If The Terrorist Enemy Of Our Enemy Renounces Terrorism Are They Our Freind Or Still Our Enemy?

Who’s side is the Obama administration really on here and who’s side should they be on?

Group sues US Government for labelling it terrorist

The People’s Mujahideen is sick and tired of being called a terrorist organisation by the US Government. So its leaders settled on a uniquely American strategy: they sued.

Yes, the group has done its share of assassinations, bombings, embassy attacks and killings of US troops. But that was long ago, and now the People’s Mujahideen says it has devoted itself to democracy and non-violence, and it would like very much to be taken off the State Department’s list of international terrorist groups.

Friends of the People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran – aka the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, aka the National Liberation Army of Iran, aka the National Council of Resistance, aka the Organisation of the People’s Holy Warriors – assembled on Tuesday at a courthouse in Washington to hear Andrew Frey of the firm Mayer Brown plead their case.

”Today’s PMOI is unique among foreign terrorist organisations,” the lawyer told a three-judge appellate panel. ”The organisation has forsworn violence. We walk the walk. There have been no terrorist acts by PMOI for eight years.”

People’s Mujahideen fighters were old-school terrorists who once battled the shah of Iran. They then went to Iraq and, with Saddam Hussein’s help, attacked the ayatollahs. They allegedly killed hundreds of people, but now they call themselves a non-violent Iranian opposition movement. About 3400 of them and their family members still live at Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

The Government’s lawyer, Douglas Letter, said he was not about to negotiate with ”an organisation that for at least 30 years has been involved in terrorism, violence, assassination …”

He admitted the public record was not sufficient to demonstrate that the group still poses a threat, but said classified material made it clear the group still deserves its terrorist listing. Here the People’s Mujahideen has a problem: it is allowed to respond to the classified evidence but not to see it.

Why Keep Iran Opposition Group on U.S. Terror List?

To the extent that the Iranian people’s six-month-old uprising for regime change is real, which it certainly is (“The People’s Revolt in Iran,” Review & Outlook, Dec. 22), the U.S. administration’s attitude toward it remains astonishing and unbelievable.

You should have mentioned that while current developments share striking similarities with those of 1978 prior to the Iranian revolution, the mistakes committed by the current Democratic administration bear striking resemblances to those of the Carter administration in 1978.

No one wants to see the U.S. interfering in Iran’s internal affairs. But it would be equally inexcusable to exercise silence while still pinning hope on nuclear negotiations with the clerical regime, a regime that is the primary state sponsor of international terrorism and whose rush to acquire nuclear weapons has brought on a regional crisis.

Washington is currently not on the side of the Iranian people. Even worse, by keeping the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK), on the State Department’s terror list, it has in effect rewarded the Iranian regime. The terror tag, levied in 1997 by the Clinton administration, aimed to placate the regime and change its behavior. It is completely devoid of legal, moral and political justification.

After seven court rulings that annulled the terror label against the MEK, the U.K. and the EU removed the organization from their own lists in 2008 and 2009. A court in the U.K. ruled in 2008 that “The reality is that neither in the open material nor in the closed material is there any reliable evidence that supported a conclusion that PMOI retained an intention to resort to terrorist activities in the future.”

The MEK rejected violence in 2001 and voluntarily disarmed in 2003. Interviews and extensive investigations conducted by nine U.S. security agencies on more than 3,400 MEK members in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, revealed that they pose absolutely no threat to America’s national security.

When it comes to the nuclear issue, the MEK has also served as the world’s eyes and ears by exposing the mullahs’ clandestine nuclear weapons program for the past seven years.

Why this organization remains on the U.S. terror list is a lingering mystery in Washington.

The Obama administration should remove the unwarranted restrictions placed on the Iranian opposition. Politically and morally, it should place itself on the side of millions of Iranians who are chanting for freedom. After that, it can leave the rest to the Iranian people and their organized resistance movement.

See also:
FACTBOX: Who are the People’s Mujahideen of Iran?
People’s Mujaheddin swears it has changed its terrorist ways
D.C. Circuit Examines Iranian Group’s ‘Terrorist’ Designation
Remove PMOI from terror list
End Appeasement of Iran, But Don’t Pull the Trigger (Yet)
PMOI
People’s Mujahedin of Iran
National Council of Resistance of Iran

Even if Chiang Kai-shek had horns and a tail he should be supported as long as he is anti-communist and we can reform him later.

