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Saudi Arabia sponsor of MKO terrorists

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
MKO sponsored by KSA (Composite image: PressTV)

The People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran, known better by its acronym the MKO, is a terrorist group responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iranian civilians. Over the past four decades, the group has been committed to overthrowing the Islamic Republic of Iran through every possible means.

The notorious group sided with Saddam Hussein during Iraq’s war with Iran in the 1980s but fell out of favor with Baghdad after he was toppled by a US led invasion in 2003.

Since then, the group has desperately been looking for a new rich godfather for survival.

Over the last few years, the terrorist group has developed close relations with the deep-pocket Saudis.

The two sides have done little to hide their ties. Quite the contrary, every now and then they seek to flaunt their romance, in one way or another.   

Saudi Support for Terrorists

The MKO's annual rallies often feature pro-Saudi speakers and sometimes even Saudi officials.

For instance, Turki al-Faisal, a Saudi prince, former intelligence chief and key diplomat addressed the group's rallies in Paris in 2016 and 2017, prompting accusations from Tehran that Riyadh supports terrorism.

It is totally outrageous that countries that claim to be supporters of democracy would permit a Rajavi cult of communist weirdos to operate inside their borders; it simply tells you that the voters in those countries really don't know what's happening in their own countries.

And they don't understand the extent of the corruption going on by political leaders. All you have to do is watch the annual meetings which are broadcast online by the MEK and you can see which of these prominent leaders show up and speak at these meetings.

Professor Paul Sheldon Foote, California State University

Al-Faisal first appeared a few months after the 2015 Mina Stampede in which thousands of Iranian pilgrims lost their lives as a result of what critics described as deliberate negligence by the Saudi authorities.

As the relations between Tehran and Riyadh soured, the MKO and the Saudis got closer to each other.

Salman al-Ansari, president of the Saudi American Public Relations Affairs Committee, a pro-Riyadh lobby group in Washington, also spoke at the MKO conference in Albania on 13 July, 2019.

He was repeatedly interrupted by cheers from the group's supporters as he bashed Iran in both Arabic and Farsi.

In 2016, MKO members were relocated from their Camp Ashraf in Iraq’s Diyala Province to Albania where they resided at a 43 hectares property.

Their camp in Albania has extensive communication equipment and radars, reportedly funded by Saudi petrodollars.

According to Ervand Abrahamian, a history professor at the City University of New York, “The money definitely comes from Saudis. There is no one else who could be subsidizing them with this level of finance."

The MKO had wanted power so badly that it is going to permit Saudi Arabia to steal the oil wealth of the Iranian people. And so that makes for a good partnership.

Professor Paul Sheldon Foote, California State University

 In an article published in 2018,  “Al Bawaba” revealed  that three tons of gold ingots and four suitcases of Rolex watches were given to the MKO by the Saudis when the group was still in Iraq.

Gold and other valuable commodities 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.

The Saudis have in fact been supporting the MKO since Saddam Hussein's war against Iran, as the group provided the Iraqi dictator with intelligence and military support.

Terrorist organizations need large sums of money to operate. Saudi Arabia is capable of spending these large sums and making it difficult to trace, which is much harder for the leaders in European and North American countries to do.

And so, one realizes it’s not just Saudi Arabia and the MKO; the corrupt leaders of a very large number of European and North American countries have provided headquarters, telephones, security services, television stations, you name it, all kinds of support has been provided in many countries.

Professor Paul Sheldon Foote, California State University

In the words of Massoud Khodabandeh, a former high-ranking MKO element, "Through the Saudi-linked businessmen in Amman, the MKO bought large fleets of Toyota semi-military vehicles and many other logistical needs.” He added "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."

Saudi Arabia, finds the NKO useful because it is a terrorist organisation. It is able and willing to go inside Iran to conduct terrorist activities; Its members are Iranians and speak Persian. So they blend right in making it a lot easier for them to become terrorists inside Iran than for non Iranians. The MKO has a long history of killing thousands of Iranians and destroying Iranian property.

Professor Paul Sheldon Foote, California State University

The long-standing animosity the MKO has had toward the Islamic Republic has made the terrorist group an ideal tool in the hands of the Saudis to use them when the occasion arises.

The MKO has assassinated more than 12,000 Iranian citizens including senior leaders of the Islamic republic.

I think it's important for everyone to notice that Saudi Arabia did not provide military camps and equipment for the MKO inside Saudi Arabia.

They didn't have to.

There is no shortage of corrupt political leaders in countries around Europe and North America who are quite willing to help the MKO such as Iraq, France, The United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, Albania and America, just to name a few.

Professor Paul Sheldon Foote, California State University

A mercenary group at the Saudis' beck and call, the MKO has reportedly been used even in things not directly related to Iran.

Undoubtedly Riyadh had hoped Trump would remain in the White House for four more years, so it pinned its hopes on the post-election turmoil.

By some accounts, the MKO got involved in the attack on Congress at the behest of Saudi Arabia and may have been at the forefront of inciting people to enter the building.

All in all, Saudi Arabia is using these despicable terrorists to further its aims against Tehran as the kingdom has been using and sponsoring other terrorist groups across the region from Yemen to Syria.

Riyadh's overt support of the MKO has sent a signal that it prefers working with bloodthirsty terrorist groups to pursuing diplomacy as a means of settling disputes.

 


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