While travelling to France to attend the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq’s (MEK) annual gathering, the whole story of the last 39 years of theocrats attaining power in Tehran, passed before my eyes like the newsreel of a depressing documentary film.
This regime, which toppled the Pahlavi dynasty, had accused the monarch of being narrow-minded, backward and reactionary, Yet what have these so-called revolutionaries done for Iran over four decades? They have delivered nothing but death and destruction, along with economic collapse, and a degraded currency that even a calculator cannot digitalise.
Hundreds of thousands have been executed – with right now, according to reliable human rights sources – more than 240,000 political prisoners, many languishing on Death Row!
No wonder then that I wanted some answers from these self-appointed future rulers of Iran.
Their forum opened in the Expo Centre, Paris, next to Charles De Gaulle Airport – for security reasons we were told.
I have to admit my surprise at the size of this convention, and recognised many important faces from western Europe and America, alongside ex-governors, former MPs, retired senators, and so on…
We all know that such personalities never pay a penny from their own pockets, but are invited, hosted and ticketed. Every single word they uttered had also been paid for well in advance. Because to them, such an occasion was a retirement outing!
Speeches were inflammatory, but without any speck of substance. Threats and warnings, but no pragmatic solutions. In fact they were almost convincing themselves that the Iran regime would collapse during the conference!
Yet leaders of the MEK seemed blissfully unaware that Iran’s people, although demonstrating against the regime across their country, had never mentioned the MEK as their representative.
The Paris gathering must have cost a few million dollars. Who Financed it? Everyone there was asking the same question.
I even heard one western participant saying: “What a political acrobatic circus!”
After three hours I left in frustration at listening to a barrage of empty rhetoric and hollow words. Two of their leading men noticed my departure, and the very next day rang me to arrange a meeting to explain their thoughts. This took place in my hotel over more than two-and-a-half hours.
I initially asked one important question. Where is Masood Rajavi (founder of the MEK)? Is he dead or alive? I had deliberately asked this to test their honesty and plausibility.
The shocking answer was “he is alive, but cannot appear in public because of assassination threats”.
We all know that after the invasion of Baghdad, Masood Rajavi disappeared. Since then no one has seen or heard anything of him.
In fact, during their annual gathering of 2016, July 22, while Mariam Rajavi praised her husband Masood as the leader of the organisation, a very, very distinguished Arab politician twice in his speech, mentioned the name of Masood Rajavi as the LATE leader of Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, and precisely pronounced the word ‘marhoom’, clearly meaning ‘late’.
When Mariam Rajavi heard the word, her face shrank, but she did not comment. Because the word ‘marhoom’ is an expression of condolence in Arabic. Interestingly, the translator also ignored the word.
I mention this to suggest to readers that such suspicious hiding of facts does nothing to promote their goal. And from that moment I was convinced of the aimlessness of this discussion.
However, the very next day an old friend who I hadn’t met for 38 years, visited me! He is well known in Iran, and at various universities as a professor of economics. His name is Dr Shaheen Fatemi, nephew of Dr Hossain Fatemi, Foreign Minister in Dr Mohammed Mussadeq’s Cabinet between 1951-53. After the 1953 military coup, this graceful man was executed (in 1954).
Dr Shaheen Fatemi is a calm, cool, collected and mature personality, and I outlined my experiences at the gathering. He was glad that I had witnessed things first hand for myself.
I said: “Professor, how do you view Iran and its future?”
The soft-spoken professor replied: “There will be no future for Iran under theocracy. But you should bear in mind that the mullahs will not disappear just like that. They are fully aware that they are a failure, but like all dictators, live in a state of false fantasy. Right now they believe that the only way out of all the disasters they have created, is a new war. It will, they think, rescue them by diverting people’s attention. Exactly as happened when war erupted between Iraq and Iran 38 years ago.
“That saved many mullahs in the name of the Fatherland, and right now they are dreaming of a repeat.
Such wars are their tools of survival, but they seem oblivious to the fact that Iranians of 2018 are totally different in outlook to those of 1980.”
No one can deny that they control more than a million in military uniform, mainly through brainwashing. So Iran’s recovery requires wisdom, not emotion.
Iran’s masses are patiently waiting (although demonstrating daily) for a full national uprising. But until now no charismatic leader has stepped forward.
After he left, I began thinking deeply about Dr Fatemi’s words.
The remedy for Iran’s malaise cannot be prescribed by foreign physicians, but should be developed from Iran, by Iranians, for Iranians.