Iranian terrorist group, Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) has close US allies
Iranian terrorist group, Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) has close US allies
The Mujahedin-e Khalq, which the US designates a terrorist group, has the backing of prominent American conservatives
... Something strange is happening in Washington. In August, the Obama administration is expected to announce whether it will keep the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an exiled Iranian group that killed American civilians and officials in the 1970s, on its foreign terrorist organisations (FTO) list. Known for its cult-like behavior, the MEK (also known as the People's Mujahedin of Iran, PMOI or MKO) fought alongside Saddam Hussein's regime against its own country during the bloody Iran-Iraq war. This is one reason why it has almost no Iranian support, even if it refers to itself as ...
Members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq lobby US politicians to remove their organisation from the terrorist list [EPA]
Something strange is happening in Washington. In August, the Obama administration is expected to announce whether it will keep the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an exiled Iranian group that killed American civilians and officials in the 1970s, on its foreign terrorist organisations (FTO) list.
Known for its cult-like behavior, the MEK (also known as the People's Mujahedin of Iran, PMOI or MKO) fought alongside Saddam Hussein's regime against its own country during the bloody Iran-Iraq war. This is one reason why it has almost no Iranian support, even if it refers to itself as the "most popular resistance group inside Iran" on its official website. It does, however, enjoy the backing of several US heavyweights with high national security credentials.
George W. Bush's attorney general Michael Mukasey has described MEK members as "courageous freedom fighters". President Barack Obama's former national security advisor, General James L. Jones, gave a speech at a MEK conference dominated by non-Iranians. Their events have also been attended by former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge, former NATO supreme commander Wesley Clark and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.
MEK supporters point to the humanitarian issues at its headquarters in Camp Ashraf near the Iran-Iraq border as the reason for their advocacy. But it also has a "parliament in exile" called the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) with a "president-elect" named Maryam Rajavi who intends to rule Iran for a "transitional period" after the government is "overthrown". The calls to protect Camp Ashraf have merit, but the Obama administration is being simultaneously lobbied to delist a FTO with a known anti-Iran agenda, thereby upsetting the already delicate political balance between Iran and the US.
The president does not want to be accused of being soft on Iran while it is pounding its chest in Iraq, but succumbing to the MEK's well-organixed lobbying effort will not only further harm US-Iran relations, it will also negatively affect Iran's internal opposition. Since the FTO list is seen as a diplomatic weapon rather than a national security tool, the delisting of the MEK will be read in Iran as an escalation in hostilities and force President Obama into a position that is not his own.
From Iran to Iraq
For an organisation that has been attempting to cultivate alliances with officials on both sides of the Atlantic for years, the MEK began as a radical, anti-Western, anti-monarchist movement in the 1960s. Its mix of Islamic ideology and Marxist analysis attracted young, educated Iranians, and with other anti-monarchist groups it helped overthrow the pro-American regime. Among its myriad victims in Iran were three American civilian contractors, an incident the State Department would later cite as a reason for its terrorist designation. In 1979, the MEK also supported the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran.
According to Iran scholar Ervand Abrahamian, "the Muhjahideen tried to work within the regime from 1979 until 1981". But after it became clear that the Islamic government was not going to share power, the regime itself became its main target. It was the first group to conduct a suicide bombing in Iran, and it carried out a series of assassinations and bombings that left many Iranian officials dead. The state department lists an MEK attack in April 1992 on 13 Iranian embassies in different countries as proof of "the group's ability to mount large-scale operations overseas".
The response of Iran's clerical government was brutal, torturing and executing thousands of MEK members and other dissidents. In 1981, the MEK leadership fled to Paris and many of its surviving members went to Iraq in 1986. Policy analyst Vali Nasr told PBS's Frontline that that during this period the MEK acted "as an arm of Iraqi intelligence against Iranian operatives in Iraq, against Shi'ites and against the Kurds".
According to a 2009 report by the RAND Corporation, while the MEK denies killing Kurds, MEK press reports "quote Rajavi encouraging MEK members to 'take the Kurds under your tanks, and save your bullets for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards'". The report also states a "substantial number" of members who "were lured to Iraq under false pretenses … particularly with respect to its cult behavior - and many have been forced to remain against their will".
Well-armed by Hussein's regime, the MEK tried to invade Iran in the last stage of the Iran-Iraq war. According to Abrahamian, this may have been because it was their last chance to take Iranian territory before a cease-fire made it impossible to do so.
