Photos of Chapter 8. Chapters: One - Two - Three - Four - Five - Six - Seven - Eight - Nine - Conclusion

    

Chapter Eight - Struggle - Date 1989 - 1992

 

Summer 1992, as usual, after the yearly demonstration of the twentieth of June, we were asked to return to Baghdad. Unlike previous years, that year’s demonstration didn’t take place in only few major cities, but in 104 cities around the world. Although in many cities only few people organized a standing demonstration. At the end, as usual, we could produce some photos with people waving Iranian flag, standing beside huge portraits of our leaders. These photos mixed with number of ‘104’, were good enough material for our political propaganda for another year to come.

 

            ‘Article D’, Women superior to men

            Back in Baghdad, another Phase or article of ‘Ideological Revolution’ was waiting for us. After articles ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘J’, according very Old Persian alphabet, this article was called article ‘D’. Thanks to the number of letters in Persian alphabet, we could be sure up to 32 phase of ideological revolution, we have no problem in finding a name for them. Any way, even after that, as once Masoud said as a joke, “we can start numbering them instead of naming them after letters.” According to this article, we had to realise, understand and ‘ideologically’ accept that women have more revolutionary potential than men. Hence, ideologically, superior to them. We were told, “As women have suffered from ‘double exploitation’ through history, every where around the world. They are like a condensed spring, waiting to be let free, when they are free, they can jump more than men.” Consequently, it was said, “within the organisation, after the ideological revolution, when we stood against ‘ideologies of sexuality and egoism’, women have gained their freedom and as a result have shown their ‘ideological potential’ and jumped to higher positions than men.”

            At the same time there was another explanation for this raise of women within the organisation, which could make more sense than the first one. Through different phase of ‘ideological revolution’, we were told and reminded time after time that: “we have to forget about our feet and walk with Maryam’s feet. Then instead of walking we can fly.” Or “we have to become ‘Zero’ to change into the (ideological) ‘infinity’ of Masoud and Maryam.” To elaborate more usually Masoud was comparing this situation with Einstein Formula E=MC2, saying: “before the ideological revolution, your energy and abilities are like any other human beings, but after the revolution, you are not working according ordinary laws and as ordinary people, but like Einstein formula your energy and your work would be multiplied by the speed of light power two.” What they meant by these sentences or similar ones was that: We have to forget about our personal capabilities and capacities, personal expertise and powers, our individuality and self-confidence, self-sufficiency and self-esteem. And fill the vacuum of all of them by incentives from love for Maryam and Masoud. Following their path and acting according their orders, we didn’t need any of our personal capabilities or expertise. Having their love, we didn’t need any self-esteem or self-confidence. Now we were told, as men have been able to gain a few personal abilities, are used to rely on their own capabilities. So this is very difficult for them to switch from personal esteem to Ideological one. While in case of women, as historically, always they have had nothing from themselves and have been relied and dependent to a man, either one of their relatives or their husbands. It is very easy for them to switch from dependency to a man into ideological dependency to our leader. In another word we, as a man first had to try to become ‘zero’ then rising to infinity, or first we had to forget about our own feet, to be able to walk on ‘Maryam’s feet’. The organisational consequence of this phase was that: from then on, no man could be ideological or organisational masoul of any woman within the organisation. Though in executive work, when having expertise was essential, woman for a short period could tactically be under responsibility of a man. On top of this, it was ruled that every man within the organisation has to have an ‘Ideological woman masoul’.

            I think about the same time they changed the system of ranking in the organisation as well, there was two parallel system of ranking and positions for men and women as there were different rooms for working and different seats for sitting. Ranking for few years prior to this juncture, was not a major issue for the majority of members, as in reality it didn’t mean much, our ranking distance from Masoud and Maryam was like distance of a decimal number from billions, so one up or down couldn’t make much difference. It could be forgotten or change very easily and could not bring any decision making power, or special status or position for any body. So I guess hardly anybody bothered to think or remember this new system. Recently prior to this phase, I was told, my rank has risen to ‘HE’ meant member of executive committee, highest rank available to members by then. While for me reaching to that rank, didn’t mean much and could feel no difference from when, first I was told that I am a member of the organisation. Now in this new phase we were told, as no man can be real masoul of any position within the organisation, we all are deputies of a masoul, who should be a woman. So all of us (men) were ‘M’ stands for ‘MAVEN’ (deputy) of a position. I was told that I am ‘MO’, the highest among ‘M’ s. I never learned what is ‘O’ stands for and never bothered to ask any body. Any way for sometimes we had few different boring games and up and downs in ranking system, which I never understood what were the real purpose of them, and who were the real prey of those attacks and games. Perhaps they had problem with some old members of the organisation, as eventually they gave some concessions to them by introducing new system of ranking for brothers according to the number of years of being with Mojahedin. In one of those phases, we were told anybody whose rank was ‘HE’, from then on is ‘H’. Meant: ‘HAVADAR’ (supporter) of the organisation and not even a member. Some how it was quiet a relief, as we were set free from attending lengthy, boring, useless meetings . . .

            Masoud told the reason for this decision when there was an ideological meeting for brothers with rank of HE. Before saying anything else, he surprised everybody by saying: “I have heard from Dr . . . that your pee has bubble. Strangely according to what I heard from him, our ‘HE’ member’s pee has bubble while our ordinary member’s pee is bubble-less.” Then when he faced strange and puzzled look of members said: “Don’t look at me with surprise, like you don’t know what that means. It means, few years after ‘ideological revolution, still you have not been able to neutralise your sexual desires and still you have ejaculation of semen, which creates bubble in your urine. While as I realised this problem has been solved by the people under your responsibility!!” After his speech as usual few brothers who always were ready to follow his word and elaborate more in backing to whatever he had said already, start talking. One of them went as far as saying that: “We were not ‘HE’ we were ‘HEEE’.” The noise people make for calling or stopping donkeys. Implying that we were not member of the organisation but donkeys, animals without any power to solve their natural needs. By now I could understand what was the purpose of Masoud’s question and what was the consequences of that meeting. For sometimes after that meeting we were rankles, which of course didn’t mean anything, it was as meaning less as having it, life, work, and responsibilities were as before. Only, whenever we were seeing each other, by repeating the same noise ‘HEEE’ we were making joke of our rank, and of course, each time after having pee, we were careful not to leave any bubble behind. Then, after sometimes, we were told of our new rank and new system of ranking. Perhaps by then Masoud had solved his problem with those whom he had problem with.

            After watching almost thirty hours videotapes, I had to stop and think, think and write my own report about whatever I had learned from those tapes. After long trip from America to Jordan and then driving from there to Iraq, sitting for few days watching those tapes, I was having very bad pain in my back and had to have some rest. In a way, pain saved me from being with others for few days. To be alone and think by yourself was some kind of luxury, which rarely one could have within the organisation. Our working, eating and even resting and sleeping always was shared with others. We could not have private thought as we could not have private time or even private feelings. We were sad or happy, when everybody else was so, according to the bad and goods of the political or organisational news of the day. Some how even we were proud of having changed from different individuals into some kind of super organism. Those who were seeing us from outside, as we were calling them, ‘our enemies’ or ‘anti revolutionaries’ or ‘traitors’, simply, were saying that we have been brain-washed and have changed from human beings into different parts of a big machine, for the purpose of our leader to gain power. Though in depth there was no difference between their saying and ours, in shape of saying it, there was huge difference. To understand it, or explain it or perhaps legitimise it, Masoud was using and taking advantage from Old Iranian ‘Sophism’ tradition. According to that tradition, one had to be only in love of his or her guru, to reach to high position in mentality, morality and metaphysic’s power. To love him, one had to forget himself, his personality and his individuality. In one of the stories told by Masoud, when Molavi great Iranian poet and Sufi, knock the door of his guru’s house. His guru, ‘Shams’, asked him, ‘who he is?’ He answered back: “this is me.” in response he heard the same question again. “Who are you?” And he answered back: “this is me, Molavi” After third time repeats of the same question, Molavi in response, answered: “this is your ‘moored’, (disciple, devotee, . . . )” This time Shams opened the door for him and told him: “as long as you were ‘you’, ‘I’, ‘me’, .” You had no place here, but when you forget yourself, then every where you go is your place and is yours.”

            At the same time story of ‘Seyeh-Morgh’ (phoenix), which by now was another nickname for Maryam too, not only was told by Masoud in several meetings but was played beautifully by few of our brothers and exceptionally few sisters too. Each time watching that play, where different birds with different individuality, forgot themselves and changed into one soul and body called Seyeh-Morgh, we were forcing ourselves, to think again and try to lose few old remaining characters or likes and dislikes of ourselves. Once Maryam compared us to bees and ants and how good it is if we were able to learn from them and change into them, like them become united with our leader.

            For day or two I was thinking, without knowing, what do I want to solve or achieve. We had to explain our internal resistance or rejection against the issue of women raised in the article ‘D’ of the Ideological Revolution. But more I was thinking, less I could find any resistance or objection against it. I knew perfectly well, that I can not ask to be considered as especial case, having no problem with that issue, as according to the organisational teachings there exist no especial case, all of us as long as we are men are alike each other. ‘We all have savage male sexuality, an aggressive one which looks at every thing from sexual point.’ Long before joining the organisation, I had read in a book, that Hasan Saba’h, one of our ‘revolutionary leaders’ who had his own cult, and fought against Iranian kings and Mongols, was asking his male disciples to lose their sexuality after joining his cult by physical castration. Now somehow I could feel joining him was much easier, as castration was only one physical operation with one physical pain, and perhaps several hours rest. While in our case, we had to castrate ourselves gradually and mentally, with huge amount of pains, not for several hours or even days but for years.

            As I mentioned, there was no difference between what our enemies were saying about us and what we were doing and saying ourselves except in shape and form. Perhaps this is why, whatever they were saying and writing, about us, while we could see and read them freely, had no effect on us. They were claiming that we have been ‘Brain-washed’. In reality not only we wanted to brain wash ourselves, to forget our past character and memories, but even more, we wanted to change our nature, our being’s incentives and our natural instincts. Our foes were saying, all of these things are for Masoud to gain power. Well we were saying the same thing with different wording. We were calling it ‘right’ of Masoud, and not power for him. And we wanted to claim the right of Masoud to lead Iranian people and perhaps more the whole humanity. Maryam put this claim in wording in her speech for remembering the ‘Ashorra of Imam Hussein’, on July 1992. She said: “… When the highest and most important right, right of leadership of the capable one (Masoud) was denied, then we could see how easily unlimited rights of ordinary Iranian people had been denied too.” So in our view, fight for ‘Right of Masoud’, was the first and the last step in our fight for the rights of not only Iranian people, but, all oppressed people of the world every where.

 

 

            Death penalty for a ‘Borida’

            Apart from thinking and writing report of my own personal feelings and thought about the issue of article ‘D’, I had to take position about another issue as well. That was issue of ‘Borida-ha’. ‘Borida’ and its plural, ‘Borida-ha’, which in Mojahedin vocabulary, had all the meanings of, ‘surrender’, ‘failure’, ‘fatigue’, ‘loser’, . . . was a person, who for different reason had reached to the point, not being able to work with Mojahedin any more, asking or wanting to leave the organisation.

            Few years back, perhaps up to ‘Forogh’ operation this was not an issue of concern; not at least outside of Iran. It was a term mostly used inside of prisons, when one could not suffer any more torture and was surrounding to his or her torturer, repenting even openly in a Television broadcast. We never used to blame those people, as we knew how harsh and severe tortures in prison were. Hence many of them after being freed from prison were very welcomed back in the organisation or even having ordinary life. In ideological revolution we were told and learned that all resisted prisoners were killed, so whoever who was alive according to the organisation’s terminology was a Borida.

            Out side of the country our slogan for new recruits was: “our exit doors are wide open while our entrance doors are shut and hardly could be opened.” We were repeating this slogan in different form as recent as the same summer that we were asked to take position against them. In the same speech in the ceremony for Imam Hussein’s martyrdom, Maryam said: “Masoud more than any body else knows, when things get more difficult and we find more problem, weather becomes darker and to find our way becomes harder, to carry on his resistance, he needs followers who could follow him more seriously, with more stamina, and endurance. This is why he needs people who could forget about everything, who could clean themselves from all ordinary needs . . . This is why times after times in different juncture of our struggle, inspired by Imam Hussein, Masoud turns off the lights so whoever wants to leave, could do so without feeling any shame. … “With this believe and attitude any body joining the organisation or army, especially as it was defined by Masoud himself, was believing and expecting that they are going to be with the Mojahedin with free will, for as long as they want and they can carry on. We always were having very good and friendly relation with those who were leaving us, so they could remain among our supporters and could support us in any way they wished and they could. Hence nobody could feel braking from the organisation and leaving it could be difficult and with problem. Perhaps after the start of new phase of Ideological revolution in 1989-1990, when the issue of divorce was brought up, we could see more ill feeling towards those who wanted to leave us, especially old members.

            In many cases those who wanted to leave the organisation, they were separated from others and even had to live in different buildings not wearing army uniform and not mixing with others, some how one could say they were in prison. Though almost all of them were not showing any opposition toward the organisation, still as they could not bear living in that situation segregated from others without any responsibility were preferring to go to the refugee camps in Iraq. Some of them after reaching Europe claimed that they have been beaten while they were in Iraq in our bases or had very bad living conditions. Some even claimed that they have been tortured. Though I cannot reject the possibility of beating in any of those cases as I could see angry faces of some of our people when they were facing an insult toward our leader, hardly I can believe it as torture and ordered from the top. Once I was asked by Masoud to go and see the representative of UNHCR (United Nations High commissioner for the Refugees) in Iraq, as he had asked to see one of our officials. By then there were two Iranian refugee camps in Iraq under supervision of UNHCR office. One in Helleh, and another in Ramadii, Most of the Iranian Kurdish refugees were living in Ramadii camp and rarely any body from Revolutionary groups or supporters of monarchy were in Ramadii, they were situated in Helleh. The representative’s main complain was about old members of Mojahedin who were pushing him to find them another refuge country. He told me about bad living conditions in that camp and said, they have done their best, but simply there are not enough resources to arrange better life for them. He said once even he heard that people there have had dog’s meat to save themselves from hunger. He said: “we have limited resources for finding countries in Europe to accept these people as refugees, and among them we have to give priority to those who had have political and not military background, as many countries are hesitant to accept people who have been in arm struggle like your old members.” So he was asking us to take responsibility for sending our old members to Europe. When I was living his office, somebody, who called my name in Farsi, called me. He introduced himself as an old member of Mojahedin, and said he has left the organisation, as he couldn’t go through the revolution. He said: “I love Masoud very much, for him I fought and for him I am losing my eyesight, but I can not understand this revolution and could not live in the organisation without any responsibility. So I asked to leave, but please tell Masoud, I love him and I am prepared to work for him any where.” He told me the same story about the situation in Helleh, but said situation of Mojahedin’s old members there is better than others, they are the only ones who are not living in tents and have a building there. A week later after I gave my report to Masoud, I was called by him to take few lorries of goods to the camp for helping people living there. UNHCR and Red Cross didn’t accept to distribute does goods because of its political outcome. They told me they are not permitted to accept goods from organisations as it might embarrass governments. Hence I had to take those goods to the camp and distribute it ourselves. Over there I found as I was told, the situation of our boys was much better than others, they had their house, which was more or less like other bases of us, with pictures of Masoud and Maryam in any room. I heard from people there that they are very keen to return to the organisation but they can’t. Apparently according to a deal with Iraqis anybody leaving Mojahedin’s camp, could not return to Mojahedin again, and had to go abroad and return back for joining. I never found out if this argument was true or false and was another excuse from Mojahedin not accepting them. Later after the Gulf war I heard this camp was destroyed and all refugees were moved to Ramadii, also I heard the number of people leaving us as a result of the Ideological revolution and the war increased sharply and situation of our boys there got worse than before. Many who were there for long had lost their status as refugee in their original country, and had no Passport, so sending them abroad was very difficult, though later many of them by using other’s passports were sent to Europe, but majority had to stay for long in those camps in very harsh situation. I am sure for high-ranking and old members, organisation was not prepared easily, to let them go. But for simple members or supporters and combatants, I don’t think the organisation had any objection they leave, as matter of fact many of them who were not able to have ideological revolution were not welcomed in any department and the organisation wanted to get rid of them somehow.

            After Gulf war, when many of our new recruits from old Iran-Iraq war’s POWs with the help of red cross left us back to Iran, and some old members wanted to leave and return back to Europe, the organisation start showing some disgust and outrage towards them. First by not helping them to return to Europe, then perhaps as it was mentioned and claimed by some of those who left the organisation, with some show of physical reaction towards them. From then on though still we were repeating our old slogans in our public meetings and as a superficial gesture, Masoud was asking people who want to leave to do so. But we knew perfectly well, that our slogan had been reversed for good, entering into the organisation was easier than ever, while leaving, especially for high ranking members while they were in Iraq almost impossible.

            During ideological revolution two words were most insulting and outrageous than any, ‘ordinary’ and ‘Borida’. As we were considering ourselves as the most revolutionary, sophisticated, evolutionary, and purest human beings, being ordinary, like ordinary people was changed into worst insulting words, somehow it meant, we still were demanding to have pleasures and ‘dirty needs’ of ordinary people. To understand it, perhaps it was equal to saying animal or savage to an ordinary man. We were saying changing into an ordinary man or woman, is a step before being a Borida, as those needs will force us to leave the organisation. Borida had an ideological meaning too; we were calling them ‘Kuffei’, (i.e. from people of Kofee, one of the Iraq’s cities. People of Kofee during Imam Hussein’s time asked him to rise and promised to help him against the ruler of the time, but they left him alone to be killed with 72 of his relatives and families). So, it meant that we have forgotten our oath with our leader, betraying him or breaking that famous sentence of Masoud: “don’t sell me, don’t kill me.”

            In one of the meetings, which I saw its videotape; when there was a discussion about ‘Borida-ha’. Our masouls in Europe were giving their report about their activities against us and how bad they are trying to change Mojahedin’s image among Iranian and even foreigners. In almost all Iranian media out side and inside of the country there were testimonies of them against the organisation, many of them were claiming that they have been tortured and put in prison by the organisation and even some of them tried to complain against Mojahedin to International organisations. There was revelation by them, about the Ideological revolution and divorces among couples, separation of children from their parents . . . By then not only we were not looking at them as our old comrades, but most of us were hesitant to talk to them or even look at them. Although all our belongings, in entering or leaving bases in Iraq were going to be checked and searched, I am sure theirs were searched with more fuss and obsession. Before leaving, the organisation was collecting many letters from them to print if they were going to say anything against Mojahedin. Well of course no body was short of those kinds of letters as each one of us to save ourselves from misery of different stages of the ideological revolution had written thousands of pages of false or true revelation about ourselves. The organisation was calling those who was criticising it as mercenary of the regime. Once one of my old friends who was among those left the organisation had interview with Persian broadcast of BBC radio, there was very strong statement against him by the organisation, which I could not be agree with that as I knew the boy and could not believe him as spy of the regime. When I was talking to my masoul I told him “I don’t think what we have said is true. She didn’t argue with me and said, “it shows how naive you are in judging people.” Later I learned how badly he was treated in London by some of our supporters and members there.

            True or false, about imprisonment, torture and ill health in those camps and in our bases. I never could accept them as long as I was with Mojahedin. More than any thing because of quick reaction of Masoud to my report and his aid to those people. He asked the finance section of the organisation to give monthly income to those from Mojahedin who were in refugee camps; equal to the amount they were receiving from UNHCR and Iraqi government. So they were twice better off than others. At that juncture we helped most of them to go abroad, and I heard the chap who talked to me got especial treatment for having operation in Sweden.

            Any way, in the same meeting after report of one of our masouls, suddenly one of the sisters cried that, they are traitors and had to be executed instead of being set free to go to Europe and work against the organisation. Immediately after her, there were sisters after sisters who gave the same speech. Then as usual, it was Brothers turn to wake up and realise what is going on; few of them asked for permission to talk and repeat whatever sisters said already. But against all expectation, when one of the sisters named Zari who was from Britain asked for permission to talk, instead of backing other sisters and whatever was said by them, rejected the idea and reminded every body about our old slogans. (i.e. ‘entrance doors to the organisation are closed and the exit doors are wide open’). She was in the middle of her speech, which first noise of murmuring among people and then uproar of sisters who impatiently were interrupting her, stopped her from talking. By now one of the sisters called her an ‘ordinary woman’, then another one correct her by saying: “No she is not ordinary, she is Borida! This is why she is defending them.” Then another sister cried, she should be thrown out of the meeting. By now as usual it was Masoud’s turn to rise as an angel of mercy and compassion, to show his kindness and understanding. He silenced every body and asked them to let her to finish her speech, while already she had sat down in tears. Masoud following Zari’s words said: “I think she is right, we cannot execute every body who wants to leave us, I believe we have to give him or her all the facilities, money, everything to go wherever they wish to, . . . ” He could not finish his words or didn’t want to do so as he was interrupted by few sisters, One of them a very high ranking one, said: “You from your position of compassion and merciful have every rights to dictate every thing you think is right and we are sure that you never let us to do things we feel are right against those traitors. But we have to have our position against them. If we do not sharpen our boundaries with them by condemning them, as we should, then we always have our own bridges to the past and ordinary life, which could end us among them too. This is why I think all Mojahedin have to clear their positions about this issue.” Silence of every body after her speech meant that this was what was going to be after that meeting. So as a result every body had to write a report and clear his or her position about that issue.

