Terrorist groups exist because someone wants them to. The US, England, France, Israel and Saudi Arabia finance, train, house and protect them.
Press TV talks with Paul Sheldon Foote, Professor of California State University from Irvine who provides an outline of the extent of involvement both the US, Israeli and Saudi Arabian governments and intelligence services have with terrorist group PJAK that targets Iran, Turkey and Syria. Following is a transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Would you please explain who PJAK is and what their goals are?
Paul Sheldon Foote: PJAK as was mentioned in your report is a branch of communist terrorists that includes the PKK — same leadership; the only difference is one attacks Iran, one attacks Turkey and one attacks Syria.
They have existed throughout those regions for a number of reasons: one is strong American support. Even though the American government denies it, it’s been reported by Seymour Hirsch in The New Yorker; it’s been reported by Laura Rosen in the War and Peace Blog. They can deny it all they want, but we do strongly support it — independent journalists have gone through the region and videotaped all these communist terrorist groups and they all admit they are working with the American government.
They also of course have strong support from Israel. What the American media doesn’t bother to report is that one of the two branches of the Kurdish groups is a Jewish branch. There is a large Jewish population of Kurds both in Iraq and in Israel. There used to be a pipeline that went from Iraq to Israel.
And so the Israelis have had Mossad members on the ground in Kurdistan. They have even tried to create a central bank in Kurdistan and they have been manning the terrorist attacks and directing the terrorist workers and providing weapons. And so there’s a very strong Israeli element in all of this.
Press TV: Can you describe the strength of the MKO inside Iraq? The Iraqi government doesn’t appear to be doing what should be done to counter the MKO in many respects. And how does PJAK have complete control of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, which is almost autonomous?
Paul Sheldon Foote: This goes back to December of 2002 when former US President Bush spoke at the UN and they issued a background paper specifically mentioning the Mujahidin-e Khalq (MKO) as a pretext for whenever we needed to go to war with Iraq.
In 2003 American coalition forces attacked Camp Ashraf Iraq and killed some of the terrorists there. They quickly settled and they turned around and started using them to go inside Iran to kill Iranians.
We have been using them as terrorist tools — the only question is who they work for. Terrorists exist because someone wants them to exist. Their headquarters is in Paris, France because the French government wants them to exist. They have broadcasting facilities in England because England wants them to exist.
Terrorism only exists because someone’s paying the bills and that includes America, France and England.
Press TV: We have the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia — all are trying to push, through financing and training, this group to militarily get engaged and cause instability inside Iran. Does not Iran therefore have the right to defend itself?
Paul Sheldon Foote: Yes of course. I can give you an example of this Saudi financing. You could get Massoud Khodabandeh on a future show — he owns a website called www.iran-interlink.org. Last time I was in London he told me that when he was at Camp Ashraf, Iraq in a very high position in the Mujahidin-e Khalq he personally supervised the receipt of a large shipment of gold bars from Saudi Arabia to the MKO.
The agreement they made with the Saudis is that they had to shave off the insignia and markings on the gold bars so no one could know where the gold came from. You can verify he was there at their head quarters at Camp Ashraf Iraq and a large shipment of gold came in. The Saudis fund every terrorist organization they can imagine in the region.
Press TV: Do you think if there wasn’t this interference by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia that this problem would perhaps have been resolved regionally along with the neighbors of Iran, let’s say Turkey and Syria along with the local governments there in Baghdad?
Paul Sheldon Foote: Absolutely. There is no reason for these problems. A large percentage of Iraqis are actually Iranians who have been living in Iraq for more than 100 years.
The borders of the Middle East were imposed on the Middle East after WWI by France, England and the rest of the world. These are artificial lines. My wife has relatives buried in Iraq and she is from Iran. Who’s to say that anyone outside the region should be defining the lines and imposing these kinds of conflicts on the region? The only objection to Iran is that Iran finally has a government independent; that stands up and will not tolerate having its oil stolen as it was under the Shah.