Iran: West's support for Mojahedin Khalq terrorists dosplays empty nature of their claims about Human Rights
... the West's support for the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (the MKO, also known as the MEK, NCR and PMOI) displays that its mottos about respect for human rights are mere words which meet no action. "How is it possible that the US and Israel as well as some western countries consider themselves as supporters of human rights, while they paved the way for the killing of and damage to a large number of Iranian citizens through their support for the MKO in the past years," Mohseni Ejeii said. Instead of blocking the attempts of terrorists groups in line with their mottos about support for human rights, the western countries recognize these groups and ...
Fars News, Tehran, January 22 2013
Spokesman: West's Support for MKO Displays Empty Nature of Western Claims about Human Rights
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Judiciary Spokesman and Prosecutor-General Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeii said the West's support for the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (the MKO, also known as the MEK, NCR and PMOI) displays that its mottos about respect for human rights are mere words which meet no action.
"How is it possible that the US and Israel as well as some western countries consider themselves as supporters of human rights, while they paved the way for the killing of and damage to a large number of Iranian citizens through their support for the MKO in the past years," Mohseni Ejeii said.
Instead of blocking the attempts of terrorists groups in line with their mottos about support for human rights, the western countries recognize these groups and endorse the behavior of these terrorist groups through this recognition, he complained.
The MKO is behind a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, a number of EU parliamentarians said in a recent letter in which they slammed a British court decision to remove the MKO from the British terror list. The EU officials also added that the group has no public support within Iran because of their role in helping Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).
Many of the MKO members abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the grouplet are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.
A May 2005 Human Rights Watch report accused the MKO of running prison camps in Iraq and committing human rights violations.
According to the Human Rights Watch report, the outlawed group puts defectors under torture and jail terms.
The group, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.
The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran's new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by MKO members in 1981.
The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.
The terrorist group joined Saddam's army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.
Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who argued for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.
The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in early September, one week after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent the US Congress a classified communication about the move. The decision made by Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.
The U.S. and Israel have made a Joke of the United Nations Security Council
(Using Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult terrorists)
... This shows that anything the United States government says about terrorism and really the whole concept of terrorism itself should be viewed as nothing more than a ridiculous joke. MKO is a classic group that is a terrorist organization. They have engaged in violence against innocent civilians, they have devoted themselves to overthrow a government using violence and there are credible reports that they are the ones who are working with Israelis and are behind the assassination of civilian scientists in Iran that included the shooting of not only the scientists, but also in two cases their wives. And because this group has paid ...
Glenn Greenwald and Kourosh Ziabari, Global Research, December 18 2012
Glenn Greenwald is a prominent American journalist, author, lawyer and blogger. His writings and articles have appeared on several newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The American Conservative, The National Interest and In These Times. Greenwald has received different awards including the first Izzy Award for independent journalism in 2009, and the 2010 Online Journalism Award for Best Commentary.
Until a few months ago, he was a columnist and blogger for Salon.com, but he left his job there and continued cooperating with The Guardian newspaper which he has been contributing to since June 2011.
Greenwald has published four books which include “How Would a Patriot Act?” and “A Tragic Legacy.” A progressive journalist, Glenn Greenwald is an outspoken critic of the U.S. military expeditions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and its war threats against Iran.
He has written extensively on the underground operations taken by Israel and the United States to empower and finance the exiled Iranian terrorist group MKO which has declared as one of its key objectives the overthrowing of Iranian government. With regards to the U.S. Department of State’s decision in taking the name of MKO off the list of foreign terrorist organizations, he says: “[t]his shows that anything the United States government says about terrorism and really the whole concept of terrorism itself should be viewed as nothing more than a ridiculous joke. MKO is a classic group that is a terrorist organization. They have engaged in violence against innocent civilians, they have devoted themselves to overthrow a government using violence and there are credible reports that they are the ones who are working with Israelis and are behind the assassination of civilian scientists in Iran that included the shooting of not only the scientists, but also in two cases their wives.”
I had the opportunity to talk to Glenn Greenwald for an exclusive interview which was originally appeared in Persian on Tasnim News Agency. What follows is the full text of my interview with Glenn Greenwald in which we discussed a variety of topics pertaining to the international political and military developments.
Q: What do you think about President Obama administration’s plans for shaping a new Middle East based on the national interests of the United States and dominating the vast oil reserves of these countries?
A: A crucial part of the Obama administration’s strategy and the strategies of all the prior administrations in the United States was to basically put into place dictatorships in the Muslim world that would keep the population suppressed and serve the interests of the U.S. government, particularly in the countries with remarkable oil and energy resources. So you see the relationships the United States has with the [Persian] Gulf states such as Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. These are the governments which suppress their population, but serve as loyal allies of the United States and make oil available to the U.S. and the Obama administration continues supporting them.
Q: In the recent months, we have been witness to the continued killing of the pro-democracy protesters and imprisonment of political activists in Bahrain. However, the U.S. government hasn’t taken any practical steps to stop bloodshed and persuade the Al Khalifa regime to stop using force and violence. What’s your idea in this regard?
A: Well, this is a perfect example of what I was describing. The governments which I named and the Bahraini government are unbelievably oppressive. They murder protesters who are demonstrating peacefully, put people in prison and torture them and the Obama administration does nothing about that and continues to strengthen that regime through financing it and even sending it a lot of arms, while the regime is cracking down on the citizens in such a brutal way. The reason the U.S. government supports Bahrain is that the regime allows the U.S. to maintain a very large fleet of naval resources off the coast of Bahrain that can be used to threaten Iran and that generally allows the U.S. government to dominate the [Persian] Gulf region, and so in extreme for the regime in Bahrain, that is basically the puppet and client government of the United States, the U.S. government supports the regime as it murders its own citizens and suppresses of all forms of freedoms. And Bahrain is a perfect example of the strategy the Obama administration has adopted to just dominate the region militarily and help the dictators of the region suppress their populations.
Q: One of the electoral promises of President Obama was to close the Guantanamo bay detention facility within one year after being elected. However, on January 7, 2011, he signed the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill which placed restrictions on the transferring of detainees to the U.S. or other countries, thus impeding the closure of the underground detention camp. What’s your take on that?
A: The excuse the Obama administration gave was that the people in the Congress refused to allow Obama to close down Guantanamo. But the truth is that from the beginning, Obama’s plan was to keep the system of Guantanamo in place and transfer the detainees to the U.S. while people from all around the Muslim world still are allowed to remain in prison without charges of any kind and without due processes at any time. But to remove them from Guantanamo and placing them in a new prison inside the United States would only add some sort of a symbolic aspect to it. So it was always the Obama administration’s plan to keep the Guantanamo open. They simply wanted to move it, not to close it. And this Defense Authorization Bill which you ask about was passed in December 2010 and January 2011 is a sort of legislation that empowers the president whoever he wants on accusations of terrorism, without having to charge that person with any crime, without having to in any way offer the person the opportunity to contest the allegations or present compelling evidence, and President Obama has signed a law that actually strengthened this system of indefinite lawless detention.
