1988 Massacre,Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

MEK peaceful demonstration in Tehran-May 2, 1981

MEK’s Critical Role According to Iranian Regime

MEK peaceful demonstration in Tehran-May 2, 1981

The “Mothers” demonstration, on May 2, 1981, when over 200,000 supporters of the MEK, took it to the streets of Tehran to protest the killing of 2 teenage girls (MEK supporters), who were shot dead for distributing information behind a stand in one of the streets in Mazandaran. Young MEK supporters have formed a chain in front and side rows to provide protections for the mothers (in the middle).

In state-run media and in official statements, senior Iranian officials have recently made unprecedented remarks about the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), its impact on society, and its role in international policymaking.

A Change in Regime’s Strategy on MEK

For years, it has been the state policy to keep silent about the MEK and its impact, both domestic and global. The recent salvo of remarks and statements reflect a change in the regime’s strategy in this regards. The new approach stems from an unprecedented MEK presence in domestic affairs. Popular support and the public awareness of MEK’s activities have left the regime incapable of continuing its practice of denial.

Official remarks have defended brutal suppression against the MEK and have also expressed anxiety about the MEK’s progress and its role in organizing and galvanizing protests against the regime. Senior officials warn about “major events” that could still be forthcoming.

Acknowledging MEK Role in Mobilizing Protests Inevitable

The officials are fully cognizant of the fact that after years of a massive demonizing campaign against the principal Iranian opposition and systematic repetition of the claim that the MEK has no serious presence or role in Iran, acknowledging the real presence of the MEK in Iran is politically costly. However, it is evident to them that in light of the political state of affairs in Iran, they are bound to pay a price for inspiring their forces and to boosting loyalist morale.

A creator of three state TV serials targeting the MEK said in an interview on July 28: “The current strategy vis-a-vis the MEK is not one of silence. A lot of people are interested in making movies and serials about this organization and its members. And a number of other people have also made serials about them… Prior to Armaghan Tariki (i.e. one of the TV serials), no TV serial was made in this regard. But after that, the managers of state TV showed a lot of interest. In reality, this organization has exposed our nuclear issues on 18 occasions in recent years and a lot of the sanctions are consequent of their activities. All of these resulted in the fact that the authorities and managers concluded that it is necessary to make movies and serials about the Monafeghin.” [Monafegin, meaning hypocrites, is the pejorative term that the regime uses to describe the MEK.]

The following are some of the authorities’ recent remarks on the MEK:

1988 massacre

Photos of the MEK activists who were massacred during the 1988 massacre. Pourmohammadi was one of the members of the death committee responsible for the massacre.

Mustafa Pourmohammadi, Interior Minister in Ahamdinejad administration, Minister of Justice in first Rouhani administration, a key figure in 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners (mainly MEK activists) in Iran

Mosallas (State-run media), July 24, 2019

“MEK has destroyed our image all over the world. During the past 40 years, there hasn’t been any calamity against the Iranian regime that the MEK hasn’t played a key role in. We haven’t evened out our accounts with the MEK yet. We will make our points and statements [about 1988 executions] subsequent to making our accounts even. It is a serious matter…. Many of our missions in the Iran-Iraq War failed due to the MEK. They found out about our operations, exposed them and as a result, we failed…. Now, should I answer for why I fired a mortar by mistake or did something wrong? All the MEK members are criminals and must be put on trial. According to all international laws they must be punished and face the maximum penalty. We have not even our accounts. It is not the time for these words. Now it is time to exterminate them.  The MEK is the worst enemy of this nation [Read the religious extremism ruling Iran]. Today, they must be held to account and be brought to justice. We must uproot every one of them. Unfortunately, due to the current atmosphere of the society and foolishness of some, it is us who have become accused. Rather, the criminals must answer. What are these remarks that some are making in our country?   Some repeatedly talk about history. This is the context of history.” Referring to the exposure of the 1988 massacre of MEK political prisoners that the regime had tried to hide for decades and now is coming to light as a result of the organization’s popular support.

