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Who can interview with Maryam Rajavi ?

Maryam Rajavi’s recent interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais appears to be one her few interviews with mass media. As the so-called president elect of the National Council of Resistance and the leader of the most viable alternative- as she claims – to the Islamic Republic, it seems odd that she has experienced so few appearances in the media, and roughly no appearance in Persian media.

Maryam Rajavi, the self-assigned president of the NCR and the co-leader of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO),seems to be too reluctant to appear in front of her country fellow men and answer controversial questions on her cult-like organization and its disappeared leader, Massoud Rajavi.

About two years ago in August 2011, Nooshabeh Amiri, the Iranian journalist published an article titled”Interview with Maryam Rajavi” on Rooz Online. Amiri wrote of a failed effort to have an interview with the leader of the MKO, Maryam Rajavi:

“A few years ago, one of the producers of CBS’s 60 Minutes asked me to arrange for the networks interview with Maryam Rajavi, a leader of Iran’s Mujahidin Khalq Organization (MKO). I told him then that I thought it was not possible to do this, to which he replied, “If the interview is going to be with a non-Iranian network, the response will certainly be different.”

“I then recruited the assistance of a person affiliated with the MKO. A few days later he provided me with an email address to contact. When I did, I was given a telephone number to contact, which in all honesty made me feel embarrassed for my initial assumption which was based on hear say. Subsequent events however proved me right.

“When I made the first call, I was given another telephone number to call. This was repeated several times in the course of a few months that followed, until the American producer called me and said the issue was over and that there was no need to follow-up.

“I concluded that 60 Minutes must have decided to call off the pursuit because of how long it had taken to arrange for the interview. He surprised me when he said that a representative of the MKO had made arrangements with the program’s senior producer and had made a condition for the interview and had written up the questions to be asked….

“This was pathetic, something that still continues.”[1]

“Pathetic”! This is the term Ms. Amiri uses to describe the MKO’s propaganda system. However, the group’s approach regarding media is fraudulent.

The MKO’s propaganda decides what media to interview with its leader as well as what questions to be asked. Considering various reports on human rights violations committed inside the MKO as a cult of personality, the group’s propaganda runners know that all peace activists, freedom lovers and independent journalists would ask questions of which the answers are beyond the red lines of the group. Thus, they never risk the façade of a “democratic” opposition to Islamic Republic they are trying to build for their cult-like organization.

The Spanish daily, El Pais does not ask any question to trouble Rajavi but the questions are so simply and directly asked that could recall you a memorized dialogue in a screenplay. For an authentic unbiased interview with Maryam Rajavi the most crucial question which has never been answered since American invasion to Iraq in 2003 — the same year that Maryam Rajavi was arrested by French Police in her headquarters in the suburb of Paris—is this:”Where is Massoud Rajavi?”

There are many other important questions to be asked particularly regarding numerous testimonies of former members. For instance, recent testimonies of former female members on sexual abuse of women of elite council of the group by Massoud Rajavi must be explained by Maryam Rajvi who is according to evidences the main person to make women sleep with Massoud Rajavi.[2]

According to the 2005 Human Rights Watch report ” No Exit”, inside MKO camps there are ”abuses ranging from detention and persecution of ordinary members wishing to leave” to “lengthy solitary confinements, severe beatings, and torture of dissident members.”[3]

In Ms. Amiri’s article you can also find a list of questions that may obsess any independent journalist who is going to interview Rajavi. The followings are some of them:

“Does the MKO see itself responsible to respond to questions such as its cooperation with Saddam Hossein in attacking and invading Iran?

“Under what strategy and goal were inexperienced youth asked to respond to the Mersad Operation inside Iran?

“Is internal criticism allowed within MKO and can it be reflected outside the organization?

“Is it true that some MKO members have left the organization on the basis of such instructions by the group to take up the responsibility of attacking other opponents of the Islamic republic?”[4]

To our surprise, the biased report of EL Pais begins with this ludicrous statement by Maryam Rajavi: ”popular support inside Iran is a source of legitimacy for this resistance” (!)

This opening sentence clearly indicates that the interview was actually managed by the interviewee not the interviewer.

What does Maryam Rajavi mean by “popular support” inside Iran?!

One thing is sure; Rajavi’s claim is absolutely false. Although the MEK claims to be loved and respected inside Iran, the truth is that most Iranians view the terrorist organization as ruthless traitors who killed their own countrymen, according to many reports. For example Massoud Banisadr who is a former top official of the group say in an interview with Steve Hassan:”After Iranian revolution, late seventies and early eighties MEK could change from a guerrilla (or terrorist organization according to different people’s definition) into a popular political group attracting thousands of young people. But after moving back to terrorism, ignoring and violating people’s ethics, beliefs and principles, especially working with Iraq’s president, Saddam Hussein after the incursion of Iraq into Iran, they lost all their support inside Iran and as matter of fact in public view they changed into a traitor organization”. [5] Also, The Wall Street Journal writes of critical views on the group,”Critics of the MeK allege that the organization has no major support inside Iran and that its leaders, who are based outside Paris, run the group like a cult.”[6]

Based on Mrs. Rajavi’s own claim, the “source of legitimacy for the resistance”is definitely absent.

By Mazda Parsi

[1] Amiri , Nooshabeh, Interview with Maryam Rajavi, Roozonline, August 22,2011
[2] https://www.nejatngo.org/en/posts/3261 ;

MKO Ringleaders Abuse Female Members Sexually

[3]Human Rights Watch, No Exit, 2005
[4] Amiri , Nooshabeh, Interview with Maryam Rajavi, Roozonline, August 22,2011
[5] http://freedomofmind.com/FormerMeKtopofficialanswersquestions
[6]Solomon, Jay &Perez, Evan, Iran Exile Group Nears U.S. Rebirth, the Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2012

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