The ideological revolution, a solution or the critical episode

In a series of articles entitled “The Role of Strategic Stalemates in MKO ideological Shift”, mechanisms of the ideological revolution, its effects and consequences were studied according to the statements made by Bijan Niyabati and some former MKO members. It was concluded that the ideological revolution was the leadership’s sole solution for numerous political, military, and strategic failures of armed phase adopted by the organization in order to save it from the danger of split and even disintegration. It is worth mentioning that Bijan Niyabati made his utmost effort to imply the meaning that the ideological revolution was an inevitable reaction to Mojahedin impasses. He considers it as a reasonable answer to the challenges Mojahedin had encountered and the sole resolution for the dilemma to survive; the organization had to either follow the past route or suffer another schism. However, trying to underline the role of Rajavi in internal revolution, he regards the survival and improvements of Mojahedin indebted to Rajavi and his talents.  Also, he refers to the potentiality of Mojahedin to overthrow the Iranian regime under the leadership of Rajavi. As such, reviewing the course of events of Mojahedin in the past and their split in 1975 in particular, he considers reorganization of MKO under the leadership of Rajavi a great success that was fulfilled with the development of the ideological revolution. What is worth thinking is his insistence to prove that Mojahedin in either phases were radically leftist. In this regard he writes: While in prison, Masoud Rajavi issued a message entitled “Islam, Left Marxism to initiates an all-out struggle against the coup d’état within the organization. His brilliant 12-clause declaration message not only determines the identity of Mojahed-e Khalq and draws the borders between left and right, but also stabilizes the element of anti-Imperialism, i.e. the main element of the ideological revolution of Hanif, and creates a new Khalq. [1]  He insists on saying that at the peak of these events is Rajavi’s full leftist orientation as a factor of revolutionary, Islamic, and anti-imperialism nature of MKO. As such, he does his best in order to make a left assessment of the 1984 ideological revolution:  The year 1984 was the decisive year in all political, military, strategic, and ideological stages. The encountered cul-de-sac in political, military, and armed resistance as well as the proven inability to overthrow the regime in short-term … forced two options on Mojahedin. It had to either submit to the existing conditions or resort to politics or, by embracing all internal, external, and international consequences of resorting to armed warfare and violent overthrow of the regime, lean to the left and yield to radicalism. [2]  Then, he refers to the equal role of Rajavi in both phenomena and regards it as a key factor and writes: Following the internal coup d’atat within MKO and Masoud Rajavi’s unbeaten political-ideological victory in keeping the plotters in isolation and continuing to safeguard the ideology of Hanif that resulted in reorganization of Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization stabilized his already unrivaled status among Mojahedin. [3] Rajavi’s reorganization required the essential prerequisite of purging already joined members and enhance a new round of recruitment: Masoud Rajavi, disregarding the existing reactionary potentials, restructures the organization through purging the forces with any reactionary orientations and resorts to the incomplete plan of Hanif in training “versatile cadre”. All the prior recruitments were cancelled and new recruitments were made among the imprisoned Mojahedin. [4] Both Rajavi and Niyabati focus on two key points necessitating ideological revolution as a lever against the crises imposed on Mojahedin. 1. Rajavi’s revolution has been developed for the qualitative progress of Mojahedin aiming at fulfilling the promise of overthrow. In this regard, Rajavi points to the power of Mojahedin being hundredfold. 2. Though they were under the pressure to lean towards the right, the ideological revolution made them bend to extreme left and, even in Niyabati’s words, radicalized and vaccinated them: In order to safeguard the revolution against the social and imperialist offenses, there is no way but immunizing and vaccinating the organization against any split and total breakup. [5] It is worthwhile to investigate to what extent Mojahedin succeeded to gain desirable results with regard to the present status of the organization on the one hand and their distance to their main strategic objective, i.e. overthrowing the Iranian government on the other hand. Besides, the study of the political and ideological orientation of Mojahedin may clarify the extent to which their radicalized position toward left is pragmatically guaranteed. Although in order to get a true understanding of Mojahedin it is necessary to review cultist factors, we try to evaluate their ideological revolution on the basis of their own claims. As such, we have to review their position in relation to the past. Here, some questions are raised to compare the present situation of Mojahedin with that of critical phases before the development of the ideological revolution: *What is the present status of Mojahedin to fulfill the strategic promise of overthrowing Iranian regime? **Compared with their position in past, to what extent Mojahedin have been succeeded in winning the support of internal social factor, opposition groups, and international support.  With regard to destructive impacts of the ideological revolution on the internal relations of Mojahedin, the external relations are also subsequent of adverse internal impacts. Their most important challenge now, as the after-effect of the ideological revolution, is the lack of legitimacy among opposition groups and also international institutions as well as Western and European countries. Now Mojahedin are accused of a variety of charges and human rights violations they have failed to give any explanation. 1. Terrorist charges mentioned in the reports released by the US State Department, E.U., and other European countries and Canada. 2. Violation of human rights in their intra-organizational relations as publicized by the Human Rights Watch. 3. The accusation of establishing a cult of personality in the latest report released by the US State Department in April 2007. 4. Collaborating with Saddam in ethnic cleansing of Iraqi people. Besides, there are other met crises including internal split, expulsion from Iraq, and the case of 17 June self-immolations and more. Such consequences resulted from the internal activities of Mojahedin themselves but it suffered a lot of external problems at the expense of their deceptive bend towards right to take advantage of the strategic lever of the U.S to confront Iran. However, the U.S. is enough aware of the cultist and opportunistic nature of Mojahedin not to be duped by their tricks.  It has to be pointed out that after the ideological revolution, MKO turned into an anti-democratic cult of personality with a strategic and ideological leadership of its own. The internal shift has intensified although Mojahedin make great attempts to deny the charge in their media in order to win the support of western politicians. Offering a third solution, suggesting formation of solidarity front, pseudo-democratic activities in the Europe and the west, disavowing terrorism, supporting the human rights resolutions and opposing nuclear activities of Iran, … are instances of activities done in order to win the support of the West and the U.S in particular. That is all resulting from Mojahedin’s extreme hypocritical entity and Machiavellianism requiring them to adopt paradoxical approaches in internal and external relations. In fact, the Mojahedin after the ideological revolution are a by-product of strategic hypocrisy. The interesting point is that Niyabati believes hypocrisy is byproduct of a closed society:

