, I found that I had entered a place which had no return path. They even didn't allow me to call my wife and talk to her about my condition. They never allowed me to write a letter. They said that it is related to security issues
* Mr. Javaherian, tell us briefly about the reason you joined the MKO and how you returned to the counry.
- In 2000, I left Iran to find a job in Turkey. Before leaving, I had a phone number for calling the members of MKO. These phone numbers were in the UK and Germany. I had got a visa for Syria and when crossing Turkey I called them. There was a woman at the other side who told me to continue my way in order not to arise suspicion. She said that she would tell me what to do. On the way back, in Turkey, I called them again and that woman said that I had to stay in Turkey for a few days, so that they could do something for me. They called me repeatedly and talked about marginal issues. After a few days, they said that I had to go to Iraq if I wanted to go to Europe for working. They said that going to Iraq would politicize my case and then they would be able to seek asylum for me.
When they had prepared me for going to Iraq they said that there's no good life there until you leave it. I accepted since I was thinking about going to Europe and having a good life there. They called me and ordered me to go to Iraq's embassy in Turkey. They had prepared a temporary passport for me. It seemed that they had done all the things earlier. Anyway, we (I and some others) entered Iraq and went to Sheraton hotel and called them. They ordered us to reserve separate rooms and wait for them. An old man and woman had come to visit their son. There were also two others who had situation similar to mine; they were also deceived. They took us (blindfolded) to their own place, which I understood to be called "Badi' Base". In order to have the utmost influence on would-be members, they showed different speeches, street executions, stoning scenes. They wanted to work on our emotions. This took 23 days for me.
Then they took us to Entrance section in Ashraf Camp. They held us for sometime there and interrogated us. Finally, they took us to their army. Going to the army needs a long process, but it was short for me because some of my family members had joined the army earlier and in comparison with others, I was almost known for the MKO. In the army, one should pass different trainings (including political, military, counterintelligence, and …).
When they suspect someone, they took him/her for interrogation. They suspected me ant that's why they took me for interrogation several times.
Anyway, I found that I had entered a place which had no return path. They even didn't allow me to call my wife and talk to her about my condition. They never allowed me to write a letter. They said that it is related to security issues. Then, I started to oppose them and said that I wanted to return to Turkey. They said anyone who wants to return should stay in Exit section for 2 years and then he or she would be delivered to Iraqi government, which keeps such people in Abu Ghraib prison. With this condition, I decided to stay in the organization so that I may find a way out.
After the US invasion to Iraq and disarmed the MKO, it became possible for members to ask for leaving. I was in the MKO for only 3 years, but there were some people who had spent 27, 28, 25, or 20 years of their lives in the MKO. Even those who had the ideology of the MKO in their minds found a chance to save themselves. They were transferred to the US camp. There, I asked to separate from the MKO. From the beginning, I opposed their ideology; I didn't take part in their meetings and …. The things they said was in contradiction with what they did. They lied all the time. For instance, they showed an execution and said that the executed person was a student who supported MKO; but later, I found that the executed person was a criminal who had committed a big crime and the execution was his punishment. Anyway, the MKO used such things to recruit members. I was 18 months in the US camp. During this time, we were waiting to be sent to other countries but this never happened. Then, the number of defectors increased. The people who separated from the organization surprised us; among them there were some with 25 to 28 years of working with the MKO; there was MKO secret agents, operational agents and …. Seeing this, we asked ourselves what has happened to the MKO that such people have decided to save themselves. When we talked to them, we found that they had decided to leave a long time ago, but they had not dared to show their will. The MKO tortured many of those who expressed their desire to leave the organization. When I was there, around 500 had separated from the organization 100 of which were high-ranking officials. The organization had claimed that a number of mobs have separated from the MKO. This was a question itself for defectors. They said that when they worked for the MKO and put cyanide capsule in their mouths in order not to be captured alive they were not mobs, but now that they wanted to save themselves they were called mobs by the MKO?!
The organization didn't let the members speak in their mother-tongue languages (otherwise, the person was called an infiltrator); this had caused a number of members to forget their mother-tongue languages. There was a man in the camp whose family didn't accept him as their son because he couldn't speak to them with his mother-tongue language. When I came back to Iran I met his family. I assured them that the person they had talked to was their son. I said that their son had passed a difficult process and that he had forgotten his mother-tongue language because the MKO didn't let him speak in that language. He is now living with his family in Iran. After the US granted protected status to all members, we were free to choose to return to Iran. Since Islamic Republic had issued public pardon for all MKO members, I decided to return. 18 months was a long time.
Mojahedin always say that when you return to Iran you would be taken to Evin prison, you would be tortured and executed, then you'd have to live in the streets. But when we entered Iran, we were welcomed in the best way. They took us to Tehran and after a brief medical examination we joined our families.
* you said that a number of your family members had earlier joined Mojahedin-e khalq and so the MKO trusted you. Can you give a brief explanation about their motivations to join the MKO and their records?
- Two of my brothers, my sister and my two nieces are there. My sister's husband was executed in 1982 and she herself was in prison for sometime. In 2000, the organization had decided to recruit and it had started with the families who had the record of cooperation. Anyway, my sister had a political case and had the potential to be attracted by the organization. MKO deceived them and recruited them. MKO closes all doors on anyone who goes there. And no one can ask for help. Mojahedin had a big supporter and that was Saddam. And Mojahedin helped Iraq against Iran and this had created a kind of friendship between the MKO and Iraqi government. While I was in the MKO I couldn't see my family. After several requests they let me meet them in a very restricted situation. They didn't let me meet my sister there. I could meet her only once during 18 month in the US camp. They never let me meet my brothers and my nieces.
Mojahedin have closed the situation, and the minds of people. They don’t let others think about the thing they don't like. Anyway, I have tried in different ways to give my message to my family there "that they should not spoil their lives there anymore. They know that the leaders of MKO have fled and a number of low-ranking members are running the camp under the name of political struggle and with deception. Mojahedin always said that in 3 months we would be in Iran. It was not new. Veteran members said that they heard this for 20 years that "we would celebrate in Azadi square only in 6 months from now". But it is not know why this "6 months" has become "20 years"!!!
In order to hear the interview in Farsi, please click <1>here<1>.
To read MEK and Human Smuggling, please click <2>here<2>.
Dr. Raz Zimmt investigates Iranian social media responses to the annual conference of Mojahedin-e Khalq, an Iranian opposition group whose support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War remains a searing...
For decades, Western empires have waged a silent war against Iran, using tactics ranging from supporting known terrorist groups to deposing the country’s leaders and leveraging regional rivalries. The war...