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calling for adequate protection for journalists

Open Letter to the Home Secretary, The Right Honourable Charles Clarke, MP,

calling for adequate protection for journalists reporting on the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq organisation.

Dear Mr Clarke,

I am writing to alert you again to the on-going activities of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq (MKO or PMOI) in the United Kingdom.

My wife and I head a small pressure group based in Leeds called Iran-Interlink. For the past three years we have been engaged in publishing information about the real nature of the terrorist Mojahedin organisation as a religious/personality cult, as well as exposing the Mojahedin’s abuse of its members’ fundamental human rights. In addition, we provide a point of contact for families and friends of members of the MKO, and support victims of the organisation, which include many former members.

On November 10, we held a press conference in London with the title ‘Saddam’s links with international terrorism’. The press conference showed evidence of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi’s involvement in the violent suppression of Iraqi Kurds in the Spring of 1991. Film was also shown of Rajavi taking orders from officers of Saddam’s secret services.

Massoud and Maryam Rajavi are the self-appointed, self-styled leaders of the Mojahedin-e Khalq organisation of Iran which also uses the names National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA). It has been dubbed Saddam’s private army because the MKO enjoyed the patronage of Saddam Hussein for twenty years.

We were aware that supporters of the MKO and Massoud Rajavi would try to disrupt our press conference. As a precaution, we informed the police in advance that MKO agents might possibly perform some act of violence and intimidation in order to prevent revelations about Massoud Rajavi’s war crimes in Iraq becoming public.

The police presence was vital to prevent around twelve agents of the MKO from forcing themselves into the hotel and breaking into our meeting. Thanks to the police presence, the meeting passed off peacefully and the journalists who attended were able to watch the films and listen to the speakers.

Unfortunately, in spite of the good understanding and cooperation of the police, it was not possible to prevent one incident of intimidation in which one of the reporters was attacked by an MKO agent as she left the hotel building. The reporter, the representative of Voice of America in London, is a well known personality in the Iranian community, and as an analyst on Iranian issues has been invited to speak many times on British radio and television programs. The police immediately escorted the reporter back to the building, visibly shaken by her ordeal. The police were then obliged to call for reinforcements in order to provide security for all the organisers and participants to leave the building and travel safely to their destinations. The BBC Persian Service published a report of the incident on both its website and its radio broadcasting channel, which reported that the Mojahedin’s supporters at the meeting "insulted the journalists and called them the agents of the Iranian regime". Iran-Interlink apologises to all the participants, in particular the Voice of America and BBC reporters, who suffered this abuse at while attending our press conference.

Dear Mr Clarke,

On September 26, 2005 a letter was sent to you, signed by more than eighty affected people, issuing a warning and asking for your help. The letter was titled "MKO assassination teams activated in Europe" and a copy was sent to all European Interior Ministers. On September 29, 2005, I raised the issue again in an interview with the BBC Persian Service asking for help. The letter highlighted the danger posed by an influx of Mojahedin forces into Europe in 2003 from its terrorist training camps in Iraq. These forces have the same training as Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard and therefore have the same capability of the Iraqi leader’s elite Fedayeen. These forces have now regrouped in Europe and have been recently activated to target critics of the Mojahedin and Massoud and Maryam Rajavi.

The MKO’s agents in the UK, who have been working overtly for Saddam Hussein’s services in Britain for the last two decades, are not unknown to your law enforcement agencies throughout the country. The organiser of the attempted intimidation on November 10, was Dowlat Nowrouzi, an agent of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi and member of Saddam’s private army, who is now working under the name of the National Council of Resistance of Iran from her office situated not far from your own office in Westminster.

Activities organised by terrorists linked with Saddam Hussein and based in London are not confined to this. Massoud Rajavi’s agents continue to misuse the democratic institutions of the UK, in particular the democratic traditions of both Houses of Parliament. They have launched and run websites in London under the names of National Council of Resistance http://www.ncr-iran.org/ and Iran-Focus http://www.iranfocus.com/. The purpose of these sites is to coordinate a campaign of character assassination and intimidation against anyone who criticises the MKO, in particular people who are involved in press conferences such as ours – including the professional reporters who attend – by labelling them as agents of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence. The Mojahedin’s lies and slander have no limit. The names and integrity of prominent British politicians, French and British journalists and researchers and international human rights organisations have also been smeared by agents of the Mojahedin, including Dowlat Nowrouzi and her minions in the UK.

The Mojahedin-e Khalq organisation, using the name NCRI (listed as a terrorist entity in the USA as an alias for the Mojahedin), has gone to the extent of fabricating lies under the name of Mr Win Griffiths, former Member of Parliament for Bridgend, Wales. Mr Griffiths kindly arranged for my niece to obtain a visa from the Iranian Embassy in London last year so that she could visit her father – my brother Ebrahim Khodabandeh – who is in Evin prison in Iran on charges relating to smuggling for the MKO. I believe that Mr Griffiths was at that time engaged in dialogue with the Iranians for a possible reconciliation and an amnesty for the heads of the MKO. (The Iranian government has since issued an amnesty to MKO members, but not to the leaders of the group.)


More shocking is the presence of agents this group under the protection of Lord Corbett in the House of Lords. This gentleman, whether he is aware of it or not, has appeared in the MKO’s publications under the Mojahedin’s logo of Kalashnikov and red star an average of three times a year for the past fifteen years, apparently condoning violence against the victims of this military cult. Public opinion is no doubt shocked that on the same day as the terrible London bombings on July 7, speeches by terrorist leader Maryam Rajavi were broadcast into the heart of parliament during a meeting hosted by Lord Corbett.

Dear Mr Clarke,

The free movement of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq organisation in London, including running an office in Westminster in direct communication with Maryam Rajavi (currently awaiting trial in France on terrorism charges), and Mohammed Sani (currently operational head of the Mojahedin’s intelligence section for Europe based in Cologne, and one of the Mojahedin’s Fedayeen who committed self-immolation following the arrest of Maryam Rajavi in Paris in June 2003), cannot be regarded as anything less than shocking.

At a time when the whole country has been following the debate on the number of days the British police will be able to detain terror suspects, I would again ask for your intervention to instigate a meaningful investigation into the activities of the known agents and terrorists linked with Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime who are active in London under whatever assumed name or logo. As was requested by the letter of September 26 this year, please take this threat seriously before it is too late.

Although I have no doubt about the amount of information already available to the law enforcement agencies of this country, I and my friends remain at your disposal for any information relating to this matter.

I should add that while we regard the leaders of this terrorist cult with abhorrence, we at Iran-Interlink regard the ordinary followers of the Rajavi’s with the kind of sympathy which must be extended to the subjects of psychological manipulation in any cult. Iran-Interlink is willing to assist victims of Rajavi’s cult who have managed to escape it.

Yours sincerely,

Massoud Khodabandeh


November 15, 2005

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