Terrorism in Tehran: Reality Confounds Rhetoric (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult, MEK and ISIS)

Terrorism in Tehran: Reality Confounds Rhetoric (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult, MEK and ISIS)

EUP on MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult jan20176Paul Pillar, The National Interest, June 12 2017:… The principal perpetrator of terrorism in Iran over the past four decades has been the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the Marxist/Islamist cult/terrorist group that prior to the revolution had claimed Americans among its victims. Thanks largely to the MEK’s activity, Iran necessarily has had much experience in countering terrorism. Khamenei lost the use of his right arm when he was injured by an MEK bomb in … 

تروریسم مجاهدین خلق فرقه رجوی در تهرانISIS Attacks in Tehran Expose US-Saudi Lies About Iran

رودی جولیانی و دونالد ترامپ مجاهدین خلف قرفه رجویTrump Is At War With Iran, Not ISIS

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Terrorism in Tehran: Reality Confounds Rhetoric

For Americans fed a diet of rhetoric about Iran that constantly links it to the sending, not the receiving, end of terrorism—in which “the leading state sponsor of terrorism” is the adjectival phrase routinely affixed to Iran, and in which official rhetoric such as President Trump’s speech in Riyadh mashes Iran together with Sunni Islamist terrorism of the ISIS variety into one undifferentiated blob of evil—the deadly attacks today in Tehran generate much cognitive dissonance. But however disorienting this news may have been, it is true. An obviously well-planned operation struck at the heart of Iran, at its parliament and the monument to the Islamic Republic’s founder. At least a dozen people were killed and dozens more injured. The credibility of the claim of responsibility by ISIS is enhanced by the group’s posting of video footage from the attack.

For anyone looking beyond rhetoric and at reality, the attack is no surprise. Iran has been one of the staunchest and most active foes of ISIS. Probably the main reason an attack like this had not happened any earlier is the difficulty that ISIS has had in finding recruits among Iranians. Iran has, partly with its own personnel but mainly through material support of clients and allies, been a leader in combating ISIS, especially in Iraq and to a lesser extent in Syria. Many Iraqis give Iran, with good reason, the main credit for saving Baghdad from ISIS when the group was making its dramatic territorial gains in northern and western Iraq in 2014. If the United States could overcome its current hang-up about doing any business with Iran, it would find a worthwhile partner in many aspects of counterterrorism, especially as far as the fight against ISIS is concerned.

There has long been a willingness, and a necessary awareness of shared interest, on the Iranian side. In September 2001, immediately after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, both Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and then-President Mohamed Khatami strongly condemned the attacks. Expressions of sympathy in Iran for the American victims included candlelight vigils and observing a minute of silence by tens of thousands of people at a sporting event. Two weeks after the attack, Khatami stated, “Iran fully understands the feelings of the Americans about the attacks in New York and Washington.” Khatami correctly noted that American administrations had been at best indifferent about terrorist attacks in Iran since the revolution of 1979, but that Iranians felt differently and were expressing their sympathies accordingly.

We wait to hear from the Trump administration the kind of expression of sympathy and solidarity that commonly is offered to foreign nations that have become victims of major terrorist attacks. We should not hold our breath while waiting. The Iranians certainly aren’t. They have experienced a long history of American postures toward Iran, in the context of a common terrorist threat, that have ranged from indifference at best to door-slamming at worst. In the first few months after 9/11, Iranian officials worked cooperatively and effectively with U.S. officials to midwife a new regime in Afghanistan to replace the Taliban. The Iranians thought this could be the beginning of further cooperation against a common threat. But then the United States slammed the door shut, as George W. Bush declared an axis of evil in which Iran was lumped together with North Korea and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

The principal perpetrator of terrorism in Iran over the past four decades has been the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the Marxist/Islamist cult/terrorist group that prior to the revolution had claimed Americans among its victims. Thanks largely to the MEK’s activity, Iran necessarily has had much experience in countering terrorism. Khamenei lost the use of his right arm when he was injured by an MEK bomb in an assassination attempt in 1981. The U.S. handling of the MEK in recent years has seen the U.S. Government succumbing to a well-financed lobbying campaign on behalf of the group, with that campaign winning much support for the group in the U.S. Congress and the group eventually being removed from the U.S. list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. If the crippled Khamenei exhibits some reflexive anti-U.S. sentiments, do you suppose this history has something to do with it?

