On Semptember 28th, 2012, the US State Department delisted the Iranian organization MKO, the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization from the list of terrorist organizations,[i][ii]following the Council of the European Union, which did so on January 26th, 2009. This paper will focus on the group’s history, background and presumable real intentions and will try to analyze why is this move a strategic error from the point of view of long-term perspectives in handling with Iran. In the second part other alternatives and some useful steps are proposed to face more effectively the regime in Iran.
Keywords: Iran, MKO, MEK, PMOI, NCRI, Mujahedeen, Rajavi, terrorism, opposition, regime change, security, Islamism.
In the last years and especially since 2003 we witnessed a steady effort of the US, European countries and their allies to contain the suspect activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the nuclear field, sophisticated weapon production and arming & financing of militias abroad. The pressure on diplomatic level has been unsuccessful until now. Iran proved defiant against larger controlling attempts by the IAAE of all nuclear facilities, it refused to stop uranium enrichment and the hostile rhetoric and arming of militias targeting Israel and rival forces in the Middle East did not cease despite the recent sanctions.
It is not a secret that ever since the Iranian revolution in 1979 that degenerated into an Islamist take over, the US Government is seeking regime change in Iran, in some periods with an increasing intensity, mainly during the Bush administration. It is known that in 2006 the Congress spent at least $10 million in the framework of the Iran Freedom and Support Act[iii] (enacted September 30, 2006), in the following years even more ($75 million in 2007). According to Nicholas Burns, than undersecretary of state for political affairs, this budget has been mainly used to fund the broadcasting outlets Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty based in Prague with significant Persian departments.[iv] But others suggested that funds have been used to finance covert military operations on Iranian soil[v].
Recently (January 2013) a planned budget cut of $500 billions could cause the revocation of one of the aircraft carriers based in the Persian Gulf[vi]. But even if high scale operations might be halted, the continuity of a low-intensity warfare is not excluded.
One of the oldest military and political strategies to topple a government is to support its enemies. The European countries are much less prone to support adventurous regime change policies, with the few exceptions of countries, where they had direct interest (recently Libya could be classified as such). With Iran, Europe adopted a strategy of the “good cop”, trying to negotiate using diplomatic and economic pressure and refrained from explicitly advocating regime change[vii]. But the different stance of the US prepares a fertile ground for various opposition groups who claim to be able to bring about a change and install a friendly government.
These opposition groups have their own dynamics of getting the attention of policy makers which go further than the classical lobbying and promises of incentives and benefits as soon as they take over the country. Some of them use some other weapons, less morally acceptable, like emotional extortion by self-immolation of the members, misinformation campaigns, and … deception about its real goals.
One of these organizations, which presents itself as a “democratic alternative to the Iranian regime”, is the MKO, Mujahedeen-e Khalq Organization.
In the present paper we will expose a deeper insight at the quite rich and interesting history of this organization, the reasons why it should not be trusted and finally why it shouldn’t be used against Iran. Other possibilities for dealing with it and with Iran itself will be outlined.
Who are the Mujahedeen?
The People’s Mujahedeen Organisation of Iran (PMOI), also known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) or Mujahedeen-e Khalq Organization (MKO), was founded in September 1965 by Mohammad Hanifnezhad, Saeed Mohsen and Asghar Badizadegan, graduates of Tehran University.[viii]. A “mujahid” مجاهد , literally “fighter”, is a word from Arabic which assumed the meaning of a “warrior on the path of God”, a holy warrior. Its root is جهد jahada, striving, struggle, and it is the same as for جهاد jihad, the holy war for Islam.
