Land Destroyer interview by Kourosh Ziabaria, published by Iran Review.
Interview with Tony Cartalucci
By: Kourosh Ziabari
In a flagrant show of hostility toward the Iranian nation and a clear
exercise of double standards in dealing with international terrorism,
the U.S. Department of State has just removed the name of
Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) from its list of foreign terrorist
organizations. MKO which was established on September 5, 1965 is a
terrorist cult which assisted Saddam Hussein in the 1980s war with Iran
and killed more than 40,000 innocent Iranian civilians. It’s also
responsible for the assassination of several high-ranking Iranian
officials in the first years of Islamic Revolution and also 5 Iranian
nuclear scientists since 2010.
U.S. government claimed that MKO has not been involved in any terrorist
operation in the past 10 years and thus its designation as a foreign
terrorist organization should be revoked. This hostile decision by the
U.S. government is obviously an attempt aimed at putting more pressure
on Iran over its nuclear program with the final objective of persuading
Iran to make political concessions. However, the high-ranking MKO
officials have constantly declared that their final objective is a
regime change in Iran. The Council of the European Union had removed the
name of MKO from the EU’s list of terrorist organizations in 2009.
order to delve on the removal of MKO’s name from the list of foreign
terrorist organizations by the U.S. Department of State and its
underlying reasons, Iran Review conducted an interview with American
journalist and researcher Tony Caralucci.
Cartalucci, is an independent geopolitical researcher based in Bangkok,
Thailand. He maintains the Land Destroyer Report blog and is regularly
republished across the alternative media. His work has also appeared
translated in newspapers from Europe and the Middle East, to Asia and
South America. He is currently co-authoring a book with geopolitical
analyst and photographer Nile Bowie, titled, “Subverting Syria”
available through Progressive Press.
is one of the informed American sources about the underground
activities of the MKO and has written an elaborate article in this
regard for the Global Research. What follows is the text of Iran
Review’s interview with Tony Cartalucci which was conducted a few days
after the U.S. delisted MKO and provoked anger and astonishment across
Dear Tony; please tell us about the proofs and evidence which are
available and attest that the United States and Israel have been
funding, equipping and supporting MKO in its anti-Iran operations. I
think Seymour Hersh and Glenn Greenwald have extensively written in this
regard. Am I right?
am most familiar with Seymour Hersh’s reports. Seymour Hersh, citing
those directly involved in U.S. programs to fund, arm, provide
intelligence and even training to MKO terrorists, has reported
extensively on the group over the years. In 2008, he published an
article titled, “Preparing the Battlefield,” and revealed that MKO,
still on the U.S. State Department Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO)
list at the time, was receiving “arms and intelligence, directly or
indirectly from the United States.” In a 2012 article Hersh published,
titled, “Our Men in Iran?” he reveals that MKO terrorists were actually
trained inside the United States as far back as 2002.
2012 article also reveals that MKO terrorists have been working with
Israel in carrying out their attacks within Iran, meaning that while
Israel now attempts to convince the world that Iran poses a threat to
its existence, Israel itself has been violating the security of Iran for
over a decade, carrying out attacks that have killed Iranians and
destroyed Iranian infrastructure.
admissions have been made in articles published by the British press.
One article from the Daily Mail titled “Mossad Training Terrorists to
Kill Iran’s Nuclear Scientists, U.S. Officials Claim,” states that U.S.
officials “confirmed” that Israel was behind the MKO terrorists that
killed several of Iran’s nuclear scientists.
perhaps the most damning evidence of all, comes from U.S. policy makers
themselves, particularly from within the Fortune 500 funded Brookings
Institution in their 2009 report, “Which Path to Persia?” where they
fully admit MKO is a terrorist organization. Brookings policy makers
stated explicitly that “undeniably, the group has conducted terrorist
attacks,” yet MKO was still being considered as a viable “potential U.S.
proxy.” Brookings added that, “to work more closely with the group (at
least in an overt manner), Washington would need to remove it from the
list of foreign terrorist organizations.” And that is just what U.S.
