Memoirs of Ms. Batoul Soltani – Part One
The following is an interview with “ Former member of the leadership Council of MKO; a woman who was released after two decades of being captive of the cult of Rajavi …during those years she lost her kids and her warm family center. The life of Mrs. Batoul Soltani is mostly like a tragic drama that seems like an incredible fate. She is now stepping in a way to rejoin her missing husband and kids.
SFF: Mrs.Soltani, Thank you for your time. We would like to offer you our sympathy due to the entire grieves you suffered for more than two decades. As we’d like to learn about your tragedy-like life, please explain how you were recruited by the organization?
Mrs.Batoul Soltani: Thank you. I am Batoul Soltani. I was born in 1965 in Isfahan where I graduated from high school. I was accepted for the university but I didn’t go there and instead I married a man who had just been released from the prison.
In 1986 we got married and then one of my husband’s friends, who had joined the organization, introduced him to MKO. He had told them that we are opposed to the Islamic Republic. So the MKO’s men came to Isfahan to look for us.
My husband told me about leaving Iran. I had some social problems so I was ready to leave Iran. I said:
”It is so good. We will leave Iran to look for our happiness and life.”
The same year when I was pregnant (about eight months after our marriage) we left Iran through Iran-Pakistan border by the help of a smuggler who worked for MKO.
We were on the way for a few days. I remember the difficulties I had on the way. When we arrived in Pakistan, I told my husband that I wanted to continue my studies and have a free life. We asked the UNHCR for the refugee card. Due to my physical status, pregnancy, they soon granted refugee to us. I gave birth to my first kid in Pakistan.
Later MKO came to my husband. He insisted on going to Iraq and I disagreed but my husband said:
”It is very good to live in Iraq. They have a very good situation there. We will have a comfortable life. If we don’t want to live there, we can go to a European country.”
But from the other side the MKO’s representative said:
” everyone cannot step in this way. It is so hard. “
But my husband said:
”No, it’s not like that. They say these words to everyone who wants to join MKO, but it is not actually as what he says. They have a very relaxing life. They want to know how loyal the members are and such things.”
He said these things to convince me to be satisfied and tolerate any difficulty.
Therefore, in 1987 we came to Iraq with our two-month old baby. They received us in the best hotels of Baghdad and settled us in a 5-starred hotel. After a period of residence in the hotel they told me that I can leave my kid to the nursery and work in their school. I remember that they took our passport and refugee card when we arrived at the airport and we couldn’t understand that they were blocking all the way back.
When I got their base, I left my baby to the nursery and started working as a teacher in their school. We were practically gotten involved in the organization’s relations.
The process continued until they told us that they wanted to send the children to Europe. This was a plan after the Gulf War. They used the opportunity and said:
”We are not able to keep children here any more and we must send them to Europe. “
They held indoctrination meetings and various factors convinced us to send the children to Europe. I talked with my husband. He said:
”we have no way out of Organization’s relations and no appropriate facilities and means to live our life in Iraq without MKO. We can not return Iran because we will be arrested and executed there. Besides we have no money and the organization keeps our documents.”
Actually he was gotten stuck within the Organization’s relations so he wanted to continue as before.
So he convinced me to let our children go for their own sake in the hope that they will be lucky and happy there and we will be loyal to each other here and soon we will also go abroad. Or we will go to Iran after victory. He seriously emphasized that the regime of Iran would overthrow in 6 or 7 months and we would go to Iran.
After that I remember that I was so sad and I missed my children. I cried under the blanket at nights because we shouldn’t show our emotions. If they found out that I had missed my children, they would punish me. They said:
” what’s wrong with you? You are a revolutionary avant-garde. You are here to liberate your country.”
So I tried to hide my feelings. Then the promotions began in the organization. They held special programs to allegedly liberate the women in revolutionary phases, heightening the scene of responsibility of the weakened women.
Thus everyday I was promoted in my ranks and duties. After the departure of my children, I received military trainings and soon, in 1993, I was the commandant of a unit.
In 1991, the mandatory divorces were ordered. They said:
”Anyone who wants to stay and continue the way must divorce from her husband. “
Therefore in an artificial atmosphere, anyone wanted to take off her ring and declared her divorce to show that she is superior and more liberated.
This was Masud and Maryam’s plan to separate the spouses. [..]
After the divorces, the control was heightened to keep the men and women away from each other. If even the members thought about their spouses or asked any question about them, they would be punished seriously.
Later the group forced the men to give their hegemony following giving their wives to the organization and under the revolutionary titles they handed their duties to the women gradually.
I remember that I was the commandant of a unit with 11 tanks, each one with 3 service-men. It was a big responsibility and I had no free time. I could relax only two hours a day. Then I received computer training for 4 years after I went to Britain with a false passport. At the time the systems of the computers in MKO was Appel and the group wanted to promote them to PC so I was chosen for some new trainings.
During the war I learned the site systems and designed websites. I only for a short time worked in the recruitment section to recruit new forces. In 2007, I was promoted to the Leadership Council.
I attended the meetings of the Leadership Council which were held once a week. We held several meetings when Masud and Maryam were in Iraq and later, as the layer of the leadership council we had the meetings everyday.
In 2006,I was the subject of the meetings for a long time. They asked me why I’m not relaxed. Why I’m depressed or thoughtful. They constantly put me under questions until I got several phone calls from Masud Rajavi.
Translation: Nejat Society
To be continued