 

 

            Self doubts

            While I was watching that videotape, when I heard Zari’s speech. For few minutes I envy her courage, I never could find the same courage in myself, to stand up against thousands of people and say things, which one could be sure nobody is going to like them. To defend people who were the most hated ones. I could not admire her for more than few seconds in my mind, as during those days we were not calling her action as ‘courage’, but ‘not having boundaries with the past and people outside of the organisation.’ I knew perfectly well, that, this feeling of mine, this admiration, is inspired from my own weakness, from my liberal tendencies and lack of power to hate enemies of our beloved leader. For long I knew, a revolutionary must hate as much as love. We had to hate enemies of our leaders, calling them enemies of our people, and humanity. But being able to hate was not one of my virtues and I knew it perfectly well, and always I was ashamed of it. I had every reason to hate those people, not only as I was a member of the organisation, but even personally, as I had to answer many questions of Iranian and even politician, as a result of their activities against us. During previous, past few years, they had inflicted more damage on Mojahedin, than all the activities of all ‘anti-revolutionaries’ since the revolution in 1979. Even once I was handed a letter by the Administrative Aid of one of the most supportive members of the congress. The letter was from one of them, who believed we have imprisoned her husband and were not letting him to join her. In this case she was wrong and we had to try hard to persuade her husband to call her back and save us from that problem. Though later he asked to leave the organisation and joined her in America.

            By then I was told repeatedly that love and hate are two sides of the same coin, one cannot love others, without hating their enemies, and cannot hate without love. When I was alone with myself, I could see, deep down, I even don’t hate the revolutionary guards. I think I was able to stand against them and fight against them, but I was not sure that I was able to kill any of them. Deeper I was thinking, more problem I was facing. By then I had real problem with myself. I doubted my hate against others, the most hated ones and with the law, which I mentioned, I doubted my love for others. After all there exist no coin with only one side! I was questioning my love for Maryam, deeper for our people, and deeper for humanity and justice?! Did I love them with whole of my heart?! If yes, why couldn’t I hate their enemies?! If no what was I doing there?! What was I doing during past fifteen years?! Why did I leave everything, including my dearest, my family?! Did I sacrifice anything?! If yes, for whom?! If no, then what was the meaning of sacrifice? Did I love only myself?! Then why I was putting myself in that amount of suffering?! By then every thing in my mind and my heart was under the question mark. I wrote a report about myself mentioning all this questions and asking for help from my masoul. She called me, and told me that it was good that I was honest with myself and criticised myself, but there are certain things, which I have no right to put them under the question mark, those things which have said by our leaders and have been approved by them. She told me: “You are a member of Mojahedin and this membership has ideological meaning. Our leader has approved it and you cannot question it. Masoud has approved your ideological revolution and you have no right to put it under the question mark. Yes you have your weaknesses, your liberal tendencies, you have not destroyed all your bridges with your past and this is why you feel sympathy towards Borida-ha. Your responsibility is to find these bridges and destroy them. That is all you have to do nothing less nothing more.” She asked me to forget about that issue for times being and sticks to the issue of article ‘D’ and search for my problem there.

            For another few days I thought and thought, I could not see any problem with that article. During my life within the organisation, most of the times my masouls were women, many of them were very hard with me, including sister Tahereh, sometimes they judged me wrongly and even insulted and punished me wrongly, but I didn’t find any feeling against them, not only I didn’t dislike them, but I was sure that I liked them very much and I was proud of one by one of them. As matter of fact the only masoul, which I could not approve him and didn’t like him as much as others, was not a woman but a man. Mohadessin, the most capable one, very kind and gentle. He was the only masoul of mine, which not only never criticised or teased or insulted me, but surely he was more worried about my health than myself. Many times in meetings, while he was deep in the discussions, suddenly used to stop and ask me about my back and forcing me to go and have a rest. But against all his kindnesses, he was the only masoul, which I could not accept him as my masoul as I was not able to accept that he cares enough for the organisation. By then mistakenly I was judging him according to our policy in diplomacy; I could see that our diplomacy has no root at all and is only a superficial one, is like an empty drum, with big noise. My disagreement with him was not only restricted to our policy in America. In ‘international organisations’ section too, I had many problems not yet resolved, I could see whatever I did there and before me was done by others, mostly by Dr. was going to be destroyed, and it seemed nobody cared about them. I wrote many report about, what were we losing there, eventually once Fahieme’a, Maryam’s deputy, called me. In response she accused me of having especial love for international organisations as I have worked hard there personally and have some feeling for my own personal achievements and not the organisation one. I accepted whatever she said as there was some truth in them, but not completely as I could see that I care as much as my own achievements, for achievements of others too. I think the only masoul whom I criticised was Mohadessin; I wrote many reports about him and our foreign policy, accusing him for changing our diplomacy into sham and superficial one. Eventually once Badrie, one of the high-ranking masouls, who by then was masoul of Mohadessin and I both, called me. She told me very openly that I have no right to write any more report against Mohadessin. By then I felt that she took my criticisms as personal one, as it was very common, while I didn’t have any personal hard feeling for Mohadessin at all. If I was more clever, I could realise that organisation doesn’t care at all about personal relation among us, and on the contrary wants to destroy it completely, and even was trying to create some kind of dislike and personal hate as in this way, they could neutralise any kind of division within the organisation from its roots. So their anger was about my views toward our diplomacy and not Mohadessin, who was only following Masoud’s orders. Perhaps this was the reason why he was favourite of Masoud in directing our diplomacy, he had nothing for himself and was following Masoud’s order with no question or hesitation.

 

 

            Another order for divorce

            Few days more I thought about new article of the ideological revolution, but I couldn’t produce anything substantial to write against myself. Eventually I found no way out of it, except to reproduce some of my old stories about myself and repeat of whatever I had said in my reports during different past stages of the revolution, with hope that they be new for my new masoul to persuade her that I have gone deeper inside of my mind and have explored new things about myself. I was right, but it seemed I went a bite further than what was needed, as my report went straight into Masoud’s hand and he asked to see me.

            It was about five or six o’clock in the evening, he was alone and was having his lunch, usually he was working up to mid day and then he had his daily sleep between noon and five or six in the afternoon, and after that, he was seeing people and working, till next day noon time. He asked me if I have had my lunch? He didn’t wait for my response, smiled and said: “OOH I forgot, you are among normal people and are having your lunch, when I am having my tea before my bed time!” Then again before letting me to say anything said: “What are these rubbish you have written in your report?! Do you know what is your problem?” I said, “well I have no problem against sisters to be my masoul, while according to the revolution I know I cannot be an especial case and as others I have to have problem too. So I think perhaps something is wrong with me, which I cannot be as oppose to them as others.” He interrupted me and said: “Rubbish! You are not against any body because you are yoghurt. You are unable to oppose anybody, because you are liberal. You want to love everybody and be loved by everybody. But this is not your problem; your real problem is Anna. You have not divorced her permanently, still you are hopping to return to her in the future.” Hardly I could hide my smile, I didn’t know why, but somehow I couldn’t agree with him more. So I start nodding as an agreement sign. He laughed loudly and said: “So if you know what is your problem, why are you playing with us and with your poor masoul?!” Then he asked me about my present marital situation? I told him: “Well we have not officially divorced, but I presume she knows everything about the ideological revolution.” Masoud said: “OK good, you know we could not agree with your divorce, because of political reason, which by now as every body knows about divorces inside of the organisation and we have not denied it, this problem has been resolved. So there is no more any obstacle in your divorce. But you have to give this right to us to announce it to Anna, whenever we feel is fit to do so. So you should write your letter to her, asking for divorce, give this letter to your masoul, and forget about her.”

            That meeting was finished with smile of both side. Masoud was right, against rule of Ideological revolution for divorcing our spouses permanently and ideologically, deep down in my heart, still I was in love of my wife and was hopping after the revolution and return to Iran we could have our happy shared life back. But at the same time I could see no end in our struggle, and no near future victory. I could imagine how miserable Anna’s life is with having many doubts and unanswered questions about our marriage. So I was more than happy to announce my divorce to her. In this way I could save her from that misery and see my children as in the situation we were in, I had to have not contact with either of them. So I wrote my report and my letter to Anna explaining things to her and gave them to my masoul. Well that letter never was handed to her and my situation didn’t change a bite.

 

 

            NLA, elite forces

            While I was in Iraq, as we had heard many stories about new elites of NLA, responsible for guerrilla operations inside of Iran, we asked to see them in training, so few of us from political section were permitted to stay with them for day or two. They were going through very hard and difficult training mentally and physically. For example they had to live for days in the desert and marshlands, without any supply of food or drink. So they had to find any kind of water available there and drink it. For several days instead of having proper meal, they had to eat frogs or whatever animals or insects they could find there. For hours they had to stand without slightest movement, under a lamp and suffer from attack of all different insects and flies without showing any movement. … The night when we were there, their commander told us that they are going to have night rid against them to see their reaction. He said: “We have told them that a guerrilla had to sleep with only one eye, the other one has to be always awake expecting anything. They have to be prepared for anything, and tonight you are going to see what they are going through.” In the middle of the night as he told us, the night raid against them start. Few of their commanders attacked them with different weapon. Few with first sign of movements woke up preparing themselves for reaction, but all the same, they had to suffer from the same consequences waiting for the last person waking up. In few minutes all of them were up, prepared for action. Their action included running bare footed among stones and brambles, crawling among mud in marsh lands, moving from one place to another by walking with their hands instead of their feet, or by rolling on the ground. With one sign they had to climb from any tree or lamppost close to them and had to stay there for as long as their commanders wanted. Their training was not only physical, while by now even us as audience of their actions were completely out of breath, it included mental ones as well. For example their commander told them to go and bring the largest stone they can find, he said: “the last person and the one with the smallest will be punished.” When they returned on the contrary to what he was told them, he excluded the last person and the one with the smallest stone and punished the rest by asking them to have fifty push ups. He explained to us that, they have to learn not to expect logical things in their work and prepare themselves for anything, as illogical as that. In another case he asked one of them to take one leaf from the tree opposite to them and take it to him. The one who was asked did what he was asked to do. But again every body else, except him was punished for his wrongdoing as he didn’t take that especial leaf from that especial tree and just took the first available leaf. He said they have to learn that they will suffer mostly, not because of their own wrong doings in the action but for wrong doings of others. Though we were really tired and frustrated. It seemed they were very fresh and ready for all different actions; they were singing all the way, different heroic songs of the organisation and ones made by themselves, many completely new for us. Each time after any song they were repeating some slogans mostly about Maryam like: “Maryam the shinning sun, we will take her to Tehran.” Or “With Masoud, with Maryam, we will fight till the end” … Each time they were asked by their commanders if they are tired or want to go back to the camp, their answer was: “Steel, Steel.” Well this was new slogan of the organisation, not only for them but also for everybody. The organisation wanted to have members of special mould, members of steel, hard, inflexible, with cold reasoning rather than warm idealism, so especially in the army, discipline was more strict than ever, To become members of the elite group, and steel hardened cadre become the aim of every body in the army.

            After all whoever was there, was there for a reason, that reason was to fight against the regime and for freedom of our country, while for several years, since 1988, we didn’t have any offensive operations and there was no outlook of any in near future. Though to make our boys busy, and have some propaganda materials for our television and papers and our political activities, every now and then we had different manoeuvres under very grandiloquent names, always called ‘the largest and the last manoeuvre before the final operation’, they hardly could substitute the needs and enthusiasm of our boys for real action. And produce the excitement and satisfaction of a real one. I presume there was another reason for joining elite group as well, as at start of it, it was only for men, and even later while women were going through the same training, but still it was mostly men’s job and they were segregated from women. Many men, especially some of old members, while they could not express it, but obviously they were not happy with new administration of army and having women as their commanders in all different ranks, with or without having necessary expertise and abilities.

            It was almost two or three years since the start of new classical training of our army personal. It started by rejection and denial of our old system of fighting and training, mostly based on our old commanders experiences from Shah’s time. Perhaps things they learned in Palestinian camps in sixties and seventies. We saw the failure of those methods during ‘Forogh’ operation, when many combatants preferred to leave their tanks and fight in guerrilla manner. Almost after the second stage of ‘ideological revolution’ all of our old commanders were retired from their responsibilities and many of them were moved to executive and political sections. In one of the meeting Maryam told them that they have to forget every thing they know from the past and learn every thing from scratch. Then there was establishment of a ‘university of army’, where Iraqi educator and trainer were teaching them about materials of classic army and classical fight, Iraqi instructors were showing them how to use different armament given to them. We heard from Maryam that our women are much faster in learning, she argued it is because of the ideological revolution and also because they have nothing from the past and can learn every thing freshly, while our men first have to forget whatever they know already, especially things which for years they were very proud of them, and accept that they know nothing and have to learn like a child from the start. Hence, gradually all our commanders were changed from men to women, especially after article ‘D’ of the Ideological revolution; even junior commanders were changed into women. As I learned later, organisation had very rough time with many combatants in accepting women as their commanders, especially where they were not capable of doing their responsibility, and had those positions as what Maryam said later, as ‘Positive discrimination’.

 

 

            An unjustifiable demand, and a ‘terrorist act’

            Few months later we heard about the major action of these elite group, when three bombs were exploded in the tomb of Khomieni. There was jubilation everywhere in the organisation. Previously in one of the meeting Masoud asked combatants: “When you reach Tehran, do not forget to destroy Khomieni’s tomb, though be careful to take its gold first as they belong to the people, then ruin it totally so after that nobody dare to make shrine for himself like our Imams.” I never could agree with him, not because of approving the amount of expense for building that shrine, which I believed was not right even from the regime point of view, as they were claiming that they are symbol of Islamic values and Islamic modesty. According to the Islamic values, we are ordered not even have gravestone higher than the ground level. My objection was against destruction of a graveyard of anybody, good or bad, angel or devil. As I hated action of new regime when they destroyed tomb of Reza Shah. After all, with destroying Khomieni’s tomb, in revenge of what he did, how could we condemn, the destruction of gravestones of founders and members of Mojahedin in Iran by Heazbollahies? With the same excuse we could start destroying all tombs of pervious kings of Iran, where many of them if not more but were as brutal as Khomieni. With this logic, soon we could destroy all our ancient and historical buildings of Iran. An action that for sometimes we were accusing regime for doing that. Any way, after that explosions there was message of Masoud, who congratulated every body and said: “… As usual Mojahedin accomplished their oath and promises to God and people, . . . This is our answer to massacre of political prisoners and their recent attack to Ashraf base, (the main NLA base in Iraq) . . .” Well after that for few weeks our papers and our news were full of congratulations by different people around us. After that every now and then there was more news of their actions, by then under the name of our recent martyrs. Those actions were including destruction of many military bases and military machinery, killing of revolutionary guards and those who simply were called mercenaries of the regime, which could include any body. On top of them, for the first time they included economical targets like, explosion of oil refineries, oil wells, and oil pipe lines. After any such operation we were witnessing revenge actions of the regime in the shape of attacking our bases in Iraq or their Terrorist activities against our members in Europe and especially Turkey. Among them assassination of Naghdii, the NCR’s representative in Italy. After assassination of each one of them we had an operation named after them. I have to say how just or unjust were these actions in revenge of the Regime’s activities, or vice versa, their losers were our people loosing their wealth and freedom at the same time. The winners were Hard line faction of the regime and perhaps our own propaganda machine, which could benefit equally from our own actions and the regime’s one. Even us, in Political section were certainly among losers, as many times had to answer accusations of having terrorist policies and terrorist activities. Few months later when State department of US answered back to the letter of one of our supporters in the Congress, for their oppositions against us they argued like this: “ . . . Just as we vigorously oppose the Iranian government’s support for terrorism, we cannot in turn condone the continuing use of terror by the Mojahedin or any opposition group. Recent Mojahedin violence has included simultaneous attacks on thirteen Iranian diplomatic missions around the world in April 1992, including the Iranian UN mission in New York. In October 1992, the Mojahedin claimed to have exploded a bomb at Khomieni’s mausoleum, which is visited by hundreds of civilians each day. As recently as March 1994, the Mojahedin continued to claim responsibility for bomb blasts in the streets of Iranian towns. These activities are supported by the Mojahedin’s military wing, the National Liberation Army (NLA) . . . “

            Apart from questions which we were facing in our daily political activities, there were many Iranian and even some of our own supporters who could not approve our actions and were questioning us. Hence I can strongly say, by those actions not only we were not going to be closer to overthrow of the regime, but also certainly we were distancing from it. Perhaps the only advantage of those actions in this respect was the postponement of any chance of moderation within the Iranian regime, which could seriously jeopardise our own victory. After all it was for some times that our main objective was not democracy in Iran any more, but as Maryam said: “was to administrate the right of Masoud for leading people. … “

 

 

            Spies among us

            Despite the fact that many of our supporters and even some of our members were thinking that these operations are done by our members within the country, Iranian regime knew from the beginning, about the elite section of the army and even some of their operations which were going to take place. As matter of fact, while our masouls were saying and believing that only very committed members can go through hardship of training of the group, the regime’s spies could infiltrate into the group, right from the start. We learned about their infiltration, after first few operation, when one of the members of the elite group, while they were inside of Iran for the operation killed five or six members of the group. Despite the fact that, His interview with one of the regime’s weekly papers published inside and outside of the country, as it was very embarrassing to have spies among ourselves we didn’t say anything about it. Only six years later, the organisation openly reviled about this fact in its media along stories of other infiltration of the regime in army and in the organisation everywhere.

            Though it was becoming as a habit for the organisation, to call almost all of its previous members who were showing some kind of opposition towards them as ‘the regime’s agents’ and ‘members of secret police’ of Iran, the real agents could live among us happily without any problem. I have to admit that Iranian regime was more successful in infiltrating into the organisation than Mojahedin into the regime. While we were benefiting a lot from disagreements and perhaps animosity existed between different factions of the regime against each other for obtaining our so called intelligent news through calling them under disguise, Iranian regime had a very sophisticated methods and training for infiltrating into the organisation and finding first handed information. Just by ‘admiring our leadership’, as much as they could and perhaps some drop of tears to show how much they have moved by the message of Maryam and story of Ideological revolution.

            I think first time when we learned about spies of the regime within the organisation was when one of them named Tabandeh, an NLA combatant claimed or admit that he has been one of the most cruel torturer of the regime, trained and send by the intelligence of the regime to infiltrate into the NLA for espionage and perhaps sabotage. It was during second phase of the Ideological revolution. I presume he was taken by one of the Maryam’s messages that how merciful is the leadership and how much God and as his representative Masoud loves the sinners. Later his confessions was published in one hundred pages book, including revelation of many different methods of torture used in Iranian jails by he himself. What was his real intention by his confessions to those horrible things? I never found out! Was he a fool?! Thinking that he can rise to higher position by admitting to those horrible actions? As some members in the general meetings could gain admiration of everybody including the leadership by saying awful things about their past as they were sign of magic of the ideological revolution. Well after his confessions every body admired more than before the leadership and magic of their ideological revolution, but it didn’t bring any higher position for him. I never found out what happened to him, few times we asked representatives of different humanitarian organisations to come to Iraq to have interview with him, none of them did, so I presume after obtaining all his information he was handed to Iraqi police as spy of the regime.

            Though his confessions were very horrible and unbelievable, not as much as next one who came open by admitting of being spy of the regime and an old torturer. By then I was the representative of the organisation in human rights and international organisations. His confessions were handed to me to decide about them, if they are worthy of publishing or not. For several weeks I was trying hard to read them, but each time after reading few pages, I was not able to continue any more. I was not even able to imagine those tortures to be inflicted against most hated insects and beasts. Sexual tortures like penetrating a broken bottle or bottle of acid into female vagina or male anus. So there was no way I could think about them or decide what to do about them.

             During my work in International Organisations section, I met many old prisoners, I had interview with all of them to see if they are fit for having a meeting with human rights organisation’s representatives or attending international organisations meetings. Although some times I had disagreement with Dr. who could not accept some of those testimonies as a genuine one, I could accept majority of them as fact and could take them to different meetings and was arranging different interviews for them. I was told by many of them that most effective torture in Iranian jails is sexual ones. Rape was very common and most of those interviewed by us were raped in the prison not once but several times by different people. It seemed even those who were very strong in resisting against different tortures were not strong enough in accepting to be raped, hence could brake easily after first few times of being raped. Once they were two young boys along few sisters who came to Geneva for having interview with Mr. Galindo Pohl, United Nations representative. They both were raped, they told me about their horrible stories, both were among the finest people whom I knew by then and both were killed in ‘Forogh operation’. When we took them to see Mr. Galindo Pohl, we noticed that Dr. who was translating their testimony because of their horror was hesitant to translate everything they were saying. Suddenly I saw one of those boys asked me for pen and paper and in no time he start drawing their stories. So while others were telling their experiences, he was drawing them and when they were finished, he could hand over his drawing to the representative. He was fine artist, but it was impossible to draw those things just by imagination. None of us, including the representative and his aids, could not hold ourselves in that meeting from crying.

