Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Ma'sumeh Gudarzi


Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Shi'a)


Date of Killing: June 9, 1999
Location of Killing: ‌Bub Al-Sham, Sha'ab, Baghdad, Iraq
Mode of Killing: Bombing

About this Case

Information regarding the extrajudicial killing of Ms. Ma’sumeh Gudarzi and five other individuals was published on the Mojahedin Khalq Organization website (April 7, 2008, and March 2, 2011) and on Iran Efshagar (Iran Probe) website (June 9, 2019).

Ms. Goodarzi was a member and candidate of the leadership council of the Mojahedin Khalq Iran Organization.

Mojahedin Khalq Iran Organization

The Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) was founded in 1965. This organization adapted the principles of Islam as its ideological guideline. However, its members’ interpretation of Islam was revolutionary and they believed in armed struggle against the Shah’s regime. They valued Marxism as a progressive method for economic and social analysis but considered Islam as their source of inspiration, culture, and ideology. In the 1970s, the MKO was weakened when many of its members were imprisoned and executed. In 1975, following a deep ideological crisis, the organization refuted Islam as its ideology and, after a few of its members were killed and other Muslim members purged, the organization proclaimed Marxism as its ideology. This move led to split of the Marxist-Leninist Section of the MKO in 1977. In January of 1979, the imprisoned Muslim leaders of the MKO were released along with other political prisoners. They began to re-organize the MKO and recruit new members based on Islamic ideology. After the 1979 Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the MKO accepted the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini and supported the Revolution. Active participation in the political scene and infiltration of governmental institutions were foremost on the organization’s agenda.  During the first two years after the Revolution, the MKO succeeded in recruiting numerous sympathizers, especially in high schools and universities; but its efforts to gain political power, either by appointment or election, were strongly opposed by the Islamic Republic leaders. *

Ms. Ma’sumeh Gudarzi’s Death 

According to available information, at 8 o’clock in the morning of June 9, 1999, Ms. Gudarzi and 36 other people were on a bus going from Baghdad (Iraq) to the Ashraf Camp, when, after leaving Baghdad and while they were in the northeast of the city, a car that had been parked on the side of the road exploded, thus making them the targets of an assassination. As a result of the explosion, Mr. Aqazadeh Na’ini and three other individuals named Fariba Mozarmi, Abbas Rafi vardanjani, and Akbar Qanbarnejad were killed instantly, and two others, Massumeh Gudarzi and Javad Fotuhi died a few hours later due to the extent of their injuries. 21 people who were on the bus were injured in the incident, as were the riders of another bus transporting Iraqi citizens that was on the same road at the same time as the explosion.

On June 10, 1999, as a funeral was being held at Ashraf Camp for the victims of the explosion, the camp became the target of a rocket attack, which did not result in any injuries or casualties to the Mojahedin since the rocket had hit a location outside and had injured a number of the residents of the village adjacent to the Ashraf Camp. 

Officials’ Reaction

There is no information regarding the Iranian Officials’ reaction to Ms. Gudarzi’s killing.

Mojahedin Khalq Organization’s Reaction

The Mojahedeen Khalq Organization held the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ministry of Information responsible for the explosion and considered the bombing one of 150 “terrorist acts the regime governing Iran” had carried out on Iraqi soil since 1991 against their Organization “with the cooperation of Iraqi supporters of the Iranian regime”. The Mojahedeen quoted an Iraqi publication that supported Iran called Al-Howzeh, that had stated this about the bombing: “For example, a few years ago, one of the Iraqi heroes caused the explosion of a bus transporting about 50 of the elements of this terrorist organization in the Bub-Al-Sham district behind the Al-Shoab Seytareh. Since that day, cars are not allowed to park on this street, which began from the Baghdad crescent [road] and continued until Qalebieh.” They also described the reason for the explosion: “We are writing this to remind the government of Iraq [and question them as to] why the Mojahedin are running around without any obstacles or any control, and American occupying forces have taken on the task of protecting them? What is upsetting is that Iraq’s measly budget must provide for the expenses of this terrorist organization.” The Mojahedin Khalq Organization sent the information obtained from this publication to relevant international institutions.

Family’s Reaction

There is no information regarding Ms. Gudarzi’s family’s reaction.

Impact on Family

There is no information regarding the impact of Ms. Gudarzi’s killing on her family.


*The exclusion of MKO members from government offices and the closure of their centers and publishing houses, in conjunction with to the Islamic Republic authorities’ different interpretation of Islam, widened the gap between the two. Authorities of the new regime referred to the Mojahedin as “Hypocrites” and the Hezbollahi supporters of the regime attacked the Mojahedin sympathizers regularly during demonstrations and while distributing publications, leading to the death of several MKO supporters. On June 20, 1981, the MKO called for a demonstration protesting their treatment by governmental officials and the government officials’  efforts to impeach their ally, President Abolhassan Banisadr. Despite the fact that the authorities called this demonstration illegal, thousands came to the streets, some of whom confronted the Revolutionary Guardsmen and Hezbollahis. The number of casualties that resulted from this demonstration is unknown but a large number of demonstrators were arrested and executed in the following days and weeks. The day after the demonstration, the Islamic Republic regime started a repressive campaign – unprecedented in modern Iranian history. Thousands of MKO members and sympathizers were arrested or executed. On June 21, 1981, the MKO announced an armed struggle against the Islamic Republic and assassinated a number of high-ranking officials and supporters of the Islamic regime. 
In the summer of 1981, the leader of the MKO and the impeached President (Banisadr) fled Iran to reside in France, where they founded the National Council of Resistance. After the MKO leaders and many of its members were expelled from France, they went to Iraq and founded the National Liberation Army of Iran in 1987, which entered Iranian territory a few times during the Iran-Iraq war. They were defeated in July 1988 during their last operation, the Forugh Javidan Operation. A few days after this operation, thousands of imprisoned Mojahedin supporters were killed during the mass executions of political prisoners in 1988. Ever since the summer of 1981, the MKO has continued its activities outside of Iran. No information is available regarding members and activities of the MKO inside the country. 
In spite of the “armed struggle” announcement by the MKO on June 20, 1981, many sympathizers of the organization had no military training, were not armed, and did not participate in armed conflict.

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