A “friend of Iran” who loves a group hated by Iranians

Habilian Assiciation
Struan Stevenson was born and raised in Ballantrae, a fishing village on the west coast of Scotland. After school, he travelled extensively in Europe, working – illegally – for a year in Rotterdam and then Switzerland. He didn’t have a work permit and was arrested in Switzerland. When he came back to Scotland and then went to Agriculture College.  After the college, the call of the family farm (inherited from his late father) beckoned but, at the age of just 21, so too did a convenient entry into politics, courtesy of a local church minister whose retirement had created a vacancy on the local council. After working as, a local church minister, he went on to become leader of the same Ayrshire council and later fought – and lost – three parliamentary elections to the House of Commons. The first defeat, in 1987, came as the Tory vote collapsed in Scotland. Further defeats followed, in Edinburgh in 1992, and Dumfries in 1997.  He was again beaten, but his strong showing was enough to thrust him to the top of the candidates’ list for the next European election, in June 1999. One of former party colleague is particularly scathing, describing Stevenson as a “political prostitute”. [1]
Struan Stevenson, coordinator of Campaign for Iran Change, was a member of the European Parliament representing Scotland (1999-2014), president of the Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-14) and chairman of Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup (2004-14). He is an international lecturer on the Middle East and is also president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association. Since 2009, when he became the chairman of the European Parliament delegation for Relations with Iraq, he has regularly issued a statement in support of Mojahedin Khalq. [2]
Members of the Iraqi Council of Representatives’ Foreign Relations Committee have, on previous occasions, called for a boycott and non-cooperation with the Commission of the European Union and head of the Iraq Delegation Struan Stevenson because of the determinedly anti-Iraqi government agenda. Struan Stevenson and Alejo Vidal Quadras are known to Iraqis as MEPs who have been tasked to interfere with and push a particular agenda in Iraq. Stevenson is alleged to have been receiving bribes and guidance from the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist organisation (MEK) to use his parliamentary position to attack the government of Iraq by falsifying facts and events, and inciting sectarian conflict.  [3]
According to several Iraqi officials, who have given interviews and made statements to Iraqi media, Stevenson was supporting Saddam and the MEK during the war. After the fall of Saddam, he and others became active in supporting the Saddamists (loyal remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime) and the MEK in Iraq. Stevenson subsequently made several visits to Jordan and London to connect Saddam’s daughter and the Saddamists with the Israeli lobby in London; acting as a go-between and using the MEK and Saddamists’ networks in Iraq and Europe. It should be noted that the fate of another MEP who supported the MEK, Paulo Casaca (Stevenson's colleague), who was exposed in his Portuguese constituency as a supporter of the MEK terrorist group and deselected. [4] The MEK and Saddamists have lost two key lobbyists in the new session of the European Parliament. Struan Stevenson (UK) threw in the towel and didn’t stand again. Alejo Vidal-Quadras (Spain) tried to garner the far right vote by creating the new Vox Party – which took less than 2% of the vote. Vidal-Quadras was exposed in the Spanish media before the election for supporting terrorism and being greedy for money. Both MEPs had previously worked in the Iraq Delegation for a bloc of anti-Maliki groups and MPs in Iraq which included the MEK.  [5]
He has written a book which entitled" Self Inflicted Wound". The picture of this book tells its own story, perhaps unbeknown to Stevenson. The woman pictured is Zohreh Ghaemi. She was one of the MEK’s top commanders. She commanded the team which assassinated General Sayad Shirazi, a popular Iranian war hero in 1999. In September 2103, Ghaemi was among 53 MEK members killed in Camp Ashraf during a raid by masked commandos. The MEK’s several versions of the attack were that it was variously undertaken by unidentified Iraqi or other international groups. [6] After extensive investigations by Iraqi officials, hindered only by the MEK themselves, there is very little doubt among experts that this was almost certainly carried out by the MEK themselves – a real Self Inflicted Wound. The purpose was twofold: to cleanse the group of dissidents and unwanted liabilities – like Ghaemi – who had outlived their usefulness, and to assign blame to Iran as part of the long term MEK regime change narrative. MEK have singularly failed to succeed in anything is because nothing they do makes sense. Except, that is, in the warped world of cultic abuse and its belief that the ends justify the means. [7]