Q: What’s your perspective on the U.S. drone attacks on Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia and its violation of Iran’s airspace last year in December 2011 and in the last week?
A: The drone attacks on Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia have repeatedly killed all sorts of innocent civilians; women, children and innocent men, and the Obama administration simply believes that it has the right to kill anyone it wants anywhere in the world regardless of who dies, and this is the policy that the Obama administration has actually pursued even more aggressively than the Bush administration and the drone attacks have increased significantly under President Obama. He has used drones on six different Muslim countries; Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. I should point out that President Obama has extremely aggressive beliefs that in the name of combating terrorism, he can kill whoever he wants or attack anyone he wants without regard to any nation’s sovereignty. The ironic part about that is that it’s precisely the drone attacks which cause terrorism in the first place.
The reason why there are so many people in the world, especially in the Muslim world want to attack the United States is precisely because they watch on a regular basis the United States attacking their countries, killing their children, innocent men and women and they come to the conclusion that the only way to stop this is by having the violence go both ways. The drone attacks not only kill innocent people, but they make the problem of terrorism far worse. As far as the drones in Iran are concerned, Iran has the absolute right, like any other country does, to take down surveillance instruments that fly over their land without permission. What strikes me is the way this is reported and discussed here in the United States, and that is when Iran successfully shoots down or disables a U.S. drone that has entered its airspace, it’s talked of as if it’s some sort of aggressive action on the side of the Iranian government.
But of course if Iran ever sent a drone anywhere near the airspace of the United States, let alone into the United States, not only that drone would be immediately shot down, but everyone in the United States would talk of it as if it was a horrible act of war and would probably result in bombs being dropped on Iran in retaliation. So you see here this extreme double standard that the United States thinks that it has the right to send drones on Iran’s airspace, but nobody in the United States and almost nobody would think that Iran would have the right to do the same to the United States.
Q: The United States has always called itself a champion of combating terrorism and frequently criticizes other countries for their alleged sponsorship of terrorist groups. But in a controversial decision, they took the name of Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization off the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, and there’s credible evidence showing that Washington has been supporting MKO in its terrorist operations, both militarily and financially. Isn’t this a hypocritical approach in dealing with the issue of terrorism?
A: This shows that anything the United States government says about terrorism and really the whole concept of terrorism itself should be viewed as nothing more than a ridiculous joke. MKO is a classic group that is a terrorist organization. They have engaged in violence against innocent civilians, they have devoted themselves to overthrow a government using violence and there are credible reports that they are the ones who are working with Israelis and are behind the assassination of civilian scientists in Iran that included the shooting of not only the scientists, but also in two cases their wives. And because this group has paid so many influential politicians in the United States and also because this group now carries out terrorist operations on behalf of Israel and the United States in promotion of the interests of Israel and the United States, they have been removed from the list of terrorist organizations by the Obama administration and this really shows that the United States is not against terrorism.
The U.S. government uses terrorism continuously to serve its interests. The United States government says that it is against terrorism only because terrorism is the word that applies to anybody who opposes or impedes the agenda of the United States, and the willingness to remove the name of MKO from the list of terrorist organizations even though they are committed to the use of violence and killing of Iranian officials proves how worthless the United States’ claims about terrorism are.
Q: What do you think about the humanitarian impacts of the anti-Iranian sanctions? In one of your articles, you alluded to some facts regarding the scarcity of foodstuff and other goods in Iran as a result of the sanctions. I’ll add the medicine, travel restrictions and unsafe aviation fleet to your list. Isn’t it some sort of violation of human rights by the United States?
A: Of course. One of the worst crimes that the United States has committed over the last several decades was the sanctions regime that it imposed on Iraq which killed several hundred thousands of children, deprived people of basic food and medicine and strengthened Saddam Hussein by making everybody in the country poor and dependent on him. This is now repeating itself in Iran, not to the same extent yet but it has its own effects where there are poor Iranian children who are sick and unable to get medicine and are dying as a result. Obviously the American officials openly brag about the destruction of Iranian economy and the collapse of Iranian currency which they are causing with their sanctions regime, and you see it’s a kind of collective punishment to terrorize the Iranian people for the alleged crimes of their government; the kinds of crimes that the United States has condemned the other countries for committing for many decades. So absolutely the sanctions regime which the United States is leading is really an act of war and a way of making Iranians and innocent civilians suffer greatly, and absolutely a kind of collective punishment that should be judged by the decent people.
Q: What’s your idea about the U.S. mainstream media’s portrayal of the developments in the Middle East and especially Iran? They don’t allow the citizens to be aware of the fact that, for example, the economic sanctions are paralyzing the daily life of ordinary Iranian citizens, as they did with regards to the Iraqi people. Why do the American media want to leave their people in ignorance and unawareness?
A: The role of the U.S. media in general is to serve the interests of the U.S. government. They claim that we have a free media, but for a lot of different reasons, these media are owned by the corporations and these corporations are very well to the U.S. government. And so part of what any government wants to do when it wants to be aggressive on other countries is to dehumanize their population; to depict them in very simplistic ways. What the U.S. media generally show of Iran is nothing more than the claims that they have evil, extremist leaders and almost never talk of the complexities of Iran and tens of millions of Iranian citizens who produce a complicated and difficult to caricature society.
Q: How do you perceive the relationship between Obama and the Israeli lobby? How much influence has the Israeli lobby had on Obama and what role has it played in the reelection of Obama? Do you think that Obama was at odds with Netanyahu on such cases as settlement constructions, or they were simply superficial conflicts and they were practically close allies?
A: Any differences between Obama and Netanyahu are, as you said, superficial and symbolic and never resulted in meaningful action. If you turn to Israelis, they will tell you that the relationship between the United States and Israel under Obama is closer than it has ever been under any prior U.S. President. We saw that with the Israeli attack on Gaza, the Obama administration 100 percent justified and stood behind Israel, and just in the two recent votes in the United Nations, one on Palestinian statehood and the other that demanded Israel to open its nuclear stockpile to inspection, the United States sided with Israel and isolated itself in almost the entire world.
So you have this extremely loyal relationship between Obama and Israelis including Netanyahu, and it’s in large part because as many prominent American columnists including Jewish and pro-Israel commentators have observed there’s a very strong pro-Israeli lobby in the United States which is very well-funded and very powerful and that basically keeps both the political parties completely on the side of Israel in every single controversy or dispute, even when doing so harms the United States, they force both political parties to choose loyalty to Israel over the interests of the United States and as a result, neither political party is able, even if they want to, to in any meaningful way pressure the Israelis or challenge them.
And despite all the loyalty that the United States has to Israel, Israelis continue to pursue policies that the United States doesn’t want them to do, like the expansion of settlements in the West Bank and yet the United States in unwilling to punish them or sanction them because of the domestic political pressures.