Interviewer: Was this also the issue of criticism by Mr. Montazeri?

(Hosseinali Montazeri was the heir to Khomeini in 1980s. He was dismissed by Khomeini in early 1989 and sentenced to house arrest due to his protest against the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in the summer of 1988. An audio file was revealed three years ago about a meeting between Montazeri and key figures implicated in the massacre in Tehran, including Pourmihammadi. In this tape, Montazeri stated explicitly that this massacre will be recorded in history as the worst crime of the Islamic Republic.)

Pourmohammadi: “It was unfortunate, but the tape was released anyway. Many of the individuals who purport transparency, in reality, they are doing it on behalf of the enemy of course! Otherwise, what was the reason for revealing that audio file?  The context of the discussion was already written and was available. What was the reason for the audio file to be revealed after all these many years? …I believe the MEK case is clear. We have no doubt, no question, and no ambiguity in the case of MEK. Now is a time of war with the MEK.  It is not the time to talk. This is an important point for us. It is the time to uproot hem. It is time to paralyze, exterminate and try them…It is time to do this sort of work. It is not the time to answer these criticisms or to provide legal responses or things of this nature[the 1988 massacre of MEK supporters].”

Witnesses to the 1988 Massacre Tell Their Stories on Day Five of the Free Iran Conference

Abdolreza Rahmanifazli, Interior Minister

State TV, July 29, 2019

“The current situation should not make us negligent so as to ignore the protests, not see the disenchantment or prevent it, not provide a proper response and assume that these do not exist. Any incident can lead to a major development. We have to be vigilant.”

Mahmoud Shaeri, commander of 71st Division (aka as Ruhollah Division) during Iran- Iraq War

South-e- Qazvin (state-run site), July 28, 2019

“The MEK is still potential and current threat for the Islamic Republic. Their movement is alive. The MEK has been the basis for all of the sanctions against us. If the MEK was not around, the West still would have imposed sanctions on us; however, the MEK provides them with first-rate and accurate information”, referring to MEK’s numerous revelations of regime’s nuclear weaponry and Ballistic Missiles program, and their terrorist activities in the region, as well as the violations of human rights at home

While underscoring that the MEK is still the most active and the most powerful opposition group against the regime, Shaeri stressed that the reason for the continuation of MEK activity is its deep, calculated and judicious actions.

He pointed out that the measures exposing the MEK have not been appropriate for two reasons:  “First, we portray them as a cowardly enemy and as a result we discount them. We must consider the enemy serious because they are still motivated and work against the Islamic Republic with proper organization and structure. Second is the danger of MEK infiltration inside the regime, which is the main obstacle in confronting them.”

MEK – Iran Protests Rise by %233 During The Month of May

Assadollah Nasseh, the Deputy Commander of Najaf- Ashraf IRGC base in the Iran- Iraq War (responsible for the central and northwest front), Deputy Commander of IRGC counterintelligence, Commander of the IRGC 10th Division, Deputy to the Inspector General of the regime Armed Forces after the Iran-Iraq War

Ofoq (state-run TV), July 29, 2019

“We must be vigilant and should realize that the enmity of the MEK is so profound that it will never give up on us…Everything that takes place in the world against us, we must know that it is the result of their lobbying effort somewhere, or a price that they have paid, or is the result of intelligence that the MEK has provided. On the issue of missiles, we witness that it was based on the information that they provided to Americans. Regarding human rights, they makeup dossiers and files and provide them to Europeans and they put pressure on us in this way. They use all the leverages against us. We should be aware of this and should be vigilant.”

MEK Role in Street Protests and Strikes

Esmail Kousary, Deputy Commander of IRGC Sarollah Garrison (the main IRGC unit responsible for the suppression of the 2009 uprisings in Tehran) and Mehdi Hasheminejad, a senior official of Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS)

State TV, July 29, 2019

Head of Habilian Association, Hasheminejad, head of the MOIS division responsible for emanating negative propaganda and lies against MEK:  “The presence of 1500 people round the clock in three shifts indicates that they had planned the protests and this was done in service of the global arrogance. As our officials pointed out, planning of the enemy played a key role in the unrest that took place in our country in 2018.  So, our attitude must recognize the enemy and its targets, so that we will be able to counter them.”

