Voltaire Network
From revolutionnaries to mercenaries

The Moudjahidins that lost their way

The Moudjahidin of the People (hereinafter “the MDP”) was the progeny of an armed resistance to the dictatorship of Iran’s shah. Its raison d’etre was to bring about an Islamic and social revolution. However, Ayatollah Khomeiny, shoved it, sine nolente, to a side.
From objective alliances to shady agreements, followed by clear acts of betrayal, the MDP becomes a prosthetic of Washington. Washington weaponizes it to destroy the Iranian people - the MDP’s own people - and by doing so, makes it self-destruct.
Responsible for attacks in 15 countries against Iranian interests and for participating in the worst acts of the Saddam Hussein regime, today the MDP is considered a terrorist organization, yet one supported by US hawks.

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Maryam Radjavi

The Iranian Organization of the Moudjahidin of the People (Mujahedin-e Khalq) was established by progressive Muslims to topple the dictatorship of Mohammed Rezâ Pahlavi. The latter, helped out by the British MI6 and the US CIA, had put an end to the socialist government of Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953. Mossadegh was planning to nationalize oil resources and redistribute resources to his people. Pahlavi had consolidated his personnel power thanks to a terrible political police, the Savak, rigourously trained by Anglo Saxon Services. In 1957 and 1978, more than 500 000 people were arrested and imprisoned while thousands on the opposition were victims of special courts, torture and summary execution. In its 1975 annual report, Amnesty International wrote, “no country in the world has a worse Human Rights record than Iran”.

During this period, the MDP develop an urban guerrilla, identical in nature to the Fedayins of the People, who are genuine Marxistes-Leninists. The two parties had to submit to a ferocious repression. As a result, by the time the Shah was overthrown, they are too weak to be able to play the political role they dream about. It is the clergy, mobilized behind Ayatollah Ruhollâh Khomeiny, that grasps the reins of power in February 1979. The latter, enthroned officially by Washington, relies on underrated popular support to launch an important socialist revolution and, very rapidly, breaks away from its US support.

1. Iran, 1979. MDP isolated from the Islamic Revolution

Symbolically, Khomeiny appoints to the head of the interim government Mehdi Bazargan, who had been incarcerated four times under the Ancien regime for opposing the Shah. Iran experinces a vast movement of purge and repression of the royalists and the SAVAK police, but also a profound social revolution, inspired as much by the revolutions of 1789 and 1917 as by the Koran. Numerous resources are nationalized: banks, insurance companies and huge industrial complexes. The great, agricultural complexes are occupied in a savage way by landless peasants. Work councils are elected and take control of factories. Supported by the MDP, Mehdi Bazargan, worthy representative of Bazar, the socially conservative movement, pushing for the liberalization of exchanges, finds himself “overhanging” before the gliding to the Left of the Revolution and to the accelerated mutations of Iranian society. Quickly discredited, he leaves power at the time of the “second revolution” initiated by Imam Khomeiny whose objective is to put an end to foreign powers (principally the United States), interfering in his country.

On the basis of documents retrieved from the secret archives of the US embassy in Teheran, occupied from November 1979 by “Islamic students”, numerous politicians and even parties that were reputedly “Pro-Western”, are threatened by the Iranian power. Among them are Amir Entezam, former Vice Prime Minister, Hassan Nazih, former director of the National Iranian Oil Company, Rahmatollah Mognadam-Maraghi, Head of the Radical Party and Ayatollah Chariat Madari, considered a liberal on the Right. At the end, the Shiite clergy plays again score already known in Iran’s history: its power is legitimate because it is the champion of the national cause against foreign exploitation. In fact, its opposition, that is royalist or of another revolutionary faction, positions itself as an objective ally of the United States. In this context, the MDP, which by now is the party of the masses, is capable of drumming up a gathering of 150 000 supporters and sympathizers, which is does, in June 1979 at Teheran. The MDP distances itself from the conduct of Islamist students, even though at the beginning it welcomed the taking of the US embassy. Led by the crook Massoud Radjavi, the MDP rises up against Imam Khomeiny who, in return, stigmatises the Islamo-Marxists with virulence in his speeches. At the same time, other movements on the opposition such as the Fedayins of the People and the Kurdish Democratic Party (PDK) undergo violent internal dissidences. The first adopts an “anti-imperialist” political line comparable to that of the Iranian communist party Toudeh, whilst within the PDK, “a fraction, that is the minority, breaks off from the majority led by Mr. Abdel Rahman Ghassemlou, accusing him of collaborating with Iraq and Nato” [1]. Bit by bit, the MDP becomes the main party opposing the power in place in Teheran. It opposes the status quo by supporting the creation of an Islamic State which does not have religious leaders at its helm. As it is established on the socialist interpretation of the Koran, its vision is that the “polis” of the Islamic community must govern itself and must become its own “Imam” [2]. Thus power is to be exercised at the base and not by the religious class.

