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Rajavi, the man who wanted to be a king

The operation Eternal Light (Forugh Javidan), is deemed by its leader a turning point in MKO’s history. The operation, no doubt, remains a black spot in history because of the significant strategic and military factors being considerably disregarded. In spite of the fact that Rajavi has recurrently admitted to have been aware of being no equal to Iran’s military strength, yet he would insist to recognize the operation as an integral part of MKO’s existence. To vindicate the necessity of launching the operation regardless of the outcomes, Rajavi has said:

Namely, at the crucial, serious situation that changes were speeding, the National Liberation Army had to be either checkmated or to sit waiting with the made excuses of not being prepared or the time was not ripe for the action… . [1]

Can it be the mere prove that the operation, with no rational raison d’être, was just a reaction to unpredictable conditions? Of course, the operation’s aftermath and the panorama Rajavi depicted for the forces on the eve of the operation well justify the claim. Talking on the outcomes of the operation before its initiation, Rajavi, commanding rather than asking, stated:

Now to be recorded in the history as you are making a great, prime decision unprovoked by emotions, although no revolution can de dissociated of its emotions, but absolutely based on military-political calculations, I tell you, raise your hands if you agree to go, if you think leaving for the operation, with whatever result, is quantitatively better that sitting idle. Whoever is convinced it behooves us to leave for operation and it makes it much worse if we don’t, raise the hand. I want to see this moment recorded in the history. [2]

Being well aware of the consequent failure of the coming operation, Rajavi cleverly sought to pick up surrogates to accept the responsibility of the inevitable defeat by stirring up the members that operation was the sole way to overthrow the Iranian ruling power. His rhetorical speeches provoked the members to both launch the operation and accept the responsibility for the consequent defeat. In fact, no body was to question Rajavi for the defeat but he was the one to reprimand all.

Really, how did Mojahedin justify the causes for the Operation Eternal Light? Was Rajavi so credulous to talk of “conquering Tehran and overthrowing the Islamic rule”? Did he think that Mojahedin in 1988 were in a better fitted situation than their previous 20 June uprising or the forces had a potentiality above the after-revolution days when they had infiltrated deep into the regime’s political and security institutions? What changes had occurred in Mojahedin’s structure to believe the organization had gained a military potentiality far above the previous guerrilla warfare tactics to form a liberation army able to topple the regime? What ever they were, one thing was evident for Rajavi and other rank cadres; the operation could not possibly succeed. To justify the force inequality, Rajvi gave promises that on the road to Tehran Mojahedin would be warmly received and welcomed by the townsmen and villagers who then would join them.

Before the acceptance of the Resolution 598 by Iran, Mojahedin had been convinced that an imposed peace on Iran would inevitably edge the regime to the brink of collapse. They were, however, overtaken by the acceptance the Resolution 598 that frustrated the prepared third solution of liberating Iran with reliance on the liberation army as they no more could receive the overall protection of the Iraqi army. Talking on the importance of this latter factor, Bijan Nyabati has stated:

The new liberation war was Mojahedin’s proper response to the huge deployment of forces with the aim of invoking a shelling priority powered by Iraqi army potentialities; it had nothing to do with Mojahedin’s previous strategy of the classic guerilla warfare. [3]

In spite of his chanting superficial counter-war slogans, Rajavi preferred the state of war as a good coverage to test war potentialities of the liberation army. In fact, the end of war meant a complete blockade of Rajavi’s tactic:

Overtaken by such unexpected decision (the acceptance of the Resolution 598), Rajavi decided to counteract. Noteworthy, in the strategic order of the liberation army, actually there existed no place for peace and cease-fire. [4]

Mojahedin took advantage of the unstable truce to test their military potentialities once more to topple the regime. Rajavi hoped unexpected outcomes when he let the forces be perished to guarantee his own power hegemony. He was under the illusion that the operation, although a complete failure, from a politically point of view had struck the most crushing blow over the body of the regime. His explanatory comments before and after the operation are in total contradiction.

The ideological revolution was the product of a solution to conduct the organization out of its political stalemate. He impudently declared the individual weakness in forces was the cause of failure and that the leader’s potentiality was far above the understanding and tolerance of the forces. In a later justification in general gathering on the anniversary of the operation in 2001, he talked of the operation’s achievements and that it was a proof of Mojahedin’s being independent of Iraqi’s military, financial, and political aids. Quoting words of a few Iranian authorities, Rajavi concluded that Mojahedin proved to be the sole recognized threatening force against the Islamic Republic.

All these words said, what really peopled Rajavi to commit such an organizational suicide was to shoot his last arrow. Seeing his long-existing dream of succeeding to power coming to nothing, he got ready to sacrifice all his devotees to take his chances. His command calling for the urgency of the operation was a shock to all and Mojahedin were watching restlessly that his decision was parching the remaining chances. He horridly prepared to face with the greatest challenge since the failed 20 June event with the consequent of his expulsion from Iran. His previously stated purpose of “conquering Tehran and overthrowing the Islamic rule” infers he had a hallucination of walking on a red carpet spread from the Iranian border to Tehran. The illusion of grandeur as a result of his authoritarian rule over Mojahedin had left him under the impression that the Iranian people, in no way an equal to Mojahedin combatants, would submit on his pass to Tehran. Alas, the idolized king never reached Tehran.



[1]. “The tenth anniversary of the Eternal Light”; the first book, Mojahedin’s Publications, 12.

[2]. ibid, refer to back-cover text.

[3]. Nyabaty, Bijan: A look within MKO’s ideological revolution, 70.

[4]. ibid.

mojahedin.ws – Bahar Irani    July 30, 2006

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