For years, the term “alternative” has been the most widely used term in the literature and propaganda of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ Cult of Rajavi) and its paid American sponsors. The claim of Being the alternative of the Islamic Republic, actually demonstrates Massoud Rajavi’s desire to replace the Iranian government with his cult of personality.
However, it is interesting to examine the term alternative in political literature and its consistency with the situation of MEK on political horizon of Iran. The issue can be examined from three aspects: first of all, the components necessary for an alternative to a political system. what capacities, potentials, abilities and practices should an alternative essentially have? Secondly, what capabilities the alternative to the Islamic Republic should have? Indeed, such an alternative has to hold certain components in order to answer the needs of people. Thirdly, Can the Cult of Rajavi basically be considered as an alternative?
The history of MEK
The history of MEK began in Iran in the 1960s. There are certain major phases in the half-a-century history of the Mujahedin Khalq, which affects almost all analyses and historiography about its background. The assassination of seven US military personnel and civilians working in Iran, during the 1970s mark the anti-American substance of the group since its establishment.
After the 1979 revolution in Iran and the breakout of Massoud Rajavi with the newly established government in Tehran, the most violent period of MEK history came out. 12 thousand assassinations were committed by MEK operatives all over the Iranian cities. Only a few of these terror attacks targeted political or military officials. The rest of the victims were innocent civilians including women and children.
The eighth-year war between Iran and Iraq, according to the vast majority of Iranian people signs the greatest honor of the nation for their defense against Saddam Hussein, known as one of the most hated enemy of the nation. Meanwhile, Saddam Hussein sheltered MEK in his territory from which MEK entered into a war against its own country fellow men. This was the like a suicide for MEK because it lost its last bases among the Iranian public.
The fourth weakening phase for the MEK was started by the leadership of Massoud Rajavi who turned the group into a cult of personality around himself. The cult-like system that he founded became a very proper system to violate the human rights of members.
The revelations made by defectors of MEK on forced divorce, sexual abuse, torture and murder inside the Cult of Rajavi, despite the leaders’ slogans of human rights, freedom, women’s rights and democracy, exposed the true nature of the group.
MEK’s popularity is unheard of
The group that claims to be the alternative to the Islamic Republic, does not enjoy any support among the Iranian population. Nor inside Iran neither in the Iranian diaspora. It has lost even the support of the few thousand members inside its camp in Albania – the majority of them do not dare to leave the group due to the suppressive cult-like system of the leadership. The MEK has no genuine support by the side of the enemies of the Iranian government. It is regularly considered as a bargaining chip or a proxy force in the ups and downs of the relations between Iran and the West.
Moreover, the other groups that oppose the Islamic Republic, despite all the fundamental and radical differences share one viewpoint: staying away from MEK. All opposition groups against Iran, believe that essentially any trace of the name of MEK, with its hefty criminal record, will bring any opposition and protest to complete failure.
The internal atmosphere of the MEK is not so different from the level of popularity of the group in the Iranian community. To this day, the MEK has been able to maintain a few thousands of members as hostages in its headquarters in France and Albania, using physical constraints, control of thought, intimidation and other cult-like practices.
The high rate of defection from the group in recent years show that if the door of the headquarters — the jails of MEK—gets open to the free world members will leave the group, except for the criminal heads and perhaps some old men and women who do not have anywhere to go. No one is willing to stay in a system that oppresses its members day and night.
MEK does not really have the very two to three thousand members in Albania and cannot count on their capacity. It had to resort to street beggars and homeless people, as well as students of foreign countries to show off its gatherings as crowded by the rented crowd.
Forces that are still forcibly kept inside the group do not know anything about the free world, the world of information and technological advances and eventually, the truth of the Iranian political and social situation.
This Ignorance makes MEK uninfluential in the Iranian community. The majority of members of MEK are just as militant forces who do not have the necessary creativity for activity in cyberspace, social networks. They are not even able to produce a poster and slogan compatible to the Iranian society.
In fact, they stumbled and stopped at the very time of the 1980s when they were involved in a bloody clash with Iran and they lost the last chance to live free. Then, they went to Camp Ashraf, Iraq to donate their life to Rajavi.
Finally, it should be noted that the Cult of Rajavi does not have any clues of being able to be considered as an alternative to the Islamic Republic of Iran and generally, any other political system. It is not even categorized as an opposition group. MEK is definitely a destructive cult with a long history of terrorist acts that does not embrace the characteristics of an opposition group. MEK has never behaved like an opposition. Instead of relying on its own nation, it has always tried to bank on the enemies the Iranian nation, such as Iraq, during the Saddam Hussein’s era, the United States and the Zionist regime.