People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran

As the largest political group in Iran, the People's Mojahedin is the biggest NCR member. It was founded in 1965 as a patriotic, Muslim and democratic organization. Currently a 23-member, all-women Leadership Council oversees the affairs of the organiz ation. Mrs. Fahimeh Arvani, 34, is the Mojahedin's Secretary General. She joined the movement in 1979 (following the Shah's overthrow) and was elected to the post in 1993.

The Mojahedin fought vigorously against the Shah's dictatorship. They were never allied with the mullahs or Khomeini before or after the Shah's fall. The Mojahedin's views were from the onset very different from the mullahs'. They embarked upon a nationw ide campaign to establish democracy in Iran after the Shah's downfall. Their Islamic ideology, based on democracy, the popular will, tolerance and moderation, has been very effective in combating the fundamentalist thinking in Iran and in preventing the r egime from taking advantage of the people's religious sentiments.

Khomeini declared the Mojahedin ineligible to run in the presidential election in 1980 and prevented all candidates of the organization from being elected to the parliament. He turned a 500,000-strong peaceful demonstration by Mojahedin supporters in prot est to the suppression of freedoms into a blood-bath. Massoud Rajavi was the Mojahedin's Secretary General until 1988. Mrs. Rajavi held the post from 1988 until 1993.

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