MEK: Iran’s Viable Democratic Alternative
The 1979 revolution intended to remove the brutal dictatorship once and for all, after the Iranian people’s failed attempts to alter the absolute monarchy system. The revolution succeeded in overthrowing the monarchy in Iran, but it fell short of its second goal of establishing genuine freedom.
Unfortunately, this outcome was unsurprising, given the need for a stable transition to a free and democratic society. There are a number of prerequisites, including independent and democratic political parties or groups, but perhaps the most vital is democratic leadership during the transition period. As a result of his reluctance to offer real political and economic changes, and his elimination of all democratic forces in Iran prior to the 1979 revolution, the Shah played the most pivotal role in clearing the way for Khomeini to take over Iran, setting combustible conditions for a revolution.
The Shah, on the other hand, executed the founders and dozens of members of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran). For the seven years leading up to the revolution, he imprisoned the whole MEK group. MEK members, including MEK leader Massoud Rajavi, were only released from prison four days after the Shah was forced to quit Iran and three weeks before the fall of his administration. Khomeini was riding the revolution’s wave at the time, and his image was “seen on the moon.”
Unlike the masses, who were unjustly deceived at the time, the MEK was well aware of Khomeini’s regressive tendencies. Khomeini had achieved unprecedented political legitimacy and power in Iran’s history. Despite this, the MEK led the campaign for a free and democratic Iran and aspired to participate in politics. Khomeini, on the other hand, not only denied MEK the right to participate in the political process, but he also refused to allow them to exist as a political force. The MEK has worked tirelessly over the past four decades to keep the embers of hope and resistance burning and to bring down the fundamentalist mullahs.
The MEK’s movement exemplifies the true character of tolerant Islam, in which women lead the fight against misogynist clergy and freedom is seen as the bedrock of human nature and political existence. During the 1979 revolution, Massoud Rajavi famously stated that most revolutions fail due to a lack of commitment to the cause of freedom as the fundamental goal.
Today, the Iranian protest movement, led by MEK rebel forces, is laying the groundwork for the next wave of upheavals to depose the mullahs. This movement is a continuation of the revolution for independence that began in 1979. Nonetheless, this movement defends the 1979 revolution’s triumph, which was the abolition of monarchy as Iran’s longest-standing hindrance to liberty.
Only within the framework of a republic based on the principles of a secular democracy can Iran become stable, free, and non-nuclear. As a result, advocating for a free Iran should be seen as a worldwide goal, not just a home one. Support for Iran’s rebellious resistance forces will aid in the pace of the country’s democratic transition through popular uprisings.