|Masoud and Maryam's marriage was presented as a kind of mystical union, “one of the most important revolutionary and ideological decisions ever taken by the Mojahedin”. Even the rejected husband congratulated the newly weds.|
An Irresistible Rise
Enjoying being invited to mass meetings, aggressively cultivating contacts with feminist movements in Europe and America — who overlooked the eternal scarf of the personality they met — Maryam Rajavi used all the cosmetic tricks of the PMOI to advertise the organization’s struggle.
“Her return to France in the beginning of 2003 alerted the DST. Flanked by senior officials, Maryam Rajavi had mysteriously left Iraq to return to Auvers-sur-Oise. This was a worrying decision for those who for almost thirty years were watching this woman, sometimes a seductive Ambassadress, sometimes an implacable fighter. She was armed all too often with false papers and borrowed names to pursue ‘the armed struggle’. Between the democratic façade and the life and death struggle against the Iranian regime, Maryam Rajavi’s history is bonded to that of her organisation...
For Maryam, the time had come for diplomacy. In 1994, she was photographed with Abbé Pierre, among other celebrities, without ever respecting the duty of political silence which she had accepted on entering France. Yet, the militant is never far from the diplomat: back from Iraq in 1998, she addressed the NLA fighters, “The resistance is on the right tracks toward overthrowing the mullahs’ regime “. In June 1998, an attack on the main law courts in Teheran, claimed by the Mojahedin, left several civilian victims in its wake!
Five years later, the changes in the Iraqi Context forced the ‘future President’ to return to France, only to be arrested and charges with possible crimes. This was a vision that, according to Western intelligence services, her worshipers could not accept. She was the object of their ‘cult of personality’. Her rise was irresistible.
For Western specialists, Mrs Rajavi fools no one. Liberation underlined the contradictions: ‘In Auvers-sur-Oise, some years ago, they whispered to us, just before the interview:
‘Above all do not shake hands with Maryam Rajavi’. Whether in France or Iraq, men could not greet her except from a distance: she was the Mojahedin’s ‘Sun of the Revolution’. The opposition Iranian woman may well denounce the mullahs’ obscurantism, present her organisation as one dedicated to Western-style democracy, for freedom and modernity, and preach an alternative Islam that is compatible with women’s rights, But her attitude shows nothing of her real priorities or plans.
She preaches ‘freedom of dress’ for women, but their militants are never seen in anything but severe raincoats, and the Islamic scarf. She is never without this costume, but does wear bright colours: but this coquettish touch is also acceptable in Teheran. Distant, secretive, listening only to herself, her face frozen in a permanent smile which tells nothing of her real personality, Maryam Rajavi remains an enigma.
She never opens up, always refusing to meet with journalists. Now aged 50, she has for twenty years been the incarnation of the movement. How did she conquer this party. which preached a Marxist-leaning Islam, without the clerics and was heroic in the armed struggle against the Shah and went On to dare to oppose Ayatollah Khomeini’s seizure of power? How has she turned it into a politicoreligious sect completely devoted to the Rajavi couple, each representing God on Earth?
It was in 1985 that Maryam Azdanlou began to be heard of. A metallurgical engineer, from a modest background, she was merely the wife of one of Massoud’s lieutenants. Suddenly, she married the Chief. Most Iranians find her quite beautiful. But the bitter pill of divorce and remarriage had to be swallowed by a membership marked by exceptional Puritanism. Thus, their marriage was presented as a kind of mystical union, “one of the most important revolutionary and ideological decisions ever taken by the Mojahedin”. Even the rejected husband congratulated the newly weds.
On the subject of the marriage, the views of the great classical singer, Marzieh, who sings Omar Khayyam, Hafez and Rumi have a special interest. The diva joined the organisation in 1994, literally fascinated by Maryam, whose friend she became: ‘It was she who dared choose her own husband, design her own wedding, and recite the texts that bind the couple together. This had never had happened in human history.
Before these responsibilities were the man’s...’. Throughout this entire period, in a sort of insult to the Islamic Republic, where women were marginalised, she placed women in all the command positions. This inversion of Islamic values would be amusing, were it not organised and commanded within a strict sectarianism: the will to organise the exact opposition of what the enemy does: ‘In opposition to the rule of the mullahs with its absolute male domination, the Iranian resistance is directed, commanded and led essentially by our women.’ she made clear. We see that in the Central Committee made up exclusively of 24 women since 1993. It is also evident in the Liberation Army in which women are 30 per cent of the force, but more than 50 per cent of the officer corps”.