Iran commemorates martyrs Rajaei and Bahonar

August 30, 2020 - 17:44

TEHRAN — Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday marked the National Day of Fight Against Terrorism, criticized the United States and the European Union for sheltering the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) group which has killed thousands of Iranians.

“Aug. 29, the national Day of Fight Against Terrorism, is the time to remember Prz Rajai & PM Bahonar who, 39yrs ago today, were martyred in a bombing by the MEK terrorist group,” the ministry tweeted.

“Despite assassinating 1000s Iranians & fighting alongside Saddam, MEK is sheltered by the U.S. & EU,” it added.

39 years ago on this date, President Mohammad Ali Rajaei and Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar were assassinated in an explosion orchestrated by the MEK.

The bomb, which claimed lives of other officials as well, went off at the office of Islamic Republican Party in Tehran.

According to survivors’ accounts, the bomb was set off when one of the victims opened a briefcase which was carried inside by Massoud Kashmiri, a security official at the Islamic Republican Party. 

Subsequent investigations revealed that Kashmiri was an operative of the MEK disguised as a state security official.

The assassination came 39 days after Rajaei won the votes of the majority of Iranians in an early election and had become the second president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, after Abol-Hasan Bani-Sadr, who had fled to Europe after being voted out by the parliament. Rajaei served as the prime minister under Bani-Sadr.

Rajaei and Bahonar, who knew each other for 20 years and were very active in the anti-Shah campaign, stood shoulder to shoulder after the victory of the Islamic Revolution. 

The MEK was established in the 1960s to express a mixture of Marxism and Islamism. It launched bombing campaigns against the Shah, continuing after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, against the Islamic Republic. Iran accuses the group of being responsible for 17,000 deaths.

Based in Iraq at the time, MEK members were armed and equipped by Iraq to fight against Iran alongside the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during a war which lasted for 8 years.

In 2012, the U.S. State Department removed the MEK (also called MKO) from its list of designated terrorist organizations under intense lobbying by groups associated to Saudi Arabia and other regimes opposed to Iran.

A few years ago, MEK members were relocated from their Camp Ashraf in Iraq’s Diyala Province to Camp Hurriyet (Camp Liberty), a former U.S. military base in Baghdad, and were later sent to Albania.

From Albania, the group has launched an intensive disinformation campaign against Iran under the leadership of the Trump administration.

MH/PA

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