            So I can say, I was quite familiar with different methods of tortures used by the regime, but still testimonies of this new confessed torturer, which was all about different sexual tortures, was unbelievable for me. I have to mention that by then I had some experience with some members who gave false testimonies as well. I received names and particulars of few people who later we found them alive, even among our own army personal. So I rejected that testimony and found it unacceptable for any body as genuine confessions. Well later when I was not in that section any more I found them published and handed over to the humanitarian organisations by the Mojahedin. I never learned about name of that torturer, I heard he confessed to us, while he was in Turkey. So I think perhaps it was one of the regime’s tricks. To discredit our revelations about Iranian prisons and tortures, as by then they knew perfectly well that we are welcoming any revelation against brutality of the regime however unacceptable and unimaginable.

 

 

            “We can and we must”, women’s rule

            Back to America I could face, learn and understand the real meaning of the article ‘D’ and different problems came with that. To prove women are not only able to do every thing which men could do, but are more capable and perfect in their doings, not only by then our ‘ideological and organisational masoul’ were women but our executive masouls changed into women too. I think rarely we could find any body among ourselves, to have doubt or question, about this argument, even deep down in their heart. But we had to recognise the gap existed between their natural potential and the situation they were in at that historical juncture. A gap which again many of us could understand, had to be filled in some extend by positive discrimination. But not all of it as, firstly it was impossible; secondly it was not our prime objective. After all, still our fundamental objective was overthrow of the regime, and not establishment of Monotheistic society!! Any way, when our leader wanted something, that was the end of any argument. After all, our main slogan, which had to be repeated, facing any impossible job, was ‘We Can and We Must’.

            Most of our sisters joined the organisation when they were less than fifteen years old, some even less than ten years old. Hence not only they didn’t have chance of having university or even secondary education, but they didn’t have experience of a normal life and its up and downs either. Facing us as male members, they didn’t have much problem as we had to accept their orders, even if they were illogical or unreasonable, as after all it was accepted and recognised that most of our logic and reasoning are our inheritance from our old way of life and class orientation, which had to be denied. But the reality existed in the real world; outside of our organisational castle was much harder, rougher and ticker than one, which could be break easily by our idealistic slogans and wishful thinking of our leader. How ever knife of reasoning of our sisters, mainly, the repeat of our leader’s sayings, in cutting our logic, understanding and advises was sharp, to face world of reality, they were dull and useless.

            Apart from the mentioned handicaps our women masouls in facing outside world, especially in dealing with non Iranian, or in politics they had; they were women and in real world not only they could not enjoy superiority status they had over men inside of the organisation, but even it was very hard for them to have equality with men. After all in reality, though in the western world, women’s status, was not comparable to their situation in Iran, and some of them, with enough talent, education or look and wealth could rise to higher positions, still one has to admit that the dominant culture is the male one. Hence women have to work much harder to achieve the same thing as men.

            By now our responsibility was to pass our knowledge and experiences to them as quickly as possible to prepare them for the real actions. In doing that there were certain problems. We as men had lost all our credence, acceptance and trust in their mind. More ideological they were, less faith they had in us. So it was very difficult for them to accept us as their tutor or educator. After all how could they accept ‘savage male’ logic and understanding as the reality and way of doing things? On the other hand we as men, in dealing with their questions, denial, and rejections were very weak and passive. Hence we could surrender our understanding and knowledge as wrong one, very easily. On top of all these problems, all of us, according to new teachings of our leader, were accused of not wanting to leave our jobs to women and not wanting to pass our knowledge and information to them. We were accused of not letting them to enter into the real world and doing real things. Women too were under immense pressure as according to their new teaching they had to confront and criticise us in any way, they could. They had to show our wrong doings, and how much more capable and sophisticated they are for doing the same jobs. So not only they had to achieve everything achieved by us but even more to prove the correctness of our leader’s word.

            It was for some time that I had to have all my political meetings with my sister masoul. Hence my problem was not to solve any political problem and gain of political achievements any more, but to solve problems I was facing as a result of new phase of Ideological revolution. From the start of any meeting we had new problems till the end. For example in entering any congress building as our women’s dress was symbol of fundamentalism which by then was recognised as the main terrorist’s threat in America, we had to go through double check of security. Walking in building’s corridors, while in the past I was looking every where to find those, whom I knew to show my respect, for strengthening our relations with members and their aids, by now, I had to be very careful as it could be interpreted as ‘sexual look’. After all it was said that our women are our ‘Ideological guard or defence’ against sexual attack of outside world. Doing their ideological job, they were very serious and punctilious in finding all our ‘wrong doings’. Not only they were encouraged to watch us, but also they were asked to try very hard to encourage us (men) to confront each other in all different aspects. For example once my masoul pointed to me, our Mojahedin’s spokesman, who also was under her responsibility, standing, while one of his feet was put on a step higher than the other one. She said: “Shame on you, you see him standing like that advertising his sexuality, and you are not confronting him at all!” For sometimes I was puzzled, what was wrong with his standing, and why should I have to confront him. In America I was told that I am highest among our brothers over there, and have to accept some responsibility towards them. My understanding was that, I have to be their help in dealing with problems, which perhaps could not be helped by their sister’s masouls. So I was trying to help them when they were ill or sad or perhaps with personal problems. While in reality what they meant was to watch their behaviour when there was no sister masoul present. Every now and then I was asked by our masoul to talk with one of our brothers and remind or perhaps warn them about their ‘sexual’ wrong doing. In many cases I was not able to understand the nature of their accusations. So I had to try hard firstly to understand them, then find a proper and understandable way to relay it to poor accused guy. I think most of their accusations were baseless and perhaps were part of their practice to confront ‘savage sexual male aggressive behaviour’ part of their responsibility. After all they, themselves were accused of being in defensive position and ignorant towards aggressive behaviour of men. To prove their ‘revolution’ they had to show their change from being in defensive into offensive position towards men. They too had to have weekly report about themselves and what have they done.

            In all our political meetings our main concern was not political any more, but sexual, as we had to be careful in our behaviour when we had a meeting with a woman. Even when we had a meeting with a man our problems were not finished, in this respect as for sometime our women were not permitted to shake hands with men, we had to warn the meeting person before meeting take place, to save him from embarrassment of rejection by our sisters. Fortunately after some times women too, were permitted again to shake hand in the political meetings with the opposite sex. Apart from these problems, we were facing another problem too, somehow problem of ‘who is who’?! As I was the representative of NCR, obviously had to play as the head of delegation, and spokes-man, in any meeting. At the same time we had our Ideological education that had to be ‘respected and safeguarded even with price of our life’. Hence if I was going to be our spokes-man in our political meetings, I could be accused of not letting our sisters to take their place. And when I was silence and was letting them to talk, apart from creating doubts and confusion in our meeting partner’s mind, it was disaster. As especially in the beginning, our sisters only were repeating whatever they had learned from our public meetings and articles of our papers, many of them completely contradictory to what we were saying in our political meetings. They were not able or permitted to have normal friendly dialogue, and rarely could answer none-classical questions. Many of our meetings were with junior aids of politician and there was no need for presence of two people in the meeting. Hence it was very strange for many of them to see us as couple in all different meetings. Apart from that our sisters whenever wanted to explain things as Masoud was their teacher, they had to start from story of Adam and eve and explain every thing to reach to where the meeting was for. In many cases bored person whom we had meeting with, could not show enough patience and before we reach to our main point, had excused us and left us already. Well, fortunately our old supporters in politic by now, knew us enough not to be offended by changes within our organisation. They were patient and kind enough to accept this situation. Hence the report of meeting with them could produce successful reports not only for our poor sisters but also for correctness of Maryam and Masoud’s vision and saying.

            We men were passive and our women were far from having enough experience to fill the gap of our passiveness. This problem recognised by our leaders and in many speeches they were accusing us of being passive, but as usual as they could not see the root of the problem in their own wrong doings. They were accusing us that our passiveness is because we are losing our positions to women. This accusation instead of solving the problem was magnifying it, as we were getting more careful not to be seen very keen on our job. Once one of our supportive high-ranking aids of congress told me that she wants to run for election and she needs our help. She asked if our supporters in her constituency can help her financially . . . Well though, we, as a foreign political organisation, could not help any American politician by law. We could do it easily and legally as many other lobby organisations representing foreign countries under the name of our Iranian-American supporters. By now it was very common to help them regularly, not only in America but perhaps in other countries too. I relayed her message and the amount she had asked for, with my personal advice, that we should do it. That amount was rejected and fraction of it was accepted. I knew perfectly well the organisation’s suggested amount, not only can solve any problem, but is some kind of insult towards her and her kindness toward us in the past. So I wrote a very long report about my reasoning for asking that amount, while I knew, even after their acceptance, it is going to be my own job to see our supporters and persuade them to give that help. A task, which by itself was a very difficult job. After sometimes I received a reply from our office in Baghdad accusing me of not knowing and understanding the financial problem organisation was facing. Though I could see and name many wasting and extravagance in spending money, in different ceremonies celebrating different occasions, and useless propaganda activities, which only could fool us. On top of that I was questioned about nature of my concern, by asking me that: “How come I am more concern about interest of the organisation than my masouls?!” What it meant was that my concern is not for the organisation but for my own job or perhaps more for her to be elected as she was a woman. Well that was the end of my persuasion, as I could not bear of being accused of personal interest. It was better to be accused of passiveness than having such personal interest.

            After that I was asked to see her and let her to know about our decision. Fortunately I didn’t see her but her political campaign manager. My meeting with him was one of my worse and bitterest experiences in America. In this single meeting I learned a lot about American politics than the rest of my work there. As a present he gave me a book named ‘hardball’ by Christopher Matthew including different advises to young politician. While I was there to persuade him that we are not able to help them as much as they wanted, he was using different tactics in persuading me, from being very friendly and reminding me of advantages we might gain if she is elected till threatening me with different wordings. He was saying: “the amount of your help is show of your support in America, less it is, it is sign of limited support you enjoy among Iranian and rare chance of winning the power in Iran.” He even went as far as saying that: “don’t you think if other members of congress learn about your lobby technique, and limited support you have among Iranian-American, they are going to be very hesitant to support you in the future? After all who is ready to capitalise on the one who has no chance of winning?!”

            Any way whatever he did and said, while it was horrible for me to hear them and having proper answer for them, as decision was made already, I could do nothing about them except to end the meeting as friendly as possible. Unfortunately she lost that election and when organisation realised what have they missed, they gave twice of the requested amount by her to another one to win the next year’s election without any success. My lesson in this experience was, “not to show enthusiasm and persuasion more than what I should in my work” Even once when I received a very strong letter of support from one of the Senators, for few days I was hesitant to show it to my masoul, as it was addressed to me instead of our leader, which could be the sign of my personal achievement.

            Our leader’s lesson from that experience was: “not to take every thing for granted in the politic.” Hence from then on, contrary to the past, every now and then the organisation was asking us with or without reason to give different present and even money to different members when it was not expected. Well this was the Mojahedin’s way of dealing with outside world, always moving from one extreme to another when it was recognised by our leader. Once I was asked to see one of our old political supporters, and give her a Persian carpet. She was a very old member of congress, very well aware of meaning of the present and hesitant to accept it. While everybody even other members of congress were afraid of her as she was known as one of the hardest members of the congress, she was very kind with me more like mother or grand mother. So it was very difficult for me to offer her a carpet, whatever its price. So I bought a box of chocolate to give that on my behalf and the carpet on behalf of our supporters in her constituency. She told me the chocolate is bad for the teeth and asked the carpet to be presented to her by the supporters themselves that even then she didn’t accept it. In another case I had very good and friendly relation with one of the representatives, while nobody was prepared to organise our usual luncheon in ‘honour of Mohadessin. He sponsored one and in the meeting gave one of the finest speeches in honour of him. While I was absent from Washington, a carpet as a present had been delivered into his local office. As a result of that presentation we lost our good relation with him and his office. Later I had to work very hard to persuade them that we didn’t want to bribe them. At the end he agreed we take the carpet and give it to the church in his constituency. Though he continued in signing our different letters of support, but he never again went any further in supporting us.

            It was for sometimes which I could see no hope for improvement in our political activities and gaining new achievements. What ever the organisation wanted and was asking for could be achieved easily with not much effort. Quantity and genuineness of our achievements were not important at all as long as they could be advertised as show of our political strength, especially to Iraqis and our members and supporters. For example using American custom of having lunch or dinner with personalities and politician in ceremonies for thousand dollars or more, Mohadessin could attend a dinner party with Clinton the president of the United States. Later Photographs of this dinner party were printed in our papers as official meeting of our representative with the president of America. Even it was mentioned that they sent their best regard for Maryam. Usual courtesy response of Politician to letters of congratulations of any body like Masoud, for example the one to Clinton was going to be published as personal letters. To see our paper’s titles about these kind of achievements especially the Clinton’s letter, for me and many in our department not only was funny but depressing as it was generating false impression among people and especially our supporters which was not real at all.

            I joined Mojahedin for a reason, and I was with them mainly for the same reason while for sometimes, it seemed that our goal has changed from saving our people and our country from the misery they were in, into ‘Personal Ideological achievements’. I wanted to see the real progress, wherever I was working and in whatever I was doing. I wanted to see myself useful and my work positive in our way toward overthrow of the regime. By now it was clear for me that we cannot go any step forward in our American politics without having a strong lobby, more or less the same as one Israelis had. I could feel that we have all the means for having such a lobby. Strong lobby could solve all our political problems in the United States, and even after the revolution, it was the only guarantor of our independence. The way to do that was to work with our supporters; with their help we could establish the lobby, which I wanted. So I was directing all my efforts toward them.

            But working with our supporters was not problem-less as well. Most of our women’s masouls, though by nature were very sympathetic and affectionate, in dealing with our supporters and ordinary people were very hard, not able to recognise, understand, and accept their individual problems as real ones. Hence their answers and their solutions to problems they had in helping us financially or time wise, not only were acceptable, but in many situations were insulting and repulsive. The main element of our answers to all personal problems, which was very real in our mind, was comparison of them with problems of our people in Iran and their suffering. In this way, we could minimise their individual problem as much as (at least in our own mind) it was negligible. Kindness, hardworking and sacrifices of us were stopping our supporters to stand against our arguments. So we were thinking that our reasoning in facing any of their problems is sufficient enough, while in reality, we were losing our old supporters daily, as their only answer to our inconsiderate solutions were to avoid us as much as possible.

            One of the problems that we had to face every day of our organisational life was, financial problem. While we were criticising the regime for not being able to solve financial problem of the country, we, ourselves after fifteen years had not been able to solve even fraction of our own problem. Our answer to ‘why have we such a problem’ was that: “no government in the world is helping us and we have to solve it by ourselves.” Then we used to ask back: “Do we have to fight or spend all our energy for earning money?” We had many talented merchants of Bazaar among our old supporters. I guess with some initial capital, they could solve our problem easily, as I, myself with no experience or especial talent, with help of our supporters could begin a business, which if they were letting us to continue it, certainly by then was large enough to solve many of our financial problems. But our leader’s shortsighted view about the future, left us with that problem forever. Our merchant’s supporters either were driver of our different services or at most masoul of shopping for our daily domestic needs in different bases.

            Our leader’s answer to all our financial problems as his solution to other problems was to put more pressure on his followers. Rajavi’s main talent was to find words, ways, or perhaps tricks for forcing his disciples to work harder, in physical term. After each stage of Ideological revolution the main slogan was that our energy and our achievements especially in financial terms has to grow by ten or even hundred times. Following these slogans our sisters who had to show, their ability, commitments and believes, were transferring at least part of the exerted pressure on the members and supporters under their responsibility. As a result after ten or fifteen years, still many of our members and supporters, some of them as old as sixty with many physical illnesses, or as young as ten years old, had to stand in the streets, for ten to fifteen hours per day asking people for money. It was our ‘SW’ works, which we were very proud of it and used to be praised by our leader in many speeches as guarantors of our independence. Yes we were calling the suffering of our members and supporters, as ‘price of our independence’, while in reality it was price of our incompetence and naiveté to see the future and reality and hence, facing its problems.

            Though our masouls always were able to find new tricks for forcing our members to work harder and gain more in SW work, but as we were losing many of our supporters, especially those who were ready to do SW work, we never were able to reach to the targets put in front of our masouls. As a result they were trying to substitute the shortage of it by borrowing and asking for financial help from some supporters, and some Iranians who were showing some sympathy toward us.

            Hence while for working with supporters, I had my own reason, which in my own mind was very important and essential for future of our organisation’s work in America and even our country. My masoul’s interests in letting me to switch my efforts more and more, toward supporters were financial gains, as I could understand supporters better and love them more, hence could persuade them more than our sisters in helping us financially or joining our SW work’s team.

            As other masouls, there was a set amount of incomes, which I had to have from my meetings with supporters and Iranian. The problem was that by now American states were divided between several sisters masouls, where each one of them had to gather certain amount of money from supporters within their geographical boundary. The amount set for each one of us was as high as we never could reach it. And of course it always was rising with any new phase of ideological revolution as our energy and ability supposed to increase by ten times or more. Not only that, even by any ‘glorious news’ such as ‘meeting of Mohadessin with Clinton!’ or ‘letter of Clinton to Masoud!’. This set amount was rising again. As there was claim that our supporters have found new incentives for helping us. My personal problem on top of every body else’s problem was that I had no geographical boundary and no body under my personal responsibility to get help from. So I had to travel state by state, have general meeting with our supporters and some Iranian close to us, explain the situation, answer their questions, and ask for financial help.

            During their question’s time, sometimes I was facing strange questions or situations which was reminding me how far we have take distance from ordinary people and natural way of thinking. In a meeting in Lexington of Kentucky state, I was asked about Fahieme’a, what are her virtues to become the deputy of Maryam?! I answered back in a way, which I understood and believed myself. I said: “She has noting from herself, whatever she has is from Maryam, her ability is to minimise her personal individuality and become united with Maryam. So instead of thinking about herself and her interest, and having personal incentives from personal achievements, she can have greater incentives from achievements of the organisation hence she can think and learn and act faster and deeper than any of us . . . ”

            I was shocked when the one who asked me the question stopped me by saying: “what is wrong with individuality, which we had to fight against it and overcome it?!” Then he add, “I am individual me, I am married and have my own children, this is our home, (where meeting was taking place,) I love my wife and my children more than any thing else in the world, I like certain foods and certain colours, I like to be successful, and see my talent and personal achievements, it brings happier and more comfortable life for my family and of course then I can help others as well, including Mojahedin. I even might join you in fighting against the regime in Iran as I think that is ‘my country’ and I want to see it free and happy and glories, . . . So my individuality helps me to achieve better life for myself and my family and be a useful person for the community here and even for my own country and of course your organisation too. Now tell me what is wrong with that which I have to forget about it and get all my incentives from somebody else even as pure and noble as Maryam?!” Perhaps if he was one of our ideological supporters, one of the old ones, I was able to answer him. But if he was one of them, he never was going to ask that sort of question, as we too never asked any real questions from our leader, not only we were not asking but by now all of us including our close supporters had learned not to doubt and not to think about this sort of questions which was putting every thing under question mark. Frankly I didn’t know what to tell him, by now apart from him every body else including many of our old supporters were waiting to hear my response. After many years, I was back on earth, facing real people and real questions. The only thing that I could say was the truth as I could see and understand it by then. So I said: “Well nothing is wrong with you but you have chosen not to be a Mojahed, while we have. Individualism and Monotheism are two different contradictory ways of thinking and living, one might believe in former, another in latter. It is going to be a very long discussion if we want to prove to each other correctness or wrong of each other’s belief, as I think at the end none of us could do that as these are our beliefs and their correctness cannot be proved scientifically or even logically. What is important is that we have a common interest in our country and our people, and common enemy. These are enough for us to be as close and as united as possible in whole of our lifetime.

            In another meeting in San Jose of California, I was talking about ‘Forogh operation’. I was explaining our political achievements, which was making that operation worthy of doing and having so many martyrs. Among many achievements which I was numbering them! I could not hold myself to talk about the real one. As I understood it by then and was told by Masoud in private as our real achievement! I said by doing that we killed the chance of any ‘ESTEHALLE’, (transformation of the regime toward moderation). Again in question time, Instead of common questions about the political situation or our situation in Iran and outlook for overthrow of the regime, a guy asked me what is wrong with ‘ESTEHALLE ‘and start arguing against us from this angle. It was for long that nobody was questioning us for our position against ESTEHALLE of the regime. If any body was asking us a question against whatever which was considered by us as fact, we were not questioning our own position but the one who had that question, calling him anti-revolutionary, . . .

            Though our political position was that transformation of Iranian regime from a fundamentalist one into a Moderate or pragmatist one is impossible, among Iranian and especially our supporters we were not hesitant in showing our opposition against any regime in Iran except a revolutionary one which obviously could not be anything except rule of NCR which clearly meant Mojahedin. The guy who asked me the question, didn’t stop there and start asking me about our position toward Bazargan, by praising him for his courage, which has enabled him, while living in Iran opposing the regime’s totalitarianism in any way he can. He asked me about recent position of Rajavi against Bazargan and many articles by different people especially one by Dr. Hezarkhani against him.

