The terrorist and religious dictatorship ruling Iran does not shy away from any vicious measure in confronting its opponents. Torture, execution, and assassination are standard practice. But the mullahs know these measures alone would not be able to eliminate a strong opposition like the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK). Regime officials have repeatedly stressed that their most important challenge at home and abroad is the MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
Therefore, a campaign of “demonization” has become a vital tool for the regime. From the beginning, and especially in the last two decades, the regime has paid a heavy price to tarnish the image of the MEK.
The regime uses any and all levers to advance this policy. This includes the Friday Prayers Imams and other government clerics as well as the state radio and television stations in Iran and their influence in the Western press. But on their own, these levers are not very effective. According to the annual report of Germany’s domestic security agency, the regime tries to recruit current or former members of the MEK and the NCRI to pursue its plots against them.
Prisons are a source of recruitment for the regime. The few prisoners who are willing to cooperate with the enemy are very good elements for the regime.
One such example is a man named Iraj Mesdaghi, who was recruited by the regime in prison from 1981 to 1982 and tried to infiltrate the MEK. He played his role well. That is until his true nature was revealed a few years ago. Then he became very hated among Iranians.
The following is the text of a statement signed by more than 1,604 former prisoners
Petition – 20th round of signatures
Signatories expose Iraj Mesdaghi’s role as an agent of the Iranian regime’s intelligence
Shocking evidence by Amnesty International regarding the massacre of political prisoners in 1988:
Some examples of questions posed by “death commissions” to determine the fate of political prisoners:
– Are you prepared to condemn “Monafeqin” (main opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK) and their leaders?
– Are you prepared to join the armed forces of the Islamic Republic to fight against “Monafeqin” (MEK)?
– Are you prepared to conduct espionage against your former colleagues and cooperate with agents of the Intelligence Ministry?
– Are you prepared to be part of the death squads?
– Are you prepared to execute an MEK member?
Iraj Mesdaghi: Before my arrest, I had severed contacts with the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). During my time in prison, I also did not have any contacts with MEK supporters. And, if freed, I will commit to avoid conducting any political activities (Vol. 3, p. 139).
The first statement of “repugnance” (toward the MEK and at the regime’s behest): I exited the court room. An IRGC guard gave me a piece of paper. And I wrote a line on it about repugnance (Vol. 3, p. 146).
The second letter of repugnance: Nasserian begrudgingly brought me out of the court room and handed me a piece of paper. This was also no more than a few lines. I don’t know who had written it. The content was not different from what I had written. But, it was a few lines. I don’t remember the content exactly because I did not have any interest in memorizing it. At any rate, I copied it verbatim (Vol. 3, p. 154).
The third statement of repugnance: I exited the room and wrote another letter of repugnance. This time I was more at peace and wrote it with less pressure imposed on me. The content was not different from the previous ones. I only wrote a few more lines to provide additional details and explanations (Vol. 3, p. 182).
The fourth statement of repugnance: I was released from prison in June 1991. I don’t remember anything from that day. I only know that I wrote a statement of repugnance and signed it. But I don’t remember how and at what stage I did so. It is as if this part of my life has been erased from memory.
A behind-the-scenes turncoat who wrote books for Lajevardi
The dark chapter of debating prisoners in Evin
Publications of the Islamic Revolution Prosecutor, Summer of 1983
– Assadollah Lajevardi (Evin prison’s henchman) used to coordinate multiple debates at Evin’s mosque in order to force prisoners to face off against one another. In these meetings, traitors and defectors like Qassem Asna-Ashari used to recount their memories and invited for debate political prisoners who continued to resist. At any rate, the dossiers prepared by Qassem Asna-Ashari and Reza Keyvanzad were typed up and submitted to the seventh branch where they would be handed over to authors of books.
– Some time later, the identity of the man behind the writing and editing of these books was revealed to me. The name of this traitor was Iraj Mesdaghi. Relying on the papers that were submitted, Mesdaghi started writing books and quoting out of context. And if there was a need to have a face-to-face discussion or to overview the material in the dossier (which happened a number of times), a meeting would be set up at the office of Ward 311. Iraj Mesdaghi, Qassem Asna-Ashari, and Reza Keyvanzad would participate at the meeting. One of the branch’s officials, who was usually a ruthless torturer named “Fazel,” coordinated the sessions.