Q: Iran has assumed the three-year presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement in the 16th summit of the organization which was held in Tehran in August 2012. What’s your viewpoint regarding the importance of this summit for Iran which the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi along with several leaders from across the world attended?
A: I think it’s significant because one of the main objectives of Israel and the United States was to depict Iran as isolated from the rest of the world. But what we are seeing is that to some extent, they are Israel and the United States that are increasingly being isolated from the rest of the world. And the refusal of so many countries in denouncing Israel and the United States’ calls for not attending the summit and otherwise isolating the Iranian government is very significant in that regard as are the two votes that just took place in the UN that overwhelmingly sided against Israel. So I think the Israelis have become their own worst enemies through their extreme pursuance of the ideological vision, their refusal to compromise, their expansion of settlements that are illegal and their use of violence and aggression have alienated a huge part of the world, much more than Iran has, and if there’s anyone in the danger of isolation, I think it’s Israel.
Q: And finally, what’s your viewpoint regarding Israel’s aggressive war rhetoric against Iran and its continued threats of using force against Iran? These war threats clearly violate the UN Charter, but the Security Council hasn’t taken any practical steps to criticize and punish Israel for its illegal behavior. What’s your take on that?
A: Well, I think that UN Security Council’s enforcement of those roles is practically impossible because almost everybody knows that the United States will veto any resolution to condemn Israel for its use of those threats. It’s also the case that many countries that are in the Security Council, mostly the United States, but also Russia and China also use threats against other countries in violation of the UN Charter, so everyone is a little bit afraid of punishing Israel for violating rules that those countries themselves like to violate, but it’s really the case that the United States and Israel have made a joke of the UN Charter and continuously threaten Iran to use military force against Iran, to bomb Iran, to keep all options on the table including a military strike, and this is a clear violation of the UN Charter and everything that it was intended to stand for. As long as the U.S. has the veto power, the Security Council will be completely unable to act against Israel’s violation of the UN Charter.
American-Killing Terror Cult: US Delists Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
Continuity of Agenda: Neo-Cons and Obama administration sponsor global terror against Iran
... The delisting of MEK is merely a technicality to make more overt arming and funding for the group possible. In reality, and despite being long recognized as a dangerous, extremist organization with both innocent Iranian and American blood on their hands, the US has been arming, training, and funding MEK for years, beginning under the Bush administration and continuing unabated under Obama.Covert support for the US-listed terrorist group Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK) has been ongoing since at least 2008 under the Bush administration, when Seymour Hersh’s 2008 New Yorker article “Preparing the Battlefield,” reported ...
Tony Cartalucci, Global research, September 23 2012
As the US government confirms that terrorists involved in the Benghazi, Libya US consulate attack were indeed the very militants funded, armed, and provided air support in last year’s bid to overthrow the government of Libya, yet another disturbing announcement has been made. Terror organization Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK) will be delisted by the US State Department in order to clear legal obstacles in the way of overtly arming and funding the terrorists in pursuit of a proxy war with Iran, the LA Times reported in their article, “U.S. to remove Iranian group Mujahedin Khalq from terrorist list.”
* * *
The LA Times states specifically:
Some current and former U.S. officials have called for arming the MEK to conduct attacks against Iran, which experts say could tip the United States and Iran closer to war.
The lobbying effort to delist MEK has been led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Howard Dean, first “Secretary of Homeland Security” Tom Ridge, John Lewis, Ed Rendell, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, retired General Wesley Clark, Lee Hamilton who farcically oversaw the 9/11 Commission, former US Marine Corps Commandant and former Obama National Security Adviser General James Jones, and Alan Dershowitz. There are also members of the British Parliament including David Amess of the Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, speaking on MEK’s behalf.
The US Has Already Been Arming MEK For Years
The delisting of MEK is merely a technicality to make more overt arming and funding for the group possible. In reality, and despite being long recognized as a dangerous, extremist organization with both innocent Iranian and American blood on their hands, the US has been arming, training, and funding MEK for years, beginning under the Bush administration and continuing unabated under Obama.
Covert support for the US-listed terrorist group Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK) has been ongoing since at least 2008 under the Bush administration, when Seymour Hersh’s 2008 New Yorker article “Preparing the Battlefield,” reported that not only had MEK been considered for their role as a possible proxy, but that the US had already begun arming and financing them to wage war inside Iran:
“The M.E.K. has been on the State Department’s terrorist list for more than a decade, yet in recent years the group has received arms and intelligence, directly or indirectly, from the United States. Some of the newly authorized covert funds, the Pentagon consultant told me, may well end up in M.E.K. coffers. “The new task force will work with the M.E.K. The Administration is desperate for results.” He added, “The M.E.K. has no C.P.A. auditing the books, and its leaders are thought to have been lining their pockets for years. If people only knew what the M.E.K. is getting, and how much is going to its bank accounts—and yet it is almost useless for the purposes the Administration intends.”
Seymour Hersh in an NPR interview, also claims that select MEK members have already received training in the US.
More recently, the British Daily Mail published a stunning admission by “US officials” that Israel is currently funding, training, arming, and working directly with MEK. The Daily Mail article states, “U.S. officials confirmed today that Israel has been funding and training Iranian dissidents to assassinate nuclear scientists involved in Iran’s nuclear program.” The article continues by claiming, “Washington insiders confirmed there is a close relationship between Mossad and MEK.”
In 2009, an extensive conspiracy was formulated within US policy think-tank Brookings Institution’s 2009 “Which Path to Persia?” report, proposing to fully arm, train, and back MEK as it waged a campaign of armed terror against the Iranian people.
In their report, they openly conspire to use what is an admitted terrorist organization as a “US proxy” (emphasis added):
“Perhaps the most prominent (and certainly the most controversial) opposition group that has attracted attention as a potential U.S. proxy is the NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran), the political movement established by the MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq). Critics believe the group to be undemocratic and unpopular, and indeed anti-American.
In contrast, the group’s champions contend that the movement’s long-standing opposition to the Iranian regime and record of successful attacks on and intelligence-gathering operations against the regime make it worthy of U.S. support. They also argue that the group is no longer anti-American and question the merit of earlier accusations. Raymond Tanter, one of the group’s supporters in the United States, contends that the MEK and the NCRI are allies for regime change in Tehran and also act as a useful proxy for gathering intelligence. The MEK’s greatest intelligence coup was the provision of intelligence in 2002 that led to the discovery of a secret site in Iran for enriching uranium.
Despite its defenders’ claims, the MEK remains on the U.S. government list of foreign terrorist organizations. In the 1970s, the group killed three U.S. officers and three civilian contractors in Iran. During the 1979-1980 hostage crisis, the group praised the decision to take America hostages and Elaine Sciolino reported that while group leaders publicly condemned the 9/11 attacks, within the group celebrations were widespread.
