Terror Group Swears Its Changed Its Ways. Scouts Honor
Terror Group Swears It's Changed Its Ways. Scouts' Honor.(Washn)
... "We've got eight years, I believe, of a clean record," he pleaded, citing such "powerful evidence" as the "disbanding of the National Liberation Army." Maybe so, but it will probably take more than a lawsuit to solve their image problem. In the hours before Tuesday's hearing in Washington, a bomb went off in Tehran, killing a nuclear scientist. Iranian authorities, naturally, blamed the United States, Israel-and the People's Mujaheddin ...
(Massoud and Maryam Rajavi theMojahedin Khalq cult leaders)
Maryam Rajavi and the Mojahedin Khalq Logo!! in Paris HQ
WASHINGTON-The People's Mujaheddin is sick and tired of being called a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. So leaders of the terrorist group settled on a uniquely American strategy for handling this problem: They sued.
Yes, the group has done its share of assassinations, bombings, embassy attacks and killings of U.S. troops. But that was long ago, and now the People's Mujaheddin wants to let bygones be bygones. It says it has devoted itself to democracy and nonviolence, and it would like very much to be taken off the State Department's list of international terrorist groups
Friends of the People's Mujaheddin Organization of Iran-a k a MEK, a k a Mujaheddin-e Khalq, a k a National Liberation Army of Iran, a k a National Council of Resistance, a k a Organization of the People's Holy Warriors-assembled Tuesday at the U.S. courthouse here to hear Andrew Frey of the firm Mayer Brown plead their case.
"Today's PMOI is unique among foreign terrorist organizations," the lawyer told a three-judge appellate panel. "The organization has foresworn violence. We walk the walk. There have been no terrorist acts by PMOI for eight years."
But couldn't the attacks resume? "The fact that terrorist activities are bad if they happen could be said of the Girl Scouts," Frey reasoned.
The People's Mujaheddin as Girl Scouts. Only in America.
People's Mujaheddin fighters were old-school terrorists who once battled the shah of Iran. They then went to Iraq and, with Saddam Hussein's help, attacked the ayatollahs. They allegedly killed hundreds of people, but now they call themselves a nonviolent Iranian opposition movement. About 3,400 of them and their family members still live at Camp Ashraf in Iraq-and they have plenty of friends in the United States, including former Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., who watched Tuesday's proceedings from the front row.
The government's lawyer, Douglas Letter, wasn't about to negotiate with "an organization that for at least 30 years has been involved in terrorism, violence, assassination, et cetera."
He admitted the public record was not sufficient to demonstrate that the group still poses a threat, but he said "it was the classified material" that made it clear that the group still deserves its terrorist listing.
Here the People's Mjuaheddin has a problem: The group is allowed to respond to the classified evidence but is not allowed to see it. "Due process," Letter explained, "is a flexible concept."
This turned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit into something of a kangaroo court on Tuesday. With the terrorist organization not allowed to know the evidence against it, there was little hope of prevailing. "We're at the blind man's bluff part of the argument," Frey complained.
"We were always at that stage," corrected Judge Stephen Williams, one of the three on the panel
But if the proceedings seemed stacked against the People's Mujaheddin, consider this: How many other countries would allow a terrorist organization to sue the government for name-calling?
In a bonus for the group, it had its day in court on the same day a grand jury in the very same courthouse was hearing from two hairstylists about their conversations with Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the White House state dinner crashers. A bank of television cameras stood sentry outside the courthouse-not for the terrorists, but for the stylists, who arrived in a Hummer limousine.
An overflow crowd was in the courtroom, where some men standing in the back passed notes in what looked to be Farsi. The clerk called up case 09-1059, <I>(ital) People's Mujaheddin Organization of Iran v. U.S. Department of State, et al</I> . (end ital) She struggled with the pronunciation, starting with "People's Mooha" before correcting herself.
Frey assured the judges that his client "rejects the sharia," or Islamic law, and renounced its Marxist past. He said the group is "totally committed" to a democratic and secular Iran.
Judge Karen Henderson asked if the lawyer could provide "affirmative evidence that supporters who may be anywhere in the world have foresworn violence."
"I can't speak to individual members," Frey admitted.
