The National Council of Resistance of Iran – NCRI
Bani Sadr opposed the increasing relations between the Mojahedin and the Iraqi government and on 24th March 1983 his separation was officially announced. On 11th March Bani Sadr had addressed his misgivings to Rajavi: “… of course as you have written, there are two theories. One accepts and legitimizes any use of foreign forces at any price to topple the Khomeini regime, and the other does not. I support the second theory.
The National Council of Resistance was founded by Mr Abol Hassan Bani Sadr and Mr Massoud Rajavi, leader of the Mojahedin in 1981. At first it was welcomed by many political parties, organisations and personalities. Bani Sadr, as Iran’s first post-revolution president, and the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran were considered the two main pillars of the NCR. The presence of well-known personalities such as Dr Nasser Pakdaman, Bahman Niroomand, Mehdi Khanbaba, Dr Mansour Farhang and others was also a major factor in the preliminary success of the NCR. But because democratic relations were not developed, the initial progress of the NCR was soon reversed and it became a tool without independence, to be used for the goals and purposes of the Mojahedin. Bani Sadr opposed the increasing relations between the Mojahedin and the Iraqi government and on 24th March 1983 his separation was officially announced. On 11th March Bani Sadr had addressed his misgivings to Rajavi: “… of course as you have written, there are two theories. One accepts and legitimizes any use of foreign forces at any price to topple the Khomeini regime, and the other does not. I support the second theory. “…do not follow the first policy. Write whatever you want, but it doesn’t deceive anybody that your problem, which made you write this letter, is cooperation with Iraq to topple the Khomeini regime. With this policy, I am afraid the regime will become more stable and will not be toppled. Do not do harm to yourself, the people and the martyrs…” (Bani Sadr’s answer to the Mojahedin - Enqelab Eslami publication No. 82, 22nd September to 4th October 1983) After this it was the turn of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran. This came about after the KDP established contact with officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In a meeting on 14th April 1985 the Mojahedin, without the presence of the KDP representative and some other NCR members, forced through a resolution for the expulsion of the KDP. The Central Committee of the KDP on 17th April 1985, published an announcement criticising the undemocratic and unprincipled action of those responsible for the NCR and the Mojahedin. Rejecting the April 14th resolution, the KDP called for an NCR meeting with the KDP representative present. Those responsible for the NCR rejected the request with the effect that on 30th April 1985, the KDP announced the end of its participation in the NCR. In a leaflet called ‘Some Documents About the Relationship Between the KDP and the NCR’ which was published by the KDP, we read: “… from the beginning of the KDP joining the NCR, the KDP representative found that the Mojahedin are very much opposed to the broadening of the NCR and only accepted new members which showed themselves willing to follow the Mojahedin’s policies inside the NCR. For this reason, the NCR instead of a policy of attraction, followed a policy of repulsion and in the end it came to the point that there is only an NCR in name not in fact.” “…one thing was clear, the Mojahedin were willing to work with a KDP which would obey their every policy. Of course, the KDP, because of its historic responsibility and the importance of its independence could not accept such behaviour and continue to work with the Mojahedin in a Council which was not a council anymore. Because of the imposition of the policies and the ideology of the Mojahedin, the NCR day by day lost its original role as a democratic alternative and became a tool in the hands of the Mojahedin. Now they just use the name of the NCR for pushing their organisational goals.”(ibid, pages 6 and 7) “… during the last few years of the life of the NCR, many members have resigned and ended their participation in the NCR because they couldn’t accept the undemocratic relations that were shadowing the organisation, and have given up hope of democratisation of the NCR. Meanwhile, the door to entry of new, independent members is still closed.”(ibid, page 33) “…the passage of time and in particular the inexplicable things happening inside the Mojahedin as the main organizer of the Council, have ended everybody’s hope that the Mojahedin would give up their sectarian methods and would one day face the problems of the NCR with an open heart, would show tolerance, would accept the independence of the NCR and would give way to democratization by giving up their undemocratic policies. For this reason, the KDP unwillingly ends its membership of the NCR and holds the Mojahedin directly responsible for it. And opposing the beliefs of this organisation, believes that after the exit of the KDP from the Council as one of its major pillars, not only will the NCR not become stronger, but that there is not any real NCR left.” (ibid, page 48) “… the future will show how long the remaining members of the NCR, the ones who believe in independence of thought and democratic co-operation, can continue their co-operation with the Mojahedin.”(ibid, pages 50-51) The Showray Motahed Chap, another member organisation of the NCR, left the NCR a little earlier than the KDP. Mr Mehdi Khanbaba Tehrani, its representative and one of the well-known members of the NCR, in his book ‘a Look at the Leftist Movement from Within’ mentions some interesting points about the internal relations within the NCR. On the nature of the groups inside the NCR, Tehrani says: “…the Eghame organisation, was formed by the Mojahedin during Bani Sadr’s presidency from the supporters of the Mojahedin. After Bani Sadr and Rajavi left Iran, the organisation could not continue functioning overtly, so, many of its cadres and members left Iran and Eghame became a member of the Council. As the members started opposing the policies of the Mojahedin, they separated. What was left of it changed its name to D.A.D and published ‘Rah-e Azad’. The Eghame representative in the Council, Mr Jalal Ganjei remained in the Council as the representative of the newly born organisation, D.A.D. This group has never been outside the Mojahedin. It has always been a copy of the Mojahedin. In some cases they are even more fundamentalist than the Mojahedin and more ‘Catholic than the Pope’. In reality they are the behind-lines artillery of the Mojahedin.” “… At first I didn’t know the Kanoon Tohidi Asnaf well and thought that they represented the Bazaar. Later, I found out this is also another little organization attached to and dependent on the Mojahedin.”