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Iraqi security adviser discusses MKO

Iraqi security adviser discusses Mojahedin Khalq Organisation (Rajavi cult)

(About 1000 MKO members have US and EU passport and have to go back)

… He says about 1,000 of them have US and European passports and resident About 1000 MKO members have US and EU passport and have to go backpermits or political asylum status in the United States and in Europe and they can go there, noting that "900 women are in the camp," and adding that they can return them to Iran, but stressing that "we will not send anyone to Iran against his will." He notes that "we have returned 118 to Iran on their own free will over the past two years."…

Baghdad Al-Iraqiyah Television in Arabic, a government-sponsored television station run by the Iraqi Media Network, at 1901 gmt on 21 March broadcasts a recorded 55-minute interview with Iraqi National Security Adviser Muwaffaq al-Rubay’i by Aziz Rahim in Baghdad; from the "Exclusive Interview" programme.

Rahim asks Al-Rubay’i about his job, which he has been occupying for years. He says the job of the national security adviser is new in many countries, and is new in Iraq as well. He say his job is to "coordinate among the security ministries – Defence, Interior, and National Security Ministries, and other intelligence services," adding that lack of coordination might cause clashes or confusion. He says his office "draws up state policies and strategies in the military, security, and intelligence domains as well as in matters of security in the fields of economy and health as well as in social and international security," noting that it also takes care of "the religious and intellectual security against intrusive ideas such as the takfiri ideas [holding other Muslims to be apostates] or extremist ideas."

Al-Rubay’i says his office draws up ways to help the prime minister, the president, and other officials implement state policies. He adds: "The national security adviser’s office provides analysis for each problem, whether it is related to security, intelligence, military, economic, or health. It offers a diagnosis and an analysis of each problem, presents options for a solution, and recommends certain options." He says it deals with the "general concept" of security rather than details.

He says the adviser’s office helped create the Iraqi Army, noting that in June 2004 there was only a regiment under training at the Baghdad Airport, "but now we have 17 divisions, an Air Force, a Naval Force, counterterrorism forces, and five intelligence services." He adds: "We have defeated our enemies, whether they are from Al-Qa’idah, the militias, the extremists, special terrorist groups, and organized gangs." He says that security achievements in Iraq over the past 5 years have been realized because of the "policies that we thought of and drew up." He says contacts and efforts exerted with the neighbouring countries "based on mutual interests" and on the principle of "you scratch my back and I scratch yours" have been very fruitful.

Asked about the connection between him and the Iraqi National Security Council, he says that the Council is headed by the prime minister and includes the interior minister, the defence minister, the foreign minister, the finance minister, the minister of justice, the head of the intelligence, the chief of the Army staff, and the national security adviser." He says the national security adviser prepares the agenda of the meetings.


Rahim then asks him about the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization [MKO] issue and about Camp Ashraf and if reports that the government is to close down Camp Ashraf by the end of March are true, he replies that there is no specific date for closing the camp but the Iraqi government has decided to close the camp as soon as possible. He adds: "If the closure is delayed more than a few months, we might transfer the camp to another place. The aim is to transfer it to the west of the country and divide it into more than one camp to make it distant from the Iranian fire, if I may use this expression." He says the aim is to protect the inmates of the camp and keep them outside the range of the Iranian fire, "because as a government we are responsible for protecting them."

Al-Rubay’i says that most of he states in the world, including Iraq, consider Mojahedin-e Khalq a terrorist organization. He adds: "We do not deal with the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization and we do not fear the intimidating propaganda machine it is operating in the world and we do not fear their public relations machine and its political campaign against us."

He adds: "We have an international and humanitarian responsibilities, and we have pledged to the world, that we will deal with this issue in a humanitarian and civilized manner. We have decided to close down the camp and deal with the inhabitants of the camp as individuals and not as an organization.
"We believe that there is a group – 15, 20, or 25 – who are the commanders that are controlling others. The vast majority of the camp’s inmate are perhaps brainwashed. They in fact want to return to their country once this pressure is lifted off them. If we remove those who are washing their brains, the vast majority will go home." Asked how this can be done, he replies: "This can be done by isolating them from these commanders, and separating them by any civilized way."

