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BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 14:56 GMT
Mujahadeen debate rages on
Iranian flag

The debate continues over Tim Whewell's report on the People's Mujahadeen (also known as the MEK and the MKO) and why they may be a bargaining chip in negotiations between Washington and Tehran.

For two decades, it was one of the oddest armies on earth. Pledged to overthrow the ayatollahs of Iran, it was commanded mainly by women. Their leader, Maryam Rajavi, still commands fanatical devotion.

But she's accused by some of running a cruel and manipulative cult. The US, which guards the now-disarmed fighters at their camp in Iraq, can't decide what to do about them.

There has been fierce debate about the report on Talk About Newsnight:

"Amazing programme from Maziar Bahari and Tim Whewell. Well done!" says Charles Ferguson.

"I found this to be most irrelevant, inconclusive (which I can understand), and misleading," , says Mariam.

Unlikely bargaining chip

Azadeh believes the Mujahadeen are unlikely to be used as a bargaining chip.

"The MEK are an independent organisation who have resisted the fanatical theocratic regime in Iran. They have been fighting for freedom and democracy for the people of Iran and have never bowed to pressure by any organisation or government."

Laila Jazayeri says the Mujahadeen have become the focal point of hope for the Iranian people.

"The MEK are an independent organisation who have resisted the fanatical theocratic regime in Iran. They have been fighting for freedom and democracy for the people of Iran and have never bowed to pressure by any organisation or government."

'Tolerant Islam'

Mandy says the PMOI represent tolerant Islam.

"The only reason PMOI are ok is that most people started to realise that a strong barrier to the spread of Islamic fundamentalism are the PMOI who have stood up to the Iranian regime for nearly 30 years. This is because the PMOI's ideology represent a democratic tolerant Islam."

But Hanif Leylabi depicts the Mujahadeen as desparate for power.

"The Mujahadeen are desperate primarily for power and the Rajavis shall go to any lengths to achieve it."

Parvin Haji does not think the Mujahadeen are democratic.

"As a victim of the MEK, I am glad somebody is taking time to reveal the truth about an organization who destroyed the real democracy in Iran."

You can join the debate on our blog.




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