U.S. now overtly supports MKO’s terrorist ops

In order to delve on the removal of MKO’s name from the list of foreign terrorist organizations by the ‎U.S. Department of State and its underlying reasons, Iran Review conducted an interview with ‎American journalist and researcher Tony Cartalucci.‎

In a flagrant show of hostility toward the Iranian nation and a clear exercise of double standards in ‎dealing with international terrorism, the U.S. Department of State has removed the name of ‎Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) from its list of foreign terrorist organizations. MKO which was ‎established on September ‎‏5‏‎, ‎‏1965‏‎ is a terrorist cult which assisted Saddam Hussein in the ‎‏1980‏s war ‎with Iran and killed more than ‎‏40,000‏‎ innocent Iranian civilians. It’s also responsible for the ‎assassination of several high-ranking Iranian officials in the first years of Islamic Revolution and also ‎‏5‏‎ ‎Iranian nuclear scientists since ‎‏2010‏‎.‎

The U.S. government claimed that MKO has not been involved in any terrorist operation in the past ‎‏10‏‎ ‎years and thus its designation as a foreign terrorist organization should be revoked. This hostile ‎decision by the U.S. government is obviously an attempt aimed at putting more pressure on Iran over ‎its nuclear program with the final objective of persuading Iran to make political concessions. However, ‎the high-ranking MKO officials have constantly declared that their final objective is a regime change in ‎Iran. The Council of the European Union had removed the name of MKO from the EU’s list of terrorist ‎organizations in ‎‏2009‏‎.‎

In order to delve on the removal of MKO’s name from the list of foreign terrorist organizations by the ‎U.S. Department of State and its underlying reasons, Iran Review conducted an interview with ‎American journalist and researcher Tony Cartalucci.‎

Tony Cartalucci, is an independent geopolitical researcher based in Bangkok, Thailand. He maintains ‎the Land Destroyer Report blog and is regularly republished across the alternative media. His work has ‎also appeared translated in newspapers from Europe and the Middle East, to Asia and South America. ‎He is currently co-authoring a book with geopolitical analyst and photographer Nile Bowie, titled, ‎‎“Subverting Syria” available through Progressive Press.‎

Cartalucci is one of the informed American sources about the underground activities of the MKO and ‎has written an elaborate article in this regard for the Global Research. What follows is the text of Iran ‎Review’s interview with Tony Cartalucci which was conducted a few days after the U.S. delisted MKO ‎and provoked anger and astonishment across Iran.‎

Q: Dear Tony; please tell us about the proofs and evidence which are available and attest that the ‎United States and Israel have been funding, equipping and supporting MKO in its anti-Iran operations. ‎I think Seymour Hersh and Glenn Greenwald have extensively written in this regard. Am I right?‎

A: I am most familiar with Seymour Hersh’s reports. Seymour Hersh, citing those directly involved in ‎U.S. programs to fund, arm, provide intelligence and even training to MKO terrorists, has reported ‎extensively on the group over the years. In ‎‏2008‏‎, he published an article titled, “Preparing the ‎Battlefield,” and revealed that MKO, still on the U.S. State Department Foreign Terrorist Organization ‎‎(FTO) list at the time, was receiving “arms and intelligence, directly or indirectly from the United ‎States.” In a ‎‏2012‏‎ article Hersh published, titled, “Our Men in Iran?” he reveals that MKO terrorists ‎were actually trained inside the United States as far back as ‎‏2002‏‎.‎

Hersh’s ‎‏2012‏‎ article also reveals that MKO terrorists have been working with Israel in carrying out their ‎attacks within Iran, meaning that while Israel now attempts to convince the world that Iran poses a ‎threat to its existence, Israel itself has been violating the security of Iran for over a decade, carrying ‎out attacks that have killed Iranians and destroyed Iranian infrastructure.‎

Similar admissions have been made in articles published by the British press. One article from the Daily ‎Mail titled “Mossad Training Terrorists to Kill Iran’s Nuclear Scientists, U.S. Officials Claim,” states that ‎U.S. officials “confirmed” that Israel was behind the MKO terrorists that killed several of Iran’s nuclear ‎scientists.‎

But perhaps the most damning evidence of all, comes from U.S. policy makers themselves, particularly ‎from within the Fortune ‎‏500‏‎ funded Brookings Institution in their ‎‏2009‏‎ report, “Which Path to ‎Persia?” where they fully admit MKO is a terrorist organization. Brookings policy makers stated ‎explicitly that “undeniably, the group has conducted terrorist attacks,” yet MKO was still being ‎considered as a viable “potential U.S. proxy.” Brookings added that, “to work more closely with the ‎group (at least in an overt manner), Washington would need to remove it from the list of foreign ‎terrorist organizations.” And that is just what U.S. politicians, former U.S. military and intelligence ‎officers, and policy makers set out to do, lobby to get MKO delisted from the U.S. State Department’s ‎FTO list.‎

