Batool Soltani: It is the kind and degree of information that every member of the organization
The operation teams who came to Iran for armed operation, for instance, carried some related information, or it was the same with members residing in other European countries out of the headquarters in Auver-sur-Oise. They knew details about the location of the camps, the members and their responsibilities and even information about the launched operations or those at hand. As a result, the organization emphatically required the teams about to embark on operations to swallow their cyanide capsules as soon as they felt a risk of arrest.
The emphasis got stronger especially after the 9/11 terrorist incident when the traffic in European countries were under heavy surveillance and there was a high possibility of arrest that could lead to extraction of information under investigations. We had strict order, especially the members of the Leadership Council who carried a high volume of information, to commit suicide if anyone came to be a suspect in confrontation with Interpol.
The rankings travelling between Iraq and the Europe or between Auver-sur-Oise and other countries had strict instruction for self-annihilation. It can be said that the most secure and safest measure of protecting information devised by the organization was suicide. The important point to consider here is the cheap value of man within the organization.
SFF: Will further explain the responsibilities of the members of the Leadership Council concerning the classified information?
BS: The information that the members of the Leadership Council carried were classified as secrete. It was because of their relation with the leadership which was systematically regarded very important. It meant that they had to take the ultimate precautionary measures to protect themselves not because of their own life but as they carried foremost organizational information which made them suicide vanguards. They had always a guard accompanying them who had the responsibility of finishing the job if he/she refrained to commit suicide or possibly thought of a mischief or escape. A member of Leadership Council had to have a ready scheme of suicide being it with cyanide, gun or any other way.
But the priority was always laid on the destroying of the carried documents before doing away with yourself. The means depended on the circumstance and how you could prepare them as easy as possible. There was a time when the organization possessed no gun and cyanide was the best choice, but the time came when it was vice-versa. I was one of those who always carried a gun when in Camp Ashraf or whenever I had a trip to Baghdad. We had strict orders to shot ourselves when sensing the minimal danger of being attacked or arrested. Once I was in England and although I was not yet a member of the Leadership Council, I had instruction of committing suicide since I had second hand but sensitive information like the location of headquarters where the Rajavis lived or moved and the security measures concerning them. It was the same with the information about the headquarters in Auver-sur-Oise and in possibly in other countries.
Of course, some information were declassified within the organization as they happened to lose their secrecy and importance, but they remained classified for the outsiders. In some occasions when the carried information were of a very high secrecy, the members carried a mixed means of suicide, that is to say, both gun and cyanide because in some cases the cyanide had failed to act. Later it was decided to carry two cyanide capsules to ensure that one at least would work.
That is how they emphasized on measures of protecting information and were sensitive about them. All this complicated, systematic deeds happened in an atmosphere as if they were living in a different planet. That is why far from any rationale and logic, to guarantee the protection of the information, the organization grabs at a most secure way, suicide and self-annihilation.
SFF: You said in some cases the cyanide had failed to act. Can you explain about them?
BS: As far as I can remember it record in the related report, it was the time when Arash Sametipour had been sent to Iran for operation. He broke his cyanide when he was on the verge of arrest but the capsule failed to work and he went into a coma only to revive after a while. It had critical aftermath for the organization. Unaware of the arrest of Marjan Malek, for example, the organization first announced her martyrdom in the course of her operation and even Rajavi himself appreciated her as a heroine but later, when it was revealed that she had failed suicide and was in custody inside Iran, anything changed overnight and she was declared to be an agent of the Islamic Republic. The failure of suicides was thus very crucial and cost the organization a lot; it was commitment to these suicides that decided the organizational identity and the status of the individuals in the organization.
Noteworthy, following the reported cases of failure, there established a section whose responsibility was to check over the vehicles of suicide to ensure its efficacy. There were two kinds of check up, routinely done or case related. The former was done in a frequent period of a few months while the latter was a test of an operative’s cyanides before his dispatch to the mission. Once in Camp Ashraf, before the presence of Americans and when they had no limitation, they exclusively provided two cyanides for each member of the Leadership Council. But then everything changed and there came a time when cyanides and guns were not as abundant as before; the cyanides were all collected from among those who once had to carry them.
Instead, they innovated a new way of controlling members with sensitive and secrete information and members of the Leadership Council in particular. Now there was a special division with the responsibility of constant monitoring and surveillance of the members with highly classified information; they had the responsibility of helping them through any available means to eliminate themselves in case of facing any risk of arrest or else; the means could be a gun, cyanide, petrol, ethanol or anything else.
Translated by Mojahedin.ws