Adm Gregory Smith: US military does not support terrorist Mojahedin Khalq (MKO) Interview with MEHR News, November 25, 2007 BBC Monitoring Middle East Text of report by Iranian conservative news agency Mehr
Tehran, 25 Nov: Rear Adm Gregory Smith, Communication Division Chief for the Multi-National Force-Iraq, who has repeatedly – and without proof – accused the Islamic Republic of Iran of engaging in negative activities in Iraq responded to questions form Mehr news agency concerning US military support to the Monafeghin terrorist group [pejorative meaning hypocrites used by the Iranian government to refer to the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MKO)]. The group has been placed on the list of terrorist groups. He claimed that the US military does not support any terrorist group including the MKO. He admitted: The American government considers the MKO group to be a terrorist group and once again claimed that the US military was not supporting them. Responding to a question from Mehr asking if the US government and the American military would assist the Iraqi government should it expel these individuals – or at the very not interfere with the expulsions, he answered in generalities, saying: We don’t respond to questions that are based on conjecture. This question is speculative, we don’t work on speculations.
Gregory Smith said he had no knowledge of plans for a new round of Iran-US talks on Iraq, saying: Issues relating to these talks are handled by the US embassy in Iraq.
The official spokesperson for the American forces in Iraq commented on the fate of Iranian diplomats who have been held captive by the occupiers since they were taken in Dey last year [Iranian month starts on 22 December], saying: As far as US officials are concerned these individuals are not diplomats. They shall remain in detention for as long as US official believe them to be a threat to Iraq.
Smith went on to say: A committee made up of representatives form the coalition [forces] and the Iraqi government is reviewing this issue.
Iraqi MP Ali al-Adib contradicts claims by this American military official that his country does not support the MKO group, saying: Even though the Iraqi constitution has banned the activities of opposition groups and organization form neighbouring countries, the US military supports the presence of mko terrorist group
In a recent interview with Mehr, Iraq’s Prosecutor General Ja’far al-Musavi confirmed that the file of the mojahedin terrorist group was under review and would not rule out the possibility of an agreement between Tehran and Baghdad that would include provisions for the extradition of the criminals.
He said that members of the mko terrorist group were guilty of participating in the massacre of innocent Iraqis, adding: The judicial process for the prosecution of these this group has started.
During the early days of the revolution, the mojahedin terrorist group acted to the great determent of our nation. They based themselves in camp Ashraf in the Iraqi province of Diala east of Bagdad. The former Ba’th government under the leadership of the executed dictator Saddam cooperated with this group during the imposed war against Iran in the early eighties [Iran-Iraq war 1980-88] and supported them extensively.
The current elected government of Iraq is attempting to remove traces of this terrorist group from its territorial borders because of their role in the massacre of Iraqi dissidents and the genocide against the shi’i uprising in 1991.
Claims made by this American official about Iranian diplomats that were abducted in Arbil this past Dey are being made while the Iraqi government and officials of the Kurdish Regional Government stress that these individuals were engaged in legal activities the Iranian consulate in Arbil. The Americans have only released two of the diplomats.