against Iran in 1980s.

Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist assaults since the Revolution’s victory, about 12,000 have fallen victim to the MKO’s acts of terror.

MKO praised US downing of Iran Air 655: FBI

A new report by the FBI revealed that the San Diego branch of the terrorist group had applauded the USS Vincennes’ downing in July 1988 of the Iran Air flight 655, which killed all the 290 people on board.

“The San Diego MEK chapter does not blame the US but rather applauds the event as it serves to ‘bloody the nose of Iran’ and cause greater disharmony between the US and Iran. Either case is seen by them to benefit the MEK’s cause,” the July 28 San Diego FBI field office communication stated, using an alternative acronym for the terror group.

According to the classified documents, the San Diego branch of the MKO also promoted conspiracy theories that the downing of the airliner was an Iranian propaganda operation.

“The San Diego MEK appears to generally believe that bodies recovered from the crash site were planted either aboard the jet before a suicide mission or were planted at the scene by design.”

The group is further known for its reliance on fake social media profilesto wage a misinformation campaign against Iran.

Leaked images, published by Iran’s Khorasan newspaper earlier this week, revealed for the first time part of the terrorist group’s secretive social media influence campaign targeting Farsi, English and Arabic-speaking users on social media.

MEK Rajavi not a valid alternative for Iran

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