Abbas Salimi Namin, Tasnim News, April 17 2021:… Without taking into account this reasonable and principled policy of the Imam, Bergman puts it: “As for the opposition movement closest to his ideology, the Mujahideen Khalq, he (Khomeini) promised the group a share of power when he got his hands on it. It was a promise he would fail to keep.” (p. 15) A review of exchanged words between the Imam and the representative of Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO) in Najaf in 1972 shows the nullity of Bergman’s allegations. In those meetings, which were held for hours during different days, the Imam never endorsed MKO and he even warned that the armed struggle policy they had adopted was doomed to failure. The Secret War With Iran
The Secret War With Iran
An Argument against Ronen Bergman’s ‘The Secret War with Iran’ – 7
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Imam Khomeini expressed himself in clear and honest terms in private meetings with other anti-Pahlavi groups about their policies and struggles. But at the same time he always recommended that his followers refrain from highlighting such differences.
Iranian journalist and expert Abbas Salimi Namin has disproved the claims and opinions of Israeli analyst Ronen Bergman in the book ‘The Secret War with Iran’. ‘The Secret War with Iran’, written by renowned Zionist journalist Ronen Bergman, was published in 2008 by Simon & Schuster publishing company in the United States.
Born in 1972, Bergman is a graduate of Tel Aviv University in the Middle East political relations. He is a famous Zionist journalist and analyst in the military and security fields who has worked with Israeli newspapers ‘Haaretz’ and ‘Yedioth Ahronoth’, American dailies and weeklies such as ‘The New York Times’, ‘Newsweek’, ‘The Wall street Journal’, and British media groups including ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The Times’.
Bergman has been interested in topics relating to the enemies of the Zionist regime (particularly Iran, Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance groups), as well as subjects on the history of the Israeli regime’s assassination operations, which are cited in his recent book ‘Rise and Kill First’.
In an interview with Persian TV channel ‘Iran International’, Bergman has pointed to the Iranian nuclear program and the issues surrounding it -particularly the Zionist regime’s secret attempts to halt the process of nuclear activities in Iran and assassinate Iranian scientists. He has also cited ex-CIA chief Michael Hayden as saying that the assassination of nuclear scientists is the best way to impede Iran’s growing process in that field, and has implicitly held Israel responsible for it.
In the book ‘The Secret War with Iran’, Bergman has written a history of encounters between Iran and the Zionist regime, while the bulk of the book relates to the Lebanese Hezbollah -Iran’s main ally in the battle against the Zionist regime since its formation until the 33-day War- focusing on the role of Martyr Imad Mughniyeh.
His book also includes sections about the final years of the Pahlavi regime and victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, short periods of the war imposed by the Ba’thist party of Iraq on Iran (focusing on the McFarlane affair), Iran’s role in supporting the Palestinian groups, and the Iranian nuclear program.
Bergman’s multiple undocumented and untrue comments as well as personal and purposeful analyses (with the main purpose of displaying Israel’s power, specially in a competition with the US) that have repeatedly come in his book make a critical review of the book necessary for Iranian readers.
Director of the Iran History Studies and Compilation Bureau, Abbas Salimi Namin, has written an extensive criticism in a book about ‘The Secret War with Iran’. Born in 1954, Salimi Namin is an experienced journalist and a renowned Iranian researcher in history and political sciences who has published many articles and books.
In this passage, in a stark contrast with himself, the author first acknowledges that Israel was seeking to harm the Islamic Revolution in Iran since its triumph. Second, he implicitly acknowledges Israel’s involvement in inciting Arab governments hostile to developments in Iran, including the Baath party of Iraq. Third, Imam Khomeini brought to victory Iran’s nationwide uprising, creating an unprecedented obstacle in the way of the Zionists’ attempts to dominate the Muslim world.
This fact implies that as much as nations have become resentful of Zionist-leaning regional Arab leaders they have become interested in the developments created by the Islamic Revolution and its leadership. Therefore, it is not unreasonable if Bergman seeks in vain to sully the squeaky clean image and character of Imam Khomeini.
