A Report from “A Description of the History of MOJAHEDIN KHALGH of Iran and Its Stand Point” Written by Ahmad Reza Karimi, one of the Previous Members of the Organization”. It deals with its
origins and Alteration
The recently published book "A brief history of Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization and its policies" is originally the personal notes of Ahmad Reza Karimi, one of the former members of the organization, written in 1984 (1364 solar Islamic year ). The author has tried to trace the incidents from the starting days of foundation through all later phases of change. Detailed and interesting information has been referred to in this text, useful to come to know the organization.
Ahmad Reza Karimi had some organizational and non-organizational contacts with a number of members of MKO between 1968 -1971 (1348 and 1351 solar Islamic year). He founded a new group along with an Iraqi student in the summer of 1351. His group was discovered by SAWAK in the beginnings of 1972 (1352 solar Islamic year). , he, then, took part in a TV interview show. From that time, he was accused of cooperation with the regime. In the initial months of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he was imprisoned where he spent a couple of months with Mohammad Taqi Shahram. For a while, one of his fellow inmates was Dr. Ali Shari’ati. After quitting his cell, he wrote a 30-page report on him by SAWAK order.
It is worth mentioning that karimi had spent his teenage and youth days in Qom, so topics related to Qom are here reflected. After the revolution, he remained in prison until 1365 but nothing is known about him after freedom.
In the opening section of the book, the author discusses the way the organization came into existence. He asserts that after some years of debate and discussion among a number of educated, believing Muslims in the early years of 1940 (1320 decade solar Islamic year). , the main people involved -Muhammad Hanifnejad, Saeed Mushin and Abdi NikBin, came to the conclusion that peaceful struggle was futile and only an armed struggle inside a modern and ideological frame and having a powerful and strategic leadership would serve the purpose.
"In the fall of 1967 (1347 solar Islamic year) in a session held in Tabriz, the organization was founded. The founders were the aforementioned three (the organization omitted the name of NikBin and in its propaganda named Ali Asghar Badi-zadegan as the third co-founder: because he had been previously executed, had taught in university and was well-known. Despite the fact that Badi-zadegan’s membership was more recent than Rohani and Mihandoost. They declared their foundation date as 1344 not the real date of 1345 to seem older than the Jazani group who was the initial core of Cherik’hay-e Fadaiy-e Khalq Organization.)
The prominent figures of Tabriz session were:
1. Muhammad Hanifnejad (one of the co-founders of MKO)
2. Saeed Mushin (one of the co-founders of MKO)
3. Abdi NikBin (one of the co-founders of MKO)
4. Hussein Ahmad Rohani (from the head-office members) whose personal notes by the name of "The MKo" has recently been published by the Centre for Publication of Islamic Revolution Documents.
5. Ali Mihandoost
6. Naser Sadeq
7. Torab Haqshenas
8. Abdolrasool Meshkinfam
9. Muhammad Bazargani
10. Bahman Bazargani
11. Ali Bakeri
12. Mahmud Askarzadeh
13. Ali Asghar Badi-zadegan (who later as was explained was declared as one of the co-founders)
The organization had initially not been named and only in 1970 (1350 solar Islamic year) and in prison was named "Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization" (1)
Throughout the book, the author has referred in several places to the ideology, organization, internal and external ties and the operations against the regime as well as SAWAK offensives against it. (2) In his personal notes, Ahmad Reza Karimi describes the different phases of ideological transformation of the organization, "to instill the Marxist ideology in the minds of the people, interesting phases were needed, some samples are mentioned in here:
The first phase, brainwashing:
In the first phase, the Marxist leader of the session would very subtlety start to slacken the religious sensitivities of the group members, for instance after the end of a session, he might have told that he had not said his prayers and after some repetitions of this he made the members ask for an explanation ; his possible answer could be his occupation with other good deeds and performing the prayer at a later time for compensation … throughout, the pamphlet of "what is translation?" written by NikBin in 1346 were interpreted by the leader. In the part that were intended for discussion it is a said that "self-correction is good to the extent that it does not block the path of struggle". Prayers and fasting were mentioned as the examples of self-correcting acts. As a result in 1962 – 1973 (1342 and 1353 solar Islamic year )., the majority of the religious members did not fast by the order of their chief for the excuse that they would lose the energy for fighting….in the final stage, the religious member would have become indifferent to performance of rituals and practical worships.
The second phase, cutting the religious teachings:
Asserting that in general, the members had accepted Islam, Quran and Nahjul-Balagha but their weakness was unawareness of the revolutionary texts, the religious teachings gradually diminished.
The third phase, replacement by Marxist texts:
Simultaneously with cutting the religious teachings, Marxist texts occupied more of the teaching materials. In this phase, the teachings were focused on Lenin’s work "what must we do", Stalin’s "the brief history of communist party of USSR" and also Stalin’s "Leninism subjects".
The Fourth Phase, Shedding Doubts by green pamphlets:
From the earliest days of the fall of1972 (1352 solar Islamic year) Taqi Shahram brought up questions and brief answers in his article published in the organizations internal publications. By this he intended to destroy the religious base of the organization.
The Fifth Phase, Declaration of Marxism:
After all these phases and observing the potential inclinations of the member, the chief informed them that organization had become Marxist and they had to make their mind about it. The result was evident, in almost all cases; all the members would accept it." (3)
In page 97 of the book, Karimi points out that:
"From 1972 (1352 solar Islamic year), the time that the Marxist Taqi Shahram entered the head-office, he started to change the mixture of Marxist ideology and religious references of the organization to a total and pure Marxism. Therefore, the theory that says he had done a coup is irrelevant. The ideological basis of the organization was in essence Marxism but with a make up of Islam. Taqi Shahram cleaned this superficial enamel of religion."
