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U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author

 
The Wise One
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03/20/2007 07:20 PM
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U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author

BERKELEY, United States (IPS) -- Author of the upcoming book "The Iran Agenda: the Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis", due for release in September from Polipoint Press, Reese Erlich recently spent three weeks investigating Kurdish resistance organisations in Iran and Iraq's Kurdish region. He tells IPS that "the United States is officially funding armed groups to overthrow the Islamic government" in Tehran.

In an interview with IPS's Omid Memarian, Erlich, who has covered the Middle East as a freelance journalist for the past 20 years and co-wrote 2003's "Target Iraq", says that Washington's strategy is primarily focused on media propaganda -- such as websites and satellite television and radio stations -- but also includes covert military training.

The Iranian government has itself accused opposition groups of destabilising the border region, and recently warned Kurdish Iraqi officials to expel armed bandits and anti-Iranian groups from their province, or face military incursions.

IPS: What do the Kurdish opposition groups look like? What constitutes the daily life of these small groups who are fighting an established government?

Reese Erlich (RE): The Kurdish compounds are like small villages. They have barracks for the single men peshmurga. Political cadres live with their families in small homes, much like Iraqi Kurds in that area. They have meeting halls and offices. PJAK's [Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistanê, or Party of Free Life of Kurdistan] conditions are much more like guerrillas, living in the cold mountains with more rudimentary huts.

I described one PJAK leader as the "very model of a modern guerrilla general." He has a cell phone, internet access and satellite TV. The women guerrillas claim they only watch news programmes, but I got them to admit they also like movies with Brad Pitt and Mel Gibson.

IPS: Is the U.S. support limited to media or does it include other activities, such as military operations?

RE: Secretly, U.S. intelligence services are also sponsoring armed attacks within Iran. I discovered the U.S. and Israeli support for PJAK in Kurdistan and from so-called former MEK members. The U.S. asks a Mujahedin-e Khalq Organisation (MEK or MKO) member if they have left and if they support democracy. If they answer yes, they can be trained and armed for clandestine actions inside Iran.

I believe that Kurds and other minorities within Iran have legitimate grievances. They are not allowed to learn in their local languages and face other forms of discrimination. But the U.S. finds the most extremist of minority groups and encourages them to engage in violence. The PJAK is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and has become a nationalist cult built around the personality of Abdullah Ocalan. MEK is really a cult, run by very secretive and authoritarian leaders. Both these groups consider themselves social democrats, but ironically, they receive the most support from extreme right wingers in the U.S.

IPS: How do they get support from [sympathisers in] Iran when the Iranian government has extensively shut down their operations in the west of Iran?

RE: I met with three Iranian Kurdish opposition groups with camps in northern Iraq. KDPI [the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran] and Komala say they recruit new members from Iran and both have peshmurga militias. But neither currently engages in armed activity inside Iran. It's hard to know what actual support they have inside Iran, but they historically certainly had supporters in the Kurdish regions. PJAK is much smaller and more isolated. But they have picked up some support from young people angry at the oppression they face inside Iran.

>From my sources among Kurds, all three groups carry out clandestine meetings with supporters inside Iran. When big demonstrations broke out inside Kurdistan in 2006, all three groups participated in the demonstrations. PJAK took a more militant line, calling for armed struggle, and that appealed to some youth.

IPS: What can they achieve while there are many dynamics to reform the Iranian political system?

RE: All three groups agree on certain things. They say they support a revolution in Iran with the ultimate aim of establishing a democratic, federal system. They want the central government to control major issues such as foreign affairs, the military and economy. But local regions should control education, health, police and similar local issues. They do not call for separatism. The danger, of course, is that if Iraqi Kurdistan becomes independent and the Iranian government continues its current policies, the mood could shift in support of separatism.

It's very hard to judge how much support these groups have in Tehran. I met with some intellectuals, NGO leaders and others who -- I suspected -- supported one or another group. But since the groups are illegal, they can't be very specific. I think the support for much greater local control or federalism is strong among the Kurds I met.

IPS: Does the Iranian opposition, which is supported by U.S. money, support any kind attack against Iran?

RE: KDPI strongly opposes any U.S. military attacks against Iran, arguing it will just alienate Iranians, including those who oppose the government. PJAK welcomes such attacks in hopes they will topple the government. Komala says it neither supports nor opposes such attacks. U.S. attacks might help topple the regime, they argue, but they don't advocate it.

U.S. military officials I spoke with deny any U.S. support of PJAK. The official position of the Bush administration is to support Iranians to bring about a new government, but they don't officially call for "regime change." In reality, the U.S. is doing everything in its power to overthrow the Iranian government and install one friendly to the U.S.

