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Iraqi forces attack Camp Ashraf

Massoud Rajavi

Massoud Rajavi Massoud Rajavi

Since the founding of the NCRI, Massoud Rajavi has concentrated his efforts to the Council. His management of NCRI’s affairs has earned him the trust of the NCR’s members. The NCRI elected Massoud Rajavi’s wife, Maryam Rajavi, as the future President of Iran in August of 1993.  Massoud Rajavi earned his political science degree from Tehran University.  Rajavi became involved early on with discussions on religion, history, and revolutionary theory, influencing the PMOI’s modern interpretation of Islam, when he joined the PMOI in 1967.

In 1971, Rajavi, along with all PMOI founders and Central Committee, were arrested and sentenced to death by the secret police and domestic security and intelligence service established by Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi; the SAVAK. Rajavi’s brother, Dr. Kazen Rajavi, organized an international campaign that included the assistance of France’s top officials. Rajavi’s death sentence was changed to life imprisonment and spent the next seven years in jail before he was set free on January 21, 1979 as a result of the uprising against the shah’s dictatorship. After Khomeini seized power, Massoud Rajavi defended the rights of the people of Iranian Kurdistan in a speech that pressed the need to eliminate dual oppression. Rajavi refused to call the anti-monarchic revolution an “Islamic revolution” and instead called for a democratic revolution, demanding safeguards for democratic freedoms.

In January of 1980, Massoud Rajavi’s candidacy for the Iranian presidential election was denied by Khomeini. Khomeini vetoed the candidacy. According to the French daily, Le Monde:

“According to diverse estimates, had Imam Khomeini not vetoed his candidacy in the presidential election last January, Mr. Rajavi, would have gotten several million votes. He was, moreover, assured of the support of the religious and ethnic minorities - whose rights to equality and autonomy he defended - and a good part of the female vote, who seek emancipation, and the young, who totally reject the ‘reactionary clergy’...”

The Le Monde article went on to say, “The Mojahedin have not ceased denouncing, documenting and issuing calls about “the irregularities, pressures, fraud and violence” surrounding the first round of elections... Observers appointed by the Mojahedin who protested the election fraud were expelled from the premises, beaten, and sometimes arrested...”

When Rajavi was barred from running for office, many Kurds, who widely supported Rajavi, also boycotted the election.  Massoud Rajavi criticized the regime’s leaders, particularly Ayattollah Khoimeini and the suppression of liberties in a speech of June 1980, at Tehran’s Amjadieh Stadium. 

Massoud Rajavi announced the formation of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the democratic alternative to the religious, terrorist dictatorship, on July 29, 1981.  219 members of the United States Congress signed a statement in support of the National Council of Resistance. The statement was made on July 8, 1992, which said:

“...the time has come for the free world to form a common front against fundamentalism with those fighting for peace and democracy against the Iranian regime. In announcing a specific program and determining responsible policies vis-a-vis recent international developments, the National Council of Resistance, led by Mr. Massoud Rajavi, has demonstrated that it is determined and able to contribute to peace and stability in this sensitive region....”

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