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MKO Facing a Dilemma in Iraq

MKO will eventually yield to the universal demand of fully relocation to the temporary transit center

The problem with Mojahedin Khalq Organization MKO/MEK is that it defines any made gesture ofMKO Facing a Dilemma in Iraq humanitarian, goodwill or sympathy towards it as a granted statutory right that has to be recognized and fought for universally. The relationship between the group’s American advocates and the leadership, now led by the Paris-based Maryam Rajavi, has led both to pursue strategies that neglect the dire risks of sabotaging the agreed move from Camp Ashraf to the temporary transit center near Baghdad.

In fact, the UN and the State Department’s efforts to peacefully solve the humanitarian crisis of Ashraf residents is made difficult due to the MKO’s strong base of support amongst the sympathetic American supporters whose words are seized as recognized rights. In recent weeks, some former officials and politicians, many of whom admit to being paid by MKO or one of its many affiliates, have mounted a sophisticated media campaign accusing the UN and the US of forcing dislocation of the group to live in subhuman conditions against its will at the temporary transit center, an accusation the group badly needs to feed its propaganda machine and to refuse sending the remaining groups as planned.

However, MKO is dragging its heels waiting for a miracle to happen, but he is also reluctant to assassinate the opportunity that seemingly opens up following the closure of Camp Ashraf. Probably MKO will yield to the universal demand of fully relocation to the temporary transit center. That is at least for three reasons.

Despite still being officially considered a terrorist group, the US has sort of taken MKO under its wing, first by opening up a former US base in Iraq for its members to be settled until they are sent to a third country that might receive them. But as they cannot stay at the base permanently, and as they may not be welcome by a third country because the group is on the US terror list, the US may de-list it, and will possibly interfere to be settled in an allied country. The Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has already given the green light:

“Given the ongoing efforts to relocate the residents, MeK cooperation in the successful and peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf, the MeK’s main paramilitary base, will be a key factor in any decision regarding the MEK’s FTO status”.

Second, an attorney for MKO urged a three-judge panel on the US Court of Appeals to compel the State Department to comply with a previous order, and to make a decision on de-listing of the group in a timely manner. Robert Loeb, the State Department’s lawyer, argued that lack of total unfettered access to MKO’s base demands more deliberation and time to reach a final decision. Loeb argued questions still remain whether the group harbor weapons inside the base and thus retain the “capacity” to launch attacks. Once the base is completely emptied, a decision on MKO’s status could be made within 60 days after relocation completes.

That is the point even the curt considered when it issued the latest order giving the Secretary of State four months to issue a final determination or it would grant MKO’s writ of mandamus setting aside the FTO designation. The final part of the ruling clearly states that:

“We arrive at the four-month deadline in part because four months should allow enough time for the completion of PMOI’s move from Camp Ashraf, the monitoring of which the Secretary claims will be exceptionally useful for its determination, id. at 20-21, as well as time to complete the process of analysis, judgment and explication.”

Thus, anything depends on vacation of Camp Ashraf and the golden opportunity that is the key to its survival is just lies within the walls of transit center. Will it lose it for prolongation of a situation stuck in limbo in Iraq?

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