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Iran Reports Alleged Terror Conspirator Actually MEK Leader

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.

{ 50 comments… add one }
  • ginger October 19, 2011, 12:59 PM

    How can we chase this MEK operative Gholam Shakuri to ground?

    Can ‘Tikun Olam’ or ‘Mondoweiss’ or better yet, Max Blumenthal (yeah!) hire the Xe guys to go after this guy in Camp Asharaf and catch him and rendition him somewhere where we can get a confession that he conspired with Avigdor Lieberman and Max Boot to run a ‘False Flag Operation’ against Iran?

    It was Michael Ledeen and the ‘Italian Intelligence’/Mossad that created the whole Niger Uranium Forgery False Flag Operation that they stovepiped thru Feith’s Office of Special Plans to commit America to the warcrime of invading Iraq for Israel – why can’t we EXPOSE the Israeli Lobby and Israel for this operation?

    Is it possible that this ‘False Flag Operation’ can be TURNED and used to stop what will almost certainly be an Israeli/and or US attack on Iran?

    How priceless to America and the World would this be to expose this plot for the False Flag Operation’ it undoubtedly is? Wouldn’t Seymour Hersch get the Pulitzer Prizer for doing it? Isn’t there any currently unknown journalist out there in the world who want’s to be a historically famous person?

    How come we can’t all chase this down and EXPOSE it – exactly like we DIDN’T do with the Niger Uranium Forgery False Flag Operation?

  • Gert October 19, 2011, 1:20 PM

    This is completely off topic but not w/o importance at all.

    The 120 x 600 pixel vertical banner ad, right side on this page that reads:

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    On clicking through the fake news site one is taken to the actual scam which involves taking customers’ money without providing anything in return.

    For the full story, including tens of comments by people who actually fell for it, see here:

    link to reviewopedia.com

    I’m pretty sure you and probably also media.fastclick.net (who serve up the banners and presumably will pay you a pittance for each impression served) are in good faith. But scams like 24hourcashconnection (it goes by other names too) do not ‘make the world a better place’. You should contact media.fastclick.net and let them know you don’t want impressions for 24hourcashconnection.com served up at Tikun Olam: gullible and desperate job seeker really get hurt by these scumbags.

    • Richard Silverstein October 19, 2011, 2:17 PM

      I’ll check it out. I can ask the ad network with which I’m affiliated to stop carrying the ads too.

      • Gert October 20, 2011, 5:01 AM

        By all means. It should be possible to tell the banner advertising network that your site doesn’t want to display certain types of highly unethical ads, including ads for 24hourcashconnection.com. Carrying ads for highly dubious and scammy ‘work from home opportunities’ sends out the wrong signal for Tikum Olam, of which I’m a dedicated follower.

  • pabelmont October 19, 2011, 2:16 PM

    Is this Shakuri identified (by USA) by name alone, by bank-account, by telephone number, or by what? Could there be several people with similar names? What’s the “fact” evidence tjhat the USA claims to have? If they refuse to say (claiming secrecy as to methods and sources), then they’ve got ZILCH, or so I should think.

    What evidence do the interpol and all the others have as to who this (the important) Shakuri really is?

    Fascinating all the same.

    • Fred October 19, 2011, 7:42 PM

      US has not released anything on this individual except his name. Per Iranian news site, he has been to US recently. ICE should have a record of who he is in their entry/exit reports. The non-denial being reported as denials by US is about, not to believe the news source in general, but not that he is not MKO. Looks like Iran has provided enough information for US to find out if he has been in the US recently, and where he went.

  • lysias October 19, 2011, 3:33 PM

    If Iran were just trying to muddy the waters, why would they cite Interpol as their source?

    • Evan October 19, 2011, 4:55 PM

      Very good question. Interpol is taking its time answering, too.

      But, as I said in a previous comment, the only source we have so far is the Islamic Republic’s propaganda organs. Moreover, isn’t it a mite suspicious that the Islamic Republic discovered that one of their Revolutionary Guard leaders is an agent of the fanatically anti-Islamic Republic People’s Mojahedin just after he was accused of being a member of a murky conspiracy?

      There is a third possibility in all this. Maybe Shakuri is completely innocent but the Islamic Republic got spooked and threw him under the bus anyway.