2. France, 1981. Massoud Radjavi takes refuge in Paris; rapprochement with the United States

Due to this strong ideological opposition, MDP is not represented either in the Council of the Revolution or in the interim government of Mehdi Bazargan. The MDP is subject to censorship by a media hostile to its activities and declarations. At the same time, a repression, barely veiled, of the MDP forces its members to fight in semi-secrecy. The seizure of all positions of power by the Party of the Islamic Republic Movement (PRI) supported by Khomeiny and led by Ayatollah Behechti accelerates the political marginalization of the MDP. The unleashing of the Iran-Iraq war in September 1980 by Saddam’s troops, pushed by Washington and its Atlantist allies, puts further strain on the situation at home. The Iranian President, Bani Sadr, an adversary of the PRI, is threatened and the clergy fear lest he forms an alliance with the MDP. In March 1981, violent clashes at the University of Teheran see the President’s supporters being joined by members of the Movement of Massoud Radjavi, against the men belonging to the PRI. The conflict at the State Summit turns to the advantage of the theocrats, who get rid of President Bani Sadr on 10 June 1981. The latter is forced into hiding, whilst the MDP becomes threatening. On 28 June 1981, an attack, which is attributed to it, decimate the PRI leaders, killing Ayatollah Behechti as well as four ministers, six vice-ministers and a quarter of the PRI parliamentary group. In the crowd, the movement undergoes a wave of arrests, militants on the Left which include a number of MDP, are executed, whilst multiple armed attacks are launched against the regime. Massoud Radjavi took refuge in Paris, with President Bani Sadr, in July 1981. François Mitterrand has just acceded to the Presidency of the Republic.

France and the United States have common objectives: the MDP is going to lose all popular support in Iran and will begin its slow decay. It becomes the armed arm of the “West” against the Islamic regime: in the “war” [3] which it is going to unleash in Paris and Teheran around the settlement of the contentious Eurodif. Iran had in fact accepted, in 1974, lending a billion dollars to France, through the intermediary of the “Commissariat” of Atomic Energy (CEA). The purpose of this loan was to construct a new nuclear central in Pierrelatte. In exchange, Iran is seen to open up the capital of Eurodif, in which it had a minority right of veto. Furthermore, Teheran obtained access to 10% of enriched uranium produced at Pierrelatte and could thus envisage acquiring the status of a nuclear power. France, which had signed this agreement with the Iran of the Shah, refuses to honour it once Ayatollah Khomeyni obtains power. Therefore the latter is going to apply heavy pressure on Paris to obtain satisfaction, by multiplying the number of attacks, targetted assassinations and exchanges of prisoners [Op. cit.].

Conversely, the MDP allows France and the United States to strike targets on Iranian soil. Now mercenary, the MDP betrays its country and supports Iraq in the bloody conflict. This puts it in a position of antagonism to the Islamic Republic. Its treason reaches the extent of setting up principal centres of operation in 1987 in the lands of Saddam Hussein.