Frey was asked about the accusation that the group was behind plans for bombing in Baghdad. "That kind of thing does not constitute substantial evidence," he replied. And the accusation that the group was training women to be suicide bombers? "Utterly implausible," he said.
"We've got eight years, I believe, of a clean record," he pleaded, citing such "powerful evidence" as the "disbanding of the National Liberation Army."
Maybe so, but it will probably take more than a lawsuit to solve their image problem. In the hours before Tuesday's hearing in Washington, a bomb went off in Tehran, killing a nuclear scientist. Iranian authorities, naturally, blamed the United States, Israel-and the People's Mujaheddin
... People in this region mentally note that the West, in some way or form, enables the efforts and activities of the Mojahedin-e Khalq while demanding action on terror. Today, Hillary Clinton is warning us about Yemen; can we be absolutely sure that such shadowy foreign policy tools aren’t being used there too?...
The world has been put on notice that Yemen is a worrying center of activities by terrorists. The question is, how many other countries can be added to that list? The Daily Star is publishing an open letter to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, by Massoud Khodabandeh , a UK-based consultant who demands that the Mojahedin-e Khalq organization be brought under control. The group, which is termed “terrorist” by the United States, is allowed to operate freely in Germany, France and the United Kingdom, and its satellite programs are inciting violence on the streets of Iran.
Meanwhile, the Iranian authorities are claiming that some of those arrested in the demonstrations and clashes are Mojahedin-e Khalq members, purportedly acting with the connivance of Western intelligence agencies.
Whatever the exact degree of Western involvement with the Mojahedin-e Khalq, the group remains a candidate for partnership with Western governments, who preach about fighting terror.
The Mojahedin-e Khalq might be a footnote in the wider struggle, but it’s the nail that punctures the great powers’ approach to Iran. Why harbor the group if it’s terrorist? If the West can’t agree on who’s a terrorist, how do they expect an agreement with the Muslim world?
The partisans of the Mojahedin-e Khalq aren’t just reporting the news from London; they’re inciting and agitating, and acting as a fifth column (whatever their actual size). They help ensure that the dispute between factions in Iran takes a course that leaves behind any possibility of reasonable settlement.
People in this region mentally note that the West, in some way or form, enables the efforts and activities of the Mojahedin-e Khalq while demanding action on terror. Today, Hillary Clinton is warning us about Yemen; can we be absolutely sure that such shadowy foreign policy tools aren’t being used there too?
Similar credibility damage has come from Blackwater in Iraq, and the larger Private Military Contractor phenomenon. Many Iraqis have suffered the exactions of these mercenaries; last week, a group of Blackwater employees found out that they wouldn’t have to stand trial for murder. People hear the stories of Blackwater, and the Mojahedin-e Khalq, and all of the Obama administration’s rhetoric of fighting extremists and violence goes out the window.
Even worse, people assume that the West actually seeks a clash with the Muslim world, by allowing these harmful elements to survive or flourish.
If the West wants to go forward with new sanctions on Iran, and seeks regional and international support, it simply must clean up its act. It can’t allow these terrorists and non-state actors to wreck the chances for making a real fight against the economic underdevelopment and political illegitimacy that plagues us, and that incubates the terror that Washington is so worried about.
Show solidarity with Iranian people by curbing Mojahedin Khalq terrorists in London
... Massoud Khodabandeh told the British Prime Minister, “we would expect that you act immediately to prevent the incitement to violence by the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq from inside the U.K. In doing so you would remove from Iranian hardliners their main excuse for crushing the people’s legitimate protests to bring about change in their own country.” ...
An open letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, today asked his government to stop incitement to violence being broadcast into Iran by a terrorist group from London. Massoud Khodabandeh, of Leeds based Middle East Strategy Consultants, said, “The Iranian people’s courageous, peaceful demonstrations to achieve their natural freedoms and rights are being fatally undermined from within the U.K.”
Khodabandeh said the Mojahedin-e Khalq(aka MKO, MEK, NCRI, PMOI, Rajavi cult) is broadcasting incitement to violence from London through its satellite programme Sima-ye Azadi. The group is also known to be financed through British based banks. “Britain, following Washington’s lead, has put herself in a position where she is seen to support terrorism. This is not in our interests.” said Khodabandeh.
