After more than six years of hard efforts by the Kurdocide Organization and many other supporters, in early December 2012, the Swedish Parliament in a majority vote formally recognized the Anfal Operation, launched by ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam against the Kurds in the late 1980s, as genocide and crimes against humanity. The Anfal Operation refers to the deadly attacks on the Kurds in the final stages of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, which included Saddam’s use of poison gas to decimate inhabitants of the Kurdish town of Halabja.
Just about three weeks after the justly made decision, some defected members of the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO, MEK, PMOI, NCR) voiced their preparedness to give a testimony before the Swedish parliament about MKO’s key role in the massacre of Iraqi Kurds during the rule of the ousted Saddam. Reportedly, through last few weeks the Swedish Parliament is working to also officially recognize this joint Saddam-MKO military plot, called Operation Morvarid (Pearl), as another crime against the Iraqi Kurds.
The presence of MKO in Iraq for the accomplishment of joint strategic objectives in line with local and regional transitions expanded MKO-Saddam coalition far beyond a simple collaboration that ended in an ideological unity. The extent of their cooperation covered a broad range of issues, but here the focus is on the role of Mojahedin in the bloody suppression of Iraqi Kurds that made many internal and external critics to strongly disapprove of the heinous crime as a blatant violation a nation’s rights.
Besides many documentaries and confessions of the eye-witnesses, the Department of State in a 1992 report has clearly stated that “The NLA’s last major offensive reportedly was conducted against Iraqi Kurds in 1991, when it joined Saddam Hussein’s brutal repression of the Kurdish rebellion”. The fact is also stated in The State Department Office of the Coordinator for Counter-terrorism when it released the list of designated terrorist organizations; “The MEK’s relationship with the former Iraqi regime continued through the 1990s. In 1991, the group reportedly assisted in the Iraqi Republican Guard’s bloody crackdown on Iraqi Shia and Kurds who rose up against Saddam Hussein’s regime. Press reports cite MEK leader Maryam Rajavi encouraging MEK members to “take the Kurds under your tanks”. Elizabeth Rubin of the New York Times quoted former members of MKO on Mariam Rajavi’s commandment: “Take the Kurds under your tanks, and save your bullets for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards”.
There are more than enough evidences that corroborate MKO’s collaboration in suppression of the Kurds and even the group’s own high-ranking insiders have vehemently insisted on the necessity of the joint operation although hardly making any direct reference to the Kurds-killing crime. For instance, Bijan Niyabati, the detached leftist ideologue still a zealous supporter indirectly writing in behalf of MKO, has referred to the key role MKO played in Operation Morvarid and its necessity. He points to the fact that MKO took part in this operation as a token of their gratitude to the regime of Saddam Hussein and also in order to win his absolute trust:
“The Operation Morvarid may be considered as a remarkable military and political victory for Mojahedin as well. Morvarid stabilized MKO’s stance on Iraqi soil. Both Iraqi regime, somehow owing its survival to the presence and resistance of Mojahedin, and Mojahedin, for the first time making alliance with a regional and strategic ally tolerating one of the extraordinary revolutionary and radical organizations that is a remnant of the cold war era and bears to pay the regional as well as international costs of such an alliance, see in each other the features of a strategic ally. Mojahedin proved to be not only a trustful ally but also accounted as a parameter of power in regional fluctuations.” (A Different Look at Mojahedin’s Internal Revolution, p. 108)
Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait had the consequent international reactions. Saddam’s suppression of Iraqi Shi’it and Kurd insurgents caused widespread internal backlashes against Saddam’s regime that lost its control over a number of cities and angry dissidents began to march towards Baghdad. Located in the northern region, Rajavi’s forces could well help Saddam to impede the advance of the uprising people. Receiving the order, Rajavi launched the Operation Morvarid (Pearl) to suppress the insurgents. The bloodshed sent many Iraqi Shi’ts and Kurds to their death and Rajavi justified the operation as a self-defense but he never explained the reason and logic behind the involvement of MKO in Iraq’s internal affairs and suppression of Saddam’s opponents.