IPS: Is there any direct connection between the Kurdish opposition groups and U.S. officials? Do they meet on regular basis?

RE: In 2006, top Komala and KDPI leaders visited the U.S. to meet with middle level State Department and intelligence officials. It was an official meeting covered in the press at the time. They wouldn't tell me the content of the meetings except that the meetings were very friendly.

Hejri visited Washington in 2006 to meet with State Department and other U.S. government officials. Hejri and other KDPI leaders deny accepting U.S. financing, although he said KDPI would accept such aid if offered.

Morteza Esfandiari, the KDPI representative in the U.S., told me that KDPI had applied to get some of the 85 million dollars allocated to "promote democracy" in Iran in order to improve its satellite TV station.

The KDPI opposes U.S. or Israeli military attacks on Iran's nuclear power facilities as counterproductive.

I think it will very hard for Iran to crush the Kurdish opposition. Kurds are a very independent people who have never liked repression from the central government. In addition, the Kurdish guerrillas can retreat into Iraq, and return to fight another day.

IPS: The Iranian government has a very friendly relationship with Iraq's president, who is a Kurd himself and has strong ties with Iranian officials. Why does the Iraqi government allow the Kurdish opposition groups to operate in Iraq?

RE: The KRG (Kurdish Regional Government) allows Komala and KDPI to maintain compounds in Iraq and train peshmurga, so long as they don't carry out armed actions inside Iran. I think KDPI and Komala agree to those terms. PJAK does carry out armed actions. KRG officials claim they can't stop PJAK because of the rugged mountain terrain. In reality, they just look the other way, since PJAK has U.S. and Israeli backing.

Kurdish nationalism is very strong. The KRG, which has good relations with Iran, can't ignore the plight of Kurds living in Iran. So they compromise by not allowing the two major groups to engage in guerrilla activity. But it's a situation that can't last forever. Last year, on two occasions, Iran shelled Iraqi Kurdish villages, killing five people as a warning to the KRG.

In the past, Iran has asked the KRG to shut down opposition groups operating in Kurdistan. They even made a deal with one of the Iraqi Krudish groups to attack KDPI's camp. But KDPI was warned in advance and no one was hurt. Right now the KRG relies on the U.S., and the U.S. wants Iran attacked. So I don't think Iran's entreaties will go anywhere. If the general political situation changes, however, who knows?

Omid Memarian is an Iranian journalist and civil society activist. He has won several awards, including Human Rights Watch's highest honour in 2005, the Human Rights Defender Award. His blog can be found at [link to omidmemarian.blogspot.com.]

[link to www.aina.org]
Anonymous Coward
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04/04/2007 03:18 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
And you are surprised? Of course the US funds groups that want to overthrow other govts. It is a common practice for about 5,000 years. You dont think other govts pay a ton of money to overthrow the US govt?

ANSWER is supported by the American Communist party as well as many other anti war factions in the US. Take a look at how much money came from communist countries during the viet nam war to support anitwar protests?
Anonymous Coward
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04/12/2007 08:10 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
And ANSWER is behind La Raza, whom, the Hilderbeast is seeking support from for her presidential campaign. Ergo... The Hilderbeast is in effect seeking the vote of the Communist Party of the USA.

Go figure.

Vote for Hillary is a vote for American Communism.
Anonymous Coward
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04/18/2007 04:24 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
Commy Russian an China are arming Iran and Syria an other proxies.So your point is your a nazi?lmao
Anonymous Coward
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04/18/2007 05:55 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
is a nazi like OP the samething as a commy lol
Anonymous Coward
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04/18/2007 06:11 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
If the U.S. Government is covertly trying to overthrow Ahmadinejad's monstrously evil, women-enslaving regime, I'm all for it, and PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.

Thank God we had the power to oust Hitler, Hirohito, Saddam, and now hopefully, the Iranian Dennis-the-Menace.

We fight for freedom and justice, which means I hope we overthrow Saudi Arabia's Satanic Sharia-law, women-hating, regime.

Evil must be fought, not appeased.

Why doesn't the National Organization for Women have protests denouncing the Saudis ?

Nowhere on Earth are women more abused than under the evil clutches of the Islamic regimes.
Anonymous Coward
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04/21/2007 05:14 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
ANSWER is supported by the American Communist party as well as many other anti war factions in the US. Take a look at how much money came from communist countries during the viet nam war to support anitwar protests?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 218423


Pass it on.

But then check out the history of affliations with the Democratic Progressive Cacuas. What are its roots?
Anonymous Coward
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04/21/2007 05:15 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
And ANSWER is behind La Raza, whom, the Hilderbeast is seeking support from for her presidential campaign. Ergo... The Hilderbeast is in effect seeking the vote of the Communist Party of the USA.