Right now, on the very day of the terrorist attacks in Tehran, the United States Senate is scheduled to take its first vote on a bill that would impose still more sanctions on Iran. It appears the most immediate American response to the attacks will be sanctions on, not sympathy for, the victim.

In the months ahead, Iran may take actions outside its borders in response to the attacks. The United States, ever since 9/11, has claimed a right for itself to be ruthlessly aggressive in the name of responding to terrorism, lashing out with force while sometimes being little restrained by collateral damage or international law (not to mention its own constitutional requirements). Iran may see a need to be more aggressive in places such as Iraq or Syria in the interest of fighting back against ISIS. Will the United States grant Iran the same kind of slack it grants itself? Or, as has been customary in opposing anything Iran does and taking no account of exactly what interests are being advanced or threatened, will the Iranian responses be denounced as more “nefarious,” “malign,” and “destabilizing” behavior?

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مسعود خدابنده نیکلا پدی پارلمان اروپاDebate in the European Parliament ‘What is to be done about the Iranian Mojahedin Khalq (MEK)?’

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Revolutionary Guards blame Saudi Arabia for Tehran terror attack 

عربستان سعودی مجاهدین خلق داعش و تروریسمFinancial Times, June 08 2017:… Hamid-Reza Taraghi, a senior politician close to Tehran’s hardliners, blamed a combination of Saudi Arabia, the US, Isis and the exiled opposition group MEK for Wednesday’s attacks. “Saudi Arabia is definitely playing the leading role in these incidents, considering that its foreign ministry threatened Iran two to three days ago,” he said, referring to a call by Riyadh for Iran to be punished for supporting terrorism … 

Can Albania deradicalise Mojahedin Khalq Rajavi cultMassoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post: Can Albania Meet its Obligations and De-radicalize an Influx of Terrorists into Europe? 

ISIS ISIL Mojahedin Khalq Rajavi cult Flaqsgrooming Mojahedin Khalq (MEK, Rajavi cult) in Tirana part of bigger agenda for Albania

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Revolutionary Guards blame Saudi Arabia for Tehran terror attack

Military force ratchets up tensions with Riyadh after 12 killed in Iran’s capital

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards ratcheted up the tensions with Saudi Arabia as it accused Tehran’s regional rival of involvement in Wednesday’s double terrorist attack in the capital, which left at least 13 people dead and wounded more than 50.

Gunmen and suicide bombers launched simultaneous attacks on the parliament building in Tehran and the nearby shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Islamic Republic’s founder.

The attacks were claimed by Isis, in what would be the jihadi group’s first significant strike in the Islamic Republic. However a statement from the Revolutionary Guards linked the “brutal attack” to Donald Trump’s visit last month to Riyadh, where the US president singled out Iran for fuelling “the fires of sectarian conflict and terror”.

“This terrorist act took place a week after a joint meeting between the US president and head of a reactionary regional country [Saudi Arabia] which has been a constant supporter of terrorism,” the statement said. “The fact Isis claimed responsibility proves that they [Saudi Arabia] were involved in the brutal attack.”

Speaking in Berlin, Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, denied the accusation of involvement and said there was no evidence that his country was involved. “We condemn terrorist attacks anywhere they occur and we condemn the killing of the innocent anywhere it occurs,” Mr al-Jubeir was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, condemned the attacks, without laying the blame at the feet of Saudi Arabia. However, the accusation from the powerful Revolutionary Guards will stoke the increasingly bitter enmity between Tehran and Riyadh, which are involved in proxy wars from Syria to Yemen.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, tweeted, “Terror-sponsoring despots threaten to bring the fight to our homeland. Proxies attack what their masters despise most: the seat of democracy.”