When I asked former high-ranking member Masoud Banisadr how he thought this might have affected the Iranian perception of them, he told me members were trained to believe that "95 or 99 per cent of Iranians supported them". But when they entered the Iranian city of Eslamabad, they realised that everyone had fled in fear of them. "We had been told that Iranians would welcome us with roses and we never really asked why that didn't happen."
From "fighters of the people" to a "cult"
Banisadr, 57 years old, has written a memoir about his life in the MEK until his departure in 1996 - an event he attributes to "luck". He said mind control was a normal occurrence at Camp Ashraf: "I remember being forced to attend a speaking session lasting for 3 days. In total I think we got around 2 hours of sleep a night." He was also forced to leave his family. "They told us to imagine sleeping with the corpses of our spouses. Not to think that they had been dead for a long time, but just long enough so that the body was still warm."
Camp Ashraf is closed to most outsiders, but in 2005 Human Rights Watch released a report describing the "mass divorce" that was imposed on Banisadr and all other members and "abuses ranging from detention and persecution of ordinary members wishing to leave" to "lengthy solitary confinements, severe beatings, and torture of dissident members". The former MEK members interviewed also reported "two cases of deaths under interrogation".
Do Iranians support the MEK?
MEK members who are estimated in the thousands decry their negative descriptions. According to a Talking Points Memo (TPM) interview with US-based MEK lobbyist Ali Safavi, "When you talk about the MEK, and you say they are a cult …we take it very personally … Because in our view … it is an insult to our [loved ones] who have been murdered by this regime". According to US foreign policy analyst Barbara Slavin who interviewed current and former members, it's the family of MEK who were killed by the Iranian government that make up the majority of its base today.
MEK advocates do not take criticism lightly; they are known to discredit their critics by smearing them, disseminating misinformation in the US and Europe. According to a 2004 FBI report, the MEK brands "former members and witnesses as Iranian government agents". This information is then "often picked up by Western Intelligence agencies as factual information and is disseminated as intelligence".
Safavi told TPM that "nobody in his right mind" who opposes the regime in Tehran can be opposed to the MEK. But this infuriates supporters of the Green Movement which brought millions of Iranians into the streets in 2009. According to Muhammad Sahimi of PBS's Tehran Bureau: "Anyone who opposes the [Iranian government] and cares about Iran and democratic principles cannot do anything other than vehemently oppose the MEK." There is "no comparison with the non-violent Greens and the MEK", he said.
Tehran-based Green supporter Hossein Barmaki says he has never met anyone who publicly or privately supports the MEK: "The only government people in Iran could accept for the future is a democratic one, and that's never going to be the MEK."
But the devotion of the MEK's hardcore supporters is undeniable. According to the RAND report, ten people immolated themselves simply because leader Rajavi was briefly arrested in Paris in 2003. Two died from their burns.
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend"
As with the MEK's inner workings, questions also arise from its reported ties to Israel and its advocates. In 2006, the New Yorker's Connie Bruck suggested that the verified MEK intelligence provided to the US about Iran's Natanz nuclear site was given to them by the Israelis:
"An Iranian-American political activist … said that Israel had earlier offered it to a monarchist group, but that that group's leaders had decided that 'outing' the regime's nuclear programme would be viewed negatively by Iranians, so they declined the offer. Shahriar Ahy, Reza Pahlavi's adviser, confirmed that account-up to a point. 'That information came not from the M.E.K. but from a friendly government, and it had come to more than one opposition group, not only the mujahideen,' he said. When I asked him if the 'friendly government' was Israel, he smiled. 'The friendly government did not want to be the source of it, publicly. If the friendly government gives it to the US publicly, then it would be received differently. Better to come from an opposition group.'"
The information about Natanz was publicised by MEK spokesman Alireza Jaferzadeh, who appeared in a number of media outlets following his Natanz revelation as a political analyst. Jaferzadeh has been heavily promoted by the Iran Policy Committee (IPC), a hawkish DC-based organisation focused on the US' Iran policy. Founder Raymond Tanter, who produces the majority of the IPC's output, is a scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a think tank founded by the main Israel lobby organisation in the US, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Tanter advocates regime change in Iran and has spent considerable time lobbying the government to remove the MEK from the FTO list. During a 2005 IPC National Press Club briefing (now removed from the IPC website) Tanter explained his views on the MEK:
"The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) are not only the best source for intelligence on Iran's potential violations of the nonproliferation regime. The NCRI and MEK are also a possible ally of the West in bringing about regime change in Tehran."
