The co-founder of Pinkcode, an anti-war NGO based in the US, blasted members of the Congress for supporting the anti-Iran Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCRI) terrorist group.
Speaking at a press conference at FNA College of Journalism in Tehran on Tuesday, Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of Codepink: Women for Peace, voiced concern about the relationship between the US congresspersons and the terrorist groups like the MKO.
She underlined that the American people are tired of new wars and conflicts as well as the propaganda launched by the US media and officials against Iran, adding that they are more suspicious of Saudi Arabia’s activities, specially in Yemen, and after the brutal killing of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“The American people are also tired of the US government’s unconditional support for Israel,” Benjamin said.
Asked by journalists if they will be troubled when returning from Iran to the US, she said, “We do not know if we will have problem. But when we go back, some of us may undergo questioning.”
Benjamin noted the hospitality of the Iranian people during the visit to Tehran and other Iranian cities and voiced concern over Washington’s inhumane sanctions on Iranian citizens.
The delegation said they have traveled to Tehran to stress the difference in the stances between the American government and people, reiterating that the American people are against their country’s sanctions on Iran.
Banjamin said that the travel ban against the Iranians, the US unilateral sanctions against Iran and the difficulties created for the Iranian people in their access to medicine and different technological goods by the embargoes have upset the Codepink members and many American people.
She said that after returning to the US, the anti-war group will push the US congresspersons and presidential candidates to make efforts to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, adding that the American people want to leave in peace with the world community.
On February 24, Code Pink activists met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and students at University of Tehran.
After the meeting, Benjamin criticized Donald Trump for “ramping up confrontation with Iran”.
Also last Wednesday, the US anti-war activists participated in a press conference at Tehran’s Milad Tower where they criticized the US administration for abandoning the multilateral 2015 nuclear deal and re-imposing bans on Iran, saying such a move is the outcome of extensive lobbying by the Israeli and Saudi regimes, America’s staunchest allies in the Middle-East.
Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of the nuclear accord, officially named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against Iran.
Since then, the US has been trying to coerce the Europeans into following its lead and withdrawing from the nuclear accord with Iran.
The MKO, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and western targets.
The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly-established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran’s new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by the MKO members in 1981.
The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.
The terrorist group joined Saddam’s army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.
Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who argued for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.
The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in September 2012, one week after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent the US Congress a classified communication about the move. The decision made by Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under the US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with the American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.
In September 2012, the last groups of the MKO terrorists left Camp Ashraf, their main training center in Iraq’s Diyala province. They have been transferred to Camp Liberty. Hundreds of the MKO terrorists have now been sent to Europe, where their names were taken off the blacklist even two years before the US.
The MKO has assassinated over 12,000 Iranians in the last 4 decades. The terrorist group had even killed large numbers of Americans and Europeans in several terror attacks before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Some 17,000 Iranians have lost their lives in terror attacks in the 35 years after the Revolution.
Rumors were confirmed in September 2016 about the death of MKO ringleader, Massoud Rajavi, as a former top Saudi intelligence official disclosed in a gaffe during an address to his followers.
Rajavi’s death was revealed after Turki al-Faisal who was attending the MKO annual gathering in Paris made a gaffe and spoke of the terrorist group’s ringleader as the “late Rajavi” twice.
Faced with Faisal’s surprising gaffe, Rajavi’s wife, Maryam, changed her happy face with a complaining gesture and cued the interpreter to be watchful of translation words and exclude the gaffe from the Persian translation.
Documents had shown last year that US National Security Adviser John Bolton received $40,000 to participate and address the audience in a gathering of the MKO terrorist group in Paris in July 2017.