Anne Khodabandeh, who is of British nationality and the wife of the Iranian Massoud Khodabandeh, replied to the article published by "Alseyassah" on the first of this month under the heading "Iraqi warnings from the agent of the Iranian regime by the name of Massoud Khodabandeh", in a letter sent to the cultural office at the embassy of the State of Kuwait in London, of which "Alseyassah" has received a copy. In the reply, Massoud says that "the article was slanderous and defamatory to my good name and unfortunately its anonymous writer did not try to contact me by email or by telephone or at my address in Britain, or at the Centre de Recherches sur le Terrorisme in Paris where I work". He refers to the scurrilous accusation made by the remnants of the Baathist regime in Iraq which links his name and his wife's name to the Iranian intelligence services - which is completely untrue and there is not a shred of evidence for the lies which appear in that article.
He also gives the reason why it was published. Mr Khodabandeh explains that he lives in the United Kingdom and is currently visiting Iraq at the invitation of government officials, and was invited in order to attend various meeting on the issue of foreign terrorist groups in Iraq. He adds that "in the course of this work I have regular contact with the US army and relevant humanitarian bodies and I am seeking ways to rescue people from the hands of the Saddamists in Diyali province". He considers that "as all Kuwaiti citizens know all too well, the "Mojahedin-e Khalq" organisation acted as Saddam's private army in Iraq and helped to crush the Kurdish uprising in 1991 at the end of the first Gulf war. The Iraqi Government is now determined to remove all remnants of the Baathist regime, including the Iranian foreign terrorist group "Mojahedin-e Khalq", from its territory". He adds "I have travelled to Iraq to help those people who want to leave the group to find refuge and return to their families and to normal life."
He concludes by saying that readers of the newspaper "Alseyassah" will understand now why the Saddamists have tried to blacken his name and he states that the paper's editors have acted properly in giving him the right to reply.
In this connection, it is important for "Alseyassah" to explain to Mr and Mrs Khodabandeh and to our readers that what was published on the first of February was an announcement and not an article and it was not simply ascribed to anonymous sources but it made clear in it that it was an announcement issued by the "League of Iraqi Academics and Educationalists" and it is important to explain that the accusations made by the League that Mrs Ann and her husband are "working in the service of the Iranian security services in Iraq and that they are carrying out the tasks of the Iranian regime under false pretences" were accusations carried by "Alseyassah" but not espoused by it, as was stated in the announcement itself.
Symposium on Terrorism in Iraq
Iran-Interlink, February 2, 2008
Centre for International and Inter-governmental Studies of the University of Baghdad Thursday, 31st of January 2008.
A round table discussion centred on the issue of terrorism in Iraq and possible solutions to this problem.
The Symposium was divided in to 3 parts:
-the general threat posed by terrorist groups and the ways they operate in Iraq
-foreign terrorist organisations in Iraq
-the creation of terrorist organisations in Iraq and the global supporters of these terrorist groups
Participants of the Symposium ranged from university professors including, Dr. Aziz Jabar Shayal, Dr. Samir Alshweely and Dr. Rasheed Saleh, professors of Political Studies from the University of Baghdad. The Symposium was also attended by many governmental and non-governmental representatives from a wide range of ministries and NGOs, including representatives from Iraq’s Ministries of Defence, Human Rights and Security.
Massoud Khodabandeh from the Centre de recherches sur le terrorisme depuis le 11 septembre 2001 (Paris), who was in Baghdad for meetings concerning the fate of the remaining individuals following dismantlement of Camp Ashraf which houses the disarmed Iranian terrorist organisation Mojahedin Khalq Organisation, was invited to participate in the discussion.
Prominent among the participants was Mr. Bassam Alhassani, advisor to Prime Minister Noori Al Maleki.
The Symposium ended with a full report on the issues discussed and Dr. Aziz Jabar Shayal delivered the end resolution in which one paragraph emphasized the necessity for the dismantlement and deportation of the foreign terrorist Mojahedin Khalq organisation and encouragement and facilitation by the government and others to help the remaining individuals find a safe palace outside Iraq and return to normal life.
The symposium was covered by media representatives who reported from the meeting room.
Alaraghia television, Iraq’s main TV network, reported the Symposium and broadcast a brief interview with Massoud Khodabandeh.
In the interview, Massoud Khodabandeh emphasised above all the right of the Iraqi people to enjoy security and have justice served against the perpetrators of violent acts in their country, in particular the criminal heads of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq organisation which was involved in the massacre of the Kurdish and Shiite uprisings against Saddam Hussein in March 1991. Mr Khodabandeh said that in his belief and according to all the studies of the Centre de Recherches sur le Terrorisme, the phenomenon of terrorism cannot have a single solution and needs inter governmental cooperation as well as the involvement of NGOs to protect the human rights of the who have been inveigled by terrorist leaders into this path, and to give them a second chance of integration back into their societies.
Thanking the organisers of the Symposium Mr Khodabandeh emphasised the cult culture of terrorist organisations and the methods they use to brainwash their followers. He also gave examples of foreign support by some influential groups and parties who facilitate the flow of finance for terrorism. Not the least the relationship between the remainders of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, London, Washington and other countries with the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation, and the way this relationship is becoming clear in the escalation of violence in Diyali province as well as the streets of London and other European countries.
The Symposium lasted for over two hours. Afterwards the participants formed smaller groups to further discuss the variety of issues raised by the Seminar.
A full report and media coverage will be published shortly.