Hardliners in the Iranian government yesterday imposed zero toleranceon street protests after it was found that members of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq cult had been dispatched to Iran to foment violence among the ordinary protestors.
In August 2009, Massoud Khodabandeh published a second reportfollowing consultation with the Iraqi government on plans to expel the cult from Iraq. An Iraqi government official stressed that terror teams could not have been sent from Camp Ashraf after American forces handed over control of the terrorist base to Iraq in January 2009.
Although the MKO remains on the U.S. terrorism list, the group operates freely from bases in Paris, London and Germany where the terrorist group’s members are “fully trained in terrorism and are ideologically committed to the violent overthrow of the Iranian government”.
In the context of the nuclear issue, regime change would be a desirable outcome for the British government, but this “must not be pursued through the use of terrorism or terrorist groups”, said Khodabandeh. The letter said, “We cannot ask a terrorist group to renounce violence and give up terrorism. Instead we are asking your government to curb their activities in line with British law and with your government’s own stance on terrorism.”
Massoud Khodabandeh told the British Prime Minister, “we would expect that you act immediately to prevent the incitement to violence by the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq from inside the U.K. In doing so you would remove from Iranian hardliners their main excuse for crushing the people’s legitimate protests to bring about change in their own country.”
Note to editors Massoud Khodabandeh is the director of Middle East Strategy Consultants Ltd which also operates the information website www.Iran-Interlink.org . Mr Khodabandeh has been involved in Middle East politics for over thirty years and is a leading expert on the Mojahedin-e Khalq organisation. Since 2008 he has acted as consultant to the Government of Iraq on plans to expel foreign terrorist groups.
Show solidarity with Iranian people by curbing Mojahedin Khalq terrorists in London
Dear Gordon Brown,
Alongside your government, we applaud those ordinary Iranian citizens who are determined to exercise their right to have their voices heard. As your government says, “they are showing great courage”. The UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, has stressed that people had the right to protest peacefully without being beaten and jailed. We agree.
It is a shame therefore that the Iranian people’s courageous, peaceful demonstrations to achieve their natural freedoms and rights are being fatally undermined from within the U.K..
The people of Iran deserve to be supported in their own efforts, on their own terms and should not be expected to shoulder the burden and pay the price of other agendas. Yet this is exactly what has happened over the past few days, weeks and even months.
Clearly the essential problem your government has with Iran is over the nuclear issue. Should your government come to some agreement or should the US government accept a deal with Iran, would your government really be any more interested in the right of the Iranian people to protest freely against their government than you are currently interested in the rights of people in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, … . In this context, regime change would be a desirable outcome of the unrest inside Iran. But even if we accept that you, the US and the Israeli governments have the right, in your own interests, to work towards changing the government of another country, surely regime change (to establish a government which would accept the terms of US administration on the nuclear issue) must not be pursued through the use of terrorism or terrorist groups.
Today, Iran’s Interior Ministry has ordered a complete crackdown - zero tolerance - on street protests on the grounds that the disturbances are being led by foreign interference (British, U.S., and Zionism) acted out by the Washington backed Mojahedin-e Khalq terrorist group.
Unfortunately the Iranian government’s excuse for this appalling situation has come from within the U.K. itself. The hardliners in Iran have demonised Britain by broadcasting together clips from the BBC Persian Service and the terrorist group Mojahedin-e Khalq’s satellite programme Sima-ye Azadi.
The link? Both are broadcast from London. Both are financed through banks in London.
In recent days Sima-ye Azadi, as broadcast from London, has been incessantly inciting ordinary people to commit violence during the recent protests in Iran. The programme urges people to arm themselves with firearms and other weapons and to target government personnel and facilities. Iran’s security forces have arrested several individuals who claim to be MKO members who have been sent to Iran in order to incite violent resistance during anti-government protests. This includes the alleged assassination of Seyyed Ali Moussavi, nephew of former presidential candidate Mir Hussein Moussavi by MKO operatives.
Interestingly, a source in the office of Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nouri Al Maliki, has confirmed that it would have been impossible for any MKO member to have been dispatched to Iran from Camp Ashraf in Iraq since the Government of Iraq took control of the camp in January 2009. However, the MKO’s members who live freely in Europe are fully trained in terrorism and are ideologically committed to the violent overthrow of the Iranian government. It is therefore most probable that these teams have been dispatched from here.
