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Mojahedin Khalq access to the Qandil Mountains

According to Iranian media sources, the White House had in a message called on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to allow the elements of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) access to the Qandil Mountains in return for an end to Turkish army attacks on PKK strongholds.

Although many officials in Baghdad and South Kurdistan, including spokesman of Pishmarga Ministry, Jabbar Yavar, Iraq-Governor of Arbil, Nozad Hadi, rebuffed the reports, dubbing it fabrication, one can not recant the US dynamic cooperation with the Iranian Oppositions in Iraq, especially after 2003, including the MKO.

Following the surrender of 7, 000 members of the group to the US Special Forces in 2003, the US intelligence community heavily relied on military, intelligence and logistic support of the group to confront Iranian activities inside Iraqi territory, and map out any plausible future attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities. Despite listing the group in FTC (Foreign Terrorist Organization), the group was never meant to be undermined or dismantled in any form.

Over 2,000 pieces of military equipment were seized from MKO by the US forces in Iraq. Some supporters of MKO were recruited as Farsi linguists in Camp Ashraf. Both the US and Iranian intelligence apparatus were closely monitoring the activities of the group. Iran attempted hard to put pressure on the Shiite-led Iraqi government through its proxies and agents to terrorize its members and expel them out of Iraq. Some of the group adherents did not brook the situation in Camp Ashraf in Baghdad, defected and returned to Iran, passing huge amount of highly-classified information to the regime.

"With respect to Iran, there is a clear opportunity for the Iranians” to demonstrate some willingness to engage meaningfully with the international community," Hillary Clinton said in her first remarks since becoming the US Secretary of State.

In 2008 the Bush administration meted out some $400 million for covert operations against Iran, a significant portion of it was diverted to the MKO. The EU has lifted ban on MKO in January, and lately an appeals court in the US ruled that the State Department should review the designation of the group, a vivid indication that the group is being prepared for some special assignments in Iran.

The organization is an Iranian opposition group having emerged in 1960s to oppose the Shah of Iran, capitalism, and western imperialism and later fighting the ideology of the Islamic revolution, which does concern us as Kurds as much. However, the role that MKO played and the horrendous crimes it committed against Kurdish citizens of South Kurdistan, especially their collaboration with Saddam in massacres and genocides, hold us ethically liable to disallow them any access to our Kurdish mountains.

What MKO did, it even outstripped shah’s SAVAK (National Intelligence and Security Organization) in terms of its persecution of its opponents.

Kurdish Regional Government should press charges on moral grounds against MKO for joining Saddam’s army during the Iraqi-Iran war (1980-1988) and helping the dictator in suppressing Kurdish 1991 uprisings and massacre of Iraqi Kurds.

MKO is responsible for numerous acts of terror, violence, assassination attempts against Kurdish civilians and government officials in South Kurdistan.

MKO and its affiliates owe the Kurdish nation on official apology.
Baqi Barzani

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