Daniel M. Zucker Refutes Merat’s Guardian Hit Piece
Augusta Free Press published a refute of a Guardian article by Dr. Daniel M. Zucker, founder of Americans for Democracy in the Middle East and prominent author on Middle Eastern politics.
In the final months of 2018, British newspaper the Guardian published a hit piece against the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). The piece, published by Arron Reza Merat, a known regime affiliate, pedaled regime mistruths and lies in an attempt to influence public opinion against the Iranian opposition.
Zucker describes how the Iranian Ministry of Security (MOIS) took a leaf from the Russian KGB in its disinformation procedures. It combines truths with lies. The truths provide “authenticity” and provide facts the regime can point to when it is questioned by critics. But it also sews substantial and glaring lies into the narrative, deliberately designed to deceive and manipulate.
The Lies Sewn into Regime Discourse
The Guardian’s piece contained a litany of these mistruths deliberately fed into the text. It regurgitated the regime claim that the MEK murdered several US citizens in the 1970s. The claim has often been brought against the group, but it has been publicly disproved several times.
Zucker asserts that the murders were carried out at a time when the MEK leadership was in regime custody. A Marxist splinter group known as Peykar has already been held accountable for the murders.
The piece also explains about the MEK taking up weapons to fight the Iranian regime after the mullahs’ regime imposed absolute repression. The MEK took up arms to defend itself after Khomeini [regime Supreme Leader] had ordered the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to open fire on 500,000 peaceful MEK supporters during the June 20, 1981, peaceful demonstration in Tehran. Hundreds of Iranian citizens, supporters of MEK were killed in the onslaught.
The MEK in Iraq took up arms to defend their defenseless Iranian compatriots. The regime likes to pedal the lie that the MEK was involved in the 1988 gassing of the Halajab Kurds, but again, this is untrue. The Iraqi foreign minister, who is a Kurd himself, absolves the MEK of responsibility and proclaimed their innocence in the crimes.
Forced Membership Allegations
Another of the common regime accusations against the MEK centers on allegations it forces Iranians to join its ranks, and once involved with the organization, they are prevented from leaving.
This has also been publicly refuted time and time again. Recent visitors to the MEK compound, including high profile European politicians, have confirmed that MEK members are free to come and go as they please.
Everything the MEK does is done with the voluntary cooperation of its members, who are highly educated and capable of coherent decision-making.
Zucker also mentions the case of Somayeh Mohammadi, whose parents have frequently appeared on Iranian state-run media outlets and argued that the MEK is holding their daughter against her will. Somayeh Mohammadi has frequently denied this claim in public. She has revealed that her father is an agent of the regime and has publicly refuted his claims.
The Nazi Minister of Propaganda, Josef Goebbels once professed that to win a propaganda war, you must lie, and lie big. The Iranian regime undoubtedly has that mentality in mind when it uses its affiliates to spread mistruths and falsehoods across international media outlets.