– I (Fereydoun Jourak) participated at only one meeting at Ward 311, where I saw Mesdaghi. The meeting was chaired by “Rahmani,” whose real name I later discovered is Mahmoud Davoudabadi. He was also known as Mohammad Mehrayin. He was one of the most ruthless and disgusting henchmen at the prison. During the Shah’s dictatorship, he was arrested on charges of having ties to the MEK. (The MEK founder) Mohammad Hanifnejad had personally accepted responsibility for Davoudabadi’s actions in order to secure his release from prison. The intent of the meeting (at Ward 311) was to review the script of the film “Tavvaban” (repentant), which was turned into a movie script by myself based on a paper by Mesdaghi. The script was rejected by officials of the prosecutor’s office because they said I had not really grasped the intention behind such a production. That is why Mesdaghi’s written version was submitted to the Organization of Islamic Propaganda led by Zam. This was later turned into a movie, which was played in theaters across the country.
Signed, Fereydoun Jourak
July 8, 2020
Statement by the MEK’s spokesman
Mr. Fereydoun Jourak’s influential article about the intelligence agent and infiltrator Iraj Mesdaghi is a definitive, enduring and historic account of what started as the so-called “complex and multi-dimensional operation” of the regime’s prosecutor’s office during Lajevardi’s time. It provides an account of the time during the tenure of intelligence minister Ali Fallahian and deputy intelligence minister Saeed Hajjarian, which started with taking this infiltrator on the prosecutor office’s patrols and to identify the bodies of Moussa Khiabani and Ashraf Rajavi. This trend continues to this day.
According to its experts, the mullahs’ Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) came to the following conclusion in 1991: “The way to break up the organization (MEK) is not through military operations and attacks. The more this is done, the more cohesive they become, and the more able they are to recruit forces and step up their activities. On the contrary, you should conduct psychological operations that primarily use defectors. … We have worked a lot on this psychological operation, but perhaps it is not possible to talk about it right now.”
On this basis, the pupil of Evin’s henchman, Saeed Shahsavandi, was, in his own words, briefed by Hajjarian and was sent to Europe with an explicit mission of “putting Massoud Rajavi on trial.” Meanwhile, in June 1991, Iraj Mesdaghi was released and sent abroad to infiltrate the MEK’s ranks and to “bring down” the Resistance’s leadership. Like Amir Sadouni, the individual involved in the bombing plot in Villepinte (in 2018) who pretended to be among the MEK’s supporters for 12 years as a sleeper cell, Mesdaghi played his own role for two decades and went through a process of transformation.
Now, however, Fereydoun Jourak’s honest account, in connection with and in loyalty to the rebellious Marjan, has left no doubt for anyone who is trying to understand the intricacies of the regime’s ploys. (As Iranian protesters say) “the game is now over.”
We salute the more than 1,000 former and current political prisoners, who knew about this situation through their personal and real accounts in the inhuman regime’s prisons, and previously shared their stories with our compatriots and younger generations.
July 10, 2020
The following petition was first published and signed by a number of former political prisoners on June 5, 2013. Subsequently, the number of signatures grew substantially. Deceased political prisoners Babak Amani, Bahador Parvizi, Masoumeh Joushghani, Aziz Choupani, Sona Dadgar, Rahmat Kermani, Yahya Golcheshmeh, and Marjan, were among the signatories.
15 books that recount memories from the Iranian regime’s prisons, and expose the inhumane clerical regime’s crimes and tortures:
1. “Leila’s last smile” by Mehri Hajinejad (prisoner at Evin)
2. “A struggle for all” by Matin Karim (prisoner at Jahanbani)
3. “If the walls could talk” by Mahin Latif (prisoner at Evin)
4. “The archipelago of pain” by Homa Jaberi (prisoner at Evin, Gohardasht, Ghezelhesar)
5. “The true coastline of a dream” by Maliheh Moghaddam (prisoner at Evin, Ghezelhesar)
6. “The dark’s secret” by Foroogh Golestan (prisoner at Kerman)
7. “Face to face with the monster” by Hengameh Haji Hassan (prisoner at Evin, Ghezelhesar)
8. “The price for being a human” by Azam Haj Heydari (prisoner at Evin, Gohardasht, Ghezelhesar)
9. “The little prince in the land of the mullahs” by Massoumeh Raouf Basharidoust (prisoner at Rasht’s IRGC and Officers Club)
10. “Inspiring” by Massoumeh Joushghani (prisoner at Evin, Ghezelhesar, Gohardasht)
11. “The eternal dawn” by Razieh Tolou Sharifi (prisoner at Evin, Ghezelhesar, Gohardasht)
12. “Plots to annihilate a movement” by Mostafa Naderi (prisoner at Evin, Ghezelhesar, Gohardasht)
13. “Planters of sunlight” (5 volumes) by Mahmoud Royayi (prisoner at Evin, Ghezelhesar, Gohardasht)
14. “A galaxy of stars” by Hossein Farsi (prisoner at Evin, Ghezelhesar, Gohardasht)
15. “The nobles” by Reza Shemirani (prisoner at Evin, Ghezelhesar)
Statement by political prisoners regarding Iraj Mesdaghi’s lies
We, a number of freed political prisoners from the Iranian regime’s torture chambers, hereby declare:
1. We condemn in the strongest terms Iraj Mesdaghi’s recent publication entitled “’92 Report,” which is nothing but a collection of the regime’s and its Ministry of Intelligence’s serial accusations and lies against the Iranian Resistance.