“Khomeini’s next step was to shatter the most important traditional custom of Shi’ite theology. He allowed the believers, even encouraged them, to call him ‘Imam’. This title had been reserved by the Iranian Shias for Ali and the eleven leaders who came after him. Until the inevitable return of the missing thirteenth imam at some unpredictable time, no religious sage had had the right to use the title. Without stating it explicitly, Khomeini was creating the impression that he was the missing imam, who had returned as a messiah, or Mahdi.” (p. 12)
Without presenting any reason, the author portrays the founder of the Islamic Revolution totally different from his real character. First and foremost, Ayatollah Khomeini never and under no circumstances showed willingness to be referred to as “Imam” and he was totally strange with such things. Second, the title “imam”, meaning leader and harbinger, has been common in the history of Islam (among both Shias and Sunnis) and is not reserved to the 12 infallible Shia imams. Imam Ghazali, Imam Bukhari and Imam Musa Sadr are just cases in point that the author has preferred to not note. Third, such outdated and threadbare allegations stem from Savak before the Islamic Revolution, which were never accepted by people. Has the author bothered himself studying slogans chanted by several million people who welcomed Ayatollah Khomeini? The answer is negative.
“During the 1970s he became, from afar, one of the most powerful of the Shah’s opponents. This physically weak, stern-featured seventy-seven-year-old, after a brief sojourn as an exile in Paris from September 1978, returned to his homeland on February 1, 1979. He was received by millions at Tehran’s airport, and without any weapons, defeated the sixth strongest army in the world.” (p. 12)
How did the millions who attended the welcoming ceremony refer to Ayatollah Khamenei? Wasn’t this devotion and deep-seated belief born out of his reputation for honesty and piety? Could anyone claim to be Mahdi and the public then recognize him as their spiritual leader? Shia hadiths have clearly noted that even if someone claims to have ties with the 12th imam as long as Imam Mahdi remains occult, he has to be billed as liar. Therefore, people’s ties with Imam Khomeini during nearly two decades of costly struggle stemmed from this assessment he was moving in the way of revival of dignity in this land, far from any mundane passion, but the performance of other opponents of the Pahlavi dictatorship during that time was assessed as exactly contrary. Bergman has deliberately ignored this field experience and instead he tries to attribute the failure of other political leaders in attracting people to Imam Khomeini.
“The elderly cleric realized that he would never be able to take power without the help of certain opposition groups, some of which were ideologically opposed to him. With the Shah as their common enemy, however, he entered into pacts with all of the rivals of the monarchy, playing down the vast differences among them. The Shi’ites have a name for this technique: khod’e, which means tricking someone into misjudging his position.” (p. 14)
Imam Khomeini expressed himself in clear and honest terms in private meetings with other anti-Pahlavi groups about their policies and struggles. But at the same time he always recommended that his followers refrain from highlighting such differences. He believed that the main issue in Iranian society was to bring an end to the ruling dictatorship and the US, British and Israeli dominance. Ayatollah Khomeini believed that any political current has to follow its own methodology and that such differences of view should not eclipse the main enemy, i.e. dictatorship and dominance. Without taking into account this reasonable and principled policy of the Imam, Bergman puts it:
“As for the opposition movement closest to his ideology, the Mujahideen Khalq, he (Khomeini) promised the group a share of power when he got his hands on it. It was a promise he would fail to keep.” (p. 15)
A review of exchanged words between the Imam and the representative of Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO) in Najaf in 1972 shows the nullity of Bergman’s allegations. In those meetings, which were held for hours during different days, the Imam never endorsed MKO and he even warned that the armed struggle policy they had adopted was doomed to failure.
Hossein Rouhani, an MKO leader, said in an interview following the victory of the Islamic Revolution: “From within, I [along with Torab Haqshenas] was advised to contact the Imam to tell him about MKO’s affairs and internal issues so that the Imam would issue a statement, if possible, in support of death-row prisoners, i.e. our combatant leaders. I accepted to handle it. I contacted Mr. Mahmoud Doaei who was our sympathizer at that time. In 1972 I managed to have numerous meetings with the Imam. Except for the first session where he (Mr. Doaei) was present to introduce me, I was alone in future meetings which total 7. They lasted about one month. Each meeting was one hour to one hour and a half. I discussed various issues with the Imam. We discussed the politico-ideological fundamentals of MKO. I had two books on me: Imam Hussein and The Prophets’ Route. I gave him both and he studied them completely and shared his written views with us. One issue was our analysis of Judgment Day. He considered our analysis as material and in conflict with what is in the Quran. The other issue was ‘evolution’. We believed in the Darwin principle of evolution, but he considered it to contradict Quranic instructions. Another issue under discussion was ‘armed struggle’ in Iran…The Imam was firmly opposed to it, saying:
‘I’m opposed to armed struggle and I believe that it would destroy your organization.’