Undeniably, the group has conducted terrorist attacks—often excused by the MEK’s advocates because they are directed against the Iranian government. For example, in 1981, the group bombed the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party, which was then the clerical leadership’s main political organization, killing an estimated 70 senior officials. More recently, the group has claimed credit for over a dozen mortar attacks, assassinations, and other assaults on Iranian civilian and military targets between 1998 and 2001. At the very least, to work more closely with the group (at least in an overt manner), Washington would need to remove it from the list of foreign terrorist organizations.”
- page 117-118 of “Which Path to Persia?” Brookings Institution, 2009
The latest lobbying effort to delist MEK, led by some of the most adamant proponents for the West’s “War on Terror” is simply the latest move in a long-ago decided conspiracy to build up an armed terrorist group with which to fight a proxy war against Iran. That the conspiracy has been dutifully carried out over the course of two presidencies indicates a continuity in agenda, divorced from the alleged agendas and ideologies of each respective presidency…..
MEK is a Listed Terror Organization for a Reason
The delisting, funding, arming, and training of MEK is an indefensible crime against humanity, standing in direct violation of both United States law, as well as international accords agreed upon to stem the state sponsorship of terrorism.
MEK has carried out decades of brutal terrorist attacks, assassinations, and espionage against the Iranian government and its people, as well as targeting Americans including the attempted kidnapping of US Ambassador Douglas MacArthur II, the attempted assassination of USAF Brigadier General Harold Price, the successful assassination of Lieutenant Colonel Louis Lee Hawkins, the double assassinations of Colonel Paul Shaffer and Lieutenant Colonel Jack Turner, and the successful ambush and killing of American Rockwell International employees William Cottrell, Donald Smith, and Robert Krongard.
Admissions to the deaths of the Rockwell International employees can be found within a report written by former US State Department and Department of Defense official Lincoln Bloomfield Jr. on behalf of the lobbying firm Akin Gump in an attempt to dismiss concerns over MEK’s violent past and how it connects to its current campaign of armed terror – a testament to the depths of depravity from which Washington and London lobbyists operate.
To this day MEK terrorists have been carrying out attacks inside of Iran killing political opponents, attacking civilian targets, as well as carrying out the US-Israeli program of targeting and assassinating Iranian scientists. MEK terrorists are also suspected of handling patsies in recent false flag operations carried out in India, Georgia, and Thailand, which have been ham-handedly blamed on the Iranian government.
MEK is described by Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Ray Takeyh as a “cult-like organization” with “totalitarian tendencies.” While Takeyh fails to expand on what he meant by “cult-like” and “totalitarian,” an interview with US State Department-run Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty reported that a MEK Camp Ashraf escapee claimed the terrorist organization bans marriage, using radios, the Internet, and holds many members against their will with the threat of death if ever they are caught attempting to escape.
Clearly, all involved, from the Bush administration to Obama’s, are complicit in an overarching agenda to willfully arm terrorists to deploy against Iran. MEK’s history and even its current state is one of couching militant terrorism within the tenuous trappings of political activism – and provides a transparent comparison with which to use against Libyan and Syrian terrorists also armed, trained, funded, and supported by the West in pursuit of long since planned regime change.
Whether it is the US funding and arming Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) terrorists in Libya and in Syria, or delisting the already heavily US-armed and funded MEK in Iraq to carry out attacks across the border against Iran, the West itself is the premier purveyor of state sponsored global terror.
It is support that originates not within the alleged political ideologies of “Neo-Cons” or the current “liberal-Democrat” president, but from corporate-financier interests, articulated within their think-tanks, and merely rubber-stamped and sold to the public by troupes of proxy politicians using false paradigms to manipulate public perception. It is a singular, continuous agenda that will carry forth no matter who is elected into office in 2012, 2016 or beyond. Until the balance of power can be shifted from the corporate-financier interests on Wall Street and in the City of London, back into the hands of the people and their communities, such agendas will continue on
48Years After Formation of MKO
(aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MEK, Rajavi cult)
MKO lacks the least political support among the Iranian people and opposition
... This September, Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO, MEK, PMOI, NCR, NLA) commemorates 48th anniversary of its formation. Now on the list of designated terrorist organizations, there is no denying that it shares many characteristics and similar terrorist and violent tactics employed by any of the same groups and entities on the list. However, hardly any of other terrorist groups can be identified even close to it in utilizing tactics in pursuit of overall strategies that have oftentimes changed in degree and frequency; a make-believe shift from an absolute violent to a presumably pro-democracy group, an opportunistic and ambivalent shift from the ultra-left to ultra-right ...
Mojahedin.ws, September 14, 2012
This September, Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO, MEK, PMOI, NCR, NLA) commemorates 48th anniversary of its formation. Now on the list of designated terrorist organizations, there is no denying that it shares many characteristics and similar terrorist and violent tactics employed by any of the same groups and entities on the list. However, hardly any of other terrorist groups can be identified even close to it in utilizing tactics in pursuit of overall strategies that have oftentimes changed in degree and frequency; a make-believe shift from an absolute violent to a presumably pro-democracy group, an opportunistic and ambivalent shift from the ultra-left to ultra-right, and turning into an enthusiastic pro-imperialist after being initially and inherently recognized an ardent anti-imperialist.
As an opposition lasting for nearly half a century in Iranian temporary history, MKO is known to have had the most destructive impact on other campaigning freedom-seeking and ideological groups. In contrast to genuine sincerity and righteous causes of the early founders of the organization, as many believe, the subsequent unsavory assumption of power as the leader by Massoud Rajavi actually led the organization to a different path of deviation that so far has challenged it. It does not mean that the early founders like Muhammad Hanifnejad were totally free from mistakes and errors in decision makings that were somehow a natural impact of other active political, ideological and mainly Marxist groups’ activities, but Rajavi’s persistence to walk on a more tortuous path of mistakes led many to doubt the honesty and veracity of the early founders in their claimed campaign.
Benefiting a wide range of public support for its ideological and religious believes MKO was holding at the beginning, it did not take long, only a decade later, for the group to be totally divested of majority of its publically reputed figures who were superseded by pro-leftists. In fact, MKO has failed to remain an un-diverted group and has often been realigning itself with leftist ideologies and has undergone a thorough change both in its membership make up and political interaction with the world outside. Now nearly after five decades of its formation, MKO is facing strong opposition from a variety of other opposition groups that are drawing firm lines of demarcation between genuine and sham ideological, political and strategic policies practiced by MKO and themselves. Here are some examples of these oppositions’ perception of MKO.
- A front of opposition believes that the formation of MKO was engineered by under-the-curtain hands to carry through imperialist, freemason and capitalist ends and to confront genuine Islamic movements. Based on questionable, historical analyses and evidences, this front argues that the formation of MKO followed a tactic of forming a trend at the expense of Islamic movements but at the service of imperialism interests.
- There are others who are of the opinion that MKO was principally a devoted Islamic group but the strong impact of Marxist movements on Iranian campaigning intelligentsia at the time impelled the leaders to nest fallacies in reasoning to make impetuous decisions. These seriously made miscalculations are known to be the root of the consequent organizational and eclectic deviations lasted so far.