/MacArthur

There’s no forgiving the killing of Americans, no matter how long ago, but that was then and this is now and we need all the help we can get with Iran. The PMOI has already been removed from the U.K and EU terrorist lists and they did uncover Iran’s secret nuclear program. When alliances and circumstances change and it suddenly is in our national interest, it wouldn’t be the first time the United States has embraced a former enemy to combat a current threat. If the PMOI can help us achieve regime change in Iran, we should be working with them and not against them. It may not be the most palatable choice, but the other choices we face regarding Iran are much less palatable.

/in my opinion, this particular enemy of our enemy should be our friend

So Much For Any Meaningful Sanctions, Now What?

Gee, maybe Obama shouldn’t keep pissing off Chana with his “smart diplomacy”.

At U.N., China insists it’s not ‘right’ time for sanctions on Iran

China’s envoy to the United Nations said Tuesday that his government is not ready to impose tough new sanctions on Iran for defying the world body’s demands that it suspend its uranium enrichment program.

“This is not the right time or right moment for sanctions, because the diplomatic efforts are still going on,” Zhang Yesui said at a news briefing at the start of China’s rotating monthly presidency of the U.N. Security Council.

The Chinese remarks underscore the challenges the United States faces in rallying international backing for its effort to punish Iran for nuclear violations. The Obama administration has been preparing a package of targeted sanctions against the Revolutionary Guard Corps and other Iranian institutions it deems responsible for acquiring nuclear and ballistic-missile technology.

“It’s no secret that China and the United States look at the utility of sanctions differently,” said P.J. Crowley, a spokesman for the State Department.

He said that U.S. officials would keep pressing other countries to impose “additional sanctions” on Iran’s ruling elite, but he added, “We want to do this in a way that can target specific entities within the Iranian government but not punish the Iranian people, who are clearly looking for a different relationship with their government.”

U.S. and European diplomats have acknowledged that China and Russia are likely to approve only the mildest of new sanctions. One Security Council envoy said the United States and its Western allies are planning to unveil a second round of their own sanctions against Iranian officials, including some responsible for the violent post-election crackdown on opposition movements.

Council diplomats say that China, which is expanding its commercial ties with Iran, has hardened its resistance to sanctions in recent months. Last month, it declined to attend a meeting on the nuclear crisis with the council’s four other veto-wielding powers — the United States, Russia, Britain and France — as well as Germany, citing a scheduling conflict, one of the diplomats said.

See also:
China: Now is not the time for new Iran sanctions
China Not Ready to Support Iran Sanctions
No Iran sanctions now, China says
As zero hour nears, differences emerge on sanctions
Time not right for new Iran sanctions: Chinese envoy
China dismisses Iran sanctions talk for now at UN
China dismisses more UN sanctions talk during its Security Council presidency in January
China Calls for More Iran Negotiations
Clinton: U.S. Not Closing the Door on Talks With Iran

So, Obama looks like a complete ass again because he foolishly set a December 31st deadline, which has now come and gone, for Iran to comply with demands to end its nuclear program or else. Well, as expected, Iran has not only ignored Obama’s deadline, but Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly and publicly mocked Obama’s “smart diplomacy”.

And then today, China summarily pulls the rug out from under Obama by telling him he can forget about his or else of sanctions.

/now what?

Iran Tells The West To [Expletive Deleted] Off (Again)!

Iran Tests New Version of Missile that Can Reach Europe, Israel

Iranian state media reported Wednesday that Tehran successfully test-fired an enhanced version of a solid-fuel medium-range missile, as U.S. and Western powers prepare to push for new economic sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

Iran said it fired an “optimized” version of its Sajjil-2, a medium-range missile capable of hitting Israel, according to Iranian media.

Tehran first tested the weapon in May, claiming it marked a significant milestone in its missile-technology efforts. In May, Iran said the Sajjil-2 had a range of 2,000 kilometers, or about 1,200 miles. That would make it capable of reaching Israel and the Black Sea coast of European Union members Romania and Bulgaria, though that isn’t different than range capabilities claimed in previous missile launches.

