Foundation of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)
The way NCRI was established itself suggests its terrorist nature. While it has claimed at different times to be a coalition of opposition groups, NCRI is widely understood to be comprised entirely of the members of the MKO or MEK, i.e. the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation (Mojahedin e Khalgh), also known as the People’s Mojahedin of Iran, and / or the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA). Other names include Muslim Iranian Students' Society; National Council of Resistance (NCR); Organization of the People's Holy Warriors of Iran; The National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA); The People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI); National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI); Sazeman-e Mujahedin-e Khalq-e Iran. 
Outlined here is a simple introduction to its leadership, membership, activities and purpose, answering the question: Is the NCRI a terrorist organisation?
Given that the US State Department has designated this group a terrorist organisation – do we really need to ask this question? According to the US Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control:
“Foreign Terrorist Organization ("[FTO]") the NATIONAL COUNCIL OF RESISTANCE OF IRAN (NCRI) has now also been listed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist ("[SDGT]"), including its U.S. representative offices and all other offices worldwide.
“The following clarifications to existing entries have also been issued:
“NATIONAL COUNCIL OF RESISTANCE (NCR) (a.k.a. MUJAHEDIN-E KHALQ ORGANIZATION; a.k.a. MEK; a.k.a. MKO; a.k.a. MUJAHEDIN-E KHALQ; a.k.a. NLA; a.k.a. ORGANIZATION OF THE PEOPLE'S HOLY WARRIORS OF IRAN; a.k.a. PEOPLE'S MUJAHEDIN ORGANIZATION OF IRAN; a.k.a. PMOI; a.k.a. SAZEMAN-E MUJAHEDIN-E KHALQ-E IRAN; a.k.a. THE NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY OF IRAN), including its U.S. representative offices and all other offices worldwide [FTO][SDGT]
“PEOPLE'S MUJAHEDIN ORGANIZATION OF IRAN (a.k.a. MUJAHEDIN-E KHALQ ORGANIZATION; a.k.a. MEK; a.k.a. MKO; a.k.a. MUJAHEDIN-E KHALQ; a.k.a. NATIONAL COUNCIL OF RESISTANCE (NCR); a.k.a. NLA; a.k.a. ORGANIZATION OF THE PEOPLE'S HOLY WARRIORS OF IRAN; a.k.a. PMOI; a.k.a. SAZEMAN-E MUJAHEDIN-E KHALQ-E IRAN; a.k.a. THE NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY OF IRAN), including its U.S. press office and all other offices worldwide [FTO][SDGT]
“PMOI (a.k.a. MUJAHEDIN-E KHALQ ORGANIZATION; a.k.a. MEK; a.k.a. MKO; a.k.a. MUJAHEDIN-E KHALQ; a.k.a. NATIONAL COUNCIL OF RESISTANCE (NCR); a.k.a. NLA; a.k.a. ORGANIZATION OF THE PEOPLE'S HOLY WARRIORS OF IRAN; a.k.a. PEOPLE'S MUJAHEDIN ORGANIZATION OF IRAN; a.k.a. Sazeman-e Mujahedin-e Khalq-e Iran; a.k.a. THE NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY OF IRAN), including its U.S. press office and all other offices worldwide [FTO][SDGT]”
Unfortunately we do, as NCRI propaganda has repeated that it is a resistance movement, so some groups and organisations wish to believe that its actions have legitimacy. However, the following will show that even by its own accounts, this group has used and believes in using terroristic violence to target civilians and cause bloodshed and mayhem. Can such a group really be given support, when they use the same methodology and reasoning as groups such as Al-Qaeda?
According to Sasan Fayazmanesh:
“MKO sprang into action as an urban guerilla force against the dictatorial regime of the Shah in the 1960's. According to many reports, in the 1970's the group engaged in assassination campaigns against American military personnel and civilian supporters of the Shah. In 1979 MKO joined the Iranian Revolution on the side of the Islamic forces and, purportedly, supported the takeover of the American Embassy and hostage taking. Eventually, MKO had a falling-out with the clergy and found its way into Iraq, where it became Saddam's mercenary force. In that capacity, MKO helped Saddam in waging war against Iran, quelling the Shiite uprising in 1991, and carrying out numerous assassination and bombing campaigns in Iran.” 
