By Pooya Stone
The Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran/Mujahedin e-Khalq (PMOI/MEK), is the largest, most organized, and best alternative to the Iranian Regime, as it seeks and will deliver a democratic, secular Iran.
Unfortunately, it is often misunderstood by international policymakers because of the Regime’s demonization campaign against them.
However, the MEK is an important part of any conversation about a future Iran, specifically the ones taking place in the US at the moment as Donald Trump continues his “maximum pressure” campaign against the mullahs, so it’s important that we look at them in detail.
Who are the MEK?
It is the largest, longest-lasting, anti-fundamentalist group in the Middle East, founded in 1965 in response to the Shah’s despotic rule. They paved the way for the 1979 Revolution, even though by this point all of the leadership, but one, had been executed by the Shah.
After Iran’s 1979 revolution, Khomeini quickly launched a crackdown on the MEK for their opposition to human rights abuses under the mullahs.
During the 1980s, the Regime attacked the MEK wherever they could, which led to the 1988 massacre of 30,000 MEK members. Thus, the group’s leaders fled to France before moving to Iraq in order to help spur change from a nearby country.
They were now the Regime’s number one enemy, even above the Great Satan, the US.
Thus, the Regime launched a horrifying disinformation campaign where they falsely blamed the MEK for the deaths of US troops and terrorist acts, something that ended up getting the MEK on the terrorist lists of the US, UK, and the EU. This wrongful designation was not removed until 2012 when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stepped in.
The MEK has enjoyed bipartisan support from current National Security Advisor John Bolton and former Democratic Senator Robert Torricelli, to name just two of the hundreds of MEK supporters in the US.
After all, the MEK has exposed the West to Iran’s nuclear program, cyber capabilities, and the financial empire of the terrorist Iranian Revolutionary Guards. They help us understand the threat of the Regime. The only way to remove that threat is to remove the mullahs.
However, they don’t want the US to go to war with Iran. Rather, the MEK wants the Iranian people and their resistance to bring down the mullahs. Then, the MEK can establish a secular, democratic non-nuclear Iran, committed to human rights.