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09/14/11

WikiLeaks Releases involving Mujahaddin e-Khalq (MEK)

By Staff, National Iranian American Council (NIAC)

U.S. government cables revealed by Wikileaks include numerous references to the Mujahaddin e-Khalq (MEK). Details include:

  • MEK threatens mass suicide as bargaining chip: "The group's leadership at Camp Ashraf is prepared to order residents to kill themselves to protest any arrests of Ashraf residents..."
  • Evidence of paramilitary activities: "They continue to practice small unit military tactics and maneuvers under cover of darkness."
  • Cases of forced detention at Ashraf: "The MEK was also violating human rights by holding residents at Ashraf against their will."
  • Examples of human rights abuses: "MEK defectors told stories of regular self-denunciations, intimidation, forced hysterectomies, brainwashing, and isolation from family members."
  • False public claims by MEK: "While publicly touting itself as a democratic alternative to the current regime in Tehran, the MEK's cult-like pattern of psychological and physical abuse of its members suggests otherwise."
  • Repeated instances of cult-like practices: MEK is a "cult-like organization that thrives on maintaining control of its members and those lured to Ashraf under false pretenses."
  • Analsysis of policmakers being fooled by MEK disinformation: U.S. on MEK: "The most powerful myth the MEK has been able to lodge in the minds of most supporters is that they are the democratic alternative to the current regime in Tehran...The majority of Iranians do not regard the MEK as a legitimate force for democratic change in Iran."

Below, are the relevant excerpts, including details of the 2009 reaffirmation of the MEK’s designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. All excerpts are direct quotes (emphases added):

MEK UPDATE: DEFECTOR CLAIMS MEK HAS CONTINGENCY PLAN FOR MASS SUICIDE (1/15/2009)

“A defector from Camp Ashraf, home to the Mujahedin e-Khalq (MeK) in Iraq, says the group's leadership at Camp Ashraf is prepared to order residents to kill themselves to protest any arrests of Ashraf residents”

“They claim to have turned over all their arms to U.S. forces in 2003, and their camp 60 miles from Baghdad looks more like a relatively affluent Iraqi village than a military garrison. However, until the end of 2008, residents wore military-style uniforms and flew pre-revolution Iranian flags, and U.S. forces stationed at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Grizzly on the periphery of the camp report that they continue to practice small unit military tactics and maneuvers under cover of darkness.”


Camp Ashraf in Iraq

 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF NEA FELTMAN DISCUSSES MEK (12/15/2010)

“In a meeting on December 14 with NEA A/S Feltman, the Minister of Human Rights, Wijdan Selim...expressed frustration that she was caught in the middle of the GOI-MEK struggle because many in the GOI wanted to resettle the MEK regardless of the merits, but that the MEK was also violating human rights by holding residents at Ashraf against their will.” Ashraf residents “revealed psychological and physical harm experienced at the hands of MEK”, MEK is a “cult-like organization that thrives on maintaining control of its members and those lured to Ashraf under false pretenses”, they continue to practice small unit military tactics and maneuvers under cover of darkness”,

MEK DEFECTORS ON LIFE IN ASHRAF AND RESETTLEMENT (9/18/2009)

“Many revealed psychological and physical harm experienced at the hands of the MEK and reaffirmed existing perceptions of the MEK as a cult-like organization that thrives on maintaining control of its members and those lured to Ashraf under false pretenses.”

“In explaining their motivations for leaving Ashraf, nearly all the defectors felt betrayed by the MEK and dismayed by their psychological and physical degradation at the hands of the organization. One man asked for help in retrieving his confiscated papers and other personal documents, including passport and Iranian identification documents, including passport and Iranian identification cards, from Ashraf.”

“Many of the defectors alleged psychological and physical harm at the hands of the MEK, including solitary confinement in MEK jails in Ashraf. One man in a wheelchair spoke passionately about how the MEK "crushed our personalities" and threatened to turn them over to the Saddam regime if they refused to join the organization.”

“Twenty-year resident [of Ashraf]; self-declared freedom fighter opposed to Iran's theocracy; left MEK after "their lies were revealed"; considers MEK "the most disgusting and devious organization in the world."

MEK FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION (FTO) DESIGNATION MAINTAINED (1/8/2008)

“The Secretary [Rice] found that the MEK remains (1) a foreign organization, (2) that engages in terrorist activity or terrorism, or retains the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism, as those terms are defined under relevant statutes, and (3) the terrorist activity or terrorism of the group threatens U.S. national security or the security of U.S. nationals. Further, the Secretary concluded that U.S. national security does not on its own warrant revocation. She therefore determined that the MEK’s FTO designation will be maintained. The determination was effective upon signature on January 7, 2009.”

“We do not view the MEK as a credible advocate for either democracy or human rights in Iran, given its record of terrorism and the abuse suffered by many of its the MEK,s own members. While we have serious concerns about the policies of the Iranian government, we do not condone acts of terrorism under any circumstances.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that the MEK’s advocacy, and our view that such advocacy is not credible, is not germane to the Secretary’s determination”


Masoud and
Maryam Rajavi, leaders of MEK

“(C) While publicly touting itself as a democratic alternative to the current regime in Tehran, the MEK’s cult-like pattern of psychological and physical abuse of its members suggests otherwise. Under the leadership of the husband-wife team of Maryam and Masud Rajavi, the MEK is a largely female-driven organization that promotes equal rights for women but fails to respect the basic human rights of its members, female or male. While Maryam and Massoud are married, MEK rank and file are forced to divorce and are forbidden from having normal male-female relationships or personal friendships of any kind. No children reside at Camp Ashraf. MEK defectors tell stories of regular self-denunciations, intimidation, forced hysterectomies, brainwashing, and isolation from family members.”

