The whole article is at the Washington Post.
Obviously all terrorists are not equal. I doubt that Hamas is able to commandeer US soldiers as chauffeurs. Groups such as this are ideal to act as providers of false intelligence information on Iran. They are also helpful within Iran to wreak havoc by outright terrorist activity. This sort of action shows the total hypocrisy of the so-called war on terrorism. The US has supported terrorist groups whenever it fits with their own policy aims as in Nicaragua.
Iraq Intensifies Efforts to Expel Iranian Group
Though Labeled Terrorist, MEK Has Updated U.S. on Tehran's Nuclear Program
By Ernesto Londoño and Saad al-Izzi
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, March 14, 2007; A10
BAGHDAD -- For three years, thousands of members of a militant group dedicated to overthrowing Iran's theocracy have lived in a sprawling compound north of Baghdad under the protection of the U.S. military.
American soldiers chauffeur top leaders of the group, known as the Mujaheddin-e Khalq, or MEK, to and from their compound, where they have hosted dozens of visitors in an energetic campaign to persuade the State Department to stop designating the group as a terrorist organization.
Now the Iraqi government is intensifying its efforts to evict the 3,800 or so members of the group who live in Iraq, although U.S. officials say they are in no hurry to change their policy toward the MEK, which has been a prime source of information about Iran's nuclear program.
The Iraqi government announced this week that roughly 100 members would face prosecution for human rights violations, a move MEK officials contend comes at the request of the Iranian government.
"We have documents, witnesses," Jaafar al-Moussawi, a top Iraqi prosecutor, said Monday, alleging that the MEK aided President Saddam Hussein's campaign to crush Shiite and Kurdish opposition movements at the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Moussawi said the criminal complaint would implicate MEK members in "killing, torture, [wrongful] imprisonment and displacement."
The group denied involvement in Hussein's reprisals.
"These allegations are preposterous and lies made by the Iranian mullahs and repeated by their agents," it said in a statement issued this week.
The case highlights the occasional discord between the U.S. and Iraqi governments on matters related to Iran. While the U.S. government has accused Iran of supplying Iraqi Shiite militias with sophisticated weapons that it says have been used to kill American troops, Iraq's Shiite-led government has expanded commercial and diplomatic ties with its majority-Shiite neighbor.
"This organization has always destabilized the security situation" in Iraq, said Mariam Rayis, a top foreign affairs adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, adding that the MEK's continued presence "could lead to deteriorating the relationship with neighboring countries."
MEK leaders dispute the prosecutor's allegations. They contend that Iran has infiltrated Iraq's political leadership while also supporting militant groups in an effort to keep the United States in a quagmire in Iraq. They also say the Iranian government wants to forestall a U.S. attack on Iran.
"The Iranian regime wants very much to prevent the winds of change," Behzad Saffari, a spokesman for the group, said in a recent interview at a Baghdad hotel. "Instead of fighting the Americans in Iran, [the Iranian government] is fighting them in Iraq. If we have to leave Iraq, it means the Americans are defeated. It means Iran has prevailed."
Maliki told officials from neighboring countries during a meeting in Baghdad on Saturday that Iraq should not become a battleground where other nations attempt to settle their disputes.
The Iranian Embassy in Baghdad did not reply to questions about the MEK.
The MEK, also known as the People's Mujaheddin of Iran, was founded by students at Tehran University in 1965 as an opposition movement to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the country's U.S.-backed dictator. The group clashed with that government and later with the Islamic Republic established by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979.
In 1986, the MEK moved its headquarters to Iraq, where Hussein welcomed the organization. MEK fighters have been widely accused of backing Hussein's suppression of the Shiite and Kurdish uprisings, but MEK officials say Kurdish leaders have absolved them of playing a role in the crackdown on Kurds.
In 1997, during a period of warmer relations between Washington and Tehran under the Clinton administration, the State Department added the MEK to its list of foreign terrorist organizations.
The group's leader, Maryam Rajavi, lives in Paris. She has a cultlike following among members, some of whom set themselves on fire to protest her brief arrest in 2003 after French officials raided the group's offices. Rajavi has led efforts to have the group's terror label removed in the United States and Europe. In December, a European court overturned an E.U. order freezing the group's assets. The European Union has not removed the group from its terrorist list.
The MEK says it has several thousand members in Iran, but the extent of its support base is unclear. Most exiled members live in the camp at Ashraf, north of Baghdad.