The present challenge posed on the west by MKO is a strategic one with idealism and self-interests as its two ends. It is almost two and half a decade that MKO has turned problematic for the west as an armed, ideological, cultic and radical opposition group. The recent regional transitions as well as invasion of Iraq by coalition forces followed by the fall of Saddam in particular have proved that this predicament is worsening ever-increasingly. In this regard, this challenge can be investigated in three different but interrelated fronts: Iran, Iraq, and West.
The west is still far from understanding that the reason why Iran attempts to prove the potential threat and danger of Mojahedin for social and political security of the world as well as national interests of nations is due to its familiarity with the true nature of the organization and is merely a warning and advice. Even if the west is to find an alternative for Iranian government, MKO is the worst one. It has to be noted that using Mojahedin as a playing card in political equations is nothing but killing time and losing opportunities. The reason may be found in the course of events pursued by Mojahedin after the victory of Iranian revolution. They have been a big looser in all phases of their activities, either at the time when they were of a relative organizational and military power in Iran, or when they were allied with Saddam and enjoyed a great amount of military and financial advantages along the borders of Iranian soil, or after their disarmament and entering their present so-called political phase.
Taking all the failures and frustration of Mojahedin in the last three decades into consideration, it seems that they have never been considered a serious threat for the Iranian government. In fact, the most they did was using their infiltrators in various strata of Iranian government. After the failure of the organization in 20 June 1981 events, MKO leaders made use of all their potentialities to infiltrate in the state to the point that it soon led to the bombing attack of 28 June, a terrorist attack of Mojahedin that is still denied by the organization. The low level of political and military awareness of Rajavi and Mojahedin in disregarding the military potential of Iran was proved when he issued the order of the Operation Eternal Light that turned into a total and costly failure and disaster for Mojahedin. Aware of these issues, the west continues its negligence and unclear position takings toward Mojahedin due to political considerations. There are many opposition groups including MKO that are misused and supported by the west to fulfill its interests and objectives all over the world. These groups are well aware of the motivation behind the supports of the west yet have no other option for their survival other than submitting to the will of foreigners.
Mojahedin are no except to this rule. Being aware of the misuse west makes of them they have to bear it hoping that a change in circumstances or conditions, make due ground for their coming to power. In fact, they crow about giving service to the enemies of their own nation as foreign mercenaries. However espionage activities have an expiration date and there comes a time when Mojahedin would have no further advantage for the superpowers since they have expended all their energy and efforts in pleasing their masters. As evident in leaking Iran’s nuclear projects claimed by Mojahedin, it not only failed to result in the political legitimacy of Mojahedin but also had adverse effects on their social support.
Therefore, investing on Mojahedin in the Iran-West conflict is a major error even when Mojahedin pretended to be of a high military potential and made false promises of overthrowing the Iranian government and western media made a wide intentional propaganda blitz on it let alone the time being when they have reached the political and military nadir of their history. After a while, France came to the conclusion that the presence of a terrorist group in its soil channeling its terrorist attacks therein would be detrimental for both the political repute of this country and also the national security of its citizens; thus, it expelled MKO from France and changed its policy toward Iran as well as Mojahedin.
Taking all these points into consideration, it seems that playing with the burnt card of Mojahedin is futile. Furthermore, the efforts of Iran in revealing the true terrorist nature of MKO are just for humanitarian causes far from political considerations since as it was said Mojahedin never pose a real threat for the Iranian government. France has paid the consequences of the cultic and terrorist activities of Mojahedin when a number of its members set themselves on fire in Paris streets in compliant to the arrest of Maryam Rajavi, the group’s she-guru in the absence of her husband. They still grab at the same lever for threatening French authorities and warn France that they would repeat these actions in case if they were prohibited to seek refuge therein. In fact, this is another trial for the west and France in particular to immunize their nations against the danger of a cult of personality.
Taking a brief look at the primary motivations of France and Saddam in giving refuge to Rajavi (after the events of 28 June when seventy-five senior officials of the regime were killed in the organization bomb attack and France disregarding these events gave refuge to MKO leader), there could be found some similarities between the present situation of Mojahedin in Iraq and that of France. Now, it is assumed that France wanted to make Rajavi closer to Iranian borders. Also, it aimed to intensify the Iraqi threat against Iran (at a time when France had the most arms deal with Iraqi regime), thus expelled him of France and made the ground for his transfer to Iraq, more similarities can be found. In addition, since then Mojahedin have made frequent commutes between Iraq and France and Maryam Rajavi had two so-called strategic transfers from Iraq to France and vice versa. Therefore, it is proved that France and Saddam have had the same position toward Mojahedin. Now, after the fall of Saddam, as the strategic and ideological ally of Mojahedin, they are faced with a newly established Iraqi government that has made its mind to expel them as a terrorist group interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq and communicating with the terrorist and problematic trends therein. The Iraqi officials are well aware that the presence of Mojahedin in their soil cost them considerably with negative political consequences particularly due to their misusing of the critical conditions of Iraq and suffering from internal challenges in order to further their strategic objectives.
