Using Mujahedin-e-Khalq Manufacturing Enemies

Using Mujahedin-e-Khalq Manufacturing Enemies

Using Mujahedin-e-Khalq Manufacturing EnemiesTehran Times, February 14 2022:… After the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO) divulged Iran’s program in 2002, the question became was Iran working toward developing a bomb, nuclear breakout capability, or was it all peaceful? The U.S. ramped up sanctions on Iran even further. During the second Bush administration, financial sanctions took center stage, effectively cutting Iran off from the international financial system (SWIFT) and imposing serious penalties on any bank that engaged with Iran. Using Mujahedin-e-Khalq Manufacturing Enemies 

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Using Mujahedin-e-Khalq Manufacturing Enemies

By Professor Hossein Askari

Iran—America’s manufactured enemy

TEHRAN- Iran and America were the closest of allies before the Iranian Revolution of 1979, but they are now implacable enemies. How have such allies become such enemies for more than forty years?

It all started with the taking of U.S. embassy hostages in 1979. This was a time of fervent nationalism in Iran and of fear that the Shah would return to rule again as he had done in the 1953 CIA-MI6 engineered coup. While it was the seed of Iranian-U.S. enmity, it was further fueled by the government’s acceptance of the taking of hostages by students.

The embassy hostage-taking was followed by 444 days of nightly reminders to Americans on American news networks. And every time Iran came up in the news, there were images of the hostages and chants of “death to America” to remind Americans of Iran’s transgression and its rhetoric.  Americans felt helpless and humiliated by Iran as the media and partisan politicians were beating the drums of hate and conflict. There would be a price to pay!

America imposed sanctions on Iran. But the U.S. went further. Before and after Saddam Hussein invaded Iran, the U.S. did little to dissuade him and might in fact have encouraged him. The United Nations was not active in condemning this most serious of transgressions under the UN charter. The U.S. and its European allies, along with Russia, supplied Saddam Hussein with all the weaponry he needed while putting an arms embargo on Iran. The U.S. provided Iraq with military intelligence. Iran, however, managed to overcome its many handicaps. As Iran was expelling the Iraqi invaders and threatening Iraq, the Europeans, with U.S. complicity, supplied Saddam Hussein with internationally banned chemical weapons.

“All-pervasive sanctions are tantamount to an act of war, as even trade embargoes have been historically viewed as such. “

Thus the war continued and lasted for over eight years. Over 1.5 million died on both sides and many more were injured, with thousands of gassed Iranians surviving on oxygen tanks. America showed little compassion for Iranian suffering and death, memories that will be hard to forget.

Iran and Iranians learned a hard lesson. Shore up your defenses. International law serves only the powerful. Don’t trust the U.S., or for that matter the entire West and the United Nations. The chasm between Iran and the U.S. was growing, on the one hand, manufactured by the U.S. in its reluctance to turn over a new page and desire to continue to punish Iran, and on the other hand by Iran’s memory of its harsh treatment by the West and the need to shore up its defenses and support its regional allies.

Although the war between Iran and Iraq ended in August 1988, hostilities between the U.S. and Iran continued. America continued with its sanctions and Iran supported its regional allies. After Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, Iran supported fleeing Kuwaitis and tried to improve relations with the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. An Iranian emissary for rapprochement was spurned by the U.S. State Department and the Saudis reneged on promises made to a mediator that they had chosen along with Iran. Iran tried to attract American companies. It was close to having an important agreement with Conoco to develop a new oil field; Iran had also invited Bechtel to discuss a number of projects, including the giant Iranian gas field shared with Qatar. But President Clinton enacted ILSA (the Iran Libya Sanctions Act) in 1996, which limited any large investment in Iran and he closed a number of other sanction loopholes, including those on imports of Iranian refined oil. Iranian officials had thought that commerce might be the way to restore relations, but it was not to be.

U.S. bases and military might in the Persian Gulf region was threatening to Iran. But there was more to come. After 9/11 the United States invaded Afghanistan and later Iraq. Afghanistan provided Iran with another opening to bridge the chasm with the United States. Iran worked with its ally, Ahmad Shah Masoud, and the Northern Alliance, to support the U.S. invasion on the ground. The U.S. attacked the Taliban from the air while the Northern Alliance did the fighting on the ground.  Iran thought that this cooperation would open a more fruitful road to reconciliation with the U.S. While there was a ray of hope, once the U.S. conquered Afghanistan, it spurned Iran.

