Paul Pillar, Lobe Log, April 16 2019:… It also ignores what probably was Iran’s hope in holding the al-Qaeda members, which was to exchange them for members of the terrorist group/cult known as the Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK), then under U.S. control in a camp in Iraq. As Michael Rubin’s review of that group’s record makes clear, the MEK richly deserved its place on the FTO list, even though money from its well-heeled backers bought enough lobbying to get it removed from the list a few years ago.
The Corruption Of The Terrorist Group List
The ineffectiveness and many of the costs of the Trump administration’s latest move in its anti-Iran campaign—its designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO)—are readily apparent and have been ably analyzedby other commentators. The designation does not put any additional economic pressure on an already heavily sanctioned Iran and, among other drawbacks, only makes it harder for Iranian critics of the IRGC to speak up lest they be seen as stooges of the United States.
The Trump administration is running out of ways to demonstrate its hostility toward Iran. As it strives to contrive new ways, it compromises and undermines other U.S. interests and objectives. The latest move undermines the objective of counterterrorism by placing, for the first time ever, a governmental entity on a list that never was designed for that purpose.
Omnibus counterterrorist legislation known as the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which Congress enacted in 1996, created the FTO list. That act criminalized material support to terrorist groups, with material support defined broadly to include financial contributions, propagandizing, and almost any other form of cooperation or business dealings with a terrorist group. If support to a foreign terrorist organization was to be made a crime, then it was necessary for the law to specify what counted as a foreign terrorist organization. Hence the 1996 act created a formal list of such organizations, along with criteria for the executive branch to use in determining which groups should be placed on the list.
In short, the FTO list never was intended to be a means of condemning foreign entities that the United States doesn’t like. Instead, it is a tool for prosecutors to go after individuals who, for example, contribute money or facilitate the movement of guns or people on behalf of a terrorist group.
Clearly none of this is designed to apply to an arm of a foreign government, whose operations depend on a governmental budget rather than on aid from prosecutable individuals. The attempt to apply the U.S. law in question to the IRGC—which is an entire branch of the Iranian armed forces—theoretically makes every Iranian taxpayer a potential criminal defendant. Or, if one did not want to apply the concept of material support quite that broadly, what about all those who currently serve in the IRGC (about 125,000) or its associated militias within Iran (an even larger number) or have ever served in the IRGC (another large number, because many Iranians perform their military service in the Guard)?
The broad range of activities that the IRGC performs on behalf of the Iranian state also means that the material support provision would apply as well to other foreign governments that do ordinary, decidedly non-terrorist, business with Iran. This is especially true of Iraq, which for this reason strongly opposed the U.S. designation of the IRGC. Iraqi officials deal with the IRGC not only on matters of Iraqi security but also on such mundane business as the regulation of cross-border commerce. The IRGC also has been involved in peace negotiations in Afghanistan, making other participants to that process subject to the material support provision as well.
The law hits even closer to home when considering a terrorism-relevant fact that the Trump administration refuses to acknowledge. Iran, including the IRGC, has actively opposed the terrorist threat that has mattered most in recent years, which is violent Sunni extremism of the al-Qaeda or Islamic State (ISIS or IS) variety. In Iraq, the IRGC and the militias it supported played the leading role in combating and defeating IS on the ground. The United States played a supporting role with air power. That means that the U.S. Air Force has provided material support to the IRGC and thus also is in violation of U.S. law, or at least would be the next time it is used to combat a similar terrorist threat that Iran also opposes. Of course, it sounds ridiculous to talk about the Air Force as a violator of U.S. criminal law, but this ridiculousness is only a reflection of how inapposite it is to designate the IRGC an FTO.
Putting foreign governments’ militaries or security services on the FTO list starts down a slope on which there is no stopping point other than the arbitrary and inconsistent one that the administration prefers. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assertion that “the Iranian regime’s use of terrorism as a tool of statecraft makes it fundamentally different from any other government” is fundamentally incorrect. The public record alone shows that other governments use clandestine violence overseas, including in ways that fully qualify as international terrorism under the terms of the same U.S. law that created the FTO list. Pakistan does it. Russia does it. Israel has a long record of doing it, including nasty operations such as car bombs in urban streets that kill innocent passers-by as well as the intended target. One of the very Iran-supported operations that Pompeo mentioned in his bill of particulars against the IRGC was clearly an attempt to retaliate for serial Israeli assassinations of Iranian scientists. The original assassinations were international terrorism every bit as much as the attempted retaliation.
And, as a recent reminder, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi shows that Saudi Arabia does it, too.
The IRGC designation is one more indicator of how the administration’s campaign of unrelenting hostility against Iran has less to do with countering nefarious behavior than it does with pursuing other objectives. One of those objectives, as the timing of the designation announcement made obvious, was to bestow another gift on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and help him win re-election. Netanyahu publicly thanked President Trump for responding to the prime minister’s “request” to make the designation.
