A brief look at Morvarid Operation (memoirs of Hamid Dehdar Hassani, former member of the MKO)
Kill the Kurds to save the life of “The Master”!
In everybody’s lives, there are black points whose remembrances are associated with shame and disturbance. Whether the act is pleasant or painful is up to the views and attitudes of the individuals toward their surrounding world and rules, which govern human relationships. March to September 1991 is bitterest loathsome shameful point in my life.
After a relatively heavy mental process, I was just starting to digest the issue of cooperating with the Iraqi regime that operation “Morvarid” was set before me and other members of the organization (MKO). After Saddam invaded Kuwait (Kuwait Occupation), the US and its allies started heavy bombings in order to retake that country. Amid that war, known as “Gulf War”, Iraqi Kurds who had been suppressed by Saddam regime for years started expressing their opposition to Saddam. The risk of being toppled by revolutionary Kurds threatened Saddam, whose army had lost its power due to Gulf War as well as war with Iran. I never forget that although US planes never bombed MKO bases, Rajavi ordered all members of Ashraf to spread over the hills of Kurdish region of Kefri in order to be safe from bombings. The bitter events started when MKO members were ordered to return to Ashraf Camp.
We were passing the Kurdish township of “Tuz” when we heard the ill-fated voice of Rajavi on radios. “Revolutionary guards and agents of Iranian regime in Kurdish clothes are going to attack MKO members, therefore kill them as soon as you see them” this was his message!
Neither anyone nor I could have thought that there’s something else behind this event. At those anxious hours, no one could think that Rajavi’s order was a show of his faithfulness to Saddam. Saddam (who was called “landlord” by Rajavi) was on the edge of cliff and revolutionary Kurds were taking the control of Iraqi cities, one after another. At that time, the ouster of Saddam meant the full destruction of MKO and according to Rajavi himself (which was expressed later in meetings): “Whether we want or not, our interests and fate are tied to those of Iraqi government.”
On that bitter day, following the order of Massoud Rajavi, MKO members attacked those regions believing that Iranian agents and revolutionary guards (in Kurdish clothes) were hiding in the villages.
A number of minibuses, full of passengers, were set on fire by MKO’s weapons near the city of Kirkuk and Kefri. Women, children and other passengers burnt to ashes in front of us. Rajavi had said that they would kill all MKO members if they’re not stopped, therefore MKO members used cannon fire from a close distance so that the bodies of Kurds were torn into pieces, and they (members) enjoyed seeing such scenes. After Massoud Rajavi, it was the turn of Maryam who shouted on the radio like a vulture:
“Shoot at these (Kurds). Ride your tanks over them”!
Time passed and my anxieties melt down a bit. Then, I, some other members, found that no one was in front of us except Iraqi Kurds, women, children and old defenseless people.
Although I saw a number of Kurd rebels, there was no Iranian Revolutionary Guards. I understood that I was involved in a horrible crime! When I expressed my protest to my commander (Farhad Olfat) and said that Kurds’s issues had nothing to do with us, he shouted on me: “No one fights against Saddam except the Iranian agents! Now we can destroy regime’s social base among Iraq Kurds…” Rajavi and his agents used different explanations to justify this crime but they shamed to say that they had committed this crime because they were Saddam’s serviles. In addition to deployment of forces into Kurdish areas, MKO had established checkpoints across the roads to prove its total officiousness to Saddam. MKO members stopped cars, identified revolutionary Kurds and opponents of Saddam, arrested them and delivered to Iraqi security officers. If someone protested to the activities of MKO, or refused to cooperate with them, he was beaten severely. Recalling these scenes is shocking. MKO arrested a number of Kurd villagers and took them as detainees to Ashraf Camp.
Once, Baathist officers came to receive a number of Kurd detainees. We got them on an IFA trucks and brought them, blindfolded and handcuffed, to the gates of the camp. Mehdi Abrishamchi (a high-ranking official of the organization) climbed the truck and pushed the detainees off the vehicle, using violence. Baathist officers also used maximum violence to take them to Saddam prisons. Mehdi Abrishamchi, wet-nursing , behaved the Kurds like animals.
Many of the MKO members raised questions about such activities, but no one was able to protest. During a meeting, Massoud Rajavi stated insolently: “in a recent meeting with Izzat Ibrahim, he appreciated our efforts and called the MKO the best friend of Iraqi government. He said they’re going to give us new armors and weapons to show their appreciation for the suppression of Kurd rebels.”
Rajavi called “Morvarid” a self-defense but he never explained the reason and logic behind the involvement of MKO in Iraq’s internal affairs and suppression of Saddam opponents. Of course, it was clear that there was no honesty in the explanations of Massoud Rajavi because everyone knew the consequences of Baghdad occupation by Kurds. Rajavi deceived members and said that Iranian revolutionary guards were in Kurdish clothes but soon all members found that there’s not even an Iranian Revolutionary among detainees or the dead. Therefore, Rajavi and his agents talked about “protecting the landlord (Saddam)”. In a meeting after Operation Morvarid, Rajavi said: “in this operation, we wanted to advance toward Tehran, but the master (Saddam) didn’t’ advise it!”
I don’t know what happened to Kurd detainees but after the fall of Saddam Hussein many mass graves-full of the bodies of these Kurds- were found. After Operation Morvarid, Mojahedin-e khalq has always been in fear of being subjected to the anger and revenge of Iraqi Kurds, therefore Rajavi tried to justify his crimes and win the satisfaction of Kurds but Iraqi Kurds or Shiites who had been attacked repeatedly by MKO never accepted it as a revolutionary freedom-seeking force. Some members of MKO were attacked by Kurds in Iraq and even after the fall of Saddam, ordinary Kurds killed a MKO commander (revenging the lives of innocent women and children killed by Mojahedin). It was so difficult for the MKO (after the operation) that they couldn’t go the cities without bodyguards. They asked for Baathists help when they wanted to go shopping in the city. MKO members were armed to teeth when going into cities. People looked at them with anger and hatred. Some Iraqis spat on them and were called “traitors”…
Today, years after massacring Kurds by MKO, memories are still agonizing me. Nightmares of destroyed villages and houses of the Kurds upset me. I can never forget the kids who burnt to ashes in the bosom of their mothers by the fire of MKO.
Indeed, why were they killed?