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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 26, 1985


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    Letter from M. Rajavi, leader of the Organization of Mujahadin of the Iranian People (OMIP) to M. Gorbachev. Rajavi requested a loan of $100 million to support an uprising in Iran against the regime of Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini. Rajavi also invited representatives of the Central Committee of the CPSU to come to Paris to meet with him and participate in an "unofficial exchange of ideas."
    "Letter from the Leader of the Organization of Mujahadin of the Iranian People to the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Comrade M.S. Gorbachev," December 26, 1985, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI, f. 89, op.15, d.24, ll. 11-38. Contributed by Roham Alvandi and translated by Richard Iserman.
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From the leader of the Organization of Mujahadin of the Iranian People to the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Comrade M.S. Gorbachev

In the name of God,

In the name of friendship and anti-imperialism, the struggle against Iran and the Soviet Union's exploitation by other nations.

Dear Comrade Mikhail Sergeievich Gorbachev, leader of the great nation neighboring us, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union,

At the beginning of the New Year, on the eve of the XXVIInd Congress of the CPSU please accept my sincere congratulations and greetings in the name of the nationwide revolutionary resistance movement of the Iranian people and from the Organization of Mujahadin of the Iranian People (OMIP).

As you noted in your televised address, broadcast in France on October 1, 1985, the results of the CPSU's activity in the area of the country's administration and ensuring its progress in recent years testify to your accomplishments. In particular, at the present time in your country there are more than one million doctors are working, six million engineers, and one half million scientists. The cost of housing on average is only three percent of the budget of a Soviet family. On the other hand, in the last 20 years real expenses in the USSR rose by 10 times, while at the same time prices for basic required goods did not increase. In the course of 50 years you have not encountered the phenomenon of unemployment. In the Soviet Union there is a system of free education and social insurance; your Union includes representatives from over 100 ethnicities...

Along with this, you noted that an industrial development program is planned for the next 15 years to achieve as much work as was done in the last 70 years. In the area of international politics, the course you have proclaimed in defense of an enduring general peace, your decisive resistance to the arms race and Soviet initiatives in the matter of disarmament, directed toward ensuring the survival of humanity and rebuffing imperialist actions that increase tensions, is singularly justified and deserving approval.

Such achievements testify to the fact that the results of the XXVIInd CPSU Congress also play an important role in the business of reinforcing the foundations of peace and Socialism and the development of socio-economic development plans for your country, as well as further raising the quality of life for workers and representatives of all ethnicities of the Soviet Union. It is also fully clear that the attention of all oppressed peoples and liberation movements, as well as peace-loving governments and forces throughout the world, will be drawn to the results of your Congress's work, considering the general interests in the fight for peace and against imperialism. Their number also includes the Organization of Mujahadin of the Iranian People (OMIP), the leading force of the Iranian people's nationwide resistance movement, standing for peace and freedom. Today, as popular resistance spreads within Iran, OMIP stands as an object of suppression and crude attacks from the official representatives of the United States of America (relevant documents are attached). [Footnote 1: "Attached collection of documents, part 1"] For this reason OMIP is writing to you, expressing hope for the sympathy and solidarity of the Communist Party and the great peoples of the Soviet Union with the people and resistance movement of Iran.

Comrade Mikhail Gorbachev,

In October of this year you justifiably expressed surprise because of the present actions of Khomeini's regime and the difficulties of conducting dialogue with this regime. In the name of the national resistance movement, in the name of the new revolution of the Iranian people, directed against Khomeini's reactionary regime, whose existence is contradictory to the laws at history and logic and demonstrates the same tendencies as pre-capitalist theocratic dictators, I am taking this opportunity to inform you about some facts related to the situation in Iran:

