Aug. 30 assassination revisited: causes, effects

TEHRAN, August 30 (MNA) – The early history of the Islamic Revolution was marked by blind assassinations of the ‘disgruntled MEK,’ operating then outside of the Revolutionary forces.

Since the early Revolution of 1979, rival factions faced difficult situation on how to reconcile themselves with diagonally opposed methods the other groups offered and believed in to run a new country facing international pressures and domestic clashes; the rivalry however had not been resolved peacefully; rather, assassinations and bombing by the most extremist and fundamental ex-Revolutionaries, that is, MEK (Mojahedeen-e-Khalq in Persian) killed influential men of the Islamic Republic Party, then dominating the new Parliament (called Majlis of Shoura). The most telling story of their atrocities in early Revolution years is the assassination of democratically-elected President Mohammad Ali Rajaee and his Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar just less than a month after they resumed office with the approval of Imam Khomeini (RA) in July 1981.

After the clashes between the Islamic Republican Party, led by famous figures as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Mohammad Beheshti and many others, and President Abolhassan Bani Sadr culminated in the escape of the latter in disguise to France, after the Islamic Republic Party asked him to choose Mohammad Ali Rajaee as his prime minister (and with whom Bani Sadr would never have reconciled), the rival parties selected to run a government in exile, with Bani Sadr famously recommending MEK leader Masoud Rajavi to form the National Resistance Council to topple the new Islamist government which had Imam Khomeini’s support behind itself.

Just before the waves of blind bombing of the political meetings and buildings, the discord between Mehdi Bazargan, Head of Iran's interim government, and first prime minister endorsed by Imam Khomeini (RA), and the more Revolutionary-minded forces in the Pparliament, which highly approved the Students’ Followers of the Path of Imam [Khomeini] conduct in taking over US embassy (famously called ‘the den of spies’) as the ‘second Revolution,’ were intense and after Bazargan criticized the country’s handling of the hostage crisis, the trust, to Bazargan, of the majority Islamic Republic Party (and not to mention that of Imam Khomeini) was irrevocably lost. Mohammad Ali Rajaee was famously accosted in Algeria in his way back to Tehran from New York, by Algerian leaders to commission a solution to release of the remaining 50 American hostages in Tehran. He was of quite constructive role in resolving the crisis with Algerians as mediators, and thus it could be claimed as its legacy during his short presidential term.

From a descent social class and a family from Qazvin, Mohammad Ali Rajaee was a mathematics teacher: “He was among those who protested the Shah's programs to Westernize Iran, dilute Islamic clerical power and increase military and economic ties with the United States. At 17, Mr. Rajai enlisted in the Iranian Air Force to continue his education. In 1960 he received a degree from Teheran's Graduate Teachers College and became a mathematics teacher,” wrote The New York Times’ Peter Kihss, on September 1, 1981, just two days after the assassination.

MEK’s atrocity had, just two months earlier, in June 28, 1981, killed during an explosion in a party conference, Ayatollah Beheshti and 70 others of the Islamic Republic Party.

The immediate past of the Revolution would quite cast a dim light to the atrocities from a party which played so crucial a part in victory of the Islamic Revolution of 1979; long before the Revolution, the MEK members had been known as Islamist-Marxists, providing an extremist and very harsh reading of the Islamic scriptures along with Marxist sentiments of justice and fighting dictatorships they had seen embodied in the figure of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The group’s highly discontented members, now witnessing that their ideals of the government swept by the rival groups, which would offer quite different assessment of the situation after the Revolution and the relative unpopularity of the group leaders, chose blind assassinations of the rival political group, Islamic Republic Party and later, made a pact with Saddam Hussein of Baathist Iraq in a misguided hope that the now deposed dictator of Iraq could have toppled the new Revolutionary government in Iran.

The internal discords in the convoluted politics of those years of the Islamic Republic of Iran was a second explanation of the August 30 assassination; the Revolutionaries, admitting that they would not have enough experience to run a country, since the majority of them only participated in guerrilla wars and street fights against the previous Pahlavi regime, waged a laudable attempt to bring a sort of unity and solidarity to the forces loyal to the Revolutionary cause. The support and charismatic figure of Imam Khomeini (RA) provided the additional spirit to the early statesmen of the Islamic Republic. However, the reconciling of the more western affiliations on the on hand (represented by the more secular-minded figures of the Iranian Freedom Movement, notably Mehdi Bazargan) and more Islamic-minded leaders (represented by Islamic Republic Party figures) created an inherently internecine conflict, where both sides had been discontented the way the country was being run in terms of facing foreign threat and domestic instability.

The clashes however found denouement in the assassination of Islamic Republic Party; from a different view, the August 30 assassination and martyrdom of Shahid Beheshti two months earlier, proved counterproductive for MEK; they only garnered public hatred and gained for the group the unremitting infamy, but not success, glory and popularity; their era of belonging to the Revolutionary side had long been a matter of history, and with this dark prospects, MEK established itself in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

The international community was watching the Islamic Republic with shock and awe, since new Revolutionary state had been mired by internal clashes and crises before its neighbour, Iraq, attacked from its western borders. The ruling Islamic Republic Party had no choice viable but to dissolve the MEK and its affiliates as illegal parties, a ban strongly holding still today.

Since the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the election of a Shia-majority government in the country, MEK has been under severe pressures to evacuate Ashraf Camp (later they relocated to Liberty Camp by the US); the most recent development has been MEK’s delisting by the US (September 28, 2012) and the EU (especially France) of the black list of terrorist organizations, giving free hand to MEK and its affiliated circles freely frequent EU and the US and organize campaigns against the Islamic Republic of Iran in different occasions and to embark on their hate-mongering among Iranian diaspora in the America. The Organization has since been for a time in political dormancy after famously informing the US and other international powers of fabricated info and documents against Iran’s nuclear program as early as 2003.


News Code 109643


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