Autopsy of an ideological drift (29)

The Terrorist NCRI

In the beginning of March 2003, the news hit the PMOI like a bombshell. Its legal front had suffered a terrible blow. The news spread through the press agencies:

“The Unites States has outlawed the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCR!), political front of the People’s Mojahedin, the State Department announced. The main armed opposition movement to the Iranian regime had its assets frozen.

The decision was published in the American ‘official journal’, the Federal Register, and puts the NCRI on the Black List of terrorist organisations. The representational offices of the organisation in the United States and around the world are targets of this decree, signed by Secretary of State Cohn Powell.

The People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran, the main element of the NCRI, was already placed on the official American list of terrorist organisations by the Democratic Administration of Bill Clinton.

The NCRI kept its offices in Washington at that time, situated just a few blocks from the White I-louse. It also had offices in several major American cities where it organised frequent press conferences to denounce the Iranian Government.

Since Friday morning, Federal agents closed their Washington offices and placed notices on the doors stating that the movement was banned.

No one was in the offices at the time of their intervention; it is now illegal to be a member of this group in the United States. In the past, the United States used intelligence from this NCRI to justify their

Concerns about the existence of Iran’s secret nuclear programme...

In recent years, the Iranian Mojahedin have focused their armed actions on Iran. They have claimed responsibility for assassinations of several key figures in the regime: the former Director of Evin Prison, Assadollah Ladjevari (August 1998), and the former Army Commander during the Iraq War, General Ali Sayad Shirazi (April 1999)”.

Money, the Muscle of Warfare

One of the big unknowns remains the PMOI’s financing. Must we believe Maryam Rajavi when she flatly claims that the money all comes from fundraising among the Mojahedin and their supporters? This was notably the case in explaining the millions of dollars uncovered during “Operation Théo”. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The PMOI has a lot more at its disposal:

“... Maryam Rajavi rejoiced Thursday when she was freed thanks to the payment of 80,000 euros fixed by the Paris Court of Appeals. The bail was paid as of Thursday morning at the Paris Appeals Court’s administrative offices. Maryam Rajavi has been jailed since 21 June...

As to the 8 million dollars (7 million euros) found in the different homes of Iranian opposition members in Auvers-sur-Oise, Mrs Rajavi insisted that these funds belonged to the Iranian resistance: ‘Not a euro, not a dollar comes from any government or any country,’ she guaranteed, ‘Even if I am not informed of the details, I am sure that the movement can account to the judicial system for each cent’.

This statement is in serious contradiction with the police investigators who all note that large amounts of PMOI money circulate around the world through “dirty” networks:

“It is now up to the policemen of the DSR and the Central Office for the Repression of Major Financial Crime to untangle the threads of cash that came in directly from Iraq. Deposits in Yemen interest them especially.

This is not the first time that a country of the Arabian Peninsula has shown up in the investigation of the PMOI’s finances. On 27 February 2001, after four years of FBI investigation, seven individuals of Iranian origin were arrested in California. They are suspected of having collected more than a million dollars through a ‘Committee for Human Rights in Iran’. A large amount of this money ended up in Turkish accounts controlled by the PMOI, according to the FBI. More than $ 400,000 may have been used to buy arms in the United Arab Emirates. The investigation, never followed up, was begun after a message was received by the FBI office in Bonn reporting that the German Criminal Police were looking into the transfer of money into Germany from Mojahedin based in the United States”.

Autopsy of an ideological drift (28)