politicians, former U.S. military and intelligence officers, and policy
makers set out to do, lobby to get MKO delisted from the U.S. State
Department’s FTO list.
one point, during the closing phases of America’s occupation of Iraq,
the U.S. literally handed over one of its military bases, “Camp
Liberty,” to MKO. The U.S. State Department played a leading role in
organizing this handover, again, despite the U.S. State Department
itself having the militant group listed on its own foreign terrorist
is no doubt that the United States was for over a decade, using a
listed-terrorist organization as an armed proxy against the nation of
Iran as part of a wider strategy to destabilize, manipulate, and
terrorize its population. This was all done in direct violation of U.S.
and international anti-terror laws and understandings. Now that MKO is
delisted, we can only expect this support and MKO operations to expand.
What’s your assessment of the U.S. Department of State taking MKO off
the list of foreign terrorist organizations? Will this decision help the
MKO militants to foster and promote their terrorist operations across
Iran and further their plans of destabilizing Iran under the guise of a
civilian, peaceful organization?
sole purpose of the U.S. State Department delisting MKO was not because
the organization has “reformed” itself in any way or abandoned its
terroristic posture, but specifically for the U.S. to foster and promote
their terrorist operations across Iran in a more overt manner, just as
was prescribed by Brookings policy makers. It was the fulfillment of
just one of many long-planned steps toward further destabilizing Iran.
it occurred during the presidential administration of Barack Obama is
important – it illustrates that the West’s agenda is singular and
continuous, independent of elections and the alleged political
ideologies of sitting presidents. What began as part of the Bush “War on
Terror” was carried out to completion under Obama, with the explicit
support of his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. That policy seems to
manifest itself first in corporate-financier funded think tanks like
Brookings before being rubber stamped by politicians and sold to the
public by the media, gives us a clearer picture of the West’s true power
structure and helps us understand better what that true power structure
has in store for Iran in the future.
regards to how MKO will be portrayed to the public, it is unlikely that
the organization will exist under the guise of a “civilian, peaceful
organization,” but rather will continue a more covert campaign of
violence and subversion inside Iran and along its peripheries. The West,
because MKO is now delisted, can simply be more liberal in regards to
funding and arming it, but will do so still very much out of the view of
an easily distracted American public.
and when the West succeeds at triggering wide scale unrest and/or
violence within Iran itself, MKO may be introduced as an armed
“pro-democracy” movement just as terrorists operating in Syria have been
by the West. MKO’s Paris-based political wing will then be merged into a
Western stable of “transitional leaders,” just as has been set up
during the Western destabilization of Libya and Syria.
It was on the reports that MKO had invested a great amount of money in
lobbying efforts to convince the U.S. government to remove its name from
the list of terrorist organizations. Many high-ranking U.S. officials,
including the governors of different states, Congressmen and former CIA
officials had also supported their bid. Would you please explain more
believe the story of the MKO paying out large amounts of cash to U.S.
politicians, former military officers, and lobbyists was an attempt to
conceal what is in reality a decades-long conspiracy to use the group as
an armed proxy against Iran. By portraying MKO’s American lobbyists as
merely financially motivated, the true nature of their duplicity and
betrayal to the American people, as well as their true motives, have
been obfuscated. Of course, it is the United States that is funding MKO
in the first place. Are we then expected to believe they are taking this
money and sending it right back to America to lobby for their
delisting? Of course not, it was a combination of theater and
formalities to preserve in the eyes of stakeholders in the West’s
international order, a semblance of “rule of law.”
many may not know about MKO’s American lobbyists is that many of these
men have been the most vocal proponents of the “War on Terror.” This
includes former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani, former Secretary of
Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Howard Dean, Ed Rendell, former FBI
director Louis Freeh, retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, Lee
Hamilton who in fact chaired the 9/11 Commission, and finally, former
U.S. Marine Corps Commandant and former-National Security Adviser to
President Obama, General James Jones.
is difficult to fathom why these men, who have built their political
careers on decrying terrorism, would come out to support MKO, especially
Generals Clark and Jones, when considering MKO has killed U.S.
citizens, including 3 high ranking U.S. military officers. MKO had also
attempted to kidnap a U.S. ambassador and attempted to assassinate a
U.S. Air Force brigadier general.
one might claim MKO has reformed their ways, even Brookings policy
makers seeking to further utilize the organization recognized that they
are undoubtedly still involved in terrorism. Such overt, reckless
abandonment of even the semblance of “rule of law,” with the U.S. State
Department, former civilian and military leaders all brazenly violating
their own nation’s laws while simultaneously charged with upholding
them, threatens to plunge the entire nation into a crisis of credibility
– one that seems to already be having a negative, impeding effect on
Western foreign and domestic policy.
