Autopsy of an ideological drift (27)

Political Jargon

Jean Gueyras goes on: “Worse, this institution, whose aim was to unify the entire opposition in exile, slowly became an organisation totally dominated by the Mojahedin.

 

In Iranian opposition exile circles, people already began to talk about the ‘Massoud Rajavi’s sectarian and doctrinal rigidity’ and of his repetitive jargons and sloganeering. These were the barriers to all freedom of opinion. They kept the NCRI from becoming a viable solution to Iran regime.

 

As the years went by, the belief in having a monopoly on the ‘truth’ only increased the Mojahedin’s sectarianism. They were still the main opposition force in Teheran, even if they no longer constituted an immediate threat to the regime. The Iranian authorities had put down sufficiently solid roots and developed working structures to resist the impact of even the Imam’s death.

 

Parallel to the intensification of repression, the power in place had, by the beginning of 1983, finished developing State institutions and the reorganization of its intelligence and security services. These latter had been brought up to a remarkably effective level.

 

The sense of impotence and despair which was rife among the representatives of the resistance in exile did not spare the opponents in Auvers-sur-Oise. The Mojahedin, of course, continued to put out triumphant statements. Yet they seemed less and less believable and slowly sapped the organization’s and its leader’s credibility. The whole opposition’s sense of having turned into a cul de sac is partly the root of the divorce between Rajavi and his father-in-law, Bani Sadr in April 1984”.

 

The Break with Bani Sadr

Jean Gueyras adds: “The former President of the Republic began to speak privately of the ‘hegemonistic tendencies’ of his son in law. He, who had been the Commander in Chief of the Army during the first two years of the Gulf War, could hardly applaud the alliance Mr Rajavi had made with the Iraqis. This happened during Mr Rajavi’s famous Auvers-sur-Oise meeting with Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s Vice Prime Minister and head of Foreign Affairs. Rajavi and Bani Sadr continue their ‘cohabitation’, but it is becoming increasingly difficult.

 

The straw that broke the camel’s back was Mr Rajavi’s proposal (as early as) December 1983 to move the NCRI to Iraq in ‘a part of defensible territory’ near the Iranian border. He laid out his plan to create a National Liberation Army recruited from the Mojahedin, the Kurdish Peshmergas and Iranian POWs in Iraqi camps. Bani Sadr described Rajavi’s plan as suicidal and warned the NCRI against all ‘collaboration’ with Iraq. It would turn the organisation into ‘a pawn that Saddam Hussein would not hesitate to sacrifice at the right moment to get the peace he is calling for’.

 

Sensing the possibility of counter measures that finally happened just this last year in France, Bani Sadr warned his followers to never put themselves yonder the control of any foreign power. To avoid the shattering of the NCRI, Rajavi and Bani Sadr decided, by mutual agreement, to end their alliance, which had lasted two years and nine months, and agreed to avoid ‘sterile polemics in order to keep future options open’. The departure of Bani Sadr from Auvers-sur-Oise destroyed the foundations of the NCRI, of which he was one of the pillars, even if he was never officially a member. The truce was brief. The differences were too deep to be avoided.

 

For Mr Rajavi, more sectarian than ever, the former President of the Republic has returned to his Khomeinist origins’ and had become ‘a relic of the Teheran regime’. This ostracism of Bani Sadr was, in truth, a warning to all those who believed that resistance from outside the country was doomed and had kept their internal contacts for the inevitable ‘post-Khomeini era’. Such behavior, to Mr Rajavi, was worse ‘than a mistake. It is treason’.

 

It was now crucial for Massoud Rajavi to bring order within his ranks. Every discordant voice called down lightning bolts from the Chief. Faithful to Mao’s ideas, behind the democratic principles he trumpeted, he imposed an iron discipline within the PMOI.

 

The Great Helmsman had foreseen: “Liberalism is extremely dangerous to revolutionary collectives. It is a corrosive that eats away unity, weakens the bonds of solidarity, creates passivity and leads to ivergences of views. It deprives the revolution’s ranks of a solid organization and rigorous discipline, prevents the application of an integral policy and cuts the Party organizations from the popular masses under their direction. It is one of the most pernicious tendencies”.

 

After Bani Sadr was mercilessly put out of the movement, it was now the turn of the Kurds to learn the PMOI’s version of “democratic” collaboration inside the National Resistance Council of Iran.

 

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