Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - Not Dismantling MKO is Surprising - Not Dismantling MKO is Surprising: "Not Dismantling MKO is Surprising

Mahan Abedin, Middle East analyst, Financial Advisor and Jamestown's correspondent, has conducted an interview with Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and media advisor to the Saudi Ambassador to the UK, Prince Turki al-Faisal. He was previously editor-in-chief of the Saudi daily al-Watan. The interview was conducted July 7, 2004 at the Saudi embassy in London.

In a part of this interview, Khashoggi admits that Saudi government used to support MKO financially. Meanwhile, he expresses surprise of why the US has not dismantled this group.

The following is a short part of the interview concerning Mojahedin-e Khalq. To read the full text of the interview, please click on the link at the bottom of the page.

JK: I think the Iranians need to clarify their position. The Iranians are trying to bargain.

MA: What do you mean?

JK: They are trying to play politics. They want something in return as they have so many problems with the west. I am not even sure that the Iranian government is in charge of the al-Qaeda file. After all we all know that there are competing circles of power in Iran.

MA: But what is wrong with bargaining?

JK: Nothing is wrong with that. I am just surprised why the bargaining is taking so long. We know that the Iranians want the Americans to take action against the Mjahedin-e-Khalq in Iraq.

MA: Are you referring to a deal whereby Iran would hand over senior detained al-Qaedapeople to the U.S. in return for the dismantling of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq’s organization in Iraq?

JK: I am really surprised that the Americans have not dismantled the Mojahedin-e-Khalq infrastructure in Iraq. This is really strange and the Americans need to explain their position. It is not right for any country to host its neighbour’s enemies. And we all know that the Mojahedin-e-Khalq is a particularly extreme terrorist organization and it is not right for Iraq to be hosting them. I don’t blame the Iranians for feeling frustrated on this issue.

MA: On the question of Mojahedin-e-Khalq, I have come across credible reports

indicating that the Saudi government used to give this organisation financial support back in the 1980’s.

JK: We have to put things into context here. We were at virtual war with Iran back in the 1980’s. They were working against us and therefore we were working against them. However our relations with Iran have been excellent for many years now."


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