Iraq, Camp Ashraf, Mojahedin-e Khalq Behind the misinformation, disintegration
An agreement was reached earlier this year for security at Camp Ashraf, the military base of the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq terrorist group, to be transferred from American to Iraqi forces.
The MKO reacted with a blitz of misinformation aimed at media and decision makers.
This misinformation has a single aim; to persuade decision makers in every field that Camp Ashraf must remain untouched, protected externally by US forces, while internally it must be kept exclusively under the control of MEK leaders with no external interference at all.
The preservation of Camp Ashraf is essential to MKO leader Massoud Rajavi because it provides the total isolation in which mind control methodology can be used for cult indoctrination.
As a result, some recent reporting on the MKO contains confusing and conflicting information which passes for fact but which can be sourced to the misinformation issued by the MKO itself.
Iran-Interlink here examines the MKO’s claims in relation to Camp Ashraf and, in the context of other information, provides some brief analysis.
Mojahedin supporters claim the people in Camp Ashraf face persecution or even execution if sent back to Iran
The Iraqi government has given repeated assurances that it will abide by international law and no-one will be forced to return to Iran against their will.
Over 600 MKO have already voluntarily returned to Iran and the ICRC which has oversight of their treatment has reported no incidences of any mistreatment, persecution or even detention.
Although Iran has not rescinded its amnesty for ‘repentant’ MKO members who wish to return home, BBC monitoring reported that one Majlis representative demanded the return and execution of MKO.
In the context of reports that US forces have removed 300 leading MKO members from Camp Ashraf in recent weeks, Iran rejects the idea that the west ‘cherry pick’ useful MKO operatives and send the unwanted ones home for Iran to deal with. Such stances are designed to ensure that western governments take all MKO operatives from Camp Ashraf to any western countries which can tolerate them.
Mojahedin supporters claim it is the only resistance to the Iranian regime
The true resistance to the Iranian regime are the people inside Iran who live on a daily basis with the lack of freedoms and rights. They are the front-line of opposition. The MKO has no presence in Iran in this respect. The people inside Iran are not waiting to be ‘rescued’ by this military-political cult. They are competently opposing their own government on a daily basis. Instead, the MKO is regarded by ordinary Iranians as a foreign treacherous force which sided with Saddam Hussein during the eight year war with Iraq, and which is now asking the U.S. to bomb them, invade their country and hand it over to the Rajavis.
Proponents say members of the camp have been recognized by the U.S. as "protected persons" under the Fourth Geneva Convention since 2004
No matter what is claimed by the American military and the MKO itself, the body which decides on this status is the United Nations. The UN says that the Geneva Fourth Convention does not apply to any uniformed paramilitary group and in any case, the conditions for applying it have not existed since 2004. The MKO cannot be assessed as individual refugees until they lay down their arms and take off their military uniforms.
Proponents claim that Amnesty International and other non-governmental organizations that speak out against transferring authority of the camp to Iraq is proof that their cause is legitimate.
Neither Amnesty International, nor any other body, has ever said authority should not be transferred to the sovereign government of Iraq. AI has only urged that international law on non-refoulement be respected by both the U.S. and Iraq. The Iraqi government has given repeated assurances that respect for international law is a fundamental basis for the treatment of the individuals in Camp Ashraf.
Mojahedin supporters claim the people in Camp Ashraf will face ‘a Srebreneza-style massacre’ on the orders of Iran if Iraqi military take control
The handover is by mutual agreement between U.S. and Iraqi governmental officials. Iraqi officials from various ministries have expressed their outrage at the deeply insulting insinuation repeated by western media that they will act like Saddam Hussein and simply massacre their opponents. They assert that the role of Iraqi military is no different from that of the U.S. military in relation to Camp Ashraf which is, to detain the residents and provide security during their detention.
Mojahedin supporters claim taking them off the terrorism lists will enable the MKO to overthrow the Iranian regime
From 1983 to 2003 the MKO has had every possible encouragement and support, whether political, militarily, financially and etc, to do exactly that. Since its biggest incursion into Iran in 1988 in which hundreds of civilians in its ranks were killed, the MKO has been unable to effect any change to the internal situation of Iran other than cause an increase in the level of repression.
Inclusion in western terrorism lists did not prevent the MKO in Iraq from continuing to launch terrorist attacks into Iranian territory through to at least 2002. Only since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 when the MKO was forcibly disarmed has the group been unable to continue its military track.
Inclusion in western terrorism lists has not prevented the MKO from fundraising, recruiting and lobbying legislators in western countries. Removing the group from these lists will make no material difference to the group, but will allow it to become deeper entrenched in western political establishments.
The MKO misinformation serves a single purpose; to delay the disintegration of the group – an inevitable outcome which can be either facilitated or hindered by western governments and humanitarian agencies.
• Delay will allow the leaders to re-group in western countries and abandon unwanted rank and file members.
• Delay will expose rank and file members to increased human rights abuse; recent escapees say ten percent of women in Camp Ashraf have undergone unnecessary hysterectomies to rob them of the chance of having children. This process is ongoing.
Iran-Interlink urges that a separate camp be opened by the Iraqi government next to Camp Ashraf to allow defectors an escape route.
Iran-Interlink urges that the closed doors of Camp Ashraf be opened to outside bodies, including the families of people inside the camp and international humanitarian agencies.
Interested people can contact Iran-Interlink and/or the Iraqi government for up-to-date news about Camp Ashraf.