Iran said, however, the missile was more sophisticated than earlier models, and propelled by a solid-fuel system, which would make it easier to deploy than liquid-fuel missiles.

Iran’s state media reported Wednesday the updated version is faster, harder to shoot down and quicker to launch.

Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s defense minister, said in comments to state media the new weapon was defensive in nature. “Iran’s missile capabilities are strictly defensive and at the service of regional peace and stability,” Gen. Vahidi said. “They will never be [used] against any country.”

Iran has a history of conducting war games and unveiling what is says are military innovations during times of international pressure.

President Barack Obama has given an end-of-year deadline for progress in talks with Iran over its alleged nuclear ambitions. Washington and other capitals have ratcheted up threats of fresh sanctions as that deadline approaches.

The White House said Wednesday’s test would increase the international community’s resolve. “There’s no doubt that, given this environment, missile tests do nothing but undermine the Iranian claims” that its nuclear program has peaceful aims, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters.

See also:
Iran says it tested upgraded Sajjil-2 missile
Iran says it tested upgraded Sajjil-2 missile
Iran missile test follows sanctions talk from West
Iran tests missile, stoking tensions with the West
Iran’s missile test angers the West
U.S. condemns Iran’s missile test
US condemns Iran’s ‘provocative actions’ as regime test-fires missile
Gates ‘concerned’ over Iran missile test: Pentagon
Iran’s missile test aimed at U.S., Israel
Important Points About Iran’s Missile Test
Sajjil

Iranian missile tests like these, coupled with Iran’s uranium enrichment program and the recent discovery that Iran is working on nuclear trigger technology, in spite of the West’s economic sanctions and threats of more sanctions, are starting to point to what is the most likely inevitable conclusion. Iran will deploy a deliverable nuclear warhead and they will eventually launch it at Israel.

/theoretically, we’ll be able to shoot down any Iranian missile launch at Israel, but then the obvious question becomes, what happens next?

Iran Kidnaps Five More Bargaining Chips

Faced with increasing pressure over its nuclear program, Iran recently upped the ante by detaining five British sailors.

Iran detains 5 British sailors, saying the racing yacht strayed into its waters

Iranian authorities seized five British sailors after their racing yacht may have strayed into Iranian territorial waters, British authorities said Monday.

The group was sailing a 60-foot Volvo racing yacht from Bahrain to Dubai last Wednesday when they were “stopped by Iranian naval vessels,” the British Foreign Office said in a statement. “The yacht was on its way from Bahrain to Dubai and may have strayed inadvertently into Iranian waters. The five crew members are still in Iran.”

Last month, Iran accused three American hikers who were taken into custody in July while trekking on the Iran-Iraq border of espionage. Their families have denied the allegations.

The seizure of the sailors comes against a backdrop of difficult diplomatic relations between U.S. and European leaders and the Iranians, intensified by a long-standing dispute over Iran’s nuclear program. On Sunday, Iran announced plans to build 10 new uranium enrichment plants. The Iranians say their program is for energy and medical use, but the United States and the European nations are concerned that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon.

David Miliband, the British foreign secretary, said in a statement that the British government contacted Iranian authorities on Wednesday night to “both to seek clarification and to try and resolve the matter swiftly” and “remain in close touch.” While the United States no longer maintains a mission in Iran, Britain has an embassy in Tehran.

See also:
British sailors detained by Iran en route to Gulf yacht race
Iran Detains Five British Sailors in Gulf, U.K. Says (Update1)
Analysis: British yacht crew detained by Iran
Iran Holds U.K. Crew and Yacht in the Gulf
5 Britons held in Iran after yacht seized in Gulf
British sailors in Iranian custody
Five British Sailors Detained In Iran
British Racing Yacht Crew Held By Iran
Five Britons held in Iran after yacht seized in Gulf

Let’s recap, Iran is the world’s top state sponsor of terrorism, they kidnap American and British citizens with impunity, they’re directly responsible for the deaths of American and NATO troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, they thumb their noses at international censure and continue moving full speed ahead to develop nuclear weapons, and they threaten to wipe Israel off the map at least once a week, etc., etc.

