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The organization gained a new life in exile, founding the National Council of Resistance of Iran and continuing to conduct violent attacks in Iran.
In 1983, they sided with Saddam Hussein against the Iranian Armed Forces in the Iran–Iraq War, a decision that was viewed as treason by the vast majority of Iranians and that destroyed the MEK's appeal in its homeland.
Senator Lieberman, it is good to have you back with the Committee, even if on the other side of the witness table.
SENATOR JACK REED RANKING MEMBER, SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE SH-216 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING Wednesday, October 7, 2015 TO RECEIVE TESTIMONY ON IRANIAN INFLUENCE IN IRAQ AND THE CASE OF CAMP LIBERTY (As Prepared for Delivery) Welcome to our witnesses this morning.
The MEK (together with other guerilla organizations) helped overthrow the Pahlavi regime.
It was the "first Iranian organization to develop systematically a modern revolutionary interpretation of Islam – an interpretation that differed sharply from both the old conservative Islam of the traditional clergy and the new populist version formulated in the 1970s by Ayatollah Khomeini and his government".
The European Union, Canada and the United States formerly listed the MEK as a terrorist organization.
This designation has since been lifted, first by the Council of the European Union on 26 January 2009, The organization engaged in armed conflict with the Pahlavi dynasty in the 1970s and played an active role in the downfall of Shah in 1979.
Asghar Ali described the MEK as "using [Islam] for serving the exploited masses".
The author said that although the MEK lacked the prestige of Khomeini, they were “certainly fighting the poor and downtrodden, giving Islam a radical image.” Furthermore, despite the fact that the organization's top candidate received as much as 531,943 votes in Tehran electoral district and had a few candidates in the run-offs, it was unable to win a single seat in the 1980 Iranian legislative election.
The MEK had managed to emerge from the underground onto the public arena.