            Few years back, Bazargan in one of his open letters to Khomieni as show of his oppositions to oppression and suppression in Iran, mentioned that: “In Iranian situation, one either has to stand and resist against the regime or have some kind of minor and treacherously life . . . ” This sentence was repeated perhaps hundred times in different articles and statements against Bazargan, the most famous one was the mentioned article by Hezarkhani. Now he was asking me what was wrong with that letter of Bazargan and if Hezarkhani or any of us were not living in comfort and safety of American and European countries and had to live back in Iran had the courage of issuing a statement like that?! In his recent statement, Bazargan had opposed the condemnation of violation of human rights in Iran by the United Nations, by calling it as an excuse for foreign countries for their future involvement in Iranian situation and a threat against Iran’s independence. Rajavi in response called his position as “a hateful dance for Iranian regime” and “a disgusting prepayment” before Iranian presidential election for having petty facilities and concessions. He also repeated the famous sentence of Bazargan from his open letter to Khomieni, by saying: “this is another sign of that petty and treacherously life . . . ” In his statement Masoud implied that Bazargan took that position for having permission to nominate himself for presidential election while already in an interview with Persian broadcast of BBC Bazargan had rejected that idea by saying that his right for nomination has been rejected once before by the Guardian Council, while this is not their right, but right of people to choose or reject any one they want. Then he added: “In our view this election is not legal and has no credibility for us to join it . . . “I think, as what Masoud had said about Bazargan long time ago, Bazargan’s honesty was one of his virtues, so whatever criticism we had against him, we could not interpret his position as his eager for becoming president. Right or wrong, he meant what he said. So again I didn’t have proper answer for that guy. Fortunately some of our close supporters start arguing with him, calling him ‘supporter of Bazargan’ and ‘antirevolutionary’; as they were arguing with each other, I found some time to think and an opportunity to show our democratic reactions to our oppositions by rescuing him from our supporters. That argument of mine about Forogh, was my mistake, I had to know the difference between our real positions with political one. I realised we no more can be as honest as before in our public meetings and have to act as we used to do in our political meetings. As a result I changed my way of answering and start answering him as I was answering a member of congress in response to the same questions. That night I realised how far we have taken distance from where we were in the beginning of the revolution. We were accusing the same Bazargan when he was prime Minster for not caring about our independence and we were issuing almost the same statement as it was issued by him in reaction of condemnation of violation of human rights by American and International organisations.

            Masoud in his letter of congratulation to Clinton had said that his victory is a victory for democracy and human rights in today’s world. Few months later we had political meeting with Senator George Mc Govern the candidate of Democrats for presidency election of 1972, almost the same time as Mojahedin were proud of assassinating American in Iran. Well right or wrong not only we were not the same Mojahedin of fifteen or twenty years ago, but we were not able to understand needs and hopes of an ordinary Iranian and even a supporter with some questions. Not only we as Mojahedin were not able to be what we were but also I could see myself, that I am not the same person as I was, and could not talk heart to heart with people as I used to. I was thinking about these things but of course, not with entire convictions, hence I was not able to let my thinking to crystallise from feeling into the understanding and believing. Still I could see the misery of our people, killing and murder of our members, recent assassination of Naghdii our NCR’s representative in Italy and torture and murder of our friend Ghorbanii, our political representative in Turkey. I could see sacrifices and hard working of our own people; and more than anything my own wrong doings and weakness. I was interpreting all my doubts as my own personal weaknesses and perhaps my mind’s resistance against new article of the ideological revolution. After all we had warned many times by Maryam about attack of our own devil against new person that we were going to be. ‘A person of steel, far from individualism, far from any personal desires. A person far from himself and melt in our leadership’.

 

 

            Soliciting

            More I was talking to our supporters, especially when I wanted to persuade them to help us financially, more I was realising the difficulties and problems our sisters were facing. We as men without saying or doing anything had our status and recognition among our supporters and even Iranian and foreigners, on top of that we had more experience in dealing with outside world, and many of us had education as well. Our women not only had to work much harder to reach to the same level as us. But to prove the article ‘D’, to show their superiority and more ability over men, they had to work even harder. Perhaps this was why in many cases, I could notice to get more help, they had to use different tactics, many of them, morally, and principally, wrong. Usually to get financial help we were saying the truth, about our need for our political work or for having demonstration and so on, even if when we had to lie, it was going to be a ‘white lie’, we could go as far as asking money for our army, for example we were claiming that we have to buy our tanks or even helicopters. For many of our supporters, this excuse was funny, as they perfectly knew that with that kind of money they were giving us, we were not able to buy a rifle, not talking about those armaments. After all the total amount of money earned by all of our activities, announced few months later by the organisation was six billion Toman during four years time. With the price of dollar around three hundred Toman, our earning for each year in average was some thing around seven million dollars. As far as I know it never went higher than that figure. Only expense of any of our demonstrations in America was something between five hundred thousand to one million dollars. On top of that though very little compare to outside world, but still we had expense of our daily work and personal outside of Iraq and even in Iraq itself, as because of existing embargo, many goods had to be bought from Europe and sent there. Hence it was very clear to everybody that we receive our armaments from Iraqis. Sometimes we had to be blunt about justifying it by saying that we had borrowed land from Iraqis to fight against the regime, can’t we borrow armaments? Any way our sisters finding that the excuse for buying weapons is not working were using more and more emotional excuses, which were working only once or at most twice. To reach to the level of earning asked by the organisation, they had no choice except asking for loan. This was another disaster, which we had to face for years to come. Everywhere and almost everyday as representative of NCR supposedly the highest representative of the organisation there, I was facing complain of many people claiming that the organisation owe them certain amount of money, which is for long overdue. When our masouls were finding a close supporter rich enough and dedicated enough to accept their excuses, they were not hesitant to use any trick to get help from them. We had a house in Washington as our main base, not even third of its mortgage was paid, I think few times we sold that house to one of our close supporters a doctor and his wife, both of them very old and close supporters, kind and helpful and mindful of the organisation, each time after facing banks wanted to confiscate the house because of overdue instalments, we were persuading him to buy the house and save us from losing that house. Each time he was accepting to do that with the condition that we pay the remainder of the instalments of the new mortgage. But after sometimes when he was facing that we have not paid the instalments, he was more than happy for saving his name to sell it back to us for nothing. Then this scenario was going to be repeated again. He was telling me: “I am more than happy if they let me know when they are not going to pay the bank instalments, so I can pay it myself. Your masouls simply don’t know what does credit and having good or bad credit record in this country means.” He was right our masouls didn’t know anything about those things and as matter of fact anything about ordinary life and its problems, but that was not all of it. They didn’t know anything about promises too, the only promise and oath they could understand was their oath with Maryam and Masoud. And the only commitments they were obliged to was their commitments to our leaders. Many times to sort out these problems every where, I was getting assurances and promises from our top masouls, and soon after giving my personal promises to people, I could face new case or repeat of an old one. I was not as ideological as my masouls and still was respecting my personal promises and was trying hard to honour them. But how could I? Many of them to lend us money they had to get second mortgage from banks, with our promise that we are going to pay the instalments. As in almost all cases we were not able to pay those instalments, they were losing their credit, and some had lost it already. The only thing I could do was to persuade them to forget about their loan and consider it as a help to us, or asking from another supporter to accept the responsibility for paying their debt or its instalments to the Banks. In many cases our poor sister masouls could not do any thing either as they were ordered not to spend a dollar from their earnings and get their budget from our main office, and when they were getting their budget there was no mention of repayment of the debts. I realised extend of the pressure on them, when I faced an especial case.

            Once I was called by our masoul, she asked me to go to Los Angles to sort out a problem. She told me that one of our full time supporters has stolen about twenty thousand dollars of our money, when he was supposed to transfer it to our account in Europe. While she was very cool in letting me know about that case, a representative of our financial department who was there was very hot and was giving different slogans. To prove his commitments toward our leadership he was saying that if he sees that supporter he is going to kill him or bite his ear, … as stealing from the organisation is a crime which cannot be pardoned, . . . They were asking me to arrange some kind of trial for him in front of our supporters, and after reviling his crime, force him to repay back the money. I knew that supporter and his wife and knew how fine and honest people they are; still, I could not reject my masouls arguments, as I had heard stealing of money by our supporters in few cases before. While every body was working very hard for earning money, at the same time our system was very open and simple and we could be robbed very easily. Even once our money kept in rubbish bag by mistake was left outside of the base to be collected as rubbish. I asked that guy, representative of our finance department to see his evidences against our supporter. Obviously all receipts were fake. But they were made very unprofessionally. Even if I wanted to forget about my personal judgement about that supporter, I could not accept that work as his. So I told my masoul that, if she want me to solve this problem, First, I have to investigate myself to find the truth as I am not fully satisfied. She told me, “it is not up to you to find the truth, it has already been realised who has stolen the money.” Any way I didn’t accept to do what I was asked, and they sent somebody else to do it. About the same time the same supporter called me. He asked me to do something about that. But what could I do. I knew my masoul, she was not as harsh as she looked in this case and I could realise that she, herself has some doubt about that matter and perhaps this is why she doesn’t want to do it herself, so her strong word was not from herself, I was sure she had her order from Baghdad, so none of us could do anything about that. I told him if you feel you are sinless, surrender yourself to their judgment and defend yourself, I am sure no body can hide the truth. I never pardoned myself for not standing for him, I could see what they are doing is wrong, but the only thing I did, was to keep my self clean from that dirty job. A year later I learned the truth. As our masoul in California was always under pressure to rise their income, after using all different tactics and tricks she knew, at the end she had found no choice but pretending that she has transferred that amount of money which never was earned and existed. She knew our financial system and was very hopeful that nobody is going to find out about it. Well she was not completely wrong as after many times using the same method eventually, they found out about it. After all our financial system was in mess, mostly because of irrational and rapid change of financial decisions by Masoud.

            Apparently, when the organisation told our masoul about the case, first she didn’t dare to say the truth, but later had to accept what was the fact. While that poor guy had lost his face among many of our supporters. The organisation never felt responsible to clear his name openly as they did when they accused him. About the same time I saw Maryam alone and told her about this case, her response was similar to one I faced about fifteen years before, when I raised some problem with one of the Mojahedin’s masouls, who was in Britain. She told me, “When this happened where were you?.” Like last time when I heard this response, I had no answer except shame, I felt very ashamed of witnessing something like that and not doing anything about it. Any way Maryam asked me to see the accused supporter and apologise on her behalf, I tried very hard to see him and relay Maryam’s message to him, but I never succeeded, he never accepted to see me or anybody else from the organisation.

            My main hope for solving our financial problems and at the same time to find new Iranian concern about our political activities to help us in our lobby was to talk to Iranian not among our usual supporters. I have to say in this respect somehow I was successful. Perhaps I over emphasised on this idea, as I found our masoul expecting much more than what could be achieved from this area of work. Badrie who was recently transferred to America, was one of the highest-ranking members of the organisation, she was transferred there as the organisation realised the importance of America for our future political work everywhere. She always was asking for more, more of every thing especially money. I was respecting her very much and was taking her words very seriously perhaps as seriously as I was taking the words of Maryam herself. After all she was the one who saved me from depression and confusion when I was in Geneva during the ‘Gulf war’. Once I met an Iranian in Los Angles and persuaded him to help us, after several meeting eventually he said he is going to give us something around twenty thousand dollars. But when I informed Badrie about his decision, her response was that I should not accept anything less than fifty thousand dollars. I tried hard but could not change her mind, eventually I had to see that poor man and talk to him for several hours to persuade him to help us that amount of money. He was so annoyed from my proposition, which not only accepted to fulfil his original decision but also didn’t accept to meet us again.

            Though by now I was at least half Mojahed, and had lost almost, all my feeling for anything and anybody who was not beneficial for the organisation’s aims and objectives, still I was respecting feelings, and loves among people. Once the head of Persian broadcast of Voice of America told me that my cousin is his neighbour. He gave me his phone number to call him. I didn’t want to do that, as I knew within the organisational life, there is no chance for me to have my family relation. By contacting him I was going to reopen old kind of relation with my family, which I was sure I couldn’t fulfil it. I don’t know how my masoul found out that my cousin is a rich man, old friend of Dr Rajavi, but soon after learning about that, she asked me to contact him and ask him for financial help. I tried very hard to persuade her to let me not to ask for money in my first visit as it could imply that I am there for money and not for a family visit. But she didn’t accept and reminded me about our financial problems and said my cousin who is old friend of Rajavi’s family, will understand our need and certainly is going to help us. Normally in this kind of situation we were going to be accused of thinking and not feeling. After all, our slogan was to trust our heart and not our mind. But unfortunately in this case like many other cases my heart was telling me exactly the same thing as my mind. But who could dare to say such thing to our masoul. I accepted my masoul’s word and went to see him. It was almost after twenty-five years which I was seeing him, so there were a lot of old memories about our family to talk about. Well while we were talking about our family and later about Dr. every thing was all right, but as I start to talk about the organisation everything changed rapidly, I found him very much oppose to our policies, especially he was very much against ideological revolution of 1985, marriage of Masoud and Maryam. He told me that event not only was an embarrassment for Mojahedin, but it was for all Iranian. He said: “I never expected to see Masoud of doing that shameful act. To steal his friend’s wife!! . . . ” When I tried to explain our reason, I found him very against any kind of discussion about that matter. For few minutes we both were as angry of each other as we couldn’t talk or even look at each other. Apart from this discussion I was thinking about my answer to my masoul when she asks me about the amount of help I had received. Could I tell her that I found the situation not right for the mention of the money?! How could I, while I knew, it is not going to be acceptable by her. I could say, I raised the issue, but with no success. How could I do that?! Though many orders and decisions of our masouls in judging ordinary people and outside world were wrong and normally after few days they could notice how wrong they have been in their decisions. Still it was very difficult for me to lie to them. Any time I could see no alternative except to lie, after few days with heavy price I had to write a self-criticise report and admit to my lie. Any way I had no choice, I changed the subject and start talking about NCR with my cousin, with this hope that he shows some sympathy toward me as the representative of NCR in America and help me as a relative and not as a Mojahed. In response he said: “if you were asking anything for yourself, I was not hesitating to give it to you, but I am not prepared to give anything to Mojahedin.” I was very ashamed of myself as I could see while as a family he has shown every respect and kindness toward me, my only intention of seeing him was to earn something for the organisation. On the other hand from Mojahedin point of view, I was very ashamed of myself as I could see my weakness, I could see that still I value outside world’s moral and when I jeopardise it, I feel bad about it. After all for a Mojahed there should be no spiritual values, no moral, no ethical consideration, no human compassion, except those of the organisation. Actions and morals are right when they serve the cause of the organisation.

            Through my cousin I learned about my brothers and sister who were living in California. So next time when I was there I was asked by my Masoul to go and see them to see if I can ask them for help, I raised the issue with my brother with no success, clearly I gave this impression to him and my cousin that my reason for seeing them after twenty years was nothing but soliciting for the organisation. They had every right of being angry of me, as organisation had every right to be angry of me too, as in neither meetings I could hold my self from having personal affection for them and being happy to see them after years. While I wrote self-criticism report to my masoul about my feelings toward my family, I never found the opportunity to apologize them for my behaviour.

 

 

            Giving up

            Arrival of our new masoul Badrie, while I was hoping to solve many of our problems as she showed very sad face by hearing wrong doings of pervious masouls, not only did solve any, but some how magnified it. She was highest ranking masoul of Mojahedin outside of Iraq, introduced as political responsible of Mojahedin in Europe and America, All of these titles meant that she had to have more successful record than the pervious ones, so soon she dragged into the same mistakes as her predecessors. Earning money by forcing supporters to borrow more and more from banks and giving false promises to every body, including us.

            I was so tired of everything. There was continues pressure of ideological revolution, especially article ‘D’. Always we had some kind of problem with our sisters, which by then I could not blame them any more as I knew and had to face the same pressures, they were under. Every night long boring, useless meetings with our masoul, hearing different plans and promises, while I knew life of any of those promises is shorter than the life of a piece of ice in summer time. Every day seeing supporters, I was facing questions and problems which I didn’t have slightest clue about them. I wrote many report asking to be substituted, I was suggesting that the representative of NCR in America should be either a none Mojahed, real member of NCR, which could be beneficial for us in our political activities, or if we are not sure of them, ‘to became spy of American or . . . ‘, our representative should be the head of our organisation there, namely sister Badrie. So she could represent us as real as her job was. Any time I was asking this, the response was the same: “you don’t understand, you are the best choice for this job and you should solve your problem.”

            Spring 1993, it was decided that we should have one of our largest demonstrations in the Washington DC. Supposedly to force the new administration to take us more seriously and perhaps to persuade them to establish the official relation with us. There was a month of preparation for that demonstration, we had to meet as many Iranian as we could, to talk to them and persuade them to leave every thing for day or two to join our demonstration. We had to arrange for their night stay in Washington their food and etc. Preparation for the demonstration including making number of banners and flags as usual was not according the real number of people who we could guess that are coming, but according to the number of people set by our leader that we should have there. To take that number serious enough meant that everything had to be prepared according to that number. This was why in many demonstrations usually we had few banners and flags per person attending. But in America disaster was not stopping there, as we had to hire a charted plane from many states to take people to Washington, or renting room or a place for their overnight stay, or preparing food for them. This is why after any demonstration, for months we had to use the frozen food prepared for the demonstration, to find some kind of use for the plane thickets we bought from different states, to search for an store for storing those flags and banners which unfortunately in any demonstration their colours and their writings were changing, so we could not use them again. But worse than all of them worrying me more than anything was to find a way for repaying the loans, which we used to take for the expense of those activities.

            By now I had some success in establishing that lobby which I was hopping to create. We had been able to have a representative in almost all states and in many major cities. With help of our supporters we had been able to have proper address and telephone numbers in different states and cities, and we were planning to have our monthly paper. It looked good and many of our capable supporters many of them lecturers of universities, in different states had promised to work hard to make it even better. We wanted to benefit as much as possible from that demonstration, to persuade as many members of congress and perhaps senators to be there or at least to send their representatives there. This was the job of our lobby firm. After the demonstration, our supporters as representatives of the firm had to go and see their representatives to persuade them to support us. It was very complicated and difficult job, as many of our supporters didn’t know their representatives and not all of them knew about that firm created by us or anything at all about the politics and how should they represent themselves, so in many cases we had to send our trained supporters on behalf of many others to see different representatives. As they were in Washington just for one day, we had little time to direct every body to where they had to go and what to say. While I was trying hard to sort out these problems, perhaps dealing with hundred people in short time. Suddenly my masoul remembered that I am the representative of the NCR and supposedly the host of the demonstration. It was one of those hard times for me, not only because I was too busy doing my job, including thanking different representatives of members of congress and senate who were there and some how had friendly relation with me, so were expecting me to see them and be with them for few minutes, but more than anything, suddenly I realised how sham and superficial everything in our organisation is. I felt I am like a dummy, just a title that had to dance whenever I was asked to. I don’t know what did I say in that meeting, but for days after that my mind was severely occupied.

            One day when I was returning from Senate to our base, I stopped in the Union station, watching a tramp who was resting there in the street. I was thinking about the slogan of ideological revolution, “to change ourselves to Zero for reaching to infinity.” I felt perhaps that tramp is zero? He has nothing to worry about, no body to care for and nothing to lose. He can eat whatever he find and sleep wherever he wishes. But whatever he was he was himself, he had his individuality, different from anybody else. Then I asked myself: “who am I?!” Suddenly I realised I am nobody. In a way I was lucky, wherever I used to go to different cities and even countries, there was a base or a supporter’s house which, I could feel there as my own home. There were many people everywhere, which I knew they like me and they care for me. I could see and feel it from their look and their word and their care for me; I liked them very much too and cared for them too. But I was not able to answer a very simple question, who was I? Who did they like, and care for? A Mojahed! Many times they were complaining from my masouls to me. Some times they were so angry of them which if it was not because of respect for me, they wanted to insult them. While those masouls according to the definition of the ideological revolution were more Mojahed than me. So did they like me as I was individually? So I was returning to my previous question. Who was I, and who was I going to be. I could feel, that I am on the edge of breakdown. I asked my masoul again if somebody else could replace me as representative of the NCR. I told her that I think I will be more useful without having any especial title. I think she felt it is time for me to go back to Baghdad, so I returned there for few weeks stay.

