Wayne Madsen, Habilian Association, Tehran, August 23 2018:… In the wake of Al Qaeda, now the MEK in a country where there are also elements of the Kosovo Liberation Army, a terrorist group supported by the US and NATO, ISIS finds a veritable terrorist paradise where such groups can sustain themselves the war all criminal syndicates there do — cigarette smuggling, prostitution, human organ harvesting …
MEK terrorists to stir up problems In the Balkans (aka Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, Rajavi cult, NCRI …)
Wayne Madsen is an American journalist, television news commentator, online editor of Wayne Madsen Report.com, investigative journalist and author specializing intelligence and international affairs. He has written for many publications including The Village Voice, The Progressive, Counterpunch, CorpWatch, Multinational Monitor, In These Times, and The American Conservative. Madsen has been a regular contributor on RT and PressTV. He has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and MS-NBC. Madsen has been invited to testify as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and a terrorism investigation judicial inquiry of the French government. What comes below is the full-text of Habilian Association’s interview with this known investigative journalist about the last situation of terrorist group Mojehedin-e-Khalq in Albania.
H: As the first question would you please explain about your acquaintance with the MeK?
W.M: In 2005, I wrote,”British special operations forces, acting in concert with the United States and Mojeheddin-e-Khalq (MEK) and Ahwazi Arab Peoples Democratic Popular Front (ADPF) terrorist forces, launched a series of bombing attacks in Iran’s Khuzestan Province organized from across the border in Iraq. Struck were an Ahwaz Ministry of Housing and Urban Development building, the Office of Construction and Civil Engineering, the house of the governor of Khuzestan, an Iranian State Radio and TV office, and a shopping mall. Other bombing attempts against the Abadan refinery and the Kianpars Bridge were foiled, although attacks on oil pipelines, including the Abadan-Mashuur pipeline were frequent.” After that article, an MEK affiliate wrote to me and asked for a retraction of my article. I refused since it was based on information received from very reliable sources in the Middle East.
H: What features in this group made you interested to study about it?
W.M: The MEK became part of the neo-conservative network calling for US intervention in Iran after the disastrous US invasion and occupation of Iraq. The MEK worked closely with leading pro-Israel neo-cons in the aftermath of the Iraq debacle. These include Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, Daniel Pipes, Republican Sen. Sam Brownback (now Donald Trump’s special envoy for “religious liberty”), and the late Democratic Representative Tom Lantos. The MEK also has other strong bi-partisan political support in the US from people like Rudolph Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, and John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser.
H: How do you describe the MEK after years of research about the group?
W.M: The MEK is a personality cult beholden to the Rajavis that conducts terrorist attacks on Iran and Shi’as in Iraq on behalf of third parties, including the U.S., Israel, and the Saudis. The Rajavis are cult leaders in the same manner of the heads of the Church of Scientology, the Unification Church (the “Moonies”), and the personality cult now developing Trump. Cults are neither democratic or libertarian because members must give total loyalty to the cult leaders. In the case of MEK, it is the Rajavis.
H: According to some reports, there have been some Interactions between the MeK and the ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria. Do you agree with it? What are the groups’ common points for cooperation?
W.M: The cooperation between MEK and ISIS was primarily due to their joint opposition to Iran and the governments in Baghdad and Damascus. This was a “marriage of convenience” but similar in light of the fact that ISIS is a personality cult surrounding al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed “caliph.” He — if he is still alive — and the Rajavis are nothing more than con artists and grifters who prey on the weaknesses, fears, and biases of others. Among such people is where cult leaders normally find their followers.
H: Would you please explain about the political context in Albania that facilitated the transfer of MeK members to this country?
W.M: Albania is the country of choice for the MEK because it has previously supported US and NATO efforts to arm and support neighboring terrorist groups like the Kosovo Liberation Army and the National Liberation Army of Macedonia, both Albanian groups.
H: You have said that the US has pressured Albanian government to allow a number of ISIS terrorists to enter that country and join their MEK allies. Would you please explain it?
W.M: The Balkans has served for some time as a base for Al Qaeda and now, ISIS. Osama bin Laden lived in Bosnia for some time in the late 1990s and he even traveled on a Bosnia-Herzegovina passport issued by the Bosnian embassy in Vienna. This intelligence was passed to me by a NATO country responsible for peacekeeping in Bosnia. That country is Norway. In the wake of Al Qaeda, now the MEK in a country where there are also elements of the Kosovo Liberation Army, a terrorist group supported by the US and NATO, ISIS finds a veritable terrorist paradise where such groups can sustain themselves the war all criminal syndicates there do — cigarette smuggling, prostitution, human organ harvesting, car theft, and sex trafficking. This information is known to EUROPOL and INTERPOL, as well as the FBI.
