Shortly after the cease-fire between Iran and Iraq, in July 1988, Mujahedin-e Khalq terrorist group armed and equipped by executed Iraqi dictator gathered all its members across Europe in Iraq and conducted a military offensive on the Western Iranian borders.
Masood Rajavi left France on a private plane for Iraq on June 7th, 1986. An Iraqi delegation headed by “Taha Yasin Ramadan” the vice prime minister welcomed Rajavi at the airport on behalf of the Iraqi president. Mujahedin-e Khalq believed in this move as follow: in a situation where different imperialism conspiracies are taking place against the armed resistance of the people of Iran, and fears of the shaken and dying regime of Iran is reaching its climax of Masood Rajavi and his new revolution, moving from France to the borders of Iran which is the last step for Rajavi to take before entering the country, is congratulated to all his followers. A day before his flight, Rajavi stated on a videotape:
If I don’t go tomorrow, the day after tomorrow might be too late. Not only for myself but for the people resistance, people in the chain and incarcerated in the country.
After settling where he was supposed to be staying, he started meeting Iraqi officials. 8 days later on June 15, 1986, he met Saddam Hussein. At this time terrorist activities of MKO continued in border cities of Iran.
The Liberation Army
On July 8th, 1987, Rajavi met the Iraqi dictator again; at this meeting, Saddam congratulated Rajavi on the foundation of the national liberation army. Reciprocally Rajavi congratulated Sadaam on the National Day of Iraq and celebrations of the July 30th day.
At this time once a while we heard a meeting taking place between Rajavi and Saddam.
The liberation army was founded on June 20th, 1987 after receiving huge support either in form of cash or military assistants from the Iraqi government. In a short time, the alleged army started attacking Iranian border cities on large scale.
On Monday, July 18th, 1988 at 2 p.m. the radio of the Islamic Republic of Iran broadcasted news as follows:
The Islamic Republic of Iran has officially accepted resolution # 598 in a message delivered to the general secretary of the United Nations in order to establish peace and security in the region.
Two days after this news, Imam Khomeini (peace be upon him) in a detailed statement on the anniversary day of the massacre of the Iranian pilgrims in Mecca appreciated all those who fought to defend this country. He continued his remarks by saying that at this time, I see accepting the resolution in the interest of the revolution and the country.
Accepting the resolution, had widespread reactions, domestically and internationally. Some countries, like Iraq, regarded this event as a new tactic. When the cease-fire was accepted by Iran, a very serious situation was created for MKO. They had a very good understanding of Saddam, they knew that Saddam might make a deal on them any moment and turn them into the government of Iran; in another hand, MKO had planned all their politic and their existence upon the continuation of the war, and they never anticipated a cease-fire.
Therefore they did not see any other way except to intensify the war or at least keep the war going on. After our Islamic country was attacked by the Iraqis and the temporary withdrawal of our fighters, MKOs thought that accepting the U.N resolution was due to the separation of the government and people. They were trying to take advantage of the situation to achieve their ugly goals.
By gathering some people from the counter-revolutionary groups in different parts of Europe, and by all military equipment that they received a gift from Saddam, the MKO put a force of 15000 people together. They started their attacks from the strait of Patagh in the west of the country against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Members of this group, who up to now had a comfortable life in the west, were drawn into the war because of the MKO propaganda and excessive financial aids from the U.S. and Iraqi government and in the hope of conquering Tehran in 3 days. Saddam ordered the Iraqi army to provide the most modern military equipment which was recently purchased, at their disposal. Therefore, they attacked Iran by using new and the most modern equipment.
The Iraqi air force, by providing preliminary supports encouraged them to enter deep into Iran and ultimately conquer Tehran. By this doom alliance, a wide section of our Islamic country was attacked.
MKO was able to conquer the city of Kerend in the early stages of its advancement. So happy with this victory, they tried to reach the city of Islam Abad, they faced little resistance and finally conquered Islam Abad as well. 4 days after accepting the United Resolution # 598 by Iran, on Friday, July 23rd, 1988, Iraqis started widespread attacks against Iranian positions in the south and advanced to a point, 30 km away from Khoramshahr. Their intention was to capture more territory and prisoners from Iran so they could use them as a bargaining tool with Iran in the future.
Khoramshahr was about to fall again because in light of accepting the U.N resolution, all forces were evacuated and the city was in fact defenseless. At this time Imam Khomeini (PBU) sent a message to all military commanders, asking them to prevent the enemy from taking over the city at any price.
Following the broadcast of the message, a huge number of volunteer militias, who were dismayed by accepting the Resolution, made themselves available at Khoramshahr and forced the enemy to withdraw back to the borderlines.
On July 25th, 1988 at 2:30 pm, few members of the MKO who had fled to Iraq and with the supports that they received from Saddam and heavy & light equipment that they received from the United States started invading Kermanshah in the west. This happened when the army was busy in the south and neglected the west. In a short time, they passed the strait of Patagh and entered into Iranian territory. They conquered the cities of “Sare Pole Zahab” and west Kerend. They stayed in Islam Shahr for the first night and killed a lot of inhabitants of that city. They even killed people who were injured in hospitals, it is interesting to know that they killed even their own relatives, Masood Rajavi, while riding in a Bullett Proof car, accompanied the group which consisted of 15000 men, women and children.