Another objective is to goad Iran into making some move that would provide a spark or an excuse for the war with Iran that National Security Advisor John Bolton has long wanted and that Pompeo evidently wants as well, as reflected in his refusal to acknowledge, in a recent exchange with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), that the administration lacks congressional authority for such a war.
Pompeo clings to the notion that a post-9/11 authorization for the use of force is sufficient because Iran held some al-Qaeda members in some kind of house arrest rather than immediately expelling or prosecuting them. The notion ignores that Sunni extremists of the al-Qaeda sort are adversaries, not allies, of Iran. It also ignores what probably was Iran’s hope in holding the al-Qaeda members, which was to exchange them for members of the terrorist group/cult known as the Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK), then under U.S. control in a camp in Iraq. As Michael Rubin’s review of that group’s record makes clear, the MEK richly deserved its place on the FTO list, even though money from its well-heeled backers bought enough lobbying to get it removed from the list a few years ago.
To all the other deleterious side-effects of the administration’s obsession with Iran—including the diplomatic isolation of the United States and the poisoning of U.S. alliances—add the damage to U.S. counterterrorist policy and to U.S. credibility in the fight against terrorism.
Trump branding IRGC as a terror group undermines reformers in Iran
Kim Sengupta, The Independent, April 10 2019:… the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, wanted to point out that Bolton had told an Iranian exile group – the Mujahedin Khalq (MEK), once designated as terrorists in the US and Europe – the Trump administration should fully back their goal of immediate regime change and recognise the group as a viable alternative. “John Bolton is now angry because he said he would celebrate with MEK in Tehran in 2019 and that is not going to happen,” said Zarif.
Trump’s decision to brand IRGC as a terror group undermines reformers in Iran
Analysis: The likelihood is that it will be the hardliners taking over in Iran, not a pleasant scenario for the Iranian people or the outside world, writes Kim Sengupta
Donald Trump’s designation of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation will have far-reaching consequences, and is a highly significant step in the escalation of tensions with Tehran.
It is the first time the US has labelled another sovereign state’s armed forces as terrorists, and the move will renew charges that this is yet another step in Washington’s attempt to instigate regime change in Iran.
The most immediate effects of Trump’s decision are that it enables the US to impose further sanctions. At the same time it will make it even more difficult for the countries trying to save the nuclear deal with Iran, which Trump is striving to sabotage with a new raft of punitive measures – making it more difficult for banks and businesses to trade with Iran.
But this US president, a Vietnam draft dodger who routinely traduces military heroes and blamed the supposed “deep state” for investigations into whether he was the Muscovian candidate in the US presidential elections, is now very much in confrontation with his security and diplomatic establishment.
The decision about the IRGC came in the same week Trump started a systematic purge of internal security, removing the director of the Secret Service, Randolph Alles, and forcing the resignation of homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen – with other senior officials, it is believed, due to follow.
Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, and Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, egged on by Saudi Arabia and Israel, have been pressing for action against the Revolutionary Guards. Both are hawks on Iran, and there is particular suspicion in Tehran of Bolton.
At the recent meeting of the annual Munich Security Conference, the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, wanted to point out that Bolton had told an Iranian exile group – the Mujahedin Khalq (MEK), once designated as terrorists in the US and Europe – the Trump administration should fully back their goal of immediate regime change and recognise the group as a viable alternative.
“John Bolton is now angry because he said he would celebrate with MEK in Tehran in 2019 and that is not going to happen,” said Zarif.
But there is another issue with this president, as it continues to be in the “Russiagate” inquiries – his business affairs.
Two years ago The New Yorker magazine published an account of Trump Tower Baku, an edifice which never actually opened to the public and, according to the report, appeared “to be a corrupt operation engineered by oligarchs tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard”.
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, visited the site in 2014 and offered advice about various aspects of the project.
The Trump organisation, say legal documents, signed multiple contracts to construct the tower with the Mammadov family, whose head Ziya Mammadov, then the transport minister of Azerbaijan, was described in US diplomatic messages as “notoriously corrupt even for Azerbaijan” (according to non-profit group Transparency International, the country is one of the most corrupt nations on Earth) .
The project came before the Iran nuclear deal, at a time when international financial institutions were wary of dealing with Iranian institutions. The aim of the Baku Tower project, The New Yorker report noted, was to “launder money and do other biddings of the central organisation”.
The Mammadovs had economic links to the Darvishi family, three of whose members were directly associated with the IRGC. Ziya Mammadov had awarded a number of contracts on the project to Azarpassilo, an Iranian construction company run by the Darvishis.
The IRGC is heavily involved in commercial sectors of Iran, owning swathes of factories and businesses – as is the case with the military in other countries including Pakistan and Egypt.
