Last week, the United States charged American-Iranian Mansour Arbabsiar, a used car salesman, for his role in an alleged plot to murder Ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir and attack Saudi installations in the U.S. in a plan reportedly plotted earlier this year. According to the Justice Department, Arbabsiar conspired with Gholam Shakuri, a member of Iran’s Qods Force — an arm of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Iran immediately denied the accusations, with the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast declaring, “These attitudes, which are based on the age-old and hostile policies of the American-Zionist axis, are a ridiculous show in line with a scenario that aims to divide and that emanates from enemies of the region.”
A number of experts across the globe came forward and questioned the claims that the plot had been sponsored by the Iranian government. They argued that the Qods Force is far too methodical and effective in its choice of proxies to have chosen a used car salesman and member of a Mexican drug cartel. Others assert that it is unlikely that Iran would sponsor such an act of terror as it does not serve Iranian interests in any way.
Iran has now raised accusations against another party, which they claim to be responsible for hatching the plot. The British paper The Guardian reports, “Tehran has pointed the finger at a dissident group it considers a ‘sworn enemy’ in an attempt to distance itself from US accusations that the Islamic regime in Iran conspired to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington.”
According to Iran’s news agency Mehr, one of the two suspects that the United States asserted was involved in the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador is a “key member” of MEK. "The person in question has been travelling to different countries under the names of Ali Shakuri/Gholam Shakuri/Gholam-Hossein Shakuri by using fake passports, including forged Iranian passports," said Mehr.
MEK has been declared a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. Listed as number 28 on the Department’s list of terrorist organizations, MEK has been responsible for terrorism against both the United States and Iran for years.
Yet MEK was considered by the Brookings Institution as a prime candidate for U.S. backing to remove the Iranian government. A 2009 report by the Brookings Institution, entitled “Which Path to Persia?” reads:
Perhaps the most prominent (and certainly the most controversial) opposition group that has attracted attention as a potential U.S. proxy is the NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran), the political movement established by the MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq). Critics believe the group to be undemocratic and unpopular, and indeed anti-American.
In contrast, the group’s champions contend that the movement’s long-standing opposition to the Iranian regime and record of successful attacks on and intelligence-gathering operations against the regime make it worthy of U.S. support. They also argue that the group is no longer anti-American and question the merit of earlier accusations. Raymond Tanter, one of the group’s supporters in the United States, contends that the MEK and the NCRI are allies for regime change in Tehran and also act as a useful proxy for gathering intelligence. The MEK’s greatest intelligence coup was the provision of intelligence in 2002 that led to the discovery of a secret site in Iran for enriching uranium.
In the 1970s, however, MEK was responsible for the death of three American officers and three civilian contractors in Iran. The group also voiced significant support for Iran’s taking of hostages during the Iranian hostage crisis, and some reports indicate that members of the group celebrated the 9/11 attacks, though the organization publicly condemned the attacks.
MEK has conducted a number of other terrorist attacks as well, but most have been excused because they were directed against the Iranian government. In 1981, MEK bombed the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party, killing approximately 70 officials. The organization has also taken credit for dozens of Iranian civilian and military attacks between the years 1998 and 2001.
Still, the United States has reportedly supported the organization. In a 2008 New Yorker article entitled “Preparing the Battlefield,” Seymour Hersh revealed,
“The M.E.K. has been on the State Department’s terrorist list for more than a decade, yet in recent years the group has received arms and intelligence, directly or indirectly, from the United States. Some of the newly authorized covert funds, the Pentagon consultant told me, may well end up in M.E.K. coffers. “The new task force will work with the M.E.K. The Administration is desperate for results.” He added, “The M.E.K. has no C.P.A. auditing the books, and its leaders are thought to have been lining their pockets for years. If people only knew what the M.E.K. is getting, and how much is going to its bank accounts — and yet it is almost useless for the purposes the Administration intends.”
Hersh also appeared on National Public Radio and indicated that the United States had trained a number of MEK members.
There has been an effort in the United States to remove MEK from the list of terrorist organizations, presumably so that the federal government could provide even more funding to the group.
For some, information such as this is enough to convince them that the entire war on terror is fraudulent and should be approached with skepticism. One popular blog wrote of the war on terror:
From the beginning, even for those wanting to believe the fairy tale that 9/11 was carried out by cave dwellers carrying box cutters directed by Osama Bin Laden, who by all accounts was dying or already dead from kidney failure in 2001 — "unfortunate blunders" in US foreign policy can still be blamed for the creation and perpetuation of the ubiquitous, unceasing terror organization known as Al Qaeda. However, in light of recent events in Libya, Syria, Iran, and Algeria, there is exposed a truth, many have known for over 10 years, and many more are catching onto now — that the "War on Terror" is an absolute fraud, started, fueled and simultaneously fought against by the same handful of corporate-financier interests for the sole purpose of spreading Wall Street and London's hegemony across the globe.
According to Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it is this type of fraud that has led the U.S. government to accuse Iran of the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador. Comparing it to assertions that Iraq maintained weapons of mass destruction, Ahmadinejad said that the U.S. simply “fabricated a bunch of papers” to support its claims at the time. “Is that a difficult thing to do?” he asked.