Saddam’s fall cracked MKO’s strategic capacity of armed struggle. The fall in fact depreciated MKO’s three opportunistic factors for their stay in side with Saddam; neighborhood with Iranian borders, strategic alliance with Saddam, and receiving military and financial aid.
The first unfavorable outcome of Saddam’s fall for Mojahedin was their disarmament by the coalition forces. Consequently, Massoud Rajavi, in justifying the situation, announced that between the arms and arms-masters, namely the Americans, they preferred the latter. Mojahedin hoped that the future would grant them the opportunity of being rearmed. For them, belief in armed struggle and holding it dear had priority over its practice. The ideology being survived, it could be put into practice at any time sooner or later. Thus, Camp Ashraf turned to be the ideological stockpile to infuse and ferment the mentality. In any occasion, the main emphasis has been on displaying the past instances of the armed and military practices, and the demonstration of miniature models of semi-heavy and small arms indicates Mojahedin’s innate interest in arms and playing the armed games.
Celebrating its forty-two formation anniversary, MKO had mainly focused on its adopted armed strategy that well distinguished it from other Iranian opposition groups. However, soon after being disarmed, Mojahedin adopted a new tactic of building a veneer of a pro-democratic group seeking peaceful ways of struggle. The third option proposal, call for referendum, calling on the UN Security Council and Bush Administration for harsh treatment against Iran’s nuclear threat and so are practiced examples of this new posture. But inside, to reveal their real nature, Mojahedin consent to nothing less than war and welcome any form of military solution.
Although disarmed, Camp Ashraf residents are under continual military training. There is also a possibility that the camp has kept some arms and military equipments camouflaged since the organization, naturally inheriting a clandestine form, can never be trusted to be sincere as it claims; adaptation is one of the organization’s basic theoretical principles of its outlook on the world and being.
The reports leaked out of Camp Ashraf, mainly by the majority of separated members, indicate that Mojahedin have initiated new rounds of military trainings and martial arts practices. The use of simulators in their military trainings presupposes two possibilities:
1- Mojahedin try to boost the members’ military morale to stop further detachment of the forces
2- They intend to have effective forces ready in case unpredictable conditions propel them into a new military phase
These military exercises just under the nose of the coalition forces at a time when Mojahedin propagate to be refugees and protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention might sound the alarm of a serious challenge.
Suppose that the coalition forces are unaware of what passes within the camp. Since the US has recurrently stressed that Mojahedin fail to be trustable and occupy a permanent status on the US State Department’s list of FTO, the mere surveillance over the Ashraf walls creates the best protection Mojahedin expect to get on with their clandestine activities. At the time when Iraq suffers increasing ethnic tensions and Nuri al-Maliki’s government accentuates the need to curb disorder and disarm the militia, it is so odd, and even might arouse suspicion, to see an untrustworthy, terrorist group with a long record of collaborating with the ousted Saddam so conveniently enjoying broad military and guerrilla training and exercise. On the other hand, Mojahedin, according to Iraqi official statements, have not been passive observers of events and disorders in Iraq. If the coalition forces really mean to give the Iraqi government a hand to curb the tension and restore the order, it seems to be a strategic priority to have thorough control over Mojahedin’s activities within the walls of Camp Ashraf.
Mojahedin.ws – Bahar Irani – October 29, 2006