Albania served the CIA as a recruitment center for Albanians and others to join takfiri groups in Syria and Iraq. Under John Brennan, the CIA’s Milan Station was a focal point for recruiting Albanian mafiosi to don jihadist clothing and travel to Syria to join ISIS and Al Qaeda units fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad. Many of the Albanian veterans of the Syrian campaign returned to the Balkans and stood ready to implement the CIA’s “Greater Albania” operation. All that was needed was a personal order from Brennan. That order was delivered on December 7, 2016 to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Albanian Defense Minister Mimi Kodheli, and Albanian National Police chief Haki Cato. They readily complied.
H: What are US and NATO goals in transferring MeK and ISIL members to Albania?
W.M: The MEK, which was heavily weaponized by the US and NATO in Iraq, had to be taken out of the Middle East. Albania was chosen because it has a large Muslim population. MEK soldiers and trained terrorists can be expected to stir up problems in the Balkans, especially in Serbia’s Sanjak region, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Bulgaria.
The End Of The Path Documentary (Teaser 1 & teaser2)
Nejat Society, August 05 2018:… The documentary “The End of the Path” is a first-hand account of suffering families whose loved ones have been misled by a destructive cult called the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (the MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ the Cult of Rajavi). The victims are still taken as hostages by the cult leaders consequently living under a …
The End Of The Path Documentary
By Nejat Bloggers On Aug 4, 2018
The documentary “The End of the Path” is a first-hand account of suffering families whose loved ones have been misled by a destructive cult called the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (the MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ the Cult of Rajavi). The victims are still taken as hostages by the cult leaders consequently living under a modern slavery.
The three-part documentary was produced while the MEK’s relocation from Iraq to Albania was being accomplished. After the relocation a number of families together with certain former members of the group visited the ruins of Camp Ashraf.
The documentary include these parts: The Ruins of Ashraf, Survivors, and Camp Liberty.
The documentary serves to inform and awaken public opinion on the sufferings of those who are imprisoned inside the destructive mind control cult, the MEK as a group with no popular base in Iran. Today, the group’s treatment against its members is primarily a human rights issue.
In this regard, the mission of Nejat Society is to expose the true nature of the leaders of the cult. We urge all international humanitarian bodies to help us in our efforts to release the victims of the Cult of Rajavi.
By the Media Group of Nejat Society
Rajavi Should Be Tried For Running A “Sex Cult” As Adnan Oktar Is
Mazda Parsi, Nejat Society, July 25 2018:… The news seems to be a special warning for those who are aware of the sexual abuses that have been committed in the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO, MEK, the PMOI, the Cult of Rajavi). Actually, these people are terribly concerned about the victims of the Cult of Rajavi because the cult’s destructive practices and sexual assaults of its leader Massoud Rajavi are not widely known to …
Rajavi Should Be Tried For Running A “Sex Cult” As Adnan Oktar Is
The news of the arrest of a Turkish sex cult leader “who preached sermons while surrounded by glamorous women who he dubbed his ‘kittens’” was published in the mainstream media. The news rings the bells for families in the societies all over the world. This warns that the threat of abusive cults is always around.
Photos and films of Adnan Oktar illustrated the reports of his arrest. He is often shown in luxurious places surrounded by “scantily-clad and heavily made-up women — who appeared to have had plastic surgery” dancing around him as if they are mesmerized by him.
The news seems to be a special warning for those who are aware of the sexual abuses that have been committed in the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO, MEK, the PMOI, the Cult of Rajavi). Actually, these people are terribly concerned about the victims of the Cult of Rajavi because the cult’s destructive practices and sexual assaults of its leader Massoud Rajavi are not widely known to the world; the group has covered its true face under the mask of a democratic feminist political group.
Adnan Oktar, a bizarre and controversial Islamic televangelist figure, was detained in his villa in Istanbul’s upmarket Cengelkoy district by local police on Wednesday, the Daily Mail reported.
Police said accusations against Oktar include forming a gang with criminal intent, sexual abuse of minors, sexual assault, kidnapping, blackmail, fraud, money laundering and exploitation of religious sentiments, according to the report.
The accusations that Adnan Oktar is charged with, are very similar to those of other leaders of destructive cults and particularly to those of Massoud Rajavi –the disappeared leader of the MKO. However, Rajavi has never been sued for the crimes he committed against his followers inside the MKO.
In fact, the only time that an MKO leader was arrested was in June 17th, 2003 that Maryam Rajavi, the third wife of Massoud Rajavi was arrested by the French Police in her headquarters in Paris for money laundering and terrorism charges. The police raid was responded by a dozen of followers of the group who set themselves on fire to protest the arrest of their leader’s wife. Massoud Rajavi has been disappeared since then.