 

 

            Confiding and complaining

            I have to say in a sense, among our male members in America; I was one of the luckiest ones. As lucky as sometimes, I could feel that other brothers, the same rank as me, feel envy of my position and perhaps attention that our masouls were showing towards me. In America while I as other male masouls was not a decision maker, and everything had to be decided by our masoul and perhaps more precise by Maryam or Masoud himself, but I cannot deny that, among our supporters, I was the most popular Mojahed, who was there. As a result, though article ‘D’ was not permitting me as other brothers to have the real responsibility, my views and ideas especially about our works with Iranian and supporters could not be rejected easily. This is why I was able to stand more than others against things I could feel were wrong and show some sort of independence and individual character of myself. Perhaps if I had more courage I could stand more against wrong doings of the organisation, and perhaps not, if I was opposing more our policies than what I used to do, I could be substituted easily not being able to do even things which I was doing. While I was going back to Baghdad, I was thinking how lucky I am, as going there, for us was the best vacation we ever could have, and not many members were as lucky as I to go there as often as I. After one or two days stay in our base near Baghdad, Fahieme’a called me. She was as usual very kind, with her usual smile, welcomed me and asked me about things, back in America. Well I didn’t show any hesitancy in talking to her about everything I was feeling were not right. Our political policies; our wrong doings against supporters; dragging them financially to the point of escaping from us. I also complained about, our propaganda policies towards Iranian which were mainly based on showing our strength, full of films and footages about army and our political achievements! I told her that, “Iranian back there mostly have no doubt about our strength, and even so, it is not their main concern. What they want to know is, how democratic we are, and how free they will be in future Iran. We cannot prove our democracy, just be announcing it, they have to see it in reality and feel it; they have to have proper answer for their questions and doubts. Whenever they watch our television program, either they see men talking or women with scarf. This is when we criticise the regime strongly for not giving right of clothes to women, or their system as male dominated one.” I told her that: “we interview with different people and even arrange round table for discussing an issue, but it is meaning less as all people have the same view and they repeat each other with different and some times the same words.” While I was testing and examining her to see how much further I can go, I raised another issue about the way, which we were showing our leaders. I told her “the way which we portray our leader, for an ordinary Iranian, he is mixture of Shah and Khomieni. From one hand they have luxuries and behaviour and acts like Shah; and on the other hand disciples and fanaticism and radicalism like Khomieni.” Well to say these last sentences, though I don’t think I said them as sharp and clear as these and I am sure I used much milder words, but still I had to apologise several times and emphasis how difficult it is for me to say them, so I didn’t rose any ideological anger. … She didn’t say any thing in response to my report, perhaps she felt, she has no responsibility in answering me, or more probable, she felt this is not up to her and is Masoud’s job, as all our political and propaganda policies were directed and set even in details by Masoud himself.

            While I was there she asked me to work in her office, which was in the same building, where Masoud and Maryam were working and living. Apart from that, she asked me to see different new videotapes mostly sermons of Maryam.

            In one of them, in an interview with voice of Mojahed, Maryam said: “If you ask me what is the most important and obvious character of the Mojahedin, the resistance and its leadership? My answer would be, the most important, valuable and obvious character is that, they know the meaning and value of their words, promises and oaths and up to last drop of their blood they will stand by them. We, Mojahedin have learned this from our leader Masoud, a character that is completely contradictory with usual pragmatist and opportunist character of ‘Political Bazaar’. Obviously this is their secret of existence and ever lasting, guarantee of their relation with their people, their history and their culture. Mojahedin contrary to Khomieni and his followers and his allies who consider blood and suffering of people as merchandise, are against deceiving people and are prepared to safeguard their oath with their life and life of their family and their children. Precisely because of this, one should not doubt for a second to final victory of people and Mojahedin in overthrowing of the regime. … “While I was hearing this interview, I was thinking about our promises and our words, how much we really were bound to them?! While I was seeing all Masoud’s sermons as political ones, hence not taking them seriously, in contrary to them, I was very serious about Maryam’s speeches and was considering them as genuine and ideological ones. So I was trying to understand them ideologically and learn from them. Hence I was judging our acts against her words; this is why many times seeing our wrong doings could create doubt in my mind not about Maryam or her words but about our masouls and how much they are informing her about what is going on in real world outside of those walls in Iraq.

 

 

            Women’s vanguard or women as vanguard?

            My job while I was there was to read political bulletin, report of our political activities and select the most important one of them for the leadership to read. During those days, and even more in years to come, many of the news and especially our activities were related to the issue of women. News like arrest of thirteen thousands women within a year for charges of not respecting the dress code of the regime, or suicide and self burning of them to save themselves from misery which they were in.

            Normally after any news of suppression of women in Iran there was a message from Maryam and following that there was letters of support or resolutions of different organisation such as European parliament or parliaments of different countries in support of her call, then there was coverage of her message or those resolutions in different papers. I guess Rajavi’s analysis of the Iranian situation was that eventually women as the most oppressed people eventually will rise against Mullahs and will led the revolution. In one of her interviews Maryam said: “ . . . Reactionary sexuality ideology and double exploitation of women, has the deepest roots in Khomieni’s ideology which has unequivocal relation with their existence and the way which they can rule the country. … This is why from one hand Mullah’s rule and on the other hand suppression and humiliation of women, changing them into slave and merchandise, are two different sides of the same coin. Hence it is quiet natural and necessary that in this struggle we deepen our revolution and sharpen or boundaries with that ideology. Women become freer and more responsible, and show their determining role in overthrow of this regime and building of tomorrow’s Iran. … “

            The only thing which I could not understand was that while they were talking about double exploitation of women which obviously part of it meant exploitation of women by men, how did they want to mobilise men, ordinary men, against the regime united with women, or perhaps under their command. After all many crimes against women in Iran and more than Iran in other middle eastern countries and perhaps worse in our eastern neighbours, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, were committed not by the governments, but by ordinary men according old traditions. I think compare to majority of men living far from big cities, Iranian regime’s view about situation of women was much more tolerable. Hence making this issue as our first slogan, women as vanguard of our revolution or perhaps changing Mojahedin into vanguard of women’s struggle, not only we were facing the regime, but many men in our country too. This was one of the contradictions, which we were facing more and more not among Iranian inside Iran, but even among educated and intellectual supporters of ours. By now many supporters were realising that for getting close to us or changing into a Mojahed, they have no alternative except separating from their spouses, as they could see we have no alternative for stop of exploitation of women except physical separation of men from women and enforcing positive discrimination. Hence by then many supporters were keeping their distance from us for saving their families. I could understand and feel all miseries of women, their exploitation and really I was proud of our women masouls, but still this was a puzzle for me how do we want to overthrow the regime and at the same time solve double exploitation of women. After all whenever somebody was asking us about our old slogans against imperialism, capitalism and America, our answer was that: “We can not fight two different fronts at the same time, at the moment we are fighting against the regime then after that we are going to face other historical enemies.” Some how it was funny that we were postponing our struggle against Imperialism and capitalism to unknown future, while we were trying to solve historical contradictions of women and men with deeper roots in history and society than former ones. It was easy for Masoud and Maryam to decide about putting names of our women among members of NCR and our executive committee and as it was said by Maryam claiming that more than fifty percent of our council’s members and our executive committee members are women and we are more progressive in this respect than the old Soviet Union or Nicaragua; but in reality the exciting contradictions were not solved but were buried under orders and ideological and organisational slogans. Our women were there in charge of different jobs simply as we used to repeat every day because they had noting from themselves, they were accepting orders more than men, and were believing in Masoud more than us. The real decision maker was nobody except Masoud himself.

 

 

            Facing a family

            After few days stay there, Masoud sent for me to see him. In that meeting he told me: “what are these rubbish you always are saying about ‘representative of NCR and claiming that you are not fit for that job?” Then he added that: “I know what is going on in your heart and I know, you want that job badly, so don’t repeat those rubbish. You are fit for that job and should carry on doing it, as it is and is defined.” When he finished his talk in this respect, changed the subject and asked me if I have read new article by Banisadr in his paper against us? He added: “in this article he has refereed to the statement of that American Senator who is working for the regime. Banisadr has repeated that Senator’s allegations against us and so on. I think as he has talked about America and you are our representative in that country, you should answer him back. I have told Fahieme’a to let you have enough time before returning to America for writing an answer, which can be published in next issue of Mojahed.”

            Last time when they asked me to write something against Banisadr was in 1985 after first stage of Ideological revolution, I was then asked by Abrishamchii. I think by then they didn’t like what I wrote as it never was published. But now Masoud asked it and I knew for some reason they want it. Perhaps it was due to my self criticism which was showing that still I care for family relation and they wanted to kill any chance of any sympathy of mine toward Banisadr or vice versa.

            Any way as I didn’t want to write an article just insulting him as it was very common in that kind of articles, I start working hard, reading many papers of Banisadr and his views about different matters and contradictions existed in his words in different subjects. I wrote very long article with proof for whatever I had claimed against him. When I gave my article to Towhidi the editor of weekly Mojahed, he thanked me and said nothing, but after few days asked to see me and in our meeting told me that he thinks my article is too long and cannot be published in the Mojahed as it is. I asked him for a day or two to make it shorter, he replied: “well unfortunately we have no time and I had to do it for you.” Then he gave me few pages to read, as my briefed article. When I read that, I could not believe it. It was changed completely. Of course arguments and clips from Banisadr’s papers and different speeches for prove of my arguments were the same as my article. But the language of article was changed completely; it was the same language I used to hate and for that kind of language I never could like Towhidi too. A language full of personal insult, use of words, which I even, didn’t know the meaning of some of them. This was the same language used against all our oppositions in Mojahed, a language which was hated among all Iranian and even many of our supporters. I never could understand what was the purpose of using it and was seeing it as Towhidi’s writing, but always was puzzled why has he been nominated for that job while every body knew how much his writing is hated among those who are reading our paper. I personally had written many reports and when once I heard he has moved from our publication section, I thought it is as a result of criticism of many people like me that eventually has forced the organisation to change him. Any way now I could see whatever I hated most is going to be published under my name. After reading it, once or twice, I returned it to Towhidi and while I was as much angry as could hide it hardly, told him: “But this is not the article written by me, you have changed all wordings completely!” He replied, well I had to make it short and as it was impossible, so I had to rewrite many things from the start. When he saw me not happy with what was written on my behalf, told me: “let me ask Masoud to see what should we do about it?” Next day he told me that Masoud has told him, as we have no time, and is better we publish something in response to Banisadr’s article, it is better we publish it as it is.” So it was published as Towhidi wrote it.

            Long time before that sometimes in 1981 Masoud in one of his articles in Mojahed had written that: “… A revolutionary has every right to say what he thinks is right with strongest and poisonous words . . . “Now I could realise the meaning of those words. I guess when Towhidi showed my own article to Masoud, Masoud didn’t like it as he found it mild and not ‘revolutionary’ enough, so asked him to write another one. By then I realised that all the time, which I was thinking that I am against Towhidi’s writing, in reality I was opposing Masoud’s one. Well by then we had given all our personal rights to Masoud, right of having our own language and way of expressing things, was the least and first of them. So not only I could not oppose his decision, but also I had to defend it as the ‘right one’ against my own which I had to learn was the ‘wrong one’. Few months later when I was travelling with Dr Matin Daftary, he asked me about that article and criticised me because of my insulting language. While deep down in my heart I couldn’t disagree with him, I had to show my sham smile and defend the article vehemently. I never found a chance to apologise from my cousin for that article, Perhaps one day I find a chance of doing that, not only from him as my own cousin, but from all Iranian for destroying their culture and their literature, mixing it with so called a ‘revolutionary language’ which has no relation with Iranian culture.

 

 

            Another decree of a ‘final operation’, another disaster

            By start of June as one could expect, we were preparing ourselves for show of force in memory of twentieth of June 1981. In political field as usual we were collecting signatures of support from MPs, in different countries. In the United States we were collecting signatures from Iranian minorities, addressed to the president Clinton, with hope of a change of heart in the state department. At the same time we were trying to face new resolution sponsored by our old foe in the Senate. While we had our yearly demonstration, European supporters were preparing themselves for having a demonstration in three cities. In army especial elite of NLA were preparing themselves to have few operation in revenge of two terrorist activities of the regime and at the same time our usual operations in June time. Well it was not only us who were preparing ourselves for month of June. Iranian regime was doing the same thing. In political field I think some how whatever they were doing, while they had less noise than us but certainly it was more effective. In the United Nations they had been able to stop us from entering any UN buildings, which meant we had less chance of meeting different people, loss of our credibility among many non-governmental organisations, and total stop on having our usual press conferences there. And in the United States against all our useless signatures, they were going to have their first substantial resolution against us. In Europe too they were going to have full normal relation with almost all countries. In their propaganda among Iranian outside of the country, too, they were more successful than us, they had been able to stop our few hours per week free broadcast from one of the nation wide television channels and substitute it with one of their owns. On top of that they had few hours per week, television broadcast in many states, obviously much more than what we could afford to have. But what was decisive in their propaganda was that they were better listener than us. Hence they had been able to realise and understand what Iranian abroad, want to hear and see. Their programs not only were more attractive than ours, but they were even more attractive than all different Persian broadcasts there, attracting more viewer than any. I was very depressed thinking how they, ‘the most reactionary regime in the world and perhaps history’, in total handicap of realising modern world and its necessities can understand these simple things and can change themselves in different field, while, we, ‘the most progressive force in the universe’, are unable to do what they were doing. I wrote many reports in detail to different masouls in the organisation, pointing my view about their programs and its future, and ours and its future. The only response I got, as an answer to our supporter’s questions, we were going to have half an hour question and answer program every week, which was nothing but speech of Masoud repeating our old answers to different questions and accusations. This was the last thing, which we had to do, show him on top of a table in front of few of our own members as ‘reporters’ answering their questions! Well not only any body among us or our supporters, dared to tell them, this is not good for us, “at least, please, learn it from the regime, which are not showing their leaders, even in their news”, we had to praise it and say how magical are his speech and his answers.

            In military area, regime was faster than us, By their plane they attacked our bases in Iraq, which more than any thing was show of force not only against us but against Iraqis who their sovereignty was violated repeatedly and could do nothing about it, and also American who were guarding ‘no fly zone’ in Iraqi’s air space. If not I presume their actions before taking place must be known both by Iraqis and Americans as revenge to our actions and perhaps had blessing of both of them. Well as we were addicted to ‘coverage in different papers’, after what they did, we were happy to say that we have had more than two thousand coverage in different papers. Even when after their attack they complained to the United Nations for our incursion into Iranian soil. Again we were happy, and announce it as admission of Iranian regime to our strength and power, following that we start counting the coverage of their complain too. Then, as our June operation, our boys exploded eleven oil pipelines and claimed killing 130 ‘mercenaries’ of the regime.

            After this exchange of operations between Mojahedin and the regime, we received an internal instruction or decree that we are very close to our final battle with the regime, so we have to concentrate all our effort for recruiting our supporters for going to army. We were told to tell them: “From now on, helping the organisation financially has no value at all and whoever, who has honour and dignity and can take arm, has responsibility to join the army for our final operation. Hence staying abroad any longer is not going to be honourable.” Well, while this message was from Masoud himself, not only me and many of our supporters took it seriously, but I could see and feel that many of our female masouls who were accepting every thing without slightest doubt, are not taking it as seriously as was expected and are not emphasising in spread of it among our supporters as before. It was not the first time, we were receiving messages like this, and this was not the first time which we had to prepare ourselves for heavy losses which we were going to face as a consequences of this kind of messages. We were sure as before we are going to lose some of our old supporters. Some of them offended and outraged, as they could realise that all their helps and their sacrifices has no value for the organisation at all. And some, because of ‘shame’, as they could see they don’t want or cannot join the army, and as a result have been called notorious and people with no honour and dignity. Apart from that we were going to lose financial support of many of our supporters and hence not being able to pay back our debts even as little as we used to pay. As usual after verdicts like that there was sudden changes in many areas that for months and sometimes years we had to pay back for their consequences. Many masouls had to leave and when they were leaving they used to ignore all their commitments and obligations, as they were thinking that we are going to go back to Iran and when we are in Iran in power, nobody is going to question us for few thousand dollars debt to this or that person, or unpaid instalments of different equipment and rent of many houses in different states which used to be rented as our bases. Usually there were complementary orders too, like, “they need all the money and useful equipment back in Iraq, hence we should not pay for anything and even for our food.” “For any need, we have to get help from our supporters, not spending from organisation’s money” . . . As a result masouls who were leaving were taking all money and useful equipment with themselves, suddenly we were becoming so poor, which, even for our daily meals sometimes we had to ask our supporters to cook something and bring it for us. Those who were going were lucky ones, and those who were going to remain had to pay heavy price for mess they left behind, many of them not even known and recognised till months later.

            Well I was as usual among unlucky ones and had to remain there. Badrie, our masoul had to leave as well and was replaced by another poor junior masoul.

            Two months past, as before, there was no ‘final operation’, or any major or even minor assault by our army against the regime to enable us to answer back many supporters with hundreds of different questions.

 

 

            ‘Article Sh’

            One day in the beginning of August 1993, we were called to our masoul’s office to receive very happy news. Usually sweets and tea on her desk were symbol of’happy news’. But by then we were not going to be fooled by the sweets any more. We knew perfectly well what the happy news in the organisation means. It meant nothing but another phase or article of the ‘ideological revolution’. I guess by then we were getting used to having new articles of the ‘ideological revolution’, after any wrong prediction of overthrow of the regime.

            We heard about the news through watching new videotape received from Baghdad. In this tape Maryam had announced 12 of our sisters as our ‘leadership council’ and another 12 as ‘replacement or deputy leadership council’. These terms both were brand new in the organisation and we didn’t know what they mean, but it seemed they are having the highest ranks among our sisters. As usual news was announced among our so-called executive council and after the announcement of those names our members as usual had to show their hands as show of approval of this decision. During announcement and voting Masoud was not beside Maryam on the stage but was sitting down, besides brothers, as a simple member. So everything on the stage was directing by Maryam herself. After the announcement of those 24 names, she asked them, one by one on the stage, and each time asked for their member’s approval, so like us without knowing what does this new council mean, and what is the job and status of those sisters, they had to show their hands 24 times. Then Maryam congratulated them and members too for ‘their wise choices’! And in a very moving speech said: “… during these days, Mojahedin have paged the history once again, in my view they conquered the history. Because I can see with my own eyes, and hear with my own ears how chains of slavery and exploitation are breaking under feet of you Mojahed women and men . . . And of course none of these were possible, nor we were able to reach to this crown of victory and ideological conquering, neither our sisters could reach to this level of understanding and freedom if it was not because of the ideological leadership of Masoud. Otherwise we know perfectly well without him we all were tribe of women, nothing but weak and fragile beings, hence subject of merchandise and trade for all reactionaries and exploiting people. … “In another speech she said: “ . . . After acceptance of Masoud (as our leader) with his qualitative distance and his enormous difference from all of us, we have reached to the point of (adulthood of) accepting these people among ourselves as leader, knowing all their weakness, and strong points. … Realising the qualitative difference of Masoud with us, I was always worried, God forbid, what is going to happen to the people, revolution and the future generations after him. Who is going to carry flag of Monotheism, and who is going to burst into the flame of the revolution among our future generations.” At this point, Masoud as show of modesty interrupted her speech. She stopped him and said: “please let me to say what I want to say” Then she continued: “I reached to this point that, we should not search for a leader with ability of Masoud among ourselves, instead of that we should realise, Mojahedin have reached to the level of understanding and intelligence who can carry on in their task with a leader much lower (than Masoud in quality). These days, I feel we are losing time and we are not benefiting from Masoud as we should, because I know that we cannot repeat any moment which we lose while we are having him. … “

            After Maryam’s announcements and her sermon, it was Masoud’s turn to talk. He said I want to play devil’s advocate to see if you really understand what you are doing, then he start talking with few old male members of Mojahedin, he asked one of them for how many years is he a member of Mojahedin? He answered back, 24 years. Masoud said: “24 years! How young you look!” He answered: “well among Mojahedin one does not age.” Masoud asked: “is your heart as young as yourself?” He answered: “My heart is even younger, three or four years old.” He said three or four years as all of us were claiming that we have born again after the second phase of the Ideological revolution. Then Masoud said: “I am going to be against you all, I claim that what you have down today is a political game, to claim that women in Mojahedin are rising to higher levels and we are modern . . .” He answered back: “well if there were some men among this sisters, then you are right it had some political attraction, but not as it is. … “Masoud interrupted him by saying: “then you have no brother among yourself as capable as these sisters? “He replied: “yes that is right” Masoud: “Not even one?!” He said:” yes that is right, not even one. Absolutely none, we can not have one.” Masoud: “Then I claim that your decision is from desperation and poverty!” In his replay he said: “our men are capable as well but we have to see what is the definition of merit and competency within the Mojahedin?” He defined them as Ideological one, while not forgetting to emphasise that our women in executive work in different branches have shown their ability too. Then Masoud claimed, hence with this choice we accept that our brothers have left behind? He answered: “No we men have gone forward as well, as matter of fact we jumped forward or thrown forward, . As this leadership council is going to reject the ideology of exploitation and sexuality, it is going to help me as a man to rise as well, I feel I have changed and I am not any more the person who I was before announcement of this news. I think something has changed and we men are going to jump to new dimensions. “

            In the same meeting Masoud talked with many more members and for weeks to come our papers were full of this conversations. By now as it was promised during article ‘D’ of the revolution all men had a woman masoul, in many cases nominations not only were not real but some how were funny, for example one of the old members was going to be under responsibility of his daughter or Mohadessin our so called foreign minister was under responsibility of one of junior female members of his department. Abrishamchii was under responsibility of her niece. In the same meeting when Abrishamchii was asked few question by Masoud, He said: “before answering your questions let me to say that with the announcement of this leadership council, Mojahedin are on the peak of victory. We are far ahead of every body else ideologically; I mean sister Maryam didn’t let us to be left behind . . . I wanted to pray to God, to give you and sister Maryam long lasting life to stay above our people, our resistance and our revolution . . . “Masoud told him: “OK lets forget about this compliments, I want to ask you if you really accept your masoul (his young niece)? Is she really more capable than you in your job?!” He replied: “Our measure for measuring merit of each person from the beginning has been the ideological one and this is not anything new.” Then he add: “ . . . those time which we were finding our incentives from our position and our ranks, our job, our individuality, egoism and sexuality is past and is ended. If I as a brother in the organisation who for years have had all those positions and ranks, . . . not being able to reject them all, I will change into a corrupt and blood sucking person. … “

            After talking with brothers, Masoud said: “Now I want to examine these sisters who you have chosen as your leadership council.” As usual at this point there were some murmuring and objections from some brothers, “those sisters should not be examined in front of us.” (I.e. as we are inferior to them). Masoud said: “I will ask them only one question, if they answer correctly, I know they are right choice.” then he asked them about meaning of their rank? Suddenly all of them replied: “maid-servant from degree of two” And they defined it as it means they are servant of servants of the leadership, they are servants of all our supporters and Iranian people.

