"When the US President George Bush suddenly announced the removal of his Defense Minister, many of the experts were not surprised of the change, but they were surprised by President’s nominee "Robert Gates". Gates has been advocating the talks and relations with Iran. Two years ago in the summer, beside then the National Security Advisor of the White House, he headed a group that sought opening dialogue with Iran. Part of this group’s report said that lack of relationship with Iran and lack of presence in this country for a long time would deeply hurt US’s understanding of domestic and regional developments. This, in turn, restricts Washington’s influence in the Middle East; there’s no need to wait for full coordination between the two countries before starting the dialogue." (Radio Farda)
This very report from Radio Farda mentioned that the members of Mojahedin-e Khalq should be either extradited to Iran or be exchanged with Al-Qaeda members held captive in Iran.
The report was based on the experiences of relations between Iran and American as well as a very pragmatic view on Iran. Neocons couldn’t understand this report and ignored it wholly.
It seems that tasking James Baker with the preparation of a report on Iraq’s situation was not simply an act of propaganda, but there was really a need to change the strategy in Iraq. Nomination of Gates for the Ministry of Defense proves that the White House is determined to conduct these changes. Although the Neocons are still insisting on their slogans, it seems that they have no choice except accepting these changes.
In this way, the extradition or exchange of MKO members is possible because:
– US’s efforts to transfer them to a third country have failed,
– The US has remained silent on Iraqis’ decision to expel the group.
So, with respect to the changes in the policies of US military in Iraq, we should expect real developments in the situation of Mojahedin-e Khalq.
Irandidban – 2006/11/11