During the last two years a number of opinion pieces have appeared in The Hill against Iran. These articles serve the interests and are written by the members and affiliates of a terrorist group known as the Mujahedeen-Khalq Organization (MEK). This group goes by various other names such as PMOI and NCRI and has an elaborate set of front groups and astroturf operations designed to allow them to operate in the U.S. while they were designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. Department of State and to create the illusion that they are part of some larger network of groups who are loyal to them.
These articles contain too many falsehoods and fabrications to address in one response, however, they are aimed at tarnishing the image of Iran and attacking the ongoing efforts to reach a final status agreement regarding the nuclear issue. The prospect of peaceful diplomatic conflict resolution frustrates those like the MEK who thrive on global volatility and need conflict in order to convince countries and interests to consider them needed and look past who they are. These articles also seek to create the impression that they are popular inside Iran. Many have refuted this and the State Department called them a “repressive cult despised by most Iranians and Iraqis.”
This group’s decades’ long history of terrorism against Iranian civilians is well documented by many including government institutions like the State Department and media outlets around the world. This group conspired with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War even as Saddam was using Chemical weapons against Iranians and Kurds. They then became Saddam’s private militia and participated in the brutal suppression of the Kurds in the early1990s.
When the Washington Times recently wrote an article on them, the experts that the Times approached were unwilling to speak on the record. One told them that “it was unthinkable to speak openly against the NCRI because doing so would result in ‘death threats from this group.’”
Additionally, human rights groups have catalogues their cultic totalitarian disposition noting practices such as mandatory divorce so members can dedicate more time to the cause and their vast extrajudicial compound prison system.
This group only recently managed to have themselves removed from the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations after a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign, which the Rand Corporation characterized as “cultic practices” and “deceptive recruitment”; an effort that they continue today in The Hill. We understand that positions expressed in opinion articles published by The Hill do not necessarily represent those of the publishers, but we are confounded as to why your publication would make its coveted platform so routinely available to the propaganda of a terrorist cult or its bought off the rack series of front groups and shills.
The concept that this group would be capable of some sort of positive contribution to Iran’s future or U.S. policy towards Iran is greatly offensive to the Iranian people and the group’s many victims and their families.
Babaei is counselor and head of the Press Office for the Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the UN.