by Mahmood Hakamian
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) has been instrumental in raising awareness about the plight of the Iranian people. The MEK has extensive support in Iran and has a huge following outside the country. The Iranian regime has, for years, tried to discredit the MEK, saying that it has very little support among the Iranian people.
The MEK, however, was recognised by the Iranian regime as being the main organiser of the protests that swept across the country at the end of last year. It can no longer claim that the MEK is insignificant – the MEK represents a very real threat to the Iranian regime.
Furthermore, at the beginning of this year, it was reported by Agence France-Presse (AFP) that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani asked the French President Emmanuel Macron to take action against the MEK. President Macron of course had no reason to act against the MEK, so the Supreme Leader threatened to execute MEK protesters.
The MEK has a long history of being targeted by the Iranian regime. Many MEK supporters were executed during the so-called 1988 massacre. More than 30,000 political prisoners, most of whom were affiliated to the MEK, were executed during the space of one single summer. To this day, no one has been held accountable for the crime against humanity and the MEK and families are still campaigning for justice.
A large number of MEK members were being held in Camp Ashraf and then in Camp Liberty in Iraq. They were finally all relocated by September 2016 after suffering a number of horrific attacks instigated by the Iranian regime.
A large number of MEK members were relocated to Albania where they were generously and warmly welcomed. However, since then, there have been reports of a rising number of plots against the MEK in Albania. It has been posited that the Iranian embassy in Albania has officials that have been sent by the regime to implement plots against the MEK.
There have been and are a number of ongoing plots against the MEK. One such example is its campaign to discredit the opposition and MEK. Anne Singleton, recognised as an Iranian spy by US intelligence agents, has been trained specifically by the Iranian regime to discredit the MEK. Singleton was a former member of the MEK but was recruited by the Iranian intelligence specifically to discredit it.
The MEK is clearly the biggest threat to the Iranian regime. The MEK represents freedom, democracy and human rights – values that the regime is alien to. The regime knows that the Iranian opposition and the MEK have a large following and massive support from the international community and it is only a matter of time before the dictatorship collapses.
Experts say that Iranian intelligence focuses on discrediting the MEK and spying on it. The Dutch intelligence service stated in 2012 that the Iranian government has a network in Europe to “impose a negative impact on public opinion” about the MEK. This includes gathering information about MEK members and passing it to Iran’s intelligence agency.