Iran, September 6, 2019—On the occasion of the 54th anniversary of the founding of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), Dr. Behrooz Pouyan, political science expert from Tehran, wrote an in-depth article about the history of the Iranian people's struggle for freedom and the role of the MEK in defending the fundamental rights of Iranians in the past 54 years. Excerpts from the article, originally published in the Persian edition of the PMOI/MEK website, follow:
In evaluating social movements, there are two key criteria. One is the general structure of the movement, including its goal, strategy, ideology, the organization of its members and their resolve in pursuing the movement's goals. The second criterion is the impact the movement has on the society.
In respect to the first criterion, I believe that the MEK, with 54 years of struggle for freedom, is an exceptional movement in the history of Iran, a fact that is irrefutable to it its proponents and opponents. This is an organization with a dynamic and scientific ideology, progressive goals, human values, a strong structure, and an unbreakable resolve, proven by more than 120,000 martyrs fallen for freedom in the past half century.
Each of the martyrs of this organization are proof of the determination and honesty of this organization in its goals, including the first MEK martyrs under the Shah's rule, the martyrs of the 1980s and especially the 1988 massacre, the martyrs of the National Liberation Army of Iran in the Eternal Light operation, and MEK members executed by the regime in recent years.
Also among them are MEK members who were killed in the attacks of the agents of [former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri] al-Maliki and [Iranian regime supreme leader Ali] Khamenei, especially during the September 1, 2013, attack against Camp Ashraf, and the martyrs in Camp Liberty. All of these martyrs prove the resolve of the MEK to bring freedom and equality.
Can any false pretender of freedom and equality pay such a price? Which individual, group or movement can claim to appreciate the importance and value of freedom more than the MEK and its shining stars? This has made the MEK a revolutionary and unprecedented movement. Therefore, in ranking contemporary Iranian movements, there's no doubt that the MEK would stand at the top.
The achievements of the MEK
The characteristic of the MEK, which has put behind 54 years of history, is that since its founding, it has used the experience of revolutionary movements that preceded it. This helped the MEK close the gaps and fissures that made previous movements vulnerable.
To understand the achievements of the MEK, we must review its history in reverse order. We'll start by taking a quick look at the current state of the Iranian society, the mullahs' regime and the MEK itself. What factors contributed to the MEK becoming the only credible alternative to the mullahs' rule in Iran and across the world, driving the mullahs' regime toward its collapse and the Iranian society toward another revolution? Is it by happenstance that people are chanting "Down with the rule of the mullahs" in the streets of Iran?
If the Iranian regime has lost its legitimacy, we must ask, how did it lose it? Who first refused to legitimize the rule of the mullahs? It is worth reminding that the MEK did not take part in the referendum for the constitution of the rule of the mullahs [after the 1979 revolution], and since the beginning, contrary to the false pretenders of freedom and democracy, they did not give it legitimacy.
How did the mullahs' regime lose its international legitimacy? Did western governments, which for years backed this repressive regime, suddenly decided to abandon the appeasement policy and change course? If the MEK and the Iranian resistance did not expose the regime's terrorism and nuclear program, would the appeasement policy be defeated, and would it become possible for global politics to support the interests and desires of the Iranian people? If the MEK's decades-long efforts to expose the suppression and human rights violations of the regime did not exist, would the mullahs be caught in the human rights trap?
Moreover, it is worth reminding that when no political and social movement cared about human rights, it was the MEK that made it its priority to defend the political, social and human rights of all the Iranian people. Today, some people try to make a business out of opposing the regime's forced hijab, but they seem to forget that in 1979, a month after the revolution, the MEK staged the first demonstration against Khomeini's forced hijab law and defended the freedoms of Iranian women.
Also, when all political groups had been caught in the mullah-made trap of the war against Iraq (1980-1988), it was only the MEK that delegitimized the destructive war and led widespread efforts to end it, including by introducing a peace plan.
Today, thanks to the honest efforts and sacrifices of the MEK, the Iranian society has distanced itself from the mullahs' regime and is pushing it toward its overthrow. While the regime and its front organizations who pose as opposition groups try to marginalize the MEK, history will undoubtedly reveal the truth.