What the FBI thinks of Iranians (As revealed by report on MEK)


What the FBI thinks of Iranians (As revealed by report on MEK)
by Ari Siletz

Scrolling through the November 2004 FBI report on how to interview MEK members, I found several amusing opinions about Iranians. Here are some of them, along with a brief commentary on each:

FBI: MEK members are Iranian. They are “Persians” not Arabs. The fundamentally would be insulted to be called an Arab. They speak Farsi not Arabic. They tend to be aristocratic in their view of Middle Eastern history. Iranians tend to see themselves as members of a higher race with roots in ancient empires that date back thousands of years.”

Comment: Somewhat true, but if the Iranian is too insulted, you have probably captured a monarchist not an MEK member. Please release him/her immediately; Monarchists are not on the US terrorist list.

FBI: Explaining that the interviewer is of a very high rank is an honor to the interviewee.

Comment: Bulls eye! Mention that you were flown in from Washington especially for him, because lower rank agents aren’t smart enough.

FBI: Iranians are very emotional people. Time should be spent to show interest in the individual and to establish an emotional bond…due to the Iranian emotional mind [the bond] tends to be magnified or exaggerated.

Comment:  OK, but taarof some chaii at this stage or forget about “magnified” or “exaggerated” bonding.

FBI: MEK members though fully indoctrinated are still Iranian and will always be looking to make a deal.

Comment: 100% score on this one.

FBI: The situation is very analogous to the Italian mafia in which a “made man” of a La Cosa Nostra Family is very important and though individuals in the organization may be soldiers for a “made man” the interviewer may not view himself as a [MEK] member or “made man.”

Comment: Don’t forget “made woman.” The Rajavione family is mostly run by Maryam.

FBI: There is no need to inform the detainee of the true nature of the interview.

Comment: Excellent! If you told him the truth he’ll take you for a sap.

FBI: Male interrogators should never touch women interviewees.

Comment: It may interest you to know that the IRI manual says the interrogating agent should not hesitate to rape the detainee.  

FBI: If a male interviewee attempts to hold the hand of the male interviewer this is a good sign than an emotional bond has been established and should not be discouraged.

Comment: Wrong! If he tries to hold your hand, it is a good sign that you have captured a gay MEK member.

Here’s a statement in the FBI document where I find no irony or humor:

FBI: One area that may be used to help interviews would be to work on the natural parental instinct of those MEK fighters whose children have been removed from them.

Comment: The FBI document explains, “The MEK practices daily “cult like” activity to include daily confessions in front of their peers…dissolution of marriages, and removal of children from parents… fighters are separated from their children who are sent to Europe and brought up by the MEK Support Network. Investigation has learned that these children are then further indoctrinated into the organization and are often used for various social benefit fraud such as was revealed during joint FBI/Cologne Police Department investigation in Germany.”

In other words the MEK used their own children as part of a fundraising scheme by taking them away from their parents in Camp Ashraf to the rich socialist countries of Europe where welfare checks could be collected on them.

Here’s the complete text of the November 2004 FBI report on the MEK.


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more from Ari Siletz


by Roozbeh_Gilani on


"Personal business must yield to collective interest."

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

The "IRI manual" is of course a satirical reference to the unconfirmed (and undenied) account of Mesbah Yazdi's instructions to the Baseej regarding the post election protesters. A stronger--though still incomplete and indirect--type of evidence comes from reported statements to which a date and a place have been assigned. For example, below is a 7th of Mordadd Ghorveh 1381 Mesbah Yazdi statement in a website which attempts to provide some documentation for its claims :

مزدور شیطانی را شناسایی کنید. هرجا آهنگ مخالفت با ولایت فقیه یا ولی‌فقیه
ساز شده آن را خاموش کنید، اگر از روی نادانی است برایش توضیح دهید و شبهه
اش را رفع کنید، اگر از روی غرض ورزی است، او را خفه کنید.”


Here's the website.




If I may suggest; There is nothing stopping......

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

those of us so offended by the MKO's ceremonial hugging and kissing and their now perceived support by US intelligence agencies to move away from the computer keyboards and all the associated activities,  and do something which would warrant similar attention/affection from afformentioned agencies.... 

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."

