There are some evidences that Masoud Rajavi cooperated with SAVAK (Pahlavi regime’s security and intelligence organization) deliberately while in prison following the mass arrests in 1970s, when majority of the organization’s leaders and members were arrested on terrorist charges. According to Lotfollah Meisami, an eyewitness of Rajavi’s interrogations, he snitched extra information to SAVAK agents to immune himself against further pressures if they could have access to unreleased information. Giving false or burned information on the part of political prisoners is justifiable but giving more irrelevant information implies that Rajavi submitted completely to SAVAK playing a passive role to stop being tortured by the horrible, notorious security organization of Pahlavi’s regime and to win their full trust. In this regard, Meisami refers to a case in which Rajavi gave details of how Mojahedin fighters would carry their weapon concealed in handbags:
He (Rajavi) in one of his interrogations even referred to a suitcase in which weapons were hidden. He did so to defend himself it in case it would be unveiled in future. The interrogators came to analyze that he was a man to invest on. 1
It happened at a time when Mojahedin were on a path of struggle with the regime and absolutely reprehended any cooperation with SAVAK and even those members suffering under the heavy pressure and torture avoided to establish friendly relations only to be relieved of sufferings. Thus, Rajavi’s intimate manner of conduct with SAVAK agents to win their attention was in no way justifiable. The statements made by Meisami imply that Rajavi did so to prove he had repented and to take a path of passivity while in prison:
Rajavi was on friendly terms with SAVAK to the point that other prisoners called him a fop. He pretended to be very knowledgeable and we did not know why he did so. 2
Another instance is Rajavi’s passivity to tensions created inside prisons. It seems he evaded to be engaged in clashes that provoked SAVAK further and thus aggravated the conditions which could even lead prisoners to the edge of execution. The indifference on the part of Rajavi confirms the claims made by MKO former members that he had a fully passive role when SAVAK was hunting down the organization that led to their mass arrests:
Rumors ran rampant that they executed political prisoners with untried. Rajavi and some other members withdrew and concluded not to mess with SAVAK agents; it was the start of a round of collaboration with SAVAK. 3
Rajavi demonstrated his goodwill to SAVAK in various ways one of which was demanding facilities the agents of a regime with whom others were engaged in a heavy battle. His demands implied his indifference to the course of events in the society, his alliance with regime forces, and also his weak, conservative mode. Meisami refers to some instances of Rajavi’s demands in that critical period of the Iranian history:
When Rajavi came to Qasr prison, he smoked an expensive brand of cigarettes. Those arrested as demonstrators against the regime, would break into chanting ‘down with Shah’ in prison cells while some Mojahedin high ranks asked for TV. It was somehow a pulling out and they had quieted down to show their readiness to cooperate with SAVAK. 4
Other MKO former members have stated some cases in this regard too. For example, Mehdi Khoshhal who witnessed the conflict between Abbas Davari and Masoud Rajavi quotes Davari complaining about Rajavi’s egocentric manner in the National Council of Resistance in its early years and says:
This buster (Masoud Rajavi) who thunders today is very cagey. He was never given a basting in prison. He played a trick of abstaining from food to become weak and so fainted whenever SAVAK agents came to interrogate him. However, he would draw details of Hanifnejad and other’s residence when they put him under pressure. 5
The cases mentioned indicate that they fail to be sheer follies and errors somebody might make, rather they are characteristic outcomes of a double-crosser. Neither has he the guts to suffer hardships of a freedom-fighter nor can he curb his egocentric, ambitious demands that he tries to accomplish on the expense of others. Many folded personality of Rajavi makes it hard to believe that it is his errors and mistakes that has steered the organization to the terminus of a terrorist cult.
1. Ethical comedown of a Mojahed, Journal of The way of Mojahed
5. Khoshhal, Mehdi, Fighting Dictatorship.