The MEK or MKO is a Marxist organisation with a long history of attempts to overthrow various Iranian governments. They helped Saddam Hussein in the war against Iraq. After the US invasion they were disarmed and confined to camps in Iraq. They are on a US list of terrorist organisations even though Europe recently delisted them. They are great organisers and lobbyists for their cause and have some supporters among US politicians who also want them removed from the US terror list. The group renounced the use of force some years ago.
The Iranian govt. believes that they are involved in demonstrations in Iran. Here is a piece from
Sun, 21 Jun 2009
MKO Leader Maryam Rajavi has called the MKO as the real winner of Iran’s election. The terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) has reportedly played a major role in intensifying the recent wave of street violence in Iran.
Iranian security officials reported Saturday that they have identified and arrested a large number of MKO members who were involved in recent riots in Iran’s capital.
According to the security officials, the arrested members had confessed that they were extensively trained in Iraq’s camp Ashraf to create post-election mayhem in the country.
They had also revealed that they have been given directions by the MKO command post in Britain.
Street protests broke out after defeated presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi rejected President Ahmadinejad’s decisive win in the June 12 election. His supporters have staged a series of illegal rallies ever since.
Iran’s deputy police commander, on Saturday, warned against the mass gatherings, asserting that those who engage in any such actions would be severely reprimanded.
Earlier on Saturday, MKO leader Maryam Rajavi had supported the recent wave of street violence in Iran during a Saturday address to supporters in Paris.
Rajavi had reportedly described the MKO terrorists as the real winners of the Iranian election.
The Mujahedin Khalq Organization is a Marxist guerilla group, which was founded in the 1960s.In the past two decades, MKO leaders have been resettled in the northern outskirts of Paris.
The terrorists are especially notorious for taking sides with former dictator Saddam Hussein during the war Iraq imposed on Iran (1980-1988).
The group masterminded a slew of terrorist operations in Iran and Iraq — one of which was the 1981 bombing of the offices of the Islamic Republic Party, in which more than 72 Iranian officials were killed.
A 2007 German intelligence report from the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has identified the MKO as a "repressive, sect-like and Stalinist authoritarian organization which centers around the personality cult of [MKO leaders] Maryam and Masoud Rajavi".
Anne Singleton, an expert on the MKO and author of ‘Saddam’s Private Army’ explains that the West aims to keep the group afloat in order to use it in efforts to stage a regime change in Iran.
"With a new Administration in the White House a pre-emptive strike on Iran looks unlikely. Instead the MKO’s backers have put together a coalition of small irritant groups, the known minority and separatist groups, along with the MKO. These groups will be garrisoned around the border with Iran and their task is to launch terrorist attacks into Iran over the next few years to keep the fire hot," she explains.
"The role of the MKO is to train and manage these groups using the expertise they acquired from Saddam’s Republican Guard," Singleton added.
A May 2005 Human Rights Watch report also condemns the MKO for running prison camps in Iraq and committing human rights violations. According to report, the outlawed group puts defectors under torture and jail terms.
———- The group has a website that looks quite professional. I wonder where the money comes from. There is a long article by Jeremy Hammond detailing numerous organisations that the US has used as a means of regime change in various countries. He mentions the MEK (or MKO for Iranians) There is also a good article describing the camps in Iraq and illustrating the cult like character of the group. There is no doubt about their total commitment to their cause: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/103/story/58809.html Here are a few sections from the Foreign Policy Journal Article:
A former specialist on the Middle East from the National Security Council, Raymond Tanter suggested the U.S. could work with an Iranian opposition group, the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK). “If we are serious about working with groups from within,” he said, “it will have to be with the MEK, because there’s no other opposition force the regime cares about.”
Mehdi Marand, a spokesman for the Council for Democratic Change in Iran, similarly said that some in the Congress were ready to remove the MEK from the terrorist list. “If the US really wants to help the democratic forces inside Iran,” he said, “the only way is to remove restrictions from the opposition.”
The problem is that the MEK is on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations. Based in Iraq, the group came under the sway of the U.S. after the 2003 invasion that overthrew the regime of Saddam Hussein.
According to former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter, who was among a few lone voices pointing out prior to the invasion of Iraq that there was no credible evidence the country still possessed weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. was already working with the MEK. Well prior, in 2005, Ritter wrote that the Bush administration had authorized a number of covert operations inside Iran. “The most visible of these”, he wrote, “is the CIA-backed actions recently undertaken by the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, or MEK, an Iranian opposition group, once run by Saddam Hussein’s dreaded intelligence services, but now working exclusively for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations.” The MEK’s CIA-backed operations within Iran included “terror bombings”, Ritter charged.
In July, Seymour Hersh repeated in an interview with NPR that the U.S. was supporting anti-regime terrorist groups including the MEK, Jundallah, and the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK). “The strategic thinking behind this covert operation is to provoke enough trouble and chaos so that the Iranian government makes the mistake of taking aggressive action which will give the impression of a country in acute turmoil”, Hersh said, in order to give the White House a casus belli.
In a July 29 article, Scott Ritter wrote that “American taxpayer dollars are being used, with the permission of Congress, to fund activities that result in Iranians being killed and wounded, and Iranian property destroyed…. The CIA today provides material support to the actions of the MEK inside Iran. The recent spate of explosions in Iran … appears to be linked to an MEK operation….”
Hersh wrote another article in the New Yorker in November(note 2008) noting that the Pentagon was increasingly conducting covert operations that had traditionally been the CIA’s domain and giving further details about its activities in Iran. “In the past six months, Israel and the United States have been working together in support of a Kurdish resistance group known as the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan”, which has conducted raids into Iran. He repeated that the “Pentagon has established covert relationships with Kurdish, Azeri, and Balochi tribesman, and has encouraged their efforts to undermine the regime’s authority in northern and southeastern Iran.”
When asked whether the OIA was intended to promote regime change, a State Department senior official told CNN it was “to facilitate a change in Iranian policies and actions” before acknowledging, “Yes, one of the things we want to develop is a government that reflects the desires of the people, but that is a process for the Iranians.”
Then US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton acknowledged in October 2006 that regime change was the “ultimate objective” of the U.S. sanctions policy, and adding that it “puts pressure on them internally” and “helps democratic forces” within the country and amongst the Iranian diaspora.
Administration officials told the New York Times that then Vice President Dick Cheney was promoting the “drive to bring Iranian scholars and students to America, blanket the country with radio and television broadcasts and support Iranian political dissidents.” The program was to be “overseen by Elizabeth Cheney, a principal deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs, who is also the vice president’s daughter.”
These are just snippets from a very interesting article. I have seen little in the mainstream press about the Iranian charge that the MKO is involved in the demonstrations probably with the aid of the US.
Iran finds US-backed MKO fingermarks in riots
Allvoices.com -By northsunm32 Brandon