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How the Iranian regime points to its main opposition

Maryam Rajavi the president elect of the NCRI
Maryam Rajavi the president elect of the NCRI

Analysis by PMOI/MEK


July 20, 2018 - Earlier this month, days before Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian regime’s president, was bound for Europe, authorities in Belgium, France and Germany declared having foiled a terrorist plot that had been orchestrated by one of the regime’s diplomats in Austria. The terrorist attack was aimed against the Iranian opposition gathering in Paris, where tens of thousands of people had gathered to support the PMOI/MEK and NCRI’s efforts for regime change in Iran.

The question is, why would the regime engage in a terrorist attack against its main opposition, which would undermine the very purpose of its own president’s European tour and his efforts to gain support for his failing foreign policy?


The Iranian regime’s desperation

What pushed the regime into committing this folly is a series of the setback it has been facing on the domestic and international front, which have made its conditions more and more desperate. And as we all know, desperate times call for desperate measures.

The Iranian opposition gathering was especially important this year because it was taking place at a time where Iran is experiencing ongoing protests across the country since uprisings erupted in numerous cities in December. The protests are becoming increasingly radical in nature, with the protesters confronting the regime security forces and showing no fear in expressing their desire for regime change in Iran. This is a goal that PMOI/MEK and the NCRI have been pursuing since 1981 when Khomeini’s regime banned all forms of peaceful opposition and cracked down on all opposition forces.

As the largest and most organized Iranian opposition movement, the MEK has shown great potential for fulfilling the Iranian protesters’ dreams of establishing freedom and democracy in their country. This is a reality that has not been lost on the regime’s highest authorities. In January, Khamenei clearly accused the MEK of having organized and incited protests across the country and vowed to take revenge.

The terrorist plot in Paris, which would have resulted in heavy casualties had it not been discovered, was probably Khamenei’s vowed revenge on the Iranian opposition. But more important than a revenge, the regime wanted to guarantee its survival during one of its most tumultuous eras by dealing a heavy blow to its nemesis and alternative.

So while Rouhani had scheduled his trip to Austria shortly after the opposition rally, his regime couldn’t afford to miss the unique opportunity to strike at the opposition during its most important annual event. And while several analysts have pointed out that the terrorist plot might have been an attempt by rogue elements in the regime, information obtained by the Iranian Resistance from inside Iran indicate that the attack was ordered by Khamenei himself and decided in the Iranian regime’s Supreme National Security Council, which is presided by Rouhani himself.


The regime’s history of attacking the opposition

Tehran’s latest terrorist attempt against the Iranian opposition is not the first of its kind. The regime has a long history of lashing out at the opposition whenever it feels an existential threat.

In 1988, when the regime was preparing to back down from the Iran-Iraq conflict, a war its leaders had vowed to never abandon, it resorted to the purging of its prisons from all PMOI/MEK members and supporters. Ruhollah Khomeini, the regime founder, knew that, with his regime being at such as weak position, the Iranian Resistance and the people would have a great chance of toppling it. That’s why, in the span of a few months, the Iranian regime executed some 30,000 political prisoners across the country.

Also, during the years that followed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Iranian regime used its clout and influence in Iraq’s government and security forces to attack the opposition every time it found itself in a precarious position. One example was in September 2013, as the Iranian regime was conducting secret negotiations with world powers over its nuclear program, which the Iranian opposition had brought to the attention of the world a decade earlier. Knowing that the declaration of talks toward curbing and possibly dismantling its nuclear program would send tremors across its file and rank and threaten the cohesiveness of its forces, the regime resorted to carrying out a brutal massacre in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, where a hundred PMOI/MEK members were located.

There are many similar examples where the regime has tried to maintain its perturbed balance by striking at its main opposition. But every time, against all the claims of the regime and its proponents that the PMOI/MEK is an insignificant fringe group, the result of the regime’s actions have been to highlight who is its main opposition and alternative.

At present, after the foiled terrorist attempt in Paris, this reality that the PMOI/MEK are the main Iranian opposition and the Iranian people’s best chance at bringing about democracy in Iran is undeniable.

So, back to the question, we asked at the beginning of the article. Why would Rouhani’s regime engage in terrorism as he prepared for his foreign trip? The regime has already answered that question in word and actions time and again in the past 40 years, making it clear that when it comes to its main opposition, it is willing to break all international, political, social and moral norms. And that is because the regime’s survival depends on destroying the sole alternative to its tyrannical rule.



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