This is a matter of some controversy inside Iran. One of the reasons for the unrest which swept the country last year was the leaking of the national budget which revealed that, while ordinary people were suffering economic hardship due to new American sanctions, some conservative religious institutions and security bodies like the IRGC remained unaffected and continued to do well.
The budget was almost certainly leaked by people in the reformist administration of president Hassan Rouhani. It is the reformers who are being undermined by Trump’s sabotage of the nuclear deal, and will continue to be by the IRGC designation.
That organisation will claim to be patriotic champions, keep on getting its money, and it will be at the detriment of the long-suffering Iranian people.
There is a danger there will be regime change in Iran thanks to people like Bolton who brought us the disastrous Iraq invasion. But the likelihood is that it will be the hardliners taking over, not a pleasant scenario for the Iranian people or the outside world.
What do Iranians think of the MEK? (Mojahedin Khalq, MKO Rajavi cult)
Ali Alavi, Iran Interlink, March 03 2019:… Reporters who talk about the MEK usually want to talk about the politics and the money. They say, for example, that John Bolton supports them, that they get money from Saudi Arabia, that they want regime change in Iran. Sometimes these reporters even mention Iranians. When they do, they say the MEK doesn’t have much support in Iran because of siding with Saddam Hussein in the war that ended in 1988. That’s all. Maybe they don’t say anything else because they don’t know anything else.
What do Iranians think of the MEK? (aka Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, NCRI, Rajavi cult)
Reporters who talk about the MEK usually want to talk about the politics and the money. They say, for example, that John Bolton supports them, that they get money from Saudi Arabia, that they want regime change in Iran. Sometimes these reporters even mention Iranians. When they do, they say the MEK doesn’t have much support in Iran because of siding with Saddam Hussein in the war that ended in 1988. That’s all.
Maybe they don’t say anything else because they don’t know anything else. Maybe they don’t care what Iranians think of the MEK because they are too busy talking about what America wants and what Europe wants from Iran.
Let’s hear more from Iranians about the MEK.
True stories of terror stun critics at Iranian film festival
Rohollah Faghihi, Al Monitor, February 22 2019:… The movie is about the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq organization, often referred to as MEK, and their infiltration of the Iranian security apparatus in the 1980s. US national security adviser John Bolton has promoted MEK, currently based in Albania, as an alternative to the Islamic Republic. The group, which was on the United States’ list of terrorist organizations between 1997 and 2012
True stories of terror stun critics at Iranian film festival
In a cruel twist, on Feb. 13 — a mere 48 hours after the award ceremony — 27 people were killed in a terror attack, believed to be staged by an offshoot of Jundallah, a Sunni Baluch extremist group and the subject of the festival’s top winner, “When the Moon Was Full.” Jaish al-Adl, founded in 2012 by members of Jundallah, claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb that targeted a bus carrying members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“When the Moon Was Full” explores the life of Abdulhamid Rigi, the younger brother of Abdulmalek Rigi, the executed leader of Jundallah. The movie, directed by Narges Abyar, swept the awards for best director, best actor (Hootan Shakibaplaying the role of Abdulhamid), best actress (Elnaz Shakerdust for the portrayal of his wife Faezeh) and best supporting actress (Fereshteh Sadr-Orafai as the mother of the Rigi brothers). The film also took the award for best film, beating its prominent rivals “6.5 for a Meter” by Saeed Roustayi and “Warden” by Nima Javidi.
Critics at the Fajr Film Festival described “When the Moon was Full” as a phenomenal film that provides a rare insight into an infamous terrorist group. The movie is based on the true story about the marriage of Abdulhamid Rigi and Faezeh Mansuri. Abdulhamid talks Faezeh into leaving Tehran for Pakistan along with her brother Shahab, but the family finds themselves captives of Jundallah. Shahab, who the group says is an Iranian agent, is beheaded. In the movie, Abdulmalek calls the father of Faezeh and Shahab to tell him to “watch the video of your son’s beheading on Al-Arabiya tomorrow night.” Though Faezeh has a chance to escape, she chooses to remain in Pakistan so as not to leave her three children. Finally, Abdulhamid kills her in her sleep on the orders of his elder brother.
Though the Rigi brothers were based in Pakistan, Jundallah carried out ambushes and suicide attacks in southeastern Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Abdulmalek was arrested by Iranian intelligence in 2010 to jubilation in the province, with people handing out sweets on the streets.
At the time, Iranian officials accused the United States and some Arab countries of supporting and funding Rigi. The unnamed officers who arrested him were quotedin the Iranian media as saying that the militant leader had been on his way to a meeting with Richard Holbrooke, then US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, at the Manas air base near Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek. While Abdulmalek was en route to Bishkek from Dubai, his plane was forced to land in Iran, leading to his arrest and eventual execution the same year.
