With Trump’s Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in the news for having taken money from an Iranian ‘cult’, it’s time to bring this one back to the front; in short it was on Hillary Clinton’s watch at the Department of State the USA ‘de-listed’ Mojahedin-e-Khalq as a terror group. Previous to this, it was Bush Jr’s people pushed the Mojahedin-e-Khalq back into the game of international terror; almost certainly as a favor to Netanyahu whose MOSSAD had been tasked with assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists. To this day, some thousands of MeK rank and file remain hostages in Iraq – following on a non-violent surrender to the American military in the 2003 invasion that overthrew MeK host Saddam. The hypocrisy of the Associated Press attacking Chao is palpable; the previous two administrations both had employed the MeK in their geopolitical dirty work. The following [original post] is dated August 2013:
I had penned the original draft of this article in the Spring of 2012. Not long after, Seymour Hersh had published ‘Our Men in Iran?‘ citing excellent sources for his work and undermined my articles premise the Mojahedin-e-Khalq had renounced armed struggle, which, of course, caused me to reassess the wider picture of how this group plays in geo-politics. This is the considerably revamped result. The upshot is, the Bush administration, using the several thousand MEK members trapped in Iraq, held the MEK hostage to reentering the game of terror, as non-state actors or state actors by proxy. This has carried on under Obama; where the MEK had managed to be de-listed as a terror group in Europe by legitimate means of giving up armed struggle, they were forced into the game of assassination to earn a subsequent ‘de-listing’ by the Americans.
Mojahedin-e-Khalq; A story of no winners
This story of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq, a dissident Iranian group, begins with [Bill Clinton’s] Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s statement:
“In 1953, the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran’s popular prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh. The Eisenhower administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons, but the coup was clearly a setback for Iran’s political development and it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs.”
This month of August 2013, 60 years after the fact, the CIA has finally declassified documents relevant to the USA’s overthrow of the government of Iran.
Allen Dulles’ CIA was responsible for this ‘cold war’ crime, which had as much to do with American oil companies interests and military/industrial complex corporate profit lines, that is to say securing arms sales relevant to corporate greed, as much or more than it had to do with Soviet containment. The British monopoly on Iran’s oil production was broken, and American companies were able to muscle their way into the Iran oil market. After, the Shah of Iran, imposed on the Iranian people by the USA, became a prime buyer in the American weapons market, at one point going on an $8 billion in high tech weapons purchase spree. In the mid 1970s, by comparison with today, taking inflation into account, more than $34 billion in one short period.
With the CIA’s consolidation of absolute power handed to Shah Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and its training and long term support [with pro-active MOSSAD assistance] of the new and patently illegal regime’s brutal secret police SAVAK, subsequent torture and execution of political opposition, the wheels were put in motion for extended period of political friction and legitimate armed resistance under recognized principles of international law.
According to Encyclopædia Iranica:
“A U.S. Army colonel working for the CIA was sent to Persia in September 1953 to work with General Teymur Bakhtiar, who was appointed military governor of Tehran in December 1953 and immediately began to assemble the nucleus of a new intelligence organization. The U.S. Army colonel worked closely with Bakhtīār and his subordinates, commanding the new intelligence organization and training its members in basic intelligence techniques, such as surveillance and interrogation methods, the use of intelligence networks, and organizational security.”
These events initialized armed resistance movements in several and/or mutating forms over time, including the ‘People’s Mujahedin of Iran’, also known as the MEK or Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization. There is a large [disarmed] remnant of the MEK imprisoned in a what amounts to a concentration camp in Iraq.
The Mojahedin-e-Khalq is problematic from a classic point of view in the history of American geo-political strategy. Allied with the Ayatollahs, until the overthrow of the Shah, there is record of Mojahedin-e-Khalq assassination of several Americans materially supporting the Shah’s regime, pointing towards the 1979 revolution.
However, post revolution development changed the political alignment of the MEK. Initially it was the Ayatollah Khomeini turned on the MEK in his consolidation and control over Iran’s revolution of 1979.
From this time forward, events saw the MEK degenerate from a powerful force turned to attempting overthrow of the ayatollahs, to a struggle to survive as an ‘isolani pawn’ in geo-political chess.