Your government has criticized the violent crackdown on anti-government protesters. Unfortunately, your government has not made clear its position on the use of terrorist tactics during these protests. We cannot ask a terrorist group to renounce violence and give up terrorism. Instead we are asking your government to curb their activities in line with British law and with your government’s own stance on terrorism.
The massive turnout to counter theprotest demonstrations and the severe government crackdown on anti-government street protests would not have been possible if it had not been for the involvement of the MKO. The severity of the response -reports suggest a turnout of over 3 million people in Tehran only - is not against the ordinary citizens of Iran but against a known terrorist group which has tried with western support to hijack the protest movement for a different agenda.
Iranian government run media has broadcast telephone conversations from the MKO’s base in London, intercepted following the June election protests, in which an MKO leader is ordering terrorist acts in Tehran. Your government cannot have been unaware of this activity and yet has done nothing to prevent or prosecute those responsible under British law.
Britain, following Washington’s lead, has put herself in a position where she is seen to support terrorism. This is not in our interests.
The Mojahedin is known to Iranians inside and outside the country as a Washington/Zionist backed terrorist group. It is known worldwide as Saddam’s private army, responsible for the murder of tens of thousand of Iraqis, Iranian, Americans and Europeans. But, as you are aware, its media and financial support are based in London.
We would expect that you act immediately to prevent the incitement to violence by the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq from inside the U.K.. In doing so you would remove from Iranian hardliners their main excuse for crushing the people’s legitimate protests to bring about change in their own country.
I am sure your government has enough information on this situation, but if not, please feel free to contact me so that I can apprise you of these facts.
(Ileana Ros-Lehtinen under the terrorist spotlight)
A U.S. representative who accused Tehran of sponsoring terrorism has a track record of supporting terrorists herself.
... Ros-Lehtinen also supports the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a group by the State Department as a foreign terrorist group. Leading up to the Iraq war, in October 2002, Ros-Lehtinen circulated a letter in Congress expressing support for the MEK. She continues her support...
By now there is little doubt that hypocrisy has become Washington's standing policy on foreign affairs. What is astounding is the lack of shame in such overt duplicity as Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's (R-Fla.) accusations in her Dec. 14 Times Op-Ed article that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorists -- when she herself has a track record of supporting terrorists.
In February 1988, Orlando Bosch was arrested in Miami and implicated in the 1976 plot to blow up Cubana Flight 455, a terrorist act that killed 73 passengers. Joe D. Whitley, the associate U.S. attorney general at the time, called Bosch "a terrorist, unfettered by laws or human decency, threatening and inflicting violence without regard to the identity of his victims." Bosch, however, had the distinct advantage of having Ros-Lehtinen make advocating for his release one of the cornerstones of her 1989 congressional campaign. Bosch had another advantage: Ros-Lehtinen's campaign manager was Jeb Bush, President George H.W. Bush's son. In 1990, after lobbying by Jeb Bush and Ros-Lehtinen, the Bush administration went against the Justice Department's recommendation to deport Bosch and authorized his release. Since then, Bosch has become a permanent resident of the United States.
Ros-Lehtinen also supports the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a group by the State Department as a foreign terrorist group. Leading up to the Iraq war, in October 2002, Ros-Lehtinen circulated a letter in Congress expressing support for the MEK. She continues her support.
Common sense dictates that Iran would want security in its two neighboring countries given the spillover effect. By now, it is also common knowledge that the Sunni Taliban and Shiite Iran have been hostile toward each other for years (several Iranian diplomats were killed by the Taliban in 1998), and no doubt this hostility led to Iran's decision to assist the Northern Alliance and the U.S. in efforts in the overthrow of the Taliban after the 9/11 attacks -- efforts that were rewarded with the infamous "axis of evil" brand. Yet Ros-Lehtinen would insult the American public's intelligence by telling them that Iran, without mentioning any history, has a hand in Afghanistan. Does Ros-Lehtinen ever wonder if other countries simply do not welcome occupation by any foreign force?
One has to question what motivates Ros-Lehtinen in her push to put financial sanctions on foreign and domestic companies that sell refined petroleum products to Iran. Doing so could lead to more job losses in America and more hostilities between U.S. allies and Iran. This is a time when our policy makers should be thinking about America and Americans, period.
