Patrick Pesnot Interviews Mr. X on MKO

Translation: Nejat Society Pesnot: I want to talk about Mujahedin-e-Khalq who are probably better spies for George Bush. MEK are the opponents to the Ayatollahs and PresidentFrance inter Ahmadinejad of Iran. They claim that they have revealed the Iranian military nuclear programs in 2002. After the American security agencies reported that Iran has interrupted its program for bomb fabrication, MEK refused the report and claimed that Tehran is still seeking nuclear weapon secretly. And this is exactly what Bush claimed after the reports issued. There is a question here: how does the MKO know that Tehran is seeking nuclear weapon while MKO’s intelligence network has been destroyed and has no function now? How could the MKO’s intelligence network understand it but American Intelligence Agencies were not able to find out?   united State, contrary to its interests ,use MKO’s misinformation and no one asks if MKO tries to make Americans involved in a battle against Iran, by giving such misinformation.  You can’t help thinking about what happened before American invasion to Iraq. Saddam Hussein’s opponents including Ahmad Chalabi didn’t stop saying that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. But there was nothing of them in Iraq. These intoxication acts doubled by the American neo-conservatives who had no objective except justifying the American invasion to Iraq. Therefore, Mr. X tries to clarify the issue describing Mujahedin of whom a large number reside in France.  The group is still on the FTO list of Department of State that has prevented the American government from helping them or probably contributing them financially. Mr. X: MKO is a cult. In fact they share most of cult-like practices. For example the forced divorce of spouses and their absolute dedication to their favorite leader Maryam Rajavi, the self- assigned president in exile of Iran and also the absolute dependence of fighters on the organization, military cooperation and even members sacrifice so as they self-immolated to protest the arrest of Maryam Rajavi following the French Police raid to MKO’s base in 2003. Of course that was a spectacular, ridiculous and also useless act.  MKO was founded in 1969’s by a small group of young students who opposed the Shah’s tyranny and their ideology was inspired by both Islam and Marxism. Pesnot: it’s not simple to mix these two.  Mr. X: at least both shared anti-imperialism view.  Pesnot: and of course anti-Americanism. Mr. X: Naturally, because the US supported Shah and cooperated to return the Shah to Iran after the coup-d’at against Mosaddeq. The first Mujahedin were the students and intellectuals who entered the armed struggle exploding the electricity lines in the 2500th anniversary of Persian Empire.  Pesnot: Ah, Persepolis. Mr. X: Savak was terrified and executed the key leaders of the organization except one: Masud Rajavi who was offered favor and got amnesty. His brother also protested in an international movement.  Pesnot: why the others weren’t released?  Mr. X: Rajavi accepted to cooperate with the police. After the organization was damaged from head, the activities continued so slowly and the attempts and terrors started in 1972 when the American advisors were assassinated.  Pesnot: then the organization recovered its force again.  Mr. X: yes, it formed its clandestine units and got close to two other movements: the clerics of Qom and the laics, the former supporters of Mosadeq.  Pesnot: and they were mostly left-wing.  Mr. X: most of the organization ‘s members were oppressed and defections appeared in the organization.  Pesnot: thus the cultism you mentioned existed in the group from the beginning.  Mr. X: the defection of Marxists from MKO was a heavy beat for the Mujahedin and Mr. Khomeini did not welcome the case.  Pesnot: didn’t he appreciate Rajavi so well?  Mr. X: this is the least thing you can say. Rajavi obeyed and accepted the superiority Of Khomeini and called him the leader of the revolution in the early days after the revolution, MEK supported the revolution and pretended that they were not strangers to the hostage taking of American Embassy. But they soon set off for protests.  Pesnot: why?  Mr. X: because of Khomeini’s absolute power.  Pesnot: Rajavi wanted to have a share of the power? Mr. X: well, naturally .Khomeini didn’t like and Rajavi wanted to reach an agreement with Khomeini but following the deposal of Banisadr, they became more isolated until they got refugee in France and MKO’s armed struggle against the ayatollahs started. They burned up the office of Islamic Republic Party and assassinated 74 of high ranking officials of regime.  was a real massacre.  revolutionary Guard began to fight against MKO and Rajavi’s wife was killed. In 1981,Rajavi fled his country and inhabited in Auversur-O’ise and formed National Council of Resistance but after a time his allies left the council. Pesnot: and soon the MKO was listed as terrorist. Mr. X: yes, by the Americans and the Europeans. Most of MKO supporters remained in Iran gathering intelligence for French intelligence agencies and received French favor until the Iran-Iraq war began.  