Officials in Iraq have spoken out critically following a Conference held in the European Parliament, on 19th February, organised and chaired by Struan Stevenson MEP, President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq.
Members of the Iraqi Council of Representatives’ Foreign Relations Committee have, on previous occasions, called for a boycott and non-cooperation with the Commission of the European Union and head of the Iraq Delegation Struan Stevenson because of the determinedly anti-Iraqi government agenda. Struan Stevenson and Alejo Vidal Quadras are known to Iraqis as MEPs who have been tasked to interfere with and push a particular agenda in Iraq. Stevenson is alleged to have been receiving funds and guidance from the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist organisation (MEK) to use his parliamentary position to attack the government of Iraq by falsifying facts and events, and inciting sectarian conflict.
The Secretary-General of the Knights of the Law’s Supporters (Farsan Ansar al-Ghanoon), Hassan al-Alwani, said that the Mojahedin Khalq represents Israeli interests in Iraq, and that there is a clear trace of the organisation’s history of involvement in the insurgency that has gripped Iraq.
According to several Iraqi officials, who have given interviews and made statements to Iraqi media, Stevenson was supporting Saddam and the MEK during the war. After the fall of Saddam, he and others became active in supporting the Saddamists (loyal remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime) and the MEK in Iraq. Stevenson subsequently made several visits to Jordan and London to connect Saddam’s daughter and the Saddamists with the Israeli lobby in London; acting as a go-between and using the MEK and Saddamists’ networks in Iraq and Europe. After being re-elected to the 2009 session of the European Parliament, Stevenson transferred from the Iran Delegation to the Iraq Delegation of which he was made Chair. His colleague Alejo Vidal Quadras, also an advocate of the MEK, made the same transition. Now that Stevenson has announced that he will not be standing for the next European Parliament elections in May, it is timely to remember the fate of another MEP who supported the MEK, Paulo Casaca, who was exposed in his Portuguese constituency as a supporter of the MEK terrorist group and deselected.
Stevenson has persistently backed the Mojahedin Khalq’s determined efforts to remain in Iraq in spite of the fact the group is a designated terrorist group in that country, and in defiance of the government of Iraq and the Judiciary’s demands for the group’s removal under the terms of the country’s constitution. Although the MEK’s 3,000+ foreign presence in Iraq is tiny in relation to the massive numbers of Iraqi civilians being killed and is irrelevant to the complex social, civil, economic and security issues of the burgeoning democracy, the MEK has enjoyed extraordinarily disproportionate attention in the European Parliament because of the Israeli backing for the group.
The MEK’s continued presence in Iraq and the false narrative of their security is something Stevenson has used to disguise a determinedly anti-Maliki agenda. The European Parliament made every effort, using the MEK and Saddamists and Israeli influence, to prevent al Maliki’s re-election. Iraqi officials have pointed to the consequent increase in acts of terrorism and what amounted to an attempted coup d’etat at that time. These efforts failed, however, and ended in the arrest and prosecution of key players, such as al Hashemi. Although some individuals were arrested, others became fugitives in other countries. Over the next few years, Stevenson and the MEK brought some of these fugitives to speak in Brussels against the current government in order to influence events in Iraq. Since this apparently didn’t have the desired effect, this cohort have now embarked on buying people in Iraq who are well known to have connections with al Qaida and Daesh (SIRI). The European Parliament, and in particular the Iraq Delegation, has been used again to push an anti-Iraqi government agenda.
The European Parliament Conference on February 19th was said to include “some of the most prominent political and religious leaders in Iraq”, and was to focus on the issue of human rights. And certainly the participants are known to the people of Iraq. According to Habilian Association in Baghdad, the Iraqi Baath Party posted a statement on its official website announcing that it had invited the European Parliament to host the Conference. The statement continues with slogans against Iranians and Iraqis, but then praises the participants, especially those who support armed struggle in the al Anbar province, including the MEK who, it says, responded to the invitation and participated in the Conference [in spite of not actually representing anyone in Iraq themselves because they are a foreign terrorist group]. In a statement issued last week, Iraq’s Human Rights Ministry condemned the Conference, announcing that it had been orchestrated by terrorists and saying that in this way it acts directly against the human rights of the people of Iraq.
Among the most heinous effects of Stevenson’s anti-Maliki agenda is the terrible exploitation and suffering of the individuals being held hostage in the MEK’s camp in Iraq. UNAMI, which has been responsible for removing the MEK from Iraq since 2009, has made several clear and public statements about its concerns that not only are the MEK leaders obstructing any and every attempt to remove the individuals from the camp and transfer them to the safety of third countries, but the MEK leaders are also committing human rights abuses inside the camps against the residents. But more sinister than even this is the cynical programme to deliberately place the residents of Camps Ashraf and Liberty in the path of danger.
In the hopes of attracting the attention of Iraqis seeking revenge on the terrorist MEK, the MEK itself has hinted that their leader Massoud Rajavi is still in Iraq. The motive behind this is to provoke another attack on Camp Liberty by people who have been hurt by the MEK. The attack on Camp Ashraf on September 1st was an example of such a manufactured attack; although it is still unclear who was behind the killings, the hundred MEK had been spuriously left there by Rajavi in an extremely vulnerable situation. The MEK are so hated by many Iraqis who have been harmed by the group that it was almost inevitable they would come under attack at some time.
To counter this, Iraqi officials have announced that this is not true; they are unequivocal in stating that Massoud Rajavi is no longer in Iraq, and this rumour has been put out by the MEK and its lobbyists to create tension and to provoke a violent reaction. This is, says one ex member, another example of how Rajavi and his backers are living off the blood of the MEK’s hostages in Iraq.
Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Middle East Strategy Consultants