If, as seems likely, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MKO, MEK, PMOI) is de-proscribed in the UK, this ought to be good news for the group's 3,300 members in Iraq. I reported on the situation there back in February and concluded that since the Iraqi Government is adamant that the MKO be expelled from the country as a foreign terrorist entity, the only practical solution was for a western government (most probably the UK) to de-proscribe the group so that the members currently trapped in Camp Ashraf could gain safe refuge there.
I am looking to see whether the MKO's western backers will now push for this solution. But I don't hold much hope of that. If I am able to read the situation correctly, the MKO members in Camp Ashraf will be direct victims of the UK court ruling. By now they will have been 'congratulated' on their victory against the Iranian regime and told they will 'soon be in Tehran', although they will not be told how this is to be achieved.
It is clear that the group has deliberately been kept intact for five years and the obvious reason this would be done is so the group can be re-armed at some point and re-deployed against Iran – this time not by Saddam Hussein but by the US Administration. Last December American forces removed half the MKO dissidents from the TIPF adjacent to Camp Ashraf. (One of them drowned recently in a border incident in Turkey, others are still missing, some are in Iraqi Kurdistan and some clandestinely in Turkey. A few have gained safe refuge in Europe.)
On Friday May 2, 2008 American forces completely closed TIPF and transferred the remaining people to Dahouk in Kurdistan. They have been housed for two months and have food rations, but have been told they will then be given over to the UN refugee agency. This leaves many, many questions, and to date no official American answer has been forthcoming.
I would like to know:
Now TIPF has been removed, where can MKO members go if they want to leave the organisation? Are they condemned to stay and serve as "good terrorists" whether on the terrorist lists or not?
Now TIPF has been removed, what are American forces protecting (after 5 years of blaming others for allegedly supporting terrorists)? A terrorist camp? (It must not be forgotten that even if the whole western world removes the MKO from the terrorist lists, they are still regarded - and with good reason - as foreign terrorists in Iraq.)
If, as I have been told, the uniformed militants in Camp Ashraf are free to leave anytime they want, why are MNF forces there 'protecting' them?
If, as has been rumoured, the Americans will hand over Camp Ashraf to the Iraqis by the end of the year, what will happen to the uniformed militants who are now protected there?
Will the likes of Lord Corbett and company, who have been supporting terrorism in Iran and Iraq under the banner of the MKO's Klashinkov for the past thirty years, now at least sponsor a handful of those same people who have been abused by his cult and bring them to safety? Some of them surely are ready to retire on even a small pension!
Have efforts to have the MKO de-proscribed been so that the cult's leaders, including cult guru Massoud Rajavi, can take up residence in London but the members stay to kill and be killed in Iraq and Iran?
At the invitation of Ms Batul Soltani (representative of Sahar NGO in Baghdad) I have visited Turkey to attend various meetings concerning the situation of former MKO people (from TIPF) who are trying to leave Iraq and Turkey. After talking with some of them, it is becoming clear they are facing obstacles and counter measures so that they fail (and even get killed in the way).
The repeated accusation – from a wide range of observers, not only the direct victims - is that the American approach to the MKO has been to deliberately stop people leaving this terrorist cult; that the MKO is maintained by interests who play the card of 'taking them off the list' with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Ultimately, those who had the power but who have failed or been unable or refused to dismantle a tiny foreign terrorist camp and its military structure in Iraq – despite continued requests by the Iraqi government to do so - are responsible for whatever disaster befalls its victims there.
Massoud Khodabandeh is a representative of Iran Interlink, established as a point of contact for families and friends of members of the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq.
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