Memoirs of Ms. Batoul Soltani – Part 11-1
In this session, I would like to describe the struggle that today MKO insists on its principals. They say that their struggle is their main investment. I want to talk about MKO fighters, to learn how their fight and their principals were at the beginning, in what stage of their struggle they are now, and how much they have been loyal to their primary principals of their struggle.
Since 1964, I mean when the founders of MKO established the group, they determined a definition for Right and Wrong. Their definition was somehow new at that time. They defined Right and Wrong as “exploiter” and “exploited”. The objective example for the Wrong was US-backed dictatorship of Shah. Along with these principals, they decided to launch an armed struggle against Shah and US military officials, advisors and economic or cultural authorities.
They continued their struggle, even after the mass arrests of the group’s members in 1970, fighting to overthrow Shah’s monarchy. They were killed either inside or outside the prison. It is good to know that at that time Masud Rajavi’s organizational comrades including Badi’ Zadegan, Hanif Nejad and even some others who were at lower ranks comparing Masud, were executed in the prison, but Masud Rajavi survived. Although MKO has always justified this fact by some nonsense, there are a lot of accusations against Masud Rajavi who could manage to survive among so many comrades who were executed. I’d rather explain the process Rajavi headed after the Islamic Revolution; I want to evaluate the way he acted far from those primary principals.
When Masud Rajavi was released from Evin prison, he addressed some speeches in Amjadiyeh stadium and other places. The criterion that can prove Rajavi’s disentitlement for MKO’s leadership was his eagerness to claim himself as the leader of the group immediately after he was released from the prison. He was extremely enthusiastic to introduce himself as the leader of the movement and the revolution and he tried to make others to recognize his self-assigned position. He did not want any other post except that of a leader. He didn’t recognize any other person as the leader.
When his true face was shown, the main problem of MKO was brought about. He showed his hostility toward many individuals. I mean, he was looking for a leadership role when the Iranians had all focused on Ayatollah Khomeini’s leadership as the only legitimate leader. In fact, Rajavi’s extreme jealousy and hostility was coming up. When he couldn’t get the first position as the leader of Iran, he tried to get the president’s office but he was not allowed to be a presidential candidate because he hadn’t voted for the constitution he was supposed to prosecute. All these things pushed him to an open opposition against the Iranian Revolution.
After a short period of time, on June 20th, 1981 he declared armed struggle against Islamic Republic. I think since then the organization’s circle of power has completely changed. Indeed, Rajavi himself insists on this change. But the change was in a way that the organization distanced from a popular organization. Actually, he declared armed struggle in that disturbing situation in the society after too much bloodshed, only to achieve his personally lost objectives. It was just for his personality in his cult. Therefore, he did his best to endanger social security.
At the time, I was in grade one at high school. I remember how MKO misused the tiniest complaints or protests in schools for its own cause. As a student, I didn’t know anything about the organization.
Just sometimes I protested against the conditions and MKO took the benefit of my adventurous, immature protests and recruited me. As the first step, once you joined the group, you had to leave your family and go to the group’s safe houses to “fight the Islamic Republic”. MKO members were quite active at schools and they could influence those who had the potentiality and opposed the regime. For example, some students protested against mass praying, they didn’t like to participate it , or they had complaints about veil (hijab). These people were the same ones who fell in MKO’s trap more easily. The group recruiters worked on the students in order to absorb them gradually. Then they used to ask the new recruits to give financial helps. They focused on those who were passionately revolutionary. They continued with the new recruited ones to bring more students to the organization’s net.
I remember that they arranged mountain climbing tours to recruit new students. So gradually I was recruited by MKO without having any information about the group and its cause.
When MKO declared armed struggle, they trapped a group of young people who had no way but to stay in MKO’s safe houses. They were supposed to launch operations. But I didn’t know this at that time. I could only read about it later. I was too young for politics or Rajavi’s theories, but I saw some active, devotee youth who worked for the group.
Finally, the organization was outlawed by the Islamic Republic because of its armed struggle against the regime, the state and the authorities. Some of its members were arrested. Masud Rajavi fled Iran along with Banisadr and survived, although his wife Ashraf was killed in Iran. Masud had no pity for his wife and never tried to get her out of Iran.
Translated by Nejat Society