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is an independent researcher and writer living in Glendale.
From Second Report on Camp Ashraf and Mojahedin-e Khalq in Iraq:...
... The MKO’s western propaganda system includes Lord Corbett's system in the UK, Raymond Tanter's system in the U.S., Alejo Vidal-Quadras’s system in the EU and U.S. Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen ( http://ros-lehtinen.house.gov/). In Middle East circles it is widely believed that Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen is the orchestrator on behalf of AIPAC. She is also believed to be the person co-ordinating payment to the MKO through various channels (including the Lord Corbett system). She is originally from Cuba and it is believed that she uses the expertise of anti-Cuba consultants and PR agencies in support of the MKO...
Second Report on Camp Ashraf and Mojahedin-e Khalq in Iraq
... The MKO is currently demanding that U.S. Army or the U.N. take control of Camp Ashraf from the GOI. Following publication of the RAND Report it should be the duty of the U.S. Army to help and facilitate in any way possible the immediate closure of Camp Ashraf and the removal of the MKO personnel from Iraq. The more help given by the U.S. to achieve this, the more ...
Iran-Interlink.org has published a second report on Camp Ashraf, Iraq and the situation of Mojahedin-e Khalq (aka MKO, MEK) cult members at the camp. After consultation with the Government of Iraq, Massoud Khodabandeh has described events since January 1, 2009.
According to the report, Iraq is determined to rid itself of the foreign terrorist cult led by Massoud and Maryam Rajavi as soon as possible, but is hampered by western intransigence over where these people should go.
The 3416 individuals inside Camp Ashraf have no legal status in Iraq. They are not entitled to 'protected persons' status under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Neither will they be granted political refugee status by Iraq. Nor will Iraq forcibly repatriate them. But, although the MKO has been de-proscribed, at its own behest, as a terrorist group in Europe, no western country is willing to offer asylum to the individuals -- even though 1015 MKO members have a passport or residence permit of a third country.
After months of fruitless negotiations with MKO leaders -- with U.S. observation -- a police post was established inside Camp Ashraf at the end of July. In spite of violent resistance by the MKO which led to 11 deaths, the camp residents are now subject to Iraqi law. Following evidence that MKO leaders were committing widespread and systematic human rights abuses inside the camp, the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry, in conjunction with international humanitarian agencies, is now set to properly monitor activity at the camp.
Massoud Khodabandeh made several recommendations in his report. The Government of Iraq should remove around seventy MKO leaders in order to protect the rank and file members from human rights abuses and coercion. The camp must be thoroughly searched -- something the U.S. Army failed to do since 2003.
Stressing that western governments bear a responsibility toward the MKO's victims trapped inside Camp Ashraf, Mr. Khodabandeh says that western politicians must prevent further political abuse of MKO members by the Rajavi leadership and guarantee the rights of those individuals who renounce violence and are willing to return to society. European governments should work with Iraq and the UN to find third countries to which other individuals in Camp Ashraf can be transferred.
For more information contact: Anne Singleton +44 (0) 113 278 0503
Iraq’s decision to expel Washington backed Mojahedin Khalq terrorists backed by international law
... “The MKO has committed the most savage crimes against Diyalah people. They were involved in killing and torturing the 1991 Iraqi Shiite Intifada activists close to the Iranian border in Khaniqain Road and north Diyalah. So there’s no end to their terror efforts and it is a military force used by Saddam Hussein against the Iraqi nation,” Eng. Layla Tamimi said ...
Development Centre held a conference in Baghdad on the government’s decision to expel the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group. A number of Iraqi popular as well as media figures attended the conference, held in Baghdad Al-Mansour Hotel, to express their views on the issue, Habilian Association (families of Iranian terror victims) news website quoted Iraq’s Media Development Centre as reporting.
Dr Adnan Siraj, head of Iraq’s Media Development Centre, Dr Hassan Salman, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Iraqi Media Network (IMN), Dr Tariq Harb, Iraqi well known lawyer, Dr Ali Shalah, member of the Board of Trustees of the IMN, and Eng. Layla Tamimi were the main guest speakers.