The founding of the organization was the consequence of previous years of student activism against the Shah of Iran in the religious-nationalist movement and its affiliated Islamic Students Associations. The group subscribed to armed struggle because they considered peaceful resistance insufficient and lacked revolutionary ideas. These were based on their revolutionary interpretation of Islam’s Shi’a tradition of the martyrdom and resistance of Hossein, son of Ali, grandson of Muhammad, and an ideal classless Islamic society of order and justice paralleled to the then very popular revolutionary Marxist ideas. This mindset has seen a huge wave of popularity in those years with the works and ideas of Ali Shari’ati, Jalal Al-e-Ahmad, Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani and Muhammad Iqbal. Soon a group formed around the three leaders dedicated to study of religion, revolutionary theory and history when the strategic and theoretic bases of the movement have been created. The military training in urban guerilla warfare has been achieved when 13 members traveled to Jordan and Lebanon in 1970 to undergo it in the Palestinian Liberation Organization camps. The armed attacks were just in phase of preparation when a rival Marxist group, the Fadaeen-e Khalq Organization carried out an attack at a police station in Siahkal in Gilan province (February 8, 1971). During the next months prior to their own prepared attack, the group has been infiltrated by security agents and gradually arrested and put to trial for arms’ possession and studying subversive authors such as Marx or Che Guevara. The three founding and six other leading members have been executed. The last two members of the leading Central Committee, Masoud Rajavi and Bahman Bazargani have been sentenced to life imprisonment. The remaining members continued the struggle and performed attacks and armed operations. In 1975 an ideological dispute splitted the group in two and a new, purely Marxist group, the “Peykar” formed. This group rejected religion as incompatible with revolution.
The Iranian Revolution was a quite intricate phenomenon. At the beginning, religious, leftist, liberal and nationalist elements fought side by side to topple the Shah, but just days after the fall of the Shah’s regime, a bitter power struggle begun. The imprisoned Mujahedeen have been released and quickly established a network of local groups and armed militias very active between educated youth and students. Initially the MKO supported the leadership of Khomeini, but he mistrusted them and left them out of power. A ferocious struggle started between the MKO and the Islamic Republican Party, the IRP of Khomeini, which ultimately gained control over the country. MKO declared open struggle against the new Islamic government on June 20, 1981, after a large scale demonstration in Tehran and the major cities has been violently suppressed by the Revolutionary Guards leaving hundreds of dead and injured. The organization went underground, its leaders Rajavi and the ousted first post-revolutionary president Banisadr fled to Paris and the following attacks against Iranian authorities have been orchestrated from there. A National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI) has been formed, presenting itself as a democratic alternative to Iran’s new government and uniting more exiled intellectuals and opposition figures. The co-operation split up in a short time and since April 1984 the NCRI became a political wing, representing and lobbying for MEK in Europe and North America. In March 1985 Masoud Rajavi married Maryam Uzdanlu, who is until now the main leader of the organization, after Masoud Rajavi “went into hiding” in 2003 after the US invasion to Iraq. He hasn’t been spotted since, therefore some believe he may be dead or incapable of public appearance.
In 1986 the French government tried to normalize its relation to Iran and asked Rajavi to leave the country. The organization gradually relocated to Iraq, which was at war with Iran at that time (1980-1988) and created the National Liberation Army, NLA in camp Ashraf, a remote desert location north of Baghdad and some other minor locations. The members received military training and carried out attacks against Iranian forces hoping that they would make the Iranians turn against the Iranian regime which didn’t occur. The largest operation “Foroogh”, “Eternal light” took place even after Iran accepted the cease fire on July 18, 1988.
After the US & allies invasion to Iraq, the MEK have been first attacked, than disarmed and kept in Camp Ashraf, with a special place to house defectors from the group. They were under surveillance of the US and Bulgarian forces until 2009 when the control passed to the Iraqi forces. After the invasion in 2003 France suspected that the group would be willing to return to France, raided its French base and arrested a number of members. Subsequently some members and sympathizers immolated themselves in various European cities.
The new Iraqi government was very unwilling to keep the Iranians on Iraqi soil and various plans have been proposed to get rid of them. Allegedly a letter has been sent to the Americans from Tehran offering withdrawal of military backing of Hamas and Hezbollah and access to nuclear facilities in exchange for the group’s disbanding and extradition to Iran. The offer has been rejected.
The group is credited with the revelation of the Iranian nuclear program in 2002, but it is possible that this information were not obtained through another intelligence source. Mohamed El Baradej reportedly told that the information has been supplied by Mossad[ix].
