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Dismantling MKO, the US sing of good-will

Disclosing the US’s aggressive meddling in Iran, Selig S. Harrison in an article published in The Indypendent states that covert action to undermine the Tehran regime has already been under way intermittently for the past decade. Until now, however, the CIA has operated without a by using proxies. Pakistan and Israel, for example, provide weapons and money to insurgent groups in southeast and northwest Iran.

The efforts by the US to undermine Tehran’s regime has escalated the already existing tension between the two countries. The best way for the United States to start rolling back its regime change policy, as many Iranians believe, would be to dismantle a US-backed militia of Iranian exiles based in Iraq, known as the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK). The MEK supported Saddam Hussein in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and subsequently its 3,600 fighters, many of them women, stayed on in Iraq.

According to US sources, since the invasion of Iraq US intelligence agencies have disarmed the fighters but have kept the MEK camps near the Iranian border intact, using MEK operatives for espionage and sabotage in Iran and to interrogate Iranians accused of aiding Shia militias in Iraq.

Until recently, MEK radio and TV stations broadcasting to Iran were based in Iraq, but Iranian pressure on the Baghdad government forced their relocation to London. When the moderate Mohammad Khatami was elected president of Iran in 1997, the State Department made a conciliatory gesture by listing the MEK as a terrorist organisation guilty of human rights violations, and it is still on the list.

Dismantling the MEK paramilitary forces would be an effective way to signal US readiness to accommodate Tehran, suggested Abbas Maleki, an adviser to the National Security Council, since it is the only militarised exile group seeking to overthrow the Islamic Republic and is the darling of the Washington lobby for regime change in Iran. Alireza Jaffarzadeh, chairman of the MEK’s front group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, appears regularly on the conservative TV channel Fox News as its Iran expert, rather like the pro-US Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi before the Iraq invasion, rallying Congressional and media support for military action against Iran.

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