On Saturday June 24, the political arm – read Propaganda arm – of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization held its annual gathering on the anniversary of the start of their violent movement against Iran. The so-called National Council of Resistance held their tenth annual conference to stick the image of a democratic movement on their cult like organization in the northern Paris suburb of Villepint.
Classically, the gathering was attended by hundreds of Western politicians whose luxurious flights and hotel rooms in Paris were paid by the MKO. "Major international figures including former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and outspoken Republican politician Newt Gingrich were scheduled to speak at the event,” reported Alexander Turnbull of France 24.
The MKO propaganda ironically named the gathering "onward to freedom"! As a former member of the group or a family member whose loved one has be taken as a hostage in the group camps in Iraq and Paris, one may laugh at this fake title by a group that freedom is an odd notion in its internal relations. As an Iranian especially one who is living inside the country one may wonder who the MKO is who wants to bring freedom to Iran. The France 24 reporter suggests, "While the NCRI presents itself as a legitimate opposition group, critics say it’s an out-of-touch expatriate lobbying organization with a lot of money but with little relevance to Iran’s problems."
Disappointed with support from inside Iran the NCR has resorted to western supporters particularly since the fall of its main financial and military sponsor Saddam Hussein in 2003. Heavy, well-paid lobbying efforts of the group finally ended with its delisting in 2012 but not long later political relations turned against the MKO. "Maryam spent years making friends in high places, offering the West information on Iran’s nuclear program", asserted Turnbull.
This year, the MKO rally was harshly influenced by the recent Presidential elections in Iran in which the majority of Iranians participated and elected the moderate figure, Hassan Rowhani. Obsessed with the new political relations that may be formed between the world community and Iran following the election of Dr. Rowhani, the MKO leader Maryam Rajavi made efforts in her speech at the gathering to convince the West that the Iranian election is not a real one and the president elect is not a moderate.
"But while the NCRI may be able put on a good show outside its homeland, many of the group’s detractors feel that the Rajavis and their followers have ceased to matter to the situation in Iran," concludes the France 24 correspondent. This conclusion explains Maryam Rjavi’s serious concern about the future of the cult of personality her husband Massoud Rajavi has created around them. They fear any engagement between the West and the Iranian government — which is believed to be likely in the next Iranian administration. Thus the motto "Stop Appeasement" is now much more highly shouted by the group leader than before.
By Mazda Parsi
Turnbull, Alexander, Exiled Iranian opposition in Paris for talks, France 24, June 22, 2013