Pesnot: and France was on Iraqi side.  Mr. X: France supported Saddam Hussien and Mujahedin fed French Intelligence Service with precious information.  Pesnot: Mr. X is talking about a cult-like organization that seems to use bizarre practices. Firstly we’ll discuss the third marriage of Masud Rajavi. I’ve extracted a few lines of the French journalist. Patric Lestruan’s writings:”in 1984, Rajavi who previously had married twice, fell in love with Maryam who was the wife of the man No.4 of the organization. Rajavi could make his dream true due to his power of retorique and following his wedding, his political office published a text.  In fact the text talked of a new epical victory and was considered as a qualified mutation in MKO’s history and the husband whose wife was taken to marry Rajavi, even sent public congratulations to Maryam and Masud Rajavi. Under the cover of women’s promotion Mujahedin forbid sexual relations and forced all married members to divorce. And also their daily reports that everybody was supposed to produce on his activities Mujahedin had to write their sexual fantasies and submit to their authorities’’  Mr. X: Jacqe Shirac wanted to normalize the diplomatic relations between Iran and France and to show his good will expelled Rajavi and his supporters out of French territory. Then the French government threw the Mujahedin in hands of Saddam Hussein. It had nothing for the Iranians except treason during Iran-Iraq war. Rajavi went to Iraq and Saddam Hussein was so pleasant because the enemy of my enemy can’t be anything but friend and Rajavi paid a heavy cost for this treason. Saddam used chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers and provided Rajavi with everything to establish his army.   In July 1988,Rajavi used the opportunity provided by the ceasefire between Iran and Iraq and sent his army to fight Iranians but after it advanced for only 50 km, the National Liberation Army was demolished by the Iranian Forces and lost too many of its members.  Pesnot: It was a terrible failure and an actual humiliation for Rajavi and I guess that Saddam’s delusions were also broken.  Mr. X: definitely, he hoped that with the MKO’s operation he could continue the war while respecting the cease-fire.  Pesnot: a replacing war. Saddam Hussein’s generosity was without any expectation from the counterpart?  Mr. X: Of course not. He asked MKO to oppress Iraqi Kurds what is still causing bad reputation for Rajavi and his group. In any case, France conciliate with MKO in condition that they respect a really neutral policy and let them return to France.  Pesnot: and they did so.  Mr.X: obviously. Despite all Saddam Hussein’s considerations, the fighters are more comfortable in a Western democratic country. We forget them when it is needed. The French government closes his eyes.  Pesnot: did the military confrontation between Iran and MKO finish?  Mr. X: no, but after the failed invasion of 1988, they could never find the tranquility yes, Mujahedin went on heir attempts. Despite the first allies’ invasion against Hussein in 1991, MEK maintained their bases in Iraq that allowed them to launch operations against Iranian interests once in a while.  Pesnot: around the borders.  Mr. X: sometimes the operation led to reactions. For example, in 1992 the Iranian aircrafts bombed MKO’s camps in Iraq and immediately MKO operated a series of attempts against Iranian Embassies in Europe and military industries while some changes were placing in the head of the organization.  Pesnot: what changes?  Mr. X: Maryam Rajavi became No.1. Pesnot: she took her husband’s position?  Mr. X: yes.  Pesnot: what happened?  Mr. X: no one knows exactly. Some imagine that the couple had no more mutual understanding. Even some say that there were some links between Maryam and Saddam Hussein. But I don’t believe in such things so much. The promotion of Maryam Rajavi to the first position like what Masud was previously is the main objective of a cult of personality! Pesnot: what happened to Masud?  Mr. X: this is one of the mysteries of the affairs. No one really knows what happened.  Pesnot: from the American view, MEK who were once Saddam’s allies were on the bad side of battle.  Mr. X: it really started badly for them but I have to notice that MEK took the wind out of their sail.  Pesnot: because they knew that sooner or later the Americans would take over in Iraq.  Mr. X: yes. They knew well. they have created secret links with the officials since long ago, so they can keep four of their camps in the South of Iraq and concentrate their forces in the Camp Ashraf, in 90 km. North of Bagdad near Iranian border. A territory with 36 km square that was granted to them by Iraqi surrounded with barbed wire. . Pesnot: an Iranian property in Iraq.  