Of course, it was the issue whose truth we saw in 1977 and 1978 in the intra-organizational ideological struggles in our splinter groups.” (MKO, From Beginning to End, Institute for Political Studies and Research, Winter 2005, vol. 1, pp. 522-523)
The Imam did not make public what he had noted in the private meeting with the MKO representative up until after the nationwide revolt of the Iranian nation in 1979. But his prediction, as confirmed by Hossein Rouhani, came true and in the second half of 1970s, MKO was disbanded and only some of its members were seen in prisons. However, under the auspices of the Islamic Revolution under the leadership of the Imam from 1978 until the victory of the revolt in 1979, MKO prisoners were released and the organization was revived. Therefore, it is not clear which Imam-MKO agreement Bergman refers to. No MKO agent has ever expressed this allegation of Bergman, which has no solid basis. Meantime, after the meeting between MKO’s senior member and the Imam in Najaf, no other such meeting has been recorded until after the Islamic Revolution as the Imam rejected MKO’s theoretical fundamentals and cast doubt on the organization’s strategy and tactic. In light of its dogmatism, this group never spoke publicly against the Imam as people massively showed willingness for the Imam’s leadership, but in private meetings they missed no chance to discredit him.
But Bergman is trying to create the impression that before the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini was seeking to rally political groups behind himself on false promises. But the undeniable truth is that leaders of various groups who travelled to Paris saw that the Imam stuck strongly with his principles. For instance, Dr. Sanjabi, leader of the National Front, received no promise in return for aligning himself with the Islamic Revolution; rather, he was presented with some preconditions. In an interview in Paris, Dr. Sanjabi openly declared the Pahlavi regime illegitimate and laid emphasis on the dismissal of foreign dominance as another pillar of the Islamic Revolution. The same procedure befell to Mehdi Bazargan. The leader of the Freedom Movement of Iran sought in vain to convince the Leader of the Islamic Revolution to modify his position on these two pillars. Bazargan received no concessions. Finally, the FMI leadership either genuinely or tactically agreed with the two pillars. Therefore, what caused other political leaders to get closer to the Imam was his outspokenness and sincerity in declaring his positions and his firm and brave resistance against dictatorship and dominance. That is exactly for this reason that various social classes distanced themselves from other political leaders and accepted the Imam’s leadership. If he had had minimum trickery, he would have been marginalized like many others. Of course, it has to be noted that playing tricks on the enemy would be a reasonable act. In wars, one way of defeating the enemy is to deceive it. In other words, applying misleading schemes so that the enemy could not predict the attack is among skills of a qualified commander and manager.
Link to previous parts:
The Secret War With Iran
American Hostages and MEK (History)
Terror Spring, November 18 2019:… Another issue was the hostage’s trial which MEK supported: “…so let us repeat for several times that if our disclosure does not proceed with complete assurance and without any fear or expediency of all the evidence you have obtained, if the hostage trial wouldn’t resolve properly and immediately wouldn’t promote to the break off colonial relations with the US, if imperialist investments wouldn’t confiscated, if you wouldn’t fight with the reactionary and liberal bases of the imperialists, the dynamism of your heroic movement will end and will eventually will face the stagnate or decline…” American Hostages and MEK
(Iraq shelters terrorist groups including the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), which has used terrorist violence against Iran and in the 1970s was responsible for killing several U.S. military personnel and U.S. civilians)
American Hostages and MEK
The Secret War With Iran
MKO’s Stance on the Release of American Hostages
The MEK supported the students during the capture of the US Embassy by students following the Imam’s line, calling them a movement that revolted again to the revolution and prevented divisions and deviations.  Even after the defeat of US operation to rescue hostages in Tabas, they also issued statement and notification pointing to the disastrous failure of imperialism and supporting students’ anti-imperialist movement. Between the time of capturing the US embassy and releasing the American hostages, Mojahedin has published a number of confidential documents obtained from the embassy. For sure the publication of US embassy documents and providing organizational analysis of the contents of the documents was to prove the previous assumptions and was based on the assumption that show the officials of the system, the Islamic republic party, based on the literature of the organization, were reactionaries affiliated and connected to USA. After the capturing the spy nest of US embassy, the documents which were published by students following the line of Imam, were collected and got organized. It was followed by the procedure of publishing the selective documents by the organization that they refer to it as “revealing” stopped. Following this action, taking fronts and making political ambiguity within the organization’s propaganda lines, including affiliated publications and leaflets,…, intensified against the students following the imam line and the wing including fans of Imam and Islamic republic party. Another issue was the hostage’s trial which MKO supported:
“…so let us repeat for several times that if our disclosure does not proceed with complete assurance and without any fear or expediency of all the evidence you have obtained, if the hostage trial wouldn’t resolve properly and immediately wouldn’t promote to the break off colonial relations with the US, if imperialist investments wouldn’t confiscated, if you wouldn’t fight with the reactionary and liberal bases of the imperialists, the dynamism of your heroic movement will end and will eventually will face the stagnate or decline…”
Lets create another Vietnam for America(pdf).