In a Feb. 7 interview with Khabar Online, sociologist Emad Afrough stated that “When the Moon Was Full” accurately depicts the extremist Islam of the group as well as the culture of the Baluch people, a group of tribes with about five million people in the province of Baluchistan in Pakistan, in Iran and Afghanistan.
Praising Abyar for taking up such a sensitive issue, especially as a female director, producer Mahmoud Razavi posted on Instagram Feb. 13, “I remember that few years ago, I had the intention of producing a TV series about Abdulmalek Rigi. I had prepared a proposal and I gave it to a veteran and famous director of Iranian cinema. … When he came to the meeting, he said, ‘Dear Mahmoud, I love my life, they will kill me.’”
Another of the festival’s controversial films was “Midday Adventures: Trace of Blood,” directed by Mohammad Hossein Mahdavian. It was nominated in 11 categories and won best special effects, best costume design and best sound mixing.
The film is the second in a trilogy by Mahdavian, following the “Midday Adventures” or “The Story of Noon,” released in 2017. The movie is about the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq organization, often referred to as MEK, and their infiltration of the Iranian security apparatus in the 1980s. US national security adviser John Bolton has promoted MEK, currently based in Albania, as an alternative to the Islamic Republic. The group, which was on the United States’ list of terrorist organizations between 1997 and 2012, is deemed responsible for the deaths of 17,000 Iranians. In the 1980s, the group was in Iraq helping Saddam Hussein during his eight-year-war against Iran.
“Midday Adventures: Trace of Blood” narrates the 1988 Mersad Operation, the last major military operation of the war that ended in a decisive victory for Iran. While the film mostly received positive reactions, some media outlets criticized the film for being “incomplete” in ignoring the role of the late Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in the victory against MEK. Producer Mahmoud Razavi is close to former conservative presidential candidate Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf. Mahdavian directed President Hassan Rouhani’s campaign documentary in the 2017 presidential election.
Amir Homayoun Ghanizadeh, the young director of “Maskhare Baz,” won the best film award in the festival’s “New Vision” section but refused to receive it. He instead sent an Afghani immigrant worker to speak out about the difficulty his countrymen are facing in Iran. But whatever social message Ghanizadeh wanted to send was lost, as he was ridiculed on the social media for copying Marlon Brando in the 1973 Oscars. Brando, who won for best actor in “The Godfather,” had sent a native American activist to decline his award at the ceremony.
Film recalling MKO’s reign of terror in Iran screened at Fajr (aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MEK, NCRI, Rajavi cult, …)
Tehran Times, February 04 2017:… “It is great that the film has been warmly received by people,” Razavi stated, “However, we should wait until the end of the festival.” The film, which is based on a real-life story, features the MKO’s activities leading to the assassinations of numerous high-ranking Iranian officials in 1981. The MKO is an Iranian political–militant organization in exile that carried out many terrorist …
Film recalling MKO’s reign of terror in Iran screened at Fajr (aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MEK, NCRI, Rajavi cult, …)
TEHRAN – A film recollecting the wave of assassinations and bombings by Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization in Iran in the early 1980s was screened at the 35th Fajr Film Festival on Thursday.
The film titled “The Midday Event” has received public acclaim at the event as it is among the people’s top 10 favorites.
The organizers of the festival arranged additional screenings for the film by popular demand.
It has been directed by Mohammad-Hossein Mahdavian, whose debut film “Standing in the Dust” on Iranian commander Ahmad Motevasselian who was kidnapped by the Zionist regime in 1982 in Lebanon was named best film at the festival last year.
Speaking with the Tehran Times, producer Seyyed Mahmud Razavi said the film gives the audience a new insight into the subject.
“It is great that the film has been warmly received by people,” Razavi stated, “However, we should wait until the end of the festival.”
The film, which is based on a real-life story, features the MKO’s activities leading to the assassinations of numerous high-ranking Iranian officials in 1981.
The MKO is an Iranian political–militant organization in exile that carried out many terrorist operations during the 1980s to overthrow the Iranian government,
Photo: Javad Ezzati acts in a scene from “The Midday Event”.
“Cyanide” about Mojahedin Khalq (Rajavi cult, MKO, MEK, NCRI …) story premieres in Tehran
Tehran Times, October 19 2016:…“Cyanide”, the latest film by Behruz Shoeibi, about Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO, MeK – also known as People’s Mujahedin of Iran, PMOI), an Iranian political–militant organization in exile that carried out many terrorist operations during the 1980s to overthrow the Iranian government, premiered at Eyvan-e Shams Hall on Monday Evening. Shoeibi, members of the cast and crew, and Cinema …
“Cyanide” about Mojahedin Khalq (Rajavi cult, MKO, MEK, NCRI …) story premieres in Tehran
TEHRAN – “Cyanide”, the latest film by Behruz Shoeibi, about Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO, MeK – also known as People’s Mujahedin of Iran, PMOI), an Iranian political–militant organization in exile that carried out many terrorist operations during the 1980s to overthrow the Iranian government, premiered at Eyvan-e Shams Hall on Monday Evening.
