MKO and Western Intelligence

Due to the numerous defections from the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO/MEK/NCRI) the Rajavi cult has entered another historical decline. The first wave of defections followed the collapse of Saddam Hussein, the cult’s former military and financial sponsor. At that time, the first major strike hit the MKO as coalition forces took control of Camp Ashraf, the organization’s ideological container, located in northern Iraq. As Saddam Hussein fell, the group’s leaders immediately cooperated with coalition forces and consequently shifted their policies in order to appease forces as well as maintain their presence at Camp Ashraf.


Cooperation with the coalition forces was one of the more severe policy changes the MKO made. The MKO made a huge effort to become friendly towards the West, ultimately shifting their attitude, and hoping their cooperation would bring them respect, and prosperity. Since the shift in approach, the ringleaders of the MKO (which is considered an anti-Iran terrorist organization) have appealed to both US and Israel security firms to help them bar defectors from escaping the camp, according to Fars News Agency.


The report says that "following several successful escape plans, the MKO leaders inked an agreement with the US Blackwater security firm to block defectors; escape and tighten control over the camp."[1]


The Mujahedin's reputation and status in Iraq is as complicated as Blackwater’s. Both have committed crimes against Iraqi civilians, and eventually both are hated by Iraqi government officials and civilians alike. A RAND report on the MKO outlines that “much of the Iraqi public believe that the MEK did commit violent acts on Saddam's behalf against Shias and Kurds." [2] As for Blackwater, the BBC News reported that, “Iraq has begun collecting signatures for a class action lawsuit on behalf of people killed or wounded in incidents involving the US security firm Blackwater. It will seek compensation for a number of such cases, the office of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said. Incidents include the 2007 killing of 17 Iraqis in Baghdad's Nisoor square.” [3]


According to CNN, the Iraqi government is actively pursuing any former Blackwater personnel still working in the country. "I don’t think the Iraqi government is willing to have any Blackwater member, even if they are working in other companies, we don’t like to see them here working in any company,” said Ali al Dabbagh, Iraqi government spokesman.[4]


Neither Blackwater nor the MKO have a favorable presence in Iraq, and the relationship is unusual and puzzling for locals. As for Blackwater, in order to maintain presence, it’s just a matter of relinquishing their existence for a while and remarketing themselves under a new name. But for the MKO, that’s impossible because the ties to Iraq are deeper and cover a wider spectrum of victims in both Iran and Iran. The leaders of Camp Ashraf are supposed to be brought to trial because of their violent and unforgiveable acts as the mercenaries of the dictator, Saddam Hussein.


But meanwhile, and aside from their relationship with Blackwater, as the MKO displays full cooperation with Western intelligence agencies, it is clear that the MKO is in a desperate state. Without the protection of Saddam Hussein, they lack confidence and power, and they desperately need an umbrella to stand under. The shift in policy has made lower-ranking members uneasy and as a result many have defected and given testimony of the atrocious situation at the camp, causing a crisis for the leaders of the MKO. The Habilian Association, an Iran-based human rights group, reports that "those MKO members who succeeded in fleeing the notorious camp have disclosed that the terrorist group's ringleaders have created a gruesome atmosphere in the camp, especially for women and have even threatened the female members with rape and other forms of torture."[5]


In a more recent revelation, the MKO’s move to consort with Western intelligence agencies also includes Israeli intelligence. In June 2009 Gareth Porter a historian and journalist of IPS wrote of close ties between MKO and Israelis in order to reveal the existence of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in August 2002. Porter writes that the MKO’s intelligence “apparently came from Israeli Intelligence. The Israeli co-authors of *The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran*, Yossi Melman and Meir Javeanfar, revealed that ‘Western’ intelligence was ‘laundered’ to hide its actual provenance by providing it to Iranian opposition groups, especially NCRI, in order to get it to IAEA,” Porter concluded.[6] Scott Ritter, another reporter and Iran expert, furthers that, “much of the information behind this is being promulgated by Israel, which has a vested interest in seeing Iran neutralized as a potential threat. But Israel is joined by another source, even more puzzling in terms of its broad-based acceptance in the world of American journalism: the Mujahadeen-e Khalk, or MEK, an Iranian opposition group sworn to overthrow the theocracy in Tehran. The CIA today provides material support to the actions of the MEK inside Iran. The recent spate of explosions in Iran, including a particularly devastating ‘accident’ involving a military convoy transporting ammunition in downtown Tehran, appears to be linked to an MEK operation; its agents working inside munitions manufacturing plants deliberately are committing acts of sabotage which lead to such explosions. If CIA money and planning support are behind these actions, the agency's backing constitutes nothing less than an act of war on the part of the United States against Iran.” [7]


Flynt Leverett, of the New America Foundation asks, “Why is no journalist from a major media outlet in the United States asking why the Obama Administration drove the P-5+1 to push a new sanctions resolution against Iran, when there is such clear disarray, disagreement, and desperation in the U.S. Intelligence Community regarding Iran's nuclear program?” [8]

Clearly there needs to be more research done on the MKO, their involvement in intelligence gathering, their relationship with Israel, and their ultimate motives. Someone has to question their reliability. I propose, like Leverett, that any journalist from a major media outlet ask some pointed questions: Why is no journalist from a major media outlet asking how a terrorist organization maintains use of a powerful intelligence satellite, unless that satellite is owned and maintained by Israel or the United States? Is the information being fed to the MKO simply because no one would believe Israel?