Mr Zarif seemed to be pointing at a comment last month by the Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman that any struggle for influence between Riyadh and Tehran would take place “inside Iran, not in Saudi Arabia”.

“We know that the aim of the Iranian regime is to reach the focal point of Muslims [Mecca] and we will not wait until the fight is inside Saudi Arabia and we will work so that the battle is on their side, inside Iran, not in Saudi Arabia,” Prince Mohammed said in a television interview.

The attacks also come at a sensitive moment in the Gulf, where a new rift opened this weekpitting Qatar, with whom Tehran has ties, against Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain. The quartet on Monday severed diplomatic ties with Qatar and accused Doha of supporting terrorism.

Hamid-Reza Taraghi, a senior politician close to Tehran’s hardliners, blamed a combination of Saudi Arabia, the US, Isis and the exiled opposition group MEK for Wednesday’s attacks. “Saudi Arabia is definitely playing the leading role in these incidents, considering that its foreign ministry threatened Iran two to three days ago,” he said, referring to a call by Riyadh for Iran to be punished for supporting terrorism. He provided no evidence to support his claims.

His view was echoed by others, though they did not provide evidence either. “The fact that these two attacks took place . . . after that [Riyadh] meeting means that both the US and the Saudi regime have ordered their proxies to embark on that act,” Brigadier-General Hossein Nejat of the Revolutionary Guards told a local news agency.

Mohsen Rezaei, a former Revolutionary Guards commander, warned terrorists to expect a “tough and unforgettable” response from Iran.

Mr Trump’s administration is viewed as much more hawkish on Iran than the previous government of Barack Obama. Tehran has long accused Saudi Arabia of supporting Isis.

The assault began at 10.30am local time when three gunmen (earlier reports had said four) in women’s clothing walked into the building and began shooting. One detonated an explosive vest. All the attackers were killed after a stand-off lasting several hours, Iran’s interior ministry said.

Two further gunmen also opened fire at the Ayatollah Khomeini shrine in the Iranian capital. One was reported to have killed himself by detonating an explosive vest. Another was shot dead. Based on a video released by Isis, the attackers spoke Arabic. Brigadier-General Nejat said the nationality of the attackers was not yet clear, but an Iranian official told state television on Wednesday night that they were Iranian.

At least 13 people were killed in the two attacks, Pir-Hossein Kolivand, head of Iran’s emergency department, was quoted as saying by the official Irna news agency on Thursday.

Isis on Wednesday vowed further attacks on Iran, saying “Persia should know that the state of the caliphate will not miss an opportunity for an onslaught against them”.

Iranian officials said security forces remained on high alert.

Terrorist attacks are rare in Iran, which keeps a tight grip on domestic security. The country has largely been spared from militant attacks despite its heavy support of Shia militias in Syria and Iraq, which has increased sympathies among some of those countries’ Sunni populations for radical groups such as Isis.

If Iran steps up its fight against Isis in the wake of Wednesday’s attack, the situation in the region could become even more volatile, analysts say. Charlie Winter, senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College London, said the attack could boost Isis’s flagging morale and intensify pressure on Tehran to step up its involvement in Syria against the jihadis. “If this happens, a more intense ‘Sunni war against Shia Islam’ will pour petrol on Isis’s ideological fire,” he said.

Security analysts outside of Iran have long argued that it has not been attacked because it tolerated the presence of al-Qaeda and the movement of communications and finances through the country. But for Isis, which is not reliant on foreign financing, Iran has long been a target.

Members of Iranian forces during attack on the Iranian parliament in central Tehran © Reuters

While it is difficult to gauge the extent of an Isis presence in Iran, the group has long sought to attract people from Iran’s Sunni minority. Last March, it released a 36-minute video in Persian, vowing to conquer Iran. In the video, militants used photographs of Iranian leaders for target practice, including Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds force.

