THE BLOG
05/09/2011 18:39 BST | Updated 02/11/2011 05:12 GMT

Iran's Democracy Movement Deserves Support

While the people of Syria, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Iraq have been rising up against their dictatorial regimes for freedom and democracy, the Iranian regime is panicking that this Arab Spring could soon reach Iran. They seem to feel that the only way to stop it, is to keep suppressing the main opposition movement, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran PMOI/MEK which has been able to fuel protests for a regime change inside Iran in the past.

The MEK is a well-known Iranian prodemocracy movement which is now celebrating its 47th year anniversary. 3400 of its members are based in a Camp called Ashraf in north of Baghdad in Iraq. Because of their commitment to the cause of freedom, the Mullahs' dictatorship has executed more than 120.000 of their members during the past three decades. In Iran it is forbidden to speak their name or even have a family-association with the organization. In the beginning of 2011, three political prisoners, Ali Saremi, Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Hajaghai were executed for having relatives in MEK. Saremi and Kazemi had their sons in Ashraf.

The MEK was also the first group which revealed crucial information about Iran's secret nuclear activities in 2002 and the regime's role in exporting terrorism to Iraq, Afghanistan and the rest of the region.

Although, given the harsh consequences for any expressed sympathy for the movement, it is currently very hard to have an estimation of MEK's support inside Iran; they have a huge support among Iranians outside Iran. In their annual June gathering in Paris, more than 100.000 people convened and recently on August 26, thousands demonstrated in front of the US State Department in support for MEK.

In 1997, as a "goodwill gesture" to then new president Mohammad Khatami of Iran, the MEK was blacklisted as Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department. For more than 14 years, the Iranian regime has invested in plots to keep them in that list which has guaranteed its own grip to power.

In July 2010, a Federal Appeals Court in Washington called on the State Department to review this designation, given that there was no credible evidence. One year and two months later, Hillary Clinton is now expected to announce her decision. Earlier, the MEK succeeded to remove its name from blacklists in UK, EU, Germany and France following 22 court rulings, all in its favor.

The Iranian regime knows very well that the terrorist tag on the MEK is the main instrument to contain any serious step for a change inside Iran. That is why they have activated all their lobbies and agents in the U.S. to prevent MEK's delisting.

These lobbyists and agents claim that they are representatives of the Green Movement and that delisting MEK would harm Iran's "prodemocracy movement". They label MEK as a cult, undemocratic and a terrorist organization. They are repeating exactly the same false accusations invented and distributed by the Iranian intelligence service against the group in the past decades.

But the question is, if these people are really pro Iran's freedom, why are they focusing on bashing the best organized opposition which has an internationally recognized platform for the democratic future of Iran? Why are they working so hard to keep a popular anti-regime force enchained?

The reality is that these lobbyists are neither democratic nor even an opposition to the regime. They are rather the regime's representatives. They follow the famous Gobbles rhetoric of telling big lies and repeating it enough so that the world would start believing it. The problem is that, with today's communication technology, you can't hide the truth for long.

As an Iranian who fled his country a decade ago, I can't wait to see freedom coming back to my country. I support the MEK just for one reason. Because I see that they are genuinely committed to their cause and seem to have no barriers when it comes to the price that has to be paid for freeing their country. I am also sure, from the time I lived in Iran, that there are thousands and millions like me looking up to the MEK as a serious force to bring a democratic change to Iran.