“Mercenary” is one of the most repeated words in the propaganda media of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MEK/ MKO/ PMOI/ Cult of Rajavi) and its leaders’ speeches. Analyzing the content of their arguments, one will find out that the connotation of the term “mercenary” includes anyone who criticizes, challenges or opposes the group’s attitudes. This is more clearly demonstrated in the group’s Persian-language propaganda.
As said by the MEK authorities, mercenary is a person who does not agree with them. Thus, this is the list of those who are considered mercenary by the MEK criteria: officials of the Iranian government, the Iranian people who hate MEK, members of the group who want to leave it or who have already left it, journalists, academics and politicians who have investigated the group and families of members who have appealed the human rights bodies and the Albanian government to help them contact their loved ones in the MEK camps.
Who is really a mercenary?
According to the dictionary definitions, a mercenary is “one that serves merely for wages”. A mercenary, sometimes known as a soldier of fortune, is an individual who takes part in military conflict for personal profit, is otherwise an outsider to the conflict, and is not a member of any other official military. Mercenaries fight for money or other forms of payment rather than for political or ideological interests.
In the majority of cases, they are privately trained protection personnel motivated by financial gain, or, as in certain instances, professional soldiers hired to serve in a foreign army or militia, such as the French Foreign Legion. Unlike volunteers or conscripts, they have no political, religious or cultural affiliation to their employer and are simply offering their expertise on a professional basis just for monetary pay.
Two of the people who have recently labeled by the MEK propaganda as Iranian mercenaries are Dr. Olsi Jazexhi, the Albanian Canadian historian who is interested in the cases of families of the MEK members in the group’s camp in Albania and Gjergji Thanasi, a journalist who pursues the case of MEK’s illegal activities in the Albanian territory. Dr. Jazexhi has made efforts to voice the complications against families’ desire to visit their loved ones in the MEK.
Nevertheless, Jazexhi and Thanasi published a video to respond the MEK’s allegations. They covered each and every detail of the MEK-fabricated article against them. “First, neither I nor Gjergji Thanasi are paid by the Iranian regime and no other regime to insult and slander against the MEK,” Jazexhi said. “Gjergji and I are not mercenaries like the MEK. For this we challenge the MEK and those behind it to prove their slander against us. We are ready that just like Mr. Thanasi who is facing trials with the mujahideen command that has made him an agent – so that I too can face to the end, in trials and police with these murderers and traitors of their country to prove their accusations against us. I have challenged Maryam Rajavi for a debate but so far she remains hidden and afraid of a public debate on their activity in Albania.”
In contrast, Dr. Jazexhi revealed some individuals who were paid by the MEK to denounce the efforts of him and Mr. Thanasi. “Second, after an internet search I learned that the name of the actor Erdit Asllanaj was used by MEK to write the article against us,” he says. “Actor Erdit Asllanaj who was contacted by me denied the authorship of the article. The article I am responding to may have been written by Maryam Rajavi, her first husband Mehdi Abrishamci, her second husband if Massoud Rajavi is alive, the bloodthirsty commanders Ferid Mahouchi or Ferid Tutunci, Behzad Safari, Jilla Deyhim, Ahmet Taba or any other jihadist who takes refuge in the Manza camp or even any Albanian mercenary paid by them.”
Jazexhi was accused by the MEK that he has confirmed that he is receiving money from the Iranian government. “In none of my videos do I admit that the Iranian regime pays us,” he replies. “We are not like the paid MEK mercenaries in Albania. But we have been paid hotel and plane tickets by Iranian non-governmental organizations which have invited us, invite us and will invite us to the numerous conferences they organize. We are proud to be invited to Iran and for this we will not get permission from Iranian terrorists and we will go to Iran until Maryam Rajavi goes crazy. Thankfully we are free citizens and not hostages in the Ashraf camp in Manza.”
The MEK propaganda keeps on attacking the two Albanian activists as henchmen of the Iranian leaders. Dr. Jazexhi clarifies that in a democracy one can criticize others based on facts and investigations. “We criticize the MEK but also the Albanian government without order. We are not mercenaries like the MEK is,” he states. “Our criticism of the MEK is based on facts and Albanian legislation and for the good of our people.”
It is clear that none of these two Albanian citizens have committed crimes against the MEK and their Albanian countrymen. No antinational charges have been filed against them by the Albanian government. Contrarily, the MEK is still under criminal charges. Gareth Porter the American investigative journalist, has once more covered the “MEK-Israel role in the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist”. The MEK propaganda may not be able to accuse Porter of being the mercenary of the Islamic Republic because his sources are quiet reliable.
Porter has from time to time published articles stating that the Israel intelligence service has fabricated documents on the Iranian nuclear program and then handed it to the MEK to justify the assassination of at least six Iranian scientists. Porter suggests that the recent assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an official of the Iranian defense ministry is also the outcome of an MEK-Israel teamwork.
According to Porter’s recent article, “in their 2012 history of Israel’s intelligence service, “Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service”, Michael Bar-Zohar and Nisham Mishal pointed to Mossad as the culprit behind the appearance of the supposed Iranian nuclear documents. The writers recounted how Mossad gathered the personal information on Fakhrizadeh that was later released to the public through the MEK, including his passport number and his home telephone number.”
“This abundance of detail and means of transmission,” Bar-Zohar and Mishal wrote, “leads one to believe that… ‘a certain secret service’ ever suspected by the West of pursuing its own agenda, painstakingly collected these facts and figures about the Iranian scientist and passed them on to the Iranian resistance [MEK].” Porter asserts that this is “a pattern of assassinations justified by disinformation”.
Does the MEK help destabilize Iran for free?
Remember that the MEK was in the first place “Saddam’s Private Army” –the title of a book on the MEK written by a former member of the group, Ann Singleton. The MEK was literally paid hefty amounts of dollars for fighting for the Iraqi dictator against Iranian border as well as Iraqi Kurdish and Shiite protesters although it was an outsider to the conflict. After the collapse of Saddam Hussein in 2003, as it was revealed, it did not take the MEK so long time to turn into Israel’s operating arm in the terrorist attacks against Iranian scientists.
The expenses of maintaining thousands of members in the group’s camp in Albania and those large amounts of fees they pay their western supporters to speak on behalf of them, require the MEK leaders to work harder as mercenaries. To all those facts on MEK’s mercenary work, you may want to add the allegations about trucks of gold bars and Rolex watches that were donated to the group by Saudi Arabia.