Our brief in February 2007 mentioned that the Mojahedin Khalq’s own analysis places blame for its current difficulties on its critics; in particular former members of the cult who continue to speak out on the cult’s continued use of violence and its human rights abuses. One of those critics is Mohammad-Hossein Sobhani, a human rights activist who was mentioned in the May 2005 Human Rights Watch report ‘No Exit’.
In recent days the MKO has published, on YouTube and similar media, several videos depicting violence and fighting. The words introducing the video clips mention Mr Sobhani by name although none of them actually show him on film. In addition, hundreds of articles have been published without authorship on the tens of websites which have no discernible ownership other than being strongly linked with the MKO which also implicate Mr Sobhani in this violence.
What has happened to provoke this?
On June 17, 2007 Mr Sobhani was invited as a speaker to a meeting in Paris on ‘Peace and Tolerance.’ He has previously spoken on television and radio. He was invited to speak at the European Parliament on February 27, 2007.
(Mr. Sobhani in European Parliament. Feb. 2007)
During the Paris meeting Mr Sobhani, along with the other guests of the meeting, was attacked by over fifty people. It was later revealed that the attack had been organised by the Mojahedin Khalq from its headquarters in Auver-sur-Oise. Its purpose, to stop anybody criticizing the cult.
(Pictures taken from Mr. Sobhani in hospital after being attacked by MKO)
Over fifty attackers were arrested by police at the scene. From among the invited guests Mr Sobhani was arrested by mistake and was subsequently released. He has filed a complaint against Mohammad Hayati, a known MKO terrorist who had been transferred from Iraq (and back again) to act as ‘military commander’ at the scene.
The Mojahedin subsequently tried to exploit Mr Sobhani’s brief arrest and his release along with some of the films they took themselves – which show the attackersâ€™ own engagement with employees of the venue’s security firm – in an effort to claim that Mr Sobhani attacked the MKO at the venue where he had been invited as a guest to speak. The MKO propaganda is clearly aimed at discrediting Mr Sobhani as a prominent critic of the group.
This attempt has been going on for the past three weeks but appears not to be working. Even the Mojahedin’s own supporters and members cannot explain to themselves why fifty people were sent to violently attack five speakers at the Paris venue.
In an unprecedented move the Mojahedin have issued a lengthy document introduced as a statement by Massoud Rajavi â€“ the MKO’s leader who has been in hiding since the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein.
In the statement, which purports to be in his name, Massoud Rajavi targets this specific issue and states as a matter of fact that fifty MKO activists were attacked by Mr Sobhani at the venue.
This is the first time that Massoud Rajavi’s name has been used in this way. He has never issued any similar statement in all the time he has acted as leader of the cult. The significance of this can be gleaned from exposing Maryam Rajavi’s repeated instruction to the Mojahedin’s membership that the first, second and third aim of the cult is to protect Massoud Rajavi and his name. But now we see that she herself is spending his name as an expendable asset of the MKO.
In Mojahedin terms this announcement – purportedly by Massoud Rajavi “ is intended to act as an injection of ‘ideological’ drug into the Mojahedin cult body. The effect of using Massoud Rajavi’s name should be to convince the members to somehow accept the blatant contradictions inherent in the lie. Not only has Rajavi’s statement not convinced them, but during the past few days we have received numerous reports from inside the Mojahedin that the supporters and some members are struggling with the idea that ‘if Massoud Rajavi’s name can be used as cover for a ridiculous lie like this, then how can we trust him not to have been lying all the time from 1979 until now’. The problem for the ideological members is to try to revere Massoud Rajavi as their Ideological Leader even though his name has now become an expendable asset. They must try not to doubt him, but they can’t avoid the inevitability of this which has been imposed on them by this propaganda move.
Observers of the Mojahedin cult are seeing clear signs of desperation. This use of Massoud Rajavi’s name in this recent propaganda campaign more than anything signals that the cult is spiraling out of control. It is becoming more and more isolated and extreme in its behaviour. There should be a warning in this to security officials in European countries.
Iran-Interlink -July 13, 2007