This was followed by the invasion of Iraq. By this time Iran was apprehensive about cooperating with the U.S. The speed with which the U.S. demolished Saddam Hussein and his forces cautioned the regime in Tehran. Moreover, Iran was now surrounded by U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. All this, along with the accumulated American rebuttals, politically and economically, boxed Iran in. Iran had to shore up its defenses and support regional allies—Assad in Syria, the Houthis in Yemen, Hamas, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Shia Muslims everywhere, especially in Iraq. These allies would give Iran offensive capabilities in dealing with what they perceived as a U.S. threat to the regime’s survival. In view of America’s past rebuttals and the need to shore up its Shia allies in Iraq, Iran supported Shia resistance in Iraq. Around the same time, under the watchful eyes of General Soleimani Iran played a big role in confronting and defeating ISIS. While in Iran’s own interest, such cooperation in support of the regime in Baghdad and its Shia allies, was also critical in the U.S. effort to defeat ISIS. General Soleimani’s tactical skill was even applauded by a U.S. general. Soleimani had become critical for Iran’s national defense and regional ambitions. While Soleimani had been seen as an ally in the early days in Afghanistan and in the fight against ISIS, he was increasingly seen as a danger to U.S. regional hegemony.

“A principal factor fueling and prolonging Iran’s isolation has been anti-Iranian lobbying by Israel and its American surrogates and to a lesser extent by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and their corporate backers in the West.

By this time, Iran realized that cooperation with the U.S. would not lead to bilateral benefits but that it should only work with the U.S. when this was directly in its own self-interest and survival. Iran set about a more concerted effort in ramping up its domestic arms industry, something that had already started in the waning years of the Iran-Iraq war. The most cost effective weaponry were missiles and drones. These were cheap and they offered Iran offensive, as well as defensive, capabilities.

At the same time, Iran had quietly ramped up its nuclear research—adding more and more centrifuges and higher levels of enrichment. Although Iran was a signatory to the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons), it had not received all the peaceful assistance in nuclear technology that was promised under the treaty. Therefore Iran did not inform the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) of its nuclear activities, as was required. Having received little or no assistance for its nuclear program, under debilitating sanctions, isolated and surrounded by U.S. forces, Iranian officials felt that premature disclosure would result in an attack on their facilities.

Using Mujahedin-e-Khalq Manufacturing Enemies

After the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO) divulged Iran’s program in 2002, the question became was Iran working toward developing a bomb, nuclear breakout capability, or was it all peaceful? The U.S. ramped up sanctions on Iran even further. During the second Bush administration, financial sanctions took center stage, effectively cutting Iran off from the international financial system (SWIFT) and imposing serious penalties on any bank that engaged with Iran. Exports of anything that might help Iran’s nuclear program were also closely monitored. Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE pressed the U.S. to undermine and contain Iran at every turn.

Iran’s economy was hobbled as never before. Iran had severe shortages of medicines and essential medical and industrial equipment as ordinary Iranians suffered. While sanctions took a toll, Iran’s economy was mismanaged, and in my view, domestic mismanagement was as damaging as sanctions.

Israeli and Saudi lobbying against Iran was ramped up. In the case of Israel, it lobbied its allies in the U.S. Congress and in the media to isolate Iran, increase sanctions, engage in covert activities inside Iran and adopt a policy of regime change as the only long-term acceptable solution. Some even feared that the end goal was to dismember Iran into four or five parts, all of them too weak to pose any problem for Israel, Arabs, and the U.S.

The Obama administration feared Iran’s ramped-up nuclear efforts but was unwilling to attack Iran as Israel and some Persian Gulf Arabs advocated. The U.S. secretly began to negotiate with Iran through Oman’s auspices. These discussions culminated in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was also ratified by the UN Security Council. It was by no means a perfect agreement. It provided the most intrusive program of Iran’s nuclear activities for the U.S. and its allies, albeit with a sunset clause of ten years, the mothballing of Iran’s heavy water reactor, the handover of most of Iran’s enriched fuel (far from weapon-grade) and a limit on Iran’s enrichment program. For Iran, there was to be a lifting of sanctions—the unfreezing of Iranian assets, unobstructed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), access to international financial markets, and the flow of imports (except certain nuclear and military goods) and exports of goods and services. Iran was naïve in one very important respect—America’s concessions were reversible whereas many of Iran’s concessions were irreversible.

