To understand a free Iran we must understand “Who is the MEK”.
From our great friend and SUA contributor Alireza Jafarzadeh.
ALIREZA JAFARZADEH is a terrorism expert, Middle East analyst, and Fox News Channel Foreign Affairs Analyst. He is president of Strategic Policy Consulting, Inc. in Washington D.C. and has frequently appeared on major television and radio broadcasts including CNN, MSNBC, CBS Evening News, NBC, NPR, and BBC to discuss Iran. Jafarzadeh is also former media director for the Washington, DC office of the parliament-in-exile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
From the Free Iran Rally in which over 100,000 people attended in Paris, France July 2016.
MG Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (ret.) attended.
Who is the MEK?
by Alireza Jafarzadeh
Formed in 1965, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the largest and best-organized Iranian opposition movement, is the main component of the coalition, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which acts as the parliament-in-exile.
The NCRI and MEK, have been 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 president-elect of the NCRI is Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, who addressed a rally of 100,000 in Paris, well attended by dozens of prominent speakers from all over the world.
A. The MEK role was critical in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb
The MEK has been instrumental in exposing Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Relying on a vast network inside Iran, MEK revelations of the weapons program significantly contributed to the world peace and the national security of the United States.
These revelations triggered the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz and Heavy Water Facility in Arak in 2002 for the first time, and since then, the majority of the visits by the IAEA inspection teams have been to the sites first exposed by the MEK.
Senior U.S. officials including President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have repeatedly pointed to the role the MEK had played in getting the world attention on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
In March 2005, President, George W. Bush, emphasized that the MEK’s revelation of Natanz prompted an international campaign to stop the nuclear weapons program of Iran. “Iran has concealed its — a nuclear program. That became discovered, not because of their compliance with the IAEA or NPT, but because a dissident group pointed it out to the world.”
Many of the key front companies exposed by the MEK such as Mesbah Energy, Novin Energy, Kalaye Electric, Kavoshyar Company, and Farayand Technique were eventually sanctioned by the Treasury Department. In July 2011, the MEK exposed a new nuclear organization overseeing the entire nuclear program and run by the military, known as SPND. The U.S. Government designated that entity in 2014. In addition, many companies, key nuclear experts, and military institutions exposed by the MEK have been sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council resolutions 1737, 1747, and 1803.
If it were not for the MEK nuclear revelations, Tehran would have had the bomb by now. Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) told a House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing “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.”
B. MEK exposed the terrorist network of Iran
The MEK has played a key role in exposing the terrorist operations by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and its entity, the Qods Force. MEK’s actionable intelligence on Qods Force operations in Iraq saved many lives, and thwarted many terrorist operations by the Iranian regime.
MEK documented the details of the Qods force production and shipment of advanced EFP’s (Explosively Formed Projectiles), the number one killer of U.S. forces in Iraq. MEK also exposed Iran’s involvement in the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 American servicemen.
C. MEK enjoys extensive bi-partisan support in U.S. Congress
Over the past two decades, MEK has gained extensive support among a large bi-partisan group of members of congress. Congress strongly rejected MEK’s FTO designation, which it viewed as a goodwill gesture to Tehran, as 99 members (52 D and 47 R) called for the group’s delisting. Secretary Clinton revoked the designation in 2012, after being urged by the U.S. Court of Appeals- DC Circuit.
Congress held hearings in the House and the Senate strongly supporting the safety & security of thousands of MEK members based in camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq, as they were being subject to attacks instigated by Tehran. There were several pieces of legislations in support of MEK members in Iraq, e.g., H.Res.704 with 224 co-sponsors (126 D and 98 R).
In addition, the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year 2016, signed by President Obama and became law, included a language in support of the “security and protection” of MEK members in Camp Liberty, Iraq.
Secretary of State John Kerry lauded the resettlement of all members of “exiled Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin e-Khalq, or MEK,” from Iraq to Europe in September 2016, emphasizing that “their departure concludes a significant American diplomatic initiative that has assured the safety of more than 3,000 MEK members whose lives have been under threat…I first became involved in this effort when I was in the Senate … I’m very proud that the United States was able to play a pivotal role in helping to get this job done.”
Also, the U.S. military fully protected all the MEK members in Iraq and recognized them as “protected persons” under the 4th Geneva Convention, long before the group was delisted.
D. MEK has been leading the opposition against the regime at home and abroad
MEK has been in the forefront of opposition to the mullahs since early days of the 1979 revolution, when it soon become the number one target of the Iranian regime’s repression.
The rulers of Iran view the MEK as an existential threat due to its support at home, and undermining the regime’s Islamic extremist ideology among a vast majority of the Iranian population, especially the youth. 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.
After having failed to physically eliminate the MEK, Tehran waged an international effort to have the MEK designated as a terrorist organization, which eventually failed after all the designations were overturned in Europe and the U.S. with the help of over 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.
MG Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (ret.) with Professor Ray Tanter co-founders along with LTG Thomas McInerney USAF (ret.) of the Iran Policy Committee
MG Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (ret.) with our great friend and correspondent Sara Carter.