            Following this news which by now was called article ‘Sh’ of the ideological revolution as usual along our ideological report which we had to write expressing our feelings and thought about it, we were going to have celebration every where to welcome it. After all Abrishamchii said for welcoming this happy news we should have not days but months of celebration.

            By then after any event we were having celebration for day or two or sometimes like October month of announcement of Maryam as Masoul aval and Fahieme’a as her deputy, we had feast and celebration for days. For example last time we had some kind of Mojahedin’s Olympics, many of our boys competing each other in different fields of sport. Some of our brothers were having our folklore dance and some were playing theatre. We were making monuments in our bases and making face or name of Maryam with light or flowers. … During those celebrations men to show their happiness had to dance, so all of us in whatever shape or age or health to show our happiness, had to dance, some how the amount of dance and jumping of a person was show of his happiness and approval of new changes in the organisation, hence to show our happiness our boys were competing each other in jumping and moving around in dance time. Well while few years back all these things were symbol of western and Shah’s culture and were denied vehemently, by now they were considered as revolutionary acts, and even our old members of NCR when they were in Iraq were forced to join every body else in our revolutionary dances. Funny was that while we were talking a lot about equality of men and women and were criticising the regime for not allowing women to participate in these kind of activities, rarely, unless very restricted ones, our own women were not involved in this kind of actions. Normally their involvement was restricted to activities, like singing or playing musical instruments, which were free even in Iran. Once in one of our theatre the role of women were played by few of our boys, I personally while liked that play very much, and had seen it few times, had not been able to realise this fact, that women are men. Till, in one of the public meetings, somebody asked me about it. I was as surprised as one can guess, and of course had no proper answer for him. About the same time our weekly paper had a Photograph printed, which was showing many women in black veil as Hand-ball team of Iranian women, while we were criticising Iranian regime with printing, that kind of photographs, it was quite acceptable for ourselves with having ‘Islamic’ reason’ to stop our own women in participating in that kind of activities.

            Any way the same day, which our masoul told us about the news of ‘leadership council’, she said, “this news and content of video tape, has been printed in the Mojahed. Tonight at the same time we are going to announce it to all our supporters every where, they have been told we have a very good news for them, and have been asked to gather in our bases in different cities, for receiving this news.” She said to show them our happiness, we men should do whatever we can, be more happy and energetic as ever. She even faced me and told me, “for tonight you should forget about your back and as they are looking to see your reaction, you should dance all the night.” She was right, that night I was centre of attention and more than that question. Almost all our supporters, and few members of NCR residing in Washington were surprised and had many questions. Questions like “how come among two third of our members who are male, and among all our old members of Mojahedin, even one has not been able to show his merit to become member of that council?!” Apart from that some were asking about the meaning and power of this new council. I think all that night despite my backache; I much preferred the ‘revolutionary dance’ than answering those questions.

            While by then all our masouls according article ‘D’ were changed into women, as all those changes had happened within the organisation and nobody outside of the organisation knew them for fact or as a verdict, we were not asked about that issue very much. But by this announcement from then on we were having new questions on top of unanswered old ones. Well questions were not about equality between women and men, or even positive discrimination. Questions were about rejection of men, filtering them from decision-making bodies, within the organisation and more than that denial of merit and experience of our men and future of the revolution and overthrow of the regime. Either we had to admit that our men had not been able to achieve any thing in the past, so there is no merit in them, to worry about their denials, or we had to announce that for us ideological issues are more important than overthrow of the regime, as in no way we could show the relation of these two issues with each other as still no body in outside world had been able to accept the relation of first stage of the ideological revolution with the overthrow of the regime.

            By then everywhere I was looking, I could see we have made mess of everything. It was for a long time, which not only I had not been able to see new faces among our supporters, but day-by-day I could see that we are losing our old supporters. Though we were claiming different operations inside of Iran by our supporters. At least we knew that all our remaining supporters inside of Iran are not more than few hundred which by then we had not been able to take them out of the country into our Iraqi bases. In Iraq too, our ‘most effective and educated army of the middle east’ as we were calling it, unable to cross the borders was paralysed and apart few incursion in shape of guerrilla attacks per year, were not doing anything except revolutionary dances and sometimes different show-off manoeuvres. Our political activities all were sham and our propaganda activities were disaster, which I hoped we could stop them altogether. My feeling was that either we have to have big changes in all our activities or say good-bye to all our dreams and wishes forever.

 

 

            Revive of our nationalistic incentives

            By September I was asked to go back to Iraq for our largest ever NCR’s meeting. I was asked to have some nomination among our supporters for new membership of the NCR. In last meeting of NCR which I was not present, number of its members reached to 150 and now Masoud wanted to rise that number to 250, and perhaps in next few meetings to his ideal number ‘600’. Well he could reach to that number in the same trend easily, he could change all Mojahedin’s members into NCR members over a night, but as he was looking for people with especial titles, he could not find all of them among Mojahedin and had to have some of our supporters, especially from US. Supporters that he was looking for were people with higher educational degree, famous people among our supporters, or people from ethnic or religious minorities to claim that NCR is a widespread coalition. The problem with supporters was that they were not as predictable as our members. Masoud was worried that by membership of them in NCR, we might end up with some ‘obstacles’, within the NCR. Hence all my nominations had to be approved by at least three masouls who knew them and could say that they are ‘good boys’ and are not going to create problem. After their approval, I had to inform those poor guys to write their request letter for the membership of the NCR. Almost all of them, when I was asking them to write their letter, were becoming surprised, perhaps they were expecting things to be upside-down. Funny is that genuine requests, usually were rejected and asked by the organisations to be withdrawn before their announcement in the Council’s meeting. Among them two of our old supporters, were not accepted by the organisation and I had to persuade them to withdraw their request. To persuade them, I had to talk to one of them for few hours to prove the value of being supporter instead of the NCR member.

            While NCR meetings were most boring of all organisational meetings, listening for hours, to repeated sermons, our own propaganda manufactures, talking about our popularity between Iranian and foreigners alike, and discussing about how weak, deep in crises and internal fighting and unpopular the regime is. Still as for few days we were leaving our usual responsibilities, which by then were getting more and more confusing and useless, we were considering these meetings as our vacation and holiday.

            We were all shocked in joy, by seeing new building, especially build for our NCR meetings in the centre of Baghdad. It was called Baharastan; I guess the same name as our old parliament building in Tehran. Two lions by the external doors of the building were remainders of Old Iranian symbol. Immediately when I saw those lions, I felt something has changed or is going to change. It was very difficult for me to see ourselves respecting our old, pre-Islamic symbols and values. After all it took us some times even to accept Iranian three colours flag as our own. While we liked our old national song very much, which few years’ back was approved as official NCR anthem, we never were playing it in our own bases. But it seemed we are going to see some changes. Inside of the building a big portray of Dr Mossadeq was another symbol of nationalism, the conference hall of the building again was very much like our parliament in Iran. Well it seemed as it took us so long for returning back to our country, Masoud was going to bring our country to where we were in Iraq. He was building a miniature Iran for us in Iraq, by now we had miniature of famous monuments in Tehran built in Ashraf base. In ceremonies our people were building Teheran Bazaar with all different traditional Iranian shops. They were playing and dancing different Iranian folklore dance and music. We had our own army and now our own parliament with similar building. I guess for Masoud to have every thing as he wished to have, what was remained, was a cabinet and a president.

            The meeting start by talking of members about new building, it was suggested by Dr. Matin Daftary, to make it even more like one we have in Iran, we should write famous sentence from Quran above the chair of Masoud, as president of the council, advising Moslems to rule themselves and work and decide through councils. Well it was a very good suggestion and was down by next day. Meeting as usual start with few hours long boring sermon of Masoud about history of NCR and martyred members of the NCR. After long sleepless trip, having our own organisational meetings, I was to tired and hard to keep myself awake, while I was receiving note after note from our masoul to look after few other ‘representatives’ of the council in other countries who were sitting beside me, not letting them to go to sleep. As we were sitting in first raw opposite to Masoud, we could attract attention of every body. It was a very difficult job, even repeated teas we were having, hardly was helping us to stay awake. Hence at the end in many photographs taken from the meeting at least one of us was half or full asleep.

            After Masoud’s speech there was carefully prepared report of us about our ‘achievements and success’ in different countries. Though for some new members everything was new and perhaps attractive and genuine, for old members it was nothing but the repeat of whatever they had seen before but in new impressive building and among many Mojahedin members and supporters as new members of NCR. One of those old members, Dr. Matin Daftary, who I think was more bored than any body else, after the end of our report, asked us about our popularity among Iranian, and then start criticising our propaganda policies among Iranian. Though in the past he was the only one opposing some of the rare issues discussed in the council, it was the first time I was seeing him standing against one of our policies so strongly. Whatever he was saying was exactly like those I had in mind. After the end of his speech not only I learned how are we going to deal with our oppositions in future Iran, but I received an answer to all my own reports as well. To show him clearly that he has gone much further than what he should, or was allowed, Masoud start attacking him harshly. It was the first time I was seeing him so harsh and angry against one of the few remaining non-Mojahed members of the council. His usual smile, calm, modesty and respect was gone totally. I guess by now he wanted to show other face of a ‘revolutionary’ dealing with the ‘representatives of bourgeoisie’ within the council. Among his harsh, long and loud attacks he had one argument. ‘Our policies dealing with Iranian, or our diplomacy, our radios and televisions, . . . all of them are our business, running by the Mojahedin’s money and personal, decided by Mojahedin. If you want to have different kind of propaganda, it is better you finance your own television or radios and run it yourself. His argument looked right, and forced poor Dr. Matin Daftary, to keep silence. As he knew perfectly well no body can have that amount of money or personal for running our media, except Mojahedin. Rajavi’s argument was right except for few minor details! Almost all of our supporters and most of our members outside of Iraq, whom usually Masoud was talking on their behalf for expressing views and arguments like what he said, were vehemently against our propaganda policies and were suffering a lot as a result of them. Apart from that, while every thing we were doing outside of Iraq was done by Mojahedin and their money, most of them were done under the name of NCR. Hence it was every member’s right to ask about things, which were done under their name and had right in making any decision about them.

            Next day, I guess after his harsh attack, or what he had in mind to ask Matin Daftary for support, Rajavi came with a suggestion unbelievable for every body, a concession toward Matin Daftary who among council members was the main protector of our national values. He suggested we chose the old Iranian seal, ‘the sun and lion’, as emblem of the NCR. Immediately after this suggestion, the whole meeting burst into happiness. Unlike many prearranged ‘clapping times’, every body start clapping, then all of us stood up and continued clapping as hard as we could, from bottom of our heart.

            Sun and Lion were symbol of Iranian from few thousand years ago till the revolution, when it was changed by the regime with a new symbol, which supposed to mean ‘God is great’. So it was great wish of all of us as Iranian to see it back, but without any expectation as some how it was contradictory to restrict Islamic believes and values of Rajavi. After all sun was symbol of ‘Meher’ old religion of Iranian, even before they change into Zoroastrian. And the lion was the protector of Sun or ‘Meher’ on land. During Qajar era, another symbol, ‘sword’ as symbol of Imam Ali’s sword was added to the symbol and later was approved by the only real parliaments we ever had. In the meeting some members elaborated more about history of this symbol and expressed their feeling about this idea, congratulating Masoud for suggesting it. To show his modesty Masoud announced that it was originally idea of Dr. Matin Daftary, who hesitated to say it himself. Of course with obvious reason, as if it was his suggestion, most probably all of us as Mojahedin member against our personal wish were going to vote against it, hence it never had a chance of being approved. In the same meeting one of our new members, a famous Iranian wrestler, said, “this symbol these days have new meaning too, the lion is symbol of ‘lion hearted women combatants of NLA’, Sword is the symbol of NLA itself, and Sun is symbol of Shining sun of Maryam.” Well his words against modesty objection of Maryam made all of us Mojahedin very happy, so we start clapping for him for few minutes, along us poor other members who had no choice except following us. I guess by those words he later without knowing secured the position of heading sport committee of the council and future post of ministry of sport for himself. A position, which perhaps was right of another old non-Mojahedin member of the council.

            After this concession of Masoud, it was non-Mojahedin members of council’s term to concede. The concession Masoud wanted was not even known to us as Mojahedin, so when it came up, for few hours we were confused how to act. Hence in one of the voting, we, Mojahedin, for the first time voted differently, against each other, many against wish of Masoud. Hence if it was not because of minor vote of non-Mojahedin members who strangely voted in favour of what Masoud wanted to accomplish, his wish could be lost in that stage. Any way gradually through different speeches and voting he lead us to the point that after so many years when we lost our only nomination for future Iranian president, namely Banisadr, it is time, we elect another one, and who is better than Maryam.

            I was one of those, who were very supportive of this idea from start. As matter of fact, for the first time, I talked from my own mind and expressed my concern. I dared to say, that I feel we are weak to cope and stand against activities of the Iranian regime abroad, and we do need new instruments to fight against them politically. With whole my heart I felt that political device was Maryam as president. She was woman, who could contradict fundamentally the Iranian regime’s view about women, especially their oppositions to the presidency of a woman under so-called ‘Islamic laws’. While she was a modest Moslem women, she was beautiful and educated, hence could be modern as well as Moslem. Still I was mad of her message for love, which I believed is real cure for existing hatred among different Iranian with different political views. Above all with her as president, we could break and leave our organisational shelve and go among our people for real action with their real support, perhaps heading toward final victory.

            I think Maryam knew about what Masoud was about to do much earlier, as it was suggested once before to the council when its members were only few, non-Mojahedin members of the council somehow rejected it. So I presume, Maryam was feeling that it is not going to succeed this time too. Hence when it became more serious, we could feel a genuine sadness in her face. I could understand her sadness as this nomination and election meant that she was going to have a position above Masoud. Masoud was her ideological leader, in her words with miles of qualitative distance from her. So in no way she wanted or could occupy a position higher than him. This is why when she was asked to accept that job, she said: “By now whatever you (Masoud) have asked me, I never have said no, I don’t know, perhaps this is the first time, which I want to say no, I understand it is very bad, but I am sorry not being able to give a positive answer. … At this point, in front of Masoud, which I think, I am only small production of his work, and in front of the NCR as the highest achievement of his struggle within past twenty and few years of his responsibility in leading Mojahedin, In front of both of them, unfortunately I have to say I am ashamed not being able to accept this job. My reason is that at most I can see myself as Masoul aval of Mojahedin. Obviously whatever Masoud and the council can see and understand is much further than what I can see and understand, but please don’t ask me for a positive answer. Please let me not to be responsible in this respect and let the council decide on my behalf.” After her speech for an hour or two there was different conversation between Masoud and her, to persuade her to accept that job. Eventually she agreed if the council votes for that she is going to accept it. The end of story is clear, council vote was obviously positive, and she did accept it, while kissing the Iranian flag, she swore and said: “In front of all respective member of the council, especially in front of Masoud as my ‘ideological leader’, I swear, to do whatever I can to fulfil whatever I have asked to do . . . Please let me to say what I feel. I think by now nobody has realised what Masoud has done for Mojahedin and NCR, not even me. I don’t know if one day Iranian people, heroic people, will realise and know it or not? But I hope that day comes. I think this is a real treasure, a historical treasure, which as Dr. Matin Daftary mentioned is continuation of path of great Mossadeq. For us Iranian, Masoud is live symbol of that path. This is, what is our responsibility, this is what we have to take as a present to our people. I think nothing more than this can make them happy, nothing like this can put an end to their sorrow, and cure their pains. If I have a little power, courage, my responsibility in doing what you have asked me to do, is to take this message to our people . . . ”

            If whatever happened there, was all pre-planed? I don’t know, if it was, I have to say Masoud and especially Maryam are the most capable actors I ever have seen in my whole life. When Maryam was talking not only I and all Mojahedin present there, but many of our supporters as new members were crying to what they were hearing. Any way that night we had a majestic celebration and I think I genuinely along many other members of the council had our ‘revolutionary dance’.

            In the same meeting Masoud nominated eighteen people as head of different committees, who were going to be our future ministers. As a concession to none Mojahedin Members of the NCR, he appointed almost all of them in charge of one of these committees. So by now he had his cabinet and his president.

            Next it was our reporter’s turn to come and take film and photographs from that ‘historic meeting’. Every thing had to be prepared for real show which we were going to have very soon, those secretaries of NCR, sitting both side of Masoud had to leave their chairs and stand by the side of him to make him more superior to every body else. Funny was to fill the empty chairs of the room, they asked the new approved members of the council from Mojahedin to come there and fill the empty chairs and as show of voting to show their hands for election of Maryam, while every thing already was finished.

 

 

            The punishment!

            After sweetness of last few days, we had to face the pain. I don’t know, and never found out, what had made Masoud angry most, who asked us to see him immediately after the end of that session of the NCR. It was clearly a prearranged meeting for brothers, all ‘NCR representatives’ except two who were not Mojahed, the secretaries of the council who were Mojahed too, plus Abrishamchii, all together ten to fifteen people. Obviously Masoud was very angry and wanted to say something bitter, but as usual he wanted us to say most of the things and he do the job of making conclusion. He asked us, if we have anything to say as self-criticism of ourselves from past few days? I guess, I was the first one who said something. As self-criticism, I said, how happy I was when I heard about ‘sun and lion’, also when Matin Daftary was talking, I could feel he is saying things which I wanted to say, so when Masoud start attacking him, I really felt pity for him, and felt offended by whatever Masoud said. I elaborate more by saying that during that meeting I felt I have more in common with non-Mojahedin members of the council than Mojahedin ones . . . I think whatever I was saying, was the most horrible and shocking criticism I ever said against myself. After all who dared to say between Masoud who was closer to God than to us, and ordinary people he has chosen the later ones. Who could say that he has been offended by Masoud’s talking. I knew by saying those things, I had to expect the most horrible consequences, but didn’t know how and when? After me other people said things against themselves. Usually during these kind of meetings we were expected to say things against each other, as matter of fact most of the times, what we were saying against ourselves was not even half as important as what we were going to say against others as in this way we were going to break the comradeship ties existed between us in the interest of defending our ‘dear leader’. Well unfortunately none of us ‘the representatives of the NCR’ said anything against others. I guess this made Masoud even angrier. I presume, he was not able to attack me as; it was going to be very personal. So he preferred to start with others. He attacked our representative in Germany. His crime was that, because of terrorist activities of the regime in Germany, he had police protection for some times. Masoud’s voice was louder than any time; words he was using were strongest ever. I guess all of us were shocked and were shaking from fear and roughness or coldness of the atmosphere. While he was talking or more precise, shouting, every body else was quiet, perhaps with exception of weeping of poor our representative in Germany. I guess when they say seeing the suffering of others is worse than being suffered, they are right. I was so horrified of what I was hearing against that poor guy, which hardly could breath easily, perhaps at the same time I was thinking if this poor guy is suffering this much for having a ‘police protection’! Which was given to him as a result of request of Masoud himself, what is going to happen to me?! After all he was accused of with that kind of luxury, he is losing his ideological faith and is going to change into a bourgeois, while I already had admitted that I have lost it and had more tendency towards National and liberal members of the Council and ordinary people, than Mojahedin and our leader. Against my expectation, Masoud’s comments about whatever I had said, was not direct at all, the only thing he said was about seal of ‘sun and lion’. He said: “Filabii (the person who talked about sun and lion by comparing them with Maryam and . . . ) understood me better than you so called Mojahedin, we have send you abroad to represent us, while you have changed into representatives of our enemies within the Mojahedin! When I suggested that seal to be our own seal I meant lion as ‘lion of Imam Ali’ and sword as his sword, and yes Filabii was right, sun for me is always shining sun of Maryam. So I didn’t chose it for those rubbish of religion of ‘Meher’ and old ‘Iranian believes’ . . . ” I had to be very simple and naive to think that it was the end of story and I had heard whatever I should. His word was a clear sign of ‘go ahead’, to others to attack me, as he could not do it himself. Suddenly I saw Abrishamchii, who was coming toward me. He stood above my head and said: “no body said anything about this dirty rat, this noxious creature, he pretend he is intellectual and criticised himself very mildly! And in gentle manner! For being against our propaganda policies, what a rubbish! What he has hidden behind this so called ‘philosophical self-criticism’ is some body called Anna.” At this point Masoud start laughing loudly and parallel to him few others present. The line taken by Abrishamchii was the best, in this way neither him nor Masoud or any body else were going to say anything about whatever I had said and at the same time I could be punished as harshly as possible for not being able to solve the most preliminary objectives of the ideological revolution which had to be solved few years earlier by all our simple members. After all who was going to compare our great leader, greater than sun as sun was Maryam and he was ideological leader of Maryam, with Matin Daftary and who wanted to defend him in front of us poor creatures? Abrishamchii continued his attack, which was more insulting than anything else, and when he kept quiet it was time for other members present there with the same responsibility to do their job. Among them Nadir, who I knew personally well, as for sometimes he was working with me and I was tired of his passiveness, I guess that meeting was a good opportunity for him to prove his ideological merits. Now to prove himself, he had to go a few step further than Abrishamchii in insulting others and me. As most usual organisational accusation and insulting words were used already by Abrishamchii, he had to use words and sentences like, “fuck”, and “let me to pee on them” or asking for permission to beat us and show us by . . . what does ‘intellectual criticism’ really means . . . Thanks God he was one of our educated members in Law, from a bourgeois family, I don’t know if he was one of our ‘proletariat members’ what was he going to say and do?!

