An ex-member of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) has shed light on Saudi Arabia’s financial support for the anti-Iran terror group, explaining how the Riyadh regime funneled, in one instance, gold bars and other valuables worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the notorious outfit.
Massoud Khodabandeh, a former high-ranking MKO element, made the revelations in an interview with Jordanian news website al-Bawaba released on Tuesday.
He said officials of the Saudi spy agency, formerly led by Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, gave the MKO three tons of solid gold, at least four suitcases of custom Rolex watches as well as fabric covering the Ka’aba, Islam’s holiest shrine.
Khodabandeh personally oversaw the transfer.
Gold and other valuable commodities, he added, were later sold in black markets in the Jordanian capital, Amman, via Saudi-linked businessmen and the money went to offshore accounts linked to the MKO.
Khodabandeh also noted that he had himself smuggled three truckloads of gold bars from Saudi Arabia to Baghdad with the help of two Iraqi and two Saudi representatives.
Each truck held about a ton of gold, “making the shipment’s contemporary worth almost $200 million.”
“After a few days I arranged for it to go to Amman to be sold,” he said. “We knew a few businessmen who could do this for us and move the money to offshore accounts.”
The ex-MKO member further unveiled that some of the money the organization received from its dealings was allocated to the purchase of military vehicles.
Through the Saudi-linked businessmen in Amman, he said, the MKO “bought large fleets of Toyota semi-military vehicles and many other logistical needs.”
Khodabandeh also stressed that in addition to regular payments from former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the MKO also received sums from Iraqi oil exports to Britain.
He explained that after the fall of Saddam, Prince Turki became the terror outfit's main supporter.
“I would say that after the fall of Saddam, the MKO which was then being run by Massoud [Rajavi] under the patronage of Saddam, changed to the organization run by Maryam [Rajavi] under the patronage of Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud,” he said.
The MKO is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community. Its members fled Iran in 1986 for Iraq, where it enjoyed Saddam's backing.
The MKO has carried out numerous attacks against Iranian civilians and government officials over the past three decades.
Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist assaults since the victory of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 have fallen victim to MKO’s acts of terror.
In 2012, the US State Department removed the MKO from its list of designated terrorist organizations.
A few years ago, MKO members were relocated from their Camp Ashraf in Iraq’s Diyala Province to Camp Hurriyet (Camp Liberty), a former US military base in Baghdad, and later sent to Albania.
Elsewhere, the al-Bawaba report said that the US had paid $20 million to the UN Refugee Agency to transfer thousands of MKO terrorists from Iraq to Albania, and had even given Tirana funds to build a military-style facility for the group.