Dead or alive, Masssoud Rajavi is denounced by a large number of dissociated members of his cult of personality. Violations of human rights committed in the MKO include a wide range from sexual harassment to torture and death against both men and women and both adults and children. The Human Rights Watch report titled “No Exit” that was published in in 2005 documented a lot of cases of human rights abuses in the Cult of Rajavi. However, one of the most horrific revelations about Massoud Rajavi was later made by Batul Soltani a former member of the MKO’s so-called elite called “Leadership Council”. She bravely revealed horrifying facts about sexual abuse by Massoud Rajavi although she said that recalling those memoires is “awfully difficult” for her.
Soltani exposed a cultic ceremony in the MKO, called “Salvation Dance” (nude dancing) in which women of the “Leadership Council” were made remove their clothes in front of Massoud Rajavi and dance before him. ”Get close to Massoud and unite with him”, Maryam said to the dancing women.
Soltani added, “They had portrayed the issue of having [sexual] relations with Massoud Rajavi in such a way that it appeared to us as the most sacred task. Mas’ud Rajavi also used verses from the Qur`an to justify his behavior”.
Soltani together with two other former members, Zahra Mirbaqeri and Nasrin Ebrahimi once again denounced the MKO by presenting a list of 100 female members of the group who have gone under hysterectomy to be sexually abused by the Cult leader, Massoud Rajavi, to the European Parliament
Nasrin Ebrahimi had previously revealed that Rajavi had entitled the operation to remove women’s womb as “Summit” referring to women’s extreme devotion to their leader. They lose their final sign of sexuality and motherhood, or as Mrs. Singleton says” to neutralize their sexuality”.
Mir Baqeri said that the surgical operations were carriedout to take out the victims’ wombs so that they would not be pregnant afterbeing raped by Rajavi.
Women of the Leadership Council were given a necklace on which Massoud’s portrait was graved earlier than they were made married with him. Zahra Mir Baqeri has one of the necklaces to show those who are concerned.
“Maryam Rajavi invented rituals such as being washed by other women members so as to ‘spiritually purify’ them, followed by the instruction to dance naked before both the Rajavis to prove they had ‘broken the physical and mental barriers’ to their total submission to Massoud,” The British defector of the Cult of Rajavi Ann Singlton writes. “After these coercive practices, he would choose a bedmate for sex. The women have said that they did not agree to sex with Rajavi out of free will but because they had been coerced through deception into submitting to what they later came to recognize as rape.”
Soltani`s testimonies were then confirmed by male defectors too. Ghorban Ali Hossein nezhad, former Rajavi’s personal interpreter writes in his Facebook account, “They told me personally that I should erase my martyred wife from my mind and I should imagine her sleeping with Brother Massoud.”
He recalls the exact words of Mehdi Abrishamchi, MaryamRajavi’s ex-husband as telling the male members of the cult,” Your wives should follow Sister Mayam. I mean as I divorced Sister Mayam so that she could marry Brother Massoud , your wives divorced from you and married Brother massoud.”
Hosseinnezhad even recalls one of the women of the Elite Council who was his Arabic language student once told him, “Rajavi has group sex with us – members of his personal office”. Hossein nezhad asserts that the woman left the group and went to Europe, in 2007.
Compared with Massoud Rajavi What is salient about Adnan Oktar is that at least he seems to be honest in his bizarre mix of Islam and modern secularity. According to The Times, Oktar runs his own television channel, A9, on which he would “broadcast bizarre sermons from his compound on an Istanbul hilltop” that were “light on Islam but heavy on erotica”.
“Many Turks have long considered him a laughing stock,” The Times adds, and he has repeatedly been denounced by Turkey’s religious authorities. Ali Erbas, head of the country’s Diyanet religious affairs agency, said earlier this year that Oktar had “likely lost his mental balance”.
Massoud Rajavi, along with his co leader Maryam can be considered as ridiculous or mentally sick as Adnan Oktar if not more but for sure t they are more fraudulent and perhaps smarter than Adnan because they have kept all of their clandestine crimes within a very isolated cult-like establishment called Mujahedin Khalq Organization and National Council of Resistance (NCR).
Massoud and MaryamRajavi should be brought to justice just for very similar reasons even if the cult leaders deny this horrific practices. In fact, the female members of the Cult of Rajavi look pale, old, exhausted and barren with no plastic surgeries and cosmetics but they are victims of a sexist modern slavery.
IMPAKT 114 – Why are the Iranian Mojahedeen keeping Somayeh Mohamadi as hostage in Albania?
