NCRI – On Tuesday, Feb 14, Alireza Jafarzadeh, the Deputy Director of the National Council of Resistance of Iran – US Representative Office, revealed information about the headquarters and foreign mercenary training centers of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
The information was gathered and documented by the social network maintained inside Iran by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The network gathered the information over a period of several months, relying on sources inside the Iranian regime and the IRGC itself.
According to the report provided by the MEK, the IRGC has created a large directorate in its extraterritorial arm, the Quds Force, in order to expand its training of foreign mercenaries as part of the regime’s strategy to step up its meddling abroad, including in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The MEK reported that the directorate has dozens of training camps across Iran, and it pinpointed 14 of them, eight of which are located near Tehran. MEK sources established that the headquarters of the directorate is located at the Imam Ali military base, at kilometer 20 of the Tehran-Karaj highway.
The MEK’s detailed revelations included satellite images of some of the sites, maps, and diagrams.
The Iranian Resistance and its components including the MEK have expressed support for the US government’s recent imposition of new sanctions against a number of individuals and companies affiliated with the clerical regime for their role in missile proliferation. The resistance views this as a positive step in confronting the illegitimate dictatorship whose record includes 120,000 political executions and ongoing support of terrorism.
The Resistance maintains that it is imperative to impose comprehensive sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards, its affiliated entities, the Ministry of Intelligence, and other entities involved in the suppression of the Iranian people and the exportation of terrorism.
This economic pressure would go a long way toward addressing the threats emanating from the Godfather of state-sponsored terrorism, the biggest source of war and instability in the region, and a major player in the creation of the environment that enabled the survival and expansion of ISIS.
MEK’s long track record in exposing Iran’s destructive role in the region
The revelation was the latest in a litany of cases in which MEK sources have exposed Tehran’s egregious and destructive conduct throughout the region.
In December 2016, the MEK sources provided a detailed report on the role of the IRGC and its foreign mercenaries in the massacre in Aleppo, Syria. According to the MEK revelation, the IRGC played an extensive role in the rape of Aleppo, building a network of bases around the Syrian city and directing militiamen from Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan to do the killing.
The Washington Times reported upon this MEK intelligence on December 20 and noted that it had characterized the IRGC as an occupying force. The MEK report pointed out that the IRGC had amassed an army of 25,000 Iranian and foreign militias in and around the burned and cratered Aleppo.
Since the onset of the Iranian regime’s extensive involvement in the support of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and in his massacre of the Syrian people, the MEK has provided various reports, detailing the scope of the Iranian regime’s role.
On April 28, 2016, the MEK revealed that the Iranian regime has embarked on a new propaganda campaign to recruit children to join the war in Syria. The information was picked up by various international media outlets and included a promotional clip from Iranian state media aimed at persuading children to enlist in militant forces in order to “defend the sacred shrine” in Syria.
MEK revelations have not been limited to Syria.
On April 12, 2015, MEK spokesman Shahin Gobadi said that commanders from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force have been training members of the Houthi rebel group in Yemen.
In an online conference, Gobadi said that information obtained from inside the clerical regime by the MEK network showed that the IRGC Quds Force oversees Iranian policy toward Yemen. The military plans and operations of the Houthis are completely under the supervision and control of the Quds Force, which is in charge of organizing and commanding the Houthis.
In a subsequent statement, Gobadi cited MEK information revealing how the IRGC has been trying to smuggle weapons to Yemen in this quest to support Houthis in that country’s conflict.
With regard to Iraq, as well, the MEK’s information about the Iranian regime’s extensive meddling has been spot on.
On Jan 26, 2007, in a press conference in Paris, Mr. Mohamamd Mohaddessin, the Chairman of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee released the names of 32,000 agents of the Iranian regime in Iraq. Mohaddessin, underscored that the detailed information, the only in its kind, had been obtained by MEK sources inside Iran. The MEK information showed how the Iranian regime is exploiting the chaotic situation in Iraq to pursue its long-held ominous objective of imposing its hegemony in Iraq as a springboard to the rest of the region.
In January of this year, the MEK prepared a detailed profile of IRGC Brigadier General Iraj Masjedi, who has been nominated to be the Iranian regime’s new Ambassador to Iraq. According to the MEK, Masjedi is a deputy to IRGC Major General, Qassem Soleimani, the notorious commander of the Quds Force, or foreign special operations division of the IRGC. Masjedi for years oversaw the operations and activities of the Iranian regime’s agents and militia groups in Iraq. As such, he directly oversaw the operation of the Iranian regime’s terrorists against the Coalition Forces in Iraq after 2003.
