White House denies reports that U.S. employs terror groups for special ops in Iran
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Wednesday May 3, 2006
Earlier today at the White House Press Briefing, Scott McClellan, the outgoing press secretary, denied reports that the U.S. is employing terrorist groups for special operations in Iran, RAW STORY has found.
When asked if U.S. policy has been changed with respect to three different terrorist organizations that have reportedly been active recently against Iran "based on the notion that an enemy of our enemy is our friend," McClellan insisted that it hadn't.
"Our policies haven't changed on those organizations," said McClellan. "They remain the same."
"And you're bringing up organizations that we view as terrorist organizations," McClellan added.
The reporter cited three different terror group activities: "PKK going over the border into Iraq, the MEK southern border of Iraq into Iran, and also certain operations from Balochistan involving also the Pakistanis."
In April, RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna reported (link) that "[o]ne of the operational assets being used by the Defense Department is a right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), which is being “run” in two southern regional areas of Iran."
An intelligence source told Alexandrovna that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld crafted a plan to "convert" MEK members by urging them to resign from the terrorist organization and "swear an oath to Democracy."
"Although the specifics of what the MEK is being used for remain unclear, a UN official close to the Security Council explained that the newly renamed MEK soldiers are being run instead of military advance teams, committing acts of violence in hopes of staging an insurgency of the Iranian Sunni population," Alexandrovna wrote.
Yesterday, the Associated Press reported on the ongoing hostilities between Iran and Iranian Kurdish rebels on the border (link).
"Rebels seeking self-rule in Kurdish areas of Iran operate from Iraqi territory and have been active recently, mounting attacks against Iranian army and Revolutionary Guard posts," reported Thomas Wagner and Qassim Abdul-Zahra for the Associated Press. "Iran says the rebels, known as Pejak, are linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which has waged a 22-year insurgency against Turkey for self-rule in that country's mainly Kurdish southeast."
Today, an editorial in an Turkish newspaper (link) claims "Turkish sources speculated that the U.S. told the PKK that if it wants to remain in the Kurdish mountains it has to stir up trouble inside Iran."
"Turkish intelligence sources claim the Americans have prodded a wing of terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) holed up in the Kandil Mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan to turn against Tehran and create disturbances inside Iran through a Kurdish militant organization called PEJAK," writes Ilnur Cevik.
Excerpted from today's White House press briefing transcript (link):
Q There are numerous reports about low-intensity operations ongoing in Iran from three different places -- PKK going over the border into Iraq, the MEK southern border of Iraq into Iran, and also certain operations from Balochistan involving also the Pakistanis. Does the U.S. have a policy, given also reports which I know you won't comment on, on possible special forces operations in Iran? Does U.S. policy, based on the notion that an enemy of our enemy is our friend, consider changing its policy towards the PKK or --
MR. McCLELLAN: Our policies haven't changed on those organizations. They remain the same. And you're bringing up organizations that we view as terrorist organizations.
Q We would never cooperate with them, in terms of --
MR. McCLELLAN: Our policy hasn't changed.