But the multiplication of Iranian attacks on French soil pushes Paris and notably the government of Jacque Chirac enthroned in March 1986, to negotiate with Teheran. Thus officially, the MDP is going to serve as a currency of exchange between the two countries to liberate French hostages in Lebanon. In actual fact, it feels quite acutely the collateral damages of the French–Iranian negotiations around nuclear cooperation, as an intermediate stage for “normalisation” of diplomatic relations. Thus it serves as a smoke screen to prevent the real stakes in the negotiations being revealed. But the consequences that are going to hit it are very real.

3. Irak, 1986. Alliance with Saddam Hussein in the war against Iran

Thus in June 1986, the head of MDP, Massoud Radjavi, is deported from Paris to Bagdad. This delights Iranian officials, such as Ali Ahani, Director for Europe, Director for Europe and America to the Iranian Minister of Iranian Foreign Affairs [4]. However it is received with less glee by Teheran, since soon after, the Leader of the MDP signs an agreement with Saddam Hussein. The MDP continues its terrorist actions on Iranian soil, assassinating a provincial official in charge of education, Ali Iranmanesh in February 1987 [5]. Three days later, Iraq takes a two week break from bombing the Iranian cities that it had been attacking up until then with Iraqi bomber fighters. According to an official communication, this decision has been taken following a request formulated by the MDP head, Massoud Radjavi, to President Saddam Hussein, “on behalf of the Iranian masses and their forces fighting against the Iranian regime” [6] Such a recourse to the MDP to justify a truce, had already taken place in July 1985, by invoking “a request formulated by Mr. Radjavi”.

4. The United States, 1987. Fracture within the political class on the use of the MDP

Despite the Iranian MDP taking the decision to take up arms on Iraq’s side against their own country [7], in the months that follow they will be let down by France and the United States. In April 1987, the spokeman for the US State Department, Charles Edgar Redman, declares that he does “not see any reason” to support a movement that “supports violence” and has a “long history of terrorism”. On this occasion he brings up the episode that MDP had probably “assassinated at least six Americans” during its years in opposition to the Shah and emphasizes that it had carried out a number of acts of terrorism in Iran, notably the bomb attacks in June and August 1981 which had claimed “many more than a 100 victims”. Continuing the narrative, on 22 April 1987, the US Department of State announces “that the recent contacts with the representatives of this organization do not represent a change in the US policy on terrorism” [8].

Then in August 1987, 52 members of the US Congress ask the Secretary of State, George Schulz, to support the MDP in its fight against the regime of Imam Khomeiny. Phyllis Oakley, spokesperson for the Department of State declares that although the “United States deplores the excess of the Khomeiny regime (...), it neither approves of the use of terror and violence by oppositional groups”, preparing the terrain for a negative response on the part of US diplomacy [9].

5. France, 1987. Chirac Government deports MDP members; Socialists oppose this move

In December, it is France, speaking through its Minister for Home Affairs, Charles Pasqua, that expels several dozens of Iranians opposed to the regime in Teheran, and notably, members of the MDP. Prime Minister, Jacques Chirac, declares: “Iran is irritated, and quite rightly, by a fair number of Iranian refugees abusing the right to seek asylum”. The spokesperson for the MDP challenges the secret negotiations between Paris and Teheran:

“The French government is in the process of paying a heavy ransom for hostages, to Khomeiny’s torturers and his tottering regime. The Iranian resistance and the people of Iran will not forget these inimicable acts (...). We are paying the price of a bargaining that does not honour anyone, neither in France nor in Iran” [10].

