PMOI Launches Anti-Islamic Propaganda from Albania, France: Murtaza Hussain

Intercept Murtaza Hussain said members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq, an Iranian militant group in exile better known as MEK, are responsible for leading the sectarian group’s online propaganda campaign against the Islamic Republic from MEK bases in France and Albania.

“The PMOI is a very secret organization, but the defectors told us that on their bases in Albania and in France, the members are charged all day long to publish articles on line and to manage the operations of information of the WIPO, “said Hussain in an interview with the Balkans Post published on Sunday. .

Last month, The Intercept published an article by Murtaza Hussain and Matthew Cole, providing a full account of life inside the PMOI. The article was based on interviews with the group’s high-ranking defectors.

According to the article, interviews with six defectors in Europe revealed how the PMOI had isolated, disappeared and tortured many of its executives to submit, notably by forcing dozens of women to have sex with Masoud Rajavi and to undergo medical sterilization so that they can devote themselves more fully to the leader and his cause.

He also said that the PMOI had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying Washington, first as part of a successful campaign to remove itself from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, and then to build a reputation as a credible alternative to the Iranian government.

“The PMOI has been designated as a terrorist group by the State Department but for years it has always lobbied on Capitol Hill,” said Hussain, quoted by the Balkans Post. “It seems that the law has always been applied unevenly on the issue of terrorist designations.”

A few years ago, PMOI members were transferred from their Camp Ashraf in Iraq’s Diyala Province to Camp Hurriyet (Camp Liberty), a former US military base in Baghdad, and then were relocated to Albania. .

Last year, Germany’s Der Spiegel revealed that PMOI members undergo horrible training at a camp in Albania, a country that became a center of anti-Iranian activity by hosting the PMOI.

Asked why the Albanian government is hosting the terrorist organization, Hussain said: “I don’t know what the decision of the Albanian government was, but it seems very likely that he made this decision on the basis of on the desire to be on good terms with the American administration. and right wing elements in this country. ”

“There has also been speculation about financial compensation in exchange for hosting this group on their soil,” he added.

The MEK was created in the 1960s to express a mixture of Marxism and Islamism. He launched bombing campaigns against the Shah, continuing after the 1979 Islamic revolution, against the Islamic Republic. Iran accuses the group of being responsible for 17,000 deaths.

Olsi Jazexhi, a Canadian-Albanian historian, argued that Saudi Arabia was funding the PMOI.

Based in Iraq at the time, PMOI members were armed by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to fight Iran during an 8-year war that lasted in the 1980s.

In 2012, the United States Department of State removed the PMOI from its list of terrorist organizations designated under the intense lobbying of groups associated with Saudi Arabia and other regimes opposed to Iran.

Olsi Jazexhi, a Canadian-Albanian historian, argued that Saudi Arabia was funding the PMOI.

“While the US government and Israel are unlikely to spend their money on a former terrorist organization, I think the only state that can support it should be Saudi Arabia,” the Balkans Post said on Wednesday, quoting Jazexhi.

“The Saudis did such a thing with Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan or Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria and we should not be surprised if they also pay the PMOI’s bill,” he added.

In 2018 Professor Paul Pillar, who was a CIA intelligence analyst for 28 years, told The Tehran Times that PMOI’s financial sources are still unclear, but the most likely sources are regional rival states of Iran.

Hussain also said it was unclear how the group’s activities were funded, but “it would be expensive.”

“The PMOI has killed thousands of Iranians over the years and has been implicated in the assassination of Iranian scientists in 2009-2011 alongside the Israeli Mossad,” he said.

The investigative reporter added that the PMOI is a deeply unpopular group, including among those opposed to the Iranian government.

In June 2019, Hussain wrote an article in The Intercept claiming that Heshmat Alavi, who has written dozens of articles for right-wing outlets, does not appear to exist. The character of Alavi is a PMOI propaganda operation, he said, two sources said.

In Sunday’s interview, Hussain said that Heshmat Alavi was a figure used by the PMOI to “continue his public relations work in Western countries, aimed at influencing the elite and public opinion by publishing articles on press and launching social media campaigns to promote its vision as the future government of Iran. “