Open Invitation to Live Discussion and Debate
|9th August 2004|
Mr Win Griffiths, MP
Dear Mr Griffiths,
During your recent trip to Iran, you put forward the idea that a process of reconciliation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the ‘Iranian Resistance’ begin to take place. Whether this proposal was a message sent directly from the Rajavi’s or whether it was your own initiative, it is certainly a desirable approach for all concerned.
Reconciliation first requires that all parties be willing to be involved. Your proposal when put to officials in Iran was not rejected, indeed as we all witnessed, it was greeted with a cautious agreement and this represents an optimistic basis for starting talks.
But it is not only the Iranian govt which has grievances against the ‘Iranian Resistance’. You know that the Rajavi’s have many critics and not many friends. There is not a right thinking Iranian organisation or personality, inside or outside Iran which has not expressed abhorrence over Mr and Mrs Rajavi’s co-operation with the former regime of Saddam Hussein during his imposed war against the Iranian people which included using weapons of mass destruction against Iranian soldiers.
In spite of the fact that the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MKO) is listed as a terrorist entity in the USA, the European Union, including the UK, and in many other countries, we do not believe this is an obstacle to beginning the process of gradual reconciliation.
Rather the ‘Iranian Resistance’ which includes the MKO, needs once and for all to establish its credentials and its position in Iranian politics in order to proceed to dialogue of the nature that you suggested.
As you are aware, for the past two decades the Mojahedin-e Khalq organisation and its political front the National Council of Resistance of Iran have claimed to exclusively represent the Iranian people’s opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran under the title ‘Iranian Resistance’. In addition to the armed wing in Iraq under the patronage of Saddam Hussein, the ‘Iranian Resistance’ has introduced a President and Ministers poised to form an interim government after regime change. However, this ‘Iranian Resistance’, led exclusively for the past twenty five years by Mr and Mrs Rajavi, has, in its entire history after their departure from Iran in 1980 refused any form of dialogue with any other opposition force whether inside or outside Iran. Except inviting them to work under its hegemony from Iraq.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly given this history of antagonism, many of these opposition groups, including the Monarchists, Republicans, Islamists and Marxists, and many other personalities, have at different times invited representatives of the ‘Iranian Resistance’ to take part in open and constructive dialogue. Unsurprisingly, the most recent demand from other Iranian forces has been that the ‘Iranian Resistance’ issue a simple apology for its involvement in the war against their own country. These demands have fallen on deaf ears up to now. Disaffected members of the Mojahedin and its National Council of Resistance, some of whom held very high positions in the organisation and have now taken their place among the respected personalities and groups in opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran, have also on several occasions invited the ‘Iranian Resistance’ to an open debate wherever and whenever is suitable. This invitation has also fallen on deaf ears.
For two decades and more the ‘Iranian Resistance’ has attached pejorative labels to all other different organisations according to its own needs on different occasions. It has insisted that all its critics and ex members are in some way connected to the Intelligence Ministry of Iran. And this accusation has been the scapegoat which allowed the ‘Iranian Resistance’ to pretend to itself that it is the only opposition to the regime of Iran. This accusation of course has never had any currency except inside the closed doors of their camps in Iraq.
Iran Interlink, as a forum for disaffected members of the Mojahedin, is in close contact with the majority of opposition groups based inside and outside Iran, as well as many respected human rights and humanitarian organisations across the globe. We have placed the proposal for open dialogue with the ‘Iranian Resistance’ before many of these opposition groups and personalities and all have agreed this in principle so that its actual place in Iranian politics can be clarified.
Through your mediation we would again like to invite Mr and Mrs Rajavi as leaders of the ‘Iranian Resistance’, or their representatives, to take part in a free and open live discussion with other opposition groups and personalities, on the basis of their claim that: the ‘Iranian Resistance’ is an independent and democratic opposition which is working to bring freedom and democracy to Iran, in addition to any other issues which they would like to bring to the table including their ideology, strategy and their tactics over the past 30 years.
The place and format for this long overdue debate could be on independent Iranian Radio and/or Television channels in the west or places like the House of Parliament, European Parliament or in western media channels. We are completely open to suggestion as to the time and the place of such a debate which could take place on the ‘Iranian Resistance’s’ own satellite television channel if desired.
We can introduce you to representatives from well known opposition groups and personalities in the US and/or Europe who might be invited to this discussion, but again we are also open to suggestions from you or Mr and Mrs Rajavi, even if the invitation to discussion should extend only to their own critics and former members. We would like to nominate your good self to chair this debate, as a respected member of parliament in the UK who has knowledge of and sympathy with the ‘Iranian Resistance’. However, again we are entirely open to Mr and Mrs Rajavi or your own suggestions that any other chairperson be appointed for the debate.
As a respected parliamentarian who has been in contact with this group for the past 25 year we would very much appreciate that you take this invitation to the leadership of the ‘Iranian Resistance’ so that the 25 year game of hide and seek be finished.
We really believe that the ‘Iranian Resistance’ needs to have the courage and will to answer the numerous criticisms and claims against it in a live, open and free discussion so that the people (and perhaps yourself) can decide for themselves.
This discussion will establish a base line for the future and could even bring about a change in the views of the many Iranian opposition organisations which see the ‘Iranian Resistance’ only as a dangerous, autocratic and closed personality cult and as such will not accept it as having a place in Iranian politics.