Albanian government supports MEK keeping abducted Canadian woman hostage
Female victims of terrorism offer recommendations at UN
ISNA, October 03 2017:… I was a 17 year-old girl when I lost my right leg from up the knee in a bomb explosion by Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization in Tehran Bazaar. My mother who was with me was injured and is now disabled. At that age, while I had only one leg, I did my best to keep myself and my family calm and avoid isolation. I continued to study, started college and obtained a bachelor’s degree, and …
Female victims of terrorism offer recommendations at UN Human Rights Council
Tehran (ISNA) – The women victims of terrorism called for strengthening international cooperation to reduce the problems of women affected by terrorism in the world in the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
Representatives of the Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism attended the 36th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council under the motto “Empowering Women Victims of Terrorism as a Necessity for the Future of Human Beings”, and offered recommendations to UN mandate holders, representatives of states, human rights activists, and other NGOs.
The Association proposed some projects to the UN mandate holders to strengthen the role of the UN in protecting women affected by terrorism and emphasized the implementation of such proposals which were welcomed by the UN officials.
ADVT delegate held a side-event on “Empowering Women Victims of Terrorism” attended by experts from Spain, Britain, Cameroon and Iran. They analyzed and explained the situation of women affected by terrorism in the world and offered solutions.
“International law is still incomplete when it comes to protecting these women. During war times, the protection granted by the Geneva Conventions isn’t enough. Besides, terrorism is becoming more complex, so the international community should have a more dynamic approach to women’s protection from terrorism,” one of the law professors said.
One of the prominent and impressive points raised at this side-event was the testimonies delivered by women victims of terrorism. One of the victims was Ms. Manijeh Safiyari who explained how she was affected by a terrorist act.
“I was a 17 year-old girl when I lost my right leg from up the knee in a bomb explosion by Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization in Tehran Bazaar. My mother who was with me was injured and is now disabled. At that age, while I had only one leg, I did my best to keep myself and my family calm and avoid isolation. I continued to study, started college and obtained a bachelor’s degree, and now I drive with the left foot and go swimming. I also participated in sports events in the fields of discus throw, weightlifting, archery and shooting with a pistol, and at last, I joined the darts tournament, and in all of these fields I received a national title and a lot of medals,” she said.
MEK rightfully named father of ISIS (aka Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, NCRI, Rajavi cult …)
Habilian Association and Tasnim News, Tehran, September 02 2017:…G roups from the Mujahedin-e Khalq organization (MEK, MKO, NCRI, PMOI, etc) to groups with separatist claims which conducted brutal and savage terrorist acts in the name of people, and their followers today, have continued the same terrorist approach with the excuse of religious disputes. Regarding to its long record of terrorist activities, MEK could be rightfully named as the father …
‘MEK rightfully named father of ISIS’: Families of terror victims (aka Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, NCRI, Rajavi cult …)
Link to the source
Representing families of Iranian victims of terrorism, Habilian Association organized a conference themed “Iran victim of terrorism; From MEK to ISIS” on the occasion of national day of combating terrorism on August 30. Following is the full text of Habilian’s Statement read in the conference on behalf of families of Iranian victims of terrorism:
In the name of God
Iran is a victim of terrorism. This is not just a claim or a political motto; It is a part of our country’s historical reality. Terrorism is a serious threat, not only to our country, but also to the whole world. It is a tool for anti-popular groups and a chance for some states to spread terror and disrupt peace and security of people.
Since the 1st day after the Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran has fell victim to terrorism; As streets and alleys of our country’s cities have witnessed the blood of 17000 of their best men and women spilled on the ground.
Anti-Revolution groups from the Mujahedin-e Khalq organization (MEK, MKO, NCRI, PMOI, etc) to groups with separatist claims which conducted brutal and savage terrorist acts in the name of people, and their followers today, have continued the same terrorist approach with the excuse of religious disputes. Regarding to its long record of terrorist activities, MEK could be rightfully named as the father of ISIS.
Terrorism in Iran has been a phenomenon without border which has encompassed all people; From government officials to civilians, politicians, scientists, innocent women and children, border guards, scholars and clerics, Shias and Sunnis have all been on the terror list.
But today we see Iran, one of the biggest victims of terrorism in the world, named as a state-sponsor of terrorism as a result of poisonous propaganda of imperialist states and anti-Iran groups. This goes on until where there is no place in the so-called human rights reports of the UN for the assassination of an Iranian 4-year-old kid or a 70-year-old man by terrorist groups.
We, families of Iranian victims of terrorism, believe to achieve a world without violence and terror in all aspects, there is a need for a strong determination by international communities comprised of all countries. We also believe it is necessary to remind the global community and international entities that terrorism could be stopped by on-time reactions and remaining committed to international obligations and protesting bullying and one-sided policies of great powers.