- Another group believes that surviving intellectuals of the early Mojahedin like Taqi Shahram and Bahram Aram, who had concealed their Marxist inclination as they joined the organization, were the subset to lead the organization to a full derailment. They are said to have established close collaboration with SAVAK, Pahlavi’s Intelligence Agency, and CIA to deflect the organization from its main path by open declaration of conversion to Marxism when the top leaders were arrested and executed.
- A fourth group observes that transformation of MKO into a deviated terrorist cult is the result of Massoud Rajavi’s hegemonic and ideological leadership. Rajavi’s plotted ideological revolution was in itself a result of the organization’s failures during 1981-1985 and a process that turned to be the major cause behind all deviations and failures of organization.
- The end of the bipolar order is generally associated with the collapse of the USSR that had its great impact on revolutionary Marxism. As a result, majority of left-oriented groups building their struggle on revolutionary and violent underground militarism encountered shocking failed strategies. The claiming revolutionary MKO was not an exception; compelled to undergo a change, MKO is presumed a pro-democratic, non-violent group with no actual reformation of its old infrastructure.
- And a last group of commentators conclude that MKO is considered a good case for historical studies concerning idealist, revolutionary and militant groups turning into non-democratic cults acting under a pro-democratic guise.
Frankly speaking, no campaigning group can be found in Iranian contemporary history so controversial as MKO. The group’s blind assassinations and bloody terrorist operations under a false flag of freedom and democracy repelled Iranian people and made MKO disappointed of availing itself of the determinative public element inside the country to face absolute public rejection. The supporters of a once claiming revolutionary group at the moment are neither the internal or the external oppositions but state-sponsored warmonger Western parties and a few retired and former Western personalities in need of MKO’s money.
Congressional Leaders Voice Support for Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) Violence
... But Rohrabacher was adamant in his support for MEK. “I will have to admit the thing that attracts me to this movement is that it is willing to fight," he responded. “It won’t just be pacifists," Rohrabacher said, referring dismissively to the Green Movement, "it will be people with courage and people who stand up.” Mukasey, in addition to calling for the MEK to be removed from the terrorism list, urged that MEK members be allowed to resettle in the United States. Mukasey acknowledged that members of terrorist organizations are legally barred from entering the U.S., and suggested legislation be introduced to change the law for MEK members ...
NIAC Staff - News
Washington, DC - Congressional supporters of the drive to remove the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from the U.S. terrorism list defended the organization’s use of violence while dismissing Iran’s nonviolent Green Movement at a hearing on Capitol Hill last week. The hearing was also remarkable in that senior leaders of the designated foreign terrorist organization were caught counseling some of the witnesses before the hearing. It is illegal to coordinate with a foreign terrorist organization to advocate on behalf of the terrorist group.
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, compared the use of terrorism by MEK to violence employed during the American Revolutionary War. He justified the “cult-like” behavior of the MEK, saying American revolutionaries included "religious fanatics and Christian cults.”
Rohrabacher called for the MEK to be removed from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list, which prevents the group from receiving government funding and makes it illegal for MEK to operate in the U.S. "Any group that chooses to use violence to resist doesn’t make them right or wrong,” Rohrabacher stated. “Backing people who fight against tyranny is also something the U.S. should be doing.”
Despite the terrorist listing, Ali Safavi, a senior member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, was at the hearing, where he openly counseled witnesses before and during their testimony. The NCRI is the MEK’s political wing and is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.
The hearing’s witnesses included three former U.S. officials who have actively participated in pro-MEK conferences, including former Bush Administration Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
All three witnesses who previously appeared at MEK conferences unanimously called for the MEK to be removed from the terror list, though none were asked to disclose whether they had received money to support the organization, as have other officials who have advocated for delisting the group.
The lone dissenting voice among the witnesses, former Obama Administration advisor Ray Takeyh, was subjected to an intense back and forth with Representatives on the panel.
Takeyh warned panelists who viewed MEK as a viable alternative to the Iranian regime that the organization has no support in Iran.
“I don’t agree," responded Representative Bob Filner (D-CA). "Even if you’re right, so what?”
Filner laughed off evidence that MEK President Maryam Rajavi is a cult leader, despite reports from the State Department and FBI of “cult-like” practices by MEK that include indoctrination rituals and torture. "She is as intelligent, humorous, humane and humble as anyone I’ve ever met," Filner observed, recounting what he said have been numerous meetings he has held in Paris with Rajavi.
Filner accused Takeyh of justifying violence against the MEK by highlighting the group's history of terrorism, and said the U.S. should be supporting the organization as a “third way” alternative in Iran because it opposes the Iranian regime.
“These are our friends! We should be getting out of their way and de-list them,” Filner exclaimed. “Let them do what they can! Why are we helping Iran by not helping the MEK?”
Rohrabacher defended the MEK's history of violence, saying, “This is a territory that’s filled with violence—I would be surprised if there wasn’t any organization that wasn’t in some way involved with using force to protect themselves.”
"Oh I would disagree with that," responded Takeyh. "Within Iran there are many opposition movements, such as the Green Movement, that explicitly reject violence.”
But Rohrabacher was adamant in his support for MEK. “I will have to admit the thing that attracts me to this movement is that it is willing to fight," he responded. “It won’t just be pacifists," Rohrabacher said, referring dismissively to the Green Movement, "it will be people with courage and people who stand up.”
Mukasey, in addition to calling for the MEK to be removed from the terrorism list, urged that MEK members be allowed to resettle in the United States. Mukasey acknowledged that members of terrorist organizations are legally barred from entering the U.S., and suggested legislation be introduced to change the law for MEK members.
Prior to the hearing, Mukasey was witnessed receiving coaching from Alireza Jafarzadeh, who served as the official spokesman for the NCRI before it was declared a terrorist group and its offices raided by the FBI in 2003.
Meanwhile, many were turned away from the hearing or sent to the overflow room to watch the proceedings because the hearing room was at capacity. It was filled with individuals in yellow jerseys emblazoned with the slogans, “De-list the MEK,” “Protect Ashraf,” and “Ramp up sanctions.”
(Daniel Zucker, Maryam Rajavi and ALi Safavi)
(Ali Safavi as the commander of Saddam's Private Army in Iraq)
(massacre of Kurdish people)
(Abdolmalek Rigi on Voice of America, presented as a democratic alternative)
(Mojahedin's Maryam Rajavi and Jondollah's Abdolmalek Rigi)
RT: Lobbyist in Capital Hill with pockets stuffed with MEK’s money
(aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, Rajavi cult)
... The Alyona Show on RT – Russian English –Language news Channel suggests the US media focus on the “Lobbyist in Capital Hill with pockets stuffed with MEK’s money”, on July 9th. The show criticizes US officials’ hypocrisy and double-standard sell the cause of terrorists. Comparing MEK with Al-Qaida the show poses the question that how a terrorist designated organization can be debated in a hearing held in the US congress ...