At one point, during the closing phases of America’s occupation of Iraq, the U.S. literally handed over ‎one of its military bases, “Camp Liberty,” to MKO. The U.S. State Department played a leading role in ‎organizing this handover, again, despite the U.S. State Department itself having the militant group ‎listed on its own foreign terrorist list.‎

There is no doubt that the United States was for over a decade, using a listed-terrorist organization as ‎an armed proxy against the nation of Iran as part of a wider strategy to destabilize, manipulate, and ‎terrorize its population. This was all done in direct violation of U.S. and international anti-terror laws ‎and understandings. Now that MKO is delisted, we can only expect this support and MKO operations ‎to expand.‎

Q: What’s your assessment of the U.S. Department of State taking MKO off the list of foreign terrorist ‎organizations? Will this decision help the MKO militants to foster and promote their terrorist ‎operations across Iran and further their plans of destabilizing Iran under the guise of a civilian, peaceful ‎organization?‎

A: The sole purpose of the U.S. State Department delisting MKO was not because the organization has ‎‎“reformed” itself in any way or abandoned its terroristic posture, but specifically for the U.S. to foster ‎and promote their terrorist operations across Iran in a more overt manner, just as was prescribed by ‎Brookings policy makers. It was the fulfillment of just one of many long-planned steps toward further ‎destabilizing Iran.‎

That it occurred during the presidential administration of Barack Obama is important – it illustrates that ‎the West’s agenda is singular and continuous, independent of elections and the alleged political ‎ideologies of sitting presidents. What began as part of the Bush “War on Terror” was carried out to ‎completion under Obama, with the explicit support of his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. That policy ‎seems to manifest itself first in corporate-financier funded think tanks like Brookings before being ‎rubber stamped by politicians and sold to the public by the media, gives us a clearer picture of the ‎West’s true power structure and helps us understand better what that true power structure has in ‎store for Iran in the future.‎

In regards to how MKO will be portrayed to the public, it is unlikely that the organization will exist ‎under the guise of a “civilian, peaceful organization,” but rather will continue a more covert campaign ‎of violence and subversion inside Iran and along its peripheries. The West, because MKO is now ‎delisted, can simply be more liberal in regards to funding and arming it, but will do so still very much ‎out of the view of an easily distracted American public.‎

If and when the West succeeds at triggering wide scale unrest and/or violence within Iran itself, MKO ‎may be introduced as an armed “pro-democracy” movement just as terrorists operating in Syria have ‎been by the West. MKO’s Paris-based political wing will then be merged into a Western stable of ‎‎“transitional leaders,” just as has been set up during the Western destabilization of Libya and Syria.‎

Q: It was on the reports that MKO had invested a great amount of money in lobbying efforts to ‎convince the U.S. government to remove its name from the list of terrorist organizations. Many high-‎ranking U.S. officials, including the governors of different states, Congressmen and former CIA officials ‎had also supported their bid. Would you please explain more about this?‎

A: I believe the story of the MKO paying out large amounts of cash to U.S. politicians, former military ‎officers, and lobbyists was an attempt to conceal what is in reality a decades-long conspiracy to use the ‎group as an armed proxy against Iran. By portraying MKO’s American lobbyists as merely financially ‎motivated, the true nature of their duplicity and betrayal to the American people, as well as their true ‎motives, have been obfuscated. Of course, it is the United States that is funding MKO in the first place. ‎Are we then expected to believe they are taking this money and sending it right back to America to ‎lobby for their delisting? Of course not, it was a combination of theater and formalities to preserve in ‎the eyes of stakeholders in the West’s international order, a semblance of “rule of law.”‎

What many may not know about MKO’s American lobbyists is that many of these men have been the ‎most vocal proponents of the “War on Terror.” This includes former New York City Mayor Rudy ‎Guiliani, former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Howard Dean, Ed Rendell, former FBI ‎director Louis Freeh, retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, Lee Hamilton who in fact chaired the ‎‏9/11‏‎ Commission, and finally, former U.S. Marine Corps Commandant and former-National Security ‎Adviser to President Obama, General James Jones.‎