Serious Global Commitment Needed for Fighting Terrorism: Iran’s Larijani
Link to the source
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani expressed concern over the spread of terrorism in the world and called on all governments to cooperate in the fight against “the inauspicious phenomenon”.
“Terrorism is one of the most fundamental problems of the international community and (one of) the most dangerous threats to the rights of nations and international stability,” Larijani said in a message read out at a conference in Tehran on Wednesday under the title of “Iran, A Victim of Terrorism from MKO to Daesh”.
“Throughout history, especially over the past hundred years, terrorism has been the root of the most important threats to global peace and security,” he added.
The Iranian nation has always been subject to threats posed by terrorists, the latest cases of which were attacks by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group on the parliament’s buildings and the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini (RA) that led to the martyrdom of a number of Iranians, Larijani said.
“The fight against terrorists requires a serious global resolve,” he said, expressing the hope that all governments and nations will help eradicate “this inauspicious phenomenon” in the region and the world.
Daesh terrorists launched simultaneous attacks on Iran’s parliament building in downtown Tehran and on the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini, south of the city, on June 7.
In recent years, the Middle East has been plagued with Takfiri terrorist groups like Daesh, which are believed to have been created and supported by the West and some regional Arab countries.
The terrorist groups, which claim to be Islamic but whose actions are anything but, have been committing heinous crimes not only against non-Muslims but mostly against Muslims in the region.
Paulo Casaca, Struan Stevenson and Alejo Vidal-Quadras lost their seats as MEPs over support for terrorism
European MEK Supporters Downplay ISIS Role in Iraq (aka Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, NCRI, Rajavi cult)
Iran marks anniversary of 1981 bombing by Washington backed Mojahedin Khalq terrorists
Press TV, August 29 2016:… Every year on August 23, Iran marks the Government Week to commemorate the memory of the late President Rajaei and Prime Minister Bahonar. In 1986, the MKO members fled Iran to Iraq, where they received support from former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and set up Camp Ashraf, now known as Camp New Iraq, near the Iranian border. They were subsequently relocated to another camp, and are awaiting potential transfer to third countries …
Iran marks anniversary of 1981 bombing at then-prime minister’s office
Late Iranian President Mohammad Ali Rajaei (L) and Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar (file photo)
The Islamic Republic of Iran is marking the anniversary of the assassination of former President Mohammad Ali Rajaei and then-Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar, who lost their lives in a bombing in the capital, Tehran, 35 years ago.
On August 30, 1981, President Rajaei, Prime Minister Bahonar and several other Iranian officials had convened at the Tehran office of the Iranian prime minister in a meeting of Iran’s Supreme Defense Council when a bomb explosion ripped through the building.
Survivors said an aide, identified as Massoud Kashmiri, had brought a briefcase into the conference room, placed it near the two high-ranking Iranian political figures and then left.
The explosion occurred when one of the victims opened the briefcase. The blast killed Rajaei, Bahonar and three other members of the Islamic Republican Party.
Subsequent investigations later revealed that Kashmiri was an operative of the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), who had infiltrated the then-prime minister’s office disguised as a state security official.
This file photo shows the aftermath of the bomb blast at the office of Iran’s then-prime minister in Tehran, August 30, 1981.
Every year on August 23, Iran marks the Government Week to commemorate the memory of the late President Rajaei and Prime Minister Bahonar.
In 1986, the MKO members fled Iran to Iraq, where they received support from former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and set up Camp Ashraf, now known as Camp New Iraq, near the Iranian border. They were subsequently relocated to another camp, and are awaiting potential transfer to third countries.
The United States and the European Union (EU) have removed the MKO from their lists of terrorist organizations. The anti-Iran terrorists enjoy freedom of activity in the US and Europe, and even hold meetings with American and EU officials.
To mark the anniversary of 21st June 1981 the start of Mojahedin Khalq terrorism
History of Iran, June 21 2016:… In September 1980, the Mojahedin held an openly armed demonstration. This was a surprise for Khomeini, and taken unawares, his forces were unable, or perhaps unwilling, to crush it with the force necessary to ensure there would be no repeat. The Mojahedin were testing the waters. Rajavi’s analysis was that the regime was weak and becoming more fearful of the Mojahedin’s challenge. The organisation began to escalate these spontaneous …
To mark the anniversary of 21st June 1981 the start of Mojahedin Khalq terrorism
Saddam’s Private Army:
How Rajavi changed Iran’s Mojahedin from armed revolutionaries to an armed cult
By: Anne Singleton, Iran-Interlink, 2003
Chapter 2 – Rajavi’s first bid for power
The post-revolution power struggle
In respect of the power that Khomeini had at the beginning of the revolution, it could be argued that Rajavi saved the Mojahedin from certain destruction. Of all the other political challengers who raised their heads before and after the revolution, only the Mojahedin remains intact, albeit totally changed. Once freed from prison, organisations, which had spent the previous decade and more struggling against the Pahlavi monarchy, began regrouping. Those based on ‘revolutionary’ principles now saw their chance to influence events according to their own analyses. However, what these organisations lacked was political experience and a real platform for government. They also had little in the way of popular support.
