Libération, the French daily newspaper, founded by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973, is the latest to join the ignoble list of left-wing media organs to demonize the main Iranian democratic opposition movement. An article by Pierre Alonso, the notorious apologist for Iran’s theocratic fascist government, penned an article on 26th November trotting out the Iranian regime’s collaborateurs’ greatest hits about the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), like calling them an “Islamic-Marxist group” who “sided with Saddam Hussein” that has “been on the lists of terrorist organizations in the United States and in Europe for years.” All lies and all tired and weary propaganda that is fed into the system by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), a sinister KGB-style organization that actually is on the US and EU terrorist lists. 

The MOIS maintains a bank of helpful journalists that it unleashes at times of crisis in an attempt to demonize the MEK, who it loathes with a passionate hatred. The medieval mullahs see the MEK as the greatest threat to the continuation of their venally corrupt regime. They blame the MEK for inspiring nationwide uprisings that have erupted in Iran periodically, leading to predictable murderous crackdowns. The crisis that has inspired their most recent demonization campaign may yet prove to be the closing chapter for the mullahs. On Friday, 27th November, the day after Pierre Alonso’s article appeared in Libération, thetrial began in Belgium of Assadollah Assadi, a senior diplomat from the Iranian Embassy in Vienna and three other co-conspirators, on charges of terrorism. Assadi is the first ever serving diplomat to have been charged with terrorist offences. If he is found guilty, he could face life in prison. The trial continued on Thursday 3rd December.

The court heard how on 1st July, 2018, Assadi was arrested and charged with passing 550gms of TATP triacetone triperoxide high explosives and a detonator to an Iranian/Belgian couple from Antwerp. He was filmed by EU security services  giving the bomb to Amir Saadouni, 40, and his wife, Nasimeh Naami, 36, at a Pizza Hut restaurant in Luxembourg. Evidence revealed by the Belgian prosecutor found Assadi had instructed them to detonate the bomb at a major gathering of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, attended by tens of thousands of people at Villepinte near Paris. A third co-conspirator, Mehrdad Arefani, was also arrested. The rally was addressed by leading international politicians and senior government officials like Newt Gingrich, the Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Governor Bill Richardson, Stephen Harper, the former Prime Minister of Canada and Theresa Villiers MP, the former UK Cabinet minister. The main target of the bomb was the MEK’s charismatic leader, Mrs Maryam Rajavi, but Assadi had instructed his co-conspirators to kill and maim as many people as possible. The Belgian prosecutor explained how the bomb attack had been carefully planned in Tehran and had clearly involved the highest echelons of the Iranian government.

In blind panic and embarrassment at having one of their diplomats caught red-handed in an attempt to kill and maim hundreds of innocent people on European soil, the mullahs have resorted to their traditional retaliation. They have tried for two years to insist on Assadi’s diplomatic immunity, demanding his release. They instructed Assadi not to appear in court in Anwerp, claiming diplomatic privilege. Assadi himself told the Belgian police that if he was found guilty there were a number of armed groups in Iran, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon that would seek revenge. But the Belgian, French and German authorities have courageously resisted all threats and ultimatums from Tehran. A verdict in the trial is expected in the early New Year.

Jean-Paul Sartre, the founder of Libération, said: Every word has consequences. Every silence, too.” He would have been ashamed that his newspaper could carry such disgraceful propaganda, publishing words that bolster a terrorist regime which sends its diplomats on missions to kill in Europe. He would have been mortified at the silence of Libération on the brutality, repression and abuse of human rights in Iran and he would have felt humiliated that Libération failed to support the Iranian people in their quest for liberté, égalité, fraternité.