On January 26th, 2009 the Council of the European Union and on September 28th, 2012 the US State Department removed the MKO from the list of foreign terrorist organizations after a long campaign of the Organization among top policy makers. The delisting also freed millions of dollars from the frozen assets of unknown provenience.
Terrorist acts and human rights issues
We should consider, why has the MKO been listed as a foreign terrorist group. One could believe that it was because of its attacks against Iranian forces, organizations and public figures. But the record is much more interesting. When we recall under which circumstances was the organization created.
The MKO wasn’t fighting just against Iran. It helped Saddam Hussein to suppress the uprising of the Kurds in 1991 and ruthlessly massacred civilians in the town of Kifri. Maryam Rajavi is reported to have said “Take the Kurds under your tanks and save your bullets for the Revolutionary Guards”[x]. Anyway after the fall of Hussein, it quickly changed sides and joined the Coalition.
The organization has been created with a radical anti-imperialist agenda which resulted in many attacks against U.S. citizens and activities: the assassination of Lieutenant Colonel Lewis Hawkins in June 1973, U.S. Air Force officers Paul Scheffer and Jack Turner in May 1975, three Rockwell International employees in August 1976, Paul Grimm, a Texaco executive in December 1978 and finally in its active participation in the well-known US Embassy takeover and hostage crisis. After the official split between Khomeini and MEK the group went underground and carried out a series of bombings in Iran and abroad that killed high officials and ordinary citizens, in total cca. 10.000 people. In 1992 they carried out attacks on diplomatic buildings and personnel in ten countries including the attempted attack against the Iranian mission at the UN in New York. After the 9/11 attack the leadership hailed the operation and Masoud Rajavi reportedly told during the general gathering of the group one day after:
“If (Al Qaeda) could do such a sophisticated military operation we must be able to do so in a much better manner… wait and see the fruits of our revolutionary Islam” (Masoud Rajavi on September 12th 2001)[xi].
After the forced disarmament of the Iraq-based armed wing in 2003 the group apparently refrained from terrorist activities, and claims to be pro-democratic and secular, but the general lack of transparency in the organization does not exclude that suspect activities may continue and constitutes a source for legitimate doubt. The organization never published any detailed account neither about its rich and violent past, nor about switching ideologies and allies, or reasons for changing the personalities in its leadership. The group might be responsible of the recent terrorist attacks in Iran, aimed at military sites and crucial figures, namely nuclear scientists. Some of them have been killed in bombings or kidnapped and it is presumed that they might collaborate with the Israeli Mossad[xii].
At the moment the organization has multiple levels and branches. The main are the NLA – National Liberation Army, the now disarmed fighters in Iraq, the NCRI – National Council of Resistance of Iran, the political branch, active mainly in Washington D.C, Los Angeles, Paris and other minor locations managed by the supporter’s network. Their lobby approached some uninformed politicians, senators and MP’s of the US and European countries. Maryam Rajavi has been allowed to deliver speeches to some gullible MPs in the European Parliament and in the national parliaments of Estonia, Spain, Norway, Italy. In the Czech settings it was senator Jaromír Štětina who was approached by the MKO[xiii]. In the US the main supporters are Governor Howard Dean, Bill Richardson[xiv], Rudy Giuliani, General Hugh Shelton, Tom Ridge, Patrick Kennedy, Ted Poe, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. These officials have received tens of thousands of US dollars for standing up and speak in favor of the organization[xv]. In total the DC lobby firms have received over $1,5 million for a campaign in favor of MKO.
These meetings and supporters have an immense value as a propaganda for its own members and supporters adding the organization some credibility and recognition.
The problem is that many officials accept the money, but also believe the propaganda of the MKO. Masoud Banisadr, a relative of the former president Abolhassan Banisard and an active member of the organization described the NCRI using these words:
“Its main use was to deceive the Americans and Europeans against thinking of us as the same Mojahedin responsible for assassinating American citizens in Iran”[xvi].