Last year investigative journalists Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton also revealed that the IPC once shared an address, accountants, and some staff with multiple organisations that either "fronted for or had direct ties" to the Iraqi National Congress (INC) headed by Iraqi conman Ahmed Chalabi.
Legal or political?
According to Slavin, the reason Iran hawks and pro-Israel supporters have come out in support of the MEK is because of the old Washington mantra "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". But she says that's not a good enough reason to delist them: "You have to look at the nature of this organisation. It's like saying you support Nazis because you don't like communists." National Iranian American Council research director Reza Marashi, who worked for the Bush administration's Iran desk, said, "It's like the 'anything but Obama' attitude turned onto the regime. They look at the six inches in front of their face and don't look beyond that. You'd think they'd learn their lesson from Iraq."
But strategic reasoning may not be the sole concern motivating this advocacy: some of the MEK's prominent supporters have also reportedly received massive payments for speaking at their events. The New York Times reported that Ambassador Lawrence E. Butler, who has been trying to negotiate with the group, guessed that "about a million dollars was spent" on MEK lobbying "over the last six months". When he asked how much retired General Clark received, adding that "[h]e doesn't get out of bed for less than $25,000", one member replied that the group's advocates were not "doing it for the money".
To the question of how this can be legal, Shayana Kadidal, an attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights said the transaction may have been done through a lobbying organisation, and to be held criminally liable, the government needs to show that you knowingly provided aid to an FTO. "Proving liability simply because there was a transaction could be difficult," he said.
But in January, law professor David Cole wrote that Mukasey, Giuliani, Ridge and Frances Fragos Townsend could have committed a crime simply by vocally supporting the MEK's cause in Paris. While proving liability is again the issue, the Patriot Act's material support law makes it a felony to support an FTO by engaging "in public advocacy to challenge a group's 'terrorist' designation or even to encourage peaceful avenues for redress of grievances," wrote Cole.
According to Chase Madar, a lawyer specialising in US terror laws, the application of this law is highly selective. "It will be applied very strictly to, let's say, the Holy Land Foundation in Texas, whose leadership is in jail for raising money that was several degrees removed from Hamas, but not when it comes to former government officials."
Madar also says that there would be no legal obligation for the US to protect Camp Ashraf simply because they were taken off the FTO list and "can't see what good it would do". He says that the kind of attention this case has received on Capitol Hill suggests it has more to do with political concerns than with legal or humanitarian ones: "This is all part of a pattern in Washington among neoconservatives and neoliberals that America has a duty to shove political change down Iran's throat."
Blowback and US Policy in the Middle East
MEK supporters' talk of facilitating "democratic change" in Iran through a group that does not have support there recalls memories of the UK-US engineered coup against the government of Mohammad Mossaddegh, who is still revered by Iranians as their first and only democratically-elected prime minister. What resulted was decades of authoritarian rule, from a pro-US but repressive and deeply unpopular monarchy, to a clerical establishment that enforces Iranian independence from foreign control through equally repressive means. This was the US' "blowback", and as the late Chalmers Johnson noted, the term was first used by the CIA in an after-action report about Mossaddegh's 1953 overthrow.
In her book on US-Iran relations, Slavin reports that in 2003 the Iranians offered to exchange some key members of Al Qaeda who had fled from Afghanistan for members of the MEK based at Camp Ashraf in Iraq. Some figures in the Bush administration supported this, but Slavin notes that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said that the deal was blocked by neoconservatives Paul Wolfowitz and Doug Feith, who thought that the MEK could be used as a force against Iran. A comprehensive peace offer by Iran was likewise scuttled by the neoconservatives in 2003, thereby discrediting the moderates in Iran and facilitating the ascent of the hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
However, even the Bush administration had ignored neoconservative entreaties to delist the MEK, which would make it strange for Obama to adopt a position that his predecessor found too risky. The humanitarian concerns at Camp Ashraf are legitimate, but they could be resolved through the assistance of organisations like the ICRC and UNHCR. To conflate this issue with the decidedly political question of delisting may only exacerbate the already fragile US-Iran relations.