The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.
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Ali Gharib: Saudi Supports Anti-Iran Fanatics (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult)

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Remember.Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) was one of the excuses of US attacking Iraq

The MKO, Fan club of Saudi Arabia (Mojahedin Khalq, MEK, Rajavi cult)

مریم رجوی داعش تروریسم Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, NCRI, Rajavi cult) terrorists openly declare support for ISIL, terror acts

زهره قائمی فرمانده ترور صیاد شیرازیIranian resistance group MKO to move to Albania (aka Mojahedin Khalq, MEK, NCRI, …)

Self Sacrifice Struan Stevenson Rajavi terroristsBehind Struan Stevenson’s book “Self Sacrifice

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Using Mojahedin Khalq (Rajavi cult) made the Americans look extremely hypocritical 

Sharmine Narwani, Habilian Association, January 22 2016:… I can’t imagine this bothered them much – though it did make the Americans look extremely hypocritical on their “War on Terror.” After all, the MEK had killed US citizens in Iran in the 1970s, attacked US soil in 1992, and continues to abuse its own members. This was the State Department’s very language …

مهوش سپهری مجاهدین خلق فرقه رجویGrow the MKO, Harvest Terrorism! Mujahedin Khalq ;A tool for West

Mojahedin Khalq USARemember.Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) was one of the excuses of US attacking Iraq

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‘US needs help to disentangle from Syrian misadventures’

Iran nuclear talks drew to a close and a historic agreement was reached between Iran and P5+1 and the deal was implemented, but the opponents, from the Israeli Prime Minister and Saudi Arabia to Iran hawks in US congress to the Iranian terrorist groups functioning unhindered in the West, went out of their ways to sabotage the agreement from the very beginning.

A Beirut-based commentator and analyst covering Middle East geopolitics says Saudi Arabia and Israel were desperate to strike a blow at Iran’s further international ‘rehabilitation’. Holding a master’s degree in International Relations from Columbia University, Sharmin Narwani says the deal was also struck as the US and its allies “desperately needed the support of rational, capable parties within the Middle East to help disentangle from their Syrian misadventures.”

In the following interview with Habilian Association, Narwani speaks about those who’ve failed to influence the deal. Having a great knowledge of Iranian society, she also touches upon the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK, a.k.a. MKO) and describes them as “useful to the deal spoilers” who lacks any kind of support in Iran.

1. What is your take on the opponents of Iran nuclear deal before the agreement was reached between Iran and P5+1?

The primary opponents of the P5+1-Iran negotiations were Saudi Arabia and Israel – these two states were on the forefront of a large-scale propaganda campaign intended to derail the talks and prevent a deal from being struck. Their motivations were entirely political as both states actively seek to undermine Iranian influence in the Middle East and beyond. Both states view growing Iranian clout as a direct and existential threat to their nations, and to their ability to manipulate the region to advantage. During the one and a half years of negotiations, the Islamic Republic was in ascendency in the region, while Saudi Arabia and Israel were hemorrhaging credibility – even with their western allies. Their desperation to therefore strike a blow at Iran’s further international ‘rehabilitation’ was even more urgent than usual, and they were successful, on the surface at least, of gaining public support from at least one P5 member state, France. The French took some very hardline public postures – they managed to secure some large weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and Qatar during this period – but behind the scenes and at the actual negotiating table, I am told they barely made a peep.

2. How do you assess such activities after the agreement was reached? What are their post-Iran-deal plans?

Of course the French came into line immediately post-deal, mainly to try to gain a piece of the Iranian post-sanctions-relief economic pie. I believe France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius may have even been the first P5+1 official to visit Iran. You can see from the slew of western officials and business delegations making pilgrimages to Tehran in the immediate aftermath of the Vienna deal, that commerce is of paramount importance to these states suffering from stagnant economies.

Economic considerations aside, this deal was also struck because the US and its allies desperately needed the support of rational, capable parties within the Middle East to help disentangle from their Syrian misadventures. By mid-2012, the US and its western allies suddenly realized that Syria would not be a quick ‘regime-change’ operation and were starting to grow concerned about the proliferation of jihadis and other extremists outside of their control, most of them armed, funded and supported by western allies in the Persian Gulf and Turkey. That’s when the US reached out to Iran in a secret meeting in Oman. So I think another consideration for the P5+1 is definitely to gain Iran’s assistance in helping to put out some of these fires. Iran will help, in the sense that eradicating political violence, re-stabilizing states and halting extremism is high on its priority list, but it is important to understand that western goals are not the same. The west is perfectly happy with weakened Mideast states – it just doesn’t want the extremism it has spawned to breach its own borders. At the present moment, the nuclear deal has been helpful in that the US can openly work in the same military theaters (Syria, Iraq) with Iran without a confrontation breaking out between the two. This is a direct result of Vienna.

