Crisis-riddled Iran Sees Opposition Elect New Secretary General
As Iran finds itself engulfed in domestic and external turmoil, the opposition in-exile enjoys the prowess and cohesion to elect a new secretary general.
A new administration in Washington has been ramping up the heat, punishing Tehran for meddling in other states’ affairs and advancing its ballistic missile drive. All the while Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has seen his representative rejected by two senior Shiite leaders in Iraq, the proxy war in Yemen going south and Tehran’s support to maintain Syria’s Bashar Assad in power eating up crucial resources. Internally, the Iranian people are stepping up their protests to significant scales.
In now daily protests thousands of investors are demanding their savings from state-run institutions, and the city of Baneh in western Iran recently witnessed clashes as locals took to arms to protest the ruthless killing of porters by state security forces. In a parallel significant development, the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran(PMOI/MEK) held its congress on Wednesday marking its 52nd anniversary and sitting to elect a new secretary general.
The Foundation of The People's Mojahedin Organization Of Iran
The People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, was founded on Sept. 6th, 1965 by Mohammad Hanifnejad and two other young intellectuals, Sa'id Mohsen and Ali-Asghar Badi'zadegan . The three wanted to establish a Muslim, progressive, nationalist and democratic organization.
The ultimate goal of the founders, who were all university graduate, was to pave the way for a democratic government to replace the Shah's regime. In contrast to most of their contemporaries, they believed that a new, democratically inclined interpretation of Islam was the means to this end. They set about establishing a political organization that could survive the shah's repression and respond to the needs of ordinary citizens.
Until 1971, however, the PMOI was involved in formulating a new interpretation of Islam that rejected traditional and reactionary understanding of the religion. In six years the Mojahedin succeeded, for the first time, in the modern day Islamic world in presenting a new, systematic and comprehensive vision of Islam that was entirely independent of what was espoused and advocated by the fundamentalist mullahs who considered the interpretation of Islam their exclusive domain.
MEK and Regime Change Policy
by Pooya Stone
Since the major gathering of the Iranian opposition, MEK in Paris on July 1, the issue of necessity of regime change in Iran has gained traction.
“The only solution to free the people of Iran and establish peace and tranquility in the region, is the overthrow of the Iranian regime,” declared Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, in the major gathering of Iranians in Paris on July 1. She reiterated, “The regime’s overthrow is possible and within reach, and a democratic alternative and organized resistance MEK exists that can topple it.”
Maryam Rajavi’s call for regime change in Iran was widely echoed and supported by other prominent U.S. and European speakers. Among the speakers were former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. All supported MEK ’s call for regime change in Iran.
Referring to the MEK , Bolton, said: “There is a viable opposition to the rule of the ayatollahs, and that opposition is centered in this room today. I had said for over 10 years since coming to these events, that the declared policy of the United States of America should be … to change the regime itself. And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!”
After the MEK and Iranian resistance’s July 1 rally in Paris, Fox News reported, “The Trump administration is potentially considering seeking a strategy to try to topple the regime.” The resistance, however, only needs American political and perhaps economic support to effect “regime change from within.”
IRAN REGIME'S OFFICIALS EXPRESS THEIR FEAR ABOUT PMOI/MEK ACTIVITIES IN PROPAGATING INFORMATION ON 1988 MASSACRE
MEK'S POPULARITY AMONG IRANIAN YOUTH, REGIME'S NIGHTMARE
CONTRARY TO IRAN LOBBY CLAIMS, REGIME CHANGE DOES NOT END IN WAR
One of the great falsehoods of the Iran lobby and the appeasers of the clerical regime in Tehran is that any effort at regime change would inevitably lead to war. This by-line can be seen in every article by the Iran lobby and the appeasers attempting to underscore the growing global support for the Iranian opposition (MEK/PMOI) and the Iranian people’s quest for regime change.
History teaches us though that the longevity of any regime born out of violent conquest is ultimately short-lived.
The Iranian regime that was born out of a revolution overthrowing the Shah, which was in turn hijacked by the mullahs and turned into a religious oligarchy. The original aim of the revolution was the formation of a secular, pluralistic democracy. That dream still exists in the hearts and minds of the overwhelming majority of the Iranian people and resonates in the various forms of protest in Iran, despite the repressive measures by the regime. Therefore, the call for “regime change” is primarily the Iranian people’s demand.
By Jubin Katiraie
It is sometimes now that many US officials have been talking about Iran and the actions that US must take towards Iran. In a hearing in the congress, the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, in response to a question about the US policy towards Iran said: “Well our Iranian policy is under development. It’s not yet been delivered to the president, but I would tell you that we certainly recognize Iran’s continued destabilizing presence in the region, their payment of foreign fighters, their export of militia forces in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, their support for Hezbollah. And we are taking action to respond to Iran’s hegemony. Additional sanctions actions have been put in place against individuals and others.”
“We continually review the merits both from the standpoint of diplomatic but also international consequences of designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in its entirety as a terrorist organization,” he added. “As you know, we have designated the Quds [Force]. Our policy towards Iran is to push back on this hegemony, contain their ability to develop obviously nuclear weapons, and to work toward support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government. Those elements are there, certainly as we know.”
