The Leadership Hegemony after the Ideological Revolution (2)

In the first section of the article, it was discussed that in MKO’s ideological revolution, one of the basic principles of organization, council leadership or democratic centralism, was denied; hence many members of the organization got separated. Members’ detachment violated none of the organizational principles of MKO as in one of the instructional pamphlets of organization titled ‘A Survey of the Possibility of Deviation in Democratic Centralism or the Difference between Scientific and Non-scientific Suspicion in Organizational issues’ it had been asserted that members could willfully leave the organization and even establish a new organization or branch in case democratic centralism took a course of deviation:

The possibility of deviation of democratic centralism in future, as it happened in the past, is self-evident. However, the question is what we should do? Shall we withdraw and remain passive? [1]

As noted, the possibility of deviation of democratic centralism was a taken for granted issue and the separation of members did not necessarily led to a state of passivity and the cease of struggle, rather the separated members were obliged to continue the line of struggle and to unmask the deviants. Taking the possibility into consideration, the process of fighting against deviation of democratic centralism was thus phased:

If deviation or an act of revisionism is proven, that is, any principally adopted political and ideological components is neglected, the internal opposition takes the first step to initiate a non-aggressive confrontation against the move. [2]

The next step, in case the deviated leading cell failed to ameliorate, would inevitably be the separation, schism and even uncovering the instances of deviation:

Yet, in the next phase and in case our attempts yielded no results, the schism is the solution to an organization which is not likely to revise its position. The schism is requisite in such cases as there are precedents for many revolutionary parties. [3]

In respect to the necessity of the continuation of struggle following the schism we read:

Then we have to be engaged in a wide struggle in a new front against the new opportunist and revisionist move by taking advantage of appropriate modes of struggle. [4]

As such, separation and even act of disclosing are considered as democratic rights on the part of the members. In this regard, the separation of Parviz Ya’qubi, one of the high-ranking members of organization, and his initiation of a new organization called ‘the Followers of the Path of Mussa’ may be considered as exercising organizational and democratic rights of members far from unfounded claims made by Rajavi accusing Ya’qubi. After the declaration of the first phase of the ideological revolution in 1985, a great number of members criticized Rajavi for denouncing council leadership. Ali Akbar Rastgoo, one of the ex-members of MKO, refers to Rajavi’s egocentric moves as the main cause of disintegrating the organization [5]. Mojahedin denied democratic centralism and declared openly the formation of a new leadership led by Rajavi:

A full comprehension of such a great revolution… is in fact a deep grasp of the elevated combination of a belief in the new leadership of Massoud and Maryam and the ideological obedience to them [6].

In this regard, it has been pointed out that Mojahedin have denied the most important achievement of contemporary movements. Niybati describes such an achievement from a different angle:

It was the first time in the history of contemporary revolutions that an organization denied the principle of democratic centralism, a principle achieved after several hundred years of revolutionary struggle, and (correctly or incorrectly) handed over the overall authority to a leader who is accountable only to God. [7]

The ideological revolution was in itself a result of the organization’s failures during 1981-1985 and aimed at preventing separation of the members and disunity. However, in this process, Rajavi’s hegemony turned to be the major cause behind all deviations and failures of organization. In this regard, Massoud Jabani writes:

Most of the principles and regulations of organization are there but on the paper and have no practical function, like the council leadership, democratic centralism and internal criticism. Rajavi launched a coup d’etat under the pretext of probable coup d’etats made against him and the organization in order to subordinate members by means of brainwashing. [8]

Bijan Niyabati asserts that Mojahedin’s ideological revolution was at first the outcome of the strategic failures of the organization from 1981 to 1985 and then, an attempt to prevent disintegration of the organization:

To protect revolution against reactionary moves and practices of exploitation, the sole solution is to immune the organization and its leadership against splitting and disintegration. [9]


Taking the above-mentioned points into consideration, we may come to the following conclusions:

1. Based on the theoretical principles of organization, separation, schism and disclosure of any instance of deviation from ideological and political principles in general and the principle of council leadership (democratic centralism) in particular is regarded as the absolute and democratic right of members.

2. Mojahedin themselves acknowledge the ideological revolution and negation of democratic centralism and, thus, the separation from organization may be an inevitable and predictable reaction on the part of the members.

3. Ideological revolution occurred as a result of deviation and strategic failure of the organization; Rajavi’s hegemony was an attempt to confront probable schism and members’ detachment.

4. Mojahedin’s exposed accusations against the separated members is an unjustly adopted tactic to avoid further criticism and to wrestle with the internal crises.


1. A Survey of the Possibility of Deviation of Democratic Centralism or the Difference between Scientific and Non-Scientific Suspicion in Organizational Issues. (1979). Tehran: MKO publications. p.54.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid, 59.

4. Ibid.

5. Rastgoo, Ali-Akbar; Mojahedin in the Mirror of the History, 259.

6. Mojahed , No. 242.

7. Niyabati, Bijan; A Different Look at Mojahedin’s Ideological Revolution, Khavaran Publication, 35.

8. Jabani, M; Psychology of Aggression and Terror, pp. 87-90.

9. Niyabati, Bijan; A Different Look at Mojahedin’s Ideological Revolution, Khavaran Publication, 21.  – June 25, 2007


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