Massoud Rajavi was the sole leader of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK, MKO, NCR) terrorist cult for two decades. He disappeared just before the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in March 2003. Since then no-one knows his whereabouts; his wife Maryam now leads the organization.
In the last sixteen years, a lot has been said and written about the reason for his disappearance and why he does not show his face even to his own followers. There were even rumours about his death that the MEK did not express any clear and firm reaction to, leading to even more speculation.
The undeniable fact is that the MEK has a dark history of terror, crimes and betrayals and therefore is hated by all Iranians, even those opposing the Islamic Republic. Massoud Rajavi, who had lost his popularity inside Iran, gambled his destiny and tied it up with that of Saddam Hussein who was a loser in the end.
After the fall of the Baghdad dictator – the cult’s sole state sponsor – the MEK tried to find an alternative for him, this time in the west. But the US and its regional allies were only happy to use the MEK without Massoud Rajavi. They wanted to bypass the cult leader and leave the cult’s unpopularity behind with him.
However, the MEK’s top officials knew that the cult would not remain intact without the charismatic leadership of Massoud Rajavi, and this left the organization in a deadly paradox. The new sponsors such as the Saudis wanted Massoud Rajavi out of the picture, yet the MEK could not survive without him.
Two years ago, former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal announced the death of Massoud Rajavi. At the same time Maryam Rajavi keeps talking as though he is leading the organization even though there is no trace of him.
But the MEK under Maryam Rajavi’s leadership has not met any of her new sponsors’ needs and requirements. It is time, therefore, for a new face if the MEK is going to be of any value against the Islamic Republic of Iran. We are waiting for her disappearance after that of her husband.