The organization operates a satellite television channel called Simaye Azadi (“The Image of Freedom”) and a long list of internet sites disguised as news outlets and activist sites advocating human rights. One of the most important is “ww.IranFocus.com”, “www.iran.mojahedin.org”, “www.iran-e-azad.org”, “www.iran-freedom.org”, “www.ncr-iran.org”, “www.mojahedin.org”, “www.maryam-rajavi.org”, “www.iran-democracy.com”, “www.isdciran.org” “www.nosratashraf.com” and the “Freedom Messenger” channel on most social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc. Among the lobbying and pro-MKO groups there is the “Iran Policy Committee (IPC) “U.S. Foundation for Liberty”, “www.rajavisupporters.org” and many more[xvii]. The former spokesperson of MKO in the US, Alireza Jafarzadeh, has been promoted to the post of “independent analyst” on Iran for Fox News.
These media outlets air propaganda advocating the MKO’s removal from the list of terrorist organization (now successfully accomplished) and some unverified and exaggeratedly negative reports against the Iranian government with the aim of pushing the US and eventual allies to a war against Iran. The organization is credited to have revealed the Iranian nuclear program and some of its hidden research sites.
The organization’s support and sympathizer networks and cells spread around the world often act covertly and do not openly state their affiliation to the MEK. Their role is mainly fundraising, recruitment of new members, propaganda and illegal support activities like forging of identification documents, money laundering, etc.
But the past terrorist activities are not the only concern regarding the organization. The organization has a long record of mistreatment of its members. As the reports published by Human Rights Watch and RAND, apart from volunteers, the members were recruited by deception from vulnerable groups of Iranian refugees and asylum seekers frequently in difficult situation and some kept in Iraq against their will.
The testimonies of a significant number of defectors who managed to escape offer a rare insight in the internal relations. The ex-members describe the organization as a manipulative personality cult similar to a religious sect based on a total submission and sacrifice of the member to the leaders[xviii]. Mainly in Iraq the members were kept in isolation from the external world, under strict supervision, with virtually no privacy, no personal life or communication with their families even within the camp itself. The family members who did not adhere to the organization were described as agents of the Iranian regime and the members were led to hate and despise them. They were subject to extensive brainwashing sessions, forced to humiliating public confessions about personal failures and shortcomings. The formerly married members were forced to divorce their partners as an act of total dedication to the cause. Sexual abuses have been reported as well. The members who expressed their will to leave were put in solitary confinement for months and even years, tortured and threatened by deportation to Iran. Some of them died under suspicious conditions. The leaders repeatedly threatened the members that they would be executed upon their arrival in Iran, but the will to leave the organization was even stronger than the fear from being extradited to Iran. In the last years even the Iranian authorities treated these defectors with clemency and accepted repenting members.[xix] [xx]Some of these defectors founded NGOs and societies such as the Nejat Society, Iran Interlink, or MKO Watch, to help them recover and document the human rights record of the MKO.
The claims of the democratic principles is much less credible in this light and also the secularism of this cult is very questionable. The Rajavi couple are revered with a religious piety as the intermediaries between the people and god and religion plays an important role in controlling the members. The female members must observe the compulsory Islamic veiling. Personal lives of the members are tightly controlled, gender mingling is not allowed which makes it very similar to the current Iranian regime.
The organization also lacks any evidence for its claims of a large supporter base inside Iran. The ideas of Islamism and Marxism, so attractive to the generation 30 years ago are now devoid of sense or discredited by the years of experience and evolution that affected Iran. The claims, that the organization underwent a democratic and secularizing phase are not credible enough for the Iranians and the human rights abuses in Camp Ashraf found their way to their ears through accounts of defectors. Probably the main issue of Iranians’ mistrust in the organization is its support for Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war against Iran and the killing of Iranian soldiers. The group’s leaders are by most Iranians considered traitors and terrorists who under the guise of democracy just want to replace the current government by themselves with the help of anybody.