1. Khomeini's regime has been overwhelmed by an economic and socio-political crisis and is inevitably turned toward destruction. Even the representatives of the regime admit that from the moment of the mullahs' rise to power industrial production has decreased in the country by 83 percent, and the national income by 25 percent. Meanwhile prices for basic goods have risen by 10-15 times. Ten million people are without homes. 25 percent of the most productive agricultural land of Iran has been allowed to so fallow, and the amount of developed land has decreased by 60 percent. Last year Iran imported goods for a sum of more than 20 million dollars obtained exclusively from oil income (which makes up more than as percent of the country's budget). At the present time there are six million unemployed people, three million refugees from front-line regions, and 1.6 million drug users. There is also no hint in the country of the existence of any socio-economic improvement. Using all the available means in its power, the regime is insisting on continuing two wars against the people:

a) The external war with Iraq. As of the present time Iran has suffered more than one million people killed and injured. 50 Iranian cities are fully destroyed. The war has held up the economic development of Iran by at least 20 years. For several years already only Khomeini has supported continuing this war in order to use it as a cover for the strategic war within the country against the people and resistance movement of Iran, which is more important for him. Moreover, we have not ignored the responsibility from the Iranian side for the beginning stage of this war and have decisively condemned it.

b) The internal war against the people and resistance movement of Iran.

Because of this war more than 50 thousand people have been executed, more than 140,000 political prisoners have been taken (a list of names and other information on some of those who have died is attached). Khomeini's regime, whose historic mission was the eradication of the glorious democratic and anti-imperialist 1979 revolution, is now devoting 2/3 of all its efforts to repression and the conduct of this war, while at the same time devoting 1/3 of its efforts to the needs of the external war with Iraq.

On the other hand, Khomeini's regime has lost stability and deprived itself of a future, losing more than 10,000 of its agents engaged in repression because of the struggle with the resistance movement. It has also been proved that the regime is not in any way capable of decreasing our nationwide popular armed organization, the growing resistance movement, and the democratic and anti-imperialist alternative put forward by us, the National Resistance Council (NRC) of Iran.

In the situation that has unfolded internal resistance to the regime has also sharpened. The question of Khomeini's successor has been added to the agenda. Moreover, considering the many historical and socio-economic causes, and taking into account the correlation of efforts between the national resistance movement and Khomeini's illegal regime, we are firmly convinced that this regime cannot be reformed, and that no alternative exists inside it (as an example of the regime's internal contradictions a letter is attached from a group of members of Khomeini's Mejlis addressed to the President of the country). [Attached documents collection, part 2]

2. The imperialists, especially the far right and militarist circles, have received a great benefit from Khomeini's policy of kindling war and exporting terrorism in the Near East. Despite its so-called antiimperialist covering, Khomeini's policies, which express the pre-capitalist essence of his regime, in practice have enabled the reinforcement of the most right-wing imperialist and Zionist circles in the Near East and throughout the world, allowing them to strengthen their aggressive military actions, as well as directly helping them to reach their hegemonic goals. Moreover, Khomeini's policies directed toward the sale of cheap oil have caused an even greater theft of oil resources in oppressed countries. It is not coincidental that Lenin exposed "the bellicose relationship" of the reactionary classes to imperialism (insofar as this relationship lacks progressive content) and refused the possibility of supporting them. On the other hand, it is also not surprising that the imperialists, afraid because of the appearance of revolutionary democratic alternatives, are assisting Khomeini in various ways to secure his authority while subjecting the mujahadin to attacks and oppression. Despite this, because of the worldwide campaign to expose Khomeini's regime developed by our resistance movement, the imperialists have acknowledged that this regime is illegal, unstable, and has no clear future. For this reason, they are seeking in various ways to oppose any alternative force outside of Khomeini's regime or even within it. For this purpose, they are reinforcing the remainder of the supporters of the Shah's regime and betting on the liberal circles oriented toward independence from the West within Khomeini's regime. Along with this, on the basis of many objective facts they clearly understand that the community's recognition of our movement's legality, its popular basis, and its military and political organization, has made the alternative we put forward widely recognized within our country and in the international arena, and cannot be disputed by anyone. Neither today nor in the future is it possible for anyone to ignore.

