US Funds Militant Anti-Mullah Organization In Iran

May 14, 2006

From Raw Story:

 … terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) is being used on the ground in Iran by the Pentegon, bypassing US intelligence channels. The report was subsequently covered by the Asia Times (Article).

Military and intelligence sources now say no Presidential finding exists on MEK ops. Without a presidential finding, the operation circumvents the oversight of the House and Senate Intelligence committees.

Congressional aides for the relevant oversight committees would not confirm or deny allegations that no Presidential finding had been done. One Democratic aide, however, wishing to remain anonymous for this article, did say that any use of the MEK would be illegal.

In addition, sources say that a March attack that killed 22 Iranian officials in the province of Sistan va Baluchistan was carried out by the MEK.

According to a report by Iran Focus filed Mar. 23, the twenty-two people killed in the ambush included high ranking officials, including the governor of Zahedan.

"Hours after the attack took place, Ahmadi-Moqaddam announced there was evidence the assailants had held meetings with British intelligence officers," the Iranian news service reported.

"Radical Shiite cleric Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi also claimed the people behind the attack were the same as those behind a spate of bombings in Iran’s south-western province of Khuzestan earlier this year and in 2005," it added.

Military and intelligence sources say that MEK assets were responsible for this attack, but did not know if the US military was involved or if US military assets were part of the ambush.

One former high ranking US intelligence official described the use of MEK as more of a "Cambone" operation than a "Department of Defense operation."

Undersecretary of Defense Intelligence Stephen Cambone, a stalwart neo-conservative, is considered by many to be Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s right-hand man.

During a White House briefing in early May, outgoing press secretary Scott McClellan denied that the administration was using MEK, among several other terrorist organizations named, for ground activity in Iran.

"There are numerous reports about low-intensity operations ongoing in Iran from three different places — PKK going over the border into Iraq, the MEK southern border of Iraq into Iran, and also certain operations from Balochistan involving also the Pakistanis," a reporter asked. "Does the U.S. have a policy, given also reports which I know you won't comment on, on possible special forces operations in Iran?"

"Our policies haven't changed on those organizations," McClellan said. "They remain the same. And you're bringing up organizations that we view as terrorist organizations."

"We would never cooperate with them, in terms of—" the questioner continued.

"Our policy hasn't changed," McClellan replied.

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