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APA Book Exposes Iran Regime’s Psychological Warfare Against Resistance with “Child Soldiers” Allegations

Throughout human history, whenever a nation has faced oppression or foreign aggression, countless individuals have been suppressed, losing their rights and freedoms. Yet, amid such tyranny, there have always been a few who stand defiant, sacrificing their lives and well-being and becoming beacons of pride for their nation. History has shown that while oppression indiscriminately targets a population, resistance against it has demanded sacrifices from men, women, and children of all classes, sectors, and ethnicities.

After the 1979 revolution in Iran, a power-hungry faction exploited the people’s beliefs, presenting itself as a spiritual government. This clerical gang leveraged faith to deceive and suppress millions of Muslims. By manipulating patriotism inside Iran, they dragged a neighboring country into a devastating war under the guise of national defense, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iranians and using children as cannon fodder. The regime showed no discrimination in torturing and killing its opponents, regardless of gender or age. Women of all ages faced violence, mistreatment, and legal discrimination.

Today, over 40 years into the struggle against the clerical regime, it has launched a psychological warfare campaign using journalists aligned with it and covert agents serving Tehran’s intelligence services. The regime claims that some individuals who joined the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) 30 years ago were underage. Despite the astonishing lies in this psychological warfare, which reveal the regime’s deceitful nature and expose its network of mercenaries, the timing and irrationality of these accusations merely highlight that the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, now facing unprecedented rage from its own people, feels most threatened by this organization.

The accompanying book, written by the Alliance for Public Awareness (APA), delves into the history, arguments, and infrastructure of this psychological warfare, focusing on the new “child soldier” allegations added to the long list of the Iranian regime’s lies against the Iranian Resistance. The following is the introduction to the book.

Introduction of the Book

A few years back, the remarkable saga of the transfer of children of the members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) during the First Persian Gulf War in 1990 from Camp Ashraf in Iraq to Europe, the United States, and Canada emerged from the shadows. This migration, undertaken to shield the children from the devastating bombings of the war, was twisted into a propaganda weapon against the PMOI and the broader Iranian Resistance. The disinformation campaign, spearheaded by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) along with several journalists and filmmakers, acting at the behest of the Iranian regime, aimed to malign the organization.

Since its inception in February 1979, the regime’s effort to demonize the PMOI and the Iranian Resistance has been relentless. Over the years, the nature of these attacks has evolved, adapting to the changing dynamics of the resistance movement and the regime’s own desperation to cling to power. Despite the shifts in tactics, the core message has remained constant: portray the PMOI and the Iranian Resistance as a threat more formidable and malign than the current regime, thus dissuading the Iranian people from considering regime change and, at the same time, convincing the international community of the fallacy that there exists no viable alternative to the status quo.

However, the past 7-8 years have witnessed pivotal developments that not only propelled the Iranian Resistance into a new chapter but also compelled the regime to recalibrate its strategy of demonization. Key among these developments were:

  1. The relocation of the PMOI from Iraq to Europe, particularly Albania, in 2016, which signified a major logistical achievement and bolstered the Resistance’s standing on the international stage.
  2. The eruption of successive, nationwide uprisings since late 2017, underscored by the significant influence and organizational capabilities of the PMOI in galvanizing public dissent against the regime.

These milestones not only challenged the regime’s narrative but also demonstrated the enduring resilience and adaptability of the Iranian Resistance, signaling a potent threat to the regime’s grasp on power.

The regime’s intensification of its disinformation campaign against the PMOI and the Iranian Resistance can also be attributed to the formation of Resistance Units within Iran and the significant involvement of the youth in the uprisings. The rising wave of young Iranians joining the ranks of the PMOI, inspired by the call for freedom and change, has evidently unnerved the regime, prompting it to resort to further fabrications and distortions about the MEK, particularly focusing on the narratives surrounding the children of MEK members, many of whom have now become advocates for freedom or are actively involved in the international arena to expose the regime’s atrocities.