Shoeibi, members of the cast and crew, and Cinema Organization of Iran Director Hojjatollah Ayyubi attended the screening of the movie.
“Today is the time to spotlight this subject,” Ayyubi said in a brief speech before the screening of the film.
“The world today is facing the threat of Daesh, but the Iranian people previously experienced such a threat by deviant groups such as the MKO, which was much worse than Daesh,” he added.
He said that he would do his best to see that the film would have successful screenings across the country.
Starring Hamed Komeili and Hanieh Tavassoli, “Cyanide” tells the story of Vahid Afrakhteh, a devout Muslim member of the MKO military unit during the reign of Iran’s last monarch, Mohammad-Reza Shah.
He is gradually changed into an obedient Marxist under the influence of his fellow member Taqi Shahram.
Vahid is arrested by Iranian intelligence agents after assassinating a U.S. military envoy in Iran.
He voluntarily cooperates with SAVAK to arrest his bandmates, all of whom are executed.
Photo: Hamed Komeili in a scene from “Cyanide”
Modern Slaves (documentary)
Press TV, September 29 2016:… An example of such slavery is practiced by the Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) and it has been well portrayed in the movie, “The Mina Facility”. The MKO, claiming to seek democracy, plunged into moral deterioration throughout its conduct and went as far as forming alliance with Saddam Hussein to attack its home country and kill innocent people. MKO recruits its members based on one criterion: unquestioning obedience; changes their ideology …
Synopsis: Slavery is reflected in destructive mind-control in its modern form. Being treated like animals, traditional slaves were consciously aware of their being enslaved, while modern slaves are not only unaware of their slavery but they also worship their slave-holders like an idol. Modern slaves are so heavily brainwashed that they even pride themselves on serving their leaders. An example of such slavery is practiced by the Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) and it has been well portrayed in the movie, “The Mina Facility”. The MKO, claiming to seek democracy, plunged into moral deterioration throughout its conduct and went as far as forming alliance with Saddam Hussein to attack its home country and kill innocent people. MKO recruits its members based on one criterion: unquestioning obedience; changes their ideology by introducing the leader as God, and employs them as tools for carrying out acts of terrorism. In this exclusive documentary by Press TV, the producers of “The Mina Facility” present an in-depth analysis of how cults such as MKO operate. A former member of this organization provides some solutions for coming up against ideologies promoting modern slaver
TIME CODE: 00:00_05:00
Narration: The Walk Free Foundation in Australia defines slavery as “situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power or deception.”Down through the ages, slaves were treated like chattels by their masters, and deprived of basic rights, they were subjugated and exploited under systematic pressure that would leave their lives in pieces. That’s why ancient slaves would risk life and limb breaking free from ball and chain.
SOUNDBITE [English] Jim Jones, Cult Leader at the peoples Temple:“Take your Glasses off. Just dare enough be. Now, Look at my face. I love you. the people of you. And most important the Christ love you. What do you see?”
SOUNDBITE [English] A Follower: “One thing real.”
Narration: In tandem with scientific progress and technological advance, human societies became labyrinthine allowing slavery to rear its ugly head, but this time in intricate patterns; in fact slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century but came to the surface time and time again; mind control is the modern form of this protean phenomenon.
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MKO Member: “Destructive mind-control cults are also called modern slavery. Slavery is a set of relations in which the slave-holder is the owner of their slaves’ life, property, and honor and they have full possession of them. In current age, the same set of relations exists in destructive mind-control cults as well as terrorist cults in which a leader possesses all their cult’s members with this different that in traditional slavery, the slave knows that there are enslaved, feels the whip on their back and escape if they can and rebel if they can, but in modern slavery which we see nowadays the slave worship their slave-holder and doesn’t want to break away and takes pride in being there. The slave is brainwashed in a way that is pleased with the situation and is ready to do anything.”
SOUNDBITE [Arabic] A one of the ISIL Followers: “Do not go astray like many people in Moses’ tribe, dear friends!”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MKO Member: “Terrorist cults are a serious social problem that cause individuals trouble and it’s really difficult or even impossible to get rid of them. Now, what shall be done to this big serious social problem? Like all other social problems, in this case cultism, raising awareness is of paramount importance. Raising awareness in forms like promotion, films, documentaries and even raising awareness among school students is something being done in many countries right now.”
Narration: Since its advent, cinema has been an influential medium in entertaining people and promoting ideas. And artists with social concerns use it to reflect important event sand grim realities, trying to warn show the dangers before modern man. In this regard, slavery and racial discrimination give humanity a cause for concern and many filmmakers a theme to explore. Despite some mitigating factors, the fear of enslavement remains intense on the human psyche and it pops up from time to time in the movies with themes like modern slavery and cultish brainwashing.
