Russian institute: US main supporter of extremist groups in region

Director General of the Institute for Foreign Policy Research and Initiatives in Moscow Veronika ‎Krasheninnikova criticized the United States' open and rude support for extremist groups in the ‎region, including the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, ‎NCR and PMOI).‎

Krasheninnikova said that, unsatisfied in "crippling" Iran with sanctions, the US looks to be set for ‎active operations in Iran, and already has a terrorist organization in mind: a group called Mojahedin-e ‎Khalq, which in the near future could become the Persian equivalent of the so-called Free Syrian ‎Army.‎

She went on to say, on September ‎‏21‏‎, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton passed Public ‎Notice ‎‏8050‏‎, delisting the MKO from the State Department's Specially Designated Global Terrorist list, ‎effective on September ‎‏28‏‎. ‎

The director general of the institute said that MKO is an anti-Iran terrorist organization in exile that ‎advocates the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Since its inception in ‎‏1965‏‎ in Iran, the group ‎conducted assassinations of US military personnel and civilians working in Iran in the ‎‏1970‏s, jubilantly ‎supported the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran in ‎‏1979‏‎ and opposed the release of American ‎personnel, calling for their execution instead, fought against the Islamic Republic together with ‎Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-Iran War (‎‏1980-1988‏‎) and set up headquarters in Iraq at Camp ‎Ashraf.‎

She added that, in recent years, according to various sources including NBC, the MKO teamed up with ‎the Israeli secret service to kill Iranian nuclear scientists, adding NBC reported that US officials ‎confirmed that "the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct ‎involvement".‎

She said that, in ‎‏1994‏‎, the State Department sent a damning ‎‏41‏‎-page report to Congress on why the ‎MKO is a terrorist organization; that designation was enacted in ‎‏1997‏‎. The report concluded, "It is no ‎coincidence that the only government in the world that supports the MKO politically and financially is ‎the totalitarian regime of Saddam Hussein." ‎

The report said that, the MKO's mission to overthrow Iran's leadership has not changed since, but the ‎US agenda has, in a vertiginous about-face, Washington became the powerful protector of the MKO.‎

She said that, over the past few years, a formidable fundraising operation and campaign to delist MKO ‎from the Specially Designated Global Terrorist register was carried out by the US. ‎

Krasheninnikova added that, when speaking about terrorist groups, one might think of MKO as a ‎ragtag bunch of cutthroats in shreds and tatters, confined to an unsanitary tent city, but the truth is ‎nothing of the sort. ‎

She said that, well-versed in American political mores, the MKO's leadership says the group is "pro-‎democracy". However, even the New York Times disagrees, in the middle of the ‎‏2011‏‎ delisting ‎campaign; it described MKO as "a repressive cult despised by most Iranians and Iraqis".‎

The director general of the institute went on to say that, totalitarian cult is indeed the most frequent ‎label applied to the MKO by people who come in contact with the group, adding that American ‎support for MKO is not limited to military protection, for instance, Seymour Hersh, in his New Yorker ‎piece "Our Men in Iran?" revealed that beginning in ‎‏2005‏‎, MKO fighters were trained in Nevada by the ‎Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). ‎

She said that as General Shelton said at a conference in February ‎‏2011‏‎, "When you look at what the ‎MKO stands for, when they are antinuclear, separation of church and state, individual rights, MKO is ‎obviously in the way that the US wants Iran to go. … By placing the MKO on the FTO (Foreign Terrorist ‎Organizations) list, we have weakened the support of the best organized anti-Iran group."‎

She added, in an interview with Germany's WDR TV back in ‎‏2005‏‎, ex-CIA operative Ray McGovern ‎explained the logic, "Why the US cooperates with organizations like the MKO, I think, is because that ‎they are local, and because they are ready to work for us."‎

McGovern said that, "Previously, we considered them a terrorist organization, and they exactly are, ‎but they are now our terrorists and we now don't hesitate to send them into Iran …. for the usual ‎secret service activities including attacking sensors, in order to supervise the Iranian nuclear program, ‎mark targets for air attacks, and perhaps establishing secret camps to control the military locations in ‎Iran."‎

Krasheninnikova explained that, Karen Kwiatkowski, formerly with the Department of Defense, makes ‎a long story short for WDR TV, "MKO is ready to do things over which we would be ashamed, and over ‎which we try to keep silent. But for such tasks we'll use them."‎

Director General of the Institute for Foreign Policy Research and Initiatives concluded that, now is the ‎time for Russia and the world community to take active political measures preventing the United ‎States from launching another proxy war in the Middle East. This time, unlike in Syria, the world should ‎not ignore the march to war, and must take steps to prevent it from happening again.‎

The MKO, founded in the ‎‏1960‏s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the ‎overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in ‎‏1979‏‎. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted ‎attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.‎

The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control ‎of the newly established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran's new leaders in the early years after ‎the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad ‎Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks ‎by MKO members in ‎‏1981‏‎.‎

The group fled to Iraq in ‎‏1986‏‎, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the ‎Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.‎

The terrorist group joined Saddam's army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (‎‏1980-1988‏‎) and ‎helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi ‎imposed war on Iran.‎

Since the ‎‏2003‏‎ US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, ‎has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who argued for the MKO to be ‎taken off the US terror list.‎

The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in early September, one week ‎after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent the US Congress a classified communication about the ‎move. The decision made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enabled the group to have its assets ‎under US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with American entities, the State Department said in a ‎statement at the time.‎‎‏9107117472