Despicable Demonization Campaign Against Iranian Democratic Opposition PMOI (MEK), Preparing the Grounds for Terrorist Attacks
By Alejo Vidal-Quadras
The International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) exposes the intensifying measures of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) to demonize the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK) in a bid to prepare the ground for terrorist acts against the main democratic opposition to the religious dictatorship ruling Iran.
The covert and unannounced videotaping by the British Channel 4 of the residence of the Iranian refugees - members of the PMOI - in Albania on August 10, and the publication of these pictures in less than 24 hours, on the websites of Iranian intelligence ministry known as Iran-Interlink, has caused deep concern about the security and safety of these refugees. Specifically, that Channel 4 has refused to respond to letters by the PMOI spokesperson, a copy of which has been sent to the ISJ.
Three weeks after Channel 4’s suspicious visit to the refugees’ residence, its International Editor Ms Lindsey Hilsum notified the PMOI spokesman the day before yesterday in a letter devoid of journalistic impartiality that they plan to broadcast a report about the organization on 3rd of September. After outlining the items of the program, she demanded the PMOI’s written comments.
According to Ms Hilsum’s letter, the items of the program will be comprised of false remarks and slanders against the PMOI that we have heard repeatedly from the representatives of the Iranian regime and the agents of Iranian intelligence ministry over the past two decades.
This is far from journalistic ethics that, while for several weeks, the reporter interviewed a colorful spectrum of Iranian agents and secretly filmed the residence of the refugees, at the last minute and on the eve of broadcasting the program, she asks the PMOI to respond to these falsehoods and to send it to the TV station within half a working day.
The letter was sent to the PMOI on Friday 31 August, and the program is scheduled to be broadcast on Monday 3 September. This is reminiscent of the Kangaroo courts of the religious dictatorship in Iran where a single clergy acting as the judge, the prosecutor and the lawyer, gives the defendant only the opportunity to either repent or go to the gallows.
The Iranian regime, while engulfed by widespread discontent and popular uprisings and facing growing international isolation, is in desperate need of programs similar to that of the British Channel 4. Especially when its terrorist plot against the PMOI in Albania in March 2018, and another bomb plot against the massive gathering of Iranian opposition in Paris in June 2018 has been thwarted by European security agencies. An Iranian terrorist ‘diplomat’ was arrested in Germany in July 2018 and two Iranian regime agents spying against the PMOI in the United States were arrested in August 2018. Only last week the cyber network of the Tehran mullahs that was pumping false information and misleading international policies was exposed and hundreds of accounts were blocked by Facebook, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus and YouTube for “coordinated manipulation” of the media. The French Foreign Ministry few days ago urged its diplomats not to travel to Iran as their diplomatic immunity cannot be guaranteed.
All of the claims in Ms Hilsum's letter against the PMOI are well-known falsehoods that we have experienced over the past two decades. We have investigated them in the past. President of the ISJ, Dr Alejo Vidal-Quadras, in his previous capacity as Vice-President of the European Parliament (1999-2014) plus a large number of other parliamentarians and political dignitaries repeatedly visited Camp Ashraf between 2003 and 2009; and since 2013, they have visited the PMOI premises in Albania, and met with them closely and directly. We are well aware of the whole set of claims presented in Ms Hilsum's letter which we have found to be absolutely false.
For example, we met with Ms Somayeh Mohammadi, whose father Mostafa Mohammadi is one of the main subjects of the Channel 4 program. We met her both in Camp Ashraf, Iraq between 2005 - 2008, and in Albania after 2014 and talked to her directly. We have also examined the documents revealing Mostafa Mohammadi’s commitment to the Iranian intelligence services. Ms Hilsum's report, as it appears from her letter asserting that Ms Mohammadi is held in PMOI Camps against her will, technically speaking, amounts to collaboration in the psychological torture of Ms Mohammadi. Ms Hilsum simply casts a blind eye on the fact that even the Iraqi courts under Maliki’s rule had rejected Mostafa Mohammadi’s claim that his daughter was forcibly held by the PMOI. She closes her eyes on the fact that US officials, the UNHCR, the UNAMI, the Red Cross, and European delegations and other parliamentarians, have interviewed Ms Mohammadi in camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq, and in Albania, and she has explicitly said she did not want to meet her father, who is now an agent of Iranian Ministry of Intelligence. Ms Hilsum ignored the fact that the Canadian authorities insisted that Ms Mohammadi had remained in her own right in Camp Ashraf while in Iraq. In addition to all these, the Albanian prosecutor in August 2018 rejected the complaint by Mostafa Mohammadi who had alleged that his daughter was abducted and taken hostage by the PMOI, saying she is a 38-year-old woman who has remained in the PMOI at her own will.
Some, who follow the Iranian regime’s practices closely, view such reports as a prepayment for securing release of British nationals held by the regime as hostages in Iran. Such attitude will only embolden the regime to continue with its terrorism abroad and suppression of people at home.
The experience has shown that whether in Camps Ashraf, or Liberty in Iraq, or in Albania and elsewhere, such demonization has been the preamble for military, missile, or terrorist bomb attacks against the PMOI. Therefore, ISJ asks Channel 4 not to fall into the conspiracies of the mullahs’ regime and not to pave the way for unhindered terrorist acts of the mullahs by broadcasting such a program.
International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) was initially formed in 2008 as an informal group of EU parliamentarians to seek justice for the Iranian democratic opposition. In 2014 it was registered as a non-profit NGO in Brussels expanding its membership beyond elected parliamentarians to former officials and other dignitaries with an interest to promote human rights, freedom, democracy, peace and stability. ISJ's campaigns have enjoyed the support of over 4000 parliamentarians on both sides of the Atlantic.
President: Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice President of European Parliament (1999-2014)