I’ve been able to confirm with enough comfort level to publish the report from Iranian media that Gholam Shakuri, the alleged Iranian Revolutionary Guard co-conspirator in the Iran terror plot, is a member of the Mujahadeen al-Khalq (MEK). This is the group which engages in acts of terror within Iran in order to overthrow the regime. It also collaborates with the Mossad in spreading disinformation about the Iranian nuclear program. MEK has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaker and consulting fees to U.S. political figures like Howard Dean in a so far vain attempt to get the group removed from the Treasury Department list of recognized terror groups.
Yesterday, the NY Times published this report:
Iran injected a new twist on Tuesday into the week-old American accusation of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, asserting that one of the defendants really belongs to an outlawed and exiled opposition group.
The defendant, Gholam Shakuri, identified by the Justice Department as an operative of the élite Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, is actually a “key member” of the Mujahedeen Khalq, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported.
The agency did not explain the group’s possible motive but left the implication that the plot was a bogus scheme meant to frame and ostracize Iran.
… “The person in question has been traveling to different countries under the names of Ali Shakuri/Gholam Shakuri/Gholam-Hussein Shakuri by using fake passports including forged Iranian passports,” Mehr said.
…Mehr said it had learned what it called the new information about Mr. Shakuri from Interpol but was not more specific.
Muhammad Sahimi, working directly from Iranian media sources reports:
Alef, the website published by Majles deputy Ahmad Tavakoli, claimed that the second person named in the U.S. Justice Deaprtment’s indictment of the alleged culprits in the plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington, D.C., is a member of the Mojahedin-e Khalgh Organization (MKO, or MEK). According to Alef, Gholam Shakuri — who, the website claims, has used the aliases Ali Shakuri and Gholam-Hossein Shakuri — is a high-ranking MKO member who has used faked passports to travel to various countries over the years. One of those passports was issued on November 30, 2006, in Washington with the number K10295631. Alef asserted that its information was obtained through Interpol. The website’s claims cannot be independently verified.
As I noted above, MEK has a history of planting fraudulent “evidence” designed to support the claim that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon. It therefore is entirely possible that it cooked up this scheme to further tarnish Iran’s reputation and relations with western countries. My only question is wouldn’t they care if they hatched such a slipshod plot that it made Barack Obama end up looking like an utter fool?
For those wondering, Alef is a website published by a well-connected Iranian legislator who’s run for president twice.
UPDATE: Trita Parsi has suggested using caution regarding this story since both the MEK and Iran have their reasons for the claims and accusations made, meaning it’s hard to pinpoint with precise accuracy who may be right or wrong. So I wanted to add this to the mix.