(Mojahedin English language paper April 1980)
Letter to Imam (Khomeini) (pdf).
(Mojahedin English Language paper April 1980)
Some questions unanswered regarding the US military invasion of Iran (pdf).
(Mojahedin English Language paper June 1980)
link to one of the Mojahedin Khalq songs
advocating terror and killing Americans
(In Persian written and distributed after the Iranian Revolution)
…so let us repeat for several times that if our disclosure does not proceed with complete assurance and without any fear or expediency of all the evidence you have obtained, if the hostage trial wouldn’t resolve properly and immediately wouldn’t promote to the break off colonial relations with the US, if imperialist investments wouldn’t confiscated, if you wouldn’t fight with the reactionary and liberal bases of the imperialists, the dynamism of your heroic movement will end and will eventually will face the stagnate or decline…
In the mid-1980, the parliament approved conditional release plan for American hostages. The Mojahedin strongly opposed the plan and considered it biased because of the coincidence of it with the American presidential election (Reagan), in order that they put this the beginning the relation with USA and in their opinion to prove the system’s flexibility against imperialist interests and introduce itself as the only force fighting against imperialism and America. However, the organization condemned any negotiation by the Iranian government and Party officials with the United States and favored the termination of diplomatic relations with America.
 Mojahed Magazine, Number 28, 11 Aban 58, P3
 Mojahed Magazine, Number 50, Sunday 7 of Ordibehesht 59, worth mentioning that in another turn of the organization, the capture of the spy nest of US embassy a move that had not begun in its purest form and was exploited in its first steps. The organization called the students following the Imam’s line a toy for those who were only seeking their own interests in the process of capturing the nest of spies, or US embassy. Mojahed Magazine, Number 102
 Mojahed Magazine, Number 101, 25 of Azar 59, P3, some of the documents of the spy nest of US embassy were seized by the organization’s infiltrators who were among the students following the Imam’s line, and the organization uses these documents selectively n the line with its policies.
 Mojahed Magazine, Number 101, 25 of Azar 59
 Mojahed Magazine, Number 101
 Mojahed Magazine, Number 36, Friday 20 of Farvardin 59, P1
American Hostages and MEK
The Secret War With Iran
MEK Assassinated Americans
Terror Spring, September 05 2019:… As mentioned before, on the 7 o’clock of 1976/08/28, 6 members of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq group (Islamic Marxist) blocked the way with a Volkswagen of the three American citizens residing in Tehran with the name of ((Robert Krongard, William Cotrell and Donald Smith)) that cooperating with Iran Imperial Air Force while transferring to their work place and killed three of them with machinegun and pistol and left their car and ran from the crime scene. Investigation done regarding the terror of three mentioned advisors shows that the executive members of this terror had enough intelligence of their status and jobs . MEK Assassinated Americans
MEK Assassinated Americans
Assassination of Three American Advisers
Identifying the Experts of Secret Mission
In the midst of the attacks that SAVAK brought to Marxist armed groups in the spring and summer of 1976, including the active elements of the MKO (MEK), they got killed or arrested, the MKO’s leadership decided to take a dramatic and effective military action.
The analysis of the leaders of the organization was based on the fact that after the deadly attacks to the MKO (MEK), and the Fadaian, they had to – in the first place – express their effective existence, and, secondly, – put the Pahlavi regime in a complex array of armed movements .