Iran kept its end of the bargain. America appeared to also keep its end but American companies and institutions, and indeed companies from other countries, did not jump in and embrace the deal. Iranians blamed the U.S. authorities but some banks and companies did not trust the United States to keep its word about lifting primary and secondary sanctions, namely, depending on future developments, the U.S. might penalize entities that had engaged Iran. All in all, Iran got some sanction relief but not all that it had been promised and expected.

The incoming Trump administration threw everything overboard. President Trump had close relations with Prime Minister Netanyahu and rich Gulf Arabs, with Saudi Arabia the first country he visited. Trump demanded limitations on Iran’s missile and drone programs, instituted new sanctions on Iran, was complicit in Israel’s sabotage of Iranian facilities and murder of Iranian scientists, most notably Iran’s top nuclear physicist. Then America withdrew from the JCPOA. And most notoriously, the United States assassinated General Soleimani, with Israeli complicity, inside Iraq. To save face, Iran had to retaliate, which it did by firing missiles at a U.S. base. Iran could still choose to extract proportional revenge for a man that many Iranians, pro and against the regime in Tehran, saw as a national hero who devoted his life to the defense of Iran in its darkest hours.

President Biden set about restoring the JCPOA. Iran, having kept its end of the bargain for one year even after Trump withdrew, is willing to fall into line with the JCPOA if all sanctions—sanctions that were lifted at the JCPOA signing as well as others imposed by Trump—are lifted and if the U.S. provides guarantees that it will not again withdraw as long as Iran keeps its commitments. The U.S. has been unwilling to lift all these sanctions, cannot provide the guarantees that Iran seeks, and wants to discuss Iran’s missile program and regional activities in support of Iran’s allies, which the U.S. argues are against U.S. interests. Discussions are continuing in Vienna.

Although the U.S. was more popular in Iran than in any Arab country for years after the Revolution, Trump’s actions toward Iran and the suffering of average Iranians have irreparably damaged this relationship. So where do we find ourselves? How will Iran-U.S. relations evolve?

While Iranian students sowed the seed for this conflict, the U.S. has shown little compassion toward the Iranian people. Sanctions on top of more sanctions have impoverished ordinary Iranians. Sadly, some Iranian ex-pats living in the West have championed Iran’s isolation and even endorsed military action to overthrow the regime for their own selfish ends. A principal factor fueling and prolonging Iran’s isolation has been anti-Iranian lobbying by Israel and its American surrogates and to a lesser extent by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their corporate backers in the West. This lobbying has turned the U.S. Congress so against Iran that it may take a generational turnaround to change U.S. policies. The propagation of anti-Iranian sentiments all over the U.S. media has “manufactured” Iran as enemy number one in the eyes of average Americans. The merciless Israeli and Arab lobbying has in turn boxed Iran in. Arab lobbying has made business relations more challenging, while Israeli lobbying has poisoned Iran’s political relations with the U.S. Iran feels threatened by U.S. forces and by Israeli adventurism that would in all likelihood be backed by the U.S. military. All-pervasive sanctions are tantamount to an act of war, as even trade embargoes have been historically viewed as such.

As Iran has been boxed in by the U.S., it has had little choice but to develop its military capabilities and alliances in the region to defend itself and to thwart would-be adversaries. At least in a conventional war, when it is over it is over. This adversarial relationship has gone on for over forty years with no end in sight. The future of Iran-U.S. relations is not bright, no matter what happens in the JCPOA negotiations in Vienna. U.S. presidents and other politicians do not dare oppose Israeli and Arab lobbies. The only ray of hope for better Iran-U.S. relations is for a strong U.S. President to tell Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE in no uncertain terms to cease their interference in U.S. foreign policy and for the U.S. to adopt policies that represent its long-term national interest. A broad businesslike relations with Iran, which can be better achieved without the interference of other countries, would undoubtedly serve U.S. interests.

