TEHRAN, December 8. /TASS/. The ringleader of a US-supported opposition group, Maryam Rajavi, has admitted to organizing the recent riots in Iran, the Tasnim news agency reported on Thursday, citing the information posted on Rajavi’s official website.
"This movement [riots] was well-organized by the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) with the use of rebel centers," Tasnim quoted Rajavi, who heads MKO, as saying. "[We consider] the National Council of Resistance of Iran [established by us] as an alternative to the current regime," she said.
This remark by Rajavi was deleted from her website several hours later.
Earlier, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported that Rajavi, who used to call herself "president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran," announced "a presidential bid for the transition period" on social media. Rajavi and her husband, Massoud, are responsible for the death of 17,000 innocent Iranians, the news agency said.
Massoud Rajavi is the founder of the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran. In the 1980s, this organization fought against the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran and carried out terror attacks. Later, the group moved to France and the US. During Saddam Hussein’s reign in Iraq, the organization operated from Iraqi territory and took part in the war against Iran. The organization was deemed terrorist not only in Iran, but also in the West. However, later, the US and the UK removed the organization from its blacklists. The group openly declares its goal to overthrow the current Iranian government.
A wave of protests broke out in Iran on September 16 after the funeral of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. According to the official version, police detained Amini for an improperly worn hijab. When questioned, she had a heart attack, which resulted in her death. Social media, however, spread word that Amini had been beaten by police. On October 7, Iran’s Forensic Organization published an official medical report saying that the woman’s death was caused by illness rather than beatings.