Maryam Rajavi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Maryam Rajavi
مریم رجوی
Maryam Rajavi in 2006.jpg
“President–elect” of the National Council of Resistance[1]
Assumed office
22 October 1993[1]
Preceded by Abolhassan Banisadr[a][dead link]
“Co–equal Leader” of the People's Mojahedin Organization[3]
Assumed office
27 January 1985[3]
Serving with Massoud Rajavi[b]
Personal details
Born Maryam Qajar–Azodanlu
(1953-12-04) 4 December 1953 (age 63)[5]
Tehran, Iran
Political party People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran
Children Mostafa (b. 1980)
Ashraf (b. 1982)[5]

Maryam Rajavi (born Maryam Azodanlu, مریم قجر عضدانلو, on 4 December 1953) is the leader of the People's Mujahedin of Iran, an organization trying to overthrow the Iranian government. Rajavi is also the President-elect of National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) since 1993. She is the wife of Massoud Rajavi.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Rajavi was born on 4 December in Tehran.[5][self-published source?] She was raised there as the daughter of a middle-class civil servant descended from a member of the Qajar dynasty.[8] She attended the Sharif University of Technology in Iran, earning a B.S. in metallurgy.[9]

Political career[edit]

Rajavi has stated that her political activism started when she was twenty-two after her sister Narges's killing by Shah Muhammad Reza's secret police.[8] Then she became a member of the People's Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK), and began her political career.

Rajavi served as an organizer of the anti-Shah student movement in the 1970s and in 1979, became an official of the social section of the PMOI/MEK, where she served until 1981. During that time, Rajavi was a parliamentary candidate in 1980.[10][better source needed] In 1985, she became Joint-Leader of the PMOI and served in that capacity until 1989 when she became the Secretary General until 1993.[11]

In 1982, Rajavi was transferred to Paris, where the political headquarters of the Mojahedin was located, the principal opposition movement at that time.[12][self-published source?]

In 2003, Rajavi's offices were raided by French police. She was placed under arrest and the assets of the NCRI were frozen by the French government. Rajavi's supporters protested her arrest by demonstration until her release."[13]

The Supreme Court of the UK reiterated Rajavi's travel ban (originally put in place in 1997) on 12 November 2014. Rajavi is not excluded from any other European country and engages regularly with parliamentarians in the European Parliament.[14]



In 2003, she was arrested by Paris Police Prefecture alongside some 150 MEK members for "preparing to commit or finance acts of terrorism".[15] Twenty-four sympathizers of the MEK were placed under investigation, including Maryam Rajavi for allegedly "associating with wrongdoers in relation with a terrorist undertaking". The investigation lost momentum and many of the restrictions on the suspects' movement were lifted in 2006 leaving nine people to be investigated for possible money laundering. In 2014, all of the charges were dropped.[16]


In July 2010, the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal issued an arrest warrant for 39 MEK members, including Rajavi, for crimes against humanity committed while suppressing the 1991 uprisings in Iraq.[17]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Banisadr who was affiliated with the National Council of Resistance of Iran from 1981 to 1984, was considered as the "President of Iran" in the claimed government by the council.[2] The office was vacant after Banisadr.
  2. ^ Since 2003 Massoud Rajavi has disappeared and leadership of the group has practically passed to his wife Maryam Rajavi.[4]
  1. ^ a b Kenneth Katzman (2001). "Iran: The People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran". In Albert V. Benliot. Iran: Outlaw, Outcast, Or Normal Country?. Nova Publishers. p. 97. ISBN 1560729546. 
  2. ^ Kian Parsa (July 2008) [Tir 1387]. "شورای ملی مقاومت، بنی‌صدر و رجوی، از ائتلاف تا جدایی". Shahrvand Magazine (in Persian) (52). Archived from the original on 3 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Steven O'Hern (2012). Iran's Revolutionary Guard: The Threat That Grows While America Sleeps. Potomac Books, Inc. p. 208. ISBN 1597977012. 
  4. ^ Stephen Sloan; Sean K. Anderson (2009). Historical Dictionary of Terrorism. Historical Dictionaries of War, Revolution, and Civil Unrest (3 ed.). Scarecrow Press. p. 454. ISBN 0810863111. 
  5. ^ a b c "Maryam". Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Connie Bruck (2006). "Exiles: How Iran's expatriates are gaming the nuclear threat". The New Yorker. F-R Publishing Corporation. 82 (1–11): 54–55. This transition was epitomized by Rajavi's involvement, in 1985, with Maryam Azodanlu. Maryam was already married, to Mehdi Abrishamchi, one of Rajavi's close associates. Rajavi overcame that fact by making the romance a matter of revolutionary necessity. First, he said that he was making Maryam his co-leader-and that it would transform thinking about the role of women throughout the Muslim world. Then, about a month later, it was announced that Maryam was divorced from Abrishamchi and that the two co-leaders would marry, in order to further the "ideological revolution." 
  7. ^ "Profile: Maryam Rajavi". BBC News. Retrieved 24 February 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Smith, Craig S. (24 September 2005). "Exiled Iranians Try to Foment Revolution From France". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "Maryam Rajavi". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  10. ^ Bloomfield Jr., Lincoln (December 2011). "Camp Ashraf: Iraqi Obligations and State Department Accountability" (PDF). House Committee On Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  11. ^ "JUDGMENT R (on the application of Lord Carlile of Berriew QC and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department" (PDF). [2014] UKSC 60. Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2017. 
  12. ^ "A Brief Biography of Maryam Rajavi". Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  13. ^ Graff, James (14 December 2006). "Iran's Armed Opposition Wins a Battle — In Court". Time Magazine. 
  14. ^ "Parliamentarians lose Maryam Rajavi court battle". Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times. Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  15. ^ "Paris police target Iranian groups". BBC. 17 June 2003. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  16. ^ John Irish and Chine Labbe (17 September 2014). Ralph Boulton, ed. "France drops case against Iranian dissidents after 11-year probe". Reuters. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  17. ^ Muhanad Mohammed (11 July 2010). Rania El Gamal; David Stamp, ed. "Iraqi court seeks arrest of Iranian exiles". Reuters. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Masoud Rajavi
as Leader of People's Mujahedin of Iran
Co-Leader of People's Mujahedin of Iran
Served alongside: Masoud Rajavi
Succeeded by
Title last held by
Abolhassan Banisadr
as President of Iran (in pretence)
President of National Council of Resistance
Succeeded by