In short, over the years, the MEK has played an instrumental role in exposing the Iranian regime in general and the IRGC in particular in the region. By taking huge personal risks, the MEK activists have acted as the eyes and ears of the international community in establishing the malevolent nature and objective of the Iranian regime’s activities throughout the region.
More about the People’s Mojahdin Organization of Iran (PMOI/ MEK)
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (Also known as MEK, or Mujahedin-e-Khalq / Mujahedeen-e-Khalq), was founded on September 6, 1965, by Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saeed Mohsen, and Ali-Asghar Badizadgan. All engineers, they had earlier been members of the Freedom Movement (also known as the Liberation Movement), created by Medhi Bazargan in May 1961.1
The MEK’s quest culminated in a true interpretation of Islam, which is inherently tolerant and democratic, and fully compatible with the values of modern-day civilization. It took six years for the MEK to formulate its view of Islam and develop a strategy to replace Iran’s dictatorial monarchy with a democratic government.
MEK’s interpretation of Islam
The theocratic mullah regime in Iran believe interpreting Islam is their exclusive domain. The MEK reject this view and the cleric’s reactionary vision of Islam. The MEK’s comprehensive interpretation of Islam proved to be more persuasive and appealing to the Iranian youth.
MEK’s founders and new members studied the various schools of thought, the Iranian history and those of other countries, enabling them to analyze other philosophies and ideologies with considerable knowledge and to present their own ideology, based on Islam, as the answer to Iran’s problems.
MEK’s leadership’s arrest during the 70s.
The Shah’s notorious secret police, SAVAK, arrested all MEK leaders and most of its member’s in1971. On May 1972, the founders of the MEK, Mohammad Hanifnejad , Saeed Mohsen and Ali Asghar Badizadegan, along with two members of the MEK leadership, Mahmoud Askarizadeh and Rasoul Meshkinfam, were put before death squads and were executed after long months of imprisonment and torture. They were the true vanguards, who stood against the dictatorial regime of Shah. However, they are also recognized for their opposition to what is today known as Islamic fundamentalism.
The death sentence of Massoud Rajavi, a member of MEK’s central committee, was commuted to life imprisonment as a result of an international campaign by his Geneva based brother, Dr. Kazem Rajavi (assassinated in April 1990 in Geneva by mullahs’ agents) and the personal intervention of the French President Georges Pompidou and Francois Mitterrand. He was the only survivor of the MEK original leadership.
Massoud Rajavi’s critical role in characterizing religious extremism
From 1975 to 1979, while incarcerated in different prisons, Massoud Rajavi led the MEK’s struggle while constantly under torture for his leading position.
Massoud Rajavi stressed the need to continue the struggle against the shah’s dictatorship. At the same time, he characterized religious fanaticism as the primary internal threat to the popular opposition, and warned against the emergence and growth of religious fanaticism and autocracy. He also played a crucial role when some splinter used the vacuum in the MEK leadership who were all executed or imprisoned at the time, to claim a change of ideology and policy. Massoud Rajavi as the MEK leader condemn these individual’s misuse of MEK’s name while continuing to stress the struggle against dictatorship. His efforts while still in prison forced these individuals to no longer operating under the name of MEK and adopting a different name for their group. These positions remained the MEK’s manifesto until the overthrow of the shah’s regime.
Release of Political Prisoners on the last days of the Shah
A month before the 1979 revolution in Iran, the Shah was forced to flee Iran, never to return. All democratic opposition leaders had by then either been executed by the Shah’s SAVAK or imprisoned, and could exert little influence on the trend of events. Khomeini and his network of mullahs across the country, who had by and large been spared the wrath of SAVAK, were the only force that remained unharmed and could take advantage of the political vacuum. In France, Khomeini received maximum exposure to the world media. With the aid of his clerical followers, he hijacked a revolution that began with calls for democracy and freedom and diverted it towards his fundamentalist goals. Through an exceptional combination of historical events, Shiite clerics assumed power in Iran.
Khomeini’s gradual crackdown on MEK in fear of their popular support
In internal discourses, Rajavi the remaining leader of the MEK, argued that Khomeini represented the reactionary sector of society and preached religious fascism. Later, in the early days after the 1979 revolution, the mullahs, specifically Rafsanjani, pointed to these statements in inciting the hezbollahi club-wielders to attack the MEK.