MEK-Iran: Our Iran Released Summary of 2018 Protest Movement

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Massoud Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the main Iranian opposition to the religious dictatorship ruling Iran

Massoud Rajavi in the words of international dignitaries

 

Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the main Iranian opposition to the religious dictatorship ruling Iran

Massoud Rajavi, the historical leader of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK), the Chairman and founder of the National Council of Resistance of Iran(NCRI)

Massoud Rajavi, the historical leader of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK / PMOI) has had a major role in forming the opposition against the religious dictatorship ruling in Iran. Ever since his release from the Shah’s prisons, he started a massive campaign of education to draw a line between the real tolerant and  democratic view on Islam versus the fanatic, and extremist interpretations by the reactionary religious elite that gained the leadership of the 1979 revolution, led by the then Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, who later issued a decree to kill all the supporters and activists of the MEK for that reason.

Massoud Rajavi has been known as the key strategist and leader of the MEK and one of the most popular politicians in Iran’s contemporary history for his dedication to freedom, democracy and standing by the progressive and humanitarian morals the Iranian nation are known for. Below you will find several of many existing quotes by famous politicians that have known Rajavi or have worked with him during the past few decades.

Professor Jean Ziegler, Switzerland, April 2015

Professor Jean Ziegler, Professor Jean Ziegler, member of the Advisory Committee of the UN Human Rights Council

One of the things that impressed me most was the letters exchanged between Kazem (Rajavi) and Massoud (Rajavi) which I happened to receive every once in a while. In reading these letters, one could feel an enormous sense of respect on the part of Kazem for his brother but also a sense of deep love. And a mutual sense of trust that would immediately come to fore. It was all too obvious that there was something far beyond political solidarity and cooperation at work between the two brothers.

There was deep affection between the two, brotherhood and mutual understanding without saying a word. And seeing the two together was much too beautiful. It was the image of genuine fraternity. And I think that Massoud gave a lot of energy to Kazem in his struggle. Today, Massoud remains without Kazem but I am sure that Kazem’s memory is a source of energy not only for us, the ordinary combatants but also for Massoud.

Ché Guevara used to say that martyred revolutionaries never die because they are like stars that will continue to shine on to us for centuries after they die.

 

 

 

François Colcombet, founder of the French Judges Syndicate, June 30, 2018

François Colcombet, former French Parliamentarian and famous politician

Massoud Rajavi was the last political prisoner released from Shah’s jails before the fall of the monarchical regime. Let us remember that he was twice sentenced to death and Khomeini always considered him to be the regime’s No. 1 enemy because Massoud Rajavi was the only one who confronted the mullahs’ religious dictatorship by calling for a democratic revolution. And the death squads are still after him. Today, Massoud Rajavi’s messages continue to inspire freedom-fighters and freedom lovers in Iran and works as their driving force.

 

 

Giulio Terzi, former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Giulio Terzi, former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs

Those who embrace a tolerant pluralistic democratic vision for the society must take the lead. That was a conviction deeply rooted in Massoud Rajavi’s political and moral teachings.

Already in 1983, in a period of extreme violence for the Iranian theocratic revolution and repression against all political opponents, Massoud Rajavi described Islam with these prophetic words: A particular characteristic of Islam we believe in is its democratic nature. This Islam recognizes the rights of other religions, opinions, and schools of thought.

 

 

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, former Vice President of the European Parliament

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, former Vice President of the European Parliament, June 22, 2013

You are the beacon of a resistance which never gets tired and that does not need to rely on foreign powers. I commend President Rajavi for her leadership and also wish to salute the historical leader of the Iranian Resistance, Massoud Rajavi. I hope to meet him very soon in a free Iran.

Massoud and his brave followers have become symbols of perseverance and hope in these dark times of moral relativism and dirty pragmatism.