Al-Rubay’i says that there are some 3,418 members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization, and they are very well trained, and adds: "This is an ugly terrorist organization and it perpetrated crimes against the Iraqi people during the intifadah and after the intifadah and after the change of the regime, in addition to its crimes against the Iranian people. They are brainwashed and are very well trained and they are close to the Iranian border. Of course Iran considers this a threat to its national security and it might do something to them. It is our duty to protect them by moving them to another place."

Asked to react to a statement to the newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat by a Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization official called Mohammad Iqbal "that a human disaster is expected because the Iraqi Army is besieging Camp Ashraf and that supplies to its inmates have stopped," he says: "On 1 January 2009, the security responsibility was gradually transferred from the Multinational Forces to the Iraqi forces and the transfer was completed on 20 February. Now the Iraqi Army is responsible for protecting the camp. It is besieging it of course to prevent anyone from entering and also to protect the inmates."

Al-Rubay’i says: "Many inmates want to leave it. Two escaped from the camp and we now have them. One of them said: They sent me away by telling me to go and burn myself up inside the Iraqi Army compound and say that the Iraqi Army set me on fire." Asked why this is not told to the media, he replies: "We do not want to enter into media campaigns and wrangling with this terrorist organization. We are a government. We have international and humanitarian obligations. In any case, these are human beings and they at least must have the rights of human beings but they are not political refugees or humanitarian refugees. They have no status and we inherited this from the previous regime, and now it is becoming an affliction.

"We told them that remaining in Iraq was not an option. Either you go back to Iran or we will give you Iranian passports. The Iranian government is prepared to give them Iranian passports and they can go to any state in the world. Many nations do not need a visa stamped on Iranian passports. They might go to Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, or to any European country."

He says about 1,000 of them have US and European passports and resident permits or political asylum status in the United States and in Europe and they can go there, noting that "900 women are in the camp," and adding that they can return them to Iran, but stressing that "we will not send anyone to Iran against his will." He notes that "we have returned 118 to Iran on their own free will over the past two years."

He says that the Iraqi government ascertained through the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry and the ICRC that these 118 have not been harmed during the past two years, and "therefore, most of the camp inmates can go to Iran."

He says that four or five days ago, the Iraqi Army outside the camp moved to a building near the camp and wanted to stay in it. He says that the area of the camp is 400 square kilometres of Iraqi territory and the Iraqi Army must enter the camp and protect them, and adds: "The Iraqi Army has been stationed in certain buildings built especially for the Iraqi army." He adds: "The inmates of the camp occupied the buildings, declared a state of civil disobedience, and refused to leave. They are 200. We told them: all right, stay and we will protect you. Anyone who leaves the building will not be allowed to return. We bring them food, water, and medicine and everything they need." He adds: "In fact there is an entire regiment protecting the camp. The US forces are there with the Iraqi forces as observers. If the Iraqi forces commit any violations, the US forces will see that."

Al-Rubay’i admits that the telephone numbers and other information on the identity of any visitors of the camp are being taken down, and adds: "Do the Iraqi security forces not have the right to make an inventory of who are staying in the camp? They gave us a number: 3,418. We asked them about the names but they refused to give us the names, the dates of birth, or any other information." He says the Iraqis want to know if some of them want to return to Iran or to the country form which they arrived.

He says: "They had a terrible arsenal and they handed it all over to the Americans – tanks, armoured vehicles, missiles, rocket launchers, RPG’s, BKC’s, hand grenades, all sorts of things. It was an entire arsenal and it was handed to the Americans with lists. Now we want to search the camp and see if there are arms left or not."

He says the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry prepared a form that the inmates should fill in with personal information. It distributed it to 3,418 persons but only 180 returned the forms filled, noting that their commanders did not allow anyone to fill the form. He says: "They refuse to give general information or fill forms, they refuse to cooperate with the Iraqi security forces. They want to invent a crisis with us."

Concluding, he says that this is an issue of sovereignty, because they are occupying 400 square kilometres of Iraqi territory against Iraq’s will and counter to Iraqi decisions. He adds: "We are a self-respecting government, a sovereign government, and we must impose our control and respect inside the camp."

Al-Iraqiyah TV, Baghdad, in Arabic 1901 gmt 21 Mar 09

BBC Monitoring Middle East,  29 March 2009

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