Economist: Saddam used MEK to crush Iraqi Kurds

Economist received a letter from the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran [In which Mujahedin propaganda campaign makes efforts to deny MKO’s role in suppression of Iraqi Kurds and Shiites resorting to baseless arguments] in relation to the blog post: "Dictators and violence, Grim decision-making"

The Economist replies to the MEK’s fallacious letter:

Allegations concerning the uprising of 1991 are currently being aired before Iraq’s High Tribunal, which has already heard the testimony of numerous victims who say they were targeted by the Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK), the Persian abbreviation for the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI). Several arrest warrants have been issued on the basis of these testimonies.

Nibras Kadhimi, a scholar at the Hudson Institute who is a respected analyst of Iraqi affairs, has testified that the MEK was Saddam Hussein’s main force in recapturing the towns of Kifri and Kalar and their surrounding villages, as well as parts of Kirkuk, from the Iraqis rebelling against Saddam in 1991. There are many such documented testimonies in this regard.

Professor Raymond Tanter, a former member of the American National Security Council, wrote a paper in which he states: “Following their expulsion from Iran by Ayatollah Khomeini in the early 1980s, the MEK allied with Saddam Hussein and, in exchange for providing domestic security operations against Iraqi Shiites and Kurds, Saddam gave the MEK millions of dollars, protection, and bases along the Iranian border from which the MEK could launch their frequent attacks against the clerical regime.” The same allegation is made again in the US State Department’s “Patterns of Global Terrorism” published in 2002.

Wilfred Buchta, in his book “Who Rules Iran? The Structure of Power in the Islamic Republic”, states that the MEK received some $80m a month from Saddam between 1982 and 1990. One of Saddam’s senior generals, who had a hand in suppressing the uprisings, also stated that the MEK received $7m a month after 1990.

A New York Times correspondent in Iraq, Elizabeth Rubin, who visited Camp Ashraf, the MEK’s base in Iraq, and wrote an exhaustively researched article on it published on July 13th 2003, quoted Mariam Rajavi making the statement denied in the letter (published above) from the MEK’s supporters. She also wrote: “Everyone I spoke to—Iraq intelligence officers, Kurdish commanders and human rights groups—said that in 1991 Hussein used the Mujahideen and its tanks as advance forces to crush the Kurdish uprisings in the north and the Shia uprisings in the south.”

In her book ”Why does the west forget?”, Baroness Nicholson includes further testimony of the Marsh Arabs in southern Iraq, lending weight to the array of allegations against the MEK cited above. This was based on interviews she conducted during many visits to Iraq in the past 20 years.

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