LONDON, 25 Jan. (IPS) "The Mojahedeen Khalq Organisation (MKO) rejects armed struggle and commits itself only to non-violent means of struggle (against Iran), the Baghdad-based Organisation has reportedly decided, after more than two decades of futile armed struggle aimed at toppling the Islamic Republic.
“The Mojahedeen Khalq Organisation rejects armed struggle and commits itself only to non-violent means of struggle and therefore asks the relevant authorities to remove it from the lists of terrorist organisations", the Organisation has stated, according to “Survivors’ Report”, a London-based publication dedicated to help and to support “the victims of MKO”.
Because of its close collaboration with Saddam, the MKO was “hated” as much by the ayatollahs as all other Iranian opposition forces outside the country, regarding the group as “traitor”.
Created in the sixties to fight the former Monarchy regime, the MKO, a Stalinist-Islamist group, sided with Grand Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini in the Islamic Revolution, but was soon declared outlaw by the leader of the revolution after it decided to overthrow the newly created Islamic Republic.
As a result, Mr. Khomeini ordered the execution of thousands of MKO members who had been arrested and jailed.
Mr. Mas’oud Rajavi, the leader of the Organisation, first fled to France from where he joined hands with Saddam Hussein after the Iraqi dictator attacked Iran, his Organisation becoming part of the Iraqi’s elite forces, launching operations inside Iran, assassinating a number of Iranian officials.
The group also assisted Saddam Hussein in his sanguine repression of the Iraqi Kurds and the Shi’ites. However, the MKO, which claims some 5.000 to 10.000 members, went under American protection after it attacked Iraq and toppled Saddam.
Because of this close collaboration with Iran’s sworn enemy, the MKO was “hated” as much by the ruling ayatollahs as all other Iranian opposition forces outside the country, regarding the group as “traitors”.
For a while, the Defence Department tried to use the MKO the same way the deposed Iraqi leader was using them and tried to take it off the terrorist organisations, but it was opposed by the State Department.
Since then, while many of the MKO members had defected, some of them returned to Iran under the auspices of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, but the bulk of them are hauled in the huge Ashraf camp near Baghdad, waiting for the decision of the Iraqi authorities.
Quoting “source close to the National Council of Resistance of Iran”, (the political wing of the MKO, led Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the Paris-based wife of Mr. Mas’oud, the leader of the MKO, Survivors' Report said the decision is aimed at allowing the Organisation, which is on the black list of the Americans and the Europeans, to come out of the list of Terrorist organisations.
"According to their own statements, they hired squadrons of lawyers and advisors and were very hopeful that the result would be in their favour, but they failed”, the source has told the Survivors’ Report on condition of anonymity, adding that "A court session is scheduled in early February 2006 in Luxemburg to hear this case”.
"The Mojahedeen have spent the past few years gathering petitions and letters of support from whoever they could get their hands on, but their lawyers and advisors have told them clearly that for their organisation to be removed from the lists of terrorist organisations, they will have to clearly and unequivocally denounce terrorism as a means to achieve their political aims, and that they have to announce that they clearly and totally reject armed struggle (freedom fighting) and do not believe in it any more, and from now on, their struggle against the Iranian regime will be only in the form of political, social and cultural activities.
The rejection of armed struggle is the biggest ideological setback for the leaders of the organisation.
"The Mojahedeen have now accepted this advice and have declared to the relevant officials that it rejects armed struggle and commits itself only to non-violent means of struggle”, commented the Survivors’ Report in an e-mail sent to Iran Press Service.
“This recent announcement by the MKO is in total contradiction to what has been portrayed to the members and supporters who have been led to believe that armed struggle is the only form of struggle possible, and that it is rooted in the history of the Mojahedeen as its most fundamental value”, the Survivor’s Report observed, adding, The Mojahedeen have always talked about armed struggle as the honour and legacy of the movement, and that it represents the basic red line between the Mojahedeen and the outside world”.
If true, this new rejection of armed struggle (which has been the core belief in the organisation for the last 25 years) can be seen as the biggest ideological setback for the leaders of the organisation since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. This reflects the last desperate attempts by the leaders to delay the total disintegration of the organisation by accepting big losses in their remaining loyal forces. ENDS MKO 25106
Editor’s note: Survivors' Report is the publication name of the Association to support the victims of Mojahedeen-e Khalq (MKO/MEK). The Association comprises several groups and individual former members of the MKO/MEK in Europe and North America.
Survivors' Report acts as a pressure group / support organisation which provides a point of contact for families and friends of members of the Iranian Mojahedeen Khalq. It informs about the real nature of the Mojahedeen as a religious/personality cult; exposes the Mojahedeen’s abuse of its members’ fundamental human rights; pinpoints responsibility for the terrorist actions and human rights abuses of the Mojahedeen on leaders, Mas’oud and Maryam Rajavi; helps individuals who wish to leave the Mojahedeen to find refuge; assists those who leave the Mojahedeen come to terms with their experiences within and re-establish themselves in the wider community; and reunites people who leave the Mojahedeen with their family and friends.
For further information, please contact:
Survivors' Report in the UK
Anne Singleton (editor)
Tel: +44 113 278 0503