What the MEK could not have known of, at least in the rank and file, is the Paris meeting facilitated by Robert Gates of the CIA via MOSSAD, where 1980 Vice Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush met together with representative of the Ayatollah Khomeini.
There was a three way deal made, taken together with intervening subsequent events, it would seem the 1980 meeting had sealed the MEK fate 30 years in the future.
The Carter administration had ‘green lighted’ Iraq’s Saddam to invade Iran, following the desert fiasco when the American Embassy hostage rescue operation had come apart. With CIA personality William Casey running Reagan’s campaign, an initial ‘ernest money’ payment of $40 million cash (over $113 Million today, calculated with the inflation index) had been paid to Iran’s new rulers (the ayatollahs) to delay the release of the hostages until after the 1980 elections. A former CIA director, Reagan’s vice presidential running mate, George Herbert Walker Bush, had been the Reagan camp’s representative at the meeting in Paris authorizing Israel to clandestinely arm Iran, evolving over time into the spillover Iran-Contra affair, and most certainly there would be wicked fallout for MEK as a deadly [at this period] internal foe of the Iranian regime.
Subsequent to the Paris meeting (linked American eyewitness account, Israeli eyewitness account HERE), the Ayatollah Khomeini would have leverage to receive much of the intelligence he needed from western agencies to deal aggressively with MEK, this was a top priority of the new regime and simply would not be neglected when bargaining from a position of advantage in negotiations with CIA and MOSSAD, to expect otherwise in matters of the geo- politic of the moment, is pure naïveté. In fact Iran was able to take a big piece of the MEK network down from within Iran, subsequently MEK became based in Iraq during the period of the Iraq-Iran war begun by Saddam. With the USA initially taking a ‘hands off’ position for public consumption, but eventually playing both sides, now arming Iraq, as well all the while feeding weapons to Iran, using Israel as the intermediary. That’s how a dirty double game is played. Both regimes were supplied weapons and intelligence and encouraged to tear each other to pieces.
The Ayatollahs had the weaponry needed to counter Saddam, the [treasonous] American party to the meeting, George Herbert Walker Bush, was delivered a victory in the 1980 presidential election, and Israel scored a Christian Zionist ally in the newly elected Reagan/Bush administration and a lift to the Israeli weapons industry.
Meanwhile, as Iraq and Iran were tearing each other to pieces with MEK become openly aligned with Iraq, alienating many Iranian supporters and serving to weaken the organization considerably even further, on more than one front. Not only was there the loss of much indigenous Iranian support for MEK came with the Iraq alignment, but there was subsequent attending and problematic public relations image of having become aligned with a man [Saddam] who’d gassed the Iraqi Kurds in which area the MEK was based, with USA complicity.
The MEK having relocated to Iraq for purposes of survival and on-going, pro- active military operations against the ayatollahs had, by 1990 with the Iraq/Iran war over, done considerable damage to its cause. An ensuing decade of weakened MEK resistance is largely notable for the Clinton administration having designated the MEK as a ‘terrorist’ organization, as a geo-political concession to Iran, when there were some attempt at USA/Iranian dialogue.
By 2001 the MEK had renounced violent struggle and converted to a political opposition in exile. This position was reinforced by the fact the MEK had negotiated its disarmament with the American military following the 2003 Iraq invasion and in fact turned its weapons over to the Americans as agreed, and without hostilities.
This past 10 years, closing the MEK story to the present, are interesting times, rich in intrigue and point to the western democracies, USA and France particularly, pursuing strategy to eliminate the MEK as a viable political movement in any possible future or post ayatollah Iran. The facts are succinct; the people of MEK had disarmed and international bodies, including the European Union’s courts have found the MEK has honored it stated intent of 2001 to become a non-violent political movement. In 2003, French neo-con Nicolas Sarkozy, then Interior Minister, approved of a police raid on MEK associated people, ordered by a French anti-terror magistrate, no doubt at Sarkozy’s instigation. The charges were not sustained and a member of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sam Brownback, accused Sarkozy of “doing Iran’s dirty work.” Brownback would have access to classified information at a necessary level to know.
