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What is the Third Option?

Mansoor Ghadrkhah, a member of NCRI, has initiated a discussion in Iranliberty website titled "What’s the Third Option?"

The reason for posting such a question is that there are many doubts and questions on this issue, which has been proposed as a part of MKO’s propagandistic activities. These questions come from people who are very close to the MKO but they don’t know what they are supporting!

The root of such questions lies in the fact that MKO supporters are not aware of MKO’s intentions and simply think that Mojahedin are talking in the framework of social thoughts; however, the purpose of repeating words such as "referendum" or "Third Option" by the MKO is that they think they can find a way out of political and organizational conflicts they’re wrestling with.

But it’s really naïve to think that there will be a change in MKO’s critical situation and that Mojahedin will answer the questions of Ghadrkhah and others.

What follows is an example of MKO supporters’ questions on "Third Option" posted on Ghadrkhah’s website. These messages reveal the confusion of MKO supporters and sympathizers.

Ali Ghasemi’s Open Confession:

"Unfortunately, due to Iraq war… Mojahedin had to surrender their weapons. Anyway, with or without weapons, third option is the only solution for Iran. From June 20 to the overthrow of the regime, there’s only one way.

So, I believe it’s the duty of all nationalist forces (with whatever opinions), who seek the overthrow of the regime, to support Mojahedin-e khalq and not to talk about sharing the power in future! This regime should be forced to quit nuclear issue, interfering in Iraq and efforts should be focused on lifting the name of MKO from terror list.

The opinion openly expressed by Ghasemi has nothing to do with the change by people but it’s related to MKO’s call on the west to supported disarmed members in Iraq. Mojahedin evade from telling the truth.

Omitting people from the equation means that MKO is unable to mobilize people and also reveals the group’s unpopularity among Iranians. By ignoring this fact, MKO gets the opportunity to deceive its own members and supporters and exploit social events.

That’s why even Ghadrkhah himself takes a stance against this confession and expresses his lack of understanding of MKO’s contradictions:

"In this issue, the role of regime is clear… but the issue of countering regime’s plans should be solved only by Iranian people. Iranians should do their best to prove to the West that Iranians don’t like war. A possible war, in which nuclear bombs may be used. Who will be the victims of such a war?"


Mehdi Atayee:

"What’s the NLA (National Liberation Army)?" This is the first question of Iranian youths. There are 40 million youths (under 30) in Iraq who were born during revolution. They have no idea about Mojahedin-e khalq, NLA and NCRI…there are many unanswered questions. For instance, they say all members of NLA are religious and Mojaheds. For those who are not religious, questions on MKO members’ religion, wearing scarf, mourning for Imams and … have remained unanswered. Do they have to say their prayers, go on fasting, and wear scarf in the case of joining the NLA? Do they all have to believe in the ideological revolution? Do they all have to be Mojaheds and believe in Massoud and Maryam Rajavi? The problem is that now there’s no one to answer these questions, which is of course understandable due to the current limitations of the organizations. However, does the MKO expect to keep forces and attract more without answering these questions? Is the NLA, according to the films broadcast by MKO TV, the army of Mojahedin-e khalq? If this army is really national, it should comprise of all kinds of people, with different religious attitudes; but it’s not.

So it’s not true to say about the Third Option that regime can be toppled by the Iranian Resistance and the help of people and that there’s no need for foreign aids, weapons and money. There has been no comprehensive discussion about this issue by the MKO and NCRI.

What’s the response of NCRI and the MKO to the idea that the NLA should work in the framework of a unification front and that this unification front should include different people with different opinions? Does the NCRI still insist on its plan of unification ftont?"

Mansoor Rostami:

"The Third Option means promoting the NLA and armed struggle. I don’t think anyone in the MKO, NCRI and … has any doubt in this. Writing about the time when Third Option was first proposed is not helpful.

That’s true that no one knows about this option, even those who confidently take part in debates on the issue …

But one should talk about the direction of this option. When explaining this option for Iranian youths, you should tell them where you are going to take them. Toward demonstrations? Civil disoebediance? Reforms? Electionis? None of them. The only thing left is taking weapons. Could they do that? Do the promoters of Third Option help the ones who go to prison for supporting a radical organization (even without taking weapons)? Was there anyone to prevent the extradition of Hojjat Zamani to Iran when he was arrested in Turkey? Is there anyone to help others who’ll have similar fates? Do you have a humanitarian organization to help youths who escape from Iran? Is there any organization to cover all those want to join the Third Option? Do the people (who want to join this option) have to go to Camp Ashraf? Who’s going to fund the costs inside Iran?

Here in the West, we are so busy that we barely have time enough to read articles and even news headlines; then, are we going to support this option only by occasionally taking part in demonstrations or writing articles for websites?

If the Third Option is achievable through NLA, then what’s this "NLA"? What’s its ideology? its strategy? Its equipments? How is that going to organize forces inside Iran (from workers to students, women and …)? How can someone join it? Who’s politically supporting it? To what extent can it be active in the current situation? What are its policies for Iran and other countries? How is that going to work inside the country and expand its structure? If the "Iranian resistance" means the NCRI, who are they? What are they doing? How is it possible for people to be in touch with them and ask questions? Is the political support of NCRI enough for the NLA? Is the "NLA" the army of Iranian people or the MKO? Does this army have media? What about the roles of other people, groups, and figures opposing the Islamic republic in this Third Option? Does this Option unify different groups (inside and outside the country) under an umbrella or is it only for the MKO and NCRI? Answering these questions can help efforts for overthrowing the Islamic Republic but promoting the Third Option without even knowing it will not be helpful.

Irandidban – 2006/06/11 

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