The encouragement of defection from the group by the Coalition forces was not sufficient, and it is remarkable that the group’s forces disintegrate too slowly. It is presumed that most of the current members held in the Camp Liberty are being kept there by force or deception. Their relocation is extremely difficult due to the group’s desire to keep the armed wing alive and no reasonably acting country agrees to harbor them on their territory openly.
Recently (February 9, 2013), attackers have shelled the Camp Liberty killing six and wounding about 200 people. An Iraqi wing of the Iran-backed Hezbollah claimed responsibility and warned that other such attacks will follow[xxi]. This shows a possible reaction of Iran to the delisting of the organization and the fact, that the Iranian government is still considering this group as a vital threat.
What is the alternative?
The policy makers hardly agree what to do about Iran. Instead of the two main options, the military and the diplomatic one, the “third option” is frequently offered: encouraging of an internal change performed by Iranian opposition groups. But which are the groups that can be trusted?
The Iranian opposition is extremely fragmented and the various groups hostile or mistrustful to each other. Except the MKO the other large group is led by the son of the last Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi. Even if he is the descendant of the last ruling dynasty, he is calling for free elections and a referendum, where the people could decide about the desired form of government, either republic, constitutional monarchy or other. The other groups and individuals are mostly secular and nationalist, some leftist, scattered between Europe, the US and Canada. The problem is to reach any agreement between these opposition groups and figures and to attract the people with a feasible program, because until now the groups could agree only on one thing: the removal of the Islamic Regime.
The most important in considering an organization worth support should be a thorough knowledge of its background. It should have a non-violent past and a constant secular democratic agenda. In the Iranian political spectrum there are much more trustful individuals and groups that can form a much more accomplished front.
Iranians, after having suffered years under a religious dictatorship, gradually turned their back to extremist religion, just like communists who started to hate communism when they happened to experience it personally. From all the Middle Eastern countries Iranians are relatively one of the most educated, friendly and peaceful nations. Their diaspora is one of the largest, but also the most successful in questions of integration into the host societies, business activity and wealth. This is a great chance to exploit for a further co-operation if this question is faced sensitively. If the West will collaborate with the MKO or try to install it in case of government collapse in Iran, the vast majority will consider it a betrayal.
The MKO and all its branches should be definitively disbanded and its history publicly exposed. Its members should be interviewed individually, the defectors should be allowed to leave the organization and placed in safe locations.
Is history repeating itself?
During a pro MKO assembly, Gov. Howard Dean, Chair, U.S. Democratic National Committee made a quite upsetting statement:
“Madame Rajavi does not sound like a terrorist to me, she sounds like a president and her organization should not be listed as a terrorist organization. We should be recognizing her as a president of Iran.”[xxii]
His words testify that the old practice of selecting and appointing “friendly dictators” in governing posts of conquered or satellite countries is not dead at all. At least it is apparently in conflict with any efforts of spreading democracy in the Middle East or anywhere.
It seems that the US administration also forgot the quite recent case of Ahmad Chalabi, the obscure self-proclaimed Iraqi opposition leader who lead the US-led coalition to an adventurous war with a still questionable results. Sometimes it is not clear enough if the US policy makers are just extremely forgetful or extremely gullible, or if they are just pursuing another plan, unknown to most of us. Iranians themselves, who are fond of conspiracy theories, are afraid that the Western allies might support separatist groups which would lead to a fragmentation of the territory between the Azeri Turks, Kurds and eventually other minorities and significantly weaken the country.
After the US-led invasion to Iraq in 2003 reportedly Iran offered to comply with most requirements raised by the West in exchange for the disbanding and extradition of the MKO. Tehran offered to withdraw military support from Hamas and Hezbollah, help stabilize Iraq and grant access to its nuclear facilities. This offer has been rejected by Vice President Dick Cheney´s office[xxiii].
If the story proved to be real, we have to pose inevitably the question why should Washington refuse such a rare peace offer from Iran which furthermore complies with most of the requirements expressed by the West. What is the value of this group compared to the offer of talks?