3. The Organization of Mujahadin of the Iranian People has taken over the National Resistance Council (NRC) of Iran as a revolutionary democratic force, which will succeed Khomeini's reactionary medieval dictatorship, has deployed a broad program within the country and in the international arena to explain our movement's goals. The popular basis, the political and military achievements of the resistance movement in Iran, the plan put forward by the NRC to establish peace between Iran and Iraq, and our revelations about Khomeini's regime--all of this has given such weight and authority to revolutionary democratic alternative we have proposed that at the present time 17,000 parties, political organizations, workers' unions, university associations, religious communities, political and community activists, parliamentarians, scientists, and cultural representatives have officially declared their recognition of the NRC as the representative of the Iranian people's resistance movement and the democratic alternative to Khomeini's regime (relevant documents attached). [Footnote: attached documents collection, part 3] In particular, more than 3,000 declarations, some of which are made by such international organizations as the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, have been made in support of the plan put forward by the NRC to establish peace between Iran and Iraq.

This plan has also been recognized as an acceptable basis for the start of peace talks by the government of Iraq (March 1983), immediately after my meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister of this country in Paris and our passage of a joint peace declaration (January 1983). In connection with this, I am sending relevant documents [Footnote: Attached Documents Collection, Part 4] and writing to you with a request to study the plan we put forward to establish peace and support it at the XXVII CPSU Congress. Obviously the expression of such exclusively valuable support would be an unforgettable historic step in the narrative of friendship between the people of the Soviet Union and Iran, as well as of Iraq and all Arabic countries.

In accordance with the Program of the NRC and the of Temporary Government of the Democratic Islamic Republic of Iran we are working shoulder to shoulder with representatives of all classes of the Iranian people and leading a struggle for "peace and freedom," for the "severing of all conspiratorial relations with imperialism," for a movement directed toward a new "democratic and anti-imperialist" revolution. The prospects of developing this revolution are determined by underscoring its "anti-exploitation orientation and development" based on the "united workers and peasants of Iran." We stand for a "democratic" and "non-aligned" Iran, which will not be connected with "colonialist military political alliances." (Program and Resolutions of the NRC and Temporary Government are attached). [Footnote: Attached Documents Collection, Part 5]

On June 24, 1985 Richard Murphy, Assistant Secretary of State of the USA, expressing his official position in an address to the American Congress, called OMIP an "anti-democratic," "anti-American," "collectivist," and "terrorist" organization, which "stood in opposition to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's regime," and in particular, "led a battle against the Shah's relations with the United States." According to him, in the 1970's the mujahadin "were in the first rows of the Shah's opposition and were the Iranian force most involved in anti-American and anti-Western terrorist activity." It is understood that we have dedicated many efforts to explain our justified position in the past and today to the global community and all nations without any omissions or distortions of the truth. We will continue to do so in the future so that there can be no doubt about the legality and justice of our activities by an enslaved people against the terrorist dictatorships of the Shah and Khomeini, and so that they are recognized as widely as possible as such in the international arena. Our revolutionary policy in this area does not consist of provoking hostility, which would only serve the interests of Khomeini's regime under the current balance of power. On the contrary, our policy is directed toward ending the crises and neutralizing the tension raised primarily by the enemy of our people and homeland today--the destructive and anti-humanitarian dictatorship of Khomeini. It is obvious that Khomeini's regime is using any fact to stoke hostility towards us in the international arena for his purposes, to prolong his existence, to enter international isolation, and conversely, to isolate us. In doing so, Khomeini will be able to more freely expand the scale of pent-up repression within the country.

Because of this, remaining firmly attached to the anti-dictatorial, anti-colonialist, and anti-exploitational principles of our struggle, we dedicate our efforts to, in the words of Lenin, the great founder of the Soviet Union and your Party, using "any conflict among the ranks of our enemies, no matter how small, "any contradictions in their interests," as well as "any opportunity, no matter how insignificant they appear," acting with "singular attention, care, and competence" in order to bring the revolution of the Iranian people to victory.

