Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Jan. 19, 2019 - In its 40-year history of tyranny and repression, the Iranian regime has resorted to all sorts of atrocities against dissidents to protect its rule and prevent its downfall. One of the most appalling tactics in the Iranian regime’s dirty psychological war against the members of PMOI/MEK is turning family members against them through threats, deception and bribery.
Scottish newspaper The National unpacked one instance of this phenomenon in an article published on January 17. In the article, The National’s Gregg Russell interviewed MEK member Somayeh Mohammadi.
Ms. Mohammadi, who joined the MEK from Canada 20 years ago and now resides in Ashraf 3, the MEK’s headquarters in Tirana, Albania, has been stalked by her parents for years, who in collusion with the Iranian regime’s security and intelligence apparatus have been following her and complaining to local authorities that the MEK has been holding their daughter against her will.
The latest effort of Mostafa and Mahboubeh, Somayeh’s parents, is to come to Albania and file complaints against the MEK, claiming they want to recover their daughter who is being held hostage by the Iranian opposition.
“When I wanted to leave Canada and join the [PMOI] movement my parents gave me their consent to do this,” Ms. Mohammadi told the Scottish newspaper.
Ms. Mohammadi also recounts that Mostafa, her father, had resorted to similar methods when she was in the MEK’s camps in Iraq. In the early 2010s, with the full support of the Iraqi government, the Iranian regime launched an extensive propaganda and psychological torture campaign against MEK members in the original Camp Ashraf, some 60 km north of Baghdad. For nearly two years, the Iranian regime’s agents blared profanity, insults and threats against the residents of Camp Ashraf through some 300 loudspeakers installed around the camp’s perimeter. The regime’s agents regularly brought along family members of the camp’s residents, telling them that their children were imprisoned inside the camp and had to be saved. Ms. Mohammadi’s father was an active member of that campaign
“He came many times in Iraq … around camp Ashraf and installed 320 loudspeakers [through which they shouted abuse and played very loud music 24 hours a day],” Ms. Mohammadi said. “My father was one of them. They threatened to kill all of us in the camp. He was claiming that he loves me as my father but he was against what I wanted to do. What kind of father would do this to their child?”
With the assistance of Mostafa Mohammadi, the Iranian regime created a fake documentary about Ms. Mohammadi in 2013, framing her stay with the MEK as a hostage situation. In Albania, Mohammadi has been resorting to similar measures, interviewing with different local publications and making the same claims.
“He went to different media claiming I had been captured and was held hostage. All these things are to prepare the ground for terrorist attacks against PMOI,” Ms. Mohammadi said.
Mohammadi’s remarks come against the backdrop of increased terrorist activity by the Iranian regime against PMOI/MEK members in Europe. In the past year, European and American authorities have foiled several terrorist and spying plots by the Iranian regime against Iranian dissidents, namely against members of MEK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
The Iranian regime has a track record of smoothing the way for its terror attacks through demonization campaigns. In order to justify the killing of MEK members, the regime regularly engages in campaigns of misinformation to associate them with false crimes and crimes that the regime has committed itself.
While the Iranian regime claims MEK family members make these trips on their own volition and out of their love for their relatives, Ms. Mohammadi has other clarifications to make, notably that the entire psychological warfare is being orchestrated and funded by the Iranian regime’s intelligence apparatus.
“[My father] was staying at the most expensive hotel in Tirana, the Plaza. How could he afford to stay in a hotel like this for four months when back home in Canada he was a builder, an ordinary construction worker?” she said.
But the flip side of the Iranian regime’s dirty war on MEK members is the persistence of brave people like Somayeh Mohammadi, who continues to persist in the goal to free her people from the clutches of the tyrannical mullahs despite all the pain and suffering she has endured in the past years.