“The most powerful myth the MEK has been able to lodge in the minds of most supporters is that they are the democratic alternative to the current regime in Tehran. While we have serious concerns about the policies of the Iranian government, the MEK’s four-decade-long record of terrorism and cult-like repression of its members demonstrates that the MEK is not a credible advocate for democracy or human rights. Furthermore, the majority of Iranians do not regard the MEK as a legitimate force for democratic change in Iran. The Secretary’s decision to maintain the MEK’s FTO designation sends a clear signal that the U.S. Government does not condone the organization’s terrorist activity.”

PM MALIKI, CODEL LEVIN DISCUSS FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN IRAQ, AUGUST 19 BOMBINGS (12/9/2010)

“Responding to Sen. Reed\'s question about how the GOI would deal with the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), Maliki said

“We wish they would go in peace to any other state to eliminate the excuse for intervention that their presence here affords Iran." He stressed that the GOI does not want to force MEK members to return to Iran; however, he emphasized the threat the group posed and claimed an individual involved in the August 19 bombing of the Ministry of Finance was a MEK member.”

EU LIFTS MEK SANCTIONS; SECRETARIAT REQUESTS USG ASSISTANCE (1/27/2009)

“France has an active request for the EU to re-list on a strengthened domestic investigation basis and is appealing the December 4 EU court ruling. Belgium, normally an outspoken human rights advocate in these decision-making circles, has raised security concerns in support of re-listing; thus France will not stand alone despite misgivings of UK or other countries.”

“[EU Council Secretariat Director General Robert] Cooper then asserted that EU Member States actually do consider the MEK a terrorist group, but the EU still must refer to a decision by a "competent authority" to ground an EU designation of the MEK. Cooper proposed to USEU Charge that the USG request the EU to designate the MEK and relist it as a terrorist organization”

IRAN: MEK SUPPORTERS IN PLAN TO PRESS HMG, USG, ICJ ON BEHALF OF CAMP ASHRAF RESIDENTS (3/2/2009)

“As always, the positions of the MEK and its supporters are characterized by hyperbole and distortion. London Iran Watcher has not attempted to engage with MEK supporters (and still less with members), but has kept FCO briefed on current USG public guidance on Camp Ashraf. The MEK, however, remains an issue on which HMG senior levels are fatigued and jumpy, and only too glad to shelter behind the tough line the USG has maintained on the MEK (ref).”

GOI TO ASSUME REPONSIBILITY FOR CAMP ASHRAF JANUARY 1; SECURITY TRANSITION BEGINS (12/22/2008)

U.S. Baghdad embassy says:

“No Delisting of MEK

While Washington considers whether to keep the MEK organization on the U.S. FTO list, as the Embassy deals with the MEK at Camp Ashraf it is our view that for our dealings it is important that the organization remain listed. Delisting the MEK could hinder our cooperation with the GOI (which considers the MEK to be a terrorist organization) and would encourage the [Camp Ashraf residents] to continue to stall the determination of their legal status in Iraq.”

IRAN: UK GOVERNMENT APPEALS MEK DE-LISTING ORDER (12/4/2007)

“The suit had been brought by several of the MEK,s fervent sympathizers in Parliament seeking POAC's review of the MEK listing. HMG: Leopard Has Not Changed Spots”

Delisting MEK “weakens UK counter terrorism efforts”

 

Related Articles:

  • MKO Supporters Rally To Call For U.S. Delisting - Several hundred supporters of the Iranian opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, aka MEK and People's Mujahedin) gathered on August 26 in front of the State Department in Washington, D.C., to urge Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to remove the group from the United States' list of foreign terrorist organizations. -Golnaz Esfandiari, Hossein Aryan, RFE
  • Experts Warn Delisting Iranian Terror Group Would Carry Damaging Repercussions - An expert panel convened today (August 4) to discuss the potential repercussions of an pending decision by the State Department regarding the terrorist designation of the Iranian Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) organization. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to issue her decision on the group's designation imminently.
  • Joint Expert Statement on Mujahedin-e Khalq - Thirty-seven Iran experts, human rights defenders, and members of Iran's pro-democracy movement published a letter, featured today in the Financial Times, stating that the Mujahedin is not Iran's main opposition, that it threatens the democracy and human rights movement in Iran, and it should not be supported by the U.S or removed from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
  • Mujahedin Supporters Envision "Tit for Tat" Campaign Against Iran - The Iran Policy Committee, an organization dedicated to gaining U.S. support for the Mujahedin-e Khalq, organized an event on Thursday with former U.S. officials calling for the MEK to be removed from the U.S. list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. -NIAC
  • Delisting the MEK for Higher Aims - As the US Department of State is contemplating whether to remove the Iranian Islamic Mujahedin-e Khalq group (MEK) from its terrorist list, a debate is taking place among pundits with some arguing for the removal and some for the status quo. -Hooshang Amirahmadi
  • Iranian Activists Warn That MKO Delisting Would Send Negative Signal To Iranians - Iranians hardly ever agree on anything. But there's at least one thing on which most Iranians share a common view, and that is their dislike of the Iranian opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO). -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE
  • Mujahedin Machine vs. The Iranian-American Community - In the past few weeks, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) has been launching relentless attacks against the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). The immediate reason is the Iranian-American campaign spearheaded by NIAC to keep the MEK on the U.S.'s terrorist list. -Trita Parsi, Huffington Post

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