In this regard, Mojahedin claim that Iraq is to expel them under the pressure of Iranian government as they claimed when expelled from France. However, the Iraqi and French officials are well aware of the reasons from driving MKO out. Mojahedin have been so problematic for both governments and have committed various crimes and misdeeds recorded in the judiciary system of both countries. In fact, there are two factors leading to the decision of Iraq in expelling Mojahedin; the terrorist activities of Mojahedin in the reign of Saddam as well as the present and future national interests of Iraq. Now, the decision of Iraq seems to be parallel to the wish of Iranian government yet it has nothing to do with the interference of Iranian government in the internal affairs of Iraq. Iraq is well aware that even in case of ignoring the legal complaints of Iraqi people against MKO, their presence therein is too costly. In other words, the Iraqi government is to return the ball France kicked against their field years ago and for sure it would never reach the Iranian field. This issue is proven for the Europe and the US so they never bet on the dead horse of Mojahedin. The maneuvers of Masoud Rajavi on the possibility of their transfer to Iran are baseless and futile and aim to provoke the sympathy of the world and the west in particular.
The third front is the position of the west toward MKO as a radical and terrorist group. The recent move of the EU in removing the name of MKO from its terrorist list intensified the challenges of the west with Mojahedin and faced them with the negative consequences resulting from this decision. Disregarding the inevitable political feedbacks of this vote, the study of the theoretical aspects of this issue is of significance. Being an extreme radical trend, Mojahedin pretend to be a modernist one seeking peace and security in the world. In fact, MKO is an amalgamation of some apparent paradoxes. It is a designated terrorist group that adopts anti-terrorism slogans; It is an ideological cult that holds grab to liberalism for furthering its ideological objectives; Despite representing the most primitive signs of barbarism, Mojahedin pretend to be pioneers of knowledge and awareness; Using the most reactionary brainwashing techniques in depriving MKO members from their basic physical and mental freedom, Mojahedin propagate the principles of freedom and democracy. Evidently, getting to the deepest layers of this complex phenomenon and its mechanism is not an easy task to be done.
It has to be pointed out that the terrorist nature of Mojahedin has its roots in their radicalism as well as primary manifesto and organizational principles that consider the west and the US as their ideological enemies and symbols of bourgeoisie and imperialism. In fact, the concepts like democracy and liberalism that Mojahedin focus on as their ultimate end to win the attention and support of the superpowers are referred to as the main enemies of humanity in their principles and doctrines. Based on their ideological revolution in which one phase was called “the phase of detachment and worldly combat against the manifestations of bourgeoisie and liberalism”, Mojahedin proved that they are hew to their primary principles yet grab at some short-time changes in their policy for carrying on their struggle for their pre-determined objectives in removing all signs of imperialism, capitalism, and liberalism.
Disregarding the critical viewpoints of some western experts like Antoine Gessler, Ervand Abrahamian, and Alain Chevalerias as well as the detached members of MKO, the honesty and truth of these statements can be proved by means of historical evidences. In fact, there is no need to review the primary and basic organizational principles of MKO rather it suffices to take a look at the official websites of Mojahedin as well as their leaders’ messages to find the points of disagreement of the organization with the modern concepts of the west like democracy, freedom, human rights, etc. The US has a more realistic viewpoint toward MKO compared to that of the Europe as is evident from the statement of the state department of the US in April 2007 in designating it as a terrorist group and also the primary position takings of the US against Mojahedin. The reason why the Europe neglects the potential threat of MKO seems to be more a matter of political considerations and gestures of the Europe and France in particular in claiming to be the supporter of freedom fighters all over the world. Being aware of this, Masoud Rajavi has found the Europe more susceptible to deception and enticement and has misused this negligence praising the great revolution of France in different occasions.
An instance may be the measures taken by the US after the events of 11 September and the enforcement of Patriot Act. According to this Act, some constraints like phone-tapping, searching e-mails, interrogating the suspect individuals, letting security police to make long-time arrests and more were enacted in order to prohibit terrorist activities. However, the US was faced with the severe reaction of the European liberal theoreticians who considered these measures as contradictions to individual and social freedom and citizen rights. In addition, citizen rights of the US differ from that of the Europe. These differences are also apparent in how the US encountered Mojahedin in its soil compared to that of the Europe. It is an issue that has been misused by Mojahedin and they have managed to take advantage of citizen rights in the Europe as they have established their ideological bastion in Auver-sur-Oise in France in front of the eyes of French officials. Another reason may be the more optimism of the Europeans to their surrounding world compared to that of the US.
Another dimension of this issue is related to the pragmatist and provisional viewpoint of the US compared to the courteous and neat viewpoint of the Europe. Once in the past France tried to block the threat of the Algerian self-immolator women by removing their veil. The same women that once transported bomb and arms under the cover of their veil, when faced with the shakedown of French forces, followed French fashions voluntarily and moved their bombs to the farthest point in the European residents of Algeria with no annoyance.
Mojahedin have repeatedly claimed that they have borrowed many of their tactics from the Palestinian fighters. Now, it can be said that on deceiving the Europeans and French in particular, they have modeled the Algerian Mojahedin. Anyhow, delisting Mojahedin from the EU terrorist list may pave the way for their further misusing the western rules and laws. The Europeans and France have to do whatever they can to come to a deep understanding of the true nature and objectives of Mojahedin or postpone the activities of MKO by means of various levers until the time when they recognize the true and potential threat of Mojahedin for the peace and security all over the world.