LONDON, 20 Aug. (IPS) “All the information the Mojahedeen provides the western media is pure lies and fabricated to discredit the Iranian regime and help the United States and Israel to put more pressures on Iran”, a former senior member of the outlawed, Baghdad-based Mojahedeen Khalq Organisation (MKO) told Iran Press Service.
Referring to recent press conferences held by the MKO spokesmen in various capitals, including Paris, Vienna, London, Berlin and Washington “revealing” secret nuclear sites or the number of centrifuges undeclared to the international nuclear watchdog, the source who asked for anonymity said the MKO has no information about Iran’s sensitive military projects and what they tell the media is what the CIA feeds them.
“Iranian military-oriented installations are kept very secret, with very limited people except the technicians and scientists having access to them
An Iranian Stalinist-Islamist organization financed, equipped, trained and supported by the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during his war against Iran and after, the MKO (a.k.a, MEK, National Council of Resistance of Iran, NCRI, People’s Mojaheedin of Iran, PMOI), is now playing the same role at the hands of the American so-called neo-cons at the Pentagon as an instrument of both political and military pressures on the ruling ayatollahs, analysts said.
“Iranian military-oriented installations are kept very secret, with very limited people except the technicians and scientists having access to them, people that are under regular control by experts. Considering the activities of the Mojahedeens as spies and infiltrators, anyone suspected of the smallest and remote links with them is immediately arrested”, the source, a former high-ranking intelligence and security officer with the group added.
The group, now under US protection in their camps in Iraq, is on the American and European lists of terrorist organizations, but its political branch, the Council of Resistance, is active in major capitals of the world and became a darling of the Western press after it revealed the existence of a heavy water reactor in Arak and the uranium enriching installations in Natanz, both situated in central Iran.
However, the satellite images of the sites put on internet by an American specialized firm a day after confirmed that the information was provided to the group by some Pentagon sources keen to get the MKO out of the terrorist list, giving it the image of a group that has reliable sources inside Iran.
This was confirmed latter by the CIA after President George W. Bush personally praised the MKO for the information it provides to the international community about Iranian military-orientated nuclear activities “hidden” by Tehran.
“We had all these information and have reported them to the Administration”, the CIA source had said, frustrated at the leak of sensitive intelligence documents to the terrorist group.
In fact, while Iran had defaulted by not reporting the construction of the installations to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but they were quite visible since the construction in both Arak and Natanz were on the ground and not under ground.
“Except the information on Natanz and Arak the group disclosed, documents that were given to them by the Americans, all other material the Mojahedeen gave to the media are open secret, most of them from the Iranian press, like the name of companies and firms that works for the Defence Ministry and are known to the IAEA”, pointed out Mr. Mas’oud Khodabandeh, a former senior officer of the group.
Actually, Iranian nuclear negotiators, including Hojjatoleslam Hasan Rohani, the former most senior supervisor and coordinator of Iranian nuclear projects explained that under the Iranian safeguards agreement as it then existed, the Iranians were not obligated to tell the IAEA about any of that activity until they began processing "source or special nuclear materials" for introduction into those gas centrifuges.
The other reason Iran started to build some of the sites secretly was of fear of facing sanctions by the IAEA and the international community.
Hence, American, Israeli and some European nations’ accusations that Iran is secretly making atomic weapons by diverting nuclear technologies aimed at peaceful and civilian purposes.
“Every time the IAEA had a meeting of its Board of Governors debating Iranian nuclear issue or Iranian and European negotiators met, some unidentified European diplomats revealed new, hidden Iranian activities and at exactly the same time, MKO spokesmen organized press conferences to repeat the same information”, one senior Iranian negotiator told Iran Press Service.
The Mojaheedin collaborated with Ayatollah Khomeini to overthrow the former Shah of Iran. As part of that struggle, they assassinated at least six American citizens, supported the takeover of the U.S. embassy, and opposed the release of American hostages.
After being expelled from France in June 1986, the group, assisted by Saddam Hussein, formed the National Liberation Army and launched its most significant incursion in June and July 1988, when they coordinated an advance into Iran with Iraqi forces. During the same offensive, Iraqi units in other sectors of the front used chemical weapons against Iran.
“On 17 June 1992, Mas’oud Rajavi, the egocentric supreme leader of the organisation and a Mojaheedin delegation visited Saddam Hussein. In his statement, Rajavi said, "Iranian national movements and their masses strongly denounce the Iranian regime’s alliance with U.S imperialism, world Zionism, and regional reactionaries to launch aggression against Iraq, participate in the blockade on it, and interfere in the domestic affairs of this safe, steadfast country in the interests of colonial schemes and conspiracies”, according to a State Department report on 1994.
Except the information on Natanz and Arak the group disclosed, all other material the MKO give to the media are open secret.
Not only the group engaged in Iraq’s war against Iran and killed thousands of innocent Iranians, not only the group collaborated actively with Iraq’s secret services in the slaughter of Iraq Kurds and Shi’ites and took part in Iraq’s attack on neighbouring Kuwait, but is also killed many of its own members, as reported by the New York-based Human Rights Watch.
“Human rights abuses carried out by MKO leaders against dissident members ranged from prolonged incommunicado and solitary confinement to beatings, verbal and psychological abuse, coerced confessions, threats of execution, and torture that in two cases led to death”, the HRW said in one report published last year.
Surprisingly, however, the MKO has some supporters in Congress and this is evidently the result of a long lobbying effort. The effect of this lobbying effort is primarily seen in the repeated claims that some large number of members of Congress have signed on to some statement endorsing the MKO.
In 1990, the Council of Resistance, made of several grouplets most of them existing on letter heads, “elected” Mrs Maryam Rajavi, the third wife of Mas’oud as Iran’s president and started a new wave of terrorist operations inside the country.
“If some one in Iran has reliable information about the regime’s secrets on nuclear or military activities and for whatever reason he wants to pass them to outside world, he would certainly not give them to a completely discredited group like the Mojahedeen, but would give, or sell them to Western intelligence agencies”, added Mr. Khodabandeh, who deserted from the MKO some years ago and is now active in exposing the true face and nature of the Organisation on his internet site “Iran-interlink.org”. ENDS MKO LIES 20805
By Safa Haeri