Mr. X: Since the beginning of 2003 MEK or in better words their legal front organization NCRI gather together in Camp Ashraf. Pesnot: two weeks after American invasion to Iraq.  Mr. X: this is not accidental. They enter a crucial relation with the US. Pesnot: what are they seeking?  Mr. X: first of all, they are trying to draw American’s attention to themselves to prove that they are not terrorists but democrat fighters who oppose Mullah’s absolutism, thus they shouldn’t be on the terror list any more. They find 150 of American congressmen to sign an appeal for their cause. From the other side, they also try to demark themselves from Saddam Hussein. Finally there is an MKO’s member who is installed in US and reveals research site of Iranians on nuclear weapons.  Pesnot: a kind of gift which is handed to Americans.  Mr. X: something like this.  Pesnot: therefore the will of Mujahedin requires approaching Americans . Despite all you said, at the beginning, the war stared badly for MEK. Mr. X: yes, because Al Badre Bridges that are formed of devotee Shiites in Iran, attack them at the time the Americans aircrafts bombs the MEK Camps. But nothing more happens. However there are whispers in Bagdad that MEK has WMD in their camps.   Pesnot: American forces do not try to get ride of Saddam Hussein’s former allies. Besides, the disarming agreement was signed between Iranian fighters and American officials. Mujahedin deliver their tanks and canons, but they are allowed to keep their light arms. Finally all of them are invited to join Camp Ashraf. They are not considered as war prisoners but as fighters detained in their camp.  Pesnot: a normal detain but they are still considered as terrorist by the Americans.  Mr. X: yes and they can be imprisoned in Guantanamo.  Pesnot: surely, there are some neo-conservatives around George Bush who have already compelled the idea that MKO could be a precious ally for America. Therefore I read a part of Eric Laurent’s writings titles “Bush, Iran, Bomb”:”Maryam Rajavi and her movement that has assassinated several Americans in the past and served Saddam Hussein as his oppressors, has become an arm in the hands of Mr. President’s surroundings the only obstacle against the free cooperation between MEK and US is the existence of their name on terrorists list since 1997. The designation that curiously didn’t prohibit the MEK from possessing an office and activities in American capital. John Ashcroft Justice Minister and an extremist neo-conservative supports the group actively.  The mere designation of a group as a foreign terrorist organization doesn’t illegalize it and also this organization has been recorded as a lobbyist, the activity in which they are skilled” said a co-worker of Ashcroft to explain the juridical ambiguity . Laurant’s book was published by PLON.  Mr. X: I have to say why the Department of State where Powell is ruling, acts so conservatively in confronting MKO. Firstly because it is listed as terrorist and also he doesn’t want to dissatisfy Tehran. Either of these reasons might be true but the contradiction has an important echo for us.  In June 2003, under the order of anti-terrorist Judge Brugiere, 1200 policemen and officers of DST raided MKO’s base in Ouver -Sur d’Oise.  Pesnot: I remember that usually when such forces mobilize the case is serious.  Mr. X: yes. Well, meanwhile this operation with the code name “Teo”, the interrogations were done and a large amount of money was found but that’s all; no arms and no explosives. But it didn’t prevent judge Brugiere from arresting 160 of Mujahedin including Maryam Rajavi, MEK’s Saint Mary. The protestations of Iranian opponents are harsh and some are dramatic. Pesnot: yes, the self-immolations of which we have talked. But what was MKO accused of?  Mr. X: because of their clandestine activities and money-laundering in our territory. Pesnot: is it true?  Mr. X: well, clandestine activities! But which activities?  DST is completely incapable to prove it and couldn’t present any document. About money“laundering yes, it is probable. The organization has a complex network of foreign associations which are so complicated that the experts are not able to distinguish this financial network. In the network the associations are allowed to access each others accounts and pay the members’ salaries from them. The result: Mujahedin are released one after the other. This happened after the visit made by our foreign affair minister in Tehran, two months earlier. Mr. Villepin had been hosted so warmly. The other congratulations were sent by Washington. “Teo” operation was considered as a right line in the war on terror. But in reality, it was only in official speech. In fact the White House showed hypocrisy. Pesnot: but why?because it contradicts the neoconservatives’ plan to use MEK against Tehran?    