Setareh Sabety

thank you ari

by Setareh Sabety on

this is a great find thank you for sharing it. most of it is certainly true. do you have any evidence like this showing that IRI encourages interrogators to rape? other than accounts I mean. Like a Fatwa or memo to this effect. I am just wonder if it is widely used torture policy or random abuse in IRI prisons. I do think though that men touching men is not so taboo amongst Iranians and the FBI instruction is correct. In Iran you often see men especially from the provinces and amongst laborers walking while holding hands. :)))



by yolanda on

There are 44 pages of FBI report on MEK! The following segment appears on page 30:

"Ceremony is very important to Iranians. Men should never touch women. Greetings can be long-winded and flowery! Politeness is very important. Paying respect to the detainee from the beginning of introduction is very important......."


Wow! Long-winded and flowery greetings! :O) Not sure this is a positive or negative comment!


This part is sad, on page 26:

"The MEK practices daily cult-like activity to include daily confessions in front of their peers (Called "ameleant Jari" in Farsi), dissolutions of marriages, and removal their children from their parents. Dissenters are immediately removed from the remaining MEK members/supporters/fighters. It is well-documented that MEK members who defect from the organization are hunkered down and demonized as Iranian regime agents. The MEK was even known to operate their own prison nicknamed the "Hotel" prior to the invasion by coalition forces. At this location, it is documented that MEK members would often torture their own members."


Patrick Kennedy probably does not know all these details when he said "Viva Camp Ashraf" and "Viva Madame Rajavi"!


Awesome find Ari jaan.

by Bavafa on

Some are priceless, some very distrubing.

'Vahdat' is the main key to victory 


Multiple Personality Disorder

I feel safer now,,,

by Multiple Personality Disorder on

,,, knowing there are people, like Ari, who discover these documents.  Priceless find!


Great post...

by afshin on

That was hilarious and somewhat scary at the same time.  It's frightening to see where our tax dollars are spent, and most importantly who's in charge of our security.

Ari Siletz

Glad you are having fun, folks

by Ari Siletz on

Anahid: the document writer may be mistaking Iranian culture with some Arab cultures regarding men holding hands. 


MM: the FBI remarks are taken directly from the official US Department of Justice report linked to at the end on the article. The comments are my reactions to those remarks.

There's a lot worth the attention in this 40 page document. For example, the FBI interrogator is supposed to ask the interviewee which members of US Congress the MEK lobbies or gives money to. The list of MEK operatives in Los Angeles contains names you may recognize (at least one on IC). One curiosity is that there are about 10 people listed as "forged identity vendors." Apparently MEK members rarely travel using their real passports. Also the forged papers may be linked to the MEK practice of smuggling "thousands" of people (into LA?!) not quite sure what that meant.


Faramarz: I think almost all the data on Iranian psychology was gathered from IC (except the holding hands bit). What makes me so sure is that the report mentions encouraging the interviewee to "vent," as part of a rapport building technique. The document even suggests what subjects to bring up to encourage such rants (pure IC comment generating strategy).


Yolanda: the MEK child abuse issue disturbed me too. The report mentions chaining the kids to their beds. After that, I could no longer stay in a humorous mood for this blog, otherwise the blog would have been longer.



by yolanda on

 "Iranians are very emotional people."

Very true! Just read the debate blogs on IC!

OMG! They call each other IRI agents!

I read the Trita Parsi's blog! OMG!

It is truly emotionally-charged!


It is sad that MEK removed children from their parents! Truly sad!

Hopefully the reunion is soon!




Right on Ari!

by Faramarz on

But you know, if FBI or any other intelligence gathering entity wants to put together a psychological profile of us Iranians, they could easily do so by reading some of the blogs in here and follow the endless back and forth's!

Then again, they may just throw their arms in the air and give up!


Kourosh, Roohet Shaad!


where the heck did you find this funny stuff - any reference?

by MM on


Anahid Hojjati

Thanks Ari.

by Anahid Hojjati on

My favorite was this one:" 

FBI: If a male interviewee attempts to hold the hand of the male interviewer this is a good sign than an emotional bond has been established and should not be discouraged.

Comment: Wrong! If he tries to hold your hand, it is a good sign that you have captured a gay MEK member."