      Anything is possible, of course. Stay tuned.

      • dickerson3870 October 19, 2011, 6:47 PM

        RE: “isn’t it a mite suspicious that the Islamic Republic discovered that one of their Revolutionary Guard leaders is an agent of the fanatically anti-Islamic Republic People’s Mojahedin” ~ Evan

        MY REPLY: I’d be curious to know what sources you have for the allegation that Shakuri is a “Revolutionary Guard leader”.
        Thanks in advance for any sources you can provide.

      • Richard Silverstein October 19, 2011, 8:17 PM

        You mean the Iranian propaganda organs are somehow less credible than the U.S. propaganda organs (like the Justice Dep’t.). I’d feel a whole lot more comfortable believing my goat if they’d actually prove their charges. Till then, I’d rather not be played for a chump as Bus-Cheney did to us so many times.

        • Evan October 19, 2011, 9:51 PM

          I make no claim that the US is telling the truth. In fact, I start from the assumption that they’re not. I said at the outset that I believe Gareth Porter’s analysis. I don’t know where you get the idea that I believe the US is telling the truth WHEN I CLEARLY SAID THE EXACT OPPOSITE.

          Thanks for paying attention.

  • Evan October 19, 2011, 4:59 PM

    I’d be curious to know where Mr. Silverstein gets to be so comfortable with the idea that a top Revolutionary Guard commander is actually a Mojahedin mole. This would be unprecedented in the Islamic Republic’s thirty year history.

    • dickerson3870 October 19, 2011, 6:50 PM

      RE: “I’d be curious to know where Mr. Silverstein gets to be so comfortable with the idea that a top Revolutionary Guard commander is actually a Mojahedin mole.” ~ Evan

      MY REPLY: I’d be curious to know what sources you have for the allegation that Shakuri is a “top Revolutionary Guard commander”.
      Thanks in advance for any sources you can provide.

      • Evan October 19, 2011, 9:46 PM

        I’ll withdraw that claim (if I actually made it) if Mr. Silverstein withdraws his.

        • dickerson3870 October 20, 2011, 8:53 PM

          “I see London, I see France…”

    • Richard Silverstein October 19, 2011, 8:12 PM

      As John wrote, absolutely no proof has been offered that he is an IRG commander. None. It may very well be possible that Arbabsiar thought he was IRG or that his cousin even told him he was. But that’s far diiereent than him actually being one.

      • Evan October 19, 2011, 9:47 PM

        You’re not answering the question.

        • Johnboy October 19, 2011, 11:12 PM

          Well, actually, yes he has.

          Your original question is based on an assumption i.e. that
          A) “Gholam Shakuri the MEK agent”
          is also
          B) “Gholam Shakuri the IRG commander”.

          But if Gholam Shakuri was running a false-flag operation then he was MISLEADING Arbabsiar when he claimed to be a member of the Revolutionary Guard.

          That’s what Richard Silverstein attempted to explain to you i.e. you are making an assumption, and in his opinion (and mine) that assumption is incorrect i.e. Gholam Shakuri was merely an MEK spy who claimed to be an IRG commander.

          • Evan October 20, 2011, 6:28 AM

            No, these are just claims. Why does he believe them?
            And, no, I don’t believe that Shakuri is necessarily a Revolutionary Guard commander. See, when I see no basis for a claim, I don’t cling to it for dear life.
            “I’ve been able to confirm with enough comfort level…”
            OK, where do you get this comfort level? No reply.

          • Richard Silverstein October 20, 2011, 5:03 PM

            I don’t believe that Shakuri is necessarily a Revolutionary Guard commander.

            Then why in this comment did you say precisely that?

            “I’d be curious to know where Mr. Silverstein gets to be so comfortable with the idea that a top Revolutionary Guard commander

          • Johnboy October 20, 2011, 3:33 PM

            “No, these are just claims. Why does he believe them?”


            You original argument was this:
            “I’d be curious to know where Mr. Silverstein gets to be so comfortable with the idea that a top Revolutionary Guard commander is actually a Mojahedin mole.”

            Both Silverstein and myself appear to be “comfortable” because we are being asked to comment on an “idea” that we believe is wrong.

            “And, no, I don’t believe that Shakuri is necessarily a Revolutionary Guard commander.”