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Artist at The Mina Facility Movie: “What happened to you, darling? Get her some sugar water.”
Narration: “The Mina Facility” Unfold love story in which a young couple find themselves in ten gold in a Cultish web wounded by the Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization a freedom seeking group that became Phonetic overtime with the blood of over 12000 Iranians on his hands.
TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Milad KeyMaram, Actor: “See everything from my point of view.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Kamal Tabrizi, Film Director: “The theme of the film is about an event our people experienced in the past. In Iran in a decade that I call it ‘the decade of terror’ because there were many acts of terror at that time, many people in the streets would come across a bomb or a shooting all of a sudden. There was a group our people had to deal with and that group tried to undermine public security in their own ways.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Manouchehr Mohammadi, Film Producer: “The Mina Facility was important for me because first we could remind our country’s younger generation of what period of time we experienced and second we are not immune to plights like that; it might appear in other different forms but the most notorious one in the history of our revolution is the very Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MKO) that plunged into moral deterioration whether in their inner conduct, or their organizational conduct, or their betrayal of the country etc.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Maryam Rajavi, The leader of MKO Organization: “To all military commanders, forwards! Fire! Forwards! Fire!”
Narration: Man is a supreme creature in all divine religions, hence their legal system primarily revolves around human relations and human dignity. By the same token, almost all schools of thought cherish family as the kernel of community and the anchor of social morality. But the question is, “how cultism relates to this vital social institution and how the former affects the latter?”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MKO Member: “All destructive mind-control cults and terrorist cults basically target society. But the fact is that family as the main institution in society is always like a fort in front of social harms like cultism. That’s why cults are against family.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Manouchehr Mohammadi, Film Producer: “The first thing within them to be killed is love in the true sense of the word; the love for the family, the love for the spouse, the love for the child, and the love for many other things. In other words, you have to love and worship only the leader of the cult and nothing else is worth being loved.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Masoud Rajavi, Leader of MKO Organization: “I told you that I want your everything for the overthrow. Come on! Give it to me soon and without any delay! What does it mean? It means, “Give me your hearts”;It means, “Give me your love””
TIME CODE: 10:00_15:00
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Kamal Tabrizi, Film Director: “Such events have occurred many times in such groups; since family creates emotional feelings in individuals, it is naturally at odds with one-sided and mechanical point of view and it’s natural that an organization with a mechanical form is at odds with moral and emotional traits of the family to reach its own goals and it cannot stand for example love in the family; a kind of dependency of husbands and wives on each other or even on children. Therefore, it can be said that with ruining families, such organizations can feel more powerful.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MKO Member: “Another point shown in this film is invading cities that was the organization’s strategy and it was Masoud Rajavis’ idea. He had told Saddam Hussein that in order to defeat Iran, he’d better attack cities with rockets. This idea springs from a cultish way of thinking which stands opposite society; cults allow themselves to do anything to come to power, including using terrorism and doing away with society.”
Narration: In all destructive mind control cults, individuals are regarded as commodities with different price tags; the more they serve their master, the more valuable they are. Against such a backdrop, many of them would resemble androids that cannot think for themselves but are programmed to do what their leader wishes them to do; to put it simply, they become psychologically controlled persons.
SOUNDBITE [Persian] A one of the MKO’s Followers: “The criterion is the love for Maryam and the faith in Maryam is the ideological criterion. Today I know that it’s not me fighting. In the scene there is someone else who is fighting and when you establish a foothold somewhere else, you can see weakness no more.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Manouchehr Mohammadi, Film Producer: “When I was a college student, I met in person some of those people who later joined the organization and climbed up the echelons. Our problem with them at university was that – it was before the Islamic Revolution of Iran –they were not interested in questioning. For them, orders were orders. In other words, in cultism they take away from you the ability to think, the ability to think, to choose, to decide, and to defend your decision – whether the decision is right or wrong.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Kamal Tabrizi, Film Director: “Expecting individuals to behave like machines, to behave without thinking, feeling or choosing and putting them in a situation to do what they are dictated; this is dealt with in the team house in The Mina Facility and the issue of betrayal and what affects the passionate relationship between the couple in the film. In fact, the characters are put at a crossroads to whether follow their hearts and public morality or otherwise to follow blindly what is called as manifestos.”
Narration: Cult members are evaluated with one criterion, namely unquestioning obedience; and cult leaders never bow their heads in shame for it; on the contrary, they want their disciples to shout out their allegiance in both private and public meetings.