America’s attempt at window dressing, with the lobbying and the
official “delisting” of MKO, what we have left is still an alleged
“Western democracy” funding, arming, and encouraging a terrorist
The U.S. Department of State claimed that the Mujahedin-e-Khalq have
not been involved in terrorist operations during the past 10 years. Is
this true? Many Iranians firmly believe that the hands of MKO are
stained with the blood of five Iranian nuclear scientists in the past
two years. Why has the U.S. government ignored and overlooked these
the U.S. State Department has claimed MKO has not been involved in
terrorist operations during the past 10 years, it may be worth
investigating the most recent definition of what the U.S. government
claims “terrorist operations” are.
example, the US State Department’s criteria for listing a group as a
terrorist organization now states that the organization must, among
other things, threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national
security of the United States. In the past 10 years, MKO does not appear
to have attacked any U.S. targets, though, according to the U.S.
government’s own definition of what constitutes terrorist activity, MKO
is still most certainly engaged in terrorist operations against other
nations. Again, U.S. policy makers themselves not only concede this
fact, but seek to delist MKO specifically so it can expand its terrorist
operations. U.S. officials have openly admitted that MKO, and indeed,
even Israel, were both behind the assassinations of Iran’s scientists.
U.S. policy is underpinned by law written entirely for convenience,
free of any enduring, objective principle of justice. These laws betray
absolutely the spirit in which the vast majority of Americans believe
they were written in when they were first passed. This convenient legal
circumvention of America’s principles says a lot about the current state
of so-called Western “democracy” we are meant to believe is a morally
superior standard to which the entire world must be held.
Doesn’t the decision made by the U.S. government show some kind of a
duplicitous and hypocritical approach toward the issue of terrorism?
After all, there’s credible evidence showing that MKO has been involved
in several assassination attempts and other violent actions. How does
Washington justify this move?
for the time being is not really trying to justify this move, but on
the most superficial level, at least publicly. Privately, the
corporate-financier interests that dictate Washington’s policy have long
since justified it as a simple matter of utility and “might makes
right.” In other words, in regards to Washington, it is not a topic that
will receive much public exposure across the Western media, and it will
not be discussed often by Washington’s politicians.
activity will remain more or less clandestine in nature – because
despite the delisting, they still fully intend to carry out blatant acts
of terrorism against Iran – acts that regardless of their legal status
in the U.S. won’t and can’t be publicized. A similar regiment of
selective reporting can be seen at work with the West’s destabilization
of Syria, and with the various terrorist organizations it is supporting
if the West succeeds at triggering widespread violence and
destabilization across Iran, whatever MKO is rolled into, perhaps the
“Free Iranian Army,” its terroristic history, the American blood
staining its hands, and its atrocities against the civilian population
of Iran both past and present will not be discussed by the Western
similar campaign of perception management surrounded Libyan terrorists
NATO had funded, armed, trained, and even provided air support for
during the Western orchestrated overthrow of the Libyan government in
2011. We were told that these were “pro-democracy” “freedom fighters,”
when in reality they were the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), not
only a listed U.S. foreign terrorist organization, but listed by the UK
as a proscribed terrorist group, and as an official affiliate of Al
Qaeda by the United Nations itself. Rarely is LIFG mentioned in the
Western media, and when it is, not many details are provided for readers
unaware of its history. We can expect MKO to be treated in a similar
Do you know of other cases that the U.S. government has made
concessions and compromised its stance with regards to terrorist groups
in order to pressure a foreign country with which it has been at odds?