 

 

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, former Vice President of the European Parliament, December 19, 2012

You are the beacon of a resistance which never gets tired and that does not need to rely on foreign powers. I commend President Rajavi for her leadership and also wish to salute the historical leader of the Iranian Resistance, Massoud Rajavi. I hope to meet him very soon in a free Iran.

Massoud and his brave followers have become symbols of perseverance and hope in these dark times of moral relativism and dirty pragmatism.

 

Dr. Ahmad Al-Khattab, Syrian opposition figure

In 1984, thirty years ago in days like this, we came to this place. There were three or four of us Syrians and the oldest among us was national leader Akram Hourani. In front of us was the Iranian national leader, the lion of Iran, Massoud Rajavi. A number of other members of the leadership were by his side. We had a meeting lasting for 2 or 3 hours and we issued a joint statement.

 

Reza Al-Reza, Secretary General of the Jaafari Shiite Delegation of Iraq

The world will see that the Mojahedin are like a firm mountain that is not shaken by the storms of oppressors of history. Massoud Rajavi’s school of thought is against religious and racist regimes and has drawn a red line with these two issues.

 

Senator Jean-Pierre Michel

Senator Jean-Pierre Michel – France

I would like to remind the 1980 article by Le Monde which said if Massoud Rajavi’s candidacy had not been stopped (by Khomeini’s fatwa), he would have won millions of votes and Iran would have seen a different destiny. This is a clear answer to all those who questioned the support your movement and resistance enjoy in Iran.

 

 

 

Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield,

Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, September 6, 2014

Le Monde said that Massoud Rajavi had he been allowed to run instead of having a secret fatwa calling for his death would have gained millions of votes including the support of all of the ethnic minorities, women and religious minorities as well.

 

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Freedom of the Last Group of Political Prisoners in Iran Including Massoud Rajavi Leader of MEK

Massoud Rajavi, the leader of MEK

The historical leader of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran – PMOI (MEK). The photo was the “young” magazine cover in June 1979, when Massoud Rajavi was introduced as a candidate for the 1st Presidential Election. Soon Rajavi became the most popular candidate, representing the youth, the ethnic and religious minorities and the most progressive forces in Iran. This alerted the regime’s supreme leader and he disallowed Massoud Rajavi from continuing the race. Rajavi withdraw voluntarily to prevent any conflict with the government

January 20 is the anniversary of the freedom of the last group of political prisoners in Iran under the Shah’s dictatorship in 1979.

This is the day when the motto of “free all political prisoners” became a reality. This was one of the main slogans chanted in popular demonstrations and uprisings under the Shah.

The last group of political prisoners incarcerated by the Shah’s regime included two of the most prominent and well-known political prisoners of the time, Massoud Rajavi and Moussa Khiabani.

the remaining leadership of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran- PMOI (MEK) at the time. Those were the days when nationwide popular uprisings against the Shah had broken the spell of repression, and under the public opinion pressure from inside Iran and abroad, the Shah’s dictatorship had been forced to free the last group of political prisoners on the night of January 20, 1979, just three weeks before the fall of the Shah who had fled the country only four days earlier on January 16.

In preparation for their freedom, the last group of political prisoners had already been transferred from the Evin Prison to the Qasr Prison in downtown Tehran.

People had been gathering for days outside the Qasr Prison demanding their freedom. With the flight of the Shah, the last obstacle for their freedom was gone. The Shah later wrote in his memoirs that his greatest mistake was releasing the terrorists [reference to political prisoners] from jail.

One of the great concerns in those days was for the safety of the prisoners who had been held until the last minutes by the Shah’s regime. People feared that the Shah’s secret police, SAVAK, would stage-manage their murders.

The interrogators of the Evin Prison had a record of feeding cyanide to a number of prisoners and killing them.

In another incident on April 19, 1975, the SAVAK set up Bijan Jazani, six of his comrades, and two PMOI members –Kazem Zolanvar and Mostafa Javan Khoshdel—on the hills of Evin and shot them in the back, claiming that they had tried to escape.

On the night of January 20, 1979, people from Tehran and other cities had gathered outside the Qasr Prison waiting for hours, demanding the immediate release of all the remaining political prisoners.

