Autopsy of an ideological drift (35)

 Rajavi, according to this dissident, explained his line as follows: The liquidation of a single supporter of the regime is worth the lives of eight of you. It is a useful sacrifice and good publicity for our movement’.

Washington drew its own conclusions:

“The military background of the Mojahedin is limited. The group mounted its most significant incursion in June-July 1988. They participated in an advance coordinated inside Iran with Iraqi forces. During the same offensive, Iraqi units on other fronts used chemical weapons against Iran. The National Liberation Army briefly held the Iranian border towns of Mehran, Karand and Islamabad-e-Gharb.

The Mojahedin claimed that they had killed 40,000 Iranians, but other military observers simply confirmed that the Liberation Army had to retreat as soon as Iranian reinforcements arrived”.

At this time, the PMOI had seemed to have reached its optimal military strength. But it threw it away by its lack of clarity, failures in planning and in errors that withered the ranks of its supporters. Once again, and forever since, these missed chances have marked the Rajavis’ historical saga.

Liberation concluded:

“The couple built a system of military camps housing an Army of about 10,000 troops, equipped with heavy armaments, well disciplined and ready for self sacrifice. This was done with financial aid from Saddam and the ‘voluntary’ contributions of thousands of supporters spread throughout the world.

Women are half the force and hold most of the positions of command. When the Iraq-Iran War ended, the National Liberation Army of Iran unleashed its own attack. The‘Eternal Light’ offensive would be a disaster...”

Who Is Correct?

Certain members of the Mojahedin who participated in this deadly enterprise bear witness, each in their own way: Ali Akbar Rastgou, now living in Germany was an early recruit who worked in the movement’s structure.

 He was a specialist on activities inside Iran:

“I first heard of the PMOI in 1974 when I was a student at Teheran University. I heard of it again in 1976, when I was studying in Germany. There was, at that time, a big confederation of Iranian students abroad. It brought Islamists and Communists under the same umbrella. Until the revolution, the Mojahedin had no real influence. But their support for Ayatollah Khomeini won them a lot of support. We joined up...

From then on, I was in charge of liaison with groups on the Left to support the Palestinians and the Nicaraguans.

One of the big final attacks had been planned for 1988. Everyone was sent to Iraq. I wanted to liberate my country more than fighting for the Mojahedin. In 1986-87, I ran into the Pasdaran, the Revolutionary Guardians, who captured us. They were peasants, poor people who knew that the country was in peril and that they had to defend it. They were quite correct since we were the ones attacking it.

Our tactic was to kill without any discrimination. All you had to do was wear a beard and you were a target for us. Whom was I going to kill? These same poor people...

Who was in the right? This a big question I have asked myself and so have many others. We had no right to speak. They told me: ‘You are not yet ‘cleansed’. You do not have Massoud and Maryam in your head”.

The offensive did indeed take place and it was a disaster for us. There were many deaths in our ranks. What can you do against airplanes? Some of the young fighters had not been in Iraq for more than a week. Two days before the attack, they gave them a machine gun, even if they had never before seen a weapon. No experience at all. They were confronting Pasdarans who had been tempered in a real war. Our people didn’t have a chance...

Given the losses, the leaders needed some of us to go abroad. Since I had experience in Germany, they sent me there. And then I burned my bridges to them. Of course, I am regularly cited as a counter-revolutionary...”

Another former member of the PMOI who opted for freedom speaks in the same way:

“Haqqe Mani joined the People’s Mojahedin 22 years ago... He criticises Rajavi for having tolerated an unacceptable casualty rate among the Mojahedin in order ‘to attain very limited objectives which, in no way, justified the number of lost lives’.

Rajavi, according to this dissident, explained his line as follows: The liquidation of a single supporter of the regime is worth the lives of eight of you. It is a useful sacrifice and good publicity for our movement’.

 Autopsy of an ideological drift (34)