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Israel Fears Iran-Iraq Ceasefire
[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 22 - July 24, 1988
Ludwig De Braeckeleer (ludwig)     Print Article 
Published 2008-07-25 02:57 (KST)   

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Sunday, July 24, 1988

"Any additional surprise is likely to be one surprise too many."
--Yossi Sarid of the liberal Israeli Citizens' Rights Party

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The largest Iranian armed opposition group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq, or PMOI (1), has been based in Iraq since 1986. Members of the leftist Islamic group are widely considered traitors by Iranians.

The PMOI launched an incursion into Iran in an attempt to topple the government. The offensive was easily repelled by Iranian forces.

Nevertheless, the failed coup attempt provided a pretext for Tehran to eliminate their many political opponents. Many PMOI members sentenced years earlier were executed in prison.

The prospect of a ceasefire between Iran and Iraq has caught Israeli officials by surprise. The Israeli parliament's foreign and defense affairs committee spent much of the day grilling army and intelligence officers. Israeli intelligence services had completely failed to predict the imminence of a ceasefire.

"The defense establishment is looking into the significance of the possible end of the Iran-Iraq war," Israel's Defense Ministry said. Israeli officials seem particularly concerned by the fact that the Iraqi repeated use of chemical weapons may have legitimized that method of warfare.

"One of Israel's fears is that the Arab world and its leaders will mistakenly believe that the lack of an international response to the use of rockets and gas in the Iran-Iraq war affords them a legitimization of sorts to employ them," then-Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin said.

"The Iraqis know full well that in regard to Israel this is an entirely different matter. If, heaven forbid, they dare to employ these means, the response will be one hundred times stronger," Rabin added.

Intelligence

On May 7, 2008, Britain's Court of Appeal ruled that the government had been wrong to include the PMOI on its list of terrorist organizations.

In a 22-page document, the Court of Appeal ruled there were "no valid grounds" to contend that a British panel made legal errors when it ordered the removal of the PMOI from a list of more than 20 proscribed terrorist organizations under Britain's Terrorism Act.

Incidentally, the PMOI unambiguously blames Tehran for the bombing of Pan Am 103 over the town of Lockerbie. On their official Web site, one can read the following:

"The policy of kowtowing to the Iranians goes back a long way. It started in the late 1980s when Sir Geoffrey Howe, the then foreign secretary, attempted to establish a constructive dialogue with the mullahs in what proved a futile attempt to persuade Teheran to free British hostages in Lebanon.

"As part of this policy, the British government took the shameful decision to drop its claim that the Iranians had masterminded the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people in December 1988, even though British intelligence uncovered significant evidence of Iranian involvement."

The PMOI is the base of the Islamic leftist political group in Iran. As such, PMOI members strongly support Ayatollah Mohtashami-Pur.

Earlier this year, former Iranian President Bani Sadr told me that Mohtashami-Pur had in fact claimed responsibility for the downing of Pan Am 103 in revenge for the downing of Iran Airbus 665 by the USS Vincennes.

Back to the Present

Peter Cherbi has spent much of his life covering issues relating to injustice and the Scottish legal system itself. Earlier this month, I received an e-mail from him expressing his view on the Lockerbie affair:

"I have thought all along there was an Iranian connection with what happened -- for revenge against the airliner shot down by the Vincennes -- but of course, political motivations at the time were and still are to a certain extent more suited to blaming Libya for what happened.

"The whole case has made a complete mockery of Scottish Law, although it certainly has brought to light Scottish Law's willingness to be used as a political weapon.

"I still don't see any willingness on the part of the Scottish legal system to resolve the case of Abdelbaset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, to any conclusion where fault may be admitted -- that just isn't something which seems achievable here in Scotland despite the impression the judiciary is 'independent' of the political establishment."
1. The People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI) is known by a variety of names including: Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MEK), the National Liberation Army of Iran or the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). From an historical point of view, the PMOI is the founding member of a wide coalition of organizations called the NCRI.

The US FBI claims that the NCRI is either an "alias" for or a front group for the PMOI. The Iranian government consistently refers to the People's Mujahedin as Monafiqeen-e-Khalq (MKO), meaning "hypocrites of the people."

The word "Mojahed" is an Islamic term, used in the Quran, to describe great the people who are doing the best effort for the cause of Islam and always act in the sake of God. The single form is "Mojahed" and the plural is "Mojahedin."

The PMOI was funded after the Islamic revolution. They were and still are Khomeini supporters and revere him as their greatest leader.

They have been made up of seven groups that were separated before the Islamic revolution. These groups were Group Mansooron, Group Omat Vahedeh, Group Movahedin, Group Fallah, Group Badr, Group Tuhidi Saf and Group Tuhidi Khalgh.

References

"People's Mujahedin of Iran."


"UK Court: Iranian Exiles Not Terrorists."

"Israel Fears That Peace in the Persian Gulf Will Unleash a Bitter Foe," July 24, 1988.

--

Ludwig De Braeckeleer has a Ph.D. in nuclear sciences. Ludwig teaches physics and international humanitarian law. He blogs on "The GaiaPost."
©2008 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Ludwig De Braeckeleer

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