On the other hand, the families of MEK and Fedaii prisoners and other groups of people had been staging a sit-in outside the Justice Ministry in Tehran since a week before, demanding freedom of the last group of political prisoners.

Meanwhile, the regime had declared a state of emergency (curfew). Nobody was allowed to move around the city after 9 p.m. They warned the gathering of people outside the Qasr Prison, firing shots into the air to disperse them. Their threats were not heeded. Angry people clenched their fists and spoke out about their intention to bring down the walls of the prison to free the political prisoners.

Their persistence finally bore fruit and forced the authorities to back down.

Eyewitnesses say that almost two hours before the state of emergency, the Shah’s generals and prison officials went to one of the wards and hastily took away Massoud Rajavi. The measure worried other prisoners in the ward before it became clear that they had taken Massoud Rajavi to the prison’s balcony so that the crowd of people outside the prison would see him. People overwhelmed by seeing that Massoud Rajavi is safe, and they started throwing flowers at him.

One of the Bazaar merchants who was on the balcony with Massoud Rajavi, took the megaphone and told the crowd that all prisoners had received amnesty. Massoud Rajavi grabbed the megaphone and reiterated, “There was no amnesty. Nobody has committed any crime here to be granted amnesty. Everyone can see that it is the people of Iran who are breaking the chains and shattering the prisons. Moreover, if anyone is to grant amnesty, it is us.”

Then, the prison’s warden announced that since there was not much time left to the beginning of the martial law, the crowd should disperse and open the way for the last group of prisoners to walk out. The crowd cried out and nobody moved. Everyone stayed in their place and no one moved.

One of the PMOI prisoners who were among the last group freed on January 20, 1979, described the final hours of their imprisonment. He said:

Later, when everyone was almost ready, Moussa (Khiabani) called everyone to the room at the end of Ward 8 where he always worked.

With a smile on his face, he asked,

“Is everyone ready?” Then he looked around at each and every one of us, one by one. He said, “Massoud Rajavi was busy and he could not personally come to speak to you before leaving. I am conveying his message. As you can see, we are getting freed. This is a gift from our people and the result of the sacrifices made, the blood spilled on the streets. So, we did not gain our freedom free… We are not leaving prison to go after our own comfortable lives.

The form of our struggle might change, but the goal remains the same, freedom and liberation of our people. Until now, we were fighting for this cause inside prisons, and we paid its price by enduring various forms of pressure and torture.

Tomorrow should be doing the same in society. Do not think that the difficult conditions will end by leaving prison. Outside here, fighting (for the cause) is going to be more difficult and would require greater sacrifices.

To maintain the precious freedom, we need to constantly make sacrifices. We have vowed to pay the price (of freedom of our people) at any time. Know that the circumstances are going to be much more complicated. Of course, we will pave the way just as we have up until now thanks to the vigilance, intelligence, and deep faith of our brother, Massoud Rajavi.”

 

Everyone was silent, gazing at Moussa and carefully listening to him. After a few hours, the gates of Qasr Prison were opened. Massoud and Ashraf Rajavi, Moussa Khiabani, and a number of other PMOI and Fedaii members walked out of prison and went directly to the Justice Ministry where people were holding a sit-in.

The next morning, various groups of people went to the residence of Rezaii Family (A famous family in Iran, whom had lost several of their children to the Shah’s dictatorship, including Mehdi Rezaii, who was executed by the Shah’s SAVAK when he was only 19) to pay a visit to the freed political prisoners. They were followed by Ayatollah Taleghani and Medhi Bazargan on the next days who also went there and met with the MEK members.

On January 21, 1979, the Kayhan daily reported on the enthusiastic gathering of the people of Tehran and their warm welcome to the last group of political prisoners:

The area surrounding the prison was filled with excitement until midnight. Relatives and families of prisoners, as well as their comrades and acquaintances who had been waiting impatiently all night with chants of hail to Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), salutes to Fedaii, opened their arms to embrace 125 of the best children of this nation.