Hossein Askari is Iran Professor Emeritus of International Business and International Affairs

Link to the source

Using Mujahedin-e-Khalq Manufacturing Enemies 

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Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy

Maryam Rajavi Enemy of DiplomacyAnne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Iran Interlink, November 08 2021:… The Mojahedin’s fake Twitter account ‘Heshmat Alavi’ has surfaced again. This time to attack Representative Ilhan Omar and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) advocacy group. The MEK (through the Heshmat Alavi account) accuses Omar of “appeasing” the Iranian regime by advocating for diplomacy over war as a policy aim. The MEK claims that former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is feeding her, through various individuals linked to NIAC, narratives that “push Iran’s talking points”. But Iran’s talking points are not hidden or obscure; ‘don’t threaten us, lift sanctions’ appears to be the nub of it. Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy . 

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Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy

By Anne Khodabandeh

Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy

The Mojahedin’s fake Twitter account ‘Heshmat Alavi’ has surfaced again. This time to attack Representative Ilhan Omar and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) advocacy group. The MEK (through the Heshmat Alavi account) accuses Omar of “appeasing” the Iranian regime by advocating for diplomacy over war as a policy aim. The MEK claims that former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is feeding her, through various individuals linked to NIAC, narratives that “push Iran’s talking points”. But Iran’s talking points are not hidden or obscure; ‘don’t threaten us, lift sanctions’ appears to be the nub of it.

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

In January 2020, when Joe Biden was sworn in as president, we warned that he must act swiftly to establish a diplomatic route to differentiate his administration from the Trump administration in relation to Iran. He failed to do any such thing and US policy toward Iran has not changed, it is all sticks and no carrots. But Iran is not the same country it was even two years ago. There is no sign that Iran wants or needs to engage with the US. President Raisi is looking eastward for allies and is ‘diplomatically’ ignoring the US in real terms. Calls for diplomacy are an acknowledgement of this new reality.

Initially, in 2020, the MEK tried to attach itself to the Democratic Biden administration. However, Biden has proven incapable of either making new policy or taking any decisive action on Iran. In response, the MEK recently hitched up with Mike Pence. An indication that the MEK’s backers believe the Republicans are still the safe bet in confronting Iran.

The Heshmat Alavi attack on Rep. Omar is characteristically wrong footed in that it completely fails to understand the irony of its own position. After what it believes to be a clever ‘whodunnit’ to join the dots of people Omar has been in contact with – all people who live out their professional lives in the full glare of public notice and accountability – Alavi demands that NIAC be investigated as a lobbying arm of the Iranian government.

Instead, the NCRI (aka MEK) should be investigated. In June BGR Group registered the NCRI (aka MEK) as a foreign principal (agent) in the USA. BGR Group was to provide public relations services for their annual conference. The document describes the NCRI as neither a state nor a political party, it claims instead to be a political organization acting as a “parliament-in-exile”. In section 10. The NCRI claims not to be owned, directed by, controlled by, financed by or subsidized in part by a foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign principal. This flies in the face of all available evidence that in fact the NCRI (aka MEK) has been funded and directed by a variety of the above, from Saddam Hussein to the Saudis, Israelis and elements in the US itself for decades.

There is only one reason why the MEK, through disinformation, character assassination and false accusations, would need to totally reject any move toward increasing diplomatic relations with Iran. That is because the very existence of this group depends on conflict, violence and enmity. Unfortunately for Maryam Rajavi, the world has moved on without her.

Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy 

Iran Interlink 

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MEK – From Fanatical Terrorists to Fanatical Followers

MEK – From Fanatical Terrorists to Fanatical FollowersAnne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Iran Interlink, October 14 2021:… Clearly, the MEK are no longer needed as a brand either for funding or fronting anti-Iran efforts. To make matters worse, in Albania, Maryam Rajavi is beset by internal dissatisfaction among the members. Whether as a reaction to losing political and monetary support or as a distraction to divert the attention of the member from her failures, she has resorted to one of her husband’s old tricks – shake up the leadership line up. MEK – From Fanatical Terrorists to Fanatical Followers 

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MEK – From Fanatical Terrorists to Fanatical Followers

