Mohammad Mesbah al-Waeli, governor of southern Iraqi province of Basra, revealed in a press conference on Thursday that Iranian regime is planning to assassinate him and his brother and blaming it on the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI /MEK).
“The Iranian consulate in Basra informed a leader of our movement (Fazilat party) of a plot to assassinate my brother and I by the PMOI in Iraq,” he said to reporters.
“The PMOI is not present in Basra. It is a message from the assassins that the plan would be carried out blaming it on the PMOI,” added al-Waeli.
Al-Waeli called on the Iraqi officials to shut down the Iranian consulate in Basra.
“I believe that abundant information about the intelligence activities of the local agents of the Iranian security forces have been brought to the attention of the Iraqi officials, including that of the Iranian consulate in Basra.”
“I hold the Iranian consulate responsible for any future attempts on my life and that of my brother’s,” said Al-Waeli in an interview with Al-Arabiya television network.
Tehran’s demonizing campaign against its main opposition is common knowledge.
After the hideous bombing of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (the eighth Shiite Imam) in the northeastern city of Mashad in 1994, in which dozens of innocent pilgrims were killed, the clerical regime’s leaders immediately blamed the PMOI for that terrorist attack.
The same year, after murdering three Christian priests, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry accused the PMOI of the killings.
Several years later, the clerical regime’s officials acknowledged that the heinous crimes had been perpetrated by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).
But more such operations have been ongoing, as the Maleki government is neglecting to react and contemptuously keeps silence.
On February 8, Iran’s Qods Force terrorists by using more than 300 kg of TNT blew up the station supplying water to the members of PMOI in Ashraf City and 20,000 villagers living in the vicinity. As a result water pumps, installations of the station and offices were destroyed and supply of water were cut off.
In the gathering of the Union of Iraqi Tribal Sheikhs Councils, 300 tribal leaders from across Iraq, condemned the bombing of the water pumping station of Ashraf City, home to the members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/ MEK) in Iraq.
Sheikh Mutlaq Abde Rashid al-Darab addressing the gathering said: “The water pumping station was exploded by the Iranian regime; we call on you, the nationalist Iraqi tribes from north to the south of Iraq, to stand firm and expel all the forces of the regime ruling in Iran from our country; we ask you the Iraqi people to insist on early elections. We also condemn Ahmadinejad’s trip to Iraq.”
“After investigating the recent incidents, we came up with the conclusion that all these crimes, particularly the recent terrorist crime, have been carried out by the Iranian embassy in Baghdad and are planned by Kazemi Qomi, Iranian regime’s ambassador to Iraq, and in coordination with the Qods Force mercenaries who were dispatched from abroad, like Massoud Khodabandeh and Mostafa Mohammadi, and the local mercenaries,” said the final declaration of the gathering that was read by Sheikh Khalil al-Bayati.
The bombing of Ashraf City’s power station followed the assassination on February 6 of a local tribe council member, Sheikh Hamid Ziab, in charge of protection of the power station.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed that the Iranian regime in past few weeks dispatched a number of agents of Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) as well as Qods Force elements from Iran and abroad to Iraq. The agents were identified as: Massoud Khodabandeh, Mostafa Mohammadi, Reza Akbari Nasab and Alireza Bashiri. The team leader for the group belonging to the Qods Force is Tabatabaie.
These rogue elements were to prepare for subsequent plots for terrorist attacks against the PMOI members residing in Ashraf City. The mullahs’ embassy in Baghdad accommodated them in Al-Mansur Hotel in Baghdad and kept a constant contact with the agents. A number of MOIS and Qods Force agents are presently staying in Al-Mansur Hotel in Baghdad.
On November 8, 2007, four members of the MOIS went to Khalis directly from the Iranian regime’s embassy in Baghdad and met with Abdul-Rassoul Mullah Hamid Al-Saadi (aka Abu-Heidar) head of the local office for Badr Brigade in Khalis. At the meeting there were two commanders of the hit squads identified as Abu Tabarak Al-Saedi and Khezr Mohammad Ahmad (aka Abu-Osama Khalesi). The latter was involved in a terrorist attack on a bus carrying workers to Ashraf City in May 2006.
This hideous attack brought worldwide condemnation.
Congressmen Bob Filner (D-CA), Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs; Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and Ted Poe (R-TX), members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, attended the conference. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), a member of the Homeland Security Committee sent a special message to the conference.
Rep. Tancredo called for immediate attention to “the current problems” at Ashraf City and said “I believe it would be better for the U.S to be very clear in its intentions and I believe those intentions should be to protect the people at Camp Ashraf and to support the Iranian opposition. Iranian opposition today represents the best hope for democratic change in the country… The Iranian opposition has been a long friend of the U.S for a long time. The MEK is responsible for informing about Iran’s nuclear activities and providing information about Iranian Qods force. US policy I believe should be changed to reflect this reality.”
Congressman Poe remarked that “America’s quarrel… is not with the people of Iran, but it’s with the government of Iran and there is big difference… And I for one hope we do everything as a country, as a Congress, to support the efforts of the Iranian people in that struggle against tyranny, against the government that is oppressive to the people…”
Dr. Allan Gerson, chairman of Gerson International Law Group, said that “despite the fact of the MEK’s actions at Camp Ashraf in renouncing terrorism and fully cooperating with U.S. authorities, and despite the MEK leadership’s total renunciation of terrorism, the MEK remains on the U.S. terrorism list. This is inexplicable…” He added that the humanitarian provisions of the Geneva Convention “demand that the restored sovereign, here the government of Iraq, and the military power seeking to assure stability in the war torn area – the U.S. military command – continue to have a duty to do whatever they can to assure the well-being of protected persons.”
What is most clear is that there are many reasons for the existing level of political awareness amongst Iraqi political forces and on the grass root level. But one major factor that will never be forgotten by Iraqis is the role played by the Iranian Resistance and namely the PMOI and Ashraf. A role that has exposed them to a great deal of pressure and conspiracies by the Iranian regime.
This is reiterated in a statement released by the office of Maryam Rajavi, the president elect of the Iranian NCRI which reads:
“The Iranian Resistance is the counter weight to the mullahs and their export of fundamentalism to Iraq and to the region… The PMOI has played a vital role in pursuing different nationalist Iraqi forces as well as Sheikhs and tribes to participate in the political process. This explains why the Iranian regime views the PMOI as the most important barrier against expanding its complete influence in Iraq and hatches every possible conspiracy to destroy Ashraf.”