Along with this matter, at last, the assassination of three American advisers in Iran was designed and carried out by Mojahedin. These advisers were experts in the field of electronic equipment that led the installation and operation of complex eavesdropping systems in the form of a series of designs in ((Kabkan)), that is located on the border between Iran and the Soviet Union. According to the available information, the basic information about these three spies was most likely transmitted to the Mojahedin by the Soviet government
The Process of Assassinations
During the identification operations to carry out assassinations, the exact route of the car movement got identified. According to information obtained from the operational units of the organization, they traversed Tehranpars (the intersection of Damavand Avenue, known as the Tehran-Pars three ways) every morning between 7:00 and 7:20 minutes, and near the intersection of Narmak thirty meters, passing from Khayyam avenue (one of the neighboring streets of Vosuq Square). Therefore, it was decided that the MKO’s operational layout be arranged in this area and at a specific point on Khayyam Street.
According to the plan, a Volkswagen truck was used for traffic jams and one more car to escape. Additionally, the weapons gathered in compare with the individuals presented on the operation. This terrorist operation is described by Abedini as follows:
“Operation Day”, [1976/08/28] all work was done in accordance with the schedule. The driver of the motorcycle and the person who was with him were marked with a positive signal. The team got ready. Attack layout was done. The car was turned by the driver who should make the traffic, a few moments later the car carrying the advisors appeared on the street, and the driver stopped the car. The driver of the advisers felt that something is going on and turned the steering wheel to his right, but because of the narrow street he couldn’t do anything and the way got closed.
Commander surrendered the driver and made him to put his head under the dashboard then the machine gunner shot the bullets toward Americans. The front man (Robert Krongard) committed to run away after being hit, he came out of the car and went toward the side walk but machine gunner followed him and while he fell into the gutter, finished him. Meanwhile the driver who should make traffic, should get out and support the machine gunners and should stand beside them while machine gunner can dead shot the two Americans behind, and again give the machinegun to the traffic driver and ran toward the scape car. This part of the operation, that was the main part, was done completely (except two parts) and car moved in the identified way. After a distance one of the members got out and removed the fake car number and again continued to move. After a while two members got out and the driver went to Khorasan square with scape car, while the bags of the advisors were also in the car. He put the scape car in one of the alleys of Khorasan square and transferred the equipment to another car, which had already been put there, and move the new car to the base, where the equipment had to be taken there. And in this way the operation ended.”
Members of the operation team of assassination of three advisors are:
- Hosein SiyahKolah (Kazem) the commander of the operation;
- Mehdi Fathi (Vahid) deputy commander and in fact executive commander of the scene of operation; (the first machine gunner)
- Mohsen Tarighat (Mahmoud) the second machine gunner
- Ghasem Abedini (Asgar)traffic driver and driver of scape car
- Shahram Mohammadian Bajgiran (Javad) motor driver and marker
- Gholamhosein Sahebekhtiari (shamsollah-Asghar) the motor cyclist and marker4
From the very next day, the details and descriptions of this assassination, with more details of the victims (with an emphasis on their military identity), were published in newspapers and it was announced that the American bodies were transferred to California.
Quality of operation
One of the differences between this assassination and other terror operations of the Mujahedin organization was that it was used handy machineguns for killing the targets this time. Other assassinations – generally – were carried with pistols, and the reason was clear: having large machineguns was in contradiction with the security and destroys the security of the team. But in this particular case, the use of Kalashnikov’s machinegun was on the agenda. Typically, machineguns were used to defend team houses, but Fadaian guerrillas used it in operations, but smaller and lighter ones, such as the ((Shi)) machine gun, which made by France.
SAVAK review results
One of SAVAK’s first reports about the assassination of three advisors of IBEX was as follows:
“As mentioned before, on the 7 o’clock of 1976/08/28, 6 members of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq group (Islamic Marxist) blocked the way with a Volkswagen of the three American citizens residing in Tehran with the name of ((Robert Krongard, William Cotrell and Donald Smith)) that cooperating with Iran Imperial Air Force while transferring to their work place and killed three of them with machinegun and pistol and left their car and ran from the crime scene. Investigation done regarding the terror of three mentioned advisors shows that the executive members of this terror had enough intelligence of their status and jobs. With the regard that the parts that military and nonmilitary American advisors were doing their services were always on special interest of members of intelligence services of Soviet Union and mentioned three advisors were working in a sector that has high sensitivity, this is concluded that the mentioned information and identification have done by members of the Soviet Union intelligence service.6”
Source: MKO (MEK) organization: Founding till the end (1965-2005), Second volume, In an effort by a team of researchers, the Institute of Political Studies and Research publication
MEK Assassinated Americans
The Secret War With Iran