It is not excluded that some members of the organization have been or could be recruited by intelligence agencies or Israel to perform in-country operations in Iran. Seymour Hersh in his article in the New Yorker from 2012, April 12[xxiv], suggests that in 2005, members of the MKO have undergone training by the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Nevada desert. The article suggests that MKO operatives under the supervision of Mossad have carried out the recent killings of scientists and attacks on nuclear facilities and pipelines in Iran.
The delisting of the MKO should be only one of the first steps followed by a slow dissolution of Camp Liberty and an absorption of the group members into the secret operation units and their use against Iran.
This would suggest a nice fusion between the first and the third option: leading into a war with Iran with the help of the worst possible opposition group[xxv].
The de-listing of the organization implies also an exemption from justice for the past terrorist acts and human rights abuses perpetrated by the group, not only against Iranian, but also foreign citizens. It implies again a double standard in human rights and terrorism policies of the Western countries who opted without further investigation for the delisting of such an obscure organization with a violent past and a cult-like image. It implies the opportunism of both sides in the process of forming short time alliances.
The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.
Just to conclude with some very appropriate words of Fatemeh Pakravan, wife of Hossein Pakravan, chief of the Shah’s security service from the time, when the MKO was emerging and carrying out its first bombings: “And he <Hossein Pakravan> […] used to say that, "If you use violence, you will meet violence. If these young people don't want to ... obtain whatever they want.... First of all, we never knew what they wanted. You see, they never said what they wanted. And we know very well in other countries, where people have said that they will kill, and put bombs, and go into terroristic actions, it's to obtain democracy, it's not true. We know that for a fact -- it's not true at all, it's to establish another ... a very, very bad dictatorship.”[xxvi]
The US, Britain and France already interfered decisively more times in Iran’s history. The CIA coup against Mosaddeq is still a bitter memory and the secret support for Ayatollah Khomeini against the Shah which is now more publicized among Iranians is adding to the general mistrust. Another case of serious interference in Iran’s internal affairs will not leave the Iranian people indifferent. And it is not a wise idea to create a new enemy of 70 million with a diaspora of another twelve.
[i] Department of State, 2012. Federal Register, vol. 77, No. 193, Thursday October 4, 2012. [Public Notice 8049 and 8050 [pdf]. Washington D.C.: Department of State. Available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-10-04/pdf/2012-24505.pdf [Accessed 9 December 2012].
[ii] Runner, Ph., 2009. EU ministers drop Iran group from terror list. Eu observer [internet] 26 Jan. Available at: http://euobserver.com/foreign/27472 [Accessed 12 December 2012].
[iii]Iran Freedom Support Act of 2006, HR 6198, 109th Cong., Congressional Record 152, (Pub.L. 109–293, p. 120 Stat. 1344, September 27, 2006). Available at: GPO Access, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-109publ293/html/PLAW-109publ293.htm [Accessed 9 December 2012].
[iv] Wright, R., 2007. Iran On Guards Over U.S.Funds. Washington Post Online, [internet] 28 April. Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/27/AR2007042701668.html [Accessed 17 December 2012].
[v] Shipman, T. 2007. Bush sanctions 'black ops' against Iran. The Telegraph. [internet] 27 May.
Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1552784/Bush-sanctions-black-ops-against-Iran.html [Accessed 08 February 2013].
[vi] Fox News, 2013. Pentagon to cut aircraft carrier presence in Persian Gulf to 1 due to budget strains. [internet] 6 February.
Available at: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/06/pentagon-to-cut-aircraft-carrier-presence-in-persian-gulf-to-1-due-to-budget/#ixzz2LZrZPUJd [Accessed 08 February 2013].
[vii] RFE/RL, 2012. Hague Says U.K. Not Seeking Regime Change In Iran. Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty Online, [internet] 15 October.
Available at: http://www.rferl.org/content/hague-iran-regime-change/24740292.html [Accessed 19 December 2012].
[viii] Abrahamian, E., 1992. The Iranian Mojahedin; New Haven: Yale University Press, p.89.
