The Story of MKO
Mojahedin-e Khalq of Iran is a political organization that seeks the overthrow of current Iranian regime.
This group was established in 1965 by a group of middle-class students headed by people like Mohammed Hanifnejad, Saeed Mohsen and Ali Asghar Badizadegan. The group was first opposed to Pahlavi regime and after a few years, they adopted an extreme ideology that was taken from Marxism and Islam.
Before the group’s armed attack against Shah’s regime started, former Intelligence Service of Iran (Savak) arrested several leaders and 90 percent of members of the group. Only 10 percent of members could survive the attack and go to hiding.
Before the revolution of 1979, Savak released a number of MKO members including Massoud Rajavi.
Before the revolution, MKO attacked West’s targets and interests in Iran but after the revolution, it conducted many military and sabotaging operations against the new regime.
The most important attacks are as follows:
– Assassination of leaders and officials of Islamic Revolution.
– Bombing Iran’s parliament building*, in which many of MPs were killed.
– Destroying Iran’s economical infrastructures.
The MKO has a long history of hostility towards Western countries and several American military officers in Iran were assassinated by the group in 1970s. Thus, some Western countries, including the US and Canada consider it a terrorist organization. It should be noted that former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, was the main military, financial and political supporter of the group, especially during Iraq’s war with Iran.
In 1986, French foreign minister signed a deal with Iran according to which, Iran advised Hizballah in Lebanon to free French hostages in Lebanon and in return, French officials shut MKO offices in France and deported its leaders.
The MKO continued its hostility towards the West but what was surprising for everyone was US’s support for the group after invasion to Iraq.
The group, still based in Iraq, had some military bases in the country:
– Camp Ashraf: the headquarters of the organization, 100 Km from western borders of Iran and 100 km north of Baghdad.
– Anzali Camp: 120 km from Baghdad and 40 km from Iranian borders
– Faezi Camp: near the city of Kut,
– A camp near the city of Meqdadieh.
The MKO has apparently stopped hostility towards the West. The group has been supported by US officials especially after former Soviet Union broke down. The group tries to establish ties with Western countries, particularly with those who oppose the Iranian regime.
In this way, the group served CIA and Mossad and Israeli lobby groups like AIPAC, Center for Jews’ National Security Affairs, Congress Committees, strategic centers and Neocons’ organization in the US.
Group’s Ties with Israeli Lobby:
Despite being one of the biggest opposition groups to Islamic Republic, the group didn’t dare to establish ties with Israeli lobbies or the US and UK when Saddam was in power. Following Bush’s presidency and the rule of Necons on Pentagon and their efforts to change the regime in Iran, and after US’s invasion to Iraq, the group established strong and direct ties with all Israeli lobbies in and out of the US. In this regard, Mahan Abedin said in an interview with Asia Times that Israeli lobby and some Necon leaders had decided to use the group as a good alternative for Iran. Abedin referred to the comments of Massoud Banisadr, a former leader of MKO, who said: "We know that Israeli lobby has an influential role in the congress and therefore when we want to pursue a particular legal rule we should try to get closer to Israeli lobby."
MKO’s Ties with Mossad:
The group has had a longtime relationship with Israel’s Mossad. An espionage network tied to Israel’s Mossad is active inside Iraq and Iran. The elements of this network have been selected from the members of MKO. This network collects top secret information on economical, political, social, military, technological and security affairs and transfers it to Mossad. The intelligence is then transferred through Mossad’s base in Dihok in a region under the control of Barzani.
Mossad, Shin Bet, and Shabak train MKO members with following purposes:
– Political assassination of Iranian leaders,
– Destroying Iran’s infrastructures: bridges, strategic places like power plants, communication offices and â€¦
– Creating psychological war in order to divide internal groups,
– Destroying Iran’s economy by printing fake bills, destruction of farms and setting fire to strategic places,
– Concentrating the efforts of opposition groups and giving financial, logistic, and military aids as well as training to these groups,
– Distribution and installation of satellite-controlled spying systems in order to locate Iran’s infrastructure for possible attack, including military, security and nuclear establishment.
One can say that MKO’s relations with the US and Mossad will continue and expand. However, neither Iranian regime would be toppled by MKO nor Israel and the US would be able to take the risk of attacking Iran. Thus, the MKO has no option except giving intelligence to Mossad and this is the only condition for receiving food from the White House.
* The author should have said "Republic Party" instead of "Parliament"