Alyona show, Russia Today, July 16 2011
Link to the full program on RT
same video on you tube (Alyona Show)
Royals V. MEK
The Alyona Show on RT – Russian English –Language news Channel suggests the US media focus on the “Lobbyist in Capital Hill with pockets stuffed with MEK’s money”, on July 9th. The show criticizes US officials’ hypocrisy and double-standard sell the cause of terrorists. Comparing MEK with Al-Qaida the show poses the question that how a terrorist designated organization can be debated in a hearing held in the US congress.
Conference Speech at Baghdad University to introduce the book
‘The Life of Camp Ashraf – Mojahedin-e Khalq Victims of Many Masters’
by Anne Singleton and Massoud Khodabandeh
... Massoud Khodabandeh, from Middle East Strategy Consultants th book ‘The Life of Camp Ashraf – Mojahedin-e Khalq Victims of Many Masters’ to the Conference. The book places the MEK in the context of its foreign ownership and concludes that these owners have invested heavily in the MEK’s ability to commit acts of violence and terrorism, and that this is the reason for western resistance to closing the camp. The book particularly highlights the MEK’s refusal to allow residents of the camp to have contact with their immediate families as a fundamental human rights abuse of every person in the camp ...
Iran Interlink, Baghdad, November 30 2011
Massoud Khodabandeh, from Middle East Strategy Consultants th book ‘The Life of Camp Ashraf – Mojahedin-e Khalq Victims of Many Masters’ to the Conference. The book places the MEK in the context of its foreign ownership and concludes that these owners have invested heavily in the MEK’s ability to commit acts of violence and terrorism, and that this is the reason for western resistance to closing the camp. The book particularly highlights the MEK’s refusal to allow residents of the camp to have contact with their immediate families as a fundamental human rights abuse of every person in the camp.
The book was written primarily to give a voice to the people trapped inside Camp Ashraf and to their families who are camped outside waiting to find them and help them.
Why these families are there at all is the big question and one which is fairly easy to answer.
What is harder to answer is how to help them.
The Mojahedin as a terrorist group is not a new problem for Iraq. The MEK collaborated with Saddam Hussein to kill thousands of Iranians and Iraqi citizens.
Unfortunately, after the invasion of 2003, the Americans failed to dismantle the camp and remove this terrorist entity from the country.
So, the nation of Iraq is entitled to ask how did we end up here, nearing the end of the US military presence, but the terrorist cult they protected is still here?
And the families of people trapped inside Camp Ashraf who are still outside the locked gates of the camp, desperate to find their loved ones, they are entitled to ask, why can we not meet with our relatives in peace and freedom after all these years?
After 2003 there were some half-hearted efforts to deal with the MEK in the international political arena. For example, in Germany, Canada and Australia where action was taken by various state agencies to curtail the group’s illegal activities. In France Maryam Rajavi was arrested in 2003 along with 150 others by counter-terrorism police.
But when Maryam ordered her people to set fire to themselves the French Government gave in to the pressure and Rajavi is now free to continue promoting the European Union’s anti-Iran and anti-Iraq agenda.
The covert Western political support for the terrorist MEK, which had been in place even before the fall of Saddam Hussein became overt after the 2003 invasion. In 2004 America deliberately protected Massoud Rajavi when then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld misapplied – against all logic - the UN Fourth Geneva Convention to the group. Designed to protect foreign civilians - the MEK were foreign but were certainly not civilians – the designation gave the MEK a free hand to continue its illegal and violent activities in Iraq on behalf of Rajavi’s Western masters, this time protected by American servicemen and women. America wanted and still wants to keep the MEK in spite of the facts. These facts were clearly described in both the 2005 Human Rights Watch report and the 2009 RAND Report.
In 2009 the Americans were obliged under the terms of the Status of Forces Agreement to hand over control of Camp Ashraf and the people inside it to the democratically elected government of Iraq. It should have been possible at this stage to begin to deal properly with the group from a legal and moral point of view. Certainly, the Iraqi constitution does not allow the group to stay. Nor will Iraq allow the MEK to enjoy refugee status in the country because of the crimes committed against Iraqi citizens. The Iraqi Judiciary has confirmed it has grounds to prosecute at least 150 MEK members for such crimes.
At the same time, the Government of Iraq has been clear that as well as being a terrorist organisation the MEK operates as a pernicious mind-control cult. Because of this, all the Iraqi agencies and NGOs involved have been vehement in declaring that the human rights of Camp Ashraf residents must be protected and that Iraq will not repatriate anyone who does not wish to return home to Iran.
But even after 2009, Rajavi was still refusing to obey Iraqi and international law.
Iraq has been extremely patient and reasonable in the face of extreme provocation; what must be described as pre-planned and coordinated sucidal and violent resistance.
Today the residents of Camp Ashraf find themselves with no protection and no refugee status and are also designated as terrorists in Iraq and America.
So, if the MEK is so unwanted, why is it so difficult to get rid of them?
There are two reasons. One is the nature of the MEK itself, and the other is the role of external agencies in preventing Iraq from expelling the group.
First let us look at the MEK itself.
On both occasions when Iraqi security forces attempted to impose law on the camp, Rajavi ordered his followers to kill themselves in his defence. Some victims were shot by the MEK, some threw themselves under Iraqi vehicles. The message from Rajavi was clear – come near the camp and I will kill everyone in it.
The book ‘The Life of Camp Ashraf’ explains with detailed evidence that this is no ordinary group. It is a dangerous, destructive mind control cult. Without getting too deep into explaining what this means, basically they brainwash and exploit the members to the point they have no will of their own and will obey the leader without question, even if this means killing themselves to order.
Rajavi has trapped the members inside the camp – physically and mentally.
The gates to the camp are locked from inside. The perimeter fence is reinforced from inside.
Residents are made to believe they will be killed by Iraqi soldiers if they try to escape or if they survive they will be sent to Iran to be tortured and executed.
Iraq’s government understands what it is dealing with. Iraq’s problem is that other external parties do not see the group in the same way.
The international community (US and EU) have clearly sided with the cult leader for their own political gains.
The biggest favour Iraq could do for America and Europe now is to become involved in the mass deaths of the MEK. That way the West would be rid of the problem and could still point the finger at Iraq and say ‘what savages, how inhuman you people are’.
But Iraq will not fall for that trick.
Clearly, it is the unwarranted western political support for the MEK leaders which prevents the rescue of the camp’s residents.
In a meeting of the Iraq Delegation on November 22, what did the European Parliament chose to talk about in relation to Iraq? While Iraq has all kinds of issues, trade links, reconstruction, security, health, social and religious issues which could be discussed, the only item on the agenda was the MEK and how to protect them.
The MEK killed 25,000 Iraqis. What is there to talk about?
Two major questions remain – how to get in and who should go in?
