“We oppose this organization. We don’t support it”

Part of Radio Farda’s interview with James Jeffrey is as follows:

The political scene of the US recently witnessed two controversial developments, namely the victory of Democrats in recent elections and the report of Iraq Study Group. Will these two development a beginning for a turn in US policies towards Iran?

Amir Mossaddegh Katuzian from Radio Farda posed this question for James Jeffrey Senior Advisor of Secretary of State in Near East Affairs and US policy-making on Iran.

– CQ quoted a former American official, who talked anonymously, that the US army has deployed a number of MKO members to Israel for military training and that some other of these members had been trained in Nevada Deserts earlier. Are you aware of that?

We have also heard about that report. When I was in Baghdad, I followed MKO’s status very carefully. We consider this group a terrorist organization. American forces watch the group so as not to allow them to act against anyone.

This is being performed in coordination with the Red Cross and UNHCR. This program is related to refugees’ affairs and I think these reports are baseless.

– Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the MKO, has disappeared since the fall of Saddam. No one has heard of him. New pictures of him have not been aired by MKO’s TV channel…

He is not in our custody. As far as we know he has never been in our custody. As far as I know he is in Western Europe or in the Middle East, but he is not in Camp Ashraf.

– Does it mean that he is out of Iraq, but he’s under US supervision?

We have no control over him. As the occupying force, according to UN resolutions, we are responsible for the MKO in Iraq. This only applies about the MKO.

Except this, we consider it a terrorist organization and like other terrorist groups such as PKK, Hamas, Hizballah and many others in the Middle East we oppose this organization. We don’t support it.

– What you said about the MKO means that changing Iranian regime is not on the agenda for the US?

What we observe is not to interfere in Iran’s internal affairs. This is related to the people of Iran. Changing regime is related to the people of Iran who would decide about its time. I hope democratic processes would let them do so. For instance, in the upcoming elections which we think is not healthy but we hope it could allow people to have a role in their future, even if limited.

Radio Farda, December 13, 2006

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