The double face of the MEK: between a moderate opposition party and a terrorist organization

Life is forbidden in the Cult of Rajavi

While presenting itself as a moderate opposition force in the eyes of Western public opinion, the MEK continues to perpetrate terrorist actions in Iran for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, as evidenced by their own official website, where the attacks are described as heroic acts.

In one of our previous articles, we summarized the history of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq, a political organization whose declared aim is the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran, known by the acronym of MEK or PMOI (from the English People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran). As we underlined in that article, in 1997, the United States included the MEK in the list of terrorist organizations, due to their modus operandi which actually closely resembled that of a terrorist organization that uses attacks to achieve its goals.

However, in 2012, the United States decided to start using the organization for its own purposes of destabilizing the Islamic Republic of Iran and, taking advantage of the military occupation of Iraq, a country where many MEK militants were located, entered into tacit agreements with them. Just in September 2012, Washington officially eliminated the name of the MEK from the list of terrorist organizations, with the same leadership of the organization officially acknowledging its past mistakes, declaring that it would later act solely as a political force in opposition to the Republic Islamic, renouncing the path of attacks.

This operation has had highly positive implications both for the United States and for the MEK itself. The Washington government, in fact, was able to support Mojahedin-e-Khalq openly in an anti-Iranian function, without having to worry too much about public opinion, indeed there are not a few exponents of the most recent administrations who have expressed their support in favour of the MEK in public occasions. For its part, the organization has cleaned up its image internationally, presenting itself as a legitimate force of moderate opposition to the Iranian government.

The MEK has tried in every possible way to attract the support of Western progressive political groups, which do not look kindly on a government like that of the Islamic Republic of Iran, by relying on media propaganda that exploits the pretext of human rights and the condition of women to stir up anti-Iranian sentiment in public opinion. For this reason, the official political program of the MEK presents points such as the establishment of a democratic republic, religious freedom, gender equality in every sphere of society, the legalization of alcoholic beverages, freedom of speech, association and expression, the right to choose whether or not to wear hijab, all arguments that can find general agreement among Western public opinion. Furthermore, the MEK is also proposing a close alliance of Iran with Western countries and the recognition of the State of Israel, which according to many sources, would support the organization militarily.

This facade of image-cleansing, however, hides a much darker reality, one that sees the MEK continue to carry out terrorist operations in Iran, causing serious damage and casualties both military and civilians in order to achieve its political goals. This dark face of the MEK is clearly kept silent in front of the Western public, to the point that the official website of the organization ( ) does not report news about the terrorist attacks, except in its own version in the Persian language . While in the foreign language versions the MEK presents itself as an opposition political party with a moderate outlook, in Persian all this turns into an extremist raving.

In the Persian language version, the term “insurrection centres” (in Persian: Kanounhaye Shoureshi) frequently appears, which are nothing more than terrorist cells operating in Iran carrying out attacks in public places. These operations, which continuously affect the Iranian military and civilian population, are described as acts of heroism by MEK militants, but are then kept silent in front of the Western public, which certainly could not accept the support of their governments towards a terrorist group who brags about their bomb attacks.

For example, in July of this year the MEK carried out 23 terrorist operations to celebrate 35 years of what the organization calls Operation Forough Javidan (or “Eternal Light”), an attempted invasion of Iranian Kurdistan in course of war events between Iran and Iraq. On that operation, the MEK was defeated, suffering numerous losses, which in the language of the organization are called martyrs. As part of this wave of terrorist attacks, the MEK boasts, for example, of blowing up the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps barracks in Ravansar, the headquarters of the national news agency IRNA in Qazvin and numerous other public buildings across the country, as well as setting fire to images of Iranian revolutionary leaders.

Analysing the MEK website in Persian, there are really numerous episodes of this type that can be found in the year 2023 alone (year 1402 of the Persian calendar). Terrorist attacks are often organized on the occasion of anniversaries considered important in the history of the MEK, such as the aforementioned Operation Forough Javidan, or the establishment of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, an organization and political coalition founded on July 20, 1981 and strictly linked to the MEK. Also, on the occasion of this anniversary, in fact, there were terrorist attacks against the garrisons of the Revolution Guards and other episodes of violence throughout the country.

Browsing the official website of the MEK, it can also be seen that these terrorist attacks are not isolated episodes, as there are several of them every month, and they affect every area of ??the country. The main targets of these operations are headquarters of the Revolution Guards and other armed forces or of the Judiciary, and are described in pompous tones in an attempt to glorify the work of the terrorists, adorned with the title of “heroes”, all accompanied by celebratory videos disseminated through the organization’s Telegram channel. An image therefore very different from the one that is sold to Western public opinion, and of which we want to spread awareness through this article, so that don’t fall into the trap of supporting a terrorist organization like the MEK just yet.

By Giulio Chinappi


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