A brief look at records
What presented here as "fifth column" about Iraq government assistance to Mojahedin and their communication with each other, is collected on the basis of obvious documents of Mojahedin publications, media and ….
Although the matters included in Iraq's announcements, radios, TV and
newspapers during the imposed war reflects this multilateral cooperation and relation, they were unfortunately out of author's access.
Of course, extraction of this short article from all that in its publication, Mojahedin have tried to consider all security measures is a handful indicating a ton.
In recent years, we confront some kinds of documents which are the result of disclosing secrets by those separated from Mojahedin, Although Iraq and Mojahedin don't accept it and deny it very clearly. For instance, those documents that indicate Mojahedin were trained, financed and equipped by Iraq, specially equipping of terror and sabotage teams that were sent into Iran to attack economic and civilian targets.
Chapter one: reopening the case
In past, there was a wide spectrum of all forces fighting against Shah.
Iraq government always asked those groups, which were ready to collude or were radical (inclined to the Soviet Union) due to ideological closeness to Ba'ath party, to cooperate with Iraq.
Iraq motives in performing such a policy should be sought in the competition between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, the habit of expansionism, seeking superiority (Pan Arabism) and the conquest of Iraqi authorities.
"General Teimoor Bakhtiar (the first chief of Savak), who escaped [from Iran] due to the power fight with Shah and "Panahian", remaining from "Azerbaijan democrat faction", where of those people who had wide cooperation with Iraqi authorities with no fears.
Parts of confederation groups, Fadaees, National front, Maoists and Mojahedin also gave a green light to Iraq in different forms and covers.
The policy of the Soviet Union in the region was to support revolutionist and Palestinian guerillas. Furthermore, Iraq was the conductor of this project in most of the cases.
So, this cooperation with Palestinian groups, working for Iraq government themselves, was the most common trap for Iranian groups.
Those groups, inclined to radicalism, introduced Iraq as a revolutionary government, and Iraq government also sought its own advantages in these categorizations.
Gholamreza Nejati in his "25-year political history of Iran" writes: "when Mojahedin failed in attracting intellectuals to their desired way and when religious oppositions of the regime also received them coldly, they turned to radical secular agents inside and abroad.
Iranian students confederation, published their [Mojahedin's ] books and publications. Countries like democratic republic of Oman and Zaffar rebels communicated with them. And Iraq Ba'ath regime gave them radio transmitter……
In August 1971, 6 members of Mojahedin who wanted to go to Beirut for military training were arrested in Dubai and were found guilty due to robbery and forgery.
After consultations between Iran and Dubai, it was decided to extradite them to Iran.
In October "people front for Palestine's freedom" attempted to hijack several planes, one of which took placed in Dubai airport. This influenced Mojahedin's thought and decisions so that they decided to imitate it and designed a plan to free their friends.
In September, 6 prisoners were being transferred from Dubai to BandarAbbas by a bimotored Dakota plane, when 3 armed Mojaheds hijacked the plane, freed their friends and landed the plane in Baghdad.
The details of this event by Mojahedin in their "The history of organization's establishment and events from 65 to 71" is as follows:
"… Before reaching Iraq's flight zone, plane got in contact with Basra airport and asked for the course to pursue and at 16:30 local time the plane arrived at the airport. The airport authorities didn't let the plane land, since they had agreed with Iran government about this. Eventually, by pilot's insistence on emergency landing (because the plane's fuel was going to finish) and thanks to the main landing-strip being closed, the plane landed on one of the subsidiary landing-strips. One of our brothers wanted to dismount the plane and talk with Iraqi authorities and in case that they disagree, after taking gasoline we would move toward Syria.
Brothers submitted their weapons and dismounted the plane along with passengers, pilot, pilot assistance, and host and hostesses. They (Iraqis) investigated passengers and plane crew, Boostani and someone with him in a separate room and after few hours they let the plane fly again towards Iran. They also asked brothers for their IDs and their purposes of doing so. Late afternoon, they took brothers to officers club and after general introduction and serving dinner, some people entered the hall. After a brief inspection of brothers' situation, they went and came back again after 20 minutes and started talking with them and asked about their IDs and their goals of doing so.
They started inspecting brothers one by one late that night. The other night two or three ones were inspected again and after that Iraqis left us alone for 5 days.
Iran government, in its propagandas, had introduced them as smugglers, forger and under prosecution. And Savak had showed them as suspected.
After a week, Iraq government, having become suspicious of this case, tortured brothers to clarify the matter. During this week, of course, officers tried to get necessary information from brothers (even by friendly talks) while examining their state of mind, till one of brothers came to Iraq after 2 weeks and called Fatah's director in Iraq and told him what had happened. In a contact between Fathah representative and Iraqi authorities, brothers were introduced as the ones who wanted to go to Palestine and join their Palestinian brothers.
