For some years the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MKO) has
been promoting Rajavi's so-called 'Third Option' in its propaganda as a
strategic solution for regime change in Iran. After undergoing significant
changes in my personal situation three years ago, I have been able to
carefully study this matter.
The Mojahedin-e Khalq has maintained it has a
new solution for overthrowing the Iranian regime and assuming control in
Iran. In this regard, the MKO rejects [foreign] invasion of Iran as well as
compromising with the Iranian regime in return for political deals, and
instead insists on lifting the group's name from terror lists in the West
and rearming the NLA in Iraq; if rearmed and backed logistically, the NLA in
Iraq can move from Iraq toward Iran, defeat Iranian forces and take control
of the country.
Firstly, it is crystal clear that this option
addresses the West, and particularly the US. In fact, this strategy requires
the US to do what the MKO orders. It doesn't say what would happen if the US
rejects the group's requests. As usual, the Iranian people have been omitted
from this equation. As far as I know, the strategy of an independent
revolutionary group should be based on what it can itself do, not what
others can do for it (in this case the US).
Mr. Bizhan Niabati says, "the MKO's ideal is to be recognized by the
Americans as a military force in the form of the National Liberation Army (NLA)
and as a unified political alternative under the form of the NCRI". Of
course, this has been considered wholly wrong since the only alternatives
accepted and recognized by the US are Monarchists and Republicans; Americans
will never back a violent revolution in Iran unless they can handle its
military force all on their own.
Secondly, let us pretend that the West and the US have accepted all the
MKO's requests (in other words, the MKO has been lifted from the terror
lists and their confiscated weapons given back). This situation is still
similar to the 'golden times' after the Forough operation . The
organization enjoyed a similar situation in Iraq for years but there was no
move from the NLA! How could it be helpful in the present time? The MKO may
be looking for greater support than that of Saddam; for instance, a joint
military operation! In that case, the US is unlikely to initiate a war
against Iran and support the MKO (to get to power) at the same time. The
fact is that the US and the West will lift the MKO's name from the terror
lists only if the organization firmly renounces armed struggle, renounces
its past, and dismantles the NLA. Also, the US will only support the MKO's
alternative if it is a 'dependent alternative'. In short, the organization
should completely change its strategy before being accepted by the US; in
this significant change, many MKO members will be dropped. Is the MKO, now
hanging on the US, ready for such a change?
Thirdly, the MKO always claims that group's designation as terrorist, the
bombardment of its camps, and the disarmament of its army were all done in
response to the requests of the Islamic Republic. If the US and the West do
have such a good relationship with Iran (so as to meet its requests despite
all their differences), will there be any hope for sudden changes in their
policies to turn their support toward the MKO? Even if we accept the
assumption that the West is meeting the Iranian regime's requests, there are
undoubtedly advantages for it; can the MKO guarantee to secure the West's
advantages (more than Iranian regime) when it expects them to accept the
However, what has occupied my mind mostly is whether this so-called solution
can really be the plan and the agenda of a revolutionary, Islamic, popular,
anti-colonialism, anti-exploitation organization with more than 40 years of
nonstop struggle and a long line of martyrs? It seems, rather, as though the
experts in the Pentagon have presented a solution for the US to more easily
achieve its goals. I wonder if the MKO's founders (if they were alive today)
would be able to recognize their own organization after a search in the
Internet and finding the different websites of the Mojahedin-e Khalq! Would
they have actually joined the MKO then, over 20 years ago, if they could see
group's current situation? I recommend MKO members to look back at the early
books and magazines of the Mojahedin; although those books and magazines are
unlikely to be available now inside the organisation.
In fact, the 'Third Option' is not a strategy; it is the same as the
American military option in which the MKO wants a share. The US believes it
has two ways to confront the Islamic Republic: one is the military option
(like what it did in Iraq) and the other is a political solution (in other
words, forcing the regime to withdraw and giving more freedom of movement to
pro-US forces). There is no place for the MKO in either solution, and that
is why the MKO tries to convince the US to overthrow the regime under the
name of the NLA so that the role of the MKO in Iran's future is guaranteed.
This dream, which has been presented as a strategy, will never come true.
I should note that the organization, now, and in the past, adopted two
wholly wrong policies. In the past, it tried to achieve its goals by taking
advantage of the Iran-Iraq war, winning the support of Saddam Hussein,
standing alongside Iran's enemies and forming the NLA in Iraq. Presently,
the MKO is seeking American support to fill the gap left by Saddam Hussein.
In both cases, the MKO is standing directly against the interests of the
Iranian people, therefore there will be nothing for the group except defeat
and failure. The Mojahedin moved to Iraq and invested everything in the war
[between Iran and Iraq] but reached total deadlock when Iran accepted the UN
[ceasefire] resolution. Recent investment by the MKO in the gap between Iran
and the US, in particular over the nuclear issue, will bring a similar
experience for the group.
Of course, I believe that even the Mojahedin leaders know that they will not
benefit from this strategy. Therefore, they don't elaborate on its details.
From my point of view, the story of the Mojahedin's 'Third Option' is only
for preserving remnants of its forces and keeping them busy. I believe that
as the members in Iraq, Europe and the US were for years kept busy with the
story of the NLA and toppling the regime from Iraq, this recent story has
been written only to postpone the pre-determined dismantling of the
organization. The MKO leaders, who have created this story, and their
audience in the US, are well aware of this fact. The only people who count
on this issue are the captive members inside the organization. This solution
tries to open up a way forward for the desperate members of the MKO, but
just like the previous strategies and solutions of the organization, it is a
window that opens to NOWHERE.