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Monseigneur Jacques Gaillot and Maryam Radjavi

The decision of the French Authorities is triggering indignation on the part of a number of associations and politicians desiring to take up the defence of the MDP. Such is the case of the High Commissioner for Refugees (HCR), which requests the reasons for deportation as well as details of the persons concerned [11]. The CIMADE, France Terre d’Asile, the GISTI and the League of the Human Rights protest. Three lawyers, Henri Leclerc, Jean-Philippe Mignard and Francis Teitgen denounce the “vassalisation of our law to the whims of Ayatollah Khomeiny”, whilst Jack Lang is enflamed:
“Shame on Pasqua. Shame on the Chirac government which by this unworthy gesture, denies the right of asylum and makes pacts with the enemy - the dictatorship of Khomeiny” [12].
Lionel Jospin, then the first secretary of the Socialist Party, evokes a “brutal” expulsion and requests explanations from the government [13].
The Socialist MP, Louis Mexandeau is attacking Charles Pasqua in the Parliament:
“You have paid the Iranian authorities a bribe or a downpayment in Iranian currency: the measure is the Iranian or Kurdish refugee!”
The response of the Minister of Home Affairs is scathing:
“It is your right, Mr. Mexandeau, to declare your solidairity with the MDP which today is fighting the Khomeiny regime, which it helped yesterday to seize the power. You will have difficulty presenting it as a party of authentic democrats and one can only imagine what regime would have taken root in Iran had it come to power. But that is not my problem. My problem, is that, as Minister for Home Affairs, I cannot tolerate surrender ourselves on our soil to its operations, blackmail and threats trying to make terror reign in another part of the Iranian community” [14].

This lifting of “locks” on the part of the Mitterrandie leads us to ask, what relations did it have with the Iranian organization since 1981  [15]? It is met, on the international scene, by violent critiques by British, US and Italian parliamentarians [16]. Margaret Thatcher, then the British Prime Minister, even worries publicly about what could appear as a “bonus” to the takers of hostages. [17]. Jacques Chirac responds to her by declaring that France refuses to reach an agreeeent with Iran. He also denies paying a ransom for the return of hostages, Jean-Louis Normandin and Roger Auque, “challenging” those who say otherwise, notably “in the Anglo Saxon press, for specific reasons that have not changed since Lawrence of Arabia” [18].

President François Mitterrand is then going to reveal his position in January 1988, by officially giving his support to the Iranian refugees following a meeting with Jean-Pierre Hocké, High Commissioner for Refugees, whom he assures has his “full support”. At the same time, Danielle Mitterand receives “for a long time the families of the Iranian refugees that were expelled” and goes, as President of the France-Libertes Association, to the very places where the Iranian opponents are holding a hunger strike [19]. The press recalls with delight that in July 1985 Charles Pasqua himself had signed, as Senator, a text of support to the MDP of Massoud Radjavi.

Another subject of interrogation, the destination chosen for those expelled: they are sent to Gabon. This decision is taken at Antibes, during the Franco-African Summit, at the end of negotiations between Jacque Foccart, then adviser to Jacques Chirac on African Affairs, and the President of Gabon Omar Bongo, in the presence of the General Imbot, Director of the DGSE [20].

Nevertheless, some members of the Iranian Opposition continue to live in France, notably Chapour Bakhtiar, the last head of the imperial government, and Abolhassan Bani Sadr, the former president of the Islamic Republic  [21].

Finally, seven of the fifteen expelled are repatriated in France, at the end of a campaign of international mobilization, relayed by the press, not only in France but also in the United States and the United Kingdom [22].

6. Irak, 1991. Repression of Shiites and Kurds on behalf of Saddam Hussein

Iran’s repression of MDP, which had committed itself to fighting on the side of the Iraqi forces, does not weaken. In August 1988, during an offensive in Central-West Iran, the MDP loses more than a thousand men while seven people are executed at Batharan for “collaborating with members of this movement who had invaded the region” [23]. A number of political prisoners are also executed at the beginning of 1989 and Kassem Radjavi (brother of Massoud) is assassinated in Geneva on 24 April 1990.