In 2009, Obama earned much praise for admitting US responsibility in the 1953 coup against Mossadegh, even if he has failed to follow it up with a genuine move towards rapprochement. Despite the three decades of intransigence, however, the position is far from intractable. But any possibility of a thaw in relations might indefinitely evaporate should Obama take the MEK off the FTO list. It would also further harm the chances of Iranian democracy to develop unfettered
... "Iraq will sue those governments that support the MKO in order to harm Baghdad," Maliki said at a Saturday press conference, Al-Alam news network reported. "The Western states put the MKO on the list of terrorist groups for its crimes against Iraqi people, but they support it now," he noted. Maliki was referring to a recent decision by a Spanish court to summon the Iraqi premier regarding the incidents in Camp Ashraf -- where the MKO terrorists are currently located ...
New U.S. approach to Mojahedin-e Khalq (MKO, MEK) in Camp Ashraf overlooks the victims’ human rights
... The problem is not the name of Camp Ashraf or the name MEK. The Rajavi’s cannot simply re-name, re-brand or even relocate their group for political expediency and expect the ‘members’ to continue as their slaves. To solve this problem (before the question of whether they want to work for or against anyone) the residents must be given access to the outside world, to their families, to media, communications, get paid for their work and have access to the post office, cinema, marriage registry, birth registry, police station, legal aid, courts and legal bodies of the country they are living in etc. Nine years after the fall of Saddam ...
Attitudes are slowly crystallising and shifting over what should be done about the MEK, with the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey introducing a new and positive approach in U.S. dealings with the group in Iraq. But the July 4 Miami Herald article ‘Iranian dissidents in Iraq want refuge in 3rd country’ , also highlights the danger that various elements are still trying to derive their own benefits from the MEK even though the demise of Camp Ashraf has become inevitable. Of course you would need to ask those involved what they each hope to get out of such a defunct group.
Ambassador James Jeffrey, addressing only MEK leaders, has urged them to “‘dissolve’ their paramilitary organization and become refugees someplace else in Iraq”. In its turn the MEK itself has already threatened tomassacre its own membersif any external body interferes in the camp. Jeffrey added that the group "really believe that the U.N. and the United States will protect them forever." Well, they have good reason to believe that to be so.
Trita Parsi’s timely article Washington's Favorite Terroristsexposed U.S. hypocrisy in dealing with the MEK in Washington. But we may very well see a similar level of support continuing in Iraq. The obvious way this would manifest would be for the MEK to be taken (en masse) inside a U.S. military base and held there until further notice. This would protect the group from Iraqi attempts to expel them from the country, and also obviate the need for the U.N. to enter Camp Ashraf and rescue the individual residents from their enforced imprisonment by the MEK leadership.
The wholesale transfer of the residents of Camp Ashraf would truly be a human rights disaster. The sooner it is acknowledged that Rajavi is nobody’s representative but his own, the sooner the victims of the MEK will be helped.
From the hardliners in Iran who want to keep their dangerous foreign backed enemy, to the neoconservatives in the U.S. who want to keep the hatred between Iran and the west (as the neocon version of Holocaust denial, the fact that the MEK has killed so many Iranians is what feeds this hatred), to Iraqi internal factions which want to use the MEK for attacking other factions, to Europeans who still believe the MEK are a useful bargaining chip with Iran or can be used to influence the internal affairs of Iraq. All these have an interest in keeping the MEK intact. None wants the dissolution of the camp or the organisation. They all want to stop the camp being disbanded because they are using the MEK for their own various agendas.
The problem is that without taking the necessary action to access the individual residents of the camp they are essentially being left in the ownership of the Rajavis and their backers. In this respect where are the human rights organisations which should be directly involved in helping these victims? What attempts have the U.N. made to actually get inside the camp and have free access to the residents? Human Rights Watch published its ‘No Exit’ report in 2005 which was laudable, but what have they done since then? Amnesty International still prefers to think of the MEK as an entity and ignore the existence of the individuals in the camp. What has AI said about the internal problems of the residents; the daily violations and abuses of their basic human rights?
The problem is not the name of Camp Ashraf or the name MEK. The Rajavi’s cannot simply re-name, re-brand or even relocate their group for political expediency and expect the ‘members’ to continue as their slaves. To solve this problem (before the question of whether they want to work for or against anyone) the residents must be given access to the outside world, to their families, to media, communications, get paid for their work and have access to the post office, cinema, marriage registry, birth registry, police station, legal aid, courts and legal bodies of the country they are living in etc.
