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The role of the MKO in the killing of the Iranian pilgrims in 1987 in Mecca

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The role of the MKO in the killing of the Iranian pilgrims in 1987 in Mecca

on July 31, 1987, the Saudi government violently suppressed the ceremonies of Disavowal of Polytheists that was being done from the pilgrims and in this incident more than 300 of the pilgrims which most of whom were Iranians, were martyred. There is now evidence that reveals the role of MKO and their cooperation with the Ba’athist regime in Iraq and Saudi Arabia in the killing of Iranian pilgrims.

The role of the MKO in the killing of the Iranian pilgrims in 1987 in Mecca

It is better to say that this tragedy occurred while Iran was engaged in war with Iraqi invaders and the involvement of the Ba’athist regime was likely in this incident. In this situation, MKO immediately following the tragedy of the massacre of the Iranian pilgrims in Mecca, issued a declaration blaming Islamic Republic of Iran for this massacre and acquitted the Salafi, Ba’athist, Wahhabi and Saudi criminals.

Mehdi Abrishamchi, a member of MKO, in an interview with Iraqi intelligence officers noted the issuance of the statement and Saudis acknowledgment about it and said:

“the official invitation sent by “Malek Fahad” to us, we thought it was related to our announcement, but when we went, they gave us the invitation, so we have mentioned this directly to coordinate with you to consider your views and suggestions. Following the statement, we issued after the incident of Mecca, a transcript had been sent to the Saudi Embassy in Baghdad, Mr. Ambassador called and said that he was carrying the message of King Fahd and he was visiting me today.  The ambassador announced the Fahd’s attention, had invited a delegation of the organization to travel to Jeddah and meet with Saudi officials and set a date for the delegation on Tuesday.”

According to a former member of MKO called Rezvani, “Massoud Rajavi took advantage of the time of Haj opportunity, according to a pre-planned operation and in collaboration wwith Iraq, turned the peaceful demonstration of Disavowal of Polytheists of Iranian pilgrims into a bloodbath to achieve their specific goals.”[1]

Of course before the revelations of the MKO members, the information of the role of MKO in killing of the people on July 31 had been obtained by the Islamic Republic Authorities. For example, the president of that time Mr. Ayatollah Khamenei, in his speech on July 1987 pointed out the role of MKO in the incident of bloody Friday of Mecca and said: “we are most likely guessing that MKO and wretched mercenaries who are willing to commit any crime against their country have been involved in this atrocious crime. Evidence shows that some Persian-speaking people who covered their faces helped world arrogance and Saudi Monarchy regime. The incident was preplanned and is likely to be coordinated with the Persian Gulf case just a few months ago.”[2]

Long afterwards, Ezatollah Sahabi, a member of the freedom movement, also wrote in his memoire about the devil works of MKO in the incident of “Bloody Friday”:

“unfortunately, the demonstrations were suppressed in that year, as a result of the mysterious interference, and many of our people got killed. On a trip which I had to abroad that year, a friend of mine told me that the devil works of Mujahedin cased this incident, or had resorted this to violence. I hoped the news would not be true… but it was heard that a member of Mujahedin Mr. Abbas[3] with the Ahram custom, when demonstrators were on a bridge named as “Hojum” fired a bullet at the police while he was among the demonstrators. The Saudi police, who were fully prepared, attacked the crowd and shoot at them, crowed rushed back and a big amount of people who were women got killed smashed under the feet[4].”

Iraqi Ba’ath regime cooperates with the Mujahideen in Mecca

evidence suggests that the Iraqi regime, which was involved in the war with Iran, was also aware of the conspiracies of the MKO and Saudis, cooperating with MKO to resorting the Hajj rituals to violence. During part of the revealing talks, one of the old members of the MKO’s headquarters, Abbas Davari, who headed the MKO convoy in Hajj in the year 1987, met with Iraqi security officers on the issue of the presence of the MKO in the Hajj and cooperation of Ba’athists as follows:

Abbas Davari: we wanted to be able to go to the Hajj within the Iraqi delegation, in a way that it wasn’t detectable that we are not Iraqis or we are from MKO that we can join the Iranians the same day they entered; of course you know that Iranians come to the Hajj as caravans, we want to infiltrate our forces into them to communicate.

Iraqi security officer: how we can get your visas? Where do these forces want to communicate with them?

Abbas Davari: in Jeddah, where all pilgrims first get off there and there are a few people which are in minds who are not in Iraq right now.

Iraqi security officer: we can issue Iraqqi passport and send some Hajj caravans with the agreement. They send the passport to every person and hand it to them and will return the passport in due time, we have no other way.

Abbas Davari: due to its sensitivity, it is better to return to another country and from there they come to Iraq.

Iraqi security officer: because the passports will go with one of our caravans, they cannot come back with other caravans. Since Saudi Arabia has a list of every caravan and your person can get out of the Besse as soon as the get there and do his job and nobody will recognize him, and at the end he will refer to our agent and get his passport and will return.

Abbas Davari: MKO members want to be inside Iranian caravan and be with them day and night and it should be detectable that they came from another caravan. [5]

Massoud Rajavi’s Secret trip to Saudi Arabia

In March 2001, 13 years after the Mecca disaster, an image of Massoud Rajavi was published in Mojahed Magazine, indicating that he was present in Mecca in 1987[6]. In this photo, besides Rajavi, there are people like Abbas Davari, Alireza Babakhani, Mohammad Seyed Almohadesin, Alireza Sadr, Haj Seyed Javadi and Reza Doroudi that all of them were the heads of foreign affairs and intelligence and security of the MKO.

