Of Terrorists and Turncoats: Exposing MeK and Its Defenders

A power-hungry ideologue. An unelected president. The regime in Tehran and the MeK are two sides of the same coin.

The article by Dr. Raymond Tanter calls to mind the full page, $100,000 ad the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MeK) has been publishing in the New York Times. In defending this organization as zealously as he does, Tanter succumbs to his own form of propaganda.

The piece begins by talking about the Durban conference, which of course has nothing to do with the subject at hand—namely, delisting the MeK from the State Department’s catalogue of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. What is the relation between the two? Apparently the argument is that because the Iranian regime grossly violates its citizens’ human rights, and its president denies the Holocaust, the State Department should delist the MeK because it opposes that regime. I suggest to Tanter to familiarize himself with the MeK’s history, including the fact that its current leader, Masoud Rajavi, was trained by the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1970. This is also the same MeK that was supported by Saddam Hussein, Israel’s sworn enemy, up until 2003!

Tanter uses the crimes of the Iranian regime to justify what he advocates. As the late Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the spiritual leader of the Green Movement, Iran’s true democratic movement (as opposed to the bogus movement that the MeK claims to lead), put it, “The Iranian regime is neither Islamic nor a republic.” Indeed, it is a religious, ideological dictatorship. I call it the Velaayat-e Faghih (VF) regime (guardianship of the Islamic jurist, represented by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei). But, the MeK has precisely the same power structure as the VF regime. The latter has an ideological leader—Khamenei—just as Masoud Rahavi is the MeK ideological leader, and a Stalinist one at that. The VF regime has a president in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who was essentially handpicked by Khamenei, despite overwhelming evidence that the people voted for his main rival Mir Hossein Mousavi in the 2009 election, just as Maryam Rajavi was handpicked by her husband as the never-elected-by-anyone “president-elect of the resistance.” Khamenei’s supporters claim that he is God’s representative on earth and the deputy to Imam Mahdi, the Shiites’ hidden Imam, and Masoud Rajavi has also claimed repeatedly that he is in contact with the Imam. And, so long as the MeK thought that it could overthrow the VF regime from its bases in Iraq, it was as anti-American as is the VF regime.

So, what is the difference between the current power and the power to be? Believing that the MeK can bring democracy to Iran is a perfect example of what Iranians say in Persian, az chaaleh dar amaadan va beh chaah oftaadan (getting out of a ditch and falling into a deep well). Moreover, Iranians do not need Tanter to confront the VF regime. This is an internal matter for Iranians.

Tanter emphasizes the MeK’s “credentials” for opposing the VF regime. Opposing a dictatorial regime does not make one democratic. Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge opposed the Vietnamese Communists. Joseph Stalin opposed any religion and its role in governance. The Shah of Iran opposed the clerics. But all were dictators. Tanter tries also to confuse the reader by saying the Green Movement (GM) has two parts, and only one part is headed by Mousavi, as if the other part supports MeK. This is false. No supporter of the GM supports the MeK. Worse, Tanter claims that Mousavi accepts the clerical rule. This is also false. Both Mousavi and the other opposition leader, Mehdi Karroubi, have agreed with the aforementioned opinion of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri. Both have called for the unconditional release of all the political prisoners, freedom of the press, political parties, gatherings and peaceful protests, a stop to the intervention of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps in politics and the economy, and free and fair elections. Both have said that at the appropriate time Iran’s constitution must be revised.