The worst terrorist operation happened in Iran 33 years ago. A week after the removal of the first president of Iran; AbolHassan Banisadr, Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei was subject to an attempted assassination. As the representative of Iran’s former leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, in the National Security Council and as Tehran’s representative in Parliament, Ayatollah Khamenei strongly supported Banisadr’s removal, bringing a suitcase to the parliament filled with documents against Banisadr on June 21, 1981.
Six days after the removal of the president, Ayatollah Khamenei who is currently Iran’s supreme leader went to a Mosque in Tehran for a planned speech. A bomb put inside a voice recorder on the lectern exploded while he was speaking which left him terribly wounded and in critical conditions. According to officials, Khamenei’s chest and his right hand were severely injured and he lost a lot of blood but miraculously he survived after receiving almost 60 blood bags.
While Iranians were still shocked about Ayatollah Khamenei another terrorist operation shocked them again.
Ayatollah Beheshti talking between Iranian soldiers during Iran-Iraq war.
At the time Mohammad Ali Rajaei was the President of Iran. This time a bomb exploded in the headquarters of the Islamic Republican Party, killing 73 top Iranian officials including Ayatollah Beheshti, the head of the party. Four ministers and 27 members of the Parliament also were killed in the bombing.
The terrorist operation was carried out by Mojahedin E Khalgh (MEK or MKO). MEK had a close relationship with Banisadr and thus when he was removed, they saw themselves out of power and began to continue their opposition by using arms.
Mohammad Reza Kolahi was responsible for the operation. He had penetrated into the party a long time before the operation and as planned invited a group of top officials of the country to the meeting on July 28, 1981 using official cards.
The terrorist operation took place only two years after the establishment of the Islamic Republic and while the country was under attack by Iraq’s Saddam Hossein who was supported and motivated by all world powers.
Before that terrorist operation Iran had already encountered an attempted Coup (Nojeh) and also had lost of several of its major scholars including Morteza Motahhari, the theorist of the revolution in a number of assassinations.
But that was not all. The MEK intensified their terrorist operations in August 1981. In their biggest terrorist operation they destroyed by explosion the office of the National Security Council killing Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar and President Mohammad Ali Rajaei who had been elected only three months before.
The MEK who were based in England claimed the responsibility of the bombing. They also officially claimed the responsibility of assassinating religious leaders in different cities including Tabriz, Kerman, Shiraz, and Yazd. They also sided with Saddam and officially entered into the war against Iran, carrying over 100 military operations inside the country through its military wing called “The Liberation Front”.
They are also charged with helping Saddam in suppressing Iraqi Kurds and Shias. Later the terrorist organization continued its operations, assassinating many other top Iranian officials like Ali Sayyad Shirazi.
According to Iran’s security organizations, the MEK have in recent years have helped the intelligence agencies of Isarel and the US in assassinating the country’s nuclear scientists. Some American news outlets like CNN and the NY Times disclosed their cooperation with Israel in the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists.
So far the information about assassination of 12 thousand Iranian officials have been disclosed. Iran claims the victims to be over 16 thousand.
For decades, the MEK occupied the Camp Ashraf (aka US Forward Operating Base Grizzly) that is situated in 40 Kilometers north of capital Baghdad.
In 2011 The Iraqi government made it clear that it wants Camp Ashraf shut down and the MeK to leave Iraq.
In 2012 the MEK moved from Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya in Baghdad (a onetime U.S. base formerly known as Camp Liberty). US and some European countries like the UK and France are trying to find them another suitable place to have them settled.
The Council of Ministers of the European Union removed the MEK from the Union’s list of terrorist organizations on January 26, 2009 and on September 28, 2012 The U.S. State Department formally removed the MEK from its official list of terrorist organizations as a result of the MEK spending millions of dollars in lobbying and influencing significant politicians.
These bitter and unpleasant realities show that since its establishment, the Islamic Republic has been targeted by terrorist groups and organizations that have carried out many terrorist operations inside the country.