More concerned with what is going on within the organization that the outside world, the MDP become a sort of military sect, placed under the authority of an all powerful couple, the Radjavi, assisted by a group of women without pity. They are between 6 000 and 8 000 living in a community in closed bases set up in the middle of the desert. In 1991, at the beginning of the Gulf War, the Iraq of Saddam Hussein, left bloodied but in one piece by the United States, has to repress the revolt of the Shiites and Kurds against the Ba’athist government. For this operation, Saddam Hussein will be able to count not only on the passivity of the United States (which let Iraqi helicopters take off even though the air space had to be closed), but also on the fanatism of the MDP who had become executives responsible for the dirty works of his regime. The New York Times also relates the testimony of Karim Haghi, former bodyguard of Massoud and Maryam Radjavi:
“they explained to us that if these revolts succeeeded in toppling Saddam Hussein, this would be the end of our movement. (...) Maryam Radjavi advised us to kill them with tanks in order to keep our bullets for other operations.” [24].

On 5 April 1993, Iranian ambassadors or institutions are targets of attacks in 13 countries. These attacks are attributed to the MDP even though it does not have the operational capacity to perpetrate all of them at the same time. The contemporary press presents this action as a retorsionary measure to a bombing of an MDP camp in Irak. It is more probable that it is a more complex operation: to prevent Argentina from acquiring new Israeli nuclear technologies, it is likely that Teheran would have sponsored the Islamic Jihad to attack the Israeli embassasy in Buenos Aires, on 17 March, resulting in 29 dead and 200 wounded. It would appear that in retorsion, Tel Aviv sponsored the MDP to carry out the attacks on Iranian embassies.

7. France, 1993. Expulsion to protect the “superior interests of State“

In November 1993, the presence of Massoud Radjavi’s wife (Maryam) on French soil triggers a diplomatic crisis between France and Iran. The MDP movement continues to be violently fought by the Islamic Republic, whilst the organization executes reprisals on site, such as the destruction of 11 oil pipelines in June 1993, in response to the assassination of one of its members in Karachi, Pakistan [25]. Teheran is calling for the immediate expulsion of Maryam Radjavi, on 9 November. On the same day, its embassy in France and the premises of Air France in Teheran are the targets of two attacks causing two to be slightly wounded. Responsibility for these was claimed by the “Hezbollah of South Teheran”. Shortly afterwards, the Turkish Minister for Homeland Affairs announces the expulsion of the MDP and Iranian Kurdish opposition from his country. A new hand of cards has been dealt out. The Iranian MDP no longer has its place. How otherwise to understand the refusal by the Balladur government to extradite to Switzerland two Iranians suspected of assassinating Kazem Radjavi on Helvetic Confederacy soil? The reason invoked is lapidary: the government justification is to protect “the superior interests of the State”. We discover on this occasion the “sectarian shunt” of the organization: to “hold” the members in exile in the West, the Radjavi forces them to entrust their children to other members, situated in other countries.

The United States itself is backing off. After resurrecting the ghost of the six US nationals assassinated by the organization at the time of the Shah, the authorities are accusing Razi Ahmed Youssef, one of the alleged authors of the attack of 1993 on the World Trade Center, of also being responsible for the attack on the mausoleum of Imam Reza in Iran, on 20 June 1994, which caused 25 deaths and left 70 people injured. An action that Teheran attributes to the MDP. In June 1995, it is Germany’s turn to deny Maryam Radjavi admission to France for a meeting of Iranian oppositional forces at Dortmund [26]. Iran is profiting from the diplomatic embellishment to make a frontal attack on the MDP: in May 1995, two MDP leaders are assassinated at Bagdad. In July, Teheran is bombing the principal military base of the organization and has killed three MDP members at Bagdad. Iran is claiming responsibility in parallel to Saddam Hussein that delivers to it Massoud Radjavi, always present on Iraqi soil. On 31 July, two attacks attributed to the Moudjahidin are shaking Teheran, not far from the seat of the Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a Shiite movement opposed to the regime in Bagdad.