Go figure.

Vote for Hillary is a vote for American Communism.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 173374


And that is a fact.

Commies on the left of me, Nazi's to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you.. lalalala...

Vote for Ron Paul for President.
Anonymous Coward
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04/21/2007 05:19 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
Thank God we had the power to oust Hitler, Hirohito, Saddam, and now hopefully, the Iranian Dennis-the-Menace.

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 150446


The same money that put all of these into power, also put them out of power, making billions and killing tens of millions on all sides.

Who is this "we" you speak of? Could it be the US Taxpayers and US Corporation consumers you are speaking of, whose spending was funneled through to build Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Sadman Insane, etc, into vivid "foes" and "enemies"... that "we"?
Anonymous Coward
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04/21/2007 05:20 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
Why doesn't the National Organization for Women have protests denouncing the Saudis ?

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 150446


It is so obvious, isn't it? The NOW is not at all what it seems.
ac
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04/22/2007 03:45 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
No surprise. I wonder when other nations are going to start funding our nation for regime change?
Anonymous Coward
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04/22/2007 03:53 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
If the U.S. Government is covertly trying to overthrow Ahmadinejad's monstrously evil, women-enslaving regime, I'm all for it, and PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.

Thank God we had the power to oust Hitler, Hirohito, Saddam, and now hopefully, the Iranian Dennis-the-Menace.

We fight for freedom and justice, which means I hope we overthrow Saudi Arabia's Satanic Sharia-law, women-hating, regime.

Evil must be fought, not appeased.

Why doesn't the National Organization for Women have protests denouncing the Saudis ?

Nowhere on Earth are women more abused than under the evil clutches of the Islamic regimes.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 150446



Typical American who can do no wrong, all the while murdering your own children through abortion, injuring your own children through mercury-filled vaccines, killing your own people through disgusting corporations like monsanto with genetically modified crops and mcdonalds, burger king, and coco-cola who all lead the nation in causing heart disease, diabetes, and now mandating hpv vaccines for your women. Don't even get me started on how you call yoruself free and democratic when your electoral system is junk, your bill of rights have been by-passed with homeland defense, real id, military acts, and patriot act, and you borrow money from communist china in order to pay to Israel. LOL!!!
Anonymous Coward
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04/22/2007 04:03 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
If the U.S. Government is covertly trying to overthrow Ahmadinejad's monstrously evil, women-enslaving regime, I'm all for it, and PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 150446


If overthrowing women enslaving regimes is your thing, we should be overthrowing this woman enslaving regime as well, dontcha think?

Israel's sex slaves: Israel of all places has turned into international center of modern-day slavery
[link to www.ynetnews.com]

Ahmadinejad might make women wash the dishes, but he's not forcing them to give blowjobs to 100 sheenies/day.
89446

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04/22/2007 04:05 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
Typical American who can do no wrong, all the while murdering your own children through abortion
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 201785


Abortions happen worldwide. But you're too much to the left to compute that.
Sol Dominvs Imperi Romani
Imperium Romanum Sacrum
In Varietate Concordia
Anonymous Coward
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04/29/2007 10:41 AM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
bump
Anonymous Coward
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05/12/2007 06:03 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
Do you really think it'll work.

cow
Anonymous Coward
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05/17/2007 05:39 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
I wonder if they get pizza delivered too.
Redheaded Stepchild

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05/25/2007 08:27 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
WISE ONE:
You pegged it. Good on you!
"Until you are willing to organize your friends and neighbors and literally shut down cities - drive at 5mph through the streets of major cities on the freeway and stop commerce, refuse to show up for work, refuse to borrow and spend more than you make, show up in Washington DC with a million of your neighbors and literally shut down The Capitol you WILL be bent over the table on a daily basis." Karl Denninger

Don't blame me; I voted for Ron Paul.


Silence is consent.
Anonymous Coward
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05/27/2007 12:33 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
Iran says U.S. spies exposed
[link to www.ocala.com]
Anonymous Coward
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05/27/2007 12:41 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
If the US and the puppet government in Iraq are 'destabilizing' Iran, Iran certainly has justification to 'destabilize' Iraq.
Bigbird
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05/27/2007 05:26 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
If the U.S. Government is covertly trying to overthrow Ahmadinejad's monstrously evil, women-enslaving regime, I'm all for it, and PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.

Thank God we had the power to oust Hitler, Hirohito, Saddam, and now hopefully, the Iranian Dennis-the-Menace.

We fight for freedom and justice, which means I hope we overthrow Saudi Arabia's Satanic Sharia-law, women-hating, regime.

Evil must be fought, not appeased.

Why doesn't the National Organization for Women have protests denouncing the Saudis ?