This becomes more germane as the decade unfolds in USA/Iran relations and developments in regards to Iraq, oil and geo-politics. This is one aspect. But it is a dirty double game and of course this holds surprises.
About the time the American military handed custody of the MEK over to the Iraqi government, in 2009, it turns out CHEVRON was in negotiations with Iran over proposed development of an oil field. CHEVRON Board Director General James Jones was Obama National Security Advisor while once and future CHEVRON Board Director Condoleezza Rice was by this time back in the ‘private’ sector. This coincided with an Iraqi raid on the MEK and Prime Minister Maliki declaring the MEK would either have to repatriate to Iran or relocate to other countries. Real relocation effort to the present day, is nil.
Following intervening attacks, including one organized in Iraq by Iranian agents where Iraqi forces refused to intervene except to prevent MEK casualties transport to medical services, there was the April 8, 2011 attack by the Iraqi forces coinciding with the new CHEVRON strategic planning with Condoleezza Rice and General James Jones [also now back in the ‘private’ sector] initiating global policy on behalf of the USA.
The dirty ‘double game’ continues.
The MEK political leadership, in regards to the 2011 massacre at in Iraq, has been supported by American neo-con personalities that must be assessed as agents provocateur, Rudy Guiliani and Tom Ridge.
Determining whether this is naiveté on the part of MEK political leadership, simple blind arrogance or penetration of the MEK political apparatus by agents for CHEVRON is not the object of this analysis, but the fact turns up the Bush administration had subverted the MEK shift away from renouncing armed struggle and had been secretly training select MEK persons in special operations weapons and tactics (defined as terrorism when not employed by a nation’s elite military). This program and the MEK volunteers associated with it, had vanished from the USA secret training ground in America’s western desert by the time of the Obama administration, or so we are led to believe. But MEK ties to American neo-conservatism had by this time been solidified.
Richard Armitage, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, had stated:
“There were some in the administration who wanted to use the Mujahideen-e Khalq as a pressure point against Iran, and I can remember the national security adviser, Dr. [Condoleezza] Rice, being very specific about it, saying no, a terrorist group is a terrorist group.”
Following this bald-faced lie by Armitage, noting Condoleezza Rice was in power at the time the Americans were training the MEK commandos, I’d further point out few are more closely politically aligned with the 1980 American-Iran ‘Paris meeting’ electoral coup d’état than Rudy Guiliani (with unanswered questions relating to the coverup) who was subsequently appointed to number 3 at the Department of Justice, more on Guilianni a bit further, and MEK ally Tom Ridge is little more than a thug for CHEVRON.
And Armitage resorts to another out and out lie:
“Then we … engaged in a broad effort to try to resettle these people, but we were very unsuccessful in getting them settled in foreign lands….”
In fact, this is little more than lip service to that effect, if only to keep the MEK calm while being held for slaughter as a chit in dealing with the ayatollahs. In the same moment, the other side is played, training and arming select MEK commandos, likely taken over by the Israelis since the Bush era but it would be foolish to rule out Obama’s people have simply re-laundered this program. Meanwhile, the USA, which has resettled Guantanamo inmates around the world, cannot find a way out for the MEK rank and file and lets them rot in the Iraq sun with inadequate food, water, medical and shelter, unarmed while under sporadic attack.
This is how a pawn consisting of 3,000 disarmed dissident Iranians are held as a pawn in the geo-political game of chess Zbigniew Brzezinski has aptly called the ‘Grand Chessboard’ of Central Asia. Iraq can be pilloried in the press for the human rights abuses suffered by 3,000 hostages handed to Iran for extermination, expecting the ayatollahs would do exactly that -exterminate the MEK- if the MEK were delivered to the ayatollahs per Iran’s demands. But if the USA were to approve the MEK handed over in any deal with Iran overcoming the present hostile posture, it would go unnoticed by the western press. On the other hand, suddenly the MEK rank and file could be ‘liberated’ were the USA to find it convenient to reach an accord with MEK leadership for purpose of causing Iran another headache in turning loose a rearmed but clandestine talent pool of anti-ayatollah terror. It would appear the pilot program for this has already been developed and deployed.
