Beginning the Armed Phase after the Revolution
Beginning the Armed Phase after the Revolution
The MKO, which faced difficulties from 1976 to the victory of the Islamic Revolution, needed to reorganize itself after the collapse of the royal regime. In order to achieve this goal, the recruitment and training of forces and the development of the organization was the most necessary organizational action. Therefore, those survivors of the organization, which were consonant with Rajavi’s policies, began to recruit from different classes, including pupils, students, employees, workers, etc., and organized these members in different formations. Thus, the most active part of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization during the post-revolution period was the social sector1 , with the majority of the pupils who were the main target of recruitment. For this reason, the “Mojahedin Youth Organization”, which was originally a branch of the organization’s youth, announced its activity in May 19792. By providing the following analysis, the Mojahedin considered recruitment of students (pupils) to be an effective policy at that time:
“Students are the most ignorant people in regard to political issues and they are the lowest people in society, and therefore they are like beeswax that can be shaped in any way…”3
Another privilege of student recruitment was their large number and their close relationship with different groups of people. The most important activities of the organization during this period were holding meetings, broadcasting publications, urban conflicts and participating in demonstrations, of which about 70% of the agents were students4. The Mojahedin Khalq magazine, titled “Mojahed”, was released after August 1979, and, like any other organizational publications, was the official platform of statements and positions of the organization at various levels, and was one of the most important means of introducing and promoting MKO.
It is worth mentioning that in the summer of 1979, exactly from August till October 19, following the speech of Imam Khomeini, in which the hypocrites (MKO’s name in Iran) were called worse than atheists, the organization closed down its offices and Mojahed magazine. They cited in a journal that this is for protesting the suffering and lack of freedom.5
One of the Mojahedin’s propaganda actions was the use of students, especially young girls, to attract more attention while they are selling their magazine in the streets, which, apart from the immoral consequences, turned into propaganda to show the MKO as an oppressed minority.
Another important part of the organization’s social sector (after the revolution) was the workers institution, which was very important in terms of recruitment. The Mojahedin sent their troops to the factories to attract workers’ support, encouraging workers to join the organization by framing slogans, exploiting lies and defamation, and highlighting unfavorable issues in the economic system. The magazine “Arm of Revolution”, dedicated to workers’ institution was a promotional activity of the MKO. For the same reason, “Payam-e-Khalq” and “Faryad-e-Gowdneshin” were published by the organization after the Islamic revolution.
One of the organization’s efforts to recruit is shown in the following example:
The organization’s decision makers sent Abbas Davari6
, a former member of MKO, to a factory in the guise of a simple worker, and after a while called the same simple worker and placed him in the center of the organization for promotional use.7 Farhad Nayeri, a member of the Mojahedin Workers’ Institution, said about the actions of the institution at that time:
“… Another issue that – due to the fact that there were factories and important departments – was a great deal of emphasis on institutions, the acquisition of information and identification of individuals and sensitive sites and the theft of documents and property of factories and important offices.”8
One example of this is the attack by the supporters of MKO on Bell Helicopter factory and the stealing of many documents, including 3 million Tooman of cash, which was carried out under the pretext of being imperialist. The other major move of the workers’ institution was to emphasize the launch of workers’ strike in 1980 and to accompany the strikes of national shoe factories.9 But the most important element of the MKO, after reorganization, was its leadership.
In the beginning of the revolution, the MKO has been able to attract relatively large populations by engaging in promotional activities in college and student communities due to its Islamic reputation. The MKO founded its social base on groups that were at the peak of emotions and psychological transformations; while the struggle against imperialism, specially the United States, was the motto of all the movements formed after the revolution.
With these features, the organization was required to have a strong leadership with strong religious knowledge, but in fact the organization’s leadership power, which was centered on Rajavi, was more due to the organization of members than the ability to explain the verdicts and beliefs.10 Masoud Rajavi participated as a candidate for the MKO in the election of experts, the Majlis and the first presidential election, and failed on all three. He was responsible for training and organizing the members in addition to the leadership of the organization, and all the lines of performance of the organization were under his supervision. These plans and orientations were included in a collection called “Center council”, including Massoud Rajavi, Musa Kheyabani, Ali Zarkesh Yazdi, Mehdi Abrishamchi, Abbas Davari, Mohammad Reza Zabeti, Mahmoud Shahabi, Mohammad Hayati and Mohammad Ali Tohidi. Masoud Rajavi was also the head of this collection. After formulating policies, the program was delivered to a collection called “Central Council” for implementation in different sectors. Announcing positions in lectures on various occasions was also often carried out by Rajavi; for example, the discussion of the “Explaining the World” as one of the most important parts of the organization’s ideology took place in 1980, during 15 sessions at Sharif University, by Massoud Rajavi.11
Terror Tribe, A Review of the History and Military Record of the MKO, Islamic Revolutionary Documentation Center, Mohammad Sadegh Koshki