MKO commanders believed that Iran’s military is disintegrated and is very vulnerable, and only one shock will topple the Islamic Republic. MKO prepared their military plan in 24 hours, unveiled their plan in a meeting on July 22nd, 1988, and called their operation “Forough-e Javidan” which means an immortal light. Masood Rajavi concluded in that meeting that the internal situation of the country was very fragile and will have his next meeting in the Azadi square in Tehran.
MKO was very happy with their preliminary victories and in a hurried decision, they decided to move toward Kermanshah In form of a column from Islamshahr. They thought that people would join them on the way towards Tehran. They thought that they could form new regiments of people and each of their members could lead the regiment. They thought that they could prepare the foundation for the regime to topple. Radio MKO started sending messages to the people of Kermanshah, asking them to join them and prepare the city for their arrival.
In the morning of July 27th, 1988, the Iranian army started the operation of Mersad with the code name “Ya Ali – Ebne – Abitaleb” (AS).
MKO, who were happy of not facing any resistance on their way, suddenly faced themselves in an Inferno of bombs which were falling on them from air and land. It did not take a long time to see the Kermanshah – Islamabad road piled up by burned equipment which was given to the MKO by the west as a gift. Few people who succeeded to save their lives escaped to the villages nearby, some other decided to take their lives by taking cyanide tablets. When the operation ended, both sides of the road were piled up with bodies of thousands of men and women whose hands were stained with the blood of their own countrymen.
The Islamic fighters suddenly closed the road 34 km away from Islam Abad. Heavy fighting took place on that artery.
The anti-tank division of the military in an outrageous action destroyed many tanks of the MKO. The Islam Abad, Kermanshah artery was filled with many burned equipment at early stages.
The actions of the Islamic fighters shattered all dreams of MKOs. MKO’s had no choice but to withdraw and pull back to Islamshahr. The city was surrounded by following the enemy.
MKO had no choice but to escape the city in order to save their lives. The Islamic fighters, by using air force and helicopter, blocked the roads on MKOs on Karand and strait of Pathgh and cut their communications. On July 28th, 1988 the Islamic fighters advanced towards predetermined targets. The air force sharp flyers and heavy bombardment left no opportunity for the Iraqi air force to get engaged… As the result, in the same afternoon, the city of Islam Abad was cleared of the MKO.
One of the particular characteristics of this operation was that, not only the Iranian people didn’t welcome MKO but also resisted their invasion as well. In addition, all political parties, groups, figures who are in opposition to the government of Iran and are based outside Iran, condemned the action of Masood Rajavi and other leaders of MKO in sending thousands of people to be killed in Forough Javidan Operation.
London Kayhan, an opposition Newspaper in London in an article from a reader wrote;
I watched the BBC news, I am so angry, my message is this that we should not keep quiet in dealing with traitors like MKOs, and MKO in collaboration with Iraqis invaded our country. We are sitting and watching.
Summary of the Operation
What was destroyed by the enemy?
Over 120 tanks
90 cannons 80 mm
150 cannons 60 mm
30 cannons 106 mm
Regiments of the Enemy
Over 20 units of joint cooperation of Iraqis and MKO
Spoils of War
Tens of Tanks and Transporter
Tens of Automobile
Advanced communication equipment
Electronic Equipment and Internal documents
MKO listed 1274 people killed in the Forough Javidan Operation. Among them were 5 members of the executive group who each led one military regiment, and 11 members of the executive group of the organization.
According to these findings, 1100, MKO got injured in the operation as well.
The damage sustained by the MKO based on their own assertion was as follow:
612 different types of vehicles
21 cannons 122 mm
51 rifles 106 mm
52 U.S. senators, few days before this operation, wrote a letter to the U.S. secretary of state, at the time, George Schultz, telling him that the United States must support MKO who are based in Iraq and use them at maximum to overthrow the government in Tehran.
Senator Mervin Daimly who strongly insisted on overthrowing the Islamic Republic government took part in MKO meetings and took a very heated position in favor of them on June 27th, 1988, senator Daimly took part in the MKO demonstration in Washington D.C. as well.
He told the audience that “We should not give up, we will be marching from Mehran to Tehran very soon if we try a little harder”
In this operation, Rajavi ordered to kill Ali Zarkash one of the persons in charge of the organization who recently had disobeyed his orders.
He was killed from behind by one of the officers of Rajavi. It was portrayed as he was killed by the government army. They even arranged special seven-day traditional mourning services for him.
MKO lost quite a few of those good members in that operation. Among people who got killed in the MKO side, were few foreign nationals – mostly because they married Iranians and accompanied their spouse in the operation.
After Imam Khomeini (PBU), passed away, Rajavi performed few combat maneuvers in Iraq. He tried to keep his members busy. He wanted to get permission from Saddam to attack Tehran.
Few Iraqi generals, who were always present during those military maneuvers, said that those maneuvers did not have enough military values to topple the government of Iran. Some fake scenes of those shows made them laugh.