The red-line discriminating between word and action in suicide operation

An interview with Batool Soltani on MKO self-immolations – Part six
Sahar Family Foundation: Will you please specifically recount instances of what can be defined as classified information?

Batool Soltani: Well, what can be specifically referred to are those information that supply details on the locations of headquarters within Auver-sur-Oise and Camp Ashraf. That is to say, any geographical, security detail about these and other camps mostly concerning the compounds of the leadership. There is much more related information; the extent of security measures for the entrance and the control of inter-organizational affairs, the whereabouts of cadres situated inside the camps and their hierarchical relations, and information about those organizationally permitted to pass in or out of these places. Regular and irregular visits of these places by the leadership, the setting plan of the buildings and the sections in the camps and the people positioned in them, how the security systems work to control the cadres’ shifts and what are the defensive measures, human or mechanically controlled, to reduce or counter threats from the outside are all instances of classified information. Of other instances to name are the existing differences within the Auver-sur-Oise and Camp Ashraf, the security check-points to ensure safe passage in and out, internal offices that verify the validity of the passports and visas, the rankings in the charge of controlling and issuing ID cards for individuals to enter the camps or the cadres who leave on missions. Anybody entering Mojahedin’s enclave is regarded to have passed over the red-line of a highly secretive boundary that is totally concealed from the outside world.

SFF: We will talk on the issue further later on. But now let’s have a look on the issue that any suicide operation inevitably has its own consequences. The aggressive kind, for example, will willingly or unwillingly lead to the death of some innocents in the vicinity. For instance, when the organization plotted suicide operations to assassin the leaders of Friday-Prayer, many other innocent crowds were perished along with the main target. I want to know how does the organization justify such deeds and who are in charge of deciding to stop or carry out these operations. Better to say, where lays the drawn red-line that justifies such operations?

BS: Your question can be answered from many angles. First, we have to ascertain how the organization and Rajavi in particular draw the red-line between the word and theory for carrying out these operations. Second, we have to see to what extent the words are actually practical, and third, what is the position of the leadership concerning what should not have actually happened and how he has treated with the disobedient. They are all related to understand the question and its different aspects. First of all, the red-line and instances are drawn just by the leadership and all operational ranks have to submit to it. Nobody dispatched for an operation can defy Rajavi’s drawn red-line and any operation team knows well that accomplishment of mission eclipses any other priority. Now, it is important to distinguish between Rajavi’s red-line of word and action. The red-line in Rajavi’s word is taking heed of protecting the life and property of the public who have no role in the operations as well as public buildings and passages. Interestingly, no saboteur is permitted to desist from the plotted operation just because he/she is overstepping the red-line. The only person with the authority to halt the operations is Masoud Rajavi himself.

Now, the question is, and only Rajavi can give a proper answer, how it is possible exactly to stop crossing the red-line in the course of an operation that has to be unquestionably performed and which only Rajavi himself can order to be halted. The context and setting of some of these operations invariably requires sacrifice of innocent people in the vicinity. Once, for example, when a terror team was sent to assassin Asadollah Lajevardi in Tehran’s bazaar, the role of crowds in the bazaar can never be underestimated since they play the role of a deterrent factor both while targeting the victim and when escaping from the scene; there are always people in the scene who may in an automatic reaction interfere or hinder and the assassins see no other way but to shoot at them to open the way or one may come between the assassin and the target. Naturally, there are two options; either you have to abandon the operation and escape or accomplish the mission regardless of violating the red-line with whatever casualty.

The latter requires that you have to be serious in completely obliterating any obstacle on the way. And Rajavi himself knows all these truths that it is impossible to carry out an operation of assassination without harming other innocents. It is the same case with suicide operations with the difference that the agent knows he/she hardly returns alive which greatly helps to violate the red-lines. But in the former, a hope fosters in the assassin that he/she may escape the scene with the aid of people, a hope instilled into him/her by the organization itself. As a result, the assassin tries to tie his/her destiny to a little of overstepping the red-line since the organization had falsely ensured him/her that people would create a protecting shield for a member of the organization to escape safely. But it differs in a suicide operation; here the accomplishment of the operation is of the higher significance than the number of the casualties present at the scene. Besides, the suicide is no more alive to be counted responsible for the innocent killed. Thus, this kind of operation is excluded from our issue of discourse and remains the kind after which the team has to necessarily return to its base after the operation.

When Rajavi plotted assassination of people like Lajevardi or the army commander Sayad Shirazi, he knew well that killing was an inseparable part of a planned operation which could never be fulfilled unless through homicide. Then, it is absolutely absurd if he maneuvers and insists on vocalized principles of his drawn red-line since the nature of these operations necessitate killing and blood-shed. Consequently, the assassin is not the authority to decide to stop or continue, he/she is only executing a killing plan drawn by somebody else watching the operation from many hundred kilometers away. It is really in absolute contradiction to Rajavi’s stated red-line and out of the control of the operatives. At the end, we see that there is nobody to be held responsible for violation of the red-line that has caused many innocent deaths; in fact, it is one of those Rajavi’s adopted childish tactics.

Now let’s see what are Rajavi and the organization’s reaction against operation teams that may have inadvertently violated the red-lines in the course of the operation. Here, the operatives may have been killed, arrested or returned. But, in any case, they are not the ones to be held responsible but their commander in charge of the operation. Rajavi severely reprimands them for the killings that are considered a violation of the stated red-lines. Of course, he is well aware of the fact that he is the sole one to be held responsible for the crime, but that is how he deals with the fallout and condemns others calling them inefficient and else. But nothing more happens and nobody is punished and all ends in a room in an outburst of humiliating words and sever reprimand because all know that Rajavi himself had practically a better understanding of what might happen and which he had implicitly given his seal of approval to cross his own drawn red-lines. But somebody has to be held responsible for mere formality who, of course, fails to be the leadership. I have to add that such a performance of formality runs only when the organization is disclosed by undeniable facts that tie it to the incident which it must be held accountable for. However, in many other cases, the success of the operation never lets anything else take a back seat and overshadows anything that more often fails to be ever mentioned and is of marginal interest to the organization.
To be continued
Sahar Family Foundation, Baghdad, July 08, 2009
Translated by



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