2. We believe that this action is contrary to the path and goals of all the martyrs of the massacre that took place in the summer of 1988, as well as against all the martyrs, and tortured victims and resistance activists who are standing against the regime. We consider his measure as serving the objectives of the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and acting as its agent.
3. We strongly condemn the beheading of the Iranian people’s blood-drenched resistance and throwing it at the feet of the cruel clerical dictatorship and consider it as serving the mullahs’ regime and as clearly trying to get its attention and interest.
4. We condemn as inappropriate, unpatriotic, and unethical the exploitation of the blood, dignity, and essence of those who remained uncompromising until the very end and proudly embraced the gallows. This objective of this exploitation, which Iraj Mesdaghi has been engaged in for years, is to serve his personal ambitions.
5. Insulting all of the values of the Iranian people’s Resistance, including those represented by martyrs or those who are still alive, is only fitting for the clerical regime’s mercenaries. This is a shameful and foolhardy act. Such vindictiveness is precisely of the kind that the IRGC exercises and we condemn it.
6. We consider it to be an urgent duty of every political prisoner and dignified human being to expose anyone, including former prisoners or non-prisoners who are now serving the interests of the regime regardless of the claims they make. We condemn silence regarding this abdication.
A revealing letter and testimony
I request that you add my name, Massoumeh Raouf Basharidoust, to the petition by political prisoners regarding Iraj Mesdaghi. I was held in the prisons of the city of Rasht – the IRGC prison and the prison of marines (Officers Club) – for eight months. I consider Mesdaghi to be an infiltrator and agent of the Iranian regime’s intelligence services.
The date of my arrest: September 14, 1981
The date of my escape from prison: May 4, 1982
I was sentenced to 20 years in prison by the regime’s judge Allahverdi Moqaddasifar.
My Mojahed brother who was martyred, Ahmad Raouf Basharidoust, spent 5 years in the prisons of Rasht, Evin and Gohardasht. He was eventually brutally killed during the 1988 massacre at the Oroumieh prison.
The spurious claims made by Mesdaghi are complete and sheer lies. I am not saying this based on my personal experiences in Khomeini’s prisons – whether my own or my family members’. I am saying it based on years of work and research with respect to Khomeini’s prisons. I had the opportunity for a while to lead a research program about Khomeini’s prisons. The result of thousands of hours of work, investigations and research by myself and my Mojahed sisters and brothers was the publication of the book “Heroes in Chain and the Massacre of 1988.”
Any persevering prisoner who has experienced Khomeini’s prisons or those who embraced the noose have done so by remaining committed to one love, one commitment and one name: “Massoud Rajavi.”
In the book entitled “Traveling to the Land of Fervor,” which is dedicated to my martyred brother Ahmad, I wrote a quote from him that shows this fact. Ahmad used to always say: “We are such a lucky generation to have a leader like Massoud.”
In order to advance the movement for justice, two years ago, I chronicled Ahmad’s life in a book with pictures that was also translated in English, French, and German. The book is called “The Little Prince in the Land of the Mullahs.” It familiarizes the reader with Iran’s contemporary history, how the anti-monarchic revolution was stolen, and the resistance waged by an enlightened generation led by Massoud in Khomeini’s torture chambers until the 1988 massacre. I hope this can provide a testimony about a fallen red rose that was among 30,000 other red roses that were massacred.
Signed, Massoumeh Raouf Basharidoust
July 29, 2020