Nowhere on Earth are women more abused than under the evil clutches of the Islamic regimes.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 150446


I don't mean anything personal by this, nor do I condone abusing or suppressing women per se but unless you've lived under a rock since the 60's (or before), you have to know that most of these "evil" leaders are who we want in power after we oust the one that we don't want. Our leaders backed John Baptiste Aristide of Haiti, we put the Shah of Iran into power after trying to get Saddam Hussein to assassinate Mohammed Mossadegh, we backed Manuel Noriega, and of course put Saddam into power (heard of others - like Tito - but you get the point) and didn't give a rat's ass about their human rights policies (or lack thereof) or suppressing women's rights! Secondly, people like the Rockefeller's are the originators of the "women's lib movement" as they wanted to break up the family, put more people in the family to work to gain more money from taxes and to put the kids in the system to be trained for "the real world" and taught how (and what) they wanted to teach them, not be home schooled or "taught to question authority"! Don't believe me, ask Aaron Russo.
Bigbird
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05/27/2007 05:35 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
Thank God we had the power to oust Hitler, Hirohito, Saddam, and now hopefully, the Iranian Dennis-the-Menace.



The same money that put all of these into power, also put them out of power, making billions and killing tens of millions on all sides.

Who is this "we" you speak of? Could it be the US Taxpayers and US Corporation consumers you are speaking of, whose spending was funneled through to build Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Sadman Insane, etc, into vivid "foes" and "enemies"... that "we"?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 173374


Yeah, they stop giving us our percentage or decide to run "their" country like "they" want, and we eliminate them...in the name of freedom and liberation; then install someone worse! As for Hitler, the New York bankers and Bush's grandfather (and I've heard The Vatican" laundered money from and provided money to Hitler's regime!!
anonanon

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05/28/2007 11:58 AM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
No surprise at all. The USA has quite a score to settle with Iran over the hostages in the Carter administration and their President, if the hostages are to be believed, was one of the guys in on their 444 day long imprisonment and torture.

But the people voted for him so maybe they have the government they deserve.
Anonymous Coward
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06/08/2007 07:19 AM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
"the United States is officially funding armed groups to overthrow the Islamic government"
 Quoting: The Wise One


This ongoing meddling in the affairs of others needs to stop. Who is it that is doing this meddling, and who authorized them. When was a resolution on such meddling placed on the floor of Congress so that the American people could speak on the issue? Who are these people, invoking the name and power of the United States people without their consent?
Anonymous Coward
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06/08/2007 02:28 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
No surprise. I wonder when other nations are going to start funding our nation for regime change?
 Quoting: ac 225559


The rest of the world knows a regime change won't work.
The stupid sheeple will just elect another warmonger.

Need a good pandemic to flood through and clean out about 200 million of them.
Anonymous Coward
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06/08/2007 02:29 PM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
No surprise at all. The USA has quite a score to settle with Iran over the hostages in the Carter administration and their President, if the hostages are to be believed, was one of the guys in on their 444 day long imprisonment and torture.

But the people voted for him so maybe they have the government they deserve.
 Quoting: anonanon


You must be a young, gullible one?

You never heard of the US installed Shah of Iran?

Iran certainly did NOT start this.
Anonymous Coward
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06/16/2007 07:03 AM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
In the Church of GREATBRAINWASHING we are insructed to NOT peer over the pews.
Anonymous Coward
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06/16/2007 07:35 AM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
Of course the US funds groups that want to overthrow other govts.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 218423

You do realize that this alone would be a sufficient reason for defensive war? That in other words, Iran would then have the right, under international law, to attack the United States?
Anonymous Coward
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06/16/2007 07:41 AM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
If the U.S. Government is covertly trying to overthrow Ahmadinejad's monstrously evil, women-enslaving regime, I'm all for it, and PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 150446

You do realize that by Divine standards, the American baby-killing regime is 100 times worse than Iran's "women-enslaving" one? Iranian women can leave the country, American babies are killed when they try to leave the womb.

Late in the 1990s, monstrously evil leaders all over the world tried to declare a 'right' to abortion through a United Nations document. American (Clinton) pressure even got the Catholic Latin American countries to agree, or at least be silent. Iran alone saved the world from such a catastrophe. (The Vatican did what it could but is not even an official United Nations member.)

Iran's brave action will ensure that the Lord looks favorably upon it for a long, long time.
Adem hilaqi
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06/16/2007 07:41 AM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
just like mo. mosaddeq ! nothing has changed
Anonymous Coward
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06/16/2007 11:18 AM
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Re: U.S. Funding Armed Groups to Overthrow Iranian Government: Author
Darn, now the Iranians can supply Iraq with arms just to be fair.

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