Hypocrisy is the inevitable product of the paradox between mental values and the objective realities of a closed society. [6] Is it possible to consider the ideological revolution with such challenging achievements as the sole solution for Mojahedin’s crises? And is the insistence on highlighting the role of Rajavi to the point to regard him as a demigod and celestial creature anything but a process to hide the incompetence and flaws of Mojahedin leadership? A suggestion is to investigate the supposed achievements of the ideological revolution of Mojahedin from their own viewpoint, i.e. the inevitable reaction to strategic failures, impasses and radicalization and also the so-called genuine role of Rajavi.  It has to be investigated to what the extent the ideological revolution has succeeded to enhance Mojahedin and help them achieve their strategic objective of destabilizing and undermining the Iranian regime to cause its collapse. Has the organization ever been successful in implementing and practicing the chanted slogans of man’s freedom and emancipation of women who are claimed to have been suffering historical exploitation and slavery? No doubt, numerous evidences and testimonies made public by ex-members and victims of Mojahedin who found the opportunity to escape the cult can help better to fathom the threatening, malicious nature of Mojahedin cult masquerading as a pro-democratic political group.


References: 1. Niyabati, B. A different look at the ideological revolution within MKO, p. 3. 2. ibid, p.16.

3. ibid, p.7

4. ibid.

5. ibid, p.20.

6. ibid, p.35.



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