 Struan Stevenson has written an article for The Hill titled ‘Iraqi pipe dreams’ which attacks both the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Iraqi government led by Al Abadi. But in spite of the usual hyperbolic tone, driven by his support for the remnants of the former Saddam regime, the article has not a single mention of the Mojahedin Khalq or Maryam Rajavi. For those who know his background, this absence is significant. It indicates very strongly that the Rajavi brand has become so toxic that it is better to omit it completely. It’s not as though Stevenson has dropped the MEK though. His biography admits he is currently President of the Mojahedin Khalq’s lobby group ‘European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA)’. [8] Before this he spent a decade in his former position as an MEP advocating for the MEK and its destructive role in Iraq as chairman of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq. Here he misused the parliamentary system to recruit other MEPs to his side by using the MEK’s deceptive blend of fact and fiction, aided by the MEK’s financial incentives and its neoslave labour. Several times he hosted Maryam Rajavi in parliament to pass the message of ‘violent regime change’ against both Iran and Iraq. [9]  
Stevenson has persistently backed the Mojahedin Khalq’s determined efforts to remain in Iraq in spite of the fact the group is a designated terrorist group in that country, and in defiance of the government of Iraq and the Judiciary’s demands for the group’s removal under the terms of the country’s constitution. Although the MEK’s 3,000+ foreign presence in Iraq is tiny in relation to the massive numbers of Iraqi civilians being killed and is irrelevant to the complex social, civil, economic and security issues of the burgeoning democracy, the MEK has enjoyed extraordinarily disproportionate attention in the European Parliament because of the Israeli backing for the group. [10]  
The MEK’s continued presence in Iraq and the false narrative of their security is something Stevenson has used to disguise a determinedly anti-Maliki agenda. The European Parliament made every effort, using the MEK and Saddamists and Israeli influence, to prevent al Maliki’s re-election. Iraqi officials have pointed to the consequent increase in acts of terrorism and what amounted to an attempted coup d’etat at that time. These efforts failed, however, and ended in the arrest and prosecution of key players, such as al Hashemi. Although some individuals were arrested, others became fugitives in other countries. [11] Over the next few years, Stevenson and the MEK brought some of these fugitives to speak in Brussels against the current government in order to influence events in Iraq. Since this apparently didn’t have the desired effect, this cohort has now embarked on buying people in Iraq who are well known to have connections with al Qaida and Daesh (ISIS). The European Parliament, and in particular the Iraq Delegation, has been used again to push an anti-Iraqi government agenda.
Among the most heinous effects of Stevenson’s anti-Maliki agenda is the terrible exploitation and suffering of the individuals being held hostage in the MEK’s camp in Iraq. UNAMI, which has been responsible for removing the MEK from Iraq since 2009, has made several clear and public statements about its concerns that not only are the MEK leaders obstructing any and every attempt to remove the individuals from the camp and transfer them to the safety of third countries, but the MEK leaders are also committing human rights abuses inside the camps against the residents. But more sinister than even this is the cynical programme to deliberately place the residents of Camps Ashraf and Liberty in the path of danger. [12]

1.    Banks, Martin, (April 2014), PROFILE – Master of Ballantrae: Struan Stevenson, Retrieved from https://www.politico.eu/article/profile-master-of-ballantrae-struan-stevenson/
2.    Stevenson, Struan, (February 2018), Speech by Struan Stevenson on Iran in the Cambridge University, Retrieved from https://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/iran-world/24348-speech-by-struan-stevenson-on-iran-in-the-cambridge-university
3.    Singleton, Ann, (March 2014), MKO and Struan Stevenson: Another propaganda stunt, another failure, Retrieved from http://www.nejatngo.org/en/posts/5617
4.    Symonds, Peter. (2012). US Removes Iranian MEK from terrorist list. Retrieved from http:// www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/10/iran-o03.html
5.    Wilkie, Christina. (2011). Mujahideen-e Khalq: Former U.S. officials make millions advocating for terrorist organization. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/08/mek-lobbying_n_913233.html.
6.    Stevenson, Struan, Behind Struan Stevenson’s book “Self Sacrifice”, Retrieved from http://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/?p=6246
7.    Khodabandeh, Massoud, (2013). Where are the 42 missing Mojahedin Khalq eye witnesses from Camp Ashraf? Retrieved from http://iranian.com/posts/view/post/25527
8.    Rajavi, Maryam. (2014). Hundreds of Iranian associations support Maryam Rajavi Ten-Point Plan for future Iran. Retrieved from http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/iran-resistance/16483 -hundreds-of-iranain-associations-support-maryam-rajavi-ten-point-plan-for-future-iran.
9.    Mamedov, Eldar. (2014). The MEK’s influence in EU Politics matters. Retrieved from http:// www.lobelog.com/why-addressing-iran-meks-influence-in-eu-politics-matters/.
10.    Wilkie, Christina. (2011). Mujahideen-e Khalq: Former U.S. officials make millions advocating for terrorist organization. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/08/mek -lobbying_n_913233.html
11.    “Iranian Press Reports MKO Members Among Those Arrested in Recent Arrest,” IRNA in English, Open Source Center, June 24, 2003.
12.    Human Rights Watch, No Exit: Human Rights Abuses Inside the MKO Camps, New York, May 2005. As of February 27, 2009: http://www.hrw.org/legacy/backgrounder/mena/iran0505