|“Hidden away in his country bunker in Auvers-sur-Oise, Mr. Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) has mastered the art of allying the useful with the pleasurable.|
“A New Epic Exploit”
With wry humor, sometimes a bit cutting, Jean Gueyras tells the story of Mr.s. Azdanlou, the new Mr.s.. Rajavi. The most astounding concerns the jumble of embarrassed mantras served up to the membership. After all, they had to be convinced that, in the end, the newlyweds had no choice but to sacrifice themselves for the movement by marrying.
It seems unbelievable that this childish manoeuvre had any impact at all. But “the bigger the lie...”! He writes:
“Hidden away in his country bunker in Auvers-sur-Oise, Mr.. Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) has mastered the art of allying the useful with the pleasurable. He sugar coats his decisions, even those about his private life, with politico-ideological statements of considerable grandiloquence.
Thus, in October 1982, to justify his marriage to Firouzeh Bani Sadr, daughter of the former President of the Islamic Republic only eight months after the tragic death of his first wife, Ashraf Rab’i (killed on 8 February 1982 by the Pasdaran); he published a joint bulletin of the PMOI’s Politburo and Central Committee in which his marriage was presented as ‘one of the most important revolutionary decisions ever taken by the Mojahedin’ and as an initiative which would help consolidate the unity of the Iranian nation’.
The ‘historic event’, however, did not stand up to the test of time and the differences that developed later between Mr.. Bani Sadr and his son-in-law. On this last 22 February, Mr. Rajavi announced ‘to his great regret’ that, after 7 months of separation, Mr.s. Firouzeh Bani Sadr had had a religious divorce pronounced with his agreement, given in July 1984. The Chief of the Mojahedin rapidly recovered from the shock caused by this separation and has just published his decision to marry again, this time Mr.s. Maryam Azdanlou, a long term Mojahid militant whom he had personally promoted on last February eighth — the anniversary of the death of his first wife, Ashraf Rab’i — to the rank of co-leader of the organisation.
Normally, such a decision should not have caused any waves in the Mojahedin’s Big Family, but the matter is complicated by the fact that Mr.s. Azdanlou was the legal wife of Mehdi Abrichamchi, “Number 4” in the sixty-odd members of the organisation’s hierarchy. Once again, the sixty-odd members of the Politburo and Central Committee rushed to explain why Mr. Rajavi — ‘Our Great Teacher, of whom we all have the honour to be students’ — had been led to consider marriage with... the wife of one of his closest collaborators.
In a rather fuzzy-styled document of 14 pages, the members of the organisation’s governing bodies explain, first of all, that Mr.s. Azdanlou has been promoted co-leader ‘on an equal level with Mr. Rajavi’. This was done in the praiseworthy desire to better advance ‘women’s liberation’, a long term plan of the Mojahedin Chief. It was, therefore, necessary, affirm the signatories with the greatest solemnity, to marry Massoud and Maryam. This was done to prevent ‘women’s liberation’ from being relegated to the status of ‘a simple bourgeois formula’. The Politburo and Central Committee members, however, do not want to create a precedent. They warn ‘the Mojahedin brothers and sisters’ against following this example as a general practise. They recommend it only as ‘an exceptional case’.
Now it was time to deal with the tragic-comic case of Mr. Abrichamchi, who had suddenly become a burdensome husband and a real weight on the conscience of the movement’s leaders. These latter hint that, on 27 January, they had simply forgotten about him in naming his wife Maryam to the organisation’s highest position. It was only afterwards, they claim, that they realised that Mr.s. Azdanlou’s promotion involved the ‘revolutionary and ideological necessity’ of a marriage between Maryam and Massoud. Consequently, there had to be a divorce between Maryam and Mehdi. If we are to believe the signers of this astonishing document, this final obstacle was overcome due to the ‘heroic’ attitude of the couple, who voluntary decided to separate, despite the contrary advice of Mr. Massoud Rajavi. The Chief, ‘inspired by his own personal, human and moral values’ did not wish to break up their family.
There was a happy ending: the co-leaders of the PMOI were legally married in June, following the Prophet Mohamed’s example. He, the document recalls, ‘married the wife of his adopted son’. Mr. Massoud Rajavi had, therefore, accomplished ‘a new exploit which represents a qualitative leap forward, transcending all the achievements of the Mojahedin’. As to the rejected husband, he consoled himself in ‘thanking God for having permitted [him] to participate in such a brilliant ideological decision’.
Beyond these pompous and hollow declarations lurked the unhappy reality: the family had become a target for the PMOI. This would lead to intense suffering among its women and innocent children whose loved ones had made bad choices.