Who is the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)If you want to get more information about PMOI/MEK , this is an excellent article for getting to know the PMOI.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2016 / PRNewswire-USNewswire Formed in 1965, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the largest and best-organized Iranian opposition movement, is the main component of the coalition, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which acts as the [ 1,059 more word ]
The NCRI and MEK, have been committed to a secular, democratic, non-nuclear republic; gender equality; freedom of religion, thought, press, and association; support for peace in the Middle East; and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The president-elect of the NCRI is Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, who addressed a rally of 100,000 in Paris, well attended by dozens of prominent speakers from all over the world.
A. The MEK role was critical in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb
The MEK has been instrumental in exposing Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Relying on a vast network inside Iran, MEK revelations of the weapons program significantly contributed to the world peace and the national security of the United States.
These revelations triggered the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz and Heavy Water Facility in Arak in 2002 for the first time, and since then, the majority of the visits by the IAEA inspection teams have been to the sites first exposed by the MEK.
Senior U.S. officials including President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have repeatedly pointed to the role the MEK had played in getting the world attention on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
In March 2005, President, George W. Bush, emphasized that the MEK‘s revelation of Natanz prompted an international campaign to stop the nuclear weapons program of Iran. “Iran has concealed its — a nuclear program. That became discovered, not because of their compliance with the IAEA or NPT, but because a dissident group pointed it out to the world.”
Many of the key front companies exposed by the MEK such as Mesbah Energy, Novin Energy, Kalaye Electric, Kavoshyar Company, and Farayand Technique were eventually sanctioned by the Treasury Department. In July 2011, the MEK exposed a new nuclear organization overseeing the entire nuclear program and run by the military, known as SPND. The U.S. Government designated that entity in 2014. In addition, many companies, key nuclear experts, and military institutions exposed by the MEK have been sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council resolutions 1737, 1747, and 1803.
If it were not for the MEK nuclear revelations, Tehran would have had the bomb by now. Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) told a House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing “We all owe a debt of gratitude to the MEK for bringing this information to the world, and causing the United States and the world to focus on the problem.”
B. MEK exposed the terrorist network of Iran
The MEK has played a key role in exposing the terrorist operations by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and its entity, the Qods Force. MEK‘s actionable intelligence on Qods Force operations in Iraq saved many lives, and thwarted many terrorist operations by the Iranian regime.
MEK documented the details of the Qods force production and shipment of advanced EFP’s (Explosively Formed Projectiles), the number one killer of U.S. forces in Iraq. MEK also exposed Iran’s involvement in the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 American servicemen.
C. MEK enjoys extensive bi-partisan support in U.S. Congress
Over the past two decades, MEK has gained extensive support among a large bi-partisan group of members of congress. Congress strongly rejected MEK‘s FTO designation, which it viewed as a goodwill gesture to Tehran, as 99 members (52 D and 47 R) called for the group’s delisting. Secretary Clinton revoked the designation in 2012, after being urged by the U.S. Court of Appeals- DC Circuit.
Congress held hearings in the House and the Senate strongly supporting the safety & security of thousands of MEK members based in camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq, as they were being subject to attacks instigated by Tehran. There were several pieces of legislations in support of MEK members in Iraq, e.g., H.Res.704 with 224 co-sponsors (126 D and 98 R).
In addition, the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year 2016, signed by President Obama and became law, included a language in support of the “security and protection” of MEK members in Camp Liberty, Iraq.
Secretary of State John Kerry lauded the resettlement of all members of “exiled Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin e-Khalq, or MEK,” from Iraq to Europe in September 2016, emphasizing that “their departure concludes a significant American diplomatic initiative that has assured the safety of more than 3,000 MEK members whose lives have been under threat…I first became involved in this effort when I was in the Senate … I’m very proud that the United States was able to play a pivotal role in helping to get this job done.”
Also, the U.S. military fully protected all the MEK members in Iraq and recognized them as “protected persons” under the 4th Geneva Convention, long before the group was delisted.
D. MEK has been leading the opposition against the regime at home and abroad
MEK has been in the forefront of opposition to the mullahs since early days of the 1979 revolution, when it soon become the number one target of the Iranian regime’s repression.
The rulers of Iran view the MEK as an existential threat due to its support at home, and undermining the regime’s Islamic extremist ideology among a vast majority of the Iranian population, especially the youth. MEK‘s modern, tolerant and democratic view on Islam has been the antithesis to the Islamic fundamentalists and the velayat-e faqih system. The MEK has been the main victim of repression in Iran. In summer 1988, the Iranian regime, by direct order of Supreme Leader Khomeini, massacred 30,000 political prisoners, most members of MEK. Over 100,000 of its members have been murderedsince 1981, and many of its supporters are currently jailed in notorious prisons across the country. Most of those arrested and sentenced to death after the summer 2009 uprising in Iran, belonged to the MEK.
After having failed to physically eliminate the MEK, Tehran waged an international effort to have the MEK designated as a terrorist organization, which eventually failed after all the designations were overturned in Europe and the U.S. with the help of over 20 court rulings. Eventually, Tehran embarked upon a multi-million-dollar campaign of character assassination and demonization, which described the MEK as a cult, to justify the policy of appeasement. None of those efforts succeeded.
CONTACT: Ali Safavi, 202-747-7847, www.ncrius.org
A Long Conflict between the Clerical Regime and the MEK