“The Mojahedin are not the soul of our revolution” is the title of an interview published in the Italian newspaper, il Manifesto. Francesca Luci of the Manifesto interviewed an Iranian 28-year-old activist named Nazanin, holding a PhD in political science with specific studies on Iranian opposition organizations in the diaspora. The talk was on the role of the Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iranian political developments. Nazanin argues about the MEK’s growing role abroad. But not at home: “Divided by gender, veiled women: they don’t fight for women’s freedom but for power.”
The Interviewer speaks of Rajavi’s assiduous political activity in the US administration and various European chancelleries which is presented by the Iranian government as irrefutable proof of being connected to the powers who are plotting against Iran. He refers to the reports on MEK’s websites on Maryam Rajavi’s speech in the Italian Senate last December 8, promoted by Senators Giulio Terzi and Marco Scurria.
In response to Luci’s first question based on how she assesses the influence of the MEK on recent events in Iran, Nazanin answered:
“It is completely naïve to think that Mek affiliates are not among us. They also have confidants within the government and state security system. Just do an internet search to see the terrorist actions carried out. It stands to reason that this would not have been possible without an information and logistics network within the country. But it is equally naive to think that everything that has happened in these three months has been fomented by the Mek. It is true that the Mek has enormous economic resources, it is connected to strong groups that can influence decisions in many countries, it has a highly developed propaganda system. But it does not have the favor of the people, indeed it arouses a certain widespread hatred among the people for their betrayal during the Iran-Iraq war and for their alliance with the Saudis. But they can influence the movement indirectly, especially through the use of their media. And the presence of their affiliates, in my opinion, is dangerous for the movement: they are trained, they know how to exploit public anger, incite violence. Their history proves that they will sacrifice everything to achieve their goal. However, despite the enormous effort, their weight is marginal.”
Regarding the alliance of the MEK with Israel and Saudis, two main US allies, Nazanin believes that the MEK as “the operative hand of the Saudi and Israeli services on the ground”, is used by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia to put pressure on the Islamic Republic although “they know very well that the Mek, without a popular base, cannot be an alternative to the Islamic Republic”.
About the judgement of the Iranian youth on the MEK, Nazanin gives a comprehensive answer to Luca:
“The knowledge of our kids is based on the stories of their families, however the internet has been an important tool in their education. Perhaps, compared to their parents, they don’t have a very negative feeling but they managed to get an idea, bypassing the digital filters, reaching the organization’s website. Perhaps the very young still don’t have the analytical skills of political documents but they see the videos of their congresses, it seems to be in North Korea: all dressed the same, divided between women and men, staged speeches, programmed applause. They say they fight for women’s freedom, but all their women strictly wear head coverings. They wonder if it is possible that in that huge audience there is not even one woman who has chosen not to have the veil. They wonder how an organization that in 45 years has had only two presidents – the husband and then the wife – guarantee a democratic and pluralistic state. I personally believe that their belief in armed struggle represents a danger for Iran: we must ensure that the movement does not take this direction. We must be patient and not fall into the attempt to take shortcuts which can be very expensive.”