After this, Iraqi authorities and brothers, the case became clear. Iraqi authorities learned that these guys are 9 Iranian fighters.
Since brothers had some problems due to staying in Dubai prison, were confined to bed in a hospital for 3 weeks. When medical treatments finished, they settled in Iraq for a few days so that Fatah could arrange their trip.
During this period of time, Iraqi authorities tried to take propagandistic advantages from brothers, though they (brothers) never let Iraqis to do so even by receiving implied confirmation for their regime. Since brothers knew that Iran's regime tries to introduce them as "dependant to foreign countries" (especially to Iraq government) in its propagandistic programs….
Now we explain this event by one of these 6 guys' point of view.
Mohsen Nejat Husseini (previously member of the organization from 68 to 76) in his diary called "Over The Gulf" writes:
"Rasool's command to the pilot was to direct the airplane to Basra. Australian captain, frightened and paled, nodded as a sign of his obedience.
Our friends had prepared themselves for hijacking before and had learned what necessary in guiding the airplane. They knew that bimotored Dakota plane, with full fuel, can fly up to 1000 Km. therefore nearest airports, namely Basra or Baghdad were chosen as destination. At that time Iran and Iraq were in political crisis with each other and although they had diplomatic relations, had a wide propagandistic war against each other. In such a situation, Iraq was considered as a suitable place to land the hijacked planes…"
The airplane stopped in Doha, capital of Qatar, for fuelling. After flying toward Basra, airport of Basra announced that they should fly to Baghdad, and he continues: "… at 3 p.m., the plane landed on a small and distant landing-strip at the edge of the airport. When the plane stopped, a military jeep pulled over close to the plane and some persons dressed in military uniforms got off that.
Rasool, who had covered his face with a piece of cloth, dismounted the plane to talk with Iraqis as the commander of the operation and after explaining our situation asked their opinion about whether they accept us or no. It seemed that Iraqis' answer was positive…
Two black Cadillacs, in which I'd always seen diplomats, were waiting for us. Automobiles went away from the airplane… after passing a big iron door we entered a garden with armed guards.
Iraqi officers directed us politely to the public saloon of the officers' club. We entered the glorious dining room. We hadn't left our tables when an officer's hint turned our views to the TV screen and we saw the news of hijacking by 9 Iranians on the Iraq's television.
In our dreams, we calm sleep when a group entered the hall and woke up us. Some of them were wearing military uniforms and some others looked like Iranians… they asked detailed questions about our identity, fighting backgrounds and hijacking motives. Nobody took notes of questions and answers. Generally, the questions were not formal. Later, we learned that they were members of Iraq security service and also national Iranian forces, such as National Front, who'd come to investigate us about our identity.
They (Iraqis), during a week of investigation and even in apparently friendly conversations with us couldn't find a satisfactory answer. In the first days of our apprehension, our completely hidden group was supported by no forces, challenging organizations or famous personages. Also, rumors by Savak increased Iraqi suspicions.
Iraqis thought that we're Savak members and we want to penetrate into Iraq under the guise of refugees. A few months ago, Shahpur Bakhtiar, first Savak's commander-in-chief, had been assassinated in Iraq. He had been defeated in the war of power with Shah a few months ago and had taken asylum in Iraq.
In the morning of the 9th day, we heard a voice from behind the door speaking in Persian: "tell them your real identities." When I listened carefully I found that it's the voice of Hassan Rohani.
The next day at 10:00, they sent me to clinic accompanied by Rasool who'd been severely wounded thanks to torture and Hussein Khoshroo who suffered from scab like me. Our disease was diagnosed as "scab" and doctor suggested that we should be confined to bed in order to be cured completely. Later we found that the place in which we were bed-ridden was called "Fasil Al Amn" (one of intelligent agency's branches). Fasil Al Amn was the army intelligent service's prison and detention center.
On the 12the day in the afternoon, they took all of us to Fasil Al Amn director's office. Two persons, introducing themselves as Iranians militant youths, talked to us briefly and told us a little about Iran propagandas against us.
This happened again in the morning of the 14th day. This time some other Iranians visited us. They showed their Alfatah membership cards to win our trust.
Late night on the 15th day, one of investigators took me to a splendid room next to the office of the prison's director. A tall old man, relying on sofa, shook himself a little and shook hand with me while greeting me in Persian.