Although Iran had erupted in revolution because people knew what they didn’t want, there was certainly no cohesive or coherent concept of what should replace the monarchy. People looked toward Khomeini as the ‘leader’ of the revolution, mostly because those who followed him were organised and able to take decisive action. A huge network of support was available to Khomeini in the shape of the mosques and mullahs of Iran. This enabled the most religious elements of Iranian society to take command of local affairs. These people looked to Khomeini for leadership, and though he refrained from giving direct orders, preferring instead to declare his intention to remove himself from politics altogether, his speeches and phrases were easily interpreted by his followers as permission to take power by whatever means they found necessary.
As soon as he was released from prison in February 1979, Massoud Rajavi visited Khomeini at his home. The Mojahedin saw themselves, not as rivals to Khomeini, but simply as the natural inheritors of the people’s demand for change. They believed without question, that they should be involved in the construction of the country’s new governance. Khomeini, with sharp political insight, commented on Rajavi’s visit saying: ‘the boy calls himself the leader’. He had recognised Rajavi’s ambition even at this stage and anticipated that Rajavi would directly challenge him for leadership of the revolution.
But Khomeini had his own agenda. Once established as the country’s leader, he initiated a systematic campaign to wipe out all opposition. Perhaps his easiest targets were the communist inspired groups, most prominently represented by the People’s Fedayeen organisation. Perhaps they, like many had not fully anticipated or appreciated the ruthlessness of Khomeini and they couldn’t afford the price a challenge to his power would cost them. They fully understood, however, with their ideologically based analysis, the danger that Khomeini posed to any social or economic progress in Iran. Almost immediately after the success of the people’s revolution, the Fedayeen declared armed resistance to Khomeini from Gonbad in Kurdistan. With the declared strategy of fighting his power from the villages of Iran, which was inspired by the Chinese revolution, this gave Khomeini the ideal excuse for suppressing them. They were denounced as counter-revolutionaries, and at a time when Khomeini still had over 90% of the country’s support and Islamic rule still held huge popular appeal, the communists were easy targets for extermination.
Rajavi played a more political game and kept the Mojahedin officially unarmed. He ordered the members and supporters not to fight back if attacked. This gave them huge kudos, not only inside Iran, but also in the world community. In particular as Muslims, they were seen to be the innocent victims of Khomeini’s revolutionary repression, a perception that the organisation strives to maintain to the present day. While Mojahedin supporters actually were the real victims, it is now clear that Rajavi ensured the organisation’s survival, simply because he was as shrewd and perhaps even more ruthless than Khomeini; allowing his members to be sacrificed for the greater good, which in the long term meant himself.
Rajavi’s insight and careful manoeuvring in the dangerous waters of post-revolution Iran also gave him more and more credit within the organisation. He was deferred to on matters of analysis and strategy. He was fielded as the Mojahedin candidate for both the Assembly of Experts and for the Presidency in 1980. But he was still not regarded as the actual leader of the organisation. The organisation itself did not have that structure. The twelve member of the Central Committee still met and ran the organisation and it was not until 1985 that Rajavi felt secure enough to declare himself sole leader.
The power struggle between Khomeini and Rajavi eventually brought the regime to the brink of disintegration with the mass demonstration of the Mojahedin’s forces on 20 June 1981 and the resulting armed confrontation. The demonstration became known as the ‘failed coup d’etat of 30th Khordad’. Some analysts define this event as the one which tipped Khomeini’s regime over the edge of a post-revolutionary power struggle, into years of absolute repression. Certainly it was the beginning of the end for the Mojahedin inside Iran.
1980 – War begins between Iran and Iraq
In 1980, in the midst of the emerging power struggle between Khomeini and the Mojahedin, Iraq invaded part of the south of Iran and war erupted between the two nations. This placed the Mojahedin in a very sensitive situation. If they continued to oppose the ruling regime, they could be accused of and more importantly be perceived by public opinion of betraying and compromising the nation’s security. Consequently, the Mojahedin did try to send forces to fight at the war front to resist the Iraqi invasion, but this conflicted with the army and the massive numbers of Revolutionary Guards and Hizbollah, who were keen to prove their own self-sacrificing credentials in the same arena. This combination of forces couldn’t accept yet another force with its own leaders, just as the Mojahedin would not accept the army’s command.