3. Please tell me what do you think of Netanyahu’s March 2015 address to the US Congress over Iran accord?

I didn’t watch the speech – Netanyahu never has anything interesting or truthful to say. I did, however, watch the circus around it, and I have to say that if I was an American I would be seriously appalled at the pandering of my elected officials to a foreign official. I do think Netanyahu was a net loser by giving that speech. He created a contentious split in the American body politic and gained acrimony instead of galvanizing support. Clearly he lost, as the Iran nuclear agreement is a reality today. But it would be a mistake to write off Netanyahu. He – and his allies in the US and elsewhere – intend to exploit every opportunity, at every turn of this agreement, to put a wrench in the works. One way to do this is to undermine the ‘spirit’ of this deal, which we are seeing at the moment with further sanctions talk, threats about Iran’s missile program, and the ridiculous visa restriction measure that was signed into law by Obama a few weeks ago…

4. What is your opinion about the activities of Iranian groups such as the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK, aka MKO) against this agreement?

I was in Vienna covering the final round of talks and there were some MEK people around with their usual stunts. I don’t really see this group as significant in any way. They are useful to the deal spoilers only insofar as they provide them with token ‘Iranians’ to parrot more anti-Iran propaganda. The MEK’s main interest is in constant demonization of the Iranian government because it enhances their funding opportunities and gives them access to some rather shifty ‘policymaking’ rooms in the west. So Vienna was a valuable platform for them – it probably earned them a few extra dollars. They make good parrots, but nothing more.

5. What is your take on the MEK which was until recently listed as a foreign terrorist organization in the US and is now functioning unhindered in the US and European countries?

Look, the MEK doesn’t really figure into any serious analyst’s calculations on anything to do with Iran. They are an extremely marginalized group within Iran – in all my visits to the country over the years, I have never heard a supportive word for the MEK from a single Iranian. On the contrary, Iranians tend to view them as traitors for fighting alongside Saddam Hussein’s military in an aggressive 8-year war that saw hundreds of thousands of Iranians die. So there is no love lost for the MEK inside Iran. Furthermore, the group’s support comes almost exclusively from foreign adversaries of Iran, which adds to the perception of MEK treachery.

Even when the organization was listed as a terrorist group in the west, it continued to function under different aliases, with the tacit approval of its western hosts. It has only ever been used as a tool by the west, to be pulled out when these states want a ‘lever’ against Iran. Look at the delisting in the US…it took place in late 2012, a few months after Washington had initiated quiet meetings in Oman with Ahmadinejad’s government which ultimately was the ‘opening’ that led to this nuclear deal. The Americans delisted MEK so they could have a pressure ‘card’ in their hand – to show the Iranians the US was willing to escalate if the Iranians didn’t fall into line. But Iran is well-versed in US tactics. I can’t imagine this bothered them much – though it did make the Americans look extremely hypocritical on their “War on Terror.” After all, the MEK had killed US citizens in Iran in the 1970s, attacked US soil in 1992, and continues to abuse its own members. This was the State Department’s very language when they delisted the group.

Listed or delisted, the MEK remains exactly the same. It always enjoyed western cover of sorts. Like many other western-groomed ‘opposition’ groups based outside the Middle East, it will be employed opportunistically by its hosts, and cut off when it is no longer of use.