            Then your original question is purely hypothetical, and I can only repeat what I have just said: I feel perfectly “comfortable” in the face of it for the very simple reason that it is incorrect.

            You might as well ask how I can possibly feel comfortable with these Oh-So-Uncomfortable Ideas:
            (a) cows are really two sheep in a cow-costume and
            (b) you and I share the same biological mother.

            I sleep well at night in the face of both of those claims, precisely because I think both claims are ludicrous.

            I think the claim that “a top Revolutionary Guard commander is actually a Mojahedin mole” is equally ludicrous, and so I feel equally “comfortable” when asked to contemplate it.

  • dickerson3870 October 19, 2011, 6:20 PM

    Number two suspect in plot case is MKO member

    TEHRAN, Oct. 17 (MNA) – Interpol has found new evidence showing that the number two suspect in connection with the alleged Iranian government’s involvement in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington is a key member of the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), the Mehr News Agency has learnt.
    Gholam Shakuri was last seen in Washington and Camp Ashraf in Iraq where MKO members are based.

    The person in question has been travelling to different countries under the names of Ali Shakuri/Gholam Shakuri/Gholam-Hossein Shakuri by using fake passports including forged Iranian passports. One passport used by the person was issued on 30/11/2006 in Washington. The passport number was K10295631.

    SOURCE – link to mehrnews.com
    P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA: Mehr News Agency (MNA) is an Iranian news agency established in Tehran in June 2003 to provide the public with news primarily about Iran and the rest of the Islamic world.
    MNA provides news in Persian, English, Arabic, Urdu, Turkish and German. Its managing director, Parviz Esmaeili, also runs the Tehran Times.

    • Evan October 19, 2011, 9:47 PM

      Dick, Mehr News is the equivalent of Fox News in the US, if not worse.

      • Richard Silverstein October 19, 2011, 11:39 PM

        When you do not know someone, you call them by their proper name. If you don’t, you show disrespect. I don’t know you nor care to. But if you don’t show respect & follow the rules you’ll be outa here so fast your head will fly.

        Mehr didn’t originate the story. Didn’t you even bother to read my post. The story originated with Alef, a website run by a high level majlis member & two time presidential candidate. That doesn’t mean it’s a credible report. But now a former high level MEK leader has confirmed that Shukari is MEK. Go rebut that.

        • Evan October 20, 2011, 6:42 AM

          Thanks. I’ll assume you’ll take the same attitude towards your buddy who called me Mr. Etrog. My, aren’t we touchy. Could it be that your amour propre has been a bit wounded?

          You *claim* that the article originated from Alef. You claim this because it was claimed (incorrectly) by Mohammad Sahimi, whom you quote. Actually, the Alef account was lifted word for word without attribution from the Mehr News Agency account. The Alef account was reported on the 26th of the current Persian month. The MNA account was reported on the 25th. So, yes, I read your post. It’s just that your account is *wrong*.

          Look, unlike you and the rest of your buddies, I know Persian and have read the sources. It doesn’t mean I’m always right, and am willing to stand corrected. It does mean that I’m entitled to a hearing and a consideration that I must might know more than you do.

          Anyway, you want to throw me out for being a bit too familiar with the name of one of your buddies, fine. I’ve been thrown out of better places for worse reasons. But you’ll have exposed yourself as a tin pot despot of your tiny realms who uses a petty excuse to eliminate a dissident voice from your little pond.

          • Richard Silverstein October 20, 2011, 4:45 PM

            My, aren’t we touchy

            If you had any idea how many times oafs just like you called me what you called me in an infantile attempt to demean or belittle me, you’d know I wasn’t being touchy. The proper form of address isn’t any of the ones you used so far. I don’t go by any of the names you used. If you bothered to read any of the comment threads you’d see how respectful commenters, including those who disagree w. me, address me.

            I despise snark & point scoring which seems to be yr cherished mode of expression. YOU’ll either have to learn to be more respectful & rein in yr sarcasm and feeble attempts at wit, or your stay here will be short.

            It doesn’t mean I’m always right, and am willing to stand corrected.

            No, you aren’t always right as I indicated in yr mischaracterization of the NYT article about Interpol. I doubt you can admit an error. We’ll see.

