MEK: Iran’s Past Deceptions
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that many Western policymakers have been single-mindedly focused on rebuilding the Iran nuclear deal and returning to a scenario in which modest restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program are preserved in exchange for far-reaching relief from economic sanctions on Tehran since the US pulled out in 2018, but that goal has become increasingly elusive as Iran’s nuclear program has escalated.
Ali Khamenei has chosen a new president
Now that the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has chosen a new, hard-line president to succeed the man widely credited with bringing Iran into the agreement, the likelihood of it being restored appears even more remote.
Many analysts have correctly remarked that negotiating with Tehran will be more difficult now that Ebrahim Raisi is president, but few Western lawmakers or analysts have acknowledged that last Friday’s election has made such conversations even more unacceptable.
The Supreme Leader’s preferred candidate
The presidential election last week was preceded by a vetting procedure that ruled out all high-profile politicians who could have offered a significant challenge to Raisi, who was clearly labeled as the Supreme Leader’s preferred candidate.
Raisi’s celebrity stemmed in part from his role as a key figure in the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners that took place over a few months in 1988. The incident notably targeted the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), which was and continues to be the major voice for a democratic alternative to the theocratic government.
A long history of massacring
The turmoil that marked the previous three years ensured Khamenei’s choice for someone with a long history of massacring pro-democracy activists. In December 2017 and January 2018, more than 100 cities throughout the country held simultaneous protests against the whole political system.
In November 2019, another nationwide protest erupted, this time involving nearly 200 cities and towns. However, by that time, top regime officials had already provided numerous warnings about the MEK’s growing influence, and as a result, Khamenei promoted the “henchman of 1988,” to the position of judiciary chief.
The 2019 uprising
Raisi oversaw months of torture against pro-democracy activists and MEK known or suspected affiliates in that role. This repression followed an initial assault on the 2019 uprising, which caused about 1,500 deaths in just a few days.
Now is the time for western governments to make the decision to put the wellbeing of the Iranian people ahead of the security of diplomatic relations with the current regime.
Iranian people and domestic situation
Failure to make this reform would undoubtedly empower the government in its nefarious activities, which would affect not only the Iranian people and domestic situation but also foreign matters of fundamental importance.
Those powers must understand that restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is not a fine goal if it leads to greater Iranian oppression. However, there is no means of bringing Tehran back into compliance without giving something away and providing the impression that Tehran has won the negotiations.