The Mujaheddin-e Khalq is deservedly classified as a terrorist group, so the point of this story is not whether or not the Iraqis should have moved against the MEK. The point of this story is that it demonstrates yet again the Iraqi regime’s anxiousness to please the mullahs: the U.S. didn’t want the Iraqis to move against the MEK camp, and the Iranians did — and the Iraqis moved against the camp.
Was this what we have been fighting for in Iraq all these years? An Iranian Shi’ite client state in Baghdad?
“Iraqi Raid Poses Problem for U.S.: Fighting Continues at Camp for Iran Exiles,” by Ernesto LondoÃ±o for the Washington Post, July 30 (thanks to Choi):
BAGHDAD, July 29 — Violent clashes continued for a second day Wednesday between Iraqi troops and members of an Iranian opposition group whose camp the Iraqis stormed Tuesday, presenting the first major dilemma for the U.S. government since Iraq proclaimed its sovereignty a month ago.
At least eight Iranians have been killed and 400 wounded since Tuesday, when hundreds of Iraqi police and soldiers in riot gear plowed into Camp Ashraf, northeast of Baghdad, using Humvees donated by the U.S. military, according to group leaders and Abdul Nasir al-Mahdawi, the governor of Diyala province….
The raid, ordered by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, coincided with an unannounced visit by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who left Iraq on Wednesday.
In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton described the raid as a legitimate act by a sovereign nation. “Although the U.S. government remains engaged and concerned about this issue, it is a matter for the government of Iraq to resolve in accordance with its laws,” she said.
Clinton said Iraq had given assurances that camp residents would be treated humanely and would not be relocated anywhere they would have a well-founded fear of persecution. She urged the Iraqis to “show restraint.”
U.S. officials are deeply concerned about the reports of violence and have been monitoring the situation using camera-equipped unmanned aircraft, said an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We’re asking the Iraqis questions,” the official said. “Sometimes they answer, sometimes they don’t.”…
Tehran officials have long pressured the Baghdad government to expel the MEK, which seeks to overthrow Iran’s Islamic regime. But Iraq has held off from raiding the camp because of U.S. opposition to a violent takeover….
The State Department classifies the MEK as a terrorist organization, but Washington has interacted with the group since it agreed to disarm in 2003 in return for U.S. military protection. The Baghdad government assumed nominal control of the perimeter of the camp Jan. 1, when a U.S.-Iraqi security agreement took effect.