A notable instance of this propaganda effort was spearheaded in 2020 by Luisa Hommerich, a journalist with close ties to the MOIS, through her contributions to in the German publication Die Zeit. The result was an article, entitled, “Free at last,” that was published on October 27, 2021.1

At the same time, a film project about Camp Ashraf children was launched, which represents a targeted effort to leverage narratives surrounding individuals who, as children, were associated with the PMOI during their relocation from Iraq to Europe during the First Persian Gulf War. Decades later, these individuals, now in their 40s and purportedly connected to the MOIS, became central figures in a cinematic endeavor aimed at discrediting the PMOI and the broader Iranian Resistance.

The film was presented at the YouTube Festival in February and subsequently at the Tempo Festival in Gothenburg in March, with the intention of portraying the MEK and the Iranian Resistance unfavorably.

Alongside this cinematic endeavor, two books authored by two of the aforementioned individuals were released. These books, filled with inaccuracies, were designed to malign the PMOI and the Iranian Resistance. These actions are people. This approach highlights the regime’s apprehension about the PMOI’s capacity to galvanize societal support for a change in Iran, demonstrating the extensive measures the regime is willing to employ to maintain its grip on power.

These narratives intersect to distort reality, attempting to portray the PMOI members as devoid of emotion, cruel, and dismissive of family values. This messaging is propagated through a network of media outlets linked to the MOIS and the Revolutionary Guards. The aim is to convince the Iranian public that the negative portrayal of the MEK, which is rejected by the people, is also corroborated by foreign experts, witnesses, and sources outside the regime’s influence.

For over forty years, the clerical regime has engaged in a campaign to demonize PMOI rationalizing the persecution and execution of its members and sympathizers within Iran, as well as orchestrating terrorist attacks against the Resistance and its international supporters. In response to the growing appeal of the PMOI among the youth, the expansion of Resistance Units, and increasing international support, the regime has intensified its efforts to vilify the PMOI both domestically and internationally, aiming to undermine its credibility and support base.

Alongside manipulating the narrative concerning the children of Camp Ashraf, the regime has initiated a so-called court proceeding against over 100 leaders and members of the resistance who have been living outside Iran for decades. These individuals have been branded as “mohareb” (enemies of God) and sentenced to death in absentia. The regime’s officials have openly articulated their objectives with these trials: firstly, to convince the youth that they are unaware of the “crimes” committed by the PMOI and that they have been “deceived” by the organization; secondly, to construct a basis for exerting pressure on these individuals in Western countries, mirroring the objectives behind the distorted stories of the children; and thirdly, to set the stage for terrorist assault against the organization.

This hypocritical concern for the children of the PMOI by the regime and its affiliates starkly contrasts with their own track record of human rights abuses against children. Hundreds of teenagers, aged 12 to 18, were killed in the streets by the Revolutionary Guards during the 2022 uprising. Historically, during the Iran-Iraq war, about one million children were used as minesweepers in the minefields, leading to countless deaths. Additionally, the ongoing repression by the regime has forced hundreds of thousands of children to abandon their education for forced labor, including scavenging through garbage and undertaking other menial tasks, highlighting the regime’s blatant disregard for the well-being and futures of its youngest citizens.

This booklet delves into the reality behind the narratives concerning the children of the PMOI, unveiling the extensive efforts by the religious dictatorship ruling Iran and its international operatives to distort the truth. It aims to shed light on the strategies, mechanisms, and operations employed by the regime in its campaign of demonization.

Through detailed examination and evidence, the booklet seeks to counteract the regime’s propaganda by presenting factual accounts that reveal the true nature of the regime’s actions and intentions. By doing so, it endeavors to inform the public, both within Iran and globally, about the regime’s tactics of disinformation on one hand and the resilience of the PMOI and their families in the face of such adversity on the other hand.

Read the complete book: