Ibrahim Khodabandeh and Jamil Bassam, senior member of MKO, after 25 years of cooperation with this organization and conducting different missions for it, were arrested 2 years ago with 2 million dollars and other documents by Syrian Police when trying to cross Iraqi border and enter Syria. They were extradited to Iran last year.
On Tuesday and in a ceremony held for the former MKO members returning to Iran at Olympic Hotel, Khodabandeh told reporters that “After 25 years cooperation with this organization, today I found that I was crying at a tomb in which there was no dead.”
He expressed satisfaction over returning to Iran (following being captured) and said: “we thought that in Iran everyone’s our enemy and that we would be executed in the case of being arrested. We thought that we should not think of surviving.”
Khodabandeh added: “now, a year from returning to Iran and my detention, I see that I was wrong. The way I was treated during this past year proved against my thoughts.”
“Nearly 1000 MKO members have left the group, but are afraid of coming to Iran because they think they’ll be tortured and executed for their cooperation with organization. They’re wrong and I saw that even those who had conducted armed operations in Iran were treated very well,” Khodabandeh added.
He expressed hope for the freedom of other people also captive in Mojahedin organization. He said they are waiting to free themselves physical and mental captivity.
Khodabandeh said becoming free from mental captivity is very difficult, adding: “Breaking mental barriers in these people is not easy. After years of activities, it’s so hard for them to confess that they were wrong.”
He also pointed to the role of the families of MKO members in directing and freeing them and said: “By resorting to family compassion, families can remove wrong conceptions about Iran and Iranians from the mind of these people and pave the way for their return to the country.”
“The organization may never become totally dissolved. It may hold at least an office in Europe but at the time being, it’s not an influential organization. The only thing it can do is restricted to a series of propagandistic works.”
Khodabandeh announced that his case is being heard in Branch 15th of Revolutionary Court. He also confirmed that he has had meetings with his daughter and is supposed to meet his wife too in the near future.
He said he’s satisfied with the way officials treat him and added: “I’m happy that by returning to Iran I’ve found the truth and if I find a chance, I’ll try to compensate my previous mistakes.”
Jamil Bassam, another arrested senior MKO member, introduced himself briefly as Mechanical engineer from Sharif University in Tehran. He said he had gone to the UK to continue his studies when he was recruited by the organization there.
Bassam said: “My main activities were performed abroad and during my cooperation with organization, I conducted several mission. In the last mission, I and Ibrahim (Khodabandeh) had gone to Iraq to transfer a large amount of money from Iraq to Europe through Syrian. Then we were captured by Syrian police and we were extradited to Iran after seven weeks.”
“According to the background we had in mind, we expected to be tortured or executed immediately after entering Evin prison, but what we saw was completely vice versa.”
Bassam who was in charge of publishing and distributing MKO’s journal in Europe expressed satisfaction over the behavior of officials with him and his case and said: “I’m happy that I’m in my own country.”
He expressed hope that all deceived MKO members will find their faults and come back to their families and country.
In response to a question about US attitude toward terrorist MKO said: “The US is trying to use them according to its own purposes.”
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