Autopsy of an ideological drift (40)

"This is the eighth mortar attack since the beginning of the year, each targeting official military or political buildings; each of the attacks, many of which left victims in their wake, has so far been attributed to the People’s Mojahedin, the armed opposition based in Iraq. They have claimed them. Mojahedin actions have accelerated in recent months,” AFP reported. 

A little earlier, IRNA announced a series of explosions in Northern Teheran without any additional details. A security official, who requested anonymity, confirmed that it was a mortar attack from a nearby park. The People’s Mojahedin claimed in December that mortar fire had killed two and left eight wounded, all civilians, in Ahvaz, Western Iran”. 1

“The People’s Mojahedin, the armed opposition based in Baghdad, carried out mortar attacks on Friday and Saturday against three cities in Western Iran: Qasr-e-Shirin, Delohran and Shalamsheh. No one was hurt, reported the Teheran Times:

‘The Mojahedin fired 18 mortar shells at Qasr-e-Shirin in the night of Friday to Saturday, wrote the English language newspaper, which is close to conservative circles. They cite ‘an informed source’. Then, Saturday morning, the ‘terrorist group’ fired a mortar at Delhoran.

Saturday, the Mojahedin announced an ‘important skirmish’ in which they fought the 23’ Iranian Airborne Division on the Iraq-Iran border. They stated that three of their soldiers were killed during this operation.

Fighting has increased for a year between the Mojahedin and the Iranian armed forces. Moreover, the Mojahedin are accused of being the source of mortar attacks against Iranian institutions in Teheran itself. Iran made the end of the Mojahedin’s operations one of the conditions for the normalization of Iran-Iraq relations, who were at war between 1980 and 1988”. 2

“Five mortar shells fell early Monday morning on a barracks in East Teheran. No one was hurt. The People’s Mojahedin, the main armed formation of the Iranian opposition Army, claimed responsibility for this action in a press release. The five shells fell on the lawn of the Hechmatieh Barracks, in the popular neighborhood of the same name. These are the barracks where numerous Iraqi soldiers were held prisoner in the past. This is the eighth mortar attack since the beginning of the year, each targeting official military or political buildings. Each of the attacks, many of which left victims in their wake, has so far been attributed to the People’s Mojahedin, the armed opposition based in Iraq. They have claimed them. Mojahedin actions have accelerated in recent months”. 3

“The Iranian opposition announced Tuesday violent fighting between its forces and the police and Army of the Islamic regime. Dozens of victims fell in Western Iran. The People’s Mojahedin organization, based in Iraq, states in a press release in Paris, that it attacked the city of Ham, in the Province of the same name, on the Iraqi border”. 4

Tuesday, Radio Teheran confirmed the attack, which left one dead and seven wounded. It stated that the aggressors were ‘destroyed through the people’s cooperation with the paramilitary forces and the police’. Arms and other material were captured. 5

According to a second press release from the opposition, the local commander of the Guardians of the Revolution (Pasdaran), the regime’s elite forces, was killed, with a number of his men, during the fighting that began on Sunday and lasted 24 hours: the Mojahedin say they lost 3 dead and several wounded in their own ranks.

Last month, the Mojahedin, who want to overthrow the present government, fired mortar shells at a Pasdaran facility in Teheran”.

“A bomb exploded last night in Teheran, near the University. The People’s Mojahedin organization claimed responsibility for this attack. They added that it had carried out rocket grenade attacks on a center where Islamic courts inflict corporal punishment, like flogging. The targeted building was ‘seriously damaged’, according to the Iraq-based organization”.

This list of attacks carried out by the PMOI is far from exhaustive. But their use of terrorism has not succeeded in winning the Mojahedin the audience they seek.

Hardening the Movement by Lock and Key

To channel the growing discontent of their base the Mojahedin need diversionary actions. Incapable of forging unity in the opposition, they must, above all, avoid desertions by activists who are sick of good words that are never followed by any effect.

As Ahmad Ghoreishi and Dariush Zahe note:

“It is important to note that the forces opposed to the present regime remain fragmented, without hope, with a weak organisation, deprived of any charismatic leaders and of an ideology able to orchestrate the coordinated action needed to separate the people from the regime...

There are several opposition groups, from absolute Monarchists to revolutionary Communists, seeking the death of the current Iranian political system. Most of them operate from exile... None of them seems to be a serious threat to the survival of the Islamic Republic”.

More and more isolated and with declining numbers in the domestic and foreign Iranian communities, the Mojahedin metamorphoj, sed into a cult, praising the virtues of their “infallible Chiefs”. 6

From the moment that the leadership’s edicts took on a sacred character, any questioning of orders began a crime of heresy. As in the sects throughout Europe, we have yet to fully measure the damage done.

 

1 - "Attentas au mortier à Téhéran: deux blesses" – Asssociated Press, 13 March 2000

2 - " les Mudjahidin ont attaqué trios villes d'Iran en deux jours" – AFP, 28 August 2000

3 – "Cinq obus de mortier tires sur une caserne à Téhéran " – AFP, 28 August 2000

4 – " Vilent combats dans I'ouest de I'Iran,selon I'opposition" – Associated Press,20 February 2001

5 – "Une bombe explose à Téhéran , pres de I'université" – AFP, 15 March 2001

6 –  ahmad Ghoreishi et Dariush Zahedi,op.cit.

 

Autopsy of an ideological drift (39)


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