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Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) and Al-Qaida affiliated groups are alike

Habilian Association, Tehran, June 09 2015:…  Dr. Jang Ji-Hyang, policy advisor on Middle East issues to South Korean foreign minister and director of the Center for Regional Studies at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, pointed out the similarity between Mujahedin-e Khalq organization (MKO, MEK, NCRI,) and Al-Qaida affiliated groups …

Maryam Rajavi terrorist syriaThe Mojahedin Khalq (Rajavi cult) and Saddam’s daughter support the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)

In Habilian Association:
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Also in “International Congress on 17000 Iranian Terror Victims”:
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‘Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) and Al-Qaida affiliated groups are alike’

Dr. Jang Ji-Hyang, policy advisor on Middle East issues to South Korean foreign minister and director of the Center for Regional Studies at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, pointed out the similarity between Mujahedin-e Khalq organization (MKO, MEK, NCRI,) and Al-Qaida affiliated groups like ISIS in an interview with the 2nd International Congress of 17000 Iranian Terror Victims’ correspondent.

Regarding the fact that thousands of people in the Middle East have fallen victim to terrorist operations mainly conducted by terrorist groups such as MKO and Al-Qaida affiliated groups like ISIS, Dr. Jang Ji-Hyang said: “Mujahedin-e Khalq organization and Al-Qaida affiliated groups are similar in the sense that they try to gain publicity and international attention trying to maximize the demonstrative effects.” She also pointed out that both Shia and Sunni Muslims are victims of such terrorist incidents.

Referring to ISIS’s killing of both Shia and Sunni Muslims in the region and that the whole Muslim community in general is the victim of the so called “Islamic terrorist groups”, she went on to say that ordinary people in Eastern communities such as South Korea are not keenly aware of the fact that Muslims in general are also the very victims of those terrorist groups.

She continued: “The public sentiment [among South Korean people] might be that the radical terrorists are Muslims, and their main targets are foreigners, non-Muslims, or Westerners. The reason behind this partial knowledge is that 1) ordinary people do not follow the international politics 2) the Middle East is far away from the North East Asia 3) we are so busy dealing with a trouble maker in North Korea that it is a luxury to catch up the international politics of terrorism.”

About the role that International organization such as the United Nations can play in the fight against terrorism, Dr. Ji-Hyang reiterated: “UN by nature does not implement a decisive unitary action toward many urgent international issues.”

At the end, referring to the role popular movements and non-governmental organizations can play in the combat against terrorism and extremism, she added: “The 2nd International Congress of 17000 Iranian terror victims can play a significant role in raising public awareness targeting the global community. It brings about a definitely significant impact given that the movement is initiated in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Training Syrian rebels in Saudi Arabia reminder of training Mojahedin Khalq (Rajavi cult) terror group in Saddam’s Iraq

خبرگزاری چینXinhuanet, September 22 2014: …  drew a comparison between the current hosting of the armed rebels by Saudi Arabia and what happened at the times of the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussain, who had hosted on Iraq soil the Mojahedin-e-Khalq movement (MEK), an Iranian opposition movement in exile that advocated the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran …

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News Analysis: Providing arms, training to rebels will exacerbate Syria crisis

DAMASCUS, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) — Washington’s recent decision to arm and train the Syrian rebels, who will supposedly fight the Islamic State (IS) terror group, will only exacerbate and prolong the Syrian crisis in what analysts said would be like “casting oil on a smoldering fire.”

Unlike the situation in Iraq, where the administration of President Barack Obama is coordinating and cooperating with the Iraqi forces in their battle against the IS militants, Washington has turned a deaf ear to the calls of the Syrian government for cooperation on battling the IS in Syria, seeking instead to cooperate and deal with the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels by agreeing to arm and coach them to be able to confront the IS in Syria.

Obama, who is leading an international coalition of reportedly 50 countries to fight the IS, said that the Syrian opposition forces were fighting both the brutality of Islamic State terrorists and the “tyranny” of the administration of President Bashar al-Assad.

“We will provide training and equipment to help them (moderate rebels) grow stronger and take on IS terrorists inside Syria,” said Obama, who is a staunch critic of Assad that repeatedly called for his departure and questioned his legitimacy.