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has agreed to go into the camp to interview residents individually for refugee status.
So far they have not succeeded.
Unfortunately, if external agencies don’t understand the cult nature of the MEK they will fall into the trap of manipulative lies and deception.
Certainly, the biggest deception must be exposed.
Rajavi does not represent the hostages. He is the hostage taker – therefore neither he nor his minions are able to negotiate on behalf of the 3500 people trapped inside. Until it is possible to go into the camp and speak individually to the residents without MEK oversight it is not possible to say what should happen to them. At this moment, nobody knows how many of the residents remain loyal to Rajavi. From the testimonies of recent escapees – from all levels of the organisation – we can estimate that only five or ten percent of the residents in the camp are loyal to Rajavi. This means that everyone else is being kept there against their will. For this reason Iraq’s Human Rights Ministry has been insistent that it is necessary to get inside the camp to protect the residents against the abuses of those leaders.
Once this simple fact has been recognised it will become clear that the key to opening the gate of Camp Ashraf is to involve the families of the people inside.
Why? Because this is Rajavi’s greatest fear. How do we know this? Rajavi has deliberately separated the MEK from all relationships with mother, father, sister, brother, husband or wife or child.
Rajavi knows that once a member re-discovers the love and affection of their family and friends, they will abandon him forever.
A wonderful example of this is Mahmoud Rostami who escaped the camp two months ago.
Rostami was a Prisoner of War in Iraq and was deceived into joining the MEK.
He had not seen his family for twenty two years.
Rostami’s mother visited Camp Ashraf three times.
Hearing his mother’s voice over the loudspeakers finally brought Rostami back to reality.
When Rostami also heard the other family members crying out to their loved ones his humanity was re-awakened.
After months of planning Rostami escaped and met with his mother and father after two decades of forced separation.
There can be no legitimate or moral objections to opening the gate of Camp Ashraf to allow people to go inside; whether family members or humanitarian agencies. This has nothing to do with the Iraqi timetable to evacuate Camp Ashraf. It is a purely humanitarian gesture. The only barrier is the leader Massoud Rajavi and his second-in-command Maryam Rajavi who refuse to do the right thing.
Of course, there must be a proper framework if those inside are to be accorded effective help.
United Nations interviews should be supplemented by visits from cult experts and family members or representatives of the families of residents.
Each person interviewed must be given information about their rights and their possible future steps.
The families have no political agenda, they come in a spirit of love and concern to rescue their loved ones. They are there to help the residents.
Families are the key to opening the locked gates of Camp Ashraf and opening the locked hearts of the imprisoned residents. The families are the solution, not the problem.
Diyala Governor: Human Rights, Deporting MEK, Imposing the Laws, non negotiable
... Massoud Khodabandeh heading the delegation thanked the Government of Iraq and asked the Governor of Diyala and the General to help inform the people trapped inside about their rights and to counter the lies given to them by the hostage takers and cult leaders. Ms Abdollahi on behalf of the families asked for help and for care to be taken when dismantling the camp to institute particular safeguards to protect the relatives of the picketing families. Ms Sanjabi, (formerly a member of the MEK Leadership Council), who managed to escape some months ago, explained ...
Iran Interlink, Diyala, Iraq, November 23 2011
A meeting was held on Monday 21 November between officials of the Diyala province and family representatives of the people trapped in Camp Ashraf.
The Governor of Diyala, Dr Abdul–Nasser Al-Mahdwe stated clearly that:
1- There will be no compromise on the decision to deport the MEK.
2 - There will be no compromise on imposing national and international laws
3 - There will be no compromise on respect for human rights laws and agreements and therefore they will not be forcefully returned to Iran.
He said that the overall decisions will rest with central government but as far as Diyala is concerned there is no room for the MKO anywhere inside the province. This has been announced repeatedly by practically all the leaders of tribes and local officials. Dr Al-Mahdwe dismissed completely the MEK propaganda in which they claim they have some support and said that to claim, after what they have done, that the MEK have even a small percentage of support in the province is simply a lie and is purely fictitious.
General Abdol Amir Al-Zeidi, is the commander of the regional army and responsible for the protection of the camp. He said that he has met many escapees from the camp. The last one was a woman who had to drag herself out and crawl for about half a kilometer before reaching the Iraqis. He said the leaders are the problem not the trapped people and if given order we are prepared to transfer them out of the camp with the utmost dignity and care and respect for their wellbeing. He said this can be checked by reporters and human rights organisation who wish to observe the operation.
The General said that in the event they receive the order to evacuate the camp, they will try their utmost to stop the leaders killing the hostages and the disaffected members as they did before. According to the General most of the people who were killed in April 2011 were in opposition to the leadership and had been shot in the heart or in the head. But the leaders tried to cover up such facts even though the evidence is unequivocal. He said reports will be handed over to the authorities to deal with the cases of murder of these people at the hands of the hostage takers.
Massoud Khodabandeh heading the delegation thanked the Government of Iraq and asked the Governor of Diyala and the General to help inform the people trapped inside about their rights and to counter the lies given to them by the hostage takers and cult leaders.
Ms Abdollahi on behalf of the families asked for help and for care to be taken when dismantling the camp to institute particular safeguards to protect the relatives of the picketing families.
Ms Sanjabi, (formerly a member of the MEK Leadership Council), who managed to escape some months ago, explained the latest developments inside the camp and gave some ideas about how the leaders may try to plan and execute violent resistance.
Mr and Mrs Mohammady from Canada who have been trying since before 2003 to rescue their daughter from the camp, presented some documents including copies of the arrest warrants for some leading members of the MKO inside the camp which the General received and promised to follow up.
Other delegation members including Mr. Azizi a Human rights activist from Netherlands Mr Sadeghi, one of the few people who managed to escaped from the camp during the time of Saddam Hussein, Mr Ghashghavi who spent years in Abu Ghraib, where he was sent by Rajavi, Mr. Ferydouni who managed to escape a few weeks ago and Ms Mahdian whose husband, a registered POW, is trapped inside the camp also participated in the meeting.
Press and media were present and the Governor and the General gave a media briefing following the meeting which was broadcast live through official and national media.
Report on Baghdad Conference
Terrorist MEK to be expelled from Iraq
... Mr Adnan Al-Shahmani, head of the Parliamentary Committee to oversee the expulsion of the MEK announced in the Conference that the deadline would not be extended and that the camp will be closed by the end of the year. He also explained that the Iraqi Judiciary had issued its final verdict that the camp should be closed... Mr Al- Shahmani also criticized the West for its silence toward the crimes committed by the group against civilians, and asked international communities not to remain silent in the case of the abuse of the rights of the families of the victims of the MEK ...
Iran Interlink, Baghdad, November 25 2011
A Conference in Baghdad University on Friday 25 November was organised by Al-Edalat Al-Iraqi Society, headed by Dr Nafe Al-Isa, which represents the families of 25,000 Iraqi victims of the MEK.