The Mojahedin never actively engaged in the war because they wouldn’t agree to join with the existing forces and instead declared that they would fight independently if given the opportunity. They pitched some tents behind the front line to cook some food and camp out for a while until it became very clear that they were there for the purpose of propaganda and were not serious about actually fighting in the war. The Mojahedin presence at the war front quickly became untenable and they withdrew.
The Mojahedin’s ‘political phase’ – leading up to 30th Khordad
All this time, month after month, meeting after meeting, the Mojahedin were winning the popularity stakes in the country for their stance against the reactionary led regime’s repressive measures. Rajavi’s analysis was acute and correct. He understood Khomeini; mostly one suspects because he had the same agenda and the same ambition for sole leadership. He could out-guess Khomeini and being in the role of victim, David to Khomeini’s Goliath, he was able to court public opinion just enough to make the Mojahedin a very real threat to the continuation of Khomeini’s strangle hold on power. Rajavi ordered Mojahedin supporters to take what he dubbed a ‘principled course of action’, a phrase he used over and over in the next few years.
It came to signify Rajavi’s demand for total obedience in the organisation. In this context it meant that no matter to what lengths the reactionary forces that supported Khomeini went in order to violently intimidate the Mojahedin, no one had the right to return the use of violence. Rather, the young supporters who were on the streets selling newspapers and pamphlets, when faced with gangs of club wielding thugs must submit to being beaten and knifed. They performed this task heroically even though several were killed and tens of hundreds were severely injured and maimed. The Mojahedin referred to this as the ‘political phase’ since they remained officially unarmed. Yet in all this time, the Mojahedin were arming themselves as rapidly as they could. According to Rajavi’s analysis, a showdown was inevitable.
Khomeini insisted that a share in power was possible for the Mojahedin, if they would lay down their arms and close down their militia. A quasi negotiation process continued for some time as the Mojahedin rejected any disarmament. Rajavi didn’t trust Khomeini as he knew Khomeini couldn’t trust him. The violent attacks on the Mojahedin by Hizbollah (Party of God) simply increased as they were gaining more popular support. Under the intense pressure of these attacks, the Mojahedin declared that they would like to hold a rally and come to see Khomeini along with some of their supporters. It was an attempt to expose him as being responsible for the attacks; to provoke and somehow involve him directly. Khomeini in response, simply said there would be no need for that; ‘if they lay down their arms, I will come to see them!’
Support from all sides
The violent attacks inflicted on the Mojahedin came from various reactionary groups which were quite obviously backed by the Revolutionary Guard and Bassij. The government of Mehdi Bazargan or Abol Hassan Bani Sadr, had little real power or influence with Khomeini and his close allies; men such as Ayatollah Beheshti one of the top theorists of the regime.
During the initial power struggle, the whole system was militating against the liberals. In spite of the fact that Khomeini’s first designated president, Abol Hassan Bani Sadr was politically a liberal, the word ‘liberal’ became a kind of swear word associated with imperialism. In this atmosphere, the Mojahedin controversially declared that the real enemy was the reactionaries and not the liberals. Part of their strategy for confronting Khomeini, was to try to bring the liberals onto their side.
The Marxist groups’ interpretation of the power struggle was informed by their ideology. They interpreted Khomeini politically as ‘petit bourgeois’, while to their mind, the liberals in Iran were closely allied with imperialism. It was a matter of principle for them to back Khomeini on the issue of the ‘liberals’ because they analysed Khomeini as being ultimately ‘reformable’ within the framework of their anti-imperialist struggle. According to their own ideology, the Mojahedin, of course, should have interpreted the scene similarly and shunned the liberals. Massoud Rajavi, however, had no such qualms of principle. He saw himself, not in an ideological but in a personal battle with Khomeini. It didn’t matter to him who was on his side if it gained him a degree more power. He clearly believed, even at this early stage, that the ends justify the means. Of course, as will be seen later, he had no intention of sharing any of this power with the liberals or any other person or party that backed the Mojahedin at this time.
In their attempt to garner support from all corners, the Mojahedin started to form a coalition against Khomeini with the liberals and others. The coalition never succeeded as the Mojahedin’s demands of this coalition were always too high, and from the other side, Khomeini with power over everything, would not allow such a threat to develop. Of course, this idea of a coalition was useful for some time longer. Outside Iran it became the basis for the National Council of Resistance of Iran. However this also, even beyond Khomeini’s reach, did not succeed as a real coalition. In the end, Bani Sadr left the NCRI when Rajavi made approaches to Baghdad. Bazargan didn’t even agree to leave the country with them or to support them, though he was openly critical of the way Khomeini dealt with them.
