PMOI is no democratic group

I was most surprise to see an article written by former Algerian prime minister Sid Ahmed Ghozali, ‘Giving Olive Branches to Iran won’t bring Middle East Peace’ (8-14 March)

I fing it hard to believe that the respected ex-foreign and prime minister of a country should know so little about an extremist group such as the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) and yet speak in such a critical tone about the EU’s policy on Iran, and even go as far as to advocate that the Union should support PMOI.

Ghozali calls the PMOI ‘the principal Iranian resistance movement’ and then astonishingly refers to it as a ‘democratic, anti-fundamentalist, modern Islamic organisation’. The respected former prime minister even goes as far as suggesting that the EU should take a ‘bold initiative’ to support this group and let it move Iran away from oppression. This would really be the frying pan scenario.

How could anyone with obviously so little information on the subject insult not only the EU foreign policy-makers with such an ill-informed analysis but also insult the Iranian nation by advocating PMOI to lead them to freedom?

I suggest perhaps that Ghozali should need two publications on the subject to find out about some of the activities of this so-called democratic movement. The first is ‘The Iranian Mujahedin’, a book by Professor Ervand Abrahamian who spent several years researching the group. The second is a book called ‘Masoud’ published by Saqi books and written by Masoud Banisadr who was one of the leading insider members of the group for over 15 years but in the end had no choice but to defect. He has written a vivid account of his harrowing experience inside the PMOI and given details of how this highly authoritarian extremist group operates.

Either of those publications should be sufficient to convince Ghozali to review his advocacy.


Massoumeh Torfeh



EUROPEAN VOICE –  Massoumeh Torfeh,London – March,2007

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