Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, August 6, 2020—“The more I looked, the more I found that the story of this group, the true story of the MEK, has been erased and mis understood,” said Ambassador Lincoln Bloomfield, former U.S. deputy assistant to the Secretary of State, during his speech at the Free Iran Global Summit 2020, held online at Ashraf 3 in connection to 30,000 locations in 102 countries, about why some foreign journalists continue to repeat false allegations to discredit the Iranian opposition movement.
For many years, any politician or personality that had met with the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and the National Council of Resistance (NCRI) faced enormous pressure and criticism since the group was unjustly black listed. But now the tables have turned.
After a long legal campaign that led to that the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling unanimously that the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had erred in refusing to grant a petition by the MEK to have its terrorist status revoked, strongly suggesting that the Department should remove the group from the FTO list.
Now, eight years later, an Iranian diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, is facing charges of terrorism in a Belgian court for plotting to bomb the NCRI’s 2018 rally north of Paris. The foiled bombing involved Iranian embassies in several countries. Authorities in Denmark, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, and Albania have all encountered state-sponsored Iranian terror activity on their soil.
“I was looking for the most credible sources of what was the truth behind the allegations, and I found that in the Western press and the thinktanks, the allegations were not supported by the most credible evidence. So, I prepared an independent report which was given to all of the senior officials in the U.S. government, including the Secretary of State and members of Congress,” Bloomfield said.
False allegations of being radical Marxist, a cult, and traitors
According to Bloomfield the MEK’s history entirely misrepresented in the West, while the group is advocating democracy and freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and the practice of Islam that is consistent with modern life and not to follow a grotesque abuse of religious faith to support political tyranny.
Ashraf 3, MEK camp in Albania, second day of the Free Iran Global Summit at Ashraf 3- July 19, 2020.
“The MEK was not a radical Marxist group, as many people in Washington say. This propaganda started by the Shah. It was referring to violent extremists who did conduct terrorist acts in the 1970s and they tried to steal the prestige and the identity of the MEK. The MEK that I’m addressing today is not connected in any way to the extremists who killed Americans in Iran. This is a fact.”
Many in the West accuse the MEK to have been supported by Saddam Hussein but “the MEK never fought in the Iran-Iraq war,” Bloomfield said and explained that there was a UN ceasefire in place at the time of the MEK’s Operation Eternal Light in 1988. However, the Iranian regime repeats this falsehood to try to portray the MEK as traitors to their own country rather than as steadfast defenders of the Iranian people’s rights and their sovereignty.
Lincoln Bloomfield also highlighted that allegations that the MEK was a cult were promoted by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence as part of its demonization campaign and that many more falsehoods are amplified by Western media and analysts.
But why are news reports in the West repeating the same old false discredited lies about the MEK?
“Western media and think tank reports still repeat the allegations that were entirely debunked officially by court challenges in France, the European Union, the UK and the United States years ago. Why do they keep repeating these allegations, these falsehoods? My conclusion is the same, no matter what the regime does the reason is the same. Why are they seeking to discredit the NCRI and the MEK? Why did they rush to defend Bashar Assad’s regime in 2011 against the Syrian people? Why did they enter into a long negotiation with Europe and the United States and the P5+1 to try to talk about nuclear weapons? To keep the U.S. and Europe from acting against the regime. The reason is always the same, the same reason, to keep a weak, illegitimate regime in power,” Bloomfield explains.
MEK’s role as a viable alternative
Regime officials, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, are openly complaining about the effectiveness of the MEK, which has helped to organize protests across Iran and is tracking the casualties of the coronavirus pandemic.
Iranian opposition President Maryam Rajavi at the Free Iran Global Summit at Ashraf 3- July 17, 2020
Bloomfield underlined the speech of NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi. “We the people of Iran and the Iranian resistance will build a free and democratic Iran,” and pledged “a commitment to remain faithful to our people’s sovereignty and their vote, not seek power at any cost but to establish freedom and justice at any cost and never return to the dictatorships of the Shah and the mullahs,” Madam Rajavi said, explaining that the NCRI’s goal is to hand sovereignty back to the people of Iran, not to seize power for themselves.
Bloomfield also indicated why the MEK is a viable and genuine alternative to the mullahs: “Is there any other resistance group advocating universal democratic values in Iran? Is there any other resistance group standing for gender equality against a brutal and corrupt regime 100% controlled by men? Is there any other resistance group that is capable of organizing a worldwide virtual meeting with thousands of people in over 100 countries? The regime sees these events and they know the NCRI and the MEK more than anyone else are fully capable of organizing a democratic transition to legitimate constitutional government after the fall of the regime. Can anyone point to another resistance group that stood up for the lives of these young Iranians facing death sentence? Of course not. There is none.”
The known 80/20 tactic of mullahs’ intelligence
Ambassador Bloomfield also characterized an old method of the Iranian intelligence named the 80/20 tactic, meaning various journalist, think tanks, or analysts focus 80 percent of their criteria criticizing the regime while ensuring that the remaining 20 percent focuses on criticizing the NCRI and MEK, so that it looks more authentic and credible.
“When I read Western news reports of virtual rally and the Twitter criticisms that try to prevent anyone from mentioning the resistance, it is the reporters and the analysts whose motives must now be questioned. Are they on Tehran’s payroll? Are their relatives being threatened (of harm)? Are they agents of the regime following the 80/20 tactic?” Bloomfield said.
“The Iranian diaspora has coined a term for this kind of news management, hashtad-beest, or “80/20,” meaning that 80 percent of the reporting focuses on the obvious and unavoidable, including mild or implied criticism of the regime, in order to establish credibility among foreign readers,” wrote Peter Theroux on March 23 in a Tablet Magazine article explaining regime’s tactics.
As a former American official, Bloomfield concludes that the NCRI’s critics are trapped in a web of propaganda and falsehoods and that the truth is finally acknowledged. And when justice is done, Iran will be free.