Further details of their activities can be found on many sites, including www.mkowatch.com. As recently as 2007, communiqués were issued targeting former members of the MKO by its leadership. In a letter to British Home Sectrary Jacqui Smith, MKO survivor Ann Singlteon says:
“A communiqué was issued on June 7, 2007 by the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation (MKO)'s cult leader Massoud Rajavi, who has been a fugitive since the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
In the communiqué, Rajavi names three people, including myself, who are witnesses in the on-going investigation against the cult by the French Judiciary, and specifically describes them as "the agents of the Iranian secret services". For those familiar with the MKO cult, this is clearly understood to be Rajavi's method of issuing a death sentence to be carried out by his followers.”
“On June 17, 2007 over 50 people associated with the MKO cult lay in wait to attack a public meeting in Paris at which the three persons mentioned above were among the invitees.
It was later revealed that the attack had been orchestrated from the MKO cult HQ in Auvers-sur-Oise. According to French police, the assailants in this violent attack had been transferred to France from other European countries. None had French documents, some had false documents. The attackers also filmed their activities at the scene. This was reminiscent of the series of orchestrated self-immolations following the arrest of the cult leader's wife Maryam Rajavi in June 2003, which were also filmed by the cult's activists.
There is evidence that at least some part of the military-style operation on June 17 had targeted the three individuals named in Massoud Rajavi's recent communiqué in an assassination attempt. The incident is currently being investigated by French police.” 
The MKO were founded in 1965 and opposed the Shah of Iran along with many other groups. They took part in the 1979 Iranian Revolution but soon turjed on the revolutionary government. According to the US State Department, the MKO / PMOI’s philosophy is mixture of nationalism, Islam and Marxism . Even during its early years,  unlike other pro-revolutionary groups, the MKO according to its own sources started to carry out other armed operations against American officials. 
An edition of the MKO weekly newspaper Mojahed from January 1998 reads:
“At that time, the main antagonism in the society was the dictatorship under monarchy supported by imperialism. They were suppressing the people and political forces and failed to respect the reformist and parliamentary methods. So, the best way to topple that regime was to recourse to armed struggle.” 
The Shah’s Regime reacted by attacking the MKO and arresting most of its members. Subsequently, some of these arrested people were put to death and the rest remained in jail. According to the group’s own statement, on the threshold of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the number of its members could hardly even reach one hundred:
“The force that was released from Shah’s jails on 11 February 1979 (the date of the victory of the Islamic Revolution) was hardly reaching one hundred.” 
MKO’s terrorist nature is shown from the very beginning of the victory of the Revolution, it had the tendency to carry out terrorist operations:
“Persons, like Farah Yadegar and Keshtgar, who in the aftermath of the anti-monarchic revolution, instead of enlightening the masses on the reactionary nature of Khomeini and his entourage, engaged themselves in armed struggle in Gonbad. Thus, they gave an excuse to Khomeini and his agents to suppress the[m]….” 
Lack of number meant that from the date of the victory of the Revolution on 11 February 1979 till June 1981, MKO tried to recruit its forces and after some training used these forces to start its terrorist operations. With the MKO entering its military phase in 1981 and adopting the same methods as other terrorist groups, it was necessary for it to coordinate its (MKO) policy with other groups under a new organisational framework. The experience had shown that one group alone did not have the capacity to carry out the armed struggle against the new Government in Iran.
This reality became clear, in particular, when a large terrorist operation was carried out on 28 June 1981 targeting the centre of the Islamic Republic Party. It was not coincidental that right after the operation of 28 June 1981 and on the peak of terrorist operations, MKO established NCRI on 21 July 1981.
“In the midst of armed clashes in Tehran, Masoud Rajavi established NCRI…” 
In fact, NCRI was a new terrorist organisation whose main task was to coordinate terrorist operations with leftist and semi-communist groups. Initially some other organisations took part in NCRI such as the People’s Devotee Militia and the Kurdistan Democrat Party. Some of these organisations had been involved in military activities, before MKO adopted an armed struggle policy.
Masoud Rajavi later on expelled those organisations and individuals who did not believe in armed struggle like the Kurdistan Democratic Party and Bani Sadr.
“In this short paper, it is not possible to explain in details and case by case actions taken by the leader of NCRI. But we can refer for instance to some of his effective actions including: removing Bani Sadr from NCRI, expulsion of Democratic Party of Kurdistan for the reason of its negotiations with Khomeini regime…” 
This essentially left the MKO as the main component of NCRI, and subsequently its membership reflected the membership of MKO.
NCRI turned its focus to widespread and macro operations with the support of Saddam Hussein, it established a new organisation named National Liberation Army (NLA which is on lists of terrorist groups of different countries including European Union Member States and the US). In the special edition of NCRI publication dated July 1998 it mentions among the actions taken by the leader of NCRI “the establishment of NLA and the operation entitled eternal light…”