Who are the MEK, The Peoples Mujahideen of Iran, Mujahideen-e Khalq, really? With roots in a liberal-left Islam with absolutely rock solid women’s emancipation within that context, the MEK is anathema to the ayatollahs. Those same roots also point to the MEK devoted principles of Islamic social justice. There is a ‘Mahdi’ (Shia Islam messiah) cult element in its leadership with associated narcissism that keeps the MEK rank and file in a trap of leadership making poor strategic decisions based in a fanatical hate.
The MEK leadership has allied itself with Bush era neo-conservatives, notably Rudy Guiliani. Everything you need to know about Rudy Guiliani since he served as number 3 at Department of Justice following the 1980 coup d’état (October Surprise), can be summed up in one event: His stout obstruction of any investigation into the building that died of fright on 9/11.
Of course it cannot hurt to point out here, the CHEVRON CEO from 1989 to 1999, Kenneth Derr, together with a who’s who of neo-con power brokers and professional spooks sat together on Guiliani’s presidential committee, including but not limited to: Dick Thornburgh, Dick Riordan, T Boone Pickens, Ted Olsen [a Federalist Society founder] Michael Mukasey [a Bush lap dog at DoJ] Carl Icahn [who handed TEXACO gift wrapped to CHEVRON], Walter Hickel [a dead man, like padded voter rolls], Louis Freeh [the former FBI Director, one of many who refuse to come clean on COINTELPRO], to mention just a few notables.
Beyond all this, is a dilemma for both the USA criminals and the ayatollahs in Iran. The 1980 electoral coup d’état in any state records of Iran or any living witnesses in compromised circumstance, could lead to revelations in either or both nations, the ayatollahs having done extended business with America and Israel behind the backs of the Iranian people while lying about the relationship the entire time, and the USA mainstream discovering just how and when democracy had been hijacked by the corporate entities comprising today’s ‘deep state.’
Where there are no winners, is in the MEK rank and file.
On a two occasions I have interviewed MEK survivors in Berlin. In the Spring of 2012, I visited the MEK headquarters in Charlottenberg and spoke with several at length. Again, on 27 August 2013, I met and spoke with an MEK survivor. The raw decay of the human spirit is evidenced in these people played by geo-politics. With the MEK having realized their name is associated with many negatives, in a chance meeting, the young woman lied to me about any affiliation with MEK, as well denying the Charlottenberg headquarters was MEK.
Without calling her a liar, I gently (if that is a possible expression, more like a stiletto with love) brought her around to understand I knew the organization she was soliciting donations for was MEK, no matter they had changed the name and added a platform point of being supportive of all the political prisoners in Iran. I pointed out her organizations American allies were every bit as evil as the ayatollahs and this could not help the rank and file that suffer. I explained the expression ‘to shoot yourself in the foot.’ As she grasped I had a very good understanding of the organization and she’d been exposed as lying without my ever saying so, her hurt was deep, it showed in the eyes.
With parents and a sibling trapped in Iraq, probably many people would lie to get assistance. Will lying help get them out? Probably not. Yet I know from listening to the stories of MEK in my previous Charlottenberg encounter, the rank and file are, for the most part, social justice motivated, real human beings with emotions. They deeply grieve at the circumstance of their 3,000 parents, brothers, sisters and children trapped in circumstance beyond their control. However this is result the MEK leadership’s narcissism and consequently poor strategic alliances.
This all began with the CIA 60 years ago, and the MEK’s and Iranian people’s worst enemies (CIA) are mentors of the present day MEK commandos and the close friends of the MEK’s American allies represented in Rudy Guilianni.
And so it is, geo-politics corrupts the human spirit and kills the little people in a slow agony, mere pawns in a dirty game played out over decades by the power corrupt.
In the cynicism that makes up western democracies geopolitics, it would appear the MeK had since been removed from the USA’s list of terror organizations for the reason MeK had agreed [blackmailed, most likely] to serve as state sponsored assassins in Iran on behalf of Israel and Israel’s neo-conservative and neo-liberal American sponsors.