The Congress on Thursday backed Obama, authorizing the military to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels. The U.S. move, while failing to surprise the Syrian politicians given the fact that the U.S. has always been in favor of the opposition, was seen as a policy toward prolonging the crisis in Syria by attempting to replace the IS fighters with others who will remain loyal to their Western patrons and would keep fighting against the Syrian government.

Maher Murhej, a Syrian politician and head of the Youth Party, told Xinhua he wasn’t surprised by the recent U.S. move, pointing out that the training of the Syrian rebels has already started.

“My information is that the new Congress decision has sanctioned the financing of the rebels, and regarding the training, I have information that training camps have already been opened in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago, namely in the city of Ha’il in northwestern Saudi Arabia, to train Syrian rebels of the Islamic Front and Islam Army groups,” Murhej said, noting that there is no such a thing as “moderate” rebels as the vast majority of the armed militant groups are radicalized.

Saudi Arabia overtly agreed last week to host training camps for “moderate” Syrian rebels, agreeing thus on Obama’s broad strategy to combat the IS group, which has captured large chunks of territories in Syria and Iraq over the past few months.

Meanwhile, Murhej pointed out that the American strategy aims at keeping the Syrian government busy with fighting the rebels for years to come as it is seeking to replace the IS fighters with other rebel groups that would continue fighting the Syrian government troops.

Obama has recently sanctioned to strike the IS positions in Syria, akin to what his air force is doing in Iraq. However, the conundrum for Obama was that he didn’t want to make a move against the IS that could play in the hands of the Syrian regime, meaning that he wouldn’t want to weaken the IS so that the Assad troops can fill in the void.

Instead, the U.S. president decided to arm the “moderate” rebels so that they could be able to fill in the void that the IS may leave after the U.S. strikes on their positions in Syria, analysts said.

Still, the new approach may take at least a year to train the rebels and weaken the IS fighters, which means that the Syrian crisis is likely not going to see an exit or an end in the near future.

“After getting done with the IS, the West wants to leave other rebels to keep fighting the Syrian government… they want an armed insurgency that could last for years in Syria,” Murhej said, adding that “the superpowers are not only working on prolonging the crisis in Syria, actually they are drawing a new strategy for the future in the region. They are talking about camps that would be permanent so we are looking at 10 to 15 years of insurgency in Syria.”

Murhej drew a comparison between the current hosting of the armed rebels by Saudi Arabia and what happened at the times of the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussain, who had hosted on Iraq soil the Mojahedin-e-Khalq movement (MEK), an Iranian opposition movement in exile that advocated the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran. During the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, the group was given refuge by Saddam Hussein and mounted attacks on Iran from within Iraqi territory.

“They (superpowers) are attempting to create a similar group to the Islamic State but this time under the commandership of the West,” Murhej said.

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General Report of the 2nd Int’l Congress on 17,000 Iranian Terror Victims

Habilian Association, Tehran, October 28 2015:… “Iran has the right to demand members of MKO from other countries and international organizations as they have committed crimes in Iran.” MKO’s extradition to Iran is an inevitable task and the group’s betrayals and crimes are to such a level that Iran must take all necessary measures to deal with the group …

Ironically, only Iran can help America really take control of ISIS.

Anne Khodabandeh, Iranian.com, September 19 2014: … This, however, is not a description of ISIS, it is a description of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the exiled Iranian terrorist group. While ISIS claims to be Sunni, and the MEK claims to be Shiite, there are such significant similarities they can both be defined as destructive cults. The major distinguishing difference …

 
 
Ariane Tabatabai, The National Interest, August 24 2014: …The voices supporting the MEK are ignoring the lessons of some of the most catastrophic U.S. foreign-policy mistakes in the past few decades, urging Washington to repeat history. Overhyping the threat of an adversary and blindly supporting groups opposing it led to the creation of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan …
 
 
مریم رجوی صدامیان داعش تروریسمMazda Parsi, Nejat Bloggers, August 13 2014: …  Regarding heavy expenses and large amounts of money, energy and time the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (the MKO) spends to portrait itself as a pro-democracy movement, its so-called Great Gathering in Villepinte Paris, was expected to be addressed by at least a few Iranian political and intellectual figures, as it is …