The insistence of the Mojahedin-e Khalq of Iran (MEK), which has been based in Camp Ashraf since the 1980s, on staying in Iraq against the wishes of the Government of Iraq and its people has made it an expensive matter.
What casts a black cloud over this organization is the recollection of the Iraqi people. This group, which was hosted by the former regime and its head, the dictator Saddam Hussein during his war with Iran, was used to implement the recommendations of the leaders of the former Iraqi army and the intelligence services. The intelligence of the MEK was used to carry out acts of espionage inside Iranian cities and in Iraqi territory, which according to military experts, often helped the warlords in the planning and execution of military operations in the field. After Saddam and his regime, other governments began to sponsor the Mojahedin, and even today the international community has provided the group with various civilian and military facilities and given them many possibilities, the most important of which is Camp Ashraf. They allow the organization’s leadership and to recruit its members to Iraq in various ways – brainwashing, false promises, kidnapping … and etc.
The MKO has obeyed the needs of the former regime in following its aggressive policy of war with Iran, and also performed killing and destruction against the people of Iraq and Iran, as well as the liquidation and assassination of opponents, which separated them in Europe and America. This was the result of the possibilities furnished by the former regime.
Many questions remain in the minds of the Iraqis and Iraqi public opinion now, after the end of the Iran-Iraq war which claimed the lives of millions of people, followed by uprisings among Iraqis in 1991, in which the MKO played the major role in helping Saddam’s forces (the Republican Guard) and Saddam’s security in suppressing the uprising and causing the deaths of thousands of Iraqis in northern Iraq and to the south. After all these tragic events of the past, and now that the Iraqi people have won their freedom after the fall of the dictator, what is the point of having the MKO in Iraq? What are the reasons for insisting on remaining at Camp Ashraf?
The main question is; what is the benefit for the organization to stay in Iraq now, without the presence of the former regime which protected them? The numerous statements made by the leaders and officials of the Mojahedin Organization directed across the world are a show of power and capability of the Organization in defiance of the Government of Iraq in particular, and the international community in general. The claims of the organization’s leadership, under the title of ‘the security risks facing the Organization and its members’, about the activities of the Iraqi forces and the Committee for Camp Ashraf, after the Iraqi government took responsibility for the camp, are nothing but excuses and lies.
For example, the MKO is using not only its own websites but also undeclared spokespeople like Mahdi Akbaii, to claim that the Iraqi government, after taking over responsibility for the camp [in January 2009], is blocking access to food, fuel and medical to Camp Ashraf in an attempt to kill all the members of the organization.
Studies, reports and research by various organizations and agencies, as well as the confessions of the many separated members of the Mojahedin (Batool Soltani, the youngest Farzin, Davoud Heidari, Ali Khaki, Hamid Reza Soleimani, Farhad Quanlo, Mahmoud Sepahe Humayun Khzadi, Ramadan Saeedi. . etc) reveal the reasons for the group’s determination to stay in Iraq. Camp Ashraf provides a distant, isolated place, which serves to allow it to control the minds of its members. The group also needs troops and a military camp inside the Iraqi border, near Iranian territory in order to implement its hostile plans against Iran. In addition, Camp Ashraf is a show of force and power in Iraq.
But these reasons are not enough for the organization to so desperately try to remain in Camp Ashraf. There is another key reason; the search for another dictator, and an alternative sponsor to allow it to achieve its aims. The search for a replacement for the remnants of the Saddam regime of course led the organisation’s leadership to the coalition countries occupying Iraq as the first alternative. So the idea was that the United States and the U.S.’s allies would fill the void left by the former regime. This was anticipated by the decision of the coalition forces to agree a ceasefire with the forces of the Mojahedin Organization in Iraq and for it to hand over all its weapons and military equipment to U.S. forces and accept the decisions of the U.S. leadership and agree to end any combat and military activity against any local or external party (Studies of the National Institute for Research on National Defense U.S. RAND). This, first and foremost, deceived the leaders of the organization (Maryam Rajavi) because the idea was not met with a positive reception internationally when she asked the United States and the West to work to create a suitable environment and enable the Mojahedin to launch a military attack on Iran, supported by United States forces stationed in Iraq, to take advantage of the differences and poor relations between America and Iran since the seventies.
So the fact remains that the main motivation for the survival of the Mojahedin of Iran in Camp Ashraf, at this stage is that the organization’s leaders only hope is for the return of the ousted regime in Iraq. Or, until they find an alternative for this present situation which will allow it to achieve the plans and aggressive ambitions of the organization against Iran and the creation of a crisis which would spark a new war between Iraq and Iran. This then, is what the organization seeks through its association with elements associated with the Baath party and the former regime in Iraq or terrorist movements and organizations linked to Al Qaeda and others who want to worsen the situation in Iraq and its people. The Mojahedin does its best to support and strengthen these elements in Iraq. This shows that the Mojahedin organization does not want Iraq safer from terrorism, free from intrigue and chaos, and does not want stability for the government and the Iraqi people and does not want a democratic system in Iraq. Because, if this comes about, they will have no future in Iraq. So, they are seeking, in time, to achieve two important plans at the same time. The first is to hold on to Camp Ashraf as a symbol of strength and competence. Then, as alleged, they are following the quest to bring back a fascist dictatorship which will take power in Iraq. This is why the Mojahedin of Iran has taken to embracing all political opponents of the Iraqi government and embracing the extremists and the remnant elements associated with the Baath party and the former regime.
At the same time, the Iraqi government knew very well that Camp Ashraf had changed to provide a safe haven for these groups in the first years after the fall of the former regime. What the Mojahedin organization and its leadership want, is a return to the previous conditions, meaning; conditions before the coalition forces invaded Iraq. So they hope to damage the existing good relations based on mutual respect between the two neighbors, Iraq and Iran in the interest of the Mojahedin. The public policy pursued by the organization’s leadership is currently working using bribery and intrigue to bring about the deterioration of relations between the two countries. The group hopes to weaken democracy in Iraq, and create hostility toward the opening up of Iraqi foreign policy to building international relations and strong and peaceful coexistence with neighboring countries. In this way, the Mojahedin hopes to destroy Iraq’s good relations.
So, the Iranian Organization tries to remain in Camp Ashraf under any pretext in order to be at hand to interfere in the internal affairs of Iraq. But the group’s justification for its presence on Iraqi soil, using international laws does not apply at all according to observers and experts in international law. It attempts to plant the seeds of dissent and intrigue for the return of the previous conditions, and to work on the lack of stability in Iraq, because otherwise, stability is fatal to its goals.
The Iraqi government acting on proof that the Mujahideen Khalq Organization was interfering in Iraqi affairs and attempting to bring back dictatorship, took steps to destroy the hopes the Mojahedin of Iran for achieving its goals in Iraq. The Government of Iraq ordered the closure of Camp Ashraf and directed the Mojahedin to leave Iraq through Ministerial resolution No. (214), on 17/06/2008, which calls for two main objectives: first, that these organizations and others that adopt terrorist ideology, have no place in Iraqi territory, so that Iraq can achieve security, stability and prosperity and, secondly, it is the will of the Iraqis to have their full sovereignty, freedom and independence at home, especially after the inglorious history of these groups against the Iraqi people.
D. Amir al-Khalidi, Almutamar Newspaper, Baghdad