MKO and the Aftermath of Recognizing POAC’s Judgment (2)

As stated in the previous article, if MKO insists to recognize the POAC’s judgment and is standing resolute against the renunciation of terrorism as it claims, at least it must revise its previously adopted principles to prove the earnestness in its decision. Notably, a series of the organization’s early pamphlets, designed to provide the basis for its general aspirations and systematic world-outlook, explicitly theorize and advocate the violent strategy of armed struggle. In fact, the cornerstone of its struggle when emerged as an opposition was partly the Machiavellian doctrine of the ‘end justifying the means’.

A specified catalogue of these early booklets and pamphlets that were drafted by a selected ideological team to manifest the organizational ideology and policy are still strongly valued as practicable. The specific series are entitled Takamol (Evolution), Shenakht (Epistemology), Cheguneh Quran biamuzim (How to study the Koran), Rah-e anbiya rah-e bashar (The way of the prophets: the way of humanity) and finally a book entitled An account of the formation and short history of Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization from 1965 to 1975.

Explicitly stated in these works, MKO reveals the reasons for its adopted strategy of armed struggle based on Marxist-Islamic eclecticism. Mojahedin were on the belief that armed struggle was an inevitable consequent of a historical determinism; any intransigent attitude would be equal to that of a reactionary. Although at first it was hard for the Westerners to comprehend what was lying behind Mojahedin’s ideology, but some later made references indicate that they were developing a real understanding of Mojahedin’s ideological infrastructure and methodology. They are well aware of the fact that the merely stated words put no bonds upon Mojahedin that hardly respect obligations whenever an opportunity is grabbed at. As stated in POAC’s ruling, in a draft refusal letter dated September 1, 2006, the Secretary of State clearly declares his doubt on Mojahedin’s renunciation of terrorism:

Mere cessation of terrorist acts do not amount to renunciation of terrorism. Without a clear and publicly available renunciation of terrorism by the PMOI, I am entitled to fear that terrorist activity that has been suspended for pragmatic reasons will be resumed in the future. [1]

The duplicity of Mojahedin is a fact that is also referred to in the US State Department’s report. To expect Mojahedin forswear terrorism for ever is like expecting a leopard change its spots. The group’s abandonment of terrorist acts is temporal and might be retained if circumstances deem them necessary. In paragraph 46 of the POAC’s ruling we read:

However, at the heart of his submission lay the contention that the Secretary of State was entitled to conclude that the PMOI was “otherwise concerned in terrorism” within the meaning of sub-paragraph (d) of Section 3(5) of the 2000 Act because, although it was not actually committing acts of terrorism, it retained a future will to do so. In effect the Secretary of State’s case was that Section 3(5)(d) covers the category of situations such as the present, where the Secretary of State concludes that an organisation that for whatever reason is not actually committing acts of terrorism retains a future will to re-engage in future acts of terrorism if or when future circumstances permit. [2]

The conclusion by the Secretary of State asserts that MKO’s resort to militarism is not the outcome of a deliberate decision but innate in its methodology of struggle, its world-outlook and a dialectical process leading eventually to the establishment of a classless society. As Abrishamchi has point out:

We are not the ones to decide the necessity of an organized or aggressive struggle; we are not the ones to decide where to an organized or unorganized struggle leads us. It is not our mentality to decide the necessity of an armed struggle. [3]

The Organization, formed as a political group with militarist bent, naturally opposes any criticism of strategy and resists urges of modifications in general ideology and uses a variety of labels for the dissidents. They are dim-witted who cannot grasp the necessity of laws ruling over the phenomena:

To make any change in any phenomenon, one has to develop a comprehensive recognition of it. In respect to society and social movement and struggle, the recognition is of great significance because of their complexity. Thus, any change within a phenomenon, society and social movement requires recognition of the laws controlling them. [4]

Relatively, if any change is to happen within MKO concerning disavowal of terrorism, the ideological principles recognizing aggressive conduct has to be removed from its methodology of struggle, otherwise, it is hard to believe that it will be unwavering in its renunciation of terrorism. Armed strategy is the effect of the group’s principal ideological cause and source and its renunciation is totally out of question if the cause remains intact.

The change in principles is a move of such great significance that even Mojahedin themselves cannot ensure to what degree it is feasible and practical. As a testament in POAC’s ruling, the organisation states that it had to exercise extreme prudence before officially publicizing its decision since all those who had up to that point been involved in military operations or assisted the operational units, had to be fully informed of and convinced about the reasons and wisdom of the decision made by the organisation’s leadership. Not in a single occasion has the organization tried to convince the insiders that it intends to actualize the will to stop military and terrorist activities.


[2]. ibid, P. 13.

[3]. Mehdi Abrishamchi’s lecture delivered on the ideological revolution for the sympathizers in Norway.

[4]. An account of the formation and short history of Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization from 1965 to 1975 (originally in Persian), p. 17.

Omid Pouya,, January 8, 2008


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