Iran. What do we know about the Mujahedeen-e Khalq, MEK?

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In reading OC Register Senior Editorial Writer Alan Bock’s Commentary, “Lost in the crowd,” [Sunday, June 21], it reminded me of our Cutting Edge-a talk show interview with Major General Paul E. Vallely, USA (Ret.) at the Western CPAC Conference in Oct of 2007.

The following day I spoke to “Baghdad Ablaze” co-authors Lt. General Thomas McInerney, USAF, (Ret.) and Major General Vallely about the role of the Mujahedeen- e Khalq, MUK, in this lengthy regional conflict. In their book they credit the MUK for their role in ending the Iran/Iraq war as they fought in opposition to the Khomeinists from a base inside Iraq. Ref. UN Security Council Council Resolution #598.

In our discussion they told me that Iraq was under pressure from Iran and cut off supplies to the MUK HQ in Camp Ashrof located northeast of Baghdad.  In fact “U.S. forces cracked down on the MEK (at their HQ) where about 3,400 people were disarmed, surrendering two thousand tanks, armored personnel carriers, and heavy artillery pieces.”
In chapter 3 of the book, whose headline reads entitle “Counterinsurgency, Interest Based Politics and Realignment” it states that “the counterinsurgency strategy of General David Petraeus, ‘clear-hold-build,’ is a move in the right direction, because it combines political, economic, and security measures.
In dampening the insurgency and lowering the level of sectarian violence, an interlocutor is necessary to mediate between combatants, who otherwise do not trust each other. The MUK, trusted by Sunnis and the American military, can play such a role. Reaching out tot he MEK could also help isolate Iran and send a political message to the regime’s leadership that time is not on its side because democratic change is on the table.”
The author go on to state that “the MUK also provide crucial intelligence in the past regarding Iranians infiltration and could be helpful in the future for intelligence collection along the border between Iran and Iraq, especially movements of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”
I questioned their suggestion that the MEK be removed from the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations list.
 In their book they quote from a declassified document from the “Office of Security of the U.S. Department of State titled, “Threat Assessment: Iran,” dated June 14, 1979, (which) states that when the American embassy was first attacked on 14 February 1979, it was the forces of the MEK “that came to the aid of the Americans.”
They also included the following from “Massoumeh Ebtekar, a spokesperson for the “students” who took over the embassy later joined the Iranian regime and provided an eyewitness account of the takeover. She stated that “we had completely excluded the MEK from participation in the embassy takeover.”

As we witness video footage of the election rallies in Tehran let close with one final statement from Baghdad Ablaze where they address opposition to the current regime.
“One group focuses on the largest of the opposition organizations-National Council of Resistance in Iran, which is a parliament in exile and the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq-whose disarmed fighters are located in neighboring Iraq. The assumption is that only large, well organized groups can provide the leadership necessary to bring about revolutionary change in Tehran.”

As Baghdad Ablaze was published in 2007, predating this past week’s Iranian presidential election, the verdict is still out as to whether or not the Tehran rallies will have any effect on the outcome. To hand count 30 million votes, two hours after the polls closed, is simply bogus.
We will need to stay glued to the news to see how Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and president Mahmoud Ahamadinejad will deal with the rioters.

To view our interview with Major General Vallely simply go to the archives of our web site and click on the program entitled Western CPAC Oct 2007. He is one of several guest speakers on that program, including Michael Reagan, that you can watch at “no charge” 24/7

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