Twenty years ago and after the Iran-Iraq cease-fire in 1988, Rajavi dispatched thousands of his warriors on ”Operation Eternal Light” across the border to capture Iranian territory and reach Tehran in less than two days. It was a total military failure and a proven suicide operation excluding the leader himself. In fact, Mojahedin hurried to take advantage of a no-war no-peace situation created after the ceasefire. The so-called National Liberation Army (NLA) did not sit waiting and hurriedly launched what many called the suicidal operation; in fact it imposed a high cost on the organization and it was the group’s last striving to take its chances to overthrow Iranian regime.
The failure of the operation Eternal Light (Forough Javidan) initiated challenges against Rajavi’s egocentric decision-making that led many forces of the organization to their death. Most of his critics believe that the operation was in no way correspondent with the organization’s line of strategy and that, Rajavi’s uncertain analysis of the post cease-fire situation compelled him to make a hasty decision.
The operation Eternal Light was the result of the search for an outlet out of an inevitable cul-de-sac rather than to be a strategic necessity. An analysis of the operation from the political and tactical point of view and Rajavi’s rationalization of the operation indicates that the move was the outcome of a desperate situation that had completely immobilized Mojahedin both in political and military fronts. A group that had once concentrated all its campaign marrow in a form of militia warfare and had already suffered great loss, suddenly and unbelievably had shifted to adopt a classic military tack to start a big cross-border operation.