Open Letter to Mr Richard K, Armey about Mojahedin 'Information Laundering'
From Massoud Khodabandeh, November 4, 2006
Mr Richard K. Armey
1200 Nineteenth Street, NW
December 4, 2006
I would like to draw your attention to a matter concerning the Mojahedin-é Khalq Organisation (MKO) - otherwise known as People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) disguised as National Council of Resistance (based in Paris) and National Liberation Army (based in Iraq).
The weekly Persian periodical “Mojahed”, the official organ of MKO, has reported on your role as the key figure in a three day symposium held in US Congress under the title “Iran: foreign policy challenges, solutions and democratic opposition” (Mojahed, No 823, Monday, Nov 20, 2006). The article states that you delivered a 250 page report in that meeting.
You are well aware, as a former member of the House of Representatives, of the 1994 State Department report on the Mojahedin which describes it as a terrorist group. Of course the MKO leaders, the Rajavis ignored that report at the time since they were backed by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and were fully relying on him. Since the collapse of the despot they have tried to find a new ally, this time in the West, but their main obstacle has been the above mentioned report. Now they desperately need to be represented by some apparently independent establishments as an acceptable opposition group and to lend it the appearance of legitimacy in order to keep the organisation going.
As a result they are now vigorously pursuing 'information laundering' to whitewash their dirty past. As the name suggests this is identical to money laundering, which of course the organisation has also expertly undertaken. The Mojahedin has gone to a lot of effort and expense to pass-off its own version of information about itself – which of course has been part tidied up and part fabricated – to independent, well-known highly respected bodies which will then publish it as genuine, independent and reliable researched information.
That this current campaign of 'information laundering' is aimed at seducing a newly Democratic Party-led Congress is too obvious even to have to mention it.
However, what is abundantly clear is that you and your establishment have become the conduit for this campaign. Perhaps you are unaware however that once you get involved in the sort of game the Mojahedin are playing, you will hardly be able to find a way out of it.
For example, long-time apologist for the Mojahedin, Professor Raymond Tanter in an interview with Al Jazeera TV has said that "America should support the Sunnis, who have a lot in common with the Iranian opposition, against Iran". Professor Tanter, as a result of his uncritical support for the Mojahedin now appears to be advocating a return to American support for the Ba'athists with the Mojahedin as centrepiece of Iraqi opposition against Iran.
In reality the Mojahedin's campaign is both too little and too late. MKO is not, as it claims, a democratic alternative. It is neither democratic nor capable of being an alternative; as the near collapse of Camp Ashraf in Iraq amply demonstrates. You can find many victims of MKO inside and outside Iran. There are many individuals who have suffered from the activities of MKO. Human Rights Watch published a report under the title of “No Exit” last year which reveals human rights abuses inside MKO. Mr Scott Ritter begins his book under the title “Target Iran” describing the MKO and its past record.
Following is a brief list of genuine information about the Organisation's activities during the years it conducted the process of its so-called struggle against the ruling system in Iran:
- A video tape attained after the fall of Saddam Hussein clearly reveals that the MKO leaders and principally Massoud Rajavi received huge boxes of money from the Iraqi Authorities, specifically the Security Services Chief Jaleel Tahir Habush, along with assassination orders to be carried out inside Iran.
- The National Liberation Army (the military wing of MKO based in Iraq) has been financed, trained, facilitated, armed, and supplied with intelligence and ammunition by the Iraqi Army to counter the Iranian Army throughout the war between the two countries.
- Many ex-members of the NLA have given full witness statements as to how the Organisation’s military forces entered the internal conflicts in Iraq, particularly suppressing the Kurds in the north and the Shiites in the south in 1991.
- According to many members of the Organisation arrested inside Iran, they have been trained, facilitated and helped cross the border by the Iraqi armed forces and security services to carry out assassinations and terrorist activities inside major cities in Iran.
- Many defected members have also stated that their discontented associates have been jailed, abused of their basic rights, tortured, and finally handed over to the Iraqi officials to be locked up in Abu-Ghraib prison under Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.
- It is worth considering that apart from being in various international terrorist lists; and being hated by the vast majority of the Iranian people for their cooperation with the enemy during the war; no government has ever supported the Organisation in any form except for the Iraqi Regime under Saddam Hussein. Of course the Organisation has managed to gain the signatures of many members of parliaments in Western countries on its petitions due to their lack of knowledge of the terrorist nature and terrorist activities of MKO.
- According to many undeniable documents, the money collected in US and in Europe by the so-called charity and humanitarian institutes have been sent to Iraq (after its track has been lost by money laundry) to be used for the NLA on arms and ammunitions.
- According to the DST press releases and statements as well as the French authorities’ press conferences referring to the materials found inside the Organisation’s Paris HQ, the two bases in France and Iraq have been closely and continuously linked using highly sophisticated devices.
