Antiwar Iranians and Americans protest Mojahedin deception in USA

Rostam Pourzal will lead antiwar Iranians and Americans in Washington, DC to hand out leaflets and talk to the media at the Mojahedin rally near the White House (at Freedom Plaza) on Friday November 19, at 9 am.

This may be the first time a group of progressive Iranians has overcome fears of being labeled pro-regime to publicly protest Mojahedin's (or Monarchists) lies. Pourzal, a well known writer on Iranian opposition politics told Iran-Interlink, "I'm using my real name because I want more Iranians to take heart and come out of the closet. The time for hesitation is past."

Explaining the purpose of the action, Pourzal said, "Because the event is fictitiously sponsored by another nonexistent organization (, our purpose is to tell the American public about the antidemocratic nature of the real organizers, the Rajavi mafia. Their purpose is to build support for US attack or intervention, not to encourage democracy, in Iran."

Rostam Pourzal can be contacted at <>



"Anyone can use the rhetoric of democracy. Anyone can hide behind the
flag of human rights…We must be careful not to support terrorism in the name of anti-terrorism."

--Senator John McCain, in a letter urging the FBI to investigate Mojahedin's US operations

It was said during the Cold War that if a cultural, labor or professional association's source of funds was described as "private," it was CIA money. In a similar Orwellian twist, some of the least democratic Iranian pressure groups in the US build their names around "freedom" and "democracy." The so-called Coalition for Freedom and Democracy in Iran ( <>) is one of dozens with similar names that hide their sponsors' real identities and agendas. The group is bringing hundreds of Iranian Mojahedin activists – including dozens from Europe -- to Washington, DC on November 19 to rally between the White House and the Congress for an end to what they term Iran's terrorism and WMD.

Mojahedin need their "human rights" façade to hide their true agenda and violent history as a mercenary army, much like the CIA-backed Cuban extremists in Miami do. Fronting for their neocon mentors (the architects of the Iraq disaster), Mojahedin propagandists are rallying on November 19 to build support for a "get tough" policy against Iran. For over two decades Mojahedin's declared purpose has been to overthrow their former allies, Iran's government. A few thousand of them fled Iran in the 1980s and became what defectors called "Saddam's Private Army." That's when the organization lost all legitimacy in the eyes of most Iranians.

Now, hated in post-Saddam Iraq as war criminals, the panicked Mojahedin are out to offer themselves to a new sponsor, Washington warlords. By ingratiating themselves to the American Enterprise Institute and White House empire builders, the November 19 rally organizers hope to have their official designation as a "terrorist organization" lifted by the State Department. Mojahedin's pattern of hiding their intentions behind beautiful terminology like "freedom" and "democracy" is identical to the AEI likudniks' PR.

While it is not illegal to attempt to influence US policy or for an Iranian group to want to change Iran's government, what we are protesting is Mojahedin's deceptive tactics, including the claim that they enjoy widespread support in Iran. They would not be holding an English-language rally on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington two weeks after the US elections if they had a following in Iran. We bring you this information so you can judge for yourself.

*Q: Are we countering Mojahedin's propaganda because we approve of **Iran**'s current government ?*

A: Some of Iran's Muslim clergy have what the Christian Right hopes to achieve in the US, but Iranians are making progress toward establishing a more inclusive government. Foreign interference would only arrest that process and splinter the democratic opposition in Iran.

*Q: Why shouldn't Mojahedin take over in **Iran** ?*

A; Mojahedin have displayed anti-democratic and ends-justify-the-means tendencies at every opportunity. They have appointed Maryam Rajavi as the "president" of Iran, without explaining why a popular vote is unnecessary. Defectors from their Camp Ashraf in Iraq describe a secretive cult that dictates everything and tolerates no dissent. Ervand Abrahamian, author of the most authoritative account of the organization, told the /New York Times/, "If Massoud Rajavi [Maryam's husband] got up tomorrow and said the world is flat, his members would accept it." The chief of counterintelligence of France, where Maryam and hundreds of her devotees reside now, is quoted in the same report: "They are complete fanatics … with a total absence of democracy."

*Q: Why haven't most otherwise well-informed Americans heard of this organization ?*

A: Mojahedin (also known as MEK, MKO, PMOI, and the National Liberation Army) operate in many guises so they can fundraise and lobby in this country without explaining their military service to Saddam Hussein. Here are just a few of their front organizations, according to published US Government sources:

US Alliance for Democratic Iran

Iranian American Society of Northern Virginia

National Council of Resistance

Association of Iranian Women USA

National Committee of Women for a Democratic Iran

Iranian Society of South Florida

Society of Iranian American Medical Professionals

Association of Iranian Scholars and Professionals

Muslim Iranian Student Society

*Q: Do conservative Americans generally support Mojahedin ?*

A: Cold War hawks see Mojahedin as a bargaining chip in their quest to contain Iran's so-called state terrorism (Tehran's support for the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance). Fox News Channel promotes Mojahedin's chief Washington lobbyist Alireza Jafarzadeh as an international security expert. In 2000, then Senator John Ashcroft lent his name to a Mojahedin rally against Iran outside the UN headquarters.
/Newsweek /revealed that Ashcroft also succeeded in stopping the deportation of a named Mojahed activist even after her military training at Camp Ashraf was confirmed. Richard Perle was a keynote speaker, along with Maryam Rajavi, at Mojahedin's "charitable" fundraiser in January 2004 at the DC Convention Center. Old-fashioned conservatives (critics of empire building), on the other hand, generally condemn Mojahedin as "terrorists." The split mirrors the rift between Defense and State Departments during Bush's first term.

*Q: How do mainstream American NGOs and universities view Mojahedin ?*

A: In her 2003 book, /Saddam's Private Army, /former Mojahedin activist Anne Singleton often refers to Mojahedin's sophisticated persuasion tactics, including the "charm offensive". Posing as women's advocates ("empowering" women as Iran's first "President" and 40% of her army), US-based Mojahedin activists like Behjat Dehghan and Ramesh Sepehrrad pretend to speak for Iranian women in respectable forums. Official gender bias in Iran, and the collapse of progressive Iranian immigrant groups since 1979, have helped Mojahedin fill the void as the "enlightened" alternative. Currently, their National Committee of Women for a Democratic Iran website claims to be "working with" these institutions "to introduce the new feminist theory by [Rajavi]" :

George Mason university; Eckerd College; University of Rhode Island; York University; Riverside University; University of North Dakota; Brandeis University; and the "Human Rights Programs" at Harvard Law School, Columbia University, and American University, as well as Amnesty International, the Red Cross, and the National Lawyers Guild. NCWDI also claims to be "affiliated" with the National Association of Women Studies (presumably the latter refers to the National Women's Studies Association).