Even years later, when Bazargan came out of Iran for medical treatment and shortly before he died, the Mojahedin sent messages to him asking him to stay outside and work with them. He replied: ‘tell Rajavi I have and will have only one wife and I love her very much’. This was interpreted by some as a cutting reference to Rajavi having left his wife in Iran after the failed coup d’etat of 30th Khordad and shortly after her death, marrying with Firouzeh Bani Sadr, then in quick succession marrying Maryam Azodanlou, wife of his best friend. Others interpreted his comment as referring to Iran as his wife. But however his answer is interpreted, Bazargan, like many others, refused to join forces with the Mojahedin, even though he criticised Khomeini for the way he handled them.
Ayatollah Montazeri too, the designated successor to Khomeini, was critical of Khomeini’s treatment of the Mojahedin, but he never accepted to meet with them. His critical stance led to him being denounced by Khomeini shortly before he died. He was sent to internal exile in Qom, where he remained until his release at the beginning of 2003. Montazeri insisted, like many others, that the Mojahedin represent a way of thinking, an ideology, which cannot be eliminated by killing them and should be dealt with in terms of challenging their thoughts and exposing their ideas. Killing would only increase their numbers. On the basis of this analysis, it could be argued that the present day Mojahedin have become so depleted exactly because of the destruction of their ideology from within rather than the effects of killing and imprisoning them.
30th Khordad – turning point in the power struggle
Once Khomeini had rebutted every attempt to expose him and implicate him in reactionary, undemocratic and repressive measures, the Mojahedin were forced to abandon their ‘principled course of action’, the ‘political phase’, and progress to their final, on-going, strategy inside Iran, that of armed struggle. They began by co-ordinating a more organised challenge to the club wielders. Large, spontaneous demonstrations were held in which tens of hundreds of their supporters spilled onto the streets of Tehran. The regime began to get jittery. Armed Mojahedin personnel were present at some of the demonstrations. It was a challenge to Khomeini’s pretended tolerance of their tactics.
In September 1980, the Mojahedin held an openly armed demonstration. This was a surprise for Khomeini, and taken unawares, his forces were unable, or perhaps unwilling, to crush it with the force necessary to ensure there would be no repeat. The Mojahedin were testing the waters. Rajavi’s analysis was that the regime was weak and becoming more fearful of the Mojahedin’s challenge. The organisation began to escalate these spontaneous confrontations; pitching large demonstrations at the authorities in an effort to catch them off guard and to force their hand. Khomeini wouldn’t rise to the bait so easily. The Mojahedin were playing with fire. After several months of these demonstrations, circumstances forced their hand with disastrous consequences, not just for the Mojahedin, but for the whole country.
By April 1981, the Mojahedin felt confident enough to hold a protest march in Tehran with 150,000 of their supporters, some of them armed. Again, the regime’s suppressive forces were not authorised to act and in spite of skirmishes and injuries, the march ended without any major upset.
The Mojahedin, however, were facing a rapidly changing situation. The presidency of Bani Sadr had looked more and more shaky, until in May 1981, Khomeini had found it necessary to dismiss him. The increasing threat that the Mojahedin posed encouraged Khomeini’s supporters to even greater acts of violent suppression against the Mojahedin. They were being forced to think of using arms to fight back. But for Rajavi, this would mean the end of a carefully planned strategy for exposing Khomeini’s involvement and swinging public opinion massively against him in favour of the Mojahedin.
The intensity of the struggle and the desperation of his supporters compelled Rajavi to make his move. By 20th June, the Mojahedin felt confident enough of public support to stage a defining demonstration. With only two hours notice, half a million people converged onto the streets and marched, chanting slogans, with fists punching the air, towards the parliament building, the Majlis.
The demonstration was clearly a direct challenge to the power of Khomeini. He ordered his forces to open fire. The demonstration was violently dispersed and hundreds were arrested. The next day, after summary tribunals, thirty people were sent to the firing squad, including some under-age girls. Weeks of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment followed. Executions were performed daily, with no respect for age or circumstance. The weeks turned into months, then into years. The regime, led by Khomeini, went into overdrive in a post-revolution spree of arbitrary killings and torture, and was revealed as one of the most brutal of the past century. For the Mojahedin, and Rajavi in particular, it spelled the failure of their bid for power. A new order had emerged and they were forced to go underground and to change their strategy. Khomeini had won the power struggle.
Chapter 3 – National Council of Resistance
Foundation of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, 1981
After the defeat of the 30th Khordad demonstration, the organisation was forced to go underground. But it was too big, and no contingency had been made for the members or supporters