8. 1997. Iran-US Oil Rapprochement, MDP declared “terrorists”

In 1997, the US Department of Madeleine Albright places the political branch of the movement, the National Council for Iranian Resistance on its list of terrorist organizations. According to an informative note of the Australian Parliament, the attacks perpetrated in 1992 against the Iranian embassies abroad and attributed to MDP would have weighed heavily in Washington’s decision. The decision is made in the context of an attempt at US-Iran rapprochement on the basis of oil interests. According to Le Figaro, Iran is at the time, the principal beneficiary of several contracts signed by Total and Shell, that the Clinton Administration hopes to let through without applying the extra-territorial sanctions voted in 1996 by the Congress: faced with this, writes the French newspaper, “the tenors of the oil lobby, such as the former Secretary of State, James Baker, are perhaps in the process of imposing their views: in the race to oil and gas in the Caspian, the US companies drag the D’Amato-Kennedy law like a cannon-ball ” [27]. That same year, Mohammad Khatami became president, something that Washington rather appreciated. This was seen as a snub to the MDP, which called for the vote to be boycotted.

Dropped by their supporters from outside Iran, the MDP did not give up fighting. In 1998, it claims responsibility for the attack on the Revolutionary Court of Teheran and the botched attack on the headquarters of the Guardians of the Revolution. In August, it assassinates Assadollah Ladjervardi, the former Public Prosecutor of the Revolutionary Tribunal and and ex-director of Iran’s biggest prison. In 1999, it is the office of the Minister of Intelligence which is the target of a mortar attack, then General Ali Sayad Chirazi, who is assassinated in April. In June, Iran responds by firing three ground-to-ground long range missiles onto an MDP bases on Iraqi soil, 110 km north of Bagdad. Teheran can count, in the fight, on the support of France: during the visit of President Khatami, in October 1999, the French Authorities deploy a important security measure and even proceed to police operations against Iranian opposition, pledging its good will. This step triggers an indignant reaction from Mr Henri Leclerc, President of the League of Human Rights. According to him, the action against MDP is to be put in parallel with the arrest of the Tibetan demonstrators and member of Reporters sans frontières during the official visit of the President of China, Jiang Zemin. He even adds: “Iran is one of the worst regimes in the world for attacks.” [28].

9. Irak 2003. Pacta ab US non sunt servanda

Having lost all intrinsic value, the MDP is once again going to become an exchange currency permitting Iran to resurface on the international scene. So in March 2002, Teheran concludes an agreement with Ankara: the Islamic Republic will place the Labour Party of Kurdistan (the PKK) on its list of terrorist organizations, and Turkey will do the same thing with the MDP  [29]. The two countries will then proceed to exchange prisoners belonging to the two movements, pledging to cooperate. The United States for its part is going to collaborate with Iran under the cover of the “war against terrorism”. Despite denials from Iranian officials, in December 2002, several Western diplomats are on board when their countries participate in the bringing down of the regime of the Afghan Talibans, despised by Teheran  [30]. According to these diplomats, Iran would have been about to communicate to US officials information on the programme of Iraqi criminal weapons, during a secret meeting held in Paris. The United States would have for its part tried to ensure the cooperation of the Iraqi Shiite Opposition after it invaded the country. In exchange for these guarantees, Washington would be committed to eliminating the MDP threat. [31]

In fact, on 15 April 2003, the Coalition forces bomb the MDP bases in the country recently conquered. However, it is quite clear that when it comes to the crunch neither Iraq nor the United States have decided to honor their initial commitments. In actual fact, the Shiite Minority in Iraq appears far more active than the US administration would have hoped and was, as a consequence, the target of several deadly attacks. Otherwise, the US army would have, prior to attacking the training camps of the Moudjahidin, warned the occupants to leave the in order to avoid all loss. Better, on 22 April, the Coalition forces sign a ceasefire agreement with the organization, an initiative welcomed by Massoud Radjavi [32] and violently criticized by Teheran.