In order to achieve victory over our enemy--Khomeini's regime--we will stick to the strategic course of a limited armed uprising of the people. At the present time we are at the stage of preparing this uprising and are firmly convinced that in the coming years we make significant progress in the path to victory.

The goal of our strategic course at the present stage consists of ensuring the quantitative and qualitative development of activities by national resistance cells in order to "breach the wall" of Khomeini's repressive regime. Doing this will improve opportunities for the masses to take action, and we will come closer step by step to the resolution of the problem of establishing ties between the leadership and the movement's cell members, as well as the question of concentrating forces. In the course of the quantitative and qualitative development of the struggle these "breaches" will expand. Finally, the "wall" of Khomeini's repressive military and political dictatorship will collapse, and the path to freedom will open. In contrast to the urban partisan movements we are acting from a position of a nationwide alternative and a broad national resistance movement. Over the course of the last two years we have organized more than ten nationwide campaigns, in which resistance cell members and military and political organizations simultaneously spoke out and demonstrated the force and strength of the mujahadin (relevant materials are attached). [Footnote: Attached Documents Collection, part 6]

A final example of this is the two-week campaign in connection with our boycott of the presidential pseudo-election conducted by Khomeini's regime, which shook the entire structure of this regime. This is proved by the fact that the highest official members of the regime made harsh and crude declarations recognizing the force of the mujahadin and warning of the danger of our actions (Footnote: Attached Documents Collection, part 7]

During the indicated period all of the regime's repressive efforts led to a state of full military preparedness. When we completed the Reishahri campaign, the Khomeini regime's Minister of Information held a press conference for the purpose of reinforcing the morale of the regime's mercenaries, which was reported on in Iranian newspaper on August 29, 1985. In this conference he recognized that "652 attempts at kidnapping and attacks on the regime's vitally important centers were uncovered and neutralized." He also declared the "arrest of 362 resistance cell members and 39 military organizations, and the capture of more than 11,500 bottles with flammable contents, 20 missiles and grenade launchers, more than 1,200 units of weaponry, and 260 kg of explosive substances."

However, the true conclusions of the operations the mujahadin conducted from September 1984 to October 1985 consist of the following (documents on each of these operations have been published):

-320 operations conducted in Tehran, the provinces, and Kurdistan;

-1,500 representatives of the regime killed or injured;

-800 military vehicles destroyed;

-1,440 repression and torture centers destroyed or significantly damaged, as well as administrative and propaganda institutions;

-250 flash bombs detonated on the day of presidential pseudo-elections, which make an explosive sound but do not cause harm;

-4 million flyers distributed;

-propaganda and anti-military operations conducted in 200 military centers, as well as sabotage actions;

-600,000 flyers distributed in army garrisons and military bases;

-In the course of showing resistance to Khomeini's policies of stoking war, 20 "Phantom" fighter jets and 540 other military equipment units were disabled.

During the indicated period resistance forces grew by 400 percent. Moreover, the regime sentenced 5,000 people to death. In the course of carrying out these campaigns, which led to the weakening of the regime's control over the community and laid a path to the concentration of forces and popular uprising, we are attracting new people to our ranks, organizing new cells and groups, carrying out political and social propaganda, conducting various maneuvers, working to ensure military preparedness, and receiving material assistance from the popular masses.

Our permanently active propaganda organs that the publish various necessary materials and announcements include "Mujahad" and the radio station "the Voice of Mujahadin," which broadcasts every day for 16 hours. The radio station is listened to in all regions of the country and fulfills the task, among others, of training representatives from the community forces who form the broad base of the Organization of Mujahadin.