Following the revolution, the MEK became Iran’s largest organized political party. It had hundreds of thousands of members who operated from MEK offices all over the country. MEK publication, ‘Mojahed’ was circulated in 500,000 copies.
Khomeini set up an Assembly of Experts comprised of sixty of his closest mullahs and loyalists to ratify the principle of velayat-e faqih (absolute supremacy of clerical rule) as a pillar of the Constitution. The MEK launched a nationwide campaign in opposition to this move, which enjoyed enormous popular support. Subsequently, the MEK refused to approve the new constitution based on the concept of velayat-e faqih, while stressing its observance of the law of the country to deny the mullahs any excuse for further suppression of MEK supporters who were regularly targeted by the regime’s official and unofficial thugs.
Khomeini sanctioned the occupation of the United States embassy in 1979 in order to create an anti-American frenzy, which facilitated the holding of a referendum to approve his Constitution, which the MEK rejected.
MEK’s endeavors to participate in the political process avoiding an unwanted conflict with government repressive forces
The MEK actively participated in the political process, fielding candidates for the parliamentary and presidential elections. The MEK also entered avidly into the national debate on the structure of the new Islamic regime, though was unsuccessful in seeking an elected constituent assembly to draft a constitution.
The MEK similarly made an attempt at political participation when [then] Massoud Rajavi ran for the presidency in January 1980. MEK’s leader was forced to withdraw when Khomeini ruled that only candidates who had supported the constitution in the December referendum – which the MEK had boycotted- were eligible. Rajavi’s withdrawal statement emphasized the MEK’s efforts to conform to election regulations and reiterated the MEK’s intention to advance its political aims within the new legal system”. (Unclassified report on the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran(PMOI/ MEK) by the Department of State to the United States House of Representatives, December 1984.)
However, the MEK soon found itself in a direct struggle against the forces of the regime’s Supreme leader. The MEK’s differences with Khomeini dated back to the 1970s, and stem from its opposition to what is known today as Islamic extremism. Angry at the position taken by the MEK against his regime and worried about the MEK’s growing popularity, Khomeini ordered a brutal crackdown against the MEK and its supporters. Between 1979 and 1981, some 70 MEK members and sympathizers were killed and several thousand more were imprisoned by the Iranian regime.
June 20, 1981- Khomeini’s order to open fire on peaceful demonstration of half-a-million supporters of MEK
The turning point came on 20th June 1981, when the MEK called a demonstration to protest at the regime’s crackdown, and to call for political freedom which half-a-million supporters participated at. Khomeini ordered the Revolutionary Guards to open fire on the swelling crowd, fearing that without absolute repression the democratic opposition (MEK) would force him to engage in serious reforms – an anathema as far as he was concerned; he ordered the mass and summary executions of those arrested.
Since then, MEK activists have been the prime victims of human rights violations in Iran. Over 120,000 of its members and supporters have been executed by the Iranian regime, 30,000 of which, were executed in a few months in the summer of 1988, on a direct fatwa by Khomeini, which stated any prisoners who remain loyal to the MEK must be executed.
Having been denied its fundamental rights and having come under extensive attack at the time that millions of its members, supporters and sympathizers had no protection against the brutal onslaught of the Iranian regime, the MEK had no choice but to resist against the mullahs’ reign of terror.
“Towards the end of 1981, many of the members of the MEK and supporters went into exile. Their principal refuge was in France. But in 1986, after negotiations between the French and the Iranian authorities, the French government effectively treated them as undesirable aliens, and the leadership of the MEK with several thousand followers relocated to Iraq.” (Judgment of the Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission, November 30, 2007.)
The MEK today is the oldest and largest anti-fundamentalist Muslim group in the Middle East. It has been active for more than a half century, battling two dictatorships and a wide range of issues. The MEK supports:
• Universal suffrage as the sole criterion for legitimacy
• Pluralistic system of governance
• Respect for individual freedoms
• Ban on the death penalty
• Separation of religion and state
• Full gender equality
• Equal participation of women in political leadership. MEK is actually led by its central committee consist of 1000 women.
• Modern judicial system that emphasizes the principle of innocence, a right to a defense, and due process
• Free markets
• Relations with all countries in the world
• Commitment to a non-nuclear Iran
The MEK remains a strong and cohesive organization, with a broad reach both worldwide and deep within Iran. MEK is the leading voice for democracy in Iran, supported by its interpretation of Islam that discredits the fundamentalist mullahs’ regime.