Monday, 28 February 2011
InsideIran/2011-02-28 – Iran’s Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi appeared in a live television broadcast Feb. 24 and accused the opposition Green Movement of having ties to the Mojahedin Khalgh Organization, a terrorist group based in Iraq. Leaders of the Green Movement have vehemently denied these charges and have always insisted that there are no ties whatsoever between their activities and those of the MKO.
Moslehi, who was on a live broadcast on national television, claimed that senior advisers to Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the de-facto leaders of the opposition in Iran, have extensive ties to MKO. According to Iran’s Channel Three, Moslehi named Ardeshir Amir-Arjmand, a senior Moussavi adviser currently in France, and Mojtaba Vahedi, a senior Karroubi aid now in the United States, as the link between the MKO and the opposition Green Movement. Both Amir-Arjmand and Vahedi denied these allegations in the strongest terms.
Amir-Arjmand, speaking to Radio Farda, said that Moslehi’s lies are so outrageous that they make Joseph Goebbels look good. Amir-Arjmand then said, “And even if Mr. Moslehi’s accusations are based on the truth, this shows the weakness of people like Moslehi [who is in charge of Iran’s intelligence service].”
Vahedi also denied Moslehi’s claims and said, “The Minister of Intelligence is just repeating the words of the coup government,” referring to the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that enjoys the backing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
During his televised interview, Moslehi said that leaders of the opposition were no longer seditionists; rather they were now “counterrevolutionaries.” This elevation of the opposition’s leaders by the Minister of Intelligence could be a sign that the government is preparing to treat the opposition in Iran in the same manner it eradicated armed groups opposed to the regime in the 1980s.
There are no ties between the opposition Green Movement and the MKO, which has been described by many as a personality cult revolving around its leader Masoud Rajavi. In the 1980s, when the MKO and the regime were engaged in a civil war, Moussavi and Karroubi were considered prime targets for MKO’s assassination plots. The MKO lost much of its popular support when it sided with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war and carried out attacks against Iranian cities in the late 1980s.
The regime’s efforts today to link the opposition to the MKO are designed to discredit the Green Movement. On the other hand, the MKO, or the PMOI as it calls itself these days, has tried to portray itself in the West as part of the opposition in Iran. There have been several unsuccessful attempts to remove the MKO from the US State Department’s terrorist list. But the MKO and its lobbying wing in the US are increasing their efforts to remove the name of the organization from the State Department’s list.