“Iraq doesn’t recognize the MKO”
“The MKO cooperated with Iraq’s enemies through holding meetings with Iraqi dissidents following the fall of Saddam Hussein. This led to the government’s decision to expel any terrorist groups, including the MKO, from the country,” Dr Adnan Siraj said.
“The MKO has forgotten that it is a terrorist group recognized neither by Iraq nor the rest of the world. They were doomed to leave Camp Ashraf in December 15 so that they would be moved to any country who would accept them. Camp Ashraf, the cult’s main base in Diyalah province, will turn into a public entertainment centre for the local people,” Siraj added.
“MKO not asylum-seekers”
“At one time, the MKO had tanks and light and heavy artillery and moved to Iraq upon a political decision by the then Iraqi regime at the height of Iran-Iraq war. There was also a Western agreement behind this. Therefore, the cult members cannot be regarded as asylum-seekers, since they left Iran for France and then were moved to Iraq by France and Britain,” Dr Hassan Salman said.
“The cult’s presence in Iraq thus could be regarded as a political, military and security decision. The MKO is regarded as a terrorist organization by the US and many other countries,” Salman said, who was recently threatened to death by the terrorist cult.
“The cult didn’t enter Iraq as usual asylum-seekers but as a result of a political decision to be used against Iranian and Iraqi people,” Dr Ali Shalah repeated referring to problems made by the MKO’s presence in Iraq.
“Iraq’s decision backed by international law”
“The Iraqi government’s decision to expel terrorist groups is backed not only by the Iraqi Constitution but also international law,” Dr Tariq Harb insisted.
“According to the international law, any country can make their own laws on giving asylum. The MKO terrorist cult has no lawful right to stay in Iraq,” Harb reminded.
“MKO involved in Iraqi massacres”
“The MKO has committed the most savage crimes against Diyalah people. They were involved in killing and torturing the 1991 Iraqi Shiite Intifada activists close to the Iranian border in Khaniqain Road and north Diyalah. So there’s no end to their terror efforts and it is a military force used by Saddam Hussein against the Iraqi nation,” Eng. Layla Tamimi said.
Minister for Human Rights: Mojahedin Khalq will be removed shortly - MKO rights covered by Universal Declaration
... Salim indicated that "the members of the MKO do not qualify as refugees, and are not covered by the Geneva Conventions, but the Universal Declaration of Human Rights protects them," noting that the Universal Declaration "stresses the need for humane treatment covered by it, in addition ...
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Iraq’s Minister of Human Rights Ms. Widjan M. Salim, said on Sunday that the entry into the camp under the supervision of the Iraqi forces was a move "first" to inform them of the determination of the Iraqi government to move them to a camp in Baghdad.
Salim told Aswat al-Iraq that the Iraqi government "carried out the first steps towards moving the residents of Ashraf camp to another camp inside the capital Baghdad under the supervision of UN representation in Iraq, as well as the Red Cross and American forces."
Salim indicated that "the members of the MKO do not qualify as refugees, and are not covered by the Geneva Conventions, but the Universal Declaration of Human Rights protects them," noting that the Universal Declaration "stresses the need for humane treatment covered by it, in addition to providing some of the items to them and ways to live without being forced to return to their home countries."
She denied the Human Rights Ministry, which is responsible for a file on Ashraf camp, "has an intention [as part] of the Iraqi government to return them forcibly to their country of Iran, if they are unwilling. [The Ministry is] taking into account their transfer to a place where all available medical and social conditions of humanity exist, while ensuring their safe transportation and to not expose them to lack of these where they are. "
In the same vein, Salim revealed, "the government approached the European countries to host them on their territory as refugees."
Iraqi forces entered Camp Ashraf on the 15 December, where the members of the Iranian MKO live, to inform them of government's intention to transfer them to another camp in Baghdad in the coming days, and inviting elements of the Organization who wish to leave the camp to approach the Iraqi security forces stationed around the camp to take action on their behalf.
Iraqi MPs support the transfer of Mojahedin Khalq to Baghdad
Demand America respect Iraqi sovereignty and invite them to take responsibility for protecting MKO
... the Government would deal with members of the People's Mojahedin Organization humanely, but at the same time we want the United States to respect our decision and comply with non-interference in the internal affairs and sovereignty over Iraq’s territory, as we do not want to alienate our relations with neighbouring countries ...