(A Look at the Leftist Movement from Within, pp 525-526) “…The organisation of Ostad-e Mottahed, only had one representative, Mohammad Ali Sheikhy, and in reality there was no organisation. In the early days of the revolution, some lecturers who supported the Mojahedin had gathered together and had formed the organisation. But later, nothing was left of it. This, like others, was totally and openly obedient to the Mojahedin. “The organisation of Cherik-e Fedayee Khalq (followers of Hoviatt) which later became a member, is represented by Mehdi Same. Six or seven months before he announced the organisation, he became a member of the Council as an individual. He then suddenly changed and declared his membership as an organisation.” (ibid p 527) Tehrani, in another part of his memoirs says: “… It seemed that they only needed new decorations for their party and nothing else. The Mojahedin and their over-valuation of themselves was an obstacle to other forces joining the NCR. Instead of correcting themselves in the face of criticism from other members of the NCR, they started creating their own obedient groups within the NCR, thinking that in the international scene they could show a coalition of representatives of every class and division of society. In fact, when they saw that the expansion of the Council did not become a reality, they started adding created names to the Council. “The reality was that with the resignation of Bani Sadr, Showray Mottahed Chap, the KDP, and some other wellknown personalities, and with the onset of the ideological revolution inside the Mojahedin on the occasion of the marriage of Rajavi with Maryam Azodanlou, and with the birth of ‘Iran-Rajavi, Rajavi-Iran’ as a slogan, the light of the life of the Council had been switched off.”(ibid 528, 529) About the internal relations in the NCR, Tehrani says: “… another aspect of the dependence of the NCR and not having independent identity was that whenever the Mojahedin wanted, the meeting would end. That is because they were the host and the place belonged to them and everything was in their hands. Of course, we as the rest of the members could continue our meeting but this would not be an official meeting.” (ibid, p589) “…when they faced internal problems inside their organisation and the NCR, suddenly, under the banner of the ideological revolution and choosing Massoud and Maryam as the leaders of the ‘new revolution in Iran’, they announced themselves as the sole leaders of the revolution with it; laughing at every different existing political idea. In these circumstances, it was not possible to continue remaining in the Council with this kind of structure. Later, by continuing their methods and taking up residence in Iraq, they shot the last bullet into their historical chance. Of course, they still hear and they still talk under the name of the NCR, but everyone knows that this phenomenon no longer has an independent existence and has vanished.”(ibid, p618) Tehrani, speaking about the resignation of Showray Mottahed Chap from the Council, says: “… I believe that at the later phases of the Council, the Mojahedin were not only not a magnet to attract opposition forces, but had obviously changed to a totalitarian organisation, trying to eradicate and separate opposition forces. Their policy was not to attract co-operation, but they needed obedient followers. This clearly shows itself in their slogan ‘Iran-Rajavi, Rajavi-Iran’ which they constantly repeated since 4th April 1985. With such policies and slogans, talking about democracy, equal rights, co-operation etc, is no more than a sick joke.” (ibid, p627) About the NCR’s strategy, Tehrani says: “In principle, the NCR strategy did not belong to the NCR. The strategy was ‘armed struggle’ the details of which would be dictated by the Mojahedin and announced in the name of the Council. The Council has never had an independent strategy or daily programme or agenda.” (ibid, p 637) In an interview with Payvand publication on the subject of the forces of the NCR, Dr Ali Asghar Haj Seyed Javadi, a well-known Iranian politician says: “Before anything, I should emphasise that with the exception of the KDP and Mojahedin, the other 2 or 3 organisations that the NCR names in its publications, are no more than creations who do not have any organisation, members or supporters. These organisations do not exist and were created by the Mojahedin organisation to broaden the Council.” (Payvand, September 1998, p13) Mr Bahman Broomand, another exmember of the NCR says: “After only a few months, it was clear to us that the Mojahedin organization never had any intention of forming a coalition and has orchestrated this Council to use the names of well-known organisations and personalities to increase its credibility. When we found out that for months the Mojahedin were in dialogue with a blood-thirsty regime like that of Saddam Hussein, to move the headquarters of the NCR to Iraq, without the knowledge of the Council, we lost our patience.” (Payvand, September 1998, p31) Mr Hassan Massaly, another ex-Council member, and representative of the Movement of Toilers of Gilan and Mazandaran (one of the organizations which was a member of the NCR and later left) in an interview with Payvand publication said: “… instead of attracting responsible, well-known and serious organizations and personalities, the Mojahedin were opening the doors to obedient and opportunist forces. They had the responsibility for backing Rajavi and attacking critics of the Mojahedin.” (Payvand, September 1998, p29) Dr Mansour Farhang, an ex-Council member and former representative of the NCR in North America said in an interview with Payvand publication: “…the reality is that the NCR, from the first day of its formation was a tool in the hands of the Mojahedin and never had independence. The majority of the members knew this but because of the struggle of the Mojahedin against the regime of the Shah and their firm opposition to Khomeini and the Ayatollahs, they had accepted the anti-democratic tendencies of the Mojahedin leadership as a bitter reality which could be corrected. By giving heart to the decency of the Mojahedin’s leadership, they were looking to an unrealistic evolution and change in them.”
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