Meanwhile, a large group of families of political prisoners were continuing their sit-in at the lawyers’ guild, waiting for their children.

Referring to the moments when the names of prisoners were being read out loud, Kayhan wrote:

“Every name that was read out, the several thousand people in the gathering hailed the prisoner and cried out in happiness. To give assurance to the people on the freedom of political prisoners, one of the prisoners spoke to them directly through a megaphone. Massoud Rajavi who faced overwhelming support of the people said,

‘Are there any words by which one could thank you, people? Indeed, all of us owe our freedom to you, the people of Iran, and not to anyone else or any other particular group.’”

Staff Writer

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Massoud Rajavi,MEK,MEK rally at Amjadiyeh,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Massoud Rajavi-MEK leader

Massoud Rajavi’s Historical Speech At Tehran’s Famous Amjadiyeh Stadium

Massoud Rajavi-MEK leader

Massoud Rajavi, the historical leader of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI), addressing a crowd of up to 200,000 supporters of MEK in Amjadiyeh-Tehran-June 1980

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) organized a rally at Amjadiyeh Stadium in Tehran on June 12, 1980, to protest the mullahs’ escalating despotism.  Days earlier Khomeini (the then regime Supreme Leader) had shut down all of the universities under the pretext of the cultural revolution which aimed to suppress the students.

More than 200,000 people attended the demonstration.  Mr.Massoud Rajavi, the historical leader of the MEK, warned the crowd of Khomeini’s creeping dictatorship and urged them to “defend freedoms, freedom of speech, associations, and gatherings.”  He declared the PMOI would not be intimidated.  “We’re not afraid of bullets,” he said, “If freedom means death, then we will die.”19

MEK’s History

Hezbollah thugs tried without success to force their way into the stadium.  They clashed with MEK(PMOI) supporters outside the facility, throwing stones and bricks, while policemen and Islamic Revolutionary Guards stood idle nearby.  When the government forces later intervened, they fired tear gas into MEK (PMOI) crowds and automatic weapons into the air.
As reported by Le Monde, Mr. Rajavi spoke while “fighting continued outside and his words were lost at times in a cacophony of explosions, machine-gun bursts, and ambulance horns.”20

“Do you hear?” Mr. Rajavi asked as he addressed himself to the Hezbollahi (Regime club-wielders).  “We are neither Communists nor pro-Soviets as you claim.  We are fighting for the total freedom and independence of Iran….Freedom is not granted,” he cried as the crowd rose to shout to its feet.  “It is won.  A gift of the Lord, it is as indispensable as oxygen.”21

MEK supporters were shot by IRGC forces, as they were trying to leave Amjadiyeh Stadium

Members of the audience were attacked as they left the stadium.  Hundreds were injured and five were killed.  As reported by Le Monde, “Shots were fired from nearby roofs and bodies lay on the sidewalks. Young men with bloodied faces were running in all directions.”22

With each passing day, the MEK (PMOI) gained strength while Khomeini’s support drained away.  The Ayatollah openly considered the possibility of defeat, stating on June 17, “Never have I so much feared to see the Islamic Revolution end in failure.”23

On July 25, Khomeini lashed out at the Mujahedin-e Khalq in a radio broadcast, declaring the resistance organization to be the “main enemy.”  Khomeini said, “Our enemy is neither the United States, nor the Soviet Union, nor Kurdistan, but sitting right here in Tehran under our nose.”  The Ayatollah continued:

“The Monafeqin [meaning hypocrites, his pejorative term for the Mujahedin-e Khalq] are worse than infidels.  They say they are Muslims, but they act against Islam….Today, we clergymen are being called reactionaries…and those people [MEK/PMOI] are being called the intellectuals.”24

Khomeini’s speech was interpreted by the Hezbollah and Revolutionary Guards as a green light to destroy the pro-democracy organization.  The MEK / PMOI closed down an additional 30 offices across Iran, hoping to avoid the further “shedding of innocent blood.”25  Weeks later, the mullahs announced a ban on all political demonstrations.

Staff Writer

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