            After that meeting, I was asked by my masoul to go to a bungalow and think. In a way I was becoming a ‘Bangalli’. Now I could see, though apparently our representative in Germany received most of the ‘beatings’ from Masoud, at the end who was going to feel the taste of the ‘beatings’ most. I don’t know it was part of my punishment or a given chance to Abrishamchii for proving himself, as for some reason by then he was not as popular as before, hence against all customs of those days instead of a sister, he was nominated to deal with me. In our first session of talking he told me that I have been corrupted and ruined as the representative of ‘Masoud’ in America. He said that job has corrupted me and if I want to save my soul, and myself I have to cry and beg for being transferred from there to army. In response I said: “this is what I have done during past one or two years and more seriously during past few months, but no body had accepted it, not even Masoud himself.” He promised me to do something about it and arrange for my transformation to the army. At the same time he asked me to think more and write my report. Well I thought for few days, while I could not produce anything new, at the end I found no alternative except admitting to what they wanted to hear from me. So I wrote a report ‘Admitting that my real problem was not what I said, but was my love for my wife.’ In response Abrishamchii asked me to write a letter to Anna again and divorce her. I told him that I have done this several times, but no body is going to hand it to her. He promised me to arrange for sending it to her and asked me to write it down. I did and in response, some how he found an excuse for attacking me more. He said this is not good enough and I should write another one. It seemed each time before meeting me and hearing me what I have to say, he had his direction to be mild or harsh, so his only job was to find an excuse for attacking me more or in contrary accepting me as new believer of the Ideological revolution. This time I was really tired and frustrated, weak, sad, desperate, so I could not hold myself any more and burst in to tear. I didn’t know what more I could say or write. I was thinking that I have done whatever I had asked for, but apparently they wanted more and I didn’t know what is more and what more should I do!

            Perhaps as it was decided by Masoud that Maryam should go to America and they needed me there, or perhaps my desperate situation, and final cry, which was clear sign of my break-down, forced them to accept that I have understood my problem and have start walking in right direction. Hence next time when I met him he was kind and said every thing is all right, he kissed me and congratulate me and asked me to prepare myself for going back to America as soon as possible. Now it was my turn to remind him about his promise that I am going to be transferred to army and am not going back to America, I reminded him that it was his advice that I should beg for not being send back there. … In response he showed me new issue of weekly Mojahed with picture of Masoud, Maryam and Hanif above Mojahedin emblem. He said: “you see, for us this photos are above everything else even our organisation and its emblem. As long as you have them in your heart and mind you are safe everywhere, even if you are in Iran among personal of Iranian regime. Or among American capitalist.” Well while he was talking, I was thinking, still I liked Maryam and I believed in her, still with those new changes there was chance of doing something real and perhaps saving our people, so I had to do whatever I could to fulfil my oath with my people and my family. Next day there was a general meeting of all Mojahedin members, in that meeting the news of election of Maryam as resistance president for future of Iran was announced for all Mojahedin members. In the same meeting Maryam ‘resigned’ from being a member of Mojahedin. Hence Fahieme’a was nominated as new Masoul aval and five other sisters as her deputy. As usual Mojahedin members had to show their hand as approval of this nominations. In that meeting combatants were throwing flowers toward Maryam and in response she was throwing them back toward them. It was an honour or luck to have the flowers touched by her so every body was competing with others to get one. I was among luckiest one, as Maryam herself gave few of them to me. I dried those flowers and kept them for long time, carrying it wherever I was going, as very dearest things I had.

 

            Maryam’s departure, as final departure towards Iran

            Back in America, we were told that we have to do everything to get visa for Maryam. The plan was that after her move to France, she should move to America and reside there, for her future activities. Apart from political importance of America, there was another reason for this decision, as America was more Iranian populated country than any other country in the world except Iran itself. Nothing was going to be announced publicly till her arrival into America, as that announcement could jeopardise the chance of getting easy visa for her. If it was not because of our over emphasising, perhaps we could arrange for that without any problem, it was a simple job, any of us could do it easily with no problem. Usually we used to ask one of our close Congressmen to write an invitation letter for one we needed visa for. By then we had taken hundred of such kind of letters for hundreds of our different members. But no, as she was Maryam every thing had to be done with full power. It was not going to be asked by us, but by Mohadessin as our head of diplomacy. It was obvious the aid of the member who we asked from, get suspicious of what is going on and what is the big deal that Mohadessin, as head of our diplomacy, I as a representative of the NCR in America, another guy as Mojahedin’s spokesman, and another sister as member of foreign relation committee of the NCR are all there to ask her for that simple letter.

            As a result instead of writing the letter, she called Iranian desk of the US state department, if they have any objection about that letter. It was like asking our enemy if they want to see us in America! their response was clear, though we got that letter, but as state department had directed American embassy in Paris for not issuing that visa, we could not get it, not only we could not get that visa, but even from then on all Iranian visas issue in Paris had to be checked and cleared first with the state department’s desk of Iran.

            After that for a week we collected signatures of many members of the congress for a petition against the decision of the State Department. We did everything, but with no luck. Eventually we had to surrender to the failure of our plan. Organisation had no choice except announcing the news, after announcement of Maryam’s trip to France, as it was expected, it created new problems between Iran and France. A bomb was exploded by the door of French embassy in Iran. There were different articles in Iranian papers directed by the regime, and petitions, against presence of Maryam in France. By then new era in our political activity had already started. Her trip to France was symbolised as Khomieni’s trip to there which was a step before the overthrow of previous regime, so we were expecting to see her in a very near future as real new president of our country back in Tehran.

            By then we were called to Paris to answer why we failed to do that simple job of getting visa for her. This time we were not under attack but it was poor Mohadessin’s turn to suffer from attacks of every body in France, including Abrishamchii. He was accused of misinforming the organisation by over-simplifying that job. While the problem was completely opposite of what he was accused of, nothing to do with poor Mohadessin, it was part of our habit to rush everybody and every thing toward things we were asked by Maryam or were for her.

 

 

            Among ordinary people

            Any way as by then I had many meetings with ordinary Iranian and some of old Iranian celebrities, and at the same time had closer ties with our sympathisers, I was asked by Maryam to direct all my effort toward Iranian for informing them about new era in our resistance, and gain their support. So in my return to America, I was moved to Los Angles, where about million of Iranian were living.

            I think by now my masoul had an order from Maryam herself, to leave me free in my working, as she was not asking me about what I was doing or directing me toward usual things we were doing in the organisation there. Some how, I could feel, despite living among Mojahedin in almost total isolation from usual life of ordinary people, still I can understand majority of them and can find ways to communicate with them. So somehow I could feel, I may be able to build a bridge between Mojahedin and our countrymen there. When ever I was referring to my own heart, I could see and feel that Maryam has something in her personality and her message which not only can attract me as a Mojahed but as an Iranian too. Hence I was certain, if we relay her message as it was, far from organisational demagogues and fanaticism, we might be able to persuade all Iranian to respect her and love her. Then she really could become the saviour we were waiting for, and could save us from misery we were in.

            Once I was asked to attend a meeting for ten to fifteen Iranian, all of them rich, owners of many petrol stations in California. Politically all of them somehow for usual reasons were against Mojahedin, and perhaps because of their age and their financial state, one could say they were from Shah’s era and in no way could be attracted to our own cause and Maryam’s messages. Well, yes while the meeting was very well prearranged in one of the most luxuries hotels in the area, it was one of the most difficult ones I had attended by then, and perhaps forever. After usual introductions, I talked for few minutes, but as I felt they are not keen in listening to usual speeches and want to have an answer for their questions, I stopped talking and asked them if they have any question. From the first person till the last one, they all asked the most offensive questions, using the most offending words and languages, “Why did we help Khomieni to gain power?” “Why did we approved the executions of people in the beginning of the revolution?” “Why are we in enemy soil and working with Iraqis, killing our own countrymen”, why, why. … Then their questions became more nasty and offending, more personal and sexual, they start asking questions about marriage of Masoud and Maryam . . . Some of them while they were asking their questions, they were giving lecture against Mojahedin too. So apart from their questions, they had their answers and conclusions too.

            During almost two hours, which supposedly they were asking their questions, few times I watched one of our supporters and our representative in the area who had accompanied me in that meeting. I could see how sometimes their face from anger change into red or from shame into white. Few times while they were asking their questions and I was thinking with myself how can I deal with those people and how can I be able to answer all their questions and put a happy ending into that meeting, I was going to give up and conclude that, in no way, we can attract this kind of people. Suddenly I realised apart from their offensive language they use for expressing themselves and asking their questions, there is not much difference between their questions and the ones we had to face during past fifteen or twenty years from our own supporters. Why they were asking all of those questions at the same time and in that kind of language was not their fault, but our own. When we separate ourselves from ordinary people and feel we are superior to them, because of our ideology or our sacrifices, this would be the answer of them to us. So somehow they wanted to answer back, to minimise our sacrifices that we were proud of them and were feeling superior because of them, and to maximise our mistakes that we used to ignore them and with our leader’s ‘political ability’ change them even into ‘a victory’. Even one of them told me straight that: “Sacrifice by itself doesn’t bring legitimacy for a cause, and doesn’t white wash your mistakes and wrong doings. As it didn’t bring legitimacy for Khomieni.” So I thought, I have to forget about their language and try to understand them. I felt they are not going to be an exception and most probably we are going to face similar questions and offending language from many of our people now or later back home, so we have to be prepared in facing them. On the other hand, I felt if message of Maryam is love, certainly that love couldn’t be restricted to those who love us or are kind to us. After all loving those who love us and care for us, is not such a big deal, any body can have that message and that ability to love the loved ones. I felt I can answer those people if I love them truly as my own countrymen, the ones which I had sacrificed my life for seeing their happiness and their freedom. So when I start answering them back instead of starting from offending questions, I start from what we all had in common, being Iranian and caring for our country and our people, their freedom and their prosperity. I expressed my feeling of seeing my countrymen as successful as they were. How much I feel their success and their happiness as mine, proud of it and happy for them. Well I could answer many of their questions with accepting our faults where we had gone wrong. By the end of the meeting I could feel mod of every body has changed; they were becoming very friendly and were making joke and were asking me about our final victory time . . . Even our boys who were with me were very happy too and were exchanging kind words with them. At this point one of them who had most offending attitude, throw his last arrow, and asked me if I am ready to meet son of Shah and talk to him. I knew the response of the organisation in this respect, so my straight answer was “No” He said “then you see you are not as democrat as you claim you are. You are not prepared to listen to every body and talk to every body. While we were prepared to talk to you.” I told him, “I don’t think you are son of Shah, if you were, most probably you could not be happy from what I told you and could not be satisfied from my answers to your questions.” He said but I am a monarchist. I said: “You are first Iranian, and my country man. You feel you are monarchist because you see them as part of our culture and our history, or perhaps you find them more acceptable than present regime in Iran. Well in this respect, perhaps I am a monarchist too, after all I am proud of many of our kings too, who can deny the Great Siros, who issued the first bill of human rights, … “He said: “but what do you have against son of shah, he has not done anything?!” I said: “precisely, because he has not done anything, after all whatever he has and is proud of, is his inheritance from his father, who committed many crimes in our country, including not giving freedom to our people, which now we have to deal with the present regime. Even if we want to have a king, we should search for one who has proved himself by what he has done, not by what he has not done.” Then I joked and told him: “if you are so keen in having a king in Iran instead of president, why don’t you nominate yourself instead of son of Shah. After all you have proved your ability in achieving something, and you have kind and gentle parents that you can be proud of. If you do, who knows? I might vote for you too.” At this point meeting ended with happy smile of every body including the one who was asking me those questions.

 

I guess it was not only I who was thinking and believing something has changed for good and we are going to have a proper relation with our own people. Some how message of love of Maryam was working and new changes in our attitude toward our nationalism, including our respect for our national seal, ‘sun and lion’, was creating a common grounds between us and many Iranian, which previously were called by us as monarchist and remnant of the Shah. Iranian papers in California, most of them sympathetic toward previous regime and Shah’s family, were more hesitant to use offending language against us as before. They were in doubt about what is going on, and wanted to wait and see. After all we had changed ourselves and had accepted and done things which in the past was unthinkable. Choosing a woman as president by it self had message of tolerance and progress, which no body could deny it. By now, I had been able to find many friends among Iranian, those who previously were not ready to see us or attend our meetings. Through these friends I could learn, feel and understand ordinary Iranian, their questions, wants and wishes. Their problems, while they were living far from their country, as refugees. I could learn their language again and talk with them with their own language. And not with our hard and feeling-less revolutionary one. Apart from them, I had been able to meet many of our famous celebrities, including many writers, poets, Directors of theatre, moviemakers, Musician and singers. I was genuinely respectful toward all of them and was as humble as possible, as personally had many respect for art and artists. So I had been able to gain their trust and perhaps their friendship. Many of them freely were calling me and were asking me different questions in any form and language they wished. They were sure that I am not going to be offended and will try my best to answer their questions and humbly accept our mistakes, many including our bad behaviour in the past when we were calling them all as anti-revolutionary and monarchist. Soon I felt their questions are not personal any more, but they are caring for us, and want us to prosper; somehow they wanted to change into a bridge between us and ordinary Iranian, filling the gap created between us and them, because of our ignorance during past years. Their criticism against our propaganda was from pain for us and not animosity. I was sure that with their help and their advice we can find our way back into the heart of our people. So not only personally and individually I liked them very much, but also from organisational point of view I could see them as most precious and valuable assets we could have. Soon I learned all my reports about my meetings with Iranian and artists are read by Maryam herself, so I was writing them in more detail, and sometimes I could express my own feelings, which could not be expressed as I was a Mojahed, in the form of their questions, and advises. Maryam was very understanding and helpful as well and I was let to do every thing I felt is right. I was free to see and talk to any body. Many of my meetings were among our past taboos, which nobody ever was thinking that one day they might take place. I even got permission to have my own television program, half an hour weekly program to answer people’s questions with two differences. One, I asked one of our lady supporter, wife of one of the NCR members, who didn’t have Mojahedin or Islamic dress, to ask and run the program. Secondly I was writing the questions in the form, which I used to be asked from ordinary people, even sometimes from our enemy sides. So they were as open and offensive as possible. From reaction of our supporters and some Iranian, I found them attracted to that program, as they could see some real changes in our program, they could see us more tolerant toward others even our oppositions. The shape of Interview, by it self, apart from answer of any questions could solve many of their problems, especially those who had some concern about our respect for democracy and tolerating those who are not like us.

            After few weeks from the start of program, it was stopped. First I was warned about dress of the Lady who was running the program and hence whenever we were having it one of our sisters was there to advice her about her dress and the way which film was going to be taken. But I think more than that perhaps somebody was not happy from the way questions were asked and the way, which I was answering them. As in the past, whenever I had interview with our radio or television, I was talking not in the form of cliché, which I was directed to do so, but in the form that I was feeling I can express my self and people can listen and understand me. Each time after any such interviews I could find many parts, mostly those, which I had talked, more freely were cut out.

            So I presume, this was part of cut, which I had to expect it from our people in Baghdad who were directing our propaganda. Well soon I reached to this conclusion that there is no hope for our own propaganda machine and as Media in old Soviet Union never it can change. I had to find other means for saying things, which I was thinking are true face of our resistance and were destroyed by our own media.

 

 

            ‘Democratic Association’

            By now every two months and some times every month I was asked to go to Paris to see Maryam to report her about my activities among Iranian in the State. In one of my private meetings with her, I told her most of the things I had in mind about our misdoing there, especially against our own supporters and Iranian, as I mentioned before her response was: “where were you when those things were happening?!” I had no answer for her as I didn’t have any for my own concise. The only promise I could give her and myself was, not to be silence any more when I see something is wrong. She asked me to go among our supporters and organise them in a democratic form of organisation, which we should have them in the future of Iran.

            In my return to Washington, then to Los Angles and after that to almost all cities which we had some supporters, I talked to all our supporters. First with those who were more than anybody else unhappy and unsatisfied with our past actions and policies, some of them even were changed into our oppositions instead of supporters. I think I was good listener, and had enough self-confidence gained from messages of Maryam and especially her assurance for not repeating the wrong doings of the past, to be able to have different meetings, answering questions, which could be answered, and accepting their criticism. To many of them we owed some money from past, which according to what I was told by Maryam, I promised them that we were going to return them very soon. As matter of fact we did return many of them, except those who accept we consider our debt as their new help. Some even did accept to pay our debts to others. Many of them didn’t have a personal problem, but they had questions about what is going on In Iraq in our bases. There were many stories or facts about bad behaviours of the organisation, against those who wanted to leave.

            Once, a very old supporters of the organisation asked to see me, when I went to their house, I found them very disturbed and sad, perhaps angry too. Apparently one of our supporters recently returned from Iraq, was telling them disturbing facts about what is going on there. Facts like how much we are under pressure for having ideological revolution. How segregated are women from men, something almost like what we were accusing the regime for. How restricted are people there in almost all of their daily activities. How difficult is to leave the organisation . . . Well whatever was I hearing from them were not nothing new for me. So the only thing I had to tell them was the truth. I told them: “Few years back in Britain, I was forced to do things which I had never done them before, I had to carry people on my back, lie down with bare body on cold floor, while others were running on my tummy. I was beaten too. … In simple term I was tortured. But you know as it was my own decision, it was not called torture but lesson of a Karate class which I had registered for and I had to go through those hardships to learn to defend myself. All of us who have joined Mojahedin or NLA have accepted to suffer the hardship for being able to defend ourselves not only against enemies without, but against our personal temptations too. While we are with Mojahedin we do consider all these hardships as part of our training. Not only we consider them as torture, but also we welcome them as we think they are necessary for keeping us a revolutionary, like bitterness of a tablet when you need it to gain your health or keep yourself healthy. But when we feel no longer we want to stay there, suddenly all of them even eating, sleeping and breathing there changes into a torture and I think we have every right to think in this way as by then that place suddenly changes into a prison, perhaps sometimes worse than any usual prison. I accept that any body who is living there has to be there according to their free will, and when one wants to leave, has to be considered adult enough for making that decision and let him to leave. I have to admit it might had happened that some for different reason had kept there against their free will, because they had some information which organisation had not been able to let those information goes out. Or perhaps sometimes they had not been able to arrange for their trip out of Iraq . . . On top of that I cannot deny that some of us make mistake too. And this mistakes is not affecting us alone, our mistakes sometimes means death of another person. But what can we do? Either we have to stop fighting as we make mistake, or accept it and pay the consequences.” I think with these answers I solved their problem and later when I talked to the guy himself, he accept to start helping us again. In another case I was talking to one of our good old supporters, who for sometimes was not prepared to help us and was considered as opposition to the organisation. After answering her questions, she asked me: “OK what about if we find whatever Maryam is promising is sham too and I reach to were I am standing now?” I told her: “In that case, I will join you and leave the organisation, as I am there because of these promises and these believes. But I cannot do it now, with this in mind that one day something might happen as I can not stop working, because one day I am going to die.” She agreed to start helping us again too and it meant a lot, as she was very capable supporter of ours and many had respect for her. Some how I could feel that the existing poisonous atmosphere is changing very rapidly. Most of the people I was talking to needed nothing but to feel some understanding, honesty and modesty to accept our wrong doings. After all they were attracted to the Mojahedin cause in first place for these values, while for sometimes they were feeling, they are lost forever. Whatever I was telling them were my own believes by then, I was talking from my heart, and was listening them to understand their problems, as horrible as they were. As I was feeling that even if I have no answer for their problems, certainly Maryam has, so there was nothing for me to fear of. I was genuinely thinking that whatever has happened in the past has changed for good and new era in our work and our relation with outside world has begin.

 

In establishing the associations of Iranian experts in different cities and states asked by Maryam, I was facing the same problems, on top of everything; they could not accept that they are genuine and real. Simply they could not trust us that this time we mean it, and they are not merely for our own propaganda purposes. As I understood from Maryam which was my own wish and hope too, those organisations had to be democratic one, to be able to grow without our involvement, while they were going to be supportive of our cause and NCR, they had to be able to attract wide spectrum of Iranian and had to grow beyond our usual supporter’s circles. Further we were hopping to see them being divided into different expertise organisations according to different committees we had in the NCR to work with those committees for finding right cure and program for future Iranian problems. So when we were going back to our homeland, we had program and expertise that could help us to solve many problems we were going to face. I guess we were so serious about this plan of Maryam, which a notice was published in our paper asking Iranian including our own supporters to start working with head of different committees of the NCR in these new associations. Up to that time we always were very afraid of letting those non-Mojahedin members of the NCR have any kind of relation with our supporters. I think even head of those committees who were going to be our future ministers were not believing what they were hearing, and didn’t take it as seriously as we did ourselves. It was unbelievable for them to imagine that Mojahedin let others to work with their supporters and direct them toward doing other things than usual organisation’s orders. So for sometimes it was so difficult to persuade both sides that we are serious and we want to see them working in their own subject of expertise.

