|The anti-Iranian Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) paid immense bribes to top American politicians to gain their support for delisting the group from the US terror watch list, a New York Times report says.|
According to the NY Times report, former CIA and FBI officials as well as retired generals and well-known members of both political parties in the US were among those supporting the terror group.
The revelation comes as US State Secretary Hillary Clinton officially de-listed the MKO from its terror watch list on September 21.
The delisting comes as the group has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iranian civilians and officials.
The terror group has also been involved in the suppression of Iraqi Kurds and assisted former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Furthermore, the group had for the last 15 years been formally described by the US State Department as a "foreign terrorist organization.”
Nonetheless, conservative politicians in the US seek to portray the MKO terror group as a Democratic option for Iran’s future, the report noted.
The NY Times article reaffirms that the support of prominent American politicians for the MKO organization has undoubtedly played a role in the de-listing of the MKO organization as a terrorist group.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Michael Maloof, former Pentagon official, to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Technically speaking, the US is de-listing the MKO as an organization but what about its individuals, those who make up this organization? It seems whoever the head of the MKO exceopts as member, will not be considered as a terrorist from now on even if he is the most wanted terrorist in the world?
Maloof: Well that is correct and they are all off the hook as a consequence but even internally inside the state department there was a consternation and concern about that. The MKO still does not adhere to democratic principles and in fact they were involved very early on in killing Americans and even launched terrorist attacks in United States in years past.
Now all of that has been wiped away, all of that is going to be overlooked. It really reflects the possibility that United States and even Israel now is engaged in supporting the MKO not only in assassinating Iranian nuclear scientist but it actually places those two countries on a level of supporting terrorism as a consequence.
And I am really disturbed by it and I think the issue of de-listing them did not go without considerable internal debate within the United States government.
Press TV: If this MKO organization is expelled from Iraq, how would the members seek asylum elsewhere, politically speaking?
Maloof: Well that is going to be a good question. I am sure they are going to come under the protection of the United States. They will be moved to safer areas in which the US might have some jurisdiction and control.
But I think the delisting of the MKO is a very serious development and that this reflects something more serious, it reflects the possibility that United States sees the MKO as a very strong internal organization within Iran itself with the idea and with the goal of ultimately seeking regime change.
And I think that is precisely what the United States is looking for at this point not just trying to stop Iran’s nuclear program but ultimately regime change and they are going to use the MKO and its internal structure to do that and they have proven to be quite effective and the Israeli have certainly used them to get right up next to Iranian nuclear scientist and I think that this is a very serious development.
Press TV: Indeed and of course we know that the MKO has been involved in assassinating Iranians and especially Iranian scientists but just how will they operate if they are expelled from Iraq, I mean expelled from a country which is close to Iran, how will they operate from now on if they are distanced from Iran?
Maloof: Well I think they still have contacts within the country. There is a network, they have an incredible network and you actually have the spokesman for the MKO saying that now as a result of being de-listed their next step is to go and seek regime change and that implies to me at least that they have a network ready to go into effect and to do the US and Israeli bidding.
Press TV: And finally what political repercussions will this have for America despite the fact that we know that the MKO had killed American officials in the past and of course especially this very critical time, being the US elections?
Maloof: Well I think most Americans do not really follow this. They are going to follow the lead of the United States government because they really have not followed the intricacies of the MKO history but I think it shows a conflict in the overall US policy.
It is the same with us backing basically a terrorist group that remains a terrorist group because they still intend to undertake terrorist activities within Iran but at the same time it shows that United States like with Syria is backing opposition members, many of whom belong to al-Qaeda so we forget about September 11th.
And I think that this really reflects a serious conflict in overall US policy in trying to fight terrorism and joining with countries such as Iran and others who are opposed to terrorism in no matter what form.