The Conference was held in Al-Hakim Conference Centre in Baghdad University and hundreds of tribal leaders, University lecturers, Governmental representatives and officials, NGOs and media representatives filled the salon. Although Camp Ashraf and the MEK is an issue specific to the government and citizens of Iraq, the Conference organisers made sure to invite Western agencies, such as the UN, EU and diplomats who have claimed or expressed an interest in Camp Ashraf. Unfortunately, however, any such invitees were apparently unable to leave the Green Zone to attend the Conference and talk to the delegates.
Opening the Conference, Dr Nafe, speaking on behalf of the families of victims of MEK violence, asked that those MEK leaders who were responsible for this violence be brought to justice before their deportation.
Speakers from the government and NGOs all emphasized that the deadline for deportation must be strictly adhered to and that Iraqi and international law against terrorism and crime must be upheld. Other speakers, in particular the tribal leaders spoke about the MEK’s crimes which they have witnessed in recent years in Diyala province. They were highly critical of the failure of the American military to dismantle the camp after 2003, and were scathing of the continued American backing which allowed the camp to be used for training and inciting terrorism against Iraqis.
On this theme, Jasem Al- Ebadi, Member of Parliament and member of the parliamentary Human Rights Commission used his speech to criticise EU efforts to keep the terrorist group intact and their opposition to the deportation process. He commented that if they are so in love with this terrorist group, why don't they take them to their own countries?
(Mr. Al- Shahmani, MP)
Mr Adnan Al-Shahmani, head of the Parliamentary Committee to oversee the expulsion of the MEK announced in the Conference that the deadline would not be extended and that the camp will be closed by the end of the year. He also explained that the Iraqi Judiciary had issued its final verdict that the camp should be closed and the land handed back to the original owners.
Mr Al- Shahmani also criticized the West for its silence toward the crimes committed by the group against civilians, and asked international communities not to remain silent in the case of the abuse of the rights of the families of the victims of the MEK.
(Mr. Al- Shahmani, meeting families)
Mr Al-Shahmani also met with the representatives of the families of hostages inside Camp Ashraf and the delegation from European countries who are campaigning to ensure a peaceful outcome to the standoff at the camp.
Massoud Khodabandeh, from Middle East Strategy Consultants which is working with the Iraqi government to resolve the situation at Camp Ashraf, introduced his book ‘The Life of Camp Ashraf – Mojahedin-e Khalq Victims of Many Masters’ to the Conference. The book places the MEK in the context of its foreign ownership and concludes that these owners have invested heavily in the MEK’s ability to commit acts of violence and terrorism, and that this is the reason for western resistance to closing the camp. The book particularly highlights the MEK’s refusal to allow residents of the camp to have contact with their immediate families as a fundamental human rights abuse of every person in the camp.
Ms Abdollahi represented the families and asked for help to release the hostages (including her own son) from the camp. Ms Abdollahi reminded the Conference that the families’ struggle to find their relatives had been going on since 2003 and that a permanent picket had been established two years ago. She stressed that when searching for a solution the families of course have the security and safety of all the residents as their utmost priority. The families have the simplest and easily granted request – to visit their loved ones who are in the camp. This does not depend on the removal of the MEK from Iraq and would be simple to do. The only barrier to this request is the order of the MEK leaders Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. They can easily resolve this issue by ordering that the families of MEK members be allowed to have free and unfettered contact with their loved ones.
Ms Sanjabi is an ex-member of the MEK’s women only Leadership Council. She managed to escape from Camp Ashraf very recently, and explained the dire situation of the women inside the camp, detailing disturbing and shocking human rights abuses which are currently being carried out against the residents by the MEK leaders.
Ms Mahdian, whose husband is a hostage inside the camp, explained how Saddam’s Intelligence services gave her husband to the MEK as a slave, even though he had been and is still a registered POW, captured at the start of the Iran-Iraq war. Ms Mahdian explained that her son has not seen his father for the past 25 years and the MEK would not allow this visit even after two years of picketing.
Mr Sadeghi from Germany, who is one of the few members who managed to run away from the camp successfully during the time of Saddam Hussein, presented and explained evidence of recent MEK interference in the internal affairs of Iraq, their collaboration with Saddamists and other terrorist groups, and the MEK’s active role in intensifying the insurgency.
Mr Ghashghavi also from Germany, served eight years without trial in Saddam’s prisons including Abu Ghraib for refusing to carry out Massoud Rajavi’s orders to commit criminal acts. Mr Ghashghavi explained how Rajavi and Saddam would force people to either kill others or be sent to the torture chambers themselves and be killed.
(Mr. Ezati and Ms. Sanjabi)
Another ex-MEK member, Mr Ezati who now lives in the Netherlands, gave interviews to the media explaining the situation inside the camp and the constant abuse of human rights of the victims. Mr Ezati strongly criticized the unfortunate media silence over these human rights abuses which he ascribed to the pervasive influence of the MEK’s powerful backers who regard the MEK as “good terrorists”.
Tens of ex-MEK members who work with Nejat Association in Iran, also attended the Conference and were interviewed by the media. They explained that Nejat Association, which works closely with the families of the hostages, now has the capacity to help those survivors who wish to do so, to go back to their country under the amnesty which was granted by the Iranian authorities in 2003 (which is based on the understanding that the MEK members have been subjected to the coercion and control of cult leaders) and which to date has been upheld under the supervision of the ICRC.
Conference attendees were particularly interested in the testimony of three recently escaped camp residents who gave full and detailed explanations to the media about the harsh reality of being a captive inside Camp Ashraf. They spoke about the total information blackout and social and emotional isolation they experienced there. They emphasized that the leaders and the hostage takers lie constantly to the residents so that the captives have no idea about the outside world. They are made to believe that the MEK leaders are directly supported by the Americans and that if they tried to escape the camp they would be immediately shot, or now, after being tortured by the Iraqis they would be handed over to Iran to be executed without trial. They said that if they were given the true facts and information, there is not one person in the camp who would still want to stay in the desert of Iraq nearly nine years after disarmament. They urged international organizations, especially the US representatives and UNAMI, who are the only organizations with close relations with the hostage takers, to take advantage of their weekly meetings inside Camp Ashraf with the hostage takers, to persuade them to open up the flow of information and convince them to give people the right to family visits as well as normal means of communication such as writing and telephones, etc.
These recently escaped hostages also urged UNAMI not to present the hostage takers as the representatives of the hostages in the media outputs. Instead they should be clear that Rajavi is no one’s representative and as long as the negotiators have not met with the hostages without the presence of the MEK commanders - the hostage takers - outside the camp, they have no right to claim anything on their behalf. They said they believe that UNAMI and the American backers of the cult are in breach of international law for siding with the terrorists as these are people who have abused the human rights of over 3000 people for decades. The survivors of Camp Ashraf are now taking legal advice to claim compensation for their suffering and losses from the MEK leaders.