            Prof. Sahimi told me about the Alef rpt, hence I thought it was the original. I will check with him to confirm whether or not you are right about this.

            unlike you and the rest of your buddies, I know Persian

            You’re not the only reader & commenter at this blog who knows Persian and whenever I rely on Persian sources I rely on native Farsi speakers to relay that information.

            I’ve been thrown out

            I’m sure you have. You’re a thoroughly unlikable person & it doesn’t surprise me a bit..

            you’ll have exposed yourself

            I’m afraid it’s you who’ve exposed yrself in precisely the manner you have. As a petulant, snarky, know it all who distorts arguments for yr own convenience.

            The only thing I’m thankful for is that you (along with Prof. Sahimi) noted my error in reading the Gulf2K posting about Shakuri, which I’ve corrected.

  • dickerson3870 October 19, 2011, 8:43 PM

    ALSO SEE: How to Kill an Ambassador, by Philip Giraldi, Antiwar.com, 10/20/11

    (excerpt) An increasing number of former intel officers that I network with are convinced that the alleged plot to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington is not only completely implausible as described by the Justice Department and White House but also possibly the contrivance of an intelligence or security service other than that of Iran…
    …The speculation by Gareth Porter that the whole affair might have been a drug deal that morphed or was manipulated by an FBI sting into yet another terrorism story is compelling…
    …Another possibility that has been mentioned is that it might have been an operation planned by the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, the Iranian opposition group supported by a number of U.S. lawmakers. But the MEK would not have the resources or technical expertise to carry out such a deception, unless it were working in cooperation with the CIA or the Mossad, which raises the possibility that this has been from the start the work of an intelligence agency rather than law enforcement…
    …The United States would have the simplest task in mounting such a false-flag operation…

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to original.antiwar.com

    • Evan October 19, 2011, 9:48 PM

      This is all speculation. Interesting, but speculation.

      • Johnboy October 19, 2011, 11:16 PM

        “This is all speculation. Interesting, but speculation.”

        Indeed it is, but no more so that the US government’s case regarding the involvement of the Iranian government in this “plot”.

        After all, the ONLY link between Arbabsair and the Iranian government is Gholam Shakuri and – again, so far – the claim that Gholam Shakuri is an IRG commander is itself highly speculative.

        It certainly hasn’t been backed up by anything even remotely resembling “evidence”.

        • Evan October 20, 2011, 4:04 PM


  • Piotr Berman October 19, 2011, 9:21 PM

    This story at least upgrades the Arbabsiar affair from a crappy Hollywood plot to a quite decent plot. The start is straightforward enough: a car salesman with failing bussiness tries to salvage his livelihood with a sinister plot (Fargo). Uses his family contacts in Iran and local contacts with a Mexican drug cartel. An extremely sinister plot is being hatched.

    Then a series of “things are not as they appear”. (1) Mexican drug cartel is apparently a group of US secret agents on the mission to unmask Iranian plots. (2) Iranian family member turns to be a member of Iranian opposition on the mission to concoct a plot that would discredit Iran. (3) Further baffling possibiliities: Iranian family member is in actuality a double agent in an intricate plot to discredit USA in a clumsy attempt to discredit Iran. (4) Now we need a short list of even more baffling possibilities, triple and quadruple agents etc. E.g. Chinese central bank trying to divert American attention from its currency manipulations … this is a bit lame. Chinese trying to provoke a war in Persian Gulf to attack and take over Taiwan at the time when USA is wholly (and more) occupied elsewhere … OK, I will not write Hollywood plots. (1-3) already makes a decent movie.

    • Richard Silverstein October 19, 2011, 11:36 PM

      Get in touch with our resident film buff, Dickerson!

