Today the government of Iran charged that one of the men named as a defendant in Iran Plot case is a member of MEK, a terrorist group fighting against the Islamic government that was sheltered by Saddam Hussein in a base in Iraq.
The defendant, Gholam Shakuri, identified by the Justice Department as an operative of the elite Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, is actually a “key member” of the Mujahedeen Khalq, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported.
The MEK began as an nationalist/Marxist oriented group that fought against the Shah in 1979. According to Juan Cole:
The People’s Holy Jihadis was one of two prominent guerrilla groups active in Iran in the 1970s against the government of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, the then king and a close US ally. The other was the Fedayan-i Khalq or ‘those who sacrifice themselves for the people,’ a Marxist group. The MEK for its part mixed Islam and Marxism and was headed by the charismatic Massoud Rajavi, to whom members had a fanatic devotion. I remember when I was in Iran in summer, 1976, the newspapers were full of jeremiads about the Islamic Marxists, and I was shown a bombed-out second story apartment in South Tehran, allegedly MEK work.
The MEK later turned to terrorism to fight the new Islamic Republic’s clerical leaders, killing scores of innocent Iranians as well as government officials and earning the condemnation of legitimate opposition movements such as 2009′s Green movement that protested election fraud. Iran said that international police agency, Interpol, is a seeking Shahkuri.
What about the Al Quds connection? The FBI charges that Shahkuri is a deputy prominant Al Quds commander Shalai, who has previously been linked to American deaths in Iraq.