[ix] Hersh, S. 2012. Our Men in Iran?. The New Yorker. [internet] April 6. Available at
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/04/mek.html [Accessed 10 December 2012].
[x] Rubin, E.. 2003. The Cult of Rajavi. New York Times. [internet]13 July. Available at: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C02E4D6173DF930A25754C0A9659C8B63&scp=1&sq=The%20Cult%20of%20Rajavi&st=cse&pagewanted=4. [Accessed 17 December 2012].
[xi] Abdi, J. “Will Giuliani invite MEK “freedom fighters” to relocate in Manhattan?.”April 25, 2011, post on blog “NIAC inSight,” Washington insights for the Iranian-American community , http://www.niacinsight.com/2011/04/25/will-giuliani-invite-mek-%e2%80%9cfreedom-fighters%e2%80%9d-to-relocate-in-manhattan/
[xii] Daily Mail, 2012. Mossad training terrorists to kill Iran's nuclear scientists, U.S. officials claim... but is Israel's real target Obama?. Daily Mail Online. [internet] February 10. Available at:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2099142/Mossad-training-terrorists-kill-Irans-nuclear-scientists-U-S-officials-claim--Israels-real-target-Obama.html[Accessed 16 December 2012].
[xiii] Source withheld because of security reasons (Personal communication, fall 2012).
[xiv] Wilkie, Ch.,2011. Mujahideen-e Khalq: Former U.S. Officials Make Millions Advocating For Terrorist Organization. Huffington Post. [internet] 8 August. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/08/mek-lobbying_n_913233.html [Accessed 16 December 2012].
[xv] Al Jazeera, Inside Story Americas, “Has the MEK changed?” September 25, 2012
[xvi] Banisadr, M. 2004. Memoirs of an Iranian Rebel, London: Saqi Books, p. 219.
[xvii] MEKTerror, “Affiliate groups. MEK Members and Pressure Groups Mobilizing to Support the MEK”. NIACouncil Web site, http://www.niacouncil.org/site/PageServer?pagename=mek_affiliate_groups, [Accessed 16 December 2012].
[xviii] Al Jazeera, “The Cult of the Chameleon” October 17, 2007
http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL926BF9E7AD427F30&v=jDlNWErYCGw&feature=player_embedded, [Accessed 16 December 2012].
[xix] HRW, No Exit: Human Rights Abuses in the MEK camps. (Human Rights Watch. May 2005) Online.
Available at: http://www.hrw.org/legacy/backgrounder/mena/iran0505/index.htm [Accessed 10 December 2012].
[xx] The RAND Corporation. The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq. A Policy Conundrum. (Rand Corporation, 2009) Online.
Available at: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2009/RAND_MG871.pdf [Accessed 10 December 2012].
[xxi] Ghazi, Y. 2013. Six Killed in Shelling of Iranian Refugee Camp in Iraq. The New York Times. [internet] 9 February. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/world/middleeast/mortars-kill-several-in-a-refugee-camp-in-iraq.html?_r=0 [Accessed 10 February 2013].
[xxii] NIACouncil. Washington's Favorite Terrorists: Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK, MKO, PMOI). Jul 6, 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWDoTfLxvEY[accessed February 10, 2012].
[xxiii] BBC News, 2007. Washington 'snubbed Iran offer'. BBC News. . [internet] January 18. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6274147.stm [Accessed 16 December 2012].
[xxiv] Hersh, S. 2012. Our Men in Iran?. The New Yorker. [internet] April 6. Available at
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/04/mek.html [Accessed 10 December 2012].
[xxv] Ekéus, R. & Braut-Hegghammer, M. 2012. Don't Go Baghdad on Tehran. How to Avoid Repeating the Iraq Debacle. Foreign Affairs. [internet] 18 October.
Available at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,11-1506-669.html
[Accessed 17 December 2012].
[xxvi] Fatemeh Pakravan, in an interview recorded by Habib Ladjevardi, 7 March 1983, Paris, France, Transcript 4 of 4, Iranian Oral History Collection, Harvard University.
http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~iohp/pakravan4.html [accessed February 10, 2012].