TIME CODE: 15:00_20:00
SOUNDBITE [Persian] A one of the MKO’s Followers: “I vow to stay on the path of the MKO to the last drop of my blood and to my last breath and to take my brothers and sisters to Tehran and crush the regime. Ready! Ready! Ready!”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Manouchehr Mohammadi, Film Producer: “A tyrannical behavior with violence, physical removal, torture, and brainwashing is very common in such cults. Basically, it’s part of their principles to worship the leader of the cult like God and obey him or her blindly.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Masoud Rajavi, MKO Leader: “What we ratified is obligatory; the same goes for the choice we made; are you allowed to say no?”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Maryam Rajavi, MKO Leader: “You say you declare and it is obligatory; the only answer that I can give is to ask you not to issue this order.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Masoud Rajavi, MKO Leader: “So as I understood, you don’t say no to our will, if you may, do you?”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Maryam Rajavi, MKO Leader: “Because it’s your order …”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Masoud Rajavi, MKO Leader: “… and accept it.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Kamal Tabrizi, Film Director: “This is the example I always give: horses that are put in front of carts are always blindfolded not to see other directions and to move only in a direction shown by the whip. Honestly, those who enter such systems are like these horses that have to move on a way designed by the whips of ideology, rules and regulations and rites all cults and groups have.
The title of the film ‘The Mina Facility’ comes out of the situation in the team house. According to our research, we knew that during the 1980s, the place the group was based in used to be referred as facility. So, the Mina facility refers to where the character Mina is based in.
The title ‘The Mina Facility’ refers more to the theme of the film than the place Mina is located in and the theme is that you see individuals as tools that like other tools can be at your service to have their functions.
I think it’s David Lyn who says that the actor is just like an object on stage; if you have a vase on stage, or a book or a table, the character has the same position; it’s like a lifeless object because it’s the director that directs the character and tells them where to go and what to say where. This is putting individuals in a position you like.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Maryam Rajavi, MKO Leader: “Sitting here, when I cannot accept, believe and make connection with the one step away from me, how can I claim that I can make connection with the one I cannot see and is different from me in nature? How?”
Narration: What all these cults always claim is at odds with what they do in reality. They never follow a set of beliefs and principles.
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Masoud Rajavi, MKO Leader: “But who am I? I’m going to introduce myself to you. Are you ready?”
Narration: The ruling masters are good liars who feed their followers worthless lies, half-truths and fabrications so as to tap into their psyche and cast their magic spells over them. They have no clear ideology but a set of psychological methodology to usurp weak minds.
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Manouchehr Mohammadi, Film Producer: “Spiritual needs and the desire for justice are two factors that usually make individuals go for irregular ways in addition to regular ones. It’s usually at this point that ideological and political misuses happen. Groups that I call them ‘the merchants of spirituality’ and ‘the merchants of justice’ come and target the educated generation in particular.”
TIME CODE: 20:00_26:40
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Masoud Rajavi, MKO Leader: “Remember, the first night of the revolution, I asked you to give me everything; even your sins? Everything, all right? I’ll bear them all. Come on!”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Kamal Tabrizi, Film Director: “To put it right, in my view it’s an ideological deviation because there is such kind of ideology. The informed ones around the world know that Muslims are not like these. Islam does not stand such kind of violence. But how is it possible that Daesh with its flag with mottos like ‘Allah is greater’ or ‘There is no god but God,” is using violence in society. So, it seems that it is rooted in the same thing; it has an ideological, religious root but it has undoubtedly gone astray; it’s a kind of deviation we called ‘hypocritical’ and attributed it to the MKO can now be attributed to Daesh because it claims that it’s acting according to Sharia and under such claim is approaching its goals.”
Narration: Going against what it pretends, the MKO is a group with all traits of a full-fledged cult. The Rajavis’ group is a classic example for a destructive mind control cult in the world. Betraying their homeland and siding with its vocal enemy is the outcome of such cultish behaviors.
SOUNDBITE [Arabic] LTG Habbush, Iraqi Intelligence Official: “How much [oil] had we allocated for the MKO?”
SOUNDBITE [Arabic] An Iraqi Officer: “Five million barrels a year.”
SOUNDBITE [Arabic] LTG Habbush, Iraqi Intelligence Official: “Five billion barrels? Write a letter to Mr President [Saddam Hussein] saying that brother Masoud asks for a larger allocation.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] The Mina Facility Movie: “- You say it’s not the time for such things! It’s a romantic time. Happy our wedding anniversary, honey.
– You son of a gun!
– Give it to me.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Manouchehr Mohammadi, Film Producer: “In my opinion, The Mina Facility is first of all a romantic story. It reflects a kind, compassionate viewpoint deep-seated in all Iranians.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Kamal Tabrizi, Film Director: “Now, Mehran is trying to deceive you.
I think it’s an eclectic film. It’s family first dealt with in the film but as it moves on the chasm in family that results from pressure exerted by such groups turns gradually into a feeling or a kind of hero that is put in an dynamic situation and shows a behavior that is quite different from the one in the first half of the film.
