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Pentagon denies employing MKO members by US Army

A report by Congressional Weekly (C.Q) on the employment of MKO members by US army in order to overthrow the Iranian regime was rejected by Pentagon.

In its recent edition, the Weekly quoted a former US official (who asked for anonymity) saying that Secret Agents of US Army were employing the MKO members in Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

According to this former official, employment of MKO members is illegal since the group has been designated as a terrorist organization by US State Department and therefore Pentagon sends them to Israel for training.

Reaction of Pentagon

A former Pentagon spokesman denied this report in an interview with BBC Persian.

"With MKO’s records, we don’t consider it a supporter of human rights and democracy. This organization has also abused its own members," he said.

C.Q has quoted two US officials saying that the US is still seeking regime change in Iran before it can acquire nuclear power.

However, Pentagon spokesman says that the US is not seeking regime change in Iraq.

"The US government follows diplomatic solutions in dealing with Iran’s covert nuclear program and its destabilizing role in the region."

Internal Disagreements

BBC’s correspondent in the Pentagon Adam Brooks says if it’s correct, the report can indicate the existence of disagreements inside the US administration on the issue of Iran.

Donald Rumsfeld, US Defense Minister who resigned recently, expanded US army’s secret activities when he was in power.

According to Brooks, according to US laws, Pentagon has more freedom of activities than CIA in doing secret operations.

"The US army feels that according to the country’s laws, it’s able to perform more covert operations than CIA in order to collect intelligence. The army also feels that CIA is not able to collect operational intelligence needed for global fighting against terrorism," he adds.

Brooks points to the appointment of Robert Gates as the new Defense Minister and says the new minister will try to restrict these covert operations.

BBC Persian/Washington – 2006/11/29

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