Iran, November 12, 2019—What do Iran’s rulers do when they find themselves between a rock and a hard place? They lash out at their leading opposition movement in a futile effort to save face. This is the only way one can describe the Iranian regime’s recent efforts—through a well-known English publication—to demonize the members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
A new report published on the website of BBC tries to paint a dystopian picture of Ashraf 3, home to thousands of MEK members who relocated to the Balkan country in recent years. While the piece is nothing but a rehash of old lies that the Iranian regime has been spewing about the opposition movement for decades, the clickbait title and the unprofessional way it has been written tells a lot about the desperation of the mullahs to create a lifeline for their regime.
The facts stated in the article have been based on interviews with two known agents of the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), introduced in the piece as “disassociates” of the MEK. The reporter did not even bother to corroborate and crosscheck the allegations they made against the MEK, more proof of hasty and unprofessional reporting.
But even without going through the false claims made by MOIS agents, a brief look at the background of these so-called “former members of MEK” leaves no doubt about their ulterior motives. One of them was expelled from the MEK over security concerns and has become a regular contributor to MOIS-linked websites. And the other has explicitly confessed to having been actively going to the Iranian regime’s embassy in Tirana, the Albanian capital, to facilitate his return to Iran. The Iranian regime’s embassies have a notorious reputation for acting as centers of espionage and terrorism, especially against the MEK.
As a reminder, last year, the Albanian government expelled Tehran’s ambassador and his deputy because of their involvement in a foiled bombing plot against the members of MEK in Albania. MEK representatives shared full details of this and other regime plots against its members. But again, BBC fails to make any mention of any of these facts.
Also worth noting is that the BBC intentionally redacted most of the comments that Albanian citizens and authorities had shared in support of the presence of MEK in their country. Interestingly, a program aired by BBC earlier this month, based on which the slandering article is written, including many of those interviews. But apparently, they were deemed “not relevant enough” in the new article.
In a comprehensive rebuttal against the BBC’s piece, an MEK spokesman said, “These bogus narratives pursue only one objective: Mollifying the criminals ruling Iran at the expense of highly enlightened individuals who have dedicated their lives to democracy and freedom in Iran, and more than 100,000 of whom have been executed by the ruling mullahs, including 30,000 massacred in 1988 by Khomeini’s fatwa.”
The spokesperson added that with its biased and false reporting, BBC is lending a hand to turn individuals who are “security threats and engage in intelligence collaboration with the regime” into “dissidents.”
Why does the regime need to revisit the old pages of its playbook now? The answer can be found in the streets of Iraq and Lebanon, where millions of people are protesting the meddling of the Iranian regime in their countries. While the regime is losing its hold and influence on its neighboring countries, which regime officials describe as their “strategic depth,” it is also facing exacerbating crises at home. The people of Iran continue to hold protests and demonstrations on economic grievances, government corruption, and lack of freedom on a daily basis.
And adding salt to the wound is the expanding activities of Iranian Resistance Units inside Iran and supporters of the Iranian resistance across the world, who have further pushed the regime toward collapse and implosion.
Under such circumstances, it is only expectable that the regime will turn to spread propaganda against its main opposition. But the question is, does BBC want to go down in history as being the crutch of a violent regime that has founded its rule on shedding the blood of hundreds of thousands of people across the world?
As history shows, the Iranian people have a long memory. They never forget their friends, but neither do they forget those who stood by the side of their tyrannical rulers.