A thin officer, who I'd seen him the first night at the officers' club, had sit at a table that showed his high rank in Fasil Al Amn. The old man, without introducing himself, after greeting said: "please tell us your main identity and your purpose of hijacking." I asked him about his own identity and he said he's an Iranian militant in Iraq.
This old man, Mahmood Panahian, was a general of Azerbaijan Democratic faction that had fled to the Soviet Union after his faction was defeated.
He lived in Iraq since late 1960s and was close to Mass (Tudeh) party and to Shahpur Bakhtiar.
On the 17th day, they took me to director's office again. Torab (Hagh Shenas) and Abu Nazal (Fatah representative in Baghdad) had come to visit us. Rasool Meshkin Fam and Jalil Seyed Ahmadian were also present at this meeting. Torab and Abu Nazal assured us that Iraqis' suspicion toward us has been resolved and our problem will be solved as soon as possible. After this meeting we were allowed to gather together in a room.
On the 25th day, those who suffered from scab were transferred to military hospital in "Alrashid" garrison. We were 6, and Jalil was dismissed after a week because his illness was lighter than ours and he joined Rasool and Mohammad Sadat who were outside the hospital.
On that same day, they brought Hassan Rohani to the hospital. He went under surgical operation since he suffered from piles and he passed his convalescence with us in the hospital's prison.
After leaving the hospital, they took us to a house near the embassy of Denmark in Baghdad. It was a very glorious building with all equipments, a cook and a servant. Furthermore, two armed guards in private uniforms were appointed to protect us. We had to inform the guards if we wanted to leave the house.
On the 2nd day in this house, Mahmood Panahian and his assistant, named "Dr. Morad", came to visit us. They asked us to stay in Baghdad and cooperate with Iran oppositions, namely their small group (remained from Bakhtiar).
Despite our insistence on leaving Iraq and joining Palestinians, Iraqis tried to keep us in Iraq and in relation with Palestinian groups under different pretexts. When Iraq suspicion about us was resolved and they'd become sure that we are a group opposing Shah, they insisted that we should stay in Iraq and strengthen Iran opposition groups, along with other Iranians in Iraq.
Iraqi officials tried to take advantage of what had happened. Accepting us in Iraq had increased the conflict between the two countries and if we left Iraq, it would mean that Iraq was the only loser in our relationship. When Torab went to a high-ranking Iraqi official to get permission to leave the country he has said that we should stay in Iraq. And when Torab had given him negative answer then the official has said: "So, what was the benefit for us by these gentlemen's coming to Iraq".
It was obvious from Iraqis point of view that they didn't accept us for humane principles but for their own battle with Shah's regime."
The engineer "Lotfallah Meisami" also says in his diary:
"As Hanif Nejad said they wanted to be in touch with Palestinians through 3 ways: emirates, France and possibly by Iraq.
Then they had concluded that it's better to read all the papers of this two years and find a concrete analysis and come closer to Palestinians by which.
Meshkin Fam had read all the papers of two years during 2 months from morning to night… but unfortunately he had found an analysis in which Iraq government was considered as revolutionary; since "the voice of Palestine" was broadcast from that country and that Iraq had left positions. Albakr also had left views….
I was really suspicious about Iraqi Ba'ath regime, and I also brought up such matters into the organization. The theory of trusting Iraq faded. Then, when our members went to Qatar and communicated with Palestinians they also said that Iraqis are Oil-lovers and can't be trusted. I also disagreed with Masoud Rajavi. He trusted Iraqis so much. We also argued with Parviz Yakubi about these matters."
Mentioning above memories show how the relationship between Iraq and Mojahedin started and how it continued. So, it is important to mention the following points:
1-Engineer Meisami reminds us of Meshkin Fam, who believes that Iraq government is revolutionary. This man is that Rasool who's been called the commander of the hijacking team by Mr. Nejat Husseini. This selection by Mojahedin is not causeless.
2-Mohsen Nejat Husseini points out those 4 Mojaheds had been in hospital for a while during which Rasool Meshkin Fam and Mohammad Sadat Darbandi had been outside and in touch with Iraqis.
This question raises that what has Meshkin Fam, who sympathized with Iraqi regime and was a main and determining member of organization, done during this period?
What has been the role of Mohammad Sadat Darbandi at that time? (He's now and effective member of Mojahedin and is in the department of relations with Iraq)
We believe that the basis for relation with Iraq has been formed during this period of time. So that it continued later in Tehran and Paris, from 1975 to the victory of Islamic republic, and there were some exchanges between them in different areas.
What is important is the opening of a case under the name of Mojahedin in Iraq security system, which its papers were later added to.
Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli called for tougher measures against the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCRI) terrorist group by the European Union...