10. The United States, 2003. Hawks hover above the MDP

The MDP relies on much support from the United States, particularly in the ranks of the hawks ready to ally themselves with whoever could participate in toppling the Iranian regime. An article in Newsweek September 2002 had put forward a report of the US Services dedicated to Saddam Hussein’s connections with terrorist organizations. There was no reference to Al Qaïda, but rather to the MDP which has not failed to plunge into embarrassment US officials, some of which are known to be sympathetic to its cause [33]. While it has a US front, the Iranian National Council of Resistance, which has its base at Washington in the premises of the National Press Building, was placed in 1999 on the list of terrorist orgnaizations by the Department of State. According to Newsweek, the movement would benefit from the support of more than 200 members of Congress, but also from the current Justice Secretary, John Ashcroft. During a demononstration of the movement before the UN, to protest against a speech of President Khatami, John Ashcroft and Chris Bond, both Republicans from Missouri, had drafted a communiqué expressing solidarity with MDP. The communiqué was read and acclaimed in public on this occasion. A photo of John Ashcroft is also displayed in a presentation plaque of the movement presented at the Capitol. Another one of its supporters is no other than the Democrat Senator for New Jersey, Bob Torricelli, who has been accused by his Republican adversary, Doug Forrester, of receiving 100,000 dollars from the MDP as campaign funds. Following 11 September 2001, it logically follows that such support becomes more rare.

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MDP Meeting on 24 Jan 2004 at Washington

In the presence of Richard Perle, Pentagon adviser and Gipsy Kings. The US Parliamentary newspaper, The Hill, publishes an article published in April 2003, that takes census of the US representatives who continue to defend the MDP. These include the following: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican Chair of the Sub-Committee on International Relations dedicated to the Near East and Central Asia, but also Republican Congressmen Tom Tancredo, Edolphus Town, Gary Ackerman, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Sheila Jackson Lee. Political connections that explain US inertia vis-à-vis the MDP. According to the Department of Justice, representatives of an organization that the State Department qualifies as terrorist, are not necessarily in violation of federal law. As one of the spokespersons for the Ashcroft team explained: “the simple fact that a group has designated as a [foreign terrorist organization] does not make this group necessarily illegal”. The MDP is even censored by the Department of Justice as a lobbyist on Foreign Agents Registration Act [34].

In the context of the war on terrorism, the MDP is a real political stake for US diplomacy. A “laxisme” of Washington on this dossier would challenge the foundation of its struggle against international terrorism. This is why following the police operations conducted against the MDP simulatenously in Australia and France at the beginning of the summer of 2003, the State and Treasury Department also attacked the MDP. In August they closed down its offices and froze its bank accounts. Today when the Iranian regime finds itself up against a serious institutional crisis, Washnington hawks are sorely tempted to turn once again to its armed arm to destabilize the Islamic Republic. But the Bush Administration must know, that they have burned their fingers by wanting to play apprentice sorcerors in the region, that the appointment of an Iranian leader from abroad has little chance of success. MDP’s participation on the side of Saddam Hussein’s troops leading to massacres in the Iran-Iraq war and the repression of the Shiite and Kurd insurrections in 1991, has for a long time carbonized the legitimacy of the organization in the eyes of the Iranian people. The idea of seeing them having some connection with the exercise of power in Teheran can only make those observing Iranian political life shudder.

Translation
Anoosha Boralessa

[1] « L’offensive contre la révolution islamique en Iran », par Éric Rouleau, Le Monde diplomatique, octobre 1980.

[2] « La guerre ouverte succède au conflit de tendances au sein du mouvement islamique iranien », par Ahmad Fraoughy, Le Monde diplomatique, août 1981.

[3] Une Guerre, de Dominique Lorentz, Les Arènes, 1997.

[4] « Les négociations franco-iraniennes dans une phase difficile », par Alain Frachon, Le Monde, 23 janvier 1987.

[5] « Iran : un responsable provincial assassiné », Le Monde d’après l’AFP, 19 février 1987.

[6] « L’Irak annonce la suspension conditionnelle de ses raids sur les villes iraniennes », Le Monde, 20 février 1987.

[7] « La "normalisation" avec Téhéran va bon train », par Yves Heller, Le Monde, 9 décembre 1987.