By Anne Khodabandeh

MEK – From Fanatical Terrorists to Fanatical Followers

MEK – From Fanatical Terrorists to Fanatical Followers

Anne Khodabandeh Singleton Tirana Albania

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Experts and informed observers will be aware that over the past few months the MEK has been absent in public discourse regarding Iran. For a group which touts itself as the main opposition, this is nothing short of disaster. After being expelled from France three years ago and setting up her headquarters in Albania, Maryam Rajavi has worked hard to keep the MEK relevant. This meant continuing with the annual rallies in which paid speakers speak to rent-a-crowd audiences. Even though due to the COVID-19 crisis, even these events have been severely curtailed and forced online. It also meant accepting a new role for the MEK members in Albania. But, aside from the MEK slave members tapping and clicking into cyberspace, the MEK has been unable to make any breakthrough in the new political landscape concerning Iran.

The new president in America, Joe Biden, himself dithered and eventually failed to re-join the JCPOA and lift sanctions, in the process losing a key policy win. However, Iran also has a new president, Ebrahim Raisi, whose first foreign policy announcements defined Iran as looking toward its neighbours and beyond that, looking East. Usually, the MEK would slip itself between the two enemies. This time, Iran has turned its back and the MEK have simply fallen into the gulf and into obscurity. Much to the dismay of anti-Iran pundits, Iran’s newly appointed foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, met with many countries during the UN General Assembly – including the UK’s Liz Truss. The MEK were not able to stage any protest at the event.

In the past weeks, Maryam Rajavi has also failed to take any position about Iran, which for various reasons, political, social and economic has been in the news: Iran became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization;  the US agreed to withdraw combat troops from Iraq (something Iran’s leaders vowed to make happen after the illegal killing of general Soleimani, deputy commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and eight others); Iran’s naval commander highlighted the navy’s various successes; Iranian fuel successfully arrived in Lebanon to ease shortages there; Ali Landi, a 15-year-old boy who heroically rescued two women from a fire, died of severe burns; Iran’s women’s football team qualified for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup; Iran’s volleyball team beat Japan to win the 21st Asian Volleyball Championship. Maryam Rajavi and the MEK maintained complete silence over all this news, pretending none of it happened at all. Not even a word of criticism or scorn. Nothing. Just sliding rapidly into irrelevance.

Instead, the MEK personnel are being utilised behind the scenes. MEK members are being lined up to give witness testimony in a politicised court case in Sweden. The unstated aim of the trial is to dredge up events that took place three decades previously at the end of the Iran Iraq war in which political prisoners in Iran were executed. The defendant is accused of involvement in unlawful killings while Ebrahim Raisi was a judge in the trials. In this way, Raisi will be tarred with the same brush. But although this activity is straight out of the MEK playbook, this time the organisation is not being promoted. Indeed, it appears that efforts are being made to keep the toxic MEK/NCRI brand out of the reporting. Former MEK stooge, Struan Stevenson’s demand that Raisi be arrested does not mention the MEK, referring to one of its members in the UK only by his name. Even the Saudi backed Iran International TV fails to mention the MEK brand.

Clearly, the MEK are no longer needed as a brand either for funding or fronting anti-Iran efforts. To make matters worse, in Albania, Maryam Rajavi is beset by internal dissatisfaction among the members. Whether as a reaction to losing political and monetary support or as a distraction to divert the attention of the member from her failures, she has resorted to one of her husband’s old tricks – shake up the leadership line up.

Rajavi has introduced a profound change to the organisation of the MEK by appointing her own daughter and her niece to leadership roles. According to MEK expert, Massoud Khodabandeh, this effectively spells the end of the Rajavi Dynasty started by her husband Massoud Rajavi in the 1980s and replaces it with the beginnings of the Qajar Dynasty as members of her own family – Qajar-Azodanlu and her former husband, Mehdi Abrishamchi – are positioned to take control of the cult.

Significantly, several of the family and loyal aides recently promoted to lead the MEK, are French citizens. Unlike Rajavi herself, they will be able to move to Paris and restore the headquarters there. While there is no indication that the MEK will be able to resurrect its role as provocateur and mercenary force against Iran from Auvers-sur-Oise, it would surely be easier to take control of the vast personal wealth Rajavi has inherited from her husband through this change in personnel and location.

