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  • Ok, what the hell?

    It seems the more things change, the more things stay the same.

    This is a war on terror... when convenient?

    U.S. Reaches Cease-Fire With Terror Group
    Tue Apr 29, 2:35 PM ET

    By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer

    CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar - The U.S. cease-fire with an Iranian exile group it considers a terrorist organization allows the Mujahedeen Khalq to defend itself from Iranian-sponsored attacks and keep its artillery and other weapons, U.S. military officials said Tuesday.

    The cease-fire signed April 15 appears to be a way for the United States to increase pressure on Iran, which Washington has accused of meddling in Iraq (news - web sites) after the collapse of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s regime.

    But it represents a conundrum of sorts for the United States, which has classified the Iraq-based group as a terrorist organization. The United States went to war against Iraq in part to dismantle what it said were terrorist networks supported by Saddam.

    U.S. officials had said they were working out a capitulation by the group, also known as the People's Mujahedeen. But on Tuesday, a U.S. military official said the deal doesn't require the group's fighters to surrender to coalition forces — at least for now.

    It allows the Mujahedeen Khalq to use military force against what the United States says are Iranian infiltrators entering Iraq, such as the Badr Brigade, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    The Independent newspaper of Britain has reported that armed members of the Badr Brigade had crossed into Iraq from Iran and were holding sway in Baqubah, a town 25 miles northeast of Baghdad. The brigade is the military wing of the Iran-based anti-Saddam group the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

    The U.S. official said the Mujahedeen Khalq "reserves the right of self-defense against the Iranian regime's attacks."

    The National Council of Resistance of Iran, an umbrella group that includes the Mujahedeen, says members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard have entered Iraq and fought the Mujahedeen in recent weeks.

    A top official in the council, Mohammad Mohaddessin, praised the agreement and said anything short of allowing Mujahedeen fighters to defend themselves would have only benefited the Tehran regime.

    "It would only be natural that the Mujahedeen ... would be able to keep their weapons against such a common enemy," he said by telephone from Paris.

    When asked how the United States could make deals with groups classified as terrorists, the U.S. military official said the cease-fire was a battlefield agreement that coalition commanders were entitled to negotiate.

    "Like all other parties in Iraq we will use U.S. influence and power to establish and maintain a secure and stable environment," the official said.

    Mohaddessin said the accord showed that the Mujahedeen should not be considered a terrorist group. He said he expected the Mujahedeen would negotiate another "agreement of mutual understanding" with the United States about the eventual status of their forces in Iraq in the near future.

    U.S. officials have charged that Shiite Muslim-controlled Iran was sending in operatives to further destabilize the country and promote an Iranian-style theocracy for Iraq.

    Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has ruled out a theocracy for Iraq. On Monday, in an interview with the Qatar-based satellite channel al-Jazeera, he said Iran's meddling was problematic.

    "That type of external influence I don't think is helpful," he said. "I don't know anyone who does think it's helpful except the few people from Iran that run that country, a small clique of clerics."

    Shiites make up over 60 percent of Iraq's population, and there are concerns that free elections might produce an Islamic-oriented government with close ties to the historically anti-American Shiite clerics who have governed Iran since 1979.

    Iran has denied meddling in Iraq. Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Tehran wants to see an Iraqi government that is chosen by the people.

    "For us the most important thing is that the Iraqi people independently choose their leadership and that the new government depends on the will of all the ethnic strata of Iraq," Kharrazi said.

    The U.S. military official outlined the cease-fire deal, which he said was signed by a coalition forces commander and Mahdi Baraie of the Mujahedeen Khalq to "ensure a complete cessation of hostilities."

    Under the agreement, the official said, the Mujahedeen agreed to "not fire upon or commit any hostile act toward any coalition forces; not destroy or damage any government or private property, for example public infrastructure, oil pumping, refining, storage, or transportation facilities, and ... place all towed artillery and air defense artillery in a passive travel mode."

    In return, coalition forces agreed to not damage the group's vehicles or equipment and not fire upon or commit any hostile act toward its forces.

    "Additionally the agreement does not surrender or capitulate troops under the command of the (Mujahedeen Khalq) commander," the official said.

    During the 1970s, the group was accused in attacks that killed several U.S. military personnel and civilians working on defense projects in Iran. It reportedly backed the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, but later broke with Iran's government. The group has denied involvement in the killing of U.S. servicemen and says it didn't support the embassy takeover.
    "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

    – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

  • #2
    Nah, they are now serving US interests, so they get re-classified....
    There are only 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary, and those that dont...


    • #3
      CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar - The U.S. cease-fire with an Iranian exile group it considers a terrorist organization allows the Mujahedeen Khalq to defend itself from Iranian-sponsored attacks and keep its artillery and other weapons, U.S. military officials said Tuesday.
      These folks were active in the seventies. That was a long time ago and really I'm amazed that Kurdish nationalists are not also so classified.

      Why was this group exiled? They were active against the US presence in Iran before Khomeini. What happened?
      Get the US out of NATO, now!


      • #4
        No matter the reason, it does kind of puts a dent in Bush's claim we were going into Iraq to combat terrorism. We're making alot of deals with the devil in Iraq. So I better not hear Bush *itch and moan when he get's burned.
        "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942


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