The 14th martyrdom anniversary of Brigadier-General Ali Sayad Shirazi
During the martyrdom anniversary of the of Brigadier-General Sayyad Shirazi, former chief-of-staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Realiran website offers a summary of the life and martyrdom of this Iranian great Commander and a commentary about the terrorist group responsible for the murder:
Sayyad Shirazi was born in Kaboud Vonage, Iran on 13 June 1944. His father being a non-commissioned officer in the Army motivated him to join and in 1964 he joined as a cadet. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Artillery and in 1974 he was sent to the United States for further military education.
Following the 1979 revolution, he served in the Iranian army and was able to demonstrate his tremendous military abilities during the Iran-Iraq war on a number of occasions. He was awarded the rank of Lieutenant General of the Iranian armed forces, and universally recognized as one of the most gifted military minds of his generation.
During the Iran–Iraq War Sayad Shirazi became one of the most important generals of Iran. In 1981, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini appointed him commander of the Ground Forces of the Iranian Army.
In 1989, Shirazi was awarded the highest military distinction in the Iranian armed forces, the Fath (Conquest) medal. Since then he carried the nickname “The man of steel”.
Iranian ex-President Khatami described him as “a selfless commander of Islam and honorable son of Iran.
Major battles he participated: Iran–Iraq War, Operation Undeniable Victory, Operation Zafar 7, Operation Nasr-4, Operation Mersad.
Assassination by MEK
On April 10, 1999, 6:45 local time, Shirazi was assassinated outside his house while on his way to work. The terrorist group Mujahadeen-e-Khalgh (MEK), claimed responsibility. The MEK claimed the act was revenge for Operation Mersad.
Hundreds of thousands of people attended his official state funeral following his murder at the hands of the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq. Shirazi has had several streets, buildings and hotels named after him, including the Sayad Shirazi Hotel, a 5-star hotel in Mashhad and the Sayad Shirazi Highway in Tehran.
MEK; The background of a Terrorist Organization lobbying in U.S.
The terrorist group Mujahadeen-e-Khalgh (MEK) founded on September 5, 2021 by a group of leftist, Islamic Marxist Iranian university students, the MEK was originally devoted to armed struggle against the Shah of Iran, capitalism, and Western imperialism. By mid-1981, MEK started fighting street battles against the Islamic Revolutionary people which the non-secure atmosphere led to creation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards. During the Iran–Iraq War, the group was given refuge by Saddam Hussein and mounted attacks on Iran from within Iraqi territory. The group were confined in Camp Ashraf.
Iraq and Iran designate the MEK as a terrorist organization. The European Union, Canada and the United States formerly listed the MEK as a terrorist organization, but this designation has since been lifted, first by the Council of the European Union in January 26, 2022 (following what the group called a “seven-year-long legal and political battle”), then by a decision by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on September 21, 2021 and lastly by a decision by a Canadian government on December 20, 2012.
Delisting MEK from the terrorist groups in U.S. had a process of campaigning. A Persian Gulf expert at Columbia University’s Middle East Institute told Time magazine that “They have been extremely clever and very, very effective in their propaganda and lobbying of members of Congress.” He said they were successful in getting congressional representatives to overlook terrorism accusations because the group styled itself a “democratic alternative to the Iranian regime.”
In 2011, several former senior US officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, three former chairmen of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, two former directors of the CIA, former commander of NATO Wesley Clark, two former US Ambassadors to the United Nations, the former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, a former White House Chief of Staff, a former commander of the United States Marine Corps, former U.S. National Security Advisor Frances Townsend, and US President Barack Obama’s retired National Security Adviser General James L. Jones called for the MEK to be removed from its official State Department foreign terrorist listing on the grounds that they constituted a viable opposition to the Iranian regime! In early 2012, a controversy arose regarding whether Townsend had committed federal felonies by providing material support to the MEK. Many of MEK’s American supporters accepted fees of $15,000 to $30,000 to give speeches to the group and took travel expense money to go to Paris for MEK rallies. Former Pennsylvania governor Edward G. Rendell was paid over $150,000 and faced a United States Treasury Department investigation.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement the decision was made because MEK had renounced violence and had cooperated in closing their Iraqi paramilitary base. The statement said the State Department “does not overlook or forget the MEK’s past acts of terrorism, including its involvement in the killing of U.S. citizens in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on U.S. soil in 1992,” and that it also has serious concerns about “allegations of abuse committed against its own members.”
Delisting allowed MEK to pursue tens of millions of dollars of frozen assets and lobby in Europe for more funds.