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Parroting Iran Regime’s Propaganda Against the MEK


Trump’s Former Top Intel Adviser Has Become a Key Source of Disinformation,” (Mother Jones, November 2, 2020), amounts to nothing more than regurgitating the Iran regime’s often-debunked allegations against its main opposition.

Accusing the strongest and most organized democratic opposition of Iran, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), of being a “cult” is absurd and a signature move of the religious dictatorship ruling Iran. For years, the regime has spread the most despicable disinformation against the MEK in order to discredit it.

Yet regime officials constantly express their deep-seated fears about the increasing number of youths joining the MEK. As recently as June of this year, the regime’s Foreign Ministry called the MEK a “terror cult,” while at the same time the mullahs announced the arrest of two elite university students for supporting the organization.

In addition to domestic suppression, demonizing the MEK and conducting terrorism against it abroad have been two sides of the same coin. Sadly, the Mother Jones article has reprinted the same stale lies against the MEK.


Among the extensive publicly available evidence against such disinformation, one need only refer to a detailed report of a U.S. delegation’s visit to Ashraf-3 in Albania, along with face-to-face interviews with MEK members, which has debunked regime propaganda. Dozens of journalists have also visited Ashraf-3 and reported on their observations. Among them are the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, Reuters, Belgium’s VRT, Scotland’s National, Euro News, and many others. Reporters of any other American news outlet are most welcome to do the same instead of regurgitating regime propaganda without presenting any credible evidence.

The MEK is the strongest enemy of the murderous Iranian regime. That is why Tehran has killed more than 120,000 of its members, including thousands of supporters in the massacre of 1988, which Amnesty International called a crime against humanity.

That the murderous regime’s sensationalist propaganda is gleefully rehashed by a clickbait aficionado like Friedman is disgraceful.

In the 1990s, Tehran begged the U.S. and Europe to designate the MEK as a “terrorist organization” because it has always been terrified of the MEK. Enticed by economic opportunities and the illusion of promoting “moderation” within the theocratic regime, the West complied. However, the MEK legally contested the politically-motivated designation and won in courts, forcing executive branch officials to remove the unfair designation.

No one associated with the MEK has ever been charged with any crime whatsoever whether “on US soil in 1992” or at any time since. 16 years ago, every member of the MEK, while in Iraq, was individually interviewed and screened by a 70-person US inter-agency task force. As the New York Times reported on July 27, 2004, “There was no basis to charge any member of the… opposition group…with violations of American law” for activities at any time in the past.

The MEK was the first to expose the regime’s clandestine nuclear program in August 2002.  And, the organization has grown to be an omnipresent leader of dissent inside Iran, capable of planning highly organized nationwide protests. In January 2020, a frustrated Khamenei, the regime’s highest authority, caused a diplomatic quarrel with Europe when he attacked Albania, describing it as a “small evil European country,” for hosting the MEK. In December 2018, Albania had expelled the regime’s ambassador for plotting to kill MEK dissidents.

If the MEK was a “cult” subsisting on the fringes of Iranian politics, an untutored blogger in the U.S. would have never heard of it.

The regime’s fear of the MEK was best illustrated in its bold attempt to engage its acting “diplomat” to blow up the Free Iran rally in the suburbs of Paris on June 30, 2018. The regime’s diplomat and his three accomplices are currently on trial in Belgium for that terror plot.

Clearly, the regime’s erratic behaviour and propaganda demonstrate that the MEK is having a meaningful and enduring impact on Iran’s political future.

ali13-e1605537304540Ali Safavi (@amsafavi) is an official with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)