Congressman Dennis Kucinich

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 18, 2006
1:00 PM

CONTACT: Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Doug Gordon (202) 225-5871

 
Kucinich Questions The President On US Trained Insurgents In Iran
 

WASHINGTON - April 18 - Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), Ranking Member of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, sent the following letter today to President George W. Bush:

Dear Mr. President:

Last week I wrote to you regarding reports that U.S. troops are conducting military operations in Iran.  I have included a copy of that letter below for your information.

There are also reports, however, that the U.S. is fomenting opposition and supporting military operations in Iran among insurgent groups and Iranian ethnic minority groups, some of whom are operating from Iraq.

The Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PEJAK) is one such group.  PEJAK is based in the Kurdish region of Iraq, a few miles from the Iranian border, and has staged attacks across the border in Iran since 2004 on behalf of Iranian Kurdish interests, according to an April 3, 2006 article in the Washington Times.  PEJAK claimed to kill twenty-four Iranian soldiers in three raids against army bases in March.  Iran’s official news agency also reported that three Republican Guard soldiers were killed in a gun battle near the Iraqi border in late March.  Iran has denounced PEJAK as a terrorist group and has accused the U.S. of funding PEJAK.  According to an April 15, 2006 article in the Economist, Iranians and Turks both believe that the U.S. is supporting PEJAK.  It is hard to believe that PEJAK is operating successfully from Iraq without U.S. knowledge, support and coordination.

The Mujahedin e-Khalq (MEK), an Iranian anti-government group which has been listed as a “terrorist group” by the State Department since 1997, is another anti-government group that has received U.S. support.  An article by Jim Lobe published on Antiwar.com on February 11, 2005 claims that Pentagon civilians and Vice President Cheney’s office are among those in the U.S. government who support the MEK.  His article further describes how according to Philip Giraldi, a former CIA official and a source in an article about this subject in the American Conservative magazine, U.S. Special Forces have been directing members of the MEK in carrying out reconnaissance and intelligence collection in Iran from bases in Afghanistan and Balochistan, Pakistan since the summer of 2004.

Seymour Hersh’s April 10, 2006 article in the New Yorker also confirms that the U.S. troops are establishing contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups in Iran.  According to a government consultant with close ties to civilians in the Pentagon, American combat troops now operating in Iran are “working with minority groups in Iran, including the Azeris, in the north, the Baluchis, in the southeast, and the Kurds, in the northeast.”  The consultant further says, “The troops are studying the terrain and giving away walking-around money to ethnic tribes, and recruiting scouts from local tribes and shepherds.”

U.S. support for insurgent activity in Iran is not tolerable.  You have claimed numerous times that the object of the so-called “War on Terror” is to target lawless insurgent groups. 

Previously I asked you to immediately report to Congress on the extent of U.S. military operations currently in Iran.  Now, in light of the evidence described above, I urge you to report to Congress on U.S. support for military operations in Iran by anti-Iranian insurgent groups. 

It is a great breach of public trust to set this country on another path of war while keeping the Congress and the American people in the dark.  I am demanding that you respond.

Sincerely,

Dennis J. Kucinich
Ranking Democrat
Subcommittee on National Security,
Emerging Threats and International Relations

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