The Iranian regime is engulfed with domestic and international crises. It faces a restive society, the coronavirus outbreak, and international isolation. In such circumstances and due to a long history of the struggle for democracy and freedom, Iranian youth are approaching and joining the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The state-run media constantly whine about the MEK’s popularity in Iranian society particularly among the youth. On May 17, in a video conference with a group of handpicked Basij mercenaries posing as students, the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, expressed his fear over the surge in popular uprisings and protests and the increasing support for the MEK.
Terrified of the enthusiasm exhibited by young people towards the MEK, Khamenei said, “Places of gathering for young people, including universities, have been the target of two major evils: passivity and deviation. In the early days of the revolution, we had some young people who believed in Islam…. They were attracted to the MEK… And joined their path.”
For years the Iranian regime’s strategy has been to demonize and tarnish the image of the MEK, to claim that its rule has no alternative.
Demonizing the MEK and, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), as the regime’s main alternative, has been the objective of regime entities. This includes state TV and radio, the film industry, publishing hundreds of newspapers, weekly and monthly magazines, hundreds of websites in various languages on the internet, publishing thousands of books to distort Iran’s modern history and even go as far as distorting history in history books taught in classes in order to brainwash the minds of youth.
For this purpose and to give credit to its demonizing narratives, for years, the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) have recruited some who have been expelled from the MEK and disguised them as “former members” or “critics” of the MEK. These elements have been used by the MOIS to pursue the regime’s demonizing campaign. As it was mentioned, the aim has been to tarnish the credibility of the MEK as the mullahs’ viable alternative and to pursue terrorist plots particularly against the MEK and the Iranian Resistance in general.
In this regard, an article titled “The religion of Islam and the sinister charisma of eclecticism,” published by the state-run “Rahyaftegan” website, which operates under the “Islamic missionary and newly converted Muslim base,” confirms regime’s fear of the MEK, as the main threat to regime’s existence, and reveals the names of some of the MOIS agents who have been pursuing regime’s demonizing campaign against the MEK for years. The article reads in part: “The office of Mr. [Mahmoud] Alavi, the honorable minister of security and intelligence, is working around the clock and has hired some of the MEK’s repentant defectors such as Soltani, Khodabandeh, Ezati, Hosseini, Karimdadi, Mesdaghi, Yaghmai, Pour-Hossain, and… By putting a lot of energy and of course, financially backing them, it uses them to psychologically confront the MEK, which is great, but is it enough?”
The following is the translation of part of the article by the Rahyaftegan news agency:
The religion of Islam and the sinister charisma of eclecticism
On May 17, the Islamic Revolution’s Leader in a virtual meeting with students pointed to the main threat to our Islamic country and system. He said: “Notice that at the beginning of the Revolution, we had youth, they joined up with false [Islamic] eclectic groups. I recommend you recruit people, but not the MEK. You should all notice, they [the MEK] are also working on our youth. Everyone should pay attention and take care not to help the enemy recruit the youth of the country.”
What are the eclectic groups?
In our religious view, synthesizing is related to Islam. In the contemporary history of Iran, there is only one Islamic-eclectic group: The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran. Therefore, according to all the religious-political experts, the supreme leader, in his meeting with students, pointed to the system’s real threat, which is the MEK deviant grouplet.
Why the MEK is the biggest threat?
To answer this question and understand why the supreme leader on May 17, explicitly warned all the lovers of the system to not neglect this evil enemy, we should delve into the MEK’s religious and ideologic views.
The MEK apparently believes in Islam. Yet, unlike Imam [Ruhollah] Khomeini [the regime’s founder] who stressed on the “Islamic Revolution,” the MEK speaks of a “Revolutionary Islam.” This is the MEK’s starting point of corruption and its devastating effect on the Iranian society and among different generations of youth, particularly the current one.
Those who are old enough to remember how [Massoud] Rajavi [the Iranian Resistance Leader] during the first years of the Islamic revolution, with his fabricated charisma, was able to gather hundreds of thousands of youth to listen to his speeches. He went so far that the French Le Monde on March 29, 1980, wrote “Rajavi, with his informative eloquent speeches has many sympathizers. The political gatherings he holds in Tehran and other provinces attract an audience of 100, 200, or sometimes 300 thousand people.”
The repeated warnings of Imams Khomeini and Khamenei
Imam Khomeini, until his last days of life, every week warned about the MEK’s threat and that of Massoud Rajavi. After that, we have been witnessing the supreme leader, with his special wisdom, constantly warn about the MEK grouplet’s threat. After the January 2018 sedition, he clearly said: “The foot soldiers of this incident were the MEK.”
After the November incidents [nationwide Iran protests of November 2019] he stressed: “A few days before the incidents, which were about the gas [price hikes], in a ‘treacherous’ country (Albania) a number of Iranian ‘mercenaries’ conspired the gas sedition.” Now, our supreme leader warns, with an increasing and unprecedented clarity warn about this dangerous enemy and its recruiting of our “youth community.”
These warnings are based on some realities in society. Don’t you see how Massoud Rajavi constantly sends messages for youth, uses specific verses and parts of Quran and the Nahj al-Balagha [sermons, letters and sayings of Imam Ali] and as he [Massoud Rajavi] says gives “Ideological” instruction to the “Young Generation”?
It is not irrelevant, that a large group of youth, from different social classes, from workers to elite students of the Sharif University of Technology are attracted to the MEK.
Is our work sufficient?
Although our devoted forces are tirelessly making sacrifices to confront the MEK and its network, but the question is, is it enough?
The office of Mr. [Mahmoud] Alavi, the honorable minister of security and intelligence, is working around the clock and has hired some of the MEK’s repentant defectors such as Soltani, Khodabandeh, Ezati, Hosseini, Karimdadi, Mesdaghi, Yaghmai, Pour-Hossain, and… By putting a lot of energy and of course, financially backing them, it uses them to psychologically confront the MEK, which is great, but is it enough?
Mr. [Gholamhossain] Esmaili [spokesperson of the regime’s Judiciary] declared the arrest of two elite yet MEK students of Sharif University, which although appreciable, but is it enough?
No, these moves are not enough. Because the supreme leader raised an alert about the eclectic ideologies because we see how our youth, on a scale of thousands are being trapped by Rajavi’s charisma and turned from an elite student into a destructive person with the melancholy of arms and bombs.
So, we should warn, at every corner of this country, about this eclectic interpretation of Islam. We should prevent our youth from joining the MEK and always remind ourselves what our leader has said: “You should all notice, they [MEK] are also working on our youth. Everyone should pay attention and take care not to help the enemy recruit the youth of the country.”