[8] « Mise au point du département d’État sur ses contacts avec les Moudjahidin », Le Monde d’après AFP, 24 avril 1987

[9] « Après la libération de M. Charles Glass, Washington annonce le retour à Damas de son ambassadeur », Le Monde d’après AFP et Reuters, 21 août 1987.

[10] « Le ministère de l’Intérieur annonce l’expulsion de plusieurs dizaines d’opposants iraniens », Le Monde, 8 décembre 1987.

[11] « Le HCR demande des précisions à la France », par Isabelle Vichniac, Le Monde, 9 décembre 1987.

[12] « Onze des opposants iraniens promis à l’expulsion ont le statut de réfugié », Le Monde, 9 décembre 1987.

[13] « M.Jospin : brutal », Le Monde, 9 décembre 1987.

[14] « Le PS attaque M. Pasqua sur le sort des réfugiés », Le Monde, 14 décembre 1987.

[15] D’après Gérard Boureau, maître de conférence à l’université de Paris Sud, l’appartenance au mouvement des Moudjahidin du peuple était « dans l’intérêt » des réfugiés iraniens pour obtenir une carte de séjour, « la caution des Moudjahidin étant, jusqu’à présent, un élément jugé très positif dans un dossier ». Voir « Expulsions et contre-vérités », par Gérard Boureau, Le Monde, 29 décembre 1987.

[16] « Deux des Iraniens expulsés au Gabon sont reconduits à Londres et à Stockholm », Le Monde, 14 décembre 1987.

[17] « Une entorse au processus de normalisation avec Téhéran ? », Le Monde, 15 janvier 1988.

[18] « M. Chirac : "Nous soupçonnons une complicité entre l’Iran et les détenteurs d’otages" », Le Monde, 16 décembre 1987.

[19] « Les gestes sans équivoque de M. et Mme Mitterrand », par Yves Heller, Le Monde, 9 janvier 1988.

[20] « Les "doutes" et les "réserves" de M. Malhuret », Le Monde, 12 décembre 1987.

[21] « La "normalisation" avec Téhéran va bon train », par Yves Heller, Le Monde, 9 décembre 1987.

[22] « L’aboutissement d’une négociation obligée », Le Monde, 15 janvier 1988.

[23] « Un rapport de l’ONU accuse les Irakiens d’avoir fait "un usage répété" des armes chimiques », Le Monde, 3 août 1988.

[24] « La face cachée des Moudjahidin », par Elaine Sciolino, New York Times, paru dans Courrier International, 10 juillet 2003.

[25] « Iran : Opposition », Les Échos, 9 juin 1993.

[26] « Bonn refoule une opposante iranienne », par Lorraine Millot, Libération, 17 juin 1995.

[27] « Grandes manœuvres dans le Golfe », par Jean-Jacques Mevel, Le Figaro, 15 octobre 1997.

[28] « Triste jour pour la démocratie », Le Figaro, 28 octobre 1999. Pour la réalité de l’état des libertés fondamentales en Iran depuis l’arrivée au pouvoir de Khatami, voir le rapport de la Commission sénatoriale française des Affaires économiques et du Plan et notre article « La société iranienne paralysée », Voltaire, 5 février 2004.

[29] « Iran, Turkey agree to brand People’s Mujahedin, PKK "terrorists" : diplomat », AFP, 28 mars 2002.

[30] D’après un rapport d’Ahmed Rashid consacré aux Talibans, ces derniers auraient accueilli à plusieurs reprises des membres des Moudjahidin du peuple à Kandahar. « The Taliban : Exporting Extremism », par Ahmed Rashid, Foreign Affairs, novembre/décembre 1999.

[31] « Behind the rhetoric, US and Iran cooperating over Iraq », AFP, 1 December 2002.

[32] « Iraq-based Iranian opposition welcomes "ceasefire" with US », AFP, 22 April 2003.

[33] « Ashcroft’s Baghdad Connection », by Michael Isikoff, Newsweek, 26 September 2002.

[34] « Iran ’terrorist’ group fins support on Hill », by Sam Dealy, The Hill, 2 April 2003.

 
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