The primary goals of the mullahs’ regime in Iran in pursuing an extensive disinformation campaign to demonize the opposition PMOI/MEK (MEK) is to:
- Confront the growing popular support for the PMOI/MEK at home and its recognition by the international community as the democratic force for change in Iran
- Set the stage for terrorist attacks against the PMOI/MEK
Starting immediately after taking power in 1979, the Khomeini camp struggled with how to deal with the PMOI/MEK. Khomeini saw Massoud Rajavi and his movement as a threat to his supremacy, particularly due to their excellent credentials of struggle for freedom and democracy during the Shah’s rule, coupled with their rejection of the mullahs’ reactionary interpretation of Quran, and their vision of true Islam inspiring the Iranian people to tolerance, universal suffrage, gender equality etc.
Khomeini at first offered Rajavi the chance to share power in the post-revolutionary government through his son, conditioned on Rajavi condemning other non-religious groups to exclude them from the political process. Rajavi rebuffed Khomeini’s anti-democratic overture and said the aim of the revolution was freedom for all Iranians. From then on, it became clear to Khomeini that the MEK would not bow to his authoritarian whims. The stage was set for an historic standoff, at first political, lasting two years, and then an all-out struggle for the future of Iran.
Ever since then, Khomeini knew he had to demonize the PMOI/MEK. The demonization campaign throughout the years has seen the PMOI/MEK being accused of being Soviet spies on one day; American spies on another. Other ludicrous and farcical accusations have included burning crops; looting banks; salacious accusations; allegedly siding with Iraq in the eight year war; killing “innocents”; murdering Christian priests; bombing Islamic shrines; gassing Kurds; murdering Shiites in Iraq; hiding WMD for Saddam; hiding mass graves in Ashraf; killing their own members; practicing torture in Ashraf; training for gouging out eyes and ripping out tongues in Albania; conducting bombings at their own events as a “false flag operation” in order to create trouble for the regime; and a host of other even more ridiculous lies.
However, if all this surprises the ordinary uninitiated listener to Iranian events, for the PMOI/MEK it is par for the course. The Iranian regime’s strategy in dealing with the most determined force that faces it is to demonize, terrorize, assassinate, and massacre them, and to intimidate others to cooperate and go along with its false narrative. The demonization campaign aims to numb the senses, tire the mind, confuse the reasoning, and pave the way to “plausible” deniability when the regime strikes with brute force at its opponent. From a political perspective, the mullahs’ and their lobbyists around the world know very well that they cannot defend the regime’s record on any issue, be it human rights at home, use of terrorism, or destructive policies in the region. Thus, their only hope of helping the regime and pursuing a policy of appeasement is to discredit the democratic opposition and then claim realpolitik dictates a compromise with the regime.
When German authorities arrested an Iranian terrorist-diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, with solid evidence of an attempted mass murder at an MEK event in Paris in 2018, attended by scores of US and European personalities, the foreign minister of the regime, Mohammad Javad Zarif, deployed the false flag operation argument. He insisted that the regime could not have launched such a stupid operation whilst Hassan Rouhani was visiting Europe (Vienna) at the same time. However, facts speak louder. The evidence available is so convincing that after one year, the investigative judge has refused to release the regime’s terrorist-diplomat on bail. Faced with this failure at lying, Zarif and the regime’s lobbyists spread the canard that perhaps some rouge elements in the regime might have done it.
The exhibition displays evidence of numerous campaigns launched by the Iranian regime in recent years to demonize the PMOI/MEK (MEK) by focusing on some of the following aspects of the MOIS campaign to defame and demonize the Iranian people’s just resistance movement:
Part of acts undertaken by the regime in recent years to demonize PMOI/MEK:
- Production of 169 movies and television series based on falsification of the historical record
- Publication of 525 books against the PMOI/MEK
- Organization of 1120 expositions inside and outside Iran
- Setting up 74 so-called international meetings and congresses in Iran
- Running hundreds of websites and publishing thousands of false claims
- Sending hundreds of letters, petitions and false documents to distance foreign supporters from the PMOI/MEK
- Use of MOIS agents under cover of dissidents and “opposition” abroad
The international scene:
- The mullahs use “regime-friendly journalists” to wage their disinformation campaign against the PMOI/MEK
- The regime has set up scores of fake NGOs to pursue its objectives in international bodies such as the UN
- It pumps false information to foreign administrations and authorities to hamper the PMOI/MEK and prepare grounds for terrorist operations against them
- Offering huge sums of money and financial benefits and interests to a number of journalists and experts in different countries to promote false accusations against the PMOI/MEK and pro-regime narratives