People around the world should know that our people – including the youths who may not remember well that decade – experienced a movement like that of Daesh in that decade and things that happened in society were almost like the ones happening in our neighboring countries and even in many European countries. Suppose a place like a concert hall explodes and a large number are killed. The same events used frequently to happen in our society which were followed by bombing cities.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] The Mina Facility Movie: “- How much did I tell you to get the idea of marriage out of your head?
– What’s happened?”
Narration: the Mina facility was nominated for 9 crystal Simorghs at the thirty fourth fajr international film festival.
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Speaker of Fajr Film Festival: “The Crystal Simorgh’s nominees for the best screenplay: Mr. Farhad Towhidi and Mr. Morteza Esfehani for the screenplay of The Mina Facility.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Farhad Towhidi, Screenwriter of The Mina Facility: “If we are at this point today and haven’t picked the main fruits of the Revolution yet, that is a guarantee for unconditional freedom, I think the blame lies with these groups’ cultish behaviors which contribute to the radicalization of the atmosphere. They assassinated 17,000 people during that decade and caused a lot of conflict throughout Iran. I think, beside other accusations against the group, this group pushed back the process of democracy.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] The Mina Facility Movie: “- She wasn’t at the hospital either.
– Obtain a search warrant for her home soon.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MKO Member: “Given the fact that I was a full-time member of the MKO for 23 years, and that I’ve been studying on cults and terrorist groups over the past 12-odd years, having watched the movie ‘The Mina Facility’ I daresay that all parts of it reflect reality and it’s like a documentary film about a team house belonging to the organization.”
Let’s stand up together and free our children from Rajavi and the MEK
Comrades in Arms – Sexual abuse by Massoud and Maryam Rajavi
An Unfinished documentary for my daughter – Trapped in Rajavi cult, Mojahedin Khalq
Rajavi Ideology – ‘shed blood for publicity’
Iran Interlink, October 30 2015:…Rajavis are responsible for the deaths of over 25,000 Iraqi citizens. In this context we may never discover who launched attacks on the MEK. What we can state however, is that the Rajavis caused these deaths because in spite of giving ‘repeated warnings’ they refused to allow these vulnerable individuals to be taken to safety…
Rajavi Ideology – ‘shed blood for publicity’
Massoud and Maryam Rajavi are personally responsible for the deaths of 25 residents along with several Iraqi soldiers during a katyusha attack aimed at Camp Liberty yesterday. Maryam Rajavi’s only response has been to say ‘we warned you repeatedly this would happen’.
In the context of real events in Iraq this sounds more like a wish than a warning. What Rajavi does not reveal is that, in spite of fears of exactly the kind of attack she has repeatedly looked forward to, she and her husband have consistently refused to allow the MEK members to leave Iraq and take refuge in third countries. Since 2003, successive Iraqi governments have ruled the MEK’s presence in Iraq unconstitutional and have worked with the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Iraq’s ministry of human rights and the Iranian embassy in Iraq to find a safe and peaceful way to remove all the MEK from Iraq. With the principle of non-refoulement accepted by all other parties as the basis of this programme, only the MEK leaders refused to cooperate.
Even when the resident’s families and even the MEK’s own lobbyists in the West like Rudi Giuliani, John Bolton, Brian Binley and Struan Stevenson, have tried to rescue the individuals trapped in the MEK camps in Iraq, the Rajavis have time and time again refused to let them go or to let them be helped. Even though many individuals who managed to escape the camps have made their way to safety in Europe. Even though millions of refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq have made their way to Europe. Even though the UN negotiated a safe haven in Albania to which it is slowly but surely transferring the remaining residents of Camp Liberty. If Rajavi had allowed these people to leave five years ago, these tragic deaths would not have occurred.
The MEK has many enemies in Iraq. As part of Saddam Hussein’s repressive apparatus and known as ‘Saddam’s Private Army’, the Rajavis and their MEK are responsible for the deaths of over 25,000 Iraqi citizens. In this context we may never discover who launched yesterday’s or any previous attacks on the MEK in Iraq. What we can state with absolute certainty, however, is that the Rajavis caused these deaths because in spite of giving ‘repeated warnings’ they refused to allow these vulnerable individuals to be taken to safety. They deliberately left them in harms way.
It should now be clear to everyone that the reason behind Massoud Rajavi’s insistence on keeping people in Iraqi is not because these aging and sick people are involved in a struggle against Iran. It is because of the ideology which he created after being released from prison in 1979 and began acting as the MEK’s spokesman. This ideology is simply expressed as ‘kill for publicity’. From 21st June 1981, the Eternal Light operation in 1988, the self-immolations in Europe in 2004 and the repeated attacks on Camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq, in all these cases Rajavi has caused deaths in order for an MEK spokesman to have a media interview and cry victim. The result is simply the continued survival of the MEK brand. The cost is counted in the lives of people who could easily be helped. These are not martyrs to a cause, they are victims of Rajavi’s vanity. Camp Liberty is nothing more than a blood bank waiting to be spent by Rajavi.