It is difficult to fathom why these men, who have built their political careers on decrying terrorism, ‎would come out to support MKO, especially Generals Clark and Jones, when considering MKO has ‎killed U.S. citizens, including ‎‏3‏‎ high ranking U.S. military officers. MKO had also attempted to kidnap a ‎U.S. ambassador and attempted to assassinate a U.S. Air Force brigadier general.‎

While one might claim MKO has reformed their ways, even Brookings policy makers seeking to further ‎utilize the organization recognized that they are undoubtedly still involved in terrorism. Such overt, ‎reckless abandonment of even the semblance of “rule of law,” with the U.S. State Department, ‎former civilian and military leaders all brazenly violating their own nation’s laws while simultaneously ‎charged with upholding them, threatens to plunge the entire nation into a crisis of credibility – one ‎that seems to already be having a negative, impeding effect on Western foreign and domestic policy.‎

Despite America’s attempt at window dressing, with the lobbying and the official “delisting” of MKO, ‎what we have left is still an alleged “Western democracy” funding, arming, and encouraging a terrorist ‎organization.‎

Q: The U.S. Department of State claimed that the Mujahedin-e-Khalq have not been involved in ‎terrorist operations during the past ‎‏10‏‎ years. Is this true? Many Iranians firmly believe that the hands ‎of MKO are stained with the blood of five Iranian nuclear scientists in the past two years. Why has the ‎U.S. government ignored and overlooked these atrocities?‎

A: If the U.S. State Department has claimed MKO has not been involved in terrorist operations during ‎the past ‎‏10‏‎ years, it may be worth investigating the most recent definition of what the U.S. ‎government claims “terrorist operations” are.‎

For example, the US State Department’s criteria for listing a group as a terrorist organization now ‎states that the organization must, among other things, threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the ‎national security of the United States. In the past ‎‏10‏‎ years, MKO does not appear to have attacked any ‎U.S. targets, though, according to the U.S. government’s own definition of what constitutes terrorist ‎activity, MKO is still most certainly engaged in terrorist operations against other nations. Again, U.S. ‎policy makers themselves not only concede this fact, but seek to delist MKO specifically so it can ‎expand its terrorist operations. U.S. officials have openly admitted that MKO, and indeed, even Israel, ‎were both behind the assassinations of Iran’s scientists.‎

Clearly U.S. policy is underpinned by law written entirely for convenience, free of any enduring, ‎objective principle of justice. These laws betray absolutely the spirit in which the vast majority of ‎Americans believe they were written in when they were first passed. This convenient legal ‎circumvention of America’s principles says a lot about the current state of so-called Western ‎‎“democracy” we are meant to believe is a morally superior standard to which the entire world must be ‎held.‎

Q: Doesn’t the decision made by the U.S. government show some kind of a duplicitous and hypocritical ‎approach toward the issue of terrorism? After all, there’s credible evidence showing that MKO has ‎been involved in several assassination attempts and other violent actions. How does Washington ‎justify this move?‎

A: Washington, for the time being is not really trying to justify this move, but on the most superficial ‎level, at least publicly. Privately, the corporate-financier interests that dictate Washington’s policy ‎have long since justified it as a simple matter of utility and “might makes right.” In other words, in ‎regards to Washington, it is not a topic that will receive much public exposure across the Western ‎media, and it will not be discussed often by Washington’s politicians.‎

MKO’s activity will remain more or less clandestine in nature – because despite the delisting, they still ‎fully intend to carry out blatant acts of terrorism against Iran – acts that regardless of their legal status ‎in the U.S. won’t and can’t be publicized. A similar regiment of selective reporting can be seen at work ‎with the West’s destabilization of Syria, and with the various terrorist organizations it is supporting ‎there.‎

Even if the West succeeds at triggering widespread violence and destabilization across Iran, whatever ‎MKO is rolled into, perhaps the “Free Iranian Army,” its terroristic history, the American blood staining ‎its hands, and its atrocities against the civilian population of Iran both past and present will not be ‎discussed by the Western media.‎

A similar campaign of perception management surrounded Libyan terrorists NATO had funded, armed, ‎trained, and even provided air support for during the Western orchestrated overthrow of the Libyan ‎government in ‎‏2011‏‎. We were told that these were “pro-democracy” “freedom fighters,” when in ‎reality they were the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), not only a listed U.S. foreign terrorist ‎organization, but listed by the UK as a proscribed terrorist group, and as an official affiliate of Al Qaeda ‎by the United Nations itself. Rarely is LIFG mentioned in the Western media, and when it is, not many ‎details are provided for readers unaware of its history. We can expect MKO to be treated in a similar ‎fashion.‎

