A Terrorist Group Coming to Canada

by Robert Fantina, published on World Beyond War, August 16, 2023

MEK: From Iraq, to Albania, to Canada

The United States support for international terrorist organizations is no secret. The U.S. often finances and sometimes creates terrorists to destabilize and overthrow governments that refuse to follow the U.S.’s marching orders. One such organization supported by the U.S. is the so-called People’s Mojahedin Organization, more commonly knows as the MEK (although is operates under a variety of different names including MOI, MKO, NCRI, Muslim Iranian Students Society, Organization of the People’s Holy Warriors of Iran, the National Liberation Army, Sazeman-e Mujahideen-e Khalq Iran). The stated goal of the MEK is the overthrow of the Iranian government.

One might think that a country such as the United States, that purports to support human rights, international law and self-determination would condemn an organization that seeks the overthrow of a peaceful government. One would be naïve indeed to believe this about the U.S. Its support for brutal dictators is legend; its violations of international law would fill volumes and its disdain for people in nations that elect leaders that lean too far to the left to please it is common knowledge. So it must not be surprising to learn that the U.S. supports the MEK, which it once listed as a terrorist organization.

In March of this year, former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence addressed an MEK event, and praised it as a “secular, democratic, non-nuclear’ alternative to the current government in Iran.” Writing for Responsible Statecraft, Eldar Mamedov describes the MEK as “a cult-like exiled Iranian opposition group with a history of human rights abuses and anti-American violence….

Is it, indeed, a terrorist organization? According to one report, by early 2016, “out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist assaults since the victory of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 had fallen victim to MKO’s (MEK’s) terrorist attacks.” But with Iran now one of the increasing number of ‘big bad wolves’ that the U.S. has determined is the ‘enemy’, the terrorist designation has been removed (in 2012), and many U.S. politicians regularly attend MEK meetings.

But not every nation is so willing to cozy up to the MEK. As Iraq worked to drive the organization out of its borders, then U.S. President Barack Obama arm-twisted Albania to take MEK leaders and members. However, that was always an uneasy arrangement; the Albanian government never seemed to be too happy to have international terrorists residing within its borders. And following the discovery of terrorism evidence at their main camp in Albania in June of this year, the government imposed restrictions on the group, crippling their already somewhat meagre efforts. Additionally, Albania banned their leader, one Maryam Rajavi, from entering the country. Rajavi is said to have “fled the Ashraf-3 camp in Albania’s western town of Manez to France after the country’s police forces raided the site on June 20 due to its engagement in ‘terror and cyberattacks’ against foreign institutions….” Prime Minister Edi Rama has stated categorically that Albania isn’t interested in war with Iran, and that the MEK must vacate the country since it apparently wants to use Albania as a base of fighting against Iran.

If the leader can’t even visit the organization, the organization must relocate.

According to reports, the organization originally wanted to move to France, which, in the past, has hosted MEK conferences, often attended by U.S. politicians. But while France may not object to the occasional visit, having the MEK as a tenant was a much less palatable proposition.

So now, it seems, the MEK is looking into the possibility of moving the Canada. This will be a gradual process, but it appears to be progressing. “Based on the agreement reached, in the first step, the elements of the MEK with Canadian residence or temporary passport will be transferred from Albania to this country (Canada).” It is likely that, if this is indeed the case, Canada will soon find its support for the MEK to be as disagreeable as Albania did, and will not question why France took a pass on hosting its members.

One would think that an anti-government group would have the support of the people living under the government it opposes. In this case, one would be mistaken. There is no evidence that there is any but the most limited popular support for the MEK within Iran’s borders. In February of this year, journalist Michael Rubin, writing in the Washington Examiner, titled his article: ‘Why Do Iranians Hate the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) So Much?’ The organization supported Iraq during the devastating Iran-Iraq War, and many Iranians have not forgotten this. And while there has been unrest in Iran recently, there is more than a little evidence that it has been fueled by the United States and some of its European allies.

One must remember that in 2020, there was major unrest across the United States, due to the brutal murder of George Floyd, which was symptomatic of the racism inherent within the U.S. police forces. Few of those protesting wanted ‘regime change’; they were, instead, demanding a drastically-needed overhaul of the racist policies that are so much a part of what passes for the justice system in the U.S. These demands were, of course, ignored. Yet the U.S. and now the Canadian governments are willing to support a terrorist organization that demands the overthrow of the government of a nation of nearly 88 million people. Does anyone realistically think that a ragtag organization with a long history of murder and other extreme human rights abuses, and with no popularity within Iran, is ready to establish and run a new government there? No, should the Iranian government ever be overthrown, the U.S. will ‘intervene’ and establish a puppet government as it did in 1953.

The MEK, by whatever name it uses, is a terrorist organization, responsible for deaths of thousands of innocent people. If Canada is indeed preparing to host the MEK, it will show that, like the United States, it is on the wrong side of history in terms of human rights, peace and self-determination. It will not be long before Canada, like Albania and Iraq before, will want to be rid of this terrorist organization.

*Featured Image: Reuters: Mike Pence and Maryam Rajavi exchanged views on the objective conditions of Iranian society and the alternative of the National Council of Resistance.


Editor’s Note: The MEK used to have a list on the internet like the Ukrainian Myotvorets hit list.  More than a decade ago, an Iranian friend of mine was put on the list.  She used to receive death threats on her phone.  They would leave messages threatening herself and her family on her phone.   I remember being a little nervous when she showed me that in the photo on their web page, I was standing next to her on a street in Tehran. 

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