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Demonization Tactics Exposed: Iranian Regime’s Desperate Efforts to Discredit the MEK

ghiam sarnegouni files

On May 7, 2023, a group known as “Ghiam ta Sarnegouni” announced their successful takeover of 210 websites, software applications, servers, databases, and other components belonging to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Iran. This resulted in the seizure of tens of thousands of documents, some of which have already been made public on the Internet. 

The recently exposed documents uncover significant revelations, including top-level strategic discussions between officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security. These discussions revolve around tactics aimed at discrediting the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). One document specifically highlights the Supreme National Security Council’s designation of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) as the primary entity responsible for countering the MEK. This internal document provides further insight into the extensive demonization campaign orchestrated by the regime against the organization. 

Over the course of the past four decades, the Iranian regime has relentlessly engaged in a propaganda campaign aimed at defaming both the MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). 

Following the 1979 revolution, the MEK gained significant support from Iranian youth. However, the clerical regime employed brutal tactics such as imprisonment, torture, execution, and mass killings in an attempt to eradicate the organization. Shockingly, the number of executed MEK members and supporters exceeds 100,000, and in the year 1988 alone, over 30,000 political prisoners were brutally massacred. 

Despite facing severe repression from the regime, the MEK has managed to maintain deep-rooted support among the Iranian people, rendering the regime’s attempts to annihilate it unsuccessful. Consequently, the regime has resorted to demonizing the MEK through various channels, including the dissemination of books, articles, exhibitions, movies, and documentaries, all aimed at discrediting the organization. 

Confidential report 

Among the documents seized by the group is a report from the political committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs outlining their systematic endeavors to tarnish the reputation of the MEK. This particular document sheds light on the strategies employed to discredit the MEK and hinder its operations and international influence. 

This document serves as a mere glimpse into the extensive and continuous demonization campaign orchestrated by the Iranian regime and its ministries against the MEK. It emphasizes the extent to which the regime is willing to go in its efforts to undermine the organization, utilizing propaganda dissemination and deploying diverse tactics to vilify its cause. 

The Political Committee on Hypocrites1 (MEK) held six meetings between December 22, 2018, and January 20, 2021, with representatives from relevant institutions such as the Ministry of Intelligence, the Quds Force, the Intelligence Organization of the Revolutionary Guards, the NAJA (Law Enforcement Force), Interpol, the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and related departments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” The report reads in part adding,  

The meetings were chaired by the Honorable Political Deputy at the time. During the first four sessions, the committee focused on understanding the nature of hypocrites and monitoring their movements and activities. Its primary mission was to discredit hypocrites and undermine their advantages and values. The committee found that this discrediting should take place in all spheres, not just political, with other committees handling other responsibilities.”   

Moreover, according to the report, during the fifth and sixth sessions, the political committee identified essential measures to discredit the MEK and formulated corresponding decisions.  

In the fifth and sixth sessions, the committee identified necessary solutions for discrediting hypocrites and made corresponding decisions. This report highlights key issues related to the movements and strategies of hypocrites, as well as necessary solutions for discrediting them, which fall under the committee’s jurisdiction.”  

As stated in the report, the Secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council has entrusted the Ministry of Intelligence with the responsibility of countering the MEK.  

It is worth noting that the Secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council tasked the Ministry of Intelligence with dealing with hypocrites by forming a high committee and other committees under it to use the capacity of all institutions. However, the Ministry of Intelligence remains the primary body responsible for confronting hypocrites and implementing countermeasures.”  

The report also addresses the following issues: 

Firstly, “Utilizing the resources of non-governmental organizations, human rights associations, and supportive foreign media outlets, as well as leveraging social media platforms and utilizing individuals who have been dismissed from the organization, are all critical diplomatic and promotional strategies for effectively engaging with this group on a cultural level. Additionally, employing artistic mediums such as cinema can also be an effective tool in this effort.” 

Secondly, “The available capacities abroad such as the United Nations, the Office of Interest Protection, various NGOs and friends of the Islamic Republic of Iran in international organizations can be utilized, and the available space can be effectively managed.” 

Thirdly, “Getting Maryam Rajavi‘s deportation order and transferring them from the suburbs of Paris to Albania is another important step that is on the agenda.” 

Fourthly, “The organization is presently operating covertly within the vicinity of Iran and neighboring countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. It is certain that the intelligence agencies of these nations are aware of this presence. To address this issue, the establishment of regional security organizations could prove to be effective.” 

Fifth, other effective measures include “psychological operations, raising awareness of the high costs of hosting the MEK within European countries or where they reside, and forming legal proceedings against the organization in European countries.” 

The report further states:  

“Unlike the monarchists, the hypocrites have unity and coherent organizations. Also, the hypocrites have announced that they are looking for regime change by forming Resistance Units. The hypocrites are not an alternative, but they are the only organization that has a plan to be an alternative. Therefore, hypocrites are both seeking to overthrow the system and alternative and insidious… 

The hypocrites possess a network of influence and espionage within the country. If the conditions are favorable, they are capable of entering into an armed phase and thus should not be overlooked. In general, the hypocrites possess a range of capabilities, including: 

  1. Collect information 
  1. Central leadership 
  1. Economic power 
  1. Social power 

Finally, the report identified four significant characteristics of the MEK:  

The first is that “this group has the capability to carry out armed operations” Secondly, “the affiliates of the hypocrites have a strong motivation to fight, indicating their willingness to engage in struggles.” Thirdly, “they have a history of fighting and resisting against the system.” Fourthly, “they possess significant information capabilities that allow them to conceal their intelligence systems effectively. Overall, this group is highly dangerous, to the extent that they can be considered as a group aiming to overthrow the system.”