Q: Do you know of other cases that the U.S. government has made concessions and compromised its ‎stance with regards to terrorist groups in order to pressure a foreign country with which it has been at ‎odds? Overall, I want to know your idea about the U.S. double standards in regards to terrorism when ‎it comes to groups such as MKO.‎

A: U.S. double standards exist only in the realm of public opinion. Behind closed doors, U.S. policy ‎makers have a single standard – that of utility. The utility of a particular personality or group takes ‎precedence over all other considerations. Public perception is often an afterthought, and as described ‎previously, generally is handled by keeping the public in the dark about the true nature of America’s ‎chosen proxies.‎

U.S. support of MKO is but one of many examples of this. As mentioned before, the U.S. has provided ‎significant aid to Libya’s LIFG, which has in fact shifted many of its fighters and NATO-supplied ‎weapons into Syria to wage the West’s proxy war there against the government of President Bashar ‎al-Assad.‎

What many readers may not know is that LIFG and its various incarnations, has received, on record, ‎support from British MI‏6‏‎ and America’s CIA for over ‎‏30‏‎ years, with the violence in Libya last year, and ‎LIFG’s operations in Syria this year, being only the latest chapter in a long partnership with the West.‎

LIFG fighters were in the Afghan mountains in the ‎‏1980′‏s during the inception of the joint U.S.-Saudi ‎terror front, Al Qaeda – yet another example of American-made and subsidized terrorism.‎

Sectarian extremists operating in Lebanon against Hezbollah, terrorists in Pakistan’s Baluchistan ‎province, Jundallah, and extremists operating in Russia’s Caucasus region, are all examples of the U.S. ‎supporting terrorist organizations to target and carry out violence against nations to either exact ‎concessions or regime change.‎

It really isn’t that the West’s leadership is betraying their principles – they clearly have no such ‎principles. Instead, what we are seeing is the West attempting to dress up its agenda and methods to ‎legitimize what is clearly unacceptable behavior the West’s respective populations would otherwise ‎never tolerate.‎

Q: And finally, what should be Iran’s response to this hostile decision made by the U.S. government? ‎MKO has assassinated several high-ranking Iranian officials in the first years of Islamic Revolution, ‎including former President, Prime Minister and judiciary chief, and several nuclear scientists in the ‎recent years. Should Iran file a lawsuit against MKO in an international court?‎

A: This is a difficult but important question to answer. Iran’s government, its military and intelligence ‎networks in particular, are in the best position to know the true impact of MKO’s activities and what ‎capabilities they themselves possess with which to counter these activities. Raising public awareness ‎both at home and abroad of who the MKO is and what they are doing would be a good start.‎

It is important to warn the public, police, and security forces regarding the tactics MKO terrorists ‎employ – not only currently, but what their role will be if ever the West succeeds at triggering ‎widespread unrest across Iran. It is very likely that MKO terrorists are already prepared to ignite ‎violence at protests staged by Western-backed opposition groups. Just as the West has done against ‎Syria, initially peaceful protests are targeted by Western-affiliated and trained gunmen, operating ‎clandestinely from cover, targeting both their own protesters and security forces to ignite cascading ‎violence. The resulting escalating violence will provide cover, just as it has done in Syria, for foreign ‎militants to infiltrate and begin full-scale military operations against the government and its people.‎

Second, like any dangerous pest, it is necessary not only to simply swat at it when it draws near, but to ‎identify the source from which it was spawned, and eliminate it. In MKO’s case, it has bases inside of ‎Iraq. Working closer with Iraqi security forces to eliminate these bases would be a good start. ‎Additionally, Iran, Russia, and China have been working together to create a united front against these ‎clandestine organizations, and appropriately labeling them as terrorists. Expanding this effort and ‎working with other nations suffering from covert destabilization to develop the tools to protect ‎national sovereignty is also very important.‎

Currently, the greatest advantage the West has is a general state of global ignorance regarding the ‎mechanics of covert destabilization and regime change, namely the use of foreign-funded NGOs, ‎terror organizations, and foreign-backed opposition groups to strip away national sovereignty. A ‎united front determined to raise awareness of these mechanics, while developing the operational ‎capacity to counter them would steal from the West the cloak of secrecy and impunity they have ‎operated behind for so long.‎

Finally, whether Iran files a lawsuit against MKO in an international court or not, depends on which ‎court is being considered. It may be worth investigating the creation of an international court that ‎exists beyond the influence of Western corporate-financier interests. For example, the International ‎Criminal Court has been exposed many times as but a tool for executing Western foreign policy. To ‎approach the ICC for any reason but to condemn its lack of integrity and legitimacy, only serves to ‎perpetuate its existence and standings amongst global public opinion.‎