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Ex-Iran Guard commander visits White House with Iraq leader
The Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, formerly known as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, was one of the groups that received financial and military support from Iran during that time. Mr. Bush met the council’s leader, Sayyed Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, at the White House in 2006.
Ali Alfoneh, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said that after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and the fall of Saddam, Iran thought it was time to position pro-Iranian Shiite elements in the new Iraqi government.
Analysts and Western officials say some of those officials still depend heavily on Iran.
U.S. officials say the Revolutionary Guard has had a role in several attacks on U.S. interests worldwide.
Mansour Arbabsiar, a U.S. citizen and used-car salesman, has been accused of a central role in a suspected plot by the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington. He has pleaded not guilty.
The Iraqi government has set a Dec. 31 deadline to close the camp, which houses members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), listed by the U.S. as a terrorist group. The exiles’ supporters fear the camp’s unarmed residents will be massacred because of their opposition to Iran’s government.
Current and former members of Congress, former officials who served in Republican and Democratic administrations, a former Iraqi official and a former senior commanding officer at Camp Ashraf spoke at the protest.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, who served as homeland security secretary in the George W. Bush administration, called on the Obama administration to take the MEK off the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations.
Army Brig. Gen. David Phillips, former senior commanding officer at Camp Ashraf, said he found no evidence linking the camp’s residents to terrorist acts.
“A few had unpaid parking tickets in the United States,” he said. “That shows you how thoroughly we did the research on who they were.”
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About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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