Nine years after the fall of Saddam and the disappearance of the cult leader it is not acceptable for a U.S. official to simply try to move the group from one part of the world to the other part without the slightest concern about the human rights of the captives there.
... Iran-Interlink representative Anne Singleton travelled to Iraq mid April at the invitation of the Baghdad based human rights NGO Baladiyeh Foundation, officials of the Government of Iraq and other NGOs involved in the Camp Ashraf problem. The Baladiyeh Foundation, headed by Mrs Ahlam al-Maliki, provides humanitarian assistance to a wide range of deprived sectors of Iraqi society arising directly from the invasion and occupation of Iraq by allied forces in 2003. Baladiyeh Foundation is concerned by the humanitarian crisis at Camp Ashraf caused by the group’s leaders who are refusing to allow access to human rights organisations to verify the wellbeing of all of the camp’s residents ...
Washington pressures Iraq to provide sancutary for Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) terrorists
Talabani: Iraq's patience has worn thin
...Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, voiced his support for Iran's call to shut a military camp in central Iraq that has served as a base for an Iranian insurgent group, the Mujahedin e-Khalq, or MeK. Washington, while designating the MeK as an international terrorist organization, has pressured Iraq to continue to provide sanctuary to some 3,400 MeK fighters over fears they would be persecuted if they returned to Iran. Mr. Talabani said in a speech to the terrorism conference Saturday that his government's patience with the MeK had worn thin. The MeK camp "will be shut down by the end of the year," Mr. Talabani said ...
Iran is moving to cement ties with the leaders of three key American allies -- Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq -- highlighting Tehran's efforts to take a greater role in the region as the U.S. military pulls out troops.
The Afghan and Pakistani presidents, visiting Tehran, discussed with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "many issues. . .that might come up after the NATO military force goes out of Afghanistan," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in an interview here Sunday.
"The three presidents were very forthcoming in carrying out the cooperation and contacts so as to make sure things will go as smoothly as it could," he said.
That was a jab at Washington, which is increasingly in competition with Tehran for influence in the region, particularly as popular rebellions have surged across the Middle East and North Africa since January.
The overtures by U.S. nemesis Iran come amid tensions between Washington and three governments that have each received billions of dollars in U.S. aid. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, before traveling to Tehran, welcomed President Barack Obama's announcement on Wednesday that the U.S. would withdraw 33,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan over 15 months.
The U.S. is also committed to withdrawing all of its remaining 45,000 troops from Iraq by year-end; some U.S. military officials want some troops to stay to serve as a check on Iran, but Iraqi hostility to the U.S. presence has been an obstacle.
In Pakistan, military and civilian leaders are under domestic pressure to curb U.S. ties, in a wave of anti-Americanism fueled by the U.S. raid in May that killed Osama bin Laden at his home in Pakistan.
Tehran has been pressing Afghanistan -- Iran's neighbor to the east -- and Pakistan to end their military alliances with Washington.
Officials at the White House and State Department declined to comment on Sunday on the Tehran meetings.
U.S. and European officials have said they believe Iran's regional ambitions are hampered by a stagnant economy and growing political infighting in Tehran that could cost Mr. Ahmadinejad his job.
There are also historical tensions between neighbors -- and in some cases, current conflicts. Afghan President Hamid Karzai told Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari that Pakistan must stop lobbing rockets into his country, according to a statement from Mr. Karzai's office. Mr. Zardari denied Pakistan's military was firing the rockets.
But Iran's government took every opportunity to play up its international ties during a weekend that also included a conference in Tehran attended by representatives from around 60 countries.
The Obama administration and European nations had lobbied countries against attending what Iran called an "International Conference on the Global Fight against Terrorism." The U.S. characterizes Tehran as the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism.
The event was also attended by diplomats from U.S.-friendly countries such as Mongolia, Oman and Indonesia. The United Nations and Organization of the Islamic Conference both sent representatives.
"Pakistan and Iran share an historic bond," Mr. Zardari told the conference on Saturday, when his late wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was honored by Iran's government.
For its part, the U.S. charges Tehran with fomenting instability by providing arms and training to insurgent groups, including the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Kata'ib Hezbollah militia in Iraq, that battle American forces. Tehran denies the charge.
For the most part, the conference followed a pattern many U.S. and European officials anticipated. Iranian, Cuban and Palestinian representatives -- mixing with North Korean, Zimbabwean and Myanmar diplomats -- branded Israel the world's largest terrorism threat.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, addressed the conference and said the definition of terrorism is abused internationally.
