|"The US administration uses the MKO to create security challenges and problems in Iran, and this trend has continued since many years ago," says Dr. Foad Izadi, Professor at the University of Tehran and US affairs expert.|
Iranian Diplomacy: The US has announced that it will take in a number of MKO members. What has this country's position been toward this terrorist group from the inception of the group until today?
Foad Izadi: What we had seen was that the MKO had been in alliance with Saddam's regime, and were financed by the regime in Iraq, and a base had even been created for them. Keeping this in mind, the US should have confronted them and, given that the MKO had also committed many crimes inside Iraq as well, put them to trial.
The MKO's terrorist history inside and outside of Iran makes it totally clear that, according to the opinion of Americans and based on the US State Department's terrorism list, it is definitely a terrorist group.
What happened after the invasion of Iraq was that unexpectedly the US not only did not confront the MKO, but it continued to financially support them just as Saddam had done, and thus smoothed the way for their terrorist acts.
Before the Iraq war, the Americans claimed that weapons of mass destruction could be found in Iraq and that this country supported terrorism. At that time, a reporter for NBC News asked Dick Cheney, George W. Bush's Vice President, what terrorist groups Iraq supported. Cheney was reluctant to answer this question, but after the journalist insisted, which was in itself rather interesting, he finally said that the MKO was a terrorist group that Saddam supported. But after the invasion of Iraq, Dick Cheney was himself a sponsor of the MKO.
Therefore, the US government's relations with the MKO continued and even during the period in which they were considered a terrorist group by the US, they had an office in Washington. They held conferences in Washington and many non-US citizens came to the US to attend these conferences, something that the US was completely aware of and supported because they issued visas for them. In reality, a terrorist group was easily able to get visas from the US and its members were able to enter the country. They also held meetings in Congress, and the MKO even held a ceremony for the Iranian New Year in the Capitol.
The issue of financial and arms support for the MKO did not stop with Iraq. As the American media reported, the US government trained members of the MKO in Nevada for anti-Iranian spying activities in the nuclear domain and in issues regarding the assassination of nuclear scientists, bugging and listening systems, and other ways to damage Iran. They used members of the MKO for spying and terrorist activities due to the fact that they spoke the Persian language and that they would not be recognized on the streets of Tehran because of their appearance.
This terrorist group is completely coordinated with a government that is the biggest supporter of terrorism. The recent news that the US will accept a number of MKO members is nothing new, because these individuals have been living in the US for many years now and have been active there, and this is a sign of the US' double standard. Because, if the US claims that it combats terrorism, why does it support these people? This American policy confirms the US as a supporter of terrorism. In fact, from the US perspective, there are two types of terrorists; good terrorists who work in line with the interests of the US and its allies, and bad terrorists who work against US policies.
ID: Has the election atmosphere in the US influenced the decision to accept MKO members in the country?
FI: There is a presidential election this year and a competitive atmosphere between the Republicans and the Democrats inside the US, for both of which the issue of Iran is very important. The Obama administration intends to pursue more anti-Iran policies than its rivals. Usually, in election years, the two American parties compete with each other in support of the Zionists and Iran's opponents. It should be said that, in the end, the issue of Iran is not the only issue of the election season, but an issue which has always been on the mind of politicians.
ID: Have relations between Iran and Iraq and Iran's influence in this country been the cause for this US decision?
FI: If it was not for Iran's influence in Iraq, the MKO would still have remained in this country. With all the US pressure on Iraq, they would not have been transferred. But, Iran’s influence in Iraq led to the upcoming deportation of the MKO from that country. Of course, crimes committed by this group might have helped in this cause, but it seems that this was not the only reason behind their deportation, for if this was the case, they should have left Iraq much earlier. Good relations between Iran and Iraq are the reason for this act. It should be noted that they have not completely left Camp Ashraf, and as long as American forces are present in Iraq, they will not permit all members of the MKO to be deported.
ID: Will accepting the MKO members create security problems for Iran?
FI: The US administration uses the MKO to create security challenges and problems in Iran, and this trend has continued since many years ago. It does not make any difference whether more numbers of MKO members are admitted to the US or not, for they have always enjoyed the support of the Americans. US support for the MKO has never weakened during previous years.