  • Evan October 19, 2011, 9:49 PM

    The report by Mehr News Agency (MNA) (link to mehrnews.com) is preposterous.
    1) Why would Interpol contact the Islamic Republic over these allegations and not the United States?
    2) Does Interpol keep track of the comings and going of the People’s Mojahedin? The Persian version of the story claims that it does and the Islamic Republic’s media and anti-Mojahed websites claim this, though on shaky documentation. (link to pars-iran.com, link to nejatngo.org) Even so, would it trail someone not specifically on a wanted list? Would the names on said list be kept from the Americans?
    3) “Gholam Shakuri was last seen in Washington and Camp Ashraf in Iraq where MKO members are based.” Last seen by whom? The Persian version of the MNA report (link to mehrnews.com) claims that he was last seen by Interpol agents; the English version omits this. This could be an oversight by the translator, or perhaps they figured that while MNA’s Iranian readership would fall for this while Western readers would see through it.
    4) Pars News claimed, citing an Iraqi newspaper al-Sabah, that Interpol was not allowed into Camp Ashraf. This was in March 2009 when Camp Ashraf’s entrances and exits were controlled by an American military unit. It would have been a bit of a scandal for this unit to keep Interpol out of Camp Ashraf.
    5) Similarly, we are expected to believe that Interpol knew (according to the Persian version; the English version is again mute on who knew) that someone they were trailing was visiting Washington DC and did not alert the Americans.
    6) Again, MNA’s report says that Shakuri “was last seen” in Washington and Camp Ashraf. It is left unexplained how he “was last seen” in two different places. (“How can you be in two places at once when you’re not anywhere at all?”)
    7) The Persian version of this story is labeled “Special to Mehr News Agency.” It is unclear why MNA would be breaking this story and not the government of Iran, since an Interpol document would be placed at the disposal of the government and not a newspaper so that some news agency could get a scoop.
    8) The Persian version of MNA’s report ends with the anodyne observation, “New intelligence about the secondary accused must immediately be placed at the disposal of American Interpol.” Um, yeah. Probably before it is placed at the disposal of Mehr News Agency.
    This transparent hoax is a disgrace to Mehr News Agency. I don’t know what to say about those who credulously accept it.

    • Richard Silverstein October 19, 2011, 11:46 PM

      Interpol has rules that it follows. The U.S. informs Interpol that it seeks the detention of Shukari. Since Shukari is an Iranian citizen & the U.S. claims he is in Iran, Interpol turns to Iran. Interpol must inform Iran why it wants Shukari & presumably what it knows about him. That’s how Interpol functions. And it does keep track of suspects for whom member countries request that it do so.

      And can you tell us why Interpol refused acc. to the NY Times to deny the report that Shukari was MEK? If he was not MEK, and Iran claimed they knew he was via Interpol, the latter would surely wish to deny the charge, but it specifically did not. That’s in the NYT story as well. ANother problem for you to explain.

      I don’t know where you get the fixation that Interpol trails people. Tell us please what supports this strange notion of yours?

      On a separate note, a high level former MEK leader has confirmed that a Gholam Shakuri is MEK. Thus confirming the Iranian rpt. The former MEK leader is not pro Iranian gov’t either. You might want to try to explain that away as well.

    • Richard Silverstein October 20, 2011, 5:14 PM

      As I couldn’t possibly argue with you about Farsi sources, I’ve asked Prof. Sahimi to comment. Here is what he says after reading the same sources you offer:

      1. Perhaps Iran contacted Interpol. Iranian media are always opaque.

      2. I do not know whether Interpol tracks comings and goings of MEK members. But, a member state, like Iran, can ask Interpol to track people that are accused of a crime. I would think that MEK’s prominent members would be that type of people to the IRI.

      3. I agree that this is vague.

      4. “It would have been a bit of scandal for for this unit…” Which unit?
      MEK? If so, they have a distinguished track record of scandals!

      5. How do we know that they did not alert the U.S., if that did happen?
      MEK members have free pass in the U.S. Just look at their lobby.

      6. It was not implied that he was in two places at the same time. It was meant that the last public places that he was seen were in Washington and camp Ashraf. It is vague, I agree, but not as bas as the commentator seems to imply.

      7. How does he know that the IRI did not give the information to Mehr?
      Unlike Fars or IRNA, ISNA and Mehr are two news agencies that are less controversial. That may explain it. Fars is run by the IRGC, and IRNA by Ahmadinejad’s supporters. So, perhaps Mehr was used to publicize to make it less suspect. These are of course speculations, but the point is, for every seemingly reasonable doubt, one can also come up with one seemingly reasonable explanation. None of us knows what is going on. So, the only way is to look at hard facts and track records.

      8. Nonsense.

      We’ll let my readers judge which of you is a more careful, accurate observer & analyst.

      • Evan October 21, 2011, 8:25 AM

        On 5) I don’t know if Interpol alerted the Americans. I hadn’t thought of that, and it’s a fair point.
        On 6) The account says “last place” *singular*. Maybe, as Mr. Sahimi says, this is a slip up on Mehr’s part. I only know what Mehr wrote, though.
        On 7) I got the idea that the IRI did not pass the news to MNA because Mehr said it was an exclusive. I suppose it is possible. But then, why didn’t the IRI just announce it themselves? I think the idea that IRI decided to make this revelation through Mehr raises more questions than it answers, and so can be considered very unlikely. Of course, anything is possible.
        Don’t know why 8 is nonsense. The plain meaning of what Mehr said is that Interpol decided to contact Mehr and not the American government about an international terrorist entering the United States. I am obliged to answer Mehr’s account. Now, this is what Mehr said and I think Mehr’s account is what is nonsense. If Mr. Sahimi has a reason to think otherwise, I think an explanation of more than one word is called for.
        The rest, as Mr. Sahimi indicates, is a judgment call.

  • Evan October 20, 2011, 6:05 AM

    It was not *my* strange idea that Interpol trails people. Just the opposite. It was MNA, which broke the story. Thanks for paying attention.
    Interpol did not refuse to confirm the story, according to the New York Times. It did not respond to answers. This could be for any number of bureaucratic reasons.
    Khodabandeh, whom you triumphantly report as a former leading Mojahed, only confirmed that there is someone by the name of Shakuri in the Mojahedin. This is like saying there is someone named Smith in the Tea Party movement.

    • Evan October 20, 2011, 7:32 AM

      OK, just read the latest NYT piece. Interpol has indeed refused to comment on Shakuri. Can I tell you why? No. Eventually time will tell.

      • Richard Silverstein October 20, 2011, 4:48 PM

        You just read a NYT story today which I linked to in the post I wrote last night. YOu made erroneous claims about Interpol without even bothering the read the linked NYT story which I provided in the post & which would’ve allowed you to speak accurately instead of falsely as you did. And you don’t even admit you erred as I have in my comments about Shakuri.

        • Evan October 21, 2011, 8:26 AM

          True, and my bad. I thought the NYT link was to the article I had already read and didn’t see any point in re-reading it.

          Mea culpa.

          • Richard Silverstein October 21, 2011, 10:54 AM

            By the way, just thought I’d let you know that the former MEK leader has now written to me privately and added that not only he, but others he knows w. former MEK background now confirm specifically that there is an MEK operative by the name “Gholam Shakuri.” So I’ve changed my account back to the original. Still not quite dispositive since there could be a Gholam Shakuri (separate individuals) in both IRG & MEK, but it’s a helluva lot more evidence to support the MEK theory than there is to support the IRG theory advanced by the U.S.

    • Richard Silverstein October 20, 2011, 1:32 PM

      MNA, which broke the story.

      For the 3rd time, Alef broke the story, not MENA. MENA reported a story first broken by Alef. You need to return to the original source in order to find out what was published there.

      Interpol did not refuse to confirm the story, according to the New York Times.

      You are an extremely sloppy reader when it’s convenient to yr argument.  The NYT said precisely what I said it did & not what you claimed:

      An Interpol spokeswoman declined to comment.

      As for what Khodabandeh wrote, I’ve written to him to try to clarify further whether he was referring only to the name “Shakuri” or whether he was being more precise.  But on reviewing what he wrote I will correct what I published yesterday.  But again, even having the name “Shakuri” affiliated with the MEK is far more evidence than the U.S. has offered to “prove” he is with the IRG.

      Khodabandeh, whom you triumphantly report as a former leading Mojahed

      I didn’t triumphantly state anything. I merely reported that he was a high ranking MEK leader. You are given to florid prose, overstatement & even deliberate inaccuracy, something that violates the comment rules here. I also don’t appreciate your desire to belittle & demean. You’re rapidly exhausting my patience.

      Also, I’m invoking the 3 comment per day rule for commenters who abuse the privilege & monpolize the threads. You appear to have far too much time on your hands. So you’re now entitled to post 3 comments in any 24 hr period. Anything over that quota and you may find yr comment privileges restricted.

