London, 22 Nov – PR Newswire has written about the MEK, who they are and what their aim is. They explain that the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) was formed in 1965 and is the largest and most organised Iranian opposition movement. It is the “main component of the coalition, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which acts as the parliament-in-exile”.
The group is “committed to a secular, democratic, non-nuclear republic; gender equality; freedom of religion, thought, press, and association; support for peace in the Middle East; and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.
The role of the MEK is significant. It was the MEK that exposed the Iranian regime’s nuclear plans, thus preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb. It was thanks to the group’s network inside Iran that the MEK could reveal what was actually happening inside the country. The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) as a result inspected facilities in Iran.
President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are some numerous senior officials who have commended the MEK for exposing Iran’s nuclear intentions. Speaking in 2005, President George W. Bush said that Iran’s nuclear program was discovered “not because of their compliance with the IAEA or NPT, but because a dissident group pointed it out to the world.”
So, without the MEK, Iran would by now have a nuclear bomb. At a House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) said: “We all owe a debt of gratitude to the MEK for bringing this information to the world, and causing the United States and the world to focus on the problem.”
As well as exposing nuclear activities, the MEK also brought the Iranian regime’s terrorist activities to light. It has provided actionable intelligence about Qods Force operations in Iraq. It also exposed Iran’s participation in the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia where 19 American servicemen died.
The MEK also benefits from a huge amount of support in U.S. Congress. Hearings in the House and the Senate were held to support the safety of the thousands of MEK members in camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq. Several pieces of legislations were made in support of MEK members in Iraq, e.g., H.Res.704 with 224 co-sponsors (126 D and 98 R).
The MEK has been at the forefront of opposition to the Iranian regime since the 1979 revolution when it became the main target of its repression. The regime sees the MEK as a huge threat because it has support inside Iran which undermines the regime’s Islamic extremist ideology.
“MEK’s modern, tolerant and democratic view on Islam has been the antithesis to the Islamic fundamentalists and the velayat-e faqih system. The MEK has been the main victim of repression in Iran. In summer 1988, the Iranian regime, by direct order of Supreme Leader Khomeini, massacred 30,000 political prisoners, most members of MEK. Over 100,000 of its members have been murdered since 1981, and many of its supporters are currently jailed in notorious prisons across the country. Most of those arrested and sentenced to death after the summer 2009 uprising in Iran, belonged to the MEK.”
So after failing to destroy the MEK, the Iranian regime tried to have the group listed as a terrorist organisation. This eventually failed too as the designations were overturned in the U.S. and Europe after 20 court rulings.
“Eventually, Tehran embarked upon a multi-million-dollar campaign of character assassination and demonization, which described the MEK as a cult, to justify the policy of appeasement. None of those efforts succeeded.”