As the MEK appears destined to slide further into irrelevance and obscurity, we must ask what will become of the rank and file members languishing in Albania without hope or help. It cannot be that they continue to be exploited as modern slaves, without recourse to health or family. Hopefully, as the MEK’s role diminishes they will become more burdensome. In time, hopefully a short time, they may be dropped entirely and pushed out into the wider community. As for the leadership cadre, there is precedent for violent, destructive cults to fade into social cults. The Ismailis, who began with the Al Sabbah cult of assassins and are currently led by the Aga Khan, are a case in point. In time, the MEK will evolve from fanatical terrorists to fanatical followers. Followers without a struggle.

Using Mujahedin-e-Khalq Manufacturing Enemies 

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MEK celebrates its 57th anniversary as what?

MEK celebrates terrorism In AlbaniaAnne Khodabandeh (Singleton) , September 06 2021:… On 5th September the People’s Mojahedin e Khalq celebrated its 57th anniversary. But here’s a serious question: ‘As what?’ Is the MEK a terrorist group; a propaganda merchant; a mercenary militia group; a resistance movement; a liberation force; a democratic, feminist opposition group; a government in waiting? These are some of the descriptions attached to it by observers and by itself over its five-decade history. Sometimes it’s hard to pin down this chameleon like group. Just what, specifically, is the MEK? MEK celebrates its 56th anniversary 

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MEK Fanatical Terrorists celebrates its 57th anniversary as what?

Using Mujahedin-e-Khalq Manufacturing Enemies 

By Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) 

On 5th September the People’s Mojahedin e Khalq celebrated its 57th anniversary. But here’s a serious question: ‘As what?’ Is the MEK a terrorist group; a propaganda merchant; a mercenary militia group; a resistance movement; a liberation force; a democratic, feminist opposition group; a government in waiting?

These are some of the descriptions attached to it by observers and by itself over its five-decade history. Sometimes it’s hard to pin down this chameleon like group. Just what, specifically, is the MEK?

MEK celebrates terrorism In Albania

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton)

Until recently, the MEK kept company with extreme Neocons, Israeli Zionists and Saudis; John McCain, John Bolton, Rudi Giuliani, even Mike Pompeo headlined the MEK’s act. Basically, anybody who took an extreme anti-Iran stance and was prepared to embrace the MEK was welcomed as an ally. Money, of course, changed hands. With a new Democratic president in the US and a new Israeli prime minister, it remains to be seen which version of itself the MEK needs to publicly promote. Whatever that may be, its current attachments, loyalties and pay masters place the MEK at the very heart of what used to be described as American Imperialism.

So, the irony cannot be lost on us that the MEK of today purports to celebrate its 57th anniversary as an armed anti-Imperialist group. The MEK was created in response to the deadly oppression of the Shah and US Imperialism in Iran. The MEK’s founders believed that peaceful protest would not bring about the profound change needed to oust the Shah and his western backers and declared armed struggle. As part of this armed struggle, the MEK assassinated six American personnel in Iran and targeted western interests such as airline offices in Tehran with violent attacks.

After the 1979 revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini, the MEK declared victory over US Imperialism. Its newspaper declared its extremist stance: ‘Let’s Create Another Vietnam for America!’ In its first two decades, the MEK attracted militant youth, prepared to kill and die for this cause. Those who have survived from those days make up the majority of the current MEK membership. After the mid-1980s, MEK leader Massoud Rajavi converted the group into a personality cult, using sophisticated psychological manipulation techniques to brainwash current and new members into obeying his whims. At this point, the terms of struggle became irrelevant, as every member’s real struggle was to stay loyal to an increasingly autocratic and unhinged set of terms: divorce your spouse and send your children away in order to focus solely on my leadership. Avoiding punishment and shunning became the fundamental preoccupation of every member.

Today, five decades on, it is unclear now whether these radicalised (brainwashed) members are able to think and gain the perspective needed to assess their predicament. Which is, the organisation they joined and devoted their whole lives to is built on the shifting sands of political and financial expediency and the base cowardice of Massoud Rajavi. The MEK of today is almost the opposite of the one they joined. Its ideology has evaporated and been replaced by mercenary expediency in the service of American Imperialism. So, by all means, let them celebrate 57 years of the MEK’s existence. But defining what that existence means has become an impossible dissociative conundrum for each and every member.

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Maryam Rajavi Enemy of Diplomacy 

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