- The documents clearly show that there is no distinction between different establishments of the Organisation and they are all run under the close leadership of the Rajavis.
- It is also clear that all activities in Western Europe and North America, including the political, publicity, and financial performance of the Organisation have been directly guided from Iraq.
- On many occasions the members of the Organisation have clearly and directly been told that the money which they collected in Western Countries for 'the cause of homeless and orphaned children' has instead been destined to be used for arms and other expenditures of the Organisation.
- The Organisation has many institutions that do not reveal their nature or their dependence on the PMOI (MKO), but which are all directed and instructed for their activities directly by Maryam Rajavi.
- In particular, it should be noted that the MKO (PMOI), the NCR, and the NLA are alias establishments and could not and should not be dealt with separately. They all have terrorist nature which is well theorised and justified for the participants.
- The self-appointed, charismatic, life leadership has unlimited power over decision making in every aspect of the Organisational affairs including the most personal matters concerning the members.
- The internal structure of the Organisation is based on absolute totalitarianism. The spiritual leadership (Rajavi) is positioned high above everyone, and cannot be criticised by anyone under any circumstances.
- The process of brainwashing, psychological coercion, and thought reform has widely been practiced inside the Organisation under the direct supervision of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. A range of very sophisticated physiological and psychological persuasive techniques have been used to engage the followers in conspiracy and fraud as well as the most bizarre acts such as self-immolation.
- Many people have been harmed and their rights have been abused by the Organisation. Small children have been separated from their parents, families have been torn apart, and the possessions of the followers have been taken away. There are many psychological casualties still under treatment as the result of abuses inside the Organisations.
- The intimidation and harassment of critics inside (as well as outside) the Organisation has become a common habit to silence those who might expose these facts. Defectors in particular have been continuously subject to threats and personality destruction campaigns.
- Maryam Rajavi became the co-leader of the Mojahedin-é Khalq Organisation (MKO), alongside Massoud Rajavi, in 1985 and was announced the chairperson of MKO in 1989. She was appointed as Iran’s future President by the NCR on 1993 before she left Iraq for France. She returned back to Iraq again on 1995. Since the formation of the NLA in Iraq on 1986, Maryam Rajavi has been Second-in-Command of the Army after her husband Massoud Rajavi, and has personally directed many military operations against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war - though neither of the Rajavis have the military knowledge or training to qualify them for such a role.
Bearing in mind the above mentioned facts which were pointed out very briefly, it is now worth asking where one should stand on this case. Today, even the most rigorous opposition to the religious dictatorship of the Islamic Republic of Iran does not approve the methods and manners imposed by the MKO. The Iranian opposition as a whole truly believes that the Organisation’s so-called struggle has severely damaged their efforts to restore democracy and freedom in Iran.
The truth is that many offences have been committed behind the legal presence of the MKO in western countries. These could have been prevented if this case had been dealt with sooner when many defectors, who have been under enormous physical and psychological pressure from the Organisation, had warned the western authorities about the subject. Many have been harmed and suffered from the Organisation’s acts all through the world. The victims can be found everywhere both inside and outside Iran. And the international community certainly bears responsibility for this.
The Organisation claims that all its assassinations and sabotage activities had taken place inside Iran during their armed struggle against the Islamic Republic of Iran. In this way they aim to discard the terrorist charges. They argue that they have never used arms inside western countries where they have been proscribed as a terrorist group. But in reality the MKO is surely a terrorist Organisation by nature, and they do believe in using violence for their political purposes. According to their beliefs the end justifies the means. So they have no limitation, as they have shown through the years, toward committing any sort of crime to reach their goals. It should also be considered that the mastermind of the Organisation has always been situated either in Iraq or in Paris and all the terrorist activities inside Iran have been directed from these two places over the past two decades.
A great deal has been said about the crimes of the MKO and its related institutes. Now it is time for a small amount of action to be taken to show that the Western authorities have taken the matter seriously. Any person who was assassinated inside Iran, any combatant who was self-eliminated by pulling the trigger of a hand grenade or taking a cyanide pill, or any youngster who committed self-immolation are all similar victims of a notorious cultic Organisation led directly by the leadership which was based in Iraq and has now moved to France. The world’s public opinion, the many victims of the Organisation, and the Iranian Opposition want to see that this situation is dealt with justly. They want to see an end to what has been going on for years now. They are certainly extremely concerned to imagine that the MKO's infamous crimes might be whitewashed away by misinformed but otherwise respectable people.
I find it my duty and responsibility to remind you of the nature and deeds of MKO in the past and at the present time. Below I refer to a few books and reports that offer a variety of well-documented, well-researched information and witness accounts concerning the Mojahedin Organisation.
With kind regards and many thanks for your kind attention to this matter,