In another part of the book, the author mentions the meeting of some of the members with three of the clergy (the late Ayatollah Taleqani, the late Lahooti and Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani). There they informed them of their new stances. In connection with the meeting with Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani, he has written:
"Bahram Aram met with Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani in the house of Haj Mehdi Ghayooran and informed him of this ideological shift. Hashemi Rafsanjani gave a negative response for their support continuation… after the arrest of Vahid [Afrakhteh] and the return of Mr. Rafsanjani from abroad, he was arrested.
Another important point in connection to these matters is Vahid [Afrakhteh]’s confessionary comments about the late Martyr Beheshti: in his private report t Taqi Shahram, Vahid’s last line is that the band of Shahram wanted to assassinate Dr. Beheshti in 1974 (1354 solar Islamic year). (probably because they saw him as the reason of the opposition of the clerics). I saw this confession in the dossier of Taqi Shahram in 1979 (1359 solar Islamic year); unfortunately it was not taken serious. Finally, the assassination plot drawn up by the head-office of 1974 (1354 solar Islamic year) was put into action in the July 1981(7th of Tir of 1360 solar Islamic year) by the head-office of that time. (5)
Elsewhere in the book, the author cites the unlawful male-female relations and organizational marriages:
"The MKO was originally in 1967 (in 1347 until 1351 solar Islamic year) a male’s organization and had no female elements. The need for safe houses with good covering made the organization decision makers use women and girls. The first members could be the relatives of the executed and imprisoned members…in that time Reza Rezayi had two marriages inside the organization which was the start of moral corruption: his first marriage with Leyla Zomorrodiyan (the next wife of Sharif Vaqefi) and the second marriage with Simin Salehi who had not even officially divorced his husband after going into hiding… some of the women and girls had the least political and organizational dispositions and were only kept as a coverage for safe houses and for sexual exploitation. (An element like Leyla Zomorrodiyan who after Reza Rezayi and Sharif Vaqefi as her husbands, became for a short while the spouse of Taqi Shahram and then by changing her safe houses changed her husbands is a tell-tale example)
…the sexual monopolism of the leaders of the organization was another consequence of this corruption. Taqi Shahram had five wives in the time of his activities… other consequences of this moral corruption of the organization were sexually-motivated suicides resulting from sexual and moral repressions". (6)
"Intra-organizational crimes" is another part of Ahmad Reza Karimi’s book where he explains the assassinations inside the organization for organizational settlement of accounts. The cases mentioned are the assassination of Javad Saeedi October 1972 (Mehr of 1352 solar Islamic year), Majid Sharif Vaqefi may 1974 (Ordibehesht 1354 solar Islamic year), failed attempt to kill Morteza SamadiyeLabbaf may 1974 (Ordibehesht 1354), assassination of Hassan Hasanan July 1974 (the last days of Ordibehesht or first days of Khordad 1354), assassination of Ali MirzajafarA’llaf fall 1974(fall 1354) solar Islamic year) and the murders of Muhammad Yaqini, Raf’at Afraz and Mahboobeh Afraz. (7)
Majid Sharif Vaqefi who was assassinated after the ideological shift of the organization (the Sharif University of Technology has been named after this Martyr).
In the nest section, the reasons of organization’s tendency to Marxism through the leadership and the deviation of the organization1974 (until 1354 solar Islamic year) have been elaborated. (8)
Counterfeiting SAWAK documents by the MKO in the first days of revolution, collaboration of some members with SAWAK, the complete list of the individuals’ names in analytical-pedagogical books, the explanations of Shahram’s bands for the change of ideology, ideological war and its different phases, resistances, troubles and impediments, and reasons behind the disillusionment of the members and their membership in other groups in pre- and post-revolution era, and other chapter-heads are included in Ahmad Reza Karimi’s book.
Also, the MKO’s stances and views on Imperialism bloc (US and …), Socialist bloc (USSR and …), China, Iraq and the Baath, right wing and left wing organizations, the clergy, Imam Khomeini, controllable classes of the society, war with Iraq, Dr. Shari’ati…have been treated and in the final part, the reasons behind MKO’s inclination towards the imperialism bloc is mentioned:
"Every power-seeking movement or individual creates ties with foreign powers to achieve its temporary aims…because of the anti-imperial atmosphere of the post-revolution era, in a period of its reshaping, MKO created connections with intelligence USSR. From 1981(1360 solar Islamic year), when on one hand the USSR were not able to publicly oppose the Islamic Revolution and on the other hand, the western powers like US and France had focused their subversive efforts against the government in Iran, they found the prepared ground in cooperation with the west. Another important point is their loss of ground inside the country which led to their tendency to seek help foreign aid for gaining power. The tactical silence of the eastern social bloc to oppose Iran facilitated their connection with the west. The collection of political movements in the west which supported this organization is dependent on Zionist circles that have been in charge of all efforts against the Islamic regime from the first days. From their point of view MKO is a probable alternative and a good puppet for the maintenance of their long-term interests. Particularly when they make Rajavi an infallible Imam and like all unreal Mahdis, they have a far-sighted vision in their makings. (9)
1. P. 11
2. Pp. 12-44
3. P. 44
4. P. 97
5. P. 74
6. P. 92
7. P. 94
8. P. 96
9. P. 133