On Friday, after a three-way meeting between the Iranian, Afghan and Pakistani presidents, the three leaders pledged to intensify their joint efforts to fight militant groups and combat narcotics trafficking, while "rejecting foreign interference" in their countries, according to a statement. The three also agreed to meet next year in Islamabad.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, while in Tehran, voiced his support for Iran's call to shut a military camp in central Iraq that has served as a base for an Iranian insurgent group, the Mujahedin e-Khalq, or MeK.
Washington, while designating the MeK as an international terrorist organization, has pressured Iraq to continue to provide sanctuary to some 3,400 MeK fighters over fears they would be persecuted if they returned to Iran.
Mr. Talabani said in a speech to the terrorism conference Saturday that his government's patience with the MeK had worn thin. The MeK camp "will be shut down by the end of the year," Mr. Talabani said. "We intend to prevent any kind of invasion to be launched against any of our neighboring countries."
Maria Abi-Habib in Kabul and Maya Jackson Randall in Washington contributed to this article.
Iraq: Ashraf Camp will be closed, West should take Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) back home
... The Iraqi government’s position towards the ‘terrorist’ Mojahedin E-Khalq Organization is very clear, and the Ashraf Camp, used by that group as its headquarters must close by the end of the current year, 2011,Baghdad had called on International Organizations to help it in this issue.We have proposed the formation of a special committee, to comprise representatives of the Iranian and Iraqi sides, along with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the Committee is scheduled to convene in the nearest possible time. the Western states must present help in this respect, including the acceptance of persons, belonging to ...
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Iraq’s Foreign Minister, Hoshiar Zibary, has said during his current visit for Tehran, that Ashraf Camp, in northeast Iraq, inhabited by the anti-Tehran Mojahedin E-Khalq Organization, must close by the end of the current year.
“The Iraqi government’s position towards the ‘terrorist’ Mojahedin E-Khalq Organization is very clear, and the Ashraf Camp, used by that group as its headquarters must close by the end of the current year, 2011,” Zibary told a joint news conference with his Iranian Counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehy, in Tehran, carried by the Iranian Fars News Agency on Wednesday, adding that “Baghdad had called on International Organizations to help it in this issue.”
Zibary said that during his talks with his Iranian Counterpart in this respect: “We have proposed the formation of a special committee, to comprise representatives of the Iranian and Iraqi sides, along with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the Committee is scheduled to convene in the nearest possible time.”
The Iranian Al-Aalam Satellite TV Station had quoted Zibary as saying that “the Western states must present help in this respect, including the acceptance of persons, belonging to the said ‘clique,’ wishing to move to their countries, as well as preparing the suitable platform for the return of those of them, wishing to return to Iran.”
Answering a question about the dossier of the Iranians, detained in Iraq, he said: “The Iraqi government had released hundreds of Iranians, who were detained in Iraq due to the end of their official residence or ignoring Iraqi laws,” confirming that the Iraqi government was striving to release the remaining Iranians in the near future.
Regarding Iraq’s position towards the developments in Bahrain, Minister Zibary said: “We respect the sovereignty of Bahrain and believe that the Bahraini people must appoint their government and system, and define their fate by themselves,” reiterating Iraq’s rejection of atrocities against Bahraini demonstrators, “because today’s world does not allow such measures against demonstrators, demanding their rights.”
As regards to the future of the foreign forces in Iraq, the Iraqi Foreign Minister said that “the political forces in Iraq were coordinating their attitudes, in order to define a final position towards the future of the American forces in the country.”
Iraq’s Foreign Minister, Hoshiar Zibary, had began a visit for the Islamic Republic of Iran, leading a high-level delegation, representing his Ministry’s leading officials in the bilateral, legal and consular affairs, to carry out talks with the Iranian side and discuss Iraq’s relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Iraq - France relations strained over Washington backed terrorist group event in Paris
(aka;Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
... The Iraqi government summoned the French ambassador to Baghdad to protest at Paris for hosting a conference of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) where the terrorist group raised unfounded allegations against Baghdad. "To affect the international community and attract international support, the MKO has claimed that the Iraqi government has killed 35 members of the group and injured 350 others," the Iraqi government said on Monday. "But, this is a sheer lie and Baghdad has not carried out such an action," the statement added. The Iraqi people have announced their opposition to the presence of the MKO members ...
