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

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].

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
“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
“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

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
, 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.

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.

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.

[3Une 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.

[15D’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
, 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
, 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
, 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

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

[30D’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.