Overall, I want to know your idea about the U.S. double standards in
regards to terrorism when it comes to groups such as MKO.
double standards exist only in the realm of public opinion. Behind
closed doors, U.S. policy makers have a single standard – that of
utility. The utility of a particular personality or group takes
precedence over all other considerations. Public perception is often an
afterthought, and as described previously, generally is handled by
keeping the public in the dark about the true nature of America’s chosen
support of MKO is but one of many examples of this. As mentioned
before, the U.S. has provided significant aid to Libya’s LIFG, which has
in fact shifted many of its fighters and NATO-supplied weapons into
Syria to wage the West’s proxy war there against the government of
President Bashar al-Assad.
many readers may not know is that LIFG and its various incarnations,
has received, on record, support from British MI6 and America’s CIA for
over 30 years, with the violence in Libya last year, and LIFG’s
operations in Syria this year, being only the latest chapter in a long
partnership with the West.
fighters were in the Afghan mountains in the 1980’s during the
inception of the joint U.S.-Saudi terror front, Al Qaeda – yet another
example of American-made and subsidized terrorism.
extremists operating in Lebanon against Hezbollah, terrorists in
Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, Jundallah, and extremists operating in
Russia’s Caucasus region, are all examples of the U.S. supporting
terrorist organizations to target and carry out violence against nations
to either exact concessions or regime change.
really isn’t that the West’s leadership is betraying their principles –
they clearly have no such principles. Instead, what we are seeing is
the West attempting to dress up its agenda and methods to legitimize
what is clearly unacceptable behavior the West’s respective populations
would otherwise never tolerate.
And finally, what should be Iran’s response to this hostile decision
made by the U.S. government? MKO has assassinated several high-ranking
Iranian officials in the first years of Islamic Revolution, including
former President, Prime Minister and judiciary chief, and several
nuclear scientists in the recent years. Should Iran file a lawsuit
against MKO in an international court?
is a difficult but important question to answer. Iran’s government, its
military and intelligence networks in particular, are in the best
position to know the true impact of MKO’s activities and what
capabilities they themselves possess with which to counter these
activities. Raising public awareness both at home and abroad of who the
MKO is and what they are doing would be a good start.
is important to warn the public, police, and security forces regarding
the tactics MKO terrorists employ – not only currently, but what their
role will be if ever the West succeeds at triggering widespread unrest
across Iran. It is very likely that MKO terrorists are already prepared
to ignite violence at protests staged by Western-backed opposition
groups. Just as the West has done against Syria, initially peaceful
protests are targeted by Western-affiliated and trained gunmen,
operating clandestinely from cover, targeting both their own protesters
and security forces to ignite cascading violence. The resulting
escalating violence will provide cover, just as it has done in Syria,
for foreign militants to infiltrate and begin full-scale military
operations against the government and its people.
like any dangerous pest, it is necessary not only to simply swat at it
when it draws near, but to identify the source from which it was
spawned, and eliminate it. In MKO’s case, it has bases inside of Iraq.
Working closer with Iraqi security forces to eliminate these bases would
be a good start. Additionally, Iran, Russia, and China have been
working together to create a united front against these clandestine
organizations, and appropriately labeling them as terrorists. Expanding
this effort and working with other nations suffering from covert
destabilization to develop the tools to protect national sovereignty is
also very important.
the greatest advantage the West has is a general state of global
ignorance regarding the mechanics of covert destabilization and regime
change, namely the use of foreign-funded NGOs, terror organizations, and
foreign-backed opposition groups to strip away national sovereignty. A
united front determined to raise awareness of these mechanics, while
developing the operational capacity to counter them would steal from the
West the cloak of secrecy and impunity they have operated behind for so
whether Iran files a lawsuit against MKO in an international court or
not, depends on which court is being considered. It may be worth
investigating the creation of an international court that exists beyond
the influence of Western corporate-financier interests. For example, the
International Criminal Court has been exposed many times as but a tool
for executing Western foreign policy. To approach the ICC for any reason
but to condemn its lack of integrity and legitimacy, only serves to
perpetuate its existence and standings amongst global public opinion.