Mr.X: definitely. They turned against France and implicitly suspect France to having the intention to give the green light to Iranian regime in order to sign oil and industrial contracts with Tehran. This is what some American parliamentarians think accusing French authorities appeasing Iran, a terrorist state.  Pesnot: therefore Teo operation . Mr.X: and maybe DST tried to fire a counter attack. Pesnot: what do you mean?  Mr.X: the publication of a book with the author’s name: Victor Charbinnier. Pesnot: a pseudonym.  Mr.X: which includes the names of two authors of whom one is a high ranking international activist.  Pesnot: why did they use the pseudonym? Due to cautiousness?  Mr.X: Officially, they wanted to protect the two authors.  Pesnot: because the book is as explosive as that?  Mr.X: it’s not so kind to Mujahedin-e-Khalq.  Pesnot: ok, what’s it about?  Mr. X : the book is inspired by a group of dissidents and the official version denounces the practices used by MKO seriously physical violence, brainwashing, extra chantage against their own members. Briefly the organization has become a neo-stalinian nest.  Pesnot: but you also spoke of sectarist practices of MKO at the beginning and your words were not far from what these dissidents say.  Mr. X: yes, I know the group well. That’s right. But I didn’t go further. Well, listen to the conclusion of the two authors: “this Islamist-communist organization is one of the most dangerous terror organizations of the world:” I think that today ” Pesnot: and you think that our counter Intelligence Service could intervene in composing the book?  Mr. X: DST that didn’t have the power to bring MKO to justice could well give some information to the two authors.    Pesnot: the information that came from good sources, therefore it was a sort of revenge?    Mr. X: this is what I think of but I’m not sure at all. The Simple coincidence of the book and the operation Teo intrigues me. I have to confess that these terrible Mujahedin live in a perfect harmony with the population of Ouver Sur d’Oise, who were glad to see them again after their short detention.  Pesnot: Let’s get back to the case of US-MKO relations. Mr. X: you are right because at the present time this is essential. Although they are still on the famous terror list, MEK are going to make their relations with the US more and more.  Pesnot: Explain.  Mr. X: following the big mistake made by American security agencies three weeks ago, CIA found out that its intelligence network are completely ruined. Consequently, American services are certain to make themselves closer to MKO, since it seems that MKO is well informed of Iran’s advancements in its nuclear researches on the bomb. Pesnot: yes, but it is a risk to rely on only one source. Mr. X: I completely agree with you. In the world of intelligence as well as the world of press. These opponents to ayatollahs perhaps will launch a large campaign, exaggerating about the threat of the ayatollahs, to intoxicate the atmosphere of Washington what the American neo-conservatives are really desirous to hear.  Pesnot: it exactly recalls us what the Iraqi opponents including Ahmad Chalabi did a few years ago. He pretended that saddam Hussein owned WMDs. Mr. X: of course the dictator had already got rid of them under the pressure of UN inspectors. Thus we are seeing a kind of repetition. And we never should forget that they might make the same manipulations and exaggeration when they speak about Iranian bomb. Bush incontestably gave them the green light. For example, in August 2004, the White House leader declared that he will pardon some of Saddam Hussein allies.  Pesnot: and one of them is MKO.  Mr. X: yes, they are a part of that. He even went further stressing that Mujahidin are under the protection of American forces.  Pesnot: you mean those who gathered in Camp Ashraf.  Mr. X: about 3800.  Pesnot: there is a question here: doesn’t it make the Iraqi government, which is mainly composed of Iranian Shiites, unsatisfied?  Mr. X: consequently, the important thing to Washington is the exceptional source of information that MKO represents. And you can even see the role of MKO among the strategists who surround American President, the role that once was played by the alliance of the North in Afqanistan when Taliban took over Kabul.  Pesnot: the North Alliance was the movement formed by commandant Masud.  Mr. X: and it is in the hypotheses of an American war against the ayatollahs.  Pesnot: but what do they do with unpopularity of MKO because of its alliance with Saddam Hussein.  Mr. X: I agree totally. But this idea really looks nice in the minds of White house authorities. The last word if I’m allowed. American Intelligence Services should be very suspicious to the information provided by Mujahidin since they sometimes get their information from another source.  Pesnot: which source?  Mr. X: the Israeli Mossad which has still a severe intelligence network in Iran. And therefore who is more interested than Israel in the intervention of the United States in Iran?

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