In addition, further evidence indicated that the leader of the MKO was going to Saudi Arabia secretly in the year 1987 with the official invitation received from Malek Fahad and at the same time as the events of Mecca occurred.

In this regard, Mehdi Abrishamchi, told to an Iraqi intelligence officer that: “we have a scheduling table to keep this trip safe even to be hidden from the airport staff, and we will let you know to do base on it and we expect it to be done. No one knows about it except the three of us.”

In other meetings between MEK and the Iraqi intelligence, it was emphasized that the trip was intended for further Saudi support of MKO to confront the Islamic Republic of Iran[7].

Massoud Rajavi’s Disclosure of the Relationship Between MKO and Saudis

Massoud Rajavi during the negotiations with Lieutenant Genaral Saber al-Douri, head of the Iraqi intelligence service, after the Shabaaniye intifada of 1991 said: “on Thursday, our representative met with “Murphy” in the United States of America. They started to listening to us and we tried to reveal the plans and plots of the (Imam) Khomeini regime to them. We prove to them that the Iranian regime is the first threat, not Iraq. We have made it clear that this threat is also being addressed to Saudi Arabia. You Iraqis established our relationship with Saudi Arabia, as Malek Fahad invited me to visit Saudi Arabia, where I went and met with him.”

He also said in a message to the head of the Iraqi intelligence service about the relationship between MKO and Saudis: “as the doctor knows, we are seeking to persuade the Saudis to establish a strong relationship with Iraq to isolate Khomeini(Khomeini system) in a strongest way and doctor are well aware that the news of this relationship should be secret between you and us. Also, if the doctor needs to mention something, do this before the delegation (the dispatched delegation to Saudi Arabia) leaves on Tuesday[8].”

According to one of the former members of the organization, Rajavi took the advantage of the pilgrimage opportunity, according to a pre-determined plan and with the cooperation of the Iraqi government, resort the peaceful demonstration of Iranian pilgrims to violence to achieve his goals[9]. Sobhani also published a photo of Rajavi and his companions in the Ahram costume in his book and wrote:

“the above photo is about Massoud Rajavi’s trip to Saudi Arabia at the same time as the Mecca riots in 1987. This photo was first published in Mojahed magazine on March 6, 2001, and after 13 years, the MKO announced that he had visited Mecca in 1987. Is there any question as to why this news and photo has been kept secret for 13 years?”[10]

Rajavi’s campanions in the photo include: Abbas Davari, Alireza Babakhani, Mohammad Seyed al-Mohadesin, Alireza Sadr, Haj Seyed Javadi and Reza Doroudi, that they were all the heads of foreign affairs and security and intelligence of the organization.

In the year 1987, the Saudi government was approaching Iran and tended to resolve many problems and disputes between them, and to improve its relations with Iran. Saudi Arabia’s proximity to the Islamic Republic of Iran, while Iraq’s imminent war against Iran was at its peak, was extremely frightening for both Saddam and Rajavi, both of them needed Saudi financial assistance, it would be possible if they were to push that regime from the Islamic Republic. Therefore, they should intensify the conflict between them in order to prevent their closeness. Iraqi officials provided diplomatic immunity to provide the basics and arrangements for the plot. They brought explosives and images of Imam with them to Jeddah airport without any inspection. Members of the organization entered Saudi Arabia with Iraqi passports as Iraqi pilgrims. After arriving in Saudi Arabia, this group easily settled among Iranian pilgrims to complete their activities in the name of Iranians. After returning the caravan from Saudi Arabia, some of them became “problematic” over time and the possibility of their separation from the organization increased. According to one of the separated members, in order to stop this news from spreading out of the organization, organization assassinated those problematic members one by one[11]. The statements and testimonies of some of the separated members of the organization in Europe based on the information they had from the role of the organization in killing of the Iranian pilgrims in 1987, in March of 1995 and April of 1992 it was widely reflected in Persian language publications in abroad and subsequently mentioned in their interviews and their writings. The issue has also been exposed in videotapes of negotiations of the agents of the organization and Iraq intelligence officials. In part of the leaked negotiations, Abbas Davari, the representative of the organization, in a meeting with Iraqi security officials which achieved after the fall of Saddam, made it clear that the organization members was presented in the Hajj incident.

[1] Negah magazine, MKO, Statement of Rezvani, P330.

[2] Keyhan newspaper, Tuesday, 27th of Mordad 1366, P2.

[3] Abbas Davari

[4] Ezzatollah Sahabi, Nim Gharn Khatere va Tajrobeh, V2, Tehran: Khavaran publication, P183.

[5] Safaoldin Tabraeian, Khabgarda: the connection of MKO leaders with intelligence and security organizations of Iraq, Tehran: Center of Islamic Revolution Documents, P701 and 702.

[6] Sazmane Mojahedine Khalgh az peydaei ta farjam, V3, Tehran: Political Study and Research Institute, P266.

[7] Sazmane Mojahedine Khalgh az peydaei ta farjam, V3, Tehran: Political Study and Research Institute, P272.

[8] Safaoldin Tabraeian, Khabgarda, Tehran: Center of Islamic Revolution Documents, PP704-706

[9] Negah magazine, MKO…, statement of Rezvani: P330.

[10] Sobhani, Roozhaye Tarike Baghdad: P92.

[11] Negah magazine, MKO…: statement of Rezvani: P331.

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