 

I faced my first problem in organising those associations, when I received few faxes from Paris, as constitutions of those associations. Apart from content of it, which was very short of independence and democracy of those organisations. Writing it in Paris for our people in America, by itself was rejection of our claims, their ‘democracy’ and ‘independence’. I had to have several phone call, to write few report to persuade them that it is not right we give them that constitution. After change of some part of it, they accepted I put that forward as a suggestion from other associations, and accept whatever they decide themselves. In this way we could organise our associations in different cities and states.

 

Next time when I was in Paris, after organising many of our associations, I found out about some of the problems, which I was going to face in the future. I found out few of our old members, all of them addicted to central or clearly dictatorial form of the organisation have been nominated by Maryam to work out the way that our associations should be run in the future. While I was there, I was told by Maryam to join them ‘to let them to benefit from my experience in America’. Every day we were having meeting from early morning, till late night as it was habit of Mojahedin to have very long meetings for solving simple things, all the time talking and deciding about things which were supposed to be discussed and decided by poor members of those associations. I found out only our associations in America have been saved form what had been planed and decided for them behind those closed doors; all associations in European countries have been made and organised by those people from scratch till the end on the paper. While I was there, in meeting with Maryam, once again I informed her about problems, criticism and questions of our supporters, she told me that she has sent a delegation to inspect all our wrong doings in different countries and is going to send them later to America. She asked me to put more energy on Old Iranian celebrities, and persuade them to work with us.

 

By now political situation was changing in our advantage too, Maryam had many meetings and interviews with many politician from different countries, some like late Lord Ennals from Britain were so impressed by her as they issued press releases about their meetings with her. The head of the Parliamentary Human Rights group of British Parliament after meeting with her printed a book against Iranian regime under the title of: “The Tehran murder machine - An account of terrorist assassinations by Iranian agents” Many reporters from different countries were calling her Iranian Joan of arc. Apart from usual superficial political gains, for the first time we were gaining some substantial achievements too. In Norway one of Iranian diplomats was expelled, in Sweden, few people with charge of spying on Iranian refugees were expelled from the country. It was sad that one of them was working in our central base there, and if it was not because of Swedish police, we might never find out about him. It was very disturbing that while we were accusing all our oppositions and those who had some criticism against us as spy of the regime, the real spies were working in our own bases as admirer of Maryam. In France while French government again freed two suspect of Iranian terrorism who were partly responsible for the assassination of Dr. Rajavi, to return to Iran, at the same time they were very good with us too, they had given full freedom to Maryam for her usual political activities and full police protection. French media were very good with us too, Le Monde after return of Iranian terrorists to Iran wrote: “Dr. Rajavi was killed again!” National television of France had a twenty minutes program about our army under the title of ‘Braziers’, which was very impressing and attracted many Iranian as it was produced very professionally and perhaps was the best independent confirmation of strength of our army.

            In America, still many Iranian media were in doubt about new changes. There were many article about Maryam, sometimes there were questions that with what right have we chosen a president for Iranian people, but these kind of criticism could be answered easily. Other criticism were not new, and were not very bad either, so even the Iranian political atmosphere there was right for us to grow. By then I had been able to talk with many of our artists, and celebrities and some of them had agreed to work with us. With experiences I had from my political work, I knew after they do anything for us, they are going to face a lot of attacks from our foes, mostly Iranian. Hence though our people in Paris didn’t like my method very much, but I used to warn those who were going to work with us about the problems, which they might face.

By now in addition to politician and reporters, Maryam was meeting selected Iranian and our old supporters too, usually every month our people in Paris were organising a reception for her to meet different supporters from different countries. Each time they had receptions like that, they were asking me to accompany some of our supporters there too. In many of these trips I was going to fly from happiness as I could see our old supporters faces when they were meeting Maryam for the first time. She could attract them without any doubt, her words, her slogans her modesty and tolerance, her kindness and understandings rarely could leave any body aside, not attracted to her. All after seeing her were admiring her and were saying that they have gained new energy in their struggle against the regime. Once I was accompanying some of our old supporters most of them from those who were recently, recruited again. In the reception, when Maryam asked them about their problems and their questions, they didn’t hesitate to repeat whatever they had told me many times by then, which all of them were reported to Maryam too. They used the same language that they used against I. Although by then they were among good and close friends of mine, still I could feel it is not right they repeat those old problems again, especially over there and in that shape and form. But any way they did and thank God during their conversion none of our old fanatic members were present there. So fortunately I was the only one who could ease the tension by accepting most of the blames as my own and apologising from Maryam for our past wrong doings, which has forced her to listen to those complaints. I guess our supporters wanted to examine Maryam themselves and see how honest and right I have been in describing her and the new era. In this meeting Maryam gave them many promises, which later I had to deal with them and insist for their fulfilment. For example they complained about our television and radio programs back in America. Maryam told them our people know nothing better than what they are doing, so if they know how to do it, they have all the right to take it over and do it in the form they think is right. Another supporter name Simin, complained about situation of our children sent from Iraq to there. Maryam response was that, she knows about their misery and asked her to accept the responsibility of solving their problems there, and asked me to assist her in any way possible . . . Fortunately that meeting ended without any major disaster. But after the reception I had to face first taste of the reality and return to earth from my fantasy world. I was called to Maryam’s office, when she had meeting with her close associate, she was very angry, and was asking every body why those people were brought there. It was the first time I could see her angry and without her usual smile. I knew our friends went a bite further than what they should and repeated things, supposed being solved for sometimes. But I was not expecting to see Maryam to lose her temper because of that. I was expecting to see every body else angry but not her, as I believed in her as my teacher in loving and respecting those who are even against us, as long as they are opposing regime too. Any way after few minutes, I guess she realised to show her anger against those poor people who were absent is not right or useful, hence she start attacking others for their past wrong doings creating so many problems.

After that meeting I didn’t find enough time to think about what had happened there and see part of the reality, as I had to see later. By then I was going through many different activities. From one hand our newly established associations had to pass their first test by having their first seminars with few head of NCR committees as guest-speakers. On the other hand we were going to have New Year celebrations in different countries, which again, in contrary to the past, for the first time our associations were in full charge and had to arrange for everything. On top of these works, as I was responsible in dealing with Iranian celebrities and artists, I had to arrange for their programs in different countries. For the first time we were going to have them singing in our New Year celebrations. Those who were used to be called anti-revolutionaries and monarchist till previous year and even their records were forbidden to be broadcast from our media or played in our bases.

Fortunately everything not only went smoothly and nice, but One could say they were fantastic compare to pervious years when we were organising them through our own organisation, with spending a lot of money. It seemed our new democracy and our new associations are working, as they should. They showed without any help from us, they could manage to organise things, which previously we were thinking only Mojahedin are able to do. It was not only organising a concert for few artists and singers. Every day they had to face a roomer, like “there is going to be a bomb in the meeting,” “Iranian regime is going to take the photograph of those attending the concert and they cannot return back home,” … Most of the problems were in Los Angles, where they had to deal with different papers, and media, all by now return to their pervious positions, totally against us and by then angry of those celebrities joining us, wanted to destroy the ceremony completely. While in the past, we used to invite every body to our ceremonies almost free of charge, still to fill the room, had to pay for plane tickets of many of our supporters to join us from other cities; this time tickets had to be sold to finance the expense of the ceremony. During those days, I think even in asleep I was not dreaming but working, Though rarely I had any time for proper sleep or even eating, I never could feel any stress or tiredness, every week I had to travel once, sometimes twice between Los Angles and Washington and in between to other cities around them for seeing and talking with representatives of our newly established associations in different cities and co-ordinating their activities with each other. My hope as I knew perfectly well that the life of my freedom for being with them is short, was to establish an umbrella association so they could have their ‘National Council’, to harmonise and direct their activities. In the ceremonies, seeing ordinary Iranian side by side of our members and supporters, happy and joyful, was like all my dreams has came real at once. By then I could surely see the day, all our people united under our national flag for final victory.

 

My masouls those days not only were not against what I was doing, but I have to say in many ways were supportive as well. For the first time after years, not only I had my full energy under my own commend. Not being forced to attend long, useless, boring organisational meetings every day. Or wasting our time for doing things, which most probably were going to become upside down in, matter of days. But I was almost getting all my directions and orders straight from Maryam.

 

During that era, I faced the first major problem when I received a call from Reza’i, to arrange for trip of some of the celebrities. Not only famous singers who by now had accepted to work with us, and had tasted the first bitterness of working with us, by receiving offending articles and interviews in Iranian media. But other ones who still had problems and questions and were not ready to be seen close to us; among them a famous director and a musician. I knew them perfectly well, I knew I can solve their problems gradually and was hopping ‘time’ by itself helps me to solve some of the problems they had. I knew they are not at all like those singers who by then had several meetings with Maryam. They were not going to consider the courtesy and ceremonies which in Paris was expected every body to show toward Maryam. In asking questions and criticising us, they were going to be straight, open and perhaps somehow wild. The kind of behaviour that I knew with difficulty can be tolerated in Paris; and most probably will be considered as their animosity and oppositions toward us. However I tried to change their mind and buy some time for working with them, I couldn’t persuade Reza’i and others who wanted to see them in Paris. They were thinking Maryam’s look and words are magic and can change everybody in a second, so they were seeing me as an obstacle standing against effect of this magic. While I was sure that Maryam has great charisma and can help a lot, but it was for those who were ready to accept her, as leader or future president of Iran, not those who still were challenging her, for our past history. Any way, although I was expecting that meeting to be a disaster, as I had many works in America, I couldn’t attend that meeting to ease things. So after the meeting I had to listen to many criticisms from different people for my judgement about those people. They were telling me that: “they are anti revolutionary and against us and why were you calling them our potential friends?!!” Apart from our masouls in Paris, I had many problems with those celebrities to solve new problems they had found after talking with some of our masouls in Paris.

            By then financial difficulties and problems were showing themselves in full force as well. Different activities of Maryam needed extra money as well as her promises for paying back our huge debts to our supporters. Apart from them by then we had many more different useless and even damaging television and radio programs in different states which we had to pay for them too. Money earned by our usual SW works, which by then only members were doing that, was not enough and we had no choice except to get help from our supporters. But by then most of our supporters were organised in new associations and were thinking that all their financial commitments are toward those associations. They were prepared to help us in paying our debts or perhaps for Maryam’s activities, but in no way they were prepared to pay a penny for our propaganda programs, which they were hopping to be ended as soon as possible. Unfortunately in asking them for help we were not permitted to name Maryam and we had to ask for money for other things, which they were hesitant to pay. Perhaps this was one of the reasons which organisation thought they have to sent Abrishamchii to America to help! By his arrival and some old members, to help him, every thing seemed is going backward very fast. One of those members to find a supporter, had to sleep by his house for a night to get help. In another case he found account number of another supporter to check how much money he has in his account to ask him for that amount of money, with these kinds of methods they received many checks, but unfortunately later almost all of them were stopped unpaid. The result new dissatisfactions among our supporters.

            To earn money seemed we are prepared to break all our ‘principals’. By then right or wrong, as a principal we had told all our supporter, if they go to Iran, they cannot consider themselves as our supporters. Even we were calling those who had returned, as traitors. Because of these silly ‘principal’ which organisation was very serious about it, we lost many of our good old supporters, among them Ahmed an Iranian merchant. Now Abrishamchii wanted to meet him to get help. When I told him about the history of our relation with him. Abrishamchii’s replay was: “that is past and now we have new rules.” We met him and he helped us, while was thinking that every thing which happened in the past was only my own idea and decision. Any way he was more kind than reminding me about the past, and continued to be as good friend toward me as before. But gaining his friendship back meant losing many others, as some supporters because of our strict rules had cut their relation with him in the past, and now could see our principals are not principal any more. In their mind we were changed into an organisation that is ready to sell its principals and ideology for money. Among them one of our old supporter, very good and close one, who was helping us every month by giving the biggest portion of his salary almost ten thousand dollars.

            Abrishamchii, perhaps once was a capable member in talking and dealing with people, but by then he was completely out of touch with ordinary people, even with our supporters. He was not able to understand them and talk with them with their own language. Perhaps in the past, when he was talking to them, they were forced to understand his way of talking and organisational language, but by then we had found new supporters who were not ready to act as we wished and had their independence and expectations, they were expecting us to act and behave in a form to attract them and others, not on the contrary which was our usual expectation. Meeting of Abrishamchii with our new supporters was a disaster, not only many new supporters couldn’t understand him and found new questions and problems afterward, but even our old supporters were unhappy too as they could see him far from what they were hopping to see. Once afterward one of them start doubting in whatever I was saying about new atmosphere and changes of the organisation. He asked me if whatever I was telling them are only my own idea or reality of the new organisational policies. Fortunately he was one of those who had meeting with Maryam, so I could remind him about what he heard himself from her.

            In another attempt, Abrishamchii asked me to arrange a meeting for him to see our new supporters who were owner of many petrol stations. I knew he is not able to get any help from them, as I was sure he couldn’t communicate with them at all. But he was insisting to see them. The result of that meeting was five hundred dollars cash, while previously I had asked them for one million dollars. Well that figure was not mine. I was forced to ask for that amount of money. It was embarrassing and some how funny when I asked them. In response, one of them told me: “either you don’t know the meaning of this amount of money or you don’t have mind of business at all. After all who has this amount of money ready in cash to help you.” He said: “they were prepared to pay something around fifty thousand dollars, but it seems that amount of money is not solving our problem at all.” Any way after asking that kind of money, one of our top members after few hours talk and breaking another principal of ours, received five hundred dollars in cash. The principal, which this time he broke was shaking hand with one of the ladies present there. Well while I was able to shake hand with Iranian opposite sex as member of NCR, Abrishamchii as one of the well known old Mojahed brothers was not expected to do so, at least not in front of our supporters who some of them were present there.

            Gradually the tension and contradictions between the organisation, and newly established associations was increasing. Most of our activities, political, organisational, and financial were done through our supporters, who by now mostly were involved in the associations. I think organisation had two choices by then, either to go for abolishment of those associations and return to old form of the organisation, or surrender and accept the associations as their tools for working. By then I personally was going to be torn between them as a result of those contradictions. From one hand every day I was receiving new orders and demands from our centre in Paris and sometimes from Baghdad too, which I could see and understand that they have to be fulfilled, and there was no choice except asking the associations for doing them. On the other hand, associations supposedly were democratic one, so everything had to be decided by their councils and sometimes by all their members, as doing those orders needed more energy and money. Usually organisation wanted every thing to be done fast and in best shape, while democratic associations in doing things were slow and some times even against what we were asking them. From one hand, I had to defend the organisation, whenever I was talking with the councils of the associations and vice versa, to defend them against demands and accusations of our masouls in the organisation. So always I was blamed from both sides accused of not understanding problems of the Organisation from my masoul’s side, and being undemocratic and wanting to force Mojahedin’s wish on associations from their side. Many times as I was most of the time busy in Los Angles, in other states and cities our masouls were doing things as before, and as a result they were creating unsolved tensions with the associations, so in many incidents I had to rush to their cities to solve the created problems. At the same time many promises of Maryam were still unfulfilled. Our propaganda machine was working exactly as before, even newly published weekly of Iran-Zamin, which was supposed to be independent of Mojahedin and only supportive of the resistance, was not what every body was expected and hopped to see. The editor of this new weekly was Dr. Hezarkhani, In his editorial, in the first and second issue, it was promised that: “While Iran-Zamin is supportive of the resistance (against Iranian regime), we have to make it clear and emphasise that we are not a propaganda paper. We want to see the paper further than belonging to an especial person or group, being belonged to wide range of Iranian, who live outside of the country and are in love of their homeland and want to see the Iranian people free from dark dictatorship of Mullahs. … Any criticism to us in reaching to these goals and in this framework is very precious for us. …” Unfortunately while I could see how hard Hezarkhani tried to fulfil his promise and gain support and trust of the majority of Iranian living abroad. But as the paper was financed by the Mojahedin and those who were working in it were all members and supporters of Mojahedin, there was not much he could do, unless to change Mojahedin, which was impossible. That paper could not attract any Iranian, and even our own supporters were not happy with it as it was neither ‘Mojahed’ with its usual organisational news and articles, nor it was free paper, informative and independent, to be trusted for its unbiased news. Few years later Hezarkhani with some excuse resigned from being editor of the paper. A member of Mojahedin, Towhidi, substituted him. Later it was stopped being published all together.

            Apart from old problems, we were facing new ones too as many things hidden in the past within organisation’s secrecy no were open to be seen by everybody. For example issue of children sent abroad, by then had created many disasters, which were not known by any of us. Whatever was written in Iranian papers about them, were considered by us as usual accusations of our foes against us.

            The first time I felt the hardship, which those children were facing, was a year back when I saw one of them. While I was talking with him, a ten years old boy, I asked him about his parents? He answered: “which one?” I asked him what does he mean? He said: “well my real father was killed in Iran, so I was transferred by my mother to Iraq. Then my mother was married, and I found new father, but after some times my mother was killed in a battle, and I lost my real mother. After that my second father was married and I found another mother. I lost both of them in Forogh and found new ones afterward. Sometimes I can hear from my third mother but not so often. … “While he was talking, I could not stop myself from crying as I could feel the suffering of this ten years old boy. I could feel all of us at most have suffered for losing one parent in our life time, while that poor boy by then had lost three pair of them. I noticed while I am trying to hold myself from crying he has felt free to do so and while is hugging me is crying as hard and as loud as he wish. Later I heard from other supporters who were looking after them, other problems those children had to face. Many of them born and grown in the organisation, they knew nothing about traditions and customs of outside world, sometimes not even being able to understand their language as Mojahedin had their own slang and terms for different things. Many of them even didn’t know anything about concept of money and were feeling as in our bases, they are free to take every thing they wanted or needed. In the organisation for different reason, including keeping their parents happy and filling the gap of long weekly absence of them, they had everything they wished with almost total freedom to do whatever they liked. So it was very difficult for them to adopt themselves with world outside of our organisation. Many new adopted parents of them not being able to understand the problem these children were facing were considering them as difficult or even bad children. By now we were hearing new stories, which at first were not believable. We could hear from one hand how disturb some of them are and from other hand how badly some of them have been treated by their adopted families. All their stories were out, creating many doubts and questions for our supporters.

            Many of our old masouls were seeing that this associations are not working as they wanted, while by their existence, articles of ‘D’ and ‘Sh’ of the ideological revolution were under question seriously and were going to be forgotten. Hence they decided to ease things and start returning them to old form. Obviously this could not be done in one day, so they decided for different reason first to break the association into smaller ones. Then for any association they nominated a sister to be their responsible in the Mojahedin organisation, while those members of associations were going to deal with deputy of those sisters who were brothers. Those poor brothers while for their work with the associations had to work with me and somehow were under my responsibility, in their organisational and ideological work were under responsibility of those sisters. Obviously this system could not work. So gradually I had to say good-bye to the associations and leave them to those brothers under full responsibilities of those sisters.

 

Photos of the chapter  Back to the top

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All hands up in Mojahedin's meeting

 


 

با تشكر از شما بخاطر ورود به این وب سایت  در معرفی آن باید بگویم که آنرا به تشویق دوستانم با اهداف و ملاحظات زیر طراحی و ایجاد کردم:

  • با توجه به چاپ خلاصه خاطرات زندگیم به انگلیسی  و ترجمه آن به فارسی اینجا محلی است برای مشتافان تا اصل آنرا ملاحظه نمایند.

  • از آنجا که کتاب تنها داستان زندگی من بدون جهت گیری و نتیجه گیری خاص و جامع سیاسی و فلسفی است. اینجا محلی است جهت پاسخ به سئوالات و بیان نقطه نظرات من.

  •  امیدوارم در آینده این سایت محل برخورد آرا و عقاید افرادی شود که انسانها را سیاه و سفید ندیده و طرفدار تحمل پذیری میباشند. همچنین محلی برای ارائه آرا و عقاید دوستداران و کاوشگران فهم آزادی و دموکراسی در ایران و اسلام شود.

  • در این وب سایت و در مقالات نوشته شده بوسیله من، از بکار گیری وذکر القاب، تیتر و عنوان افراد که میتواند بکارگیری آنها حمل بر تأئید و عدم بکارگیریشان حمل بر رد و مخالفت با آنها شود معذورم مگر در مواردی که عنوان بخشی از نام فرد شده مثل "ستار خان" و یا " باقر خان" و یا "ملا صدرا" و..

  • در فاکت آوری از دیگران و در مقالات ارائه شده توسط دیگران کلمات و صفات توهین آمیز حذف میگردد.

  • استفاده از مطالب اين وب سايت با ذکر ماخذ و نام وب سايت بلامانع است.


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Last updated: 12/31/07. x