Regarding the fact that a terrorist designated organization is not able to own an intelligence satellite, it is interesting that the MKO's recently published so-called revelations on a new Iranian nuclear site near Qazvin signifies something the US feels is worth looking into. Porter has already outlined that the MKO has links with an Israeli spying system on Iran. Maybe everyone is in the dark and the MKO simply googled-earthed it—perhaps they found some suspicious mounds of dirt that could be considered dangerous signs of a nuclear threat. Then they passed that on to the CIA. The whole deal sounds preposterous and needs to be looked into. At least Gareth Porter is on the right track.


For the record, "at the end of April, Israel launched an ImageSat international Eros-B spy satellite to keep watch on Iran's nuclear progress.


Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, the head of the Israeli space Agency recently said in an interview that the observation of Iran from space would allow Israel to monitor precisely the above ground evidence of nuclear activity even at the deeply-buried and concrete–reinforced facilities at Natanz," according to New York Times bestselling author, Jerome R. Corsi. [9]


Corsi adds that "the Israeli Eros-B spy satellite is very possibly the best optical surveillance technology any country in the world has in orbit, including US, Russia and China."[10] The report suggests that the intelligence satellites are just owned by some few powerful states, not an exiled terrorist designated organization whose members more or less rely on donations obtained by standing around at the airport soliciting a few hundred dollars a day from gullible passersby.


MKO leaders now seem to be wandering among their former enemies as puppets with an agenda; they are collecting various photographs spit from expensive satellites from who knows where, peddling them to high-ranking US warmongers in hope that they will be granted their wish of taking over the country of Iran with the backing of the West, and Israel of course—and this is all too obvious in Iran. Iranians in Iran dearly cling to a dream that Iran will sort itself out in due time—without the help of the unreliable West, and certainly without the help of the treasonous MKO. Sanctions and suffering aside, the Iranians are strong-willed, intelligent, and friendly people.

They are highly educated and curious about the world. They are acutely aware of politics on both a local and global level, and they love and want to preserve their identity as an independent and proud nation which has so much to offer the world in terms of brain power, technology, culture and natural resources.


For the MKO, in this kind of atmosphere, there is no place. A political future in Iran for them is simply impossible. No one in Iran supports them. No one is willing to buy into their constantly changing ideology. And certainly, no one is ever going to forget the treason and massacres they committed against thousands of their own people during the Iran-Iraq war while they were supported by Saddam Hussein. For Iranians, the MKO expired thirty years ago, and a revival within their own country is highly unlikely, as they are out of touch with the Iranian public’s sentiment towards the way the country has been run, and towards the opinion that the greater population has about them, especially after they took refuge in Iraq. The MKO is plainly not welcome in Iran, not trusted by Iranians, nor should they be trusted by the West. Ultimately the MKO’s relationship with Western intelligence will lead to the cult’s self destruction. And for God’s sake it’s about time.




[1]Fars News Agency, . "MKO Asks for US, Israeli Help to Stop Defection"

*Free Library by Farlex* 09.Oct 2010. Web. 3 Nov. 2010. *Farlex Inc.*.



[2] Goulka, Jeremiah, Lydia Hansell, Elizabeth Wilke, and Judith Larson.

"Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq: A Policy Conundrum." *RAND National Defence

Research Institute* (2009): Web. 3 Nov 2010.


[3] BBC NEWS." *US Blackwater lawsuit signatures sought by Iraq *. BBC, 18

Jan 2010. Web. 3 Nov 2010.


[4] "Iraq spokesman: Ex-Blackwater employees not wanted in Iraq." *CNN WORLD

03* Jan 2010: Web. 3 Nov 2010.



[5] Fars News Agency, . "MKO Asks for US, Israeli Help to Stop Defection"

*Free Library by Farlex* 09.Oct 2010. Web. 3 Nov. 2010. *Farlex Inc.*.



[6] Porter, Gareth. "Report Ties Dubious Iran Nuclear Docs to Israel." *Inter

Press Service* 3 June 2009: Web. 3 Nov 2010. .


[7] Ritter, Scott. "America Is Already Committing Acts of War Against Iran."

*Alternet* (30 Jul 2008): Web. 4 Nov 2010.



[8] Leverett, Flynt. "Desperately Seeking "Defectors" to Make a Case for an

Iran War." *New Amerrica Foundation* (19 July 2010): Web. 4 Nov 2010.


Flynt Leverett is a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, and global energy issues. From 1992 to 2003, he had a distinguished career in the U.S. government, serving as Senior Director for Middle East Affairs at the National Security Council, Middle East Expert on the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff, and Senior Analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency. He left the Bush administration and government service in the spring of 2003 because of disagreements about Middle East policy and the conduct of the war on terror more generally. He is a consultant to the World Economic Forum's “Gulf Cooperation Council and the World 2025” scenarios project and to the Club of Madrid on global energy issues. He is a peer reviewer for the International Energy Agency's *World Energy Outlook*


[9] Corsi, Jerome. "Nuclear Crisis With Iran Intensifies." *Human Events -

Leading conservative Media Since 1944* 03 May 2006: Web. 4 Nov 2010. .


[10] Ibid