The Mujahadin of the Iranian People are placing active military forces in the mountains of Iranian Kurdistan, which are in addition to our organizations in the cities of Iran. In October of 1985 several subdivisions of mujahadin totaling more than 2,000 people conducted military maneuvers in the border region of Kurdistan (photographs and a short film are attached). [Footnote: Attached Documents Collection, part 9]

4. It is fully clear that our struggle is a justified and national struggle being conducted throughout all of Iran. More than 90 percent of all fighters killed and thrown into prison for the people belong to our movement. For this reason, OMIP is immensely loved by the popular masses of our country.

Our struggle is of a nationwide nature and encompasses representatives from all classes and layers of Iranian society. From workers and peasants to university professors, students, skilled workers, traders, young representatives of the clergy, patriotically inclined members of the military, housewives, school students--representatives from every social force occupy several pages in the list of our resistance movement's members who have died (a list of names with more than 1,200 who have been sentenced to death is attached).

Since Khomeini's regime is much more criminal than that of the Shah, and does not possess the slightest socio-political authority within Iran...

Since the majority of states and governments in the international arena also have actually testified to the illegality of this regime, particularly recognizing the revolution recently in the UN General Assembly for the inhumane crimes of Khomeini's regime in Iran, for which the Soviet Union also fortunately voted in the General Assembly's Third Committee...

Since this regime cannot in any way be reformed, and no other alternatives exist within it...

Since it is perfectly impossible to return to the previous monarchical regime...

For these reasons the forces that could make up an alternative to Khomeini's regime must possess the following distinguishing features:

I. Members who have participated in antimonarchical Iranian revolution;

II. Lack of any ties to Khomeini's regime;

III. Participation in the justified struggle against the dictatorships of the Shah and Khomeini;

IV. Presence of armed formations and effective military political organization;

V. Presence of a broad social base;

VI. Presence of a concrete political program, a concrete socio-economic development program, and forces and capability to guarantee peace (in connection with the war against Iraq), and the rights of ethnic and religious minorities (please note the attached documents on the NRC's plan to present autonomy to Iranian Kurdistan, as well as the relations of the Temporary Government toward religion). [Footnote: Attached Documents Collection, Part 10]

VII. Considering the particular culture of the Iranian community and taking into account the fact that Khomeini's regime has broadly abused Islam, using it as a cover, the forces should offer an alternative to this regime and have the respect of all Muslims and be of an Islamic nature (such as that of the mujahadin). However, in full opposition to Khomeini, their Islam must be progressive and national, standing for peace, friendship, and non-interference in the affairs of other countries.

One may note that the preceding seven distinguishing features, which were not selected by chance, but on the basis of persuasive historical and social laws and express specific characteristics of Iran's development, doubtlessly describe the Organization of Mujahadin of the Iranian People and the alternative it has put forward, considering OMIP's capabilities and particular historical nature.

Comrade Gorbachev,

Khomeini's medieval religious dictatorship, which constitutes a pre-capitalist regime by nature and relies solely on war, repression, and oil revenues, is without doubt headed for destruction, like the exploitative regime of the Shah.

It is possible to say with certainty that at the time of the next XXVIIIrd CPSU Congress, no trace of this regime will remain. We are certain of the victory of the Iranian people's justified resistance movement over Khomeini's inhumane regime just as would be convinced of our victory over Hitler's Fascism or over the tsar's tyranny. We declare this today, although at the present time our people is suffering very difficult days, which are some of the darkest days in its entire history.

Allow me to again give you greetings and best New Year's wishes in view of the upcoming XXVIInd CPSU Congress, to wish success and good health to you, and happiness and prosperity to the Soviet people, and to again underscore the importance and necessity of expressions by you and your great party and country of sympathy and solidarity with the resistance movement of the Iranian people, which will never be forgotten.

With certainty in the victory of the great resistance movement of the Iranian people, which is fighting for peace and freedom.

With certainty in the necessity of reinforcing friendship and solidarity between the peoples of the Soviet Union and Iran.


December 26, 1985

Translated by: [Signature] (V. Gudimenko)