Iraqi Gov't Summons French Envoy over MKO Accusations
The Iraqi government summoned the French ambassador to Baghdad to protest at Paris for hosting a conference of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) where the terrorist group raised unfounded allegations against Baghdad.
"To affect the international community and attract international support, the MKO has claimed that the Iraqi government has killed 35 members of the group and injured 350 others," the Iraqi government said on Monday.
"But, this is a sheer lie and Baghdad has not carried out such an action," the statement added.
The Iraqi people have announced their opposition to the presence of the MKO members in their country and have long staged protest rallies in front of the MKO's main training camp in the Northern Diyala province to condemn the US-backed presence of the terrorist group in their country.
In a most recent case, a group of Iraqi people gathered outside Camp Ashraf in May, and called for the expulsion of the terrorist group from the country's soil.
The Baghdad government has assured the Iraqi people that it is determined to expel the MKO from Iraq by the end of 2011.
The family members and relatives of the members of the MKO have also gathered outside the terrorist group's main training camp in Iraq for more than a year now.
The MKO ringleaders have already adopted numerous measures to confront those relatives who have camped outside the Camp of New Iraq (formerly known as Camp Ashraf) in Iraq's Northern province of Diyala.
The MKO ringleaders have not allowed a visit between the group's members and their families.
After MKO ringleaders saw the number of defectors were increasing, they resorted to harsher measures and tried to haunt down fugitives in violation of their agreement with the Baghdad government which bans any activity or trafficking of the group members beyond the camp boundaries.
And after the Baghdad government failed to persuade the terrorist group to respect the agreement terms, it ordered the Iraqi Army to tighten control on the camp to prevent any illegal trafficking or infiltration, but the MKO attacked the Iraqi guards and killed and wounded many of them.
An Iraqi commander who was present on the scene of clashes in early April revealed later that the MKO sparked the armed conflict with the Iraqi security forces responsible for guarding the camp in a move to kill its dissident members during the clashes.
According to a report published by the website of the Habilian association in mid April - a human rights group formed of the family members and relatives of the Iranian victims of terrorism - the Iraqi commander, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the move by the MKO was not unprecedented since the group had previously forced its dissident members to start armed clashes with the Iraqi forces.
"The MKO's foremost front was formed of the dissident members of the group during the recent clash. They were forced to be there and be killed," the Iraqi commander reiterated.
But, in an astonishing move which substantiated the West's double-standard policies on human rights and terrorism, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called on Iraq to ignore the illegal activities of the MKO, including its armed clashes with the Iraqi soldiers.
The European Union has lately changed approach towards the terrorist MKO in a move to pressurize Iran to stop its progress in the civilian nuclear technology.
Some ranking members of the MKO who have had a role in the assassination of a large number of Iranian citizens and officials are currently living in France.
Before an overture by the EU, the MKO was on the European Union's list of terrorist organizations subject to an EU-wide assets freeze. Yet, the MKO puppet leader, Maryam Rajavi, who has residency in France, regularly visited Brussels and despite the ban enjoyed full freedom in Europe.
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 camp are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.
Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) Violence against members' families
... The images you see below show the eastern part of Ashraf Cultic garrison. Every day at this part, some of the brainwashed members of the “ destructive mind-control Cult of Rajavi”, covering their faces ; target the suffering families -who are awaiting their beloved ones’ visit eagerly – by strings and catapults. On these photos one can see the families trying to invite the brainwashed elements to talk friendly instead of throwing stones. Although the only way the MKO cultic system is acquainted with is: “violence” no matter against whom. It is said that some of these people are Iraqi mercenaries who are stationed inside the camp through ...
The images you see below show the eastern part of Ashraf Cultic garrison.
Every day at this part, some of the brainwashed members of the “ destructive mind-control Cult of Rajavi”, covering their faces ; target the suffering families -who are awaiting their beloved ones’ visit eagerly – by strings and catapults.
On these photos one can see the families trying to invite the brainwashed elements to talk friendly instead of throwing stones.
Although the only way the MKO cultic system is acquainted with is: “violence” no matter against whom.
It is said that some of these people are Iraqi mercenaries who are stationed inside the camp through whom the organization puts forward its sabotage and crisis mongering operations inside Iraq.
Families have lodged a complaint along with strong documents against the leadership of the MKO to the judiciary system of Iraq; although it may be blocked by US agents and other related elements, the same as other complaints and documents.