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What is the point of Maryam Rajavi

Maryam Rajavi

Three decades ago in 1993, Maryam Rajavi was appointed ‘president elect’ of a free Iran as envisioned by her husband Massoud Rajavi. In a once only election, in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, with Maryam as the only candidate, the electorate – members of the Council of the National Council of Resistance (a pseudonym for the Mojahedin e Khalq) – voted for her unanimously. Turnout was 100%. She has ruled over the members ever since without even a whiff of democratic due process.

The point of Maryam Rajavi back then was to create a feminist brand that would win political support in the west among Iran’s enemies. Massoud Rajavi sent her to France to perform this specific task. Of course, putting aside their diverse politics, we have many examples of strong female leadership. In opposition, Marine Le Pen is a tough, capable woman, able to command attention and attract a substantial following, while withstanding harsh criticism. (Maryam Rajavi treats all criticism as an existential threat.) Jacinda Adern has demonstrated that it is possible to have a baby and lead a country. (Maryam Rajavi presided over forced hysterectomies among the female leadership cadre due to her husband’s whim to have sex with them.)

Over three decades Maryam Rajavi has proven incapable of commanding attention or support. The MEK as an entity has certainly been a useful tool for the anti-Iran crowd. But this was not Rajavi’s doing, rather the MEK simply amplified the agenda, narrative and messaging which already existed. The MEK added to the cacophony of noise rather than create or conduct it.

For three decades the MEK has had to pay for audiences and speakers alike to attend ever more lavish carnival-like rallies to showcase Maryam Rajavi’s ‘leadership’. Year on year under her rule, the MEK has become more and more toxic and indefensible. To the point that now Maryam Rajavi has become persona non grata in exactly those countries she tried to woo. The USA has never allowed her into the country. The UK, allowed her one short visit in 1996. France, under the pressure of a CIA brokered deal (certainly there will be traces of Donald Rumsfeld in this murky deal), was forced to host her and her cult until, in 2018, Rajavi was forced out of the EU and exiled to Albania.
This year, from her headquarters in Albania, Maryam Rajavi will again front this annual event. This time a virtual event due to coronavirus restrictions. One development, however, is that MEK have hired lobbying firm BGR Group in Washington with a $40,000 contract to put on the event. There are several takeaways from this.

The MEK is so reduced and depleted of supporters that it does not have the capacity to organise this itself.

The MEK still has lots of money. Foreign money. (Although the MEK is perennially coy about the source of its funding, the words ‘Saudi Arabia’ and ‘finance’ and ‘MEK’ are frequently used in the same sentence.) BGR Group is promoting a foreign group using foreign money to influence American foreign policy. Well, at least it’s registered.

The bipartisan speaker list may give the appearance of US support, but these are paid speakers, not affiliates. Not one Iranian will be allowed on the stage with Maryam Rajavi. This is not only due to the fact that no Iranian would be willing to be associated with the blood soaked Rajavi brand. The exclusion of Iranian speakers is down to the impossibility of Rajavi presenting as the head of a political group when she is actually the sole leader of a cult, every one of which’s members exists in a state of modern slavery.

As the theme for her rally, Maryam Rajavi has instructed BGR Group to focus on Iran’s newly elected president Ebrahim Raisi. Not, as the leader of an opposition group, to challenge his present-day policies, but to question his role in events which took place in 1988 at the end of the Iran-Iraq war. Rajavi had three decades to pursue this line of enquiry in her role as ‘president elect’. She didn’t. Perhaps it’s only now that Raisi is the real president of Iran that reality has hit home. That reality is that there is not much point to Maryam Rajavi. She does not lead anyone except her own enslaved followers in Albania. She cannot command respect and attention among even the most virulent of Iran’s enemies and has to pay people to attend and speak at her self-promoting events. We cannot fault BGR Group. It’s what they do. But everyone else who is not being paid by Rajavi is entitled to ask: Really, what’s the point of Maryam Rajavi?

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