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Iraqi lawmakers on Monday expressed support for the Government plan to transfer members of the Mojahedin Khalq, an Iranian opposition, to Baghdad, calling on the U.S. Government to respect the decision as a sovereign right of Iraq. But the Vice-Council has urged the U.S. Government to take over responsibility for security for the camp’s members who should be transferred to the U.S. Forces.
The MP, Abdul Hadi al-Hassani, said in respect of the rule of law, the Government would deal with members of the People's Mojahedin Organization humanely, but at the same time we want the United States to respect our decision and comply with non-interference in the internal affairs and sovereignty over Iraq’s territory, as we do not want to alienate our relations with neighbouring countries.
Mr al-Hassani told Aswat al-Iraq that the Iraqi Government sees "the need to remove the MKO from the Iranian border and the PKK from the Turkish border," pointing out that the two sides "are a danger to Iraq's relations with its neighbours ".
He explained that the Government's holds documents and pictures which are compelling evidence "which condemns the members of the MKO and the PKK for their armed operations during the former regime and the current phase."
The United States yesterday called on the Iraqi government to treat the Iranian dissidents, living on Iraqi territory for twenty years, humanely following the announcement of the transfer of the MEK camp to Baghdad.
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said in a statement from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, we urged the Iraqi authorities to go about the transfer of Camp Ashraf in a legitimate and humanitarian way, emphasizing Iraqi sovereignty over all Iraqi territory, including the area on which Camp Ashraf stands. And the Iraqi government assured us that "it would not expel any of these persons to a country where they may face inhuman treatment”.
On the other hand, the Deputy of the Iraqi National Coalition, Hamid Malp, in a statement rejected the U.S. State Department demand that the Iraqi government deal humanely with the members of the MKO which were involved in terrorism in Iraq during the former regime as well as now embracing armed groups in Diyala and Baghdad."
Malp told (Voices of Iraq) that there is intelligence information with the Government which "emphasizes the organization and financing of a link from some quarters outside the law." In an afterthought he said "his forces would take the decision to hold people accountable only after support and documentation of this information," he says.
Malp said that the transfer to the MKO camp to Baghdad, "will lead to positive results in the various sectors," pointing out that the Organization's presence in Diyala has been "a controversial subject for a long time."
The Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said on Thursday, 10 December, that the population of Camp New Iraq (formerly Camp Ashraf) would be transferred next week to Baghdad.
The Iraqi Government took over responsibility for security inside Camp Ashraf from U.S. forces early this year and re-named it Camp New Iraq in August.
In the same context, Mohammed Tamim, MP for the Dialogue Council, said the U.S. State Department's demand for the Iraqi government to deal with the MKO humanely was "insufficient" and called on U.S. forces to "take over security responsibility for the camp, so the Iraqi government can transfer members of the organization to the U.S."
Tamim told Aswat al-Iraq that the decision to transfer the members of the Mojahedin from Camp Ashraf to Baghdad after two days of bombings (Bloody Tuesday) was "erroneous and imported from Iran." He said the decision was a “negative step resulting from the Iraqi Government’s efforts to convince the Iranians that the MKO was behind explosions that occur in the country".
Attorney Tamim said that the people of Camp Ashraf are "refugees, entitled to Iraqi Government help to provide an appropriate atmosphere to them after their escape from a terrorist group, such as is the obligation of the Arab and international community.”
According to the MP from the Kurdistan Alliance bloc Abdul Bari Zebari, "the Iraqi Government condemns the group for their documented participation in the suppression of the popular uprising in 1991 and attack on the worshipers in a mosque in Sadr City in Baghdad the same year, and that the regime of Saddam Hussein used the MKO to attack his opponents."
Zebari told Aswat al-Iraq that he believed that the Government "only took the decision to transfer the group to Baghdad after discussion with the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and after guaranteeing the members of the Organization would not be exposed to danger”. He added, "For the time being we should not repeat the process of involving the embassy in local affairs as happened when Iraqi security forces entered into Camp Ashraf for the establishment of a police base inside it."
The Mojahedin Khalq, an Iranian opposition group, numbers about 3500 people, based in Camp Ashraf, which covers an area of 16 square kilometres, 55 km north of Baquba, capital of Diyala province where it has been based since 1986.