Remember those terrorists Iraq was accused of harboring and training before the war? They’re on Washington’s side now.
One of the terrorist organizations that the U.S. accused Iraq of supporting during the run-up to the war, the Mujahedin Khalq (MEK) or the "People’s Combatants", has been lobbying House Republicans and Democrats.
More than 300 U.S. legislators from both parties have at one time or other signed petitions in support of the MEK since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, and MEK spokesmen say they have offered the sect’s services to the United States in case of war with Iran.
According to a Guardian story last week, "Now US ponders attack on Iran (1/18/2005) "the Pentagon was recently contemplating the infiltration of members of the Iranian rebel group, Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) over the Iraq-Iran border, to collect intelligence. The group, based at Camp Ashraf, near Baghdad, was under the protection of Saddam Hussein, and is under US guard while Washington decides on its strategy. The MEK has been declared a terrorist group by the state department, but a former Farsi-speaking CIA officer said he had been asked by neo-conservatives in the Pentagon to travel to Iraq to oversee ‘MEK cross-border operations’.
The MEK started in Iran as an Islamic-Marxist group, and was expelled in 1979 by the Iranian Islamic Fundamentalist Party that took power. They fled to France where the French foreign minister, Claude Cheysson, convinced the MEK leader Massoud Rajavi to work with the Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz and the Iraqi government during the Iraq-Iran War during the 1980s.
Special U.S. Middle East Envoy, Donald Rumsfeld, frequently met with Tariq Aziz in the ’80s and sent biological and chemical weapons to Iraq to be used against the Iranians. Later, again with the knowledge and acceptance of the Bush government, these weapons were used by the Iraqi military against the the Iranian Army with logistical support from the CIA.
The MEK helped the revolutionary Khomeini regime to take power in 1979. Part of their assistance consisted in burning down restaurants and cinemas. The MEK initiated the idea of taking over the U.S. embassy and holding Americans hostage. Yet within a year, MEK leaders decided that the Khomeini regime wasn’t behaving in a "revolutionary" fashion and soon they were plotting to overthrow Khomeini and the Islamic Fundamentalist leaders of Iran.
In 1987, Jacques Chirac, then Prime Minister of France, allowed the MEK to operate outside Paris by signing an agreement with them that they would not kill any Iranians on French soil.
France intentionally dismantled the group in 2002 several months before the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March of 2003.