      • Evan October 20, 2011, 4:03 PM

        Guess you’re one of those guys who can’t take “yes” for an answer. I had not read that issue of the Times, and when I did, I saw that you were right and admitted it. And then you call me a sloppy reader who reads things sloppily when it suits my interests, in effect, accusing me of gross intellectual dishonesty.

        Speaking of which, you base a whole posting on a quote from Mr. Khodabandeh, but refuse to present the quote to your readers. Here is the key part:

        “As far as I know, yes, there is a Mr. Shakouri in the Mojahedin Khalq (or has been) but this means nothing as there could be another Mr. Shakouri in the Revolutionary Guards as well.”

        Gee, wonder why you didn’t present this quote to your readers.

        Actually, I don’t.

        But good luck squeezing a more useful quote out of Mr. Khodabandeh.

        • Richard Silverstein October 20, 2011, 5:08 PM

          I saw that you were right and admitted it.

          Not quite. You didn’t admit you were wrong. Where do you see those actual words? And again, you were sloppy because there was a link to the NYT article in my post which you never bothered to read. If you had, it would’ve spared you the error.

          refuse to present the quote to your readers

          When I wrote my original post I hadn’t received his permission to name or quote him. That’s why I didn’t do either. When I got his permission and discovered my error, I rephrased the title & the inaccurate paragraph to accurately paraphrase his views. If the current formulation has any errors and doesn’t paraphrase his quote accurately, you let me know.

          Now, I know why though you make a pretence to being an expert in Iran studies, you have no advanced degree in the field. You’d find it hard with the personality you have to earn such a distinction. And yes, I know all about the articles you’ve written on the subject. But it’s no replacement for the degree esp. if you have the pretensions which you do. You’d be far better off sticking to the field in which you do hold a degree, mathematics.

          • Evan October 21, 2011, 11:27 AM

            When you wrote your post, you had seen what he wrote and what he wrote, as I quoted it, directly contradicted the claim you were making in your title.

            You now say you got a private message from Mr. Khodabandeh confirming that there was a Gholam Shakuri in the Mojahedin. And there is a John Smith in the Tea Party.

            But look at the bigger picture. According to Porter’s excellent analysis, by the time Arbabsiar fingered Shakuri, he had probably been turned by the Americans. So why would the Americans have him finger a leader of the People’s Mojahedin? What kind of sense does that make? None, of course. They would’ve gotten him to finger a leader of the Revolutionary Guards. This whole hoax perpetrated by the MNA (and even Dr. Samimi–sorry, I should’ve said “Dr.” and not “Mr.”–admits that it was indeed MNA that broke the story) is not only childish, but pointless.

  • Evan October 21, 2011, 1:04 PM

    OK, this is my final word. Samimi’s thoughts were helpful in rethinking my comments, and I’m grateful for that, and even for you, Mr. Silverman, for asking him to comment. I think we both have better things to do than to pursue this quarrel. You are a principled defender of human rights in Israel/Palestine, and I don’t want to get in the way of your valuable work.
    link to qlineorientalist.com

    • Richard Silverstein October 21, 2011, 11:57 PM

      You are a principled defender of human rights in Israel/Palestine, and I don’t want to get in the way of your valuable work

      Thank you.

  • lysias October 21, 2011, 1:30 PM

    Even after the U.S. government sent representatives to Turkey to present evidence of the scary Iranian plot, the Turkish government doesn’t believe in it. Turkey casts doubt on alleged Iran plot.

  • PersianAdvocate November 10, 2011, 9:08 AM


    Mossad was likely behind the forgery of the Yellowcake documents from Niger that led us into Iraq. It has all the hallmarks of Mossad as we have seen over the last decade:
    link to dailykos.com

    It’s also fact that Mossad taped 9/11 as it happened, and the agents taping it had the police called on them after they were caught cheering. link to abcnews.go.com

    Now can someone, anyone, present some evidence to un-connect these dots?

    • Richard Silverstein November 10, 2011, 4:14 PM

      The yellowcake came courtesy of Michael Ledeen & someone within Italian intelligence w whom he was in cahoots. Still possible Mossad played some role as well. That’s the way I’ve heard it.

      I’m extremely unsympathetic to 9/11 conspiracy theories so let’s keep all that separate please.

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