/how much longer is the civilized world going to put up with this [expletive deleted] before they actually do something meaningful to bring the Iranian Mullahs, who are hell bent on creating global chaos, to heel?

Election Day, Axis Of Evil Style

In a few hours, Iranians will go to the polls to elect their next president. Who will it be?

Will Ahmadinejad Lose Iran’s Election?

In the free-for-all of this election, Iran’s Opposition supporters have been shouting slogans they’d normally only whisper, like “death to the government.”

They are emboldened by their man, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who looks like he could actually win, reports CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer.

A 67-year-old architect and painter, Mousavi has promised to liberalize the economy, negotiate with the West over Iran’s nuclear program and give young people – especially women – more freedom.

“If Mousavi wins the election, things would change in a better way for Iran,” said one girl at a rally.

Mousavi is going into this election knowing he can count on the youth vote. Most of the people who come to his rallies are under 30 – young people who want him to deliver on the freedoms they crave.

But the real star of this campaign is Mousavi’s unofficial running mate, his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, who has shattered taboos by sharing the stage with him as an equal, calling to mind another high profile political wife.

“I was active in politics long before people discovered Michelle Obama, a woman I respect,” Rahnavard said through a translator.

Her wild popularity has got the competition rattled. During Iran’s first ever Presidential debates, Mousavi accused President Ahmadinejad of leading the country to dictatorship.

Ahmadinejad countered by attacking Mousavi’s wife, holding up her resume – he said she was an academic cheat, alleging she got a PhD without taking a university entrance exam.

Even if untrue – it went down well with Ahmadinejad’s supporters – who think the President can do no wrong. They love his non-negotiable stance on Iran’s nuclear program, and pork barrel spending that benefits the working class.

He’s a hero in rural towns like Pulur high in the mountains. In the local diner, it’s unanimous – everyone’s voting for Ahmadinjad for the local improvements he’s made.

But for every fan – there’s a critic, and Ahmadinejad and his backers are clearly shaken by the ferocity of opposition.

What looks like democracy to some, looks to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard like a potential uprising.

A notice appeared last night on the Guard’s website, warning that any sign of a popular revolution would be crushed.

Iran election race tightens

The day before polls open in Iran’s presidential election, the streets are suddenly quiet again as official campaigning comes to an end, and voters prepare for what is expected to be a record turnout.

Whereas President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a sure bet just 10 days ago, the race has closed this past week, in what is clearly turning into a referendum on his four years in office.

Rivers of green have flowed through the streets, those decked out in the colors of his main challenger, former Prime Minster Mir Hossein Moussavi.

The week started with tens of thousands of his supporters forming a human chain along 17 kilometers of the main Tehran artery Vali-Asr Street.

Called out by text message and email the numbers exceeded all expectations, their ranks swelled by thousands more who joined the chain spontaneously or just lined the route to watch.

“Ahmadi bye bye, Ahmadi bye bye,” they sang. Others held up posters that said ‘NO LIARS.’ It has become the opposition slogan.

They accuse the president of lying about the shape of the economy, overseeing higher prices, higher unemployment and higher inflation over the last four years.

One woman said she came out “because we want a change, because we want freedom.”

By the end of the week Moussavi’s supporters stretched as far as the eye could see from one end of Tehran to another, in scenes not witnessed here since the Islamic Revolution swept this country back in 1979.

Wednesday night a deputy leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard posted a warning on their Web site, vowing to “crush” any attempts at a “velvet revolution” in Iran.

President Ahmadinejad also drew large crowds, but even his most fervent supporters conceded, they didn’t come close to Moussavi’s. His staunchest supporters are among the traditional, the poor and the religious faithful.

See also:
Iran’s election system
SCENARIOS: How U.S.-Iran ties might develop after election
Former US diplomat hopeful for change after Iran election
Iran’s Election Brings Desire for Women’s Rights Into Focus
Iran’s Young Women Use Their Polling Power
Commentary: Iran’s nuclear work will go on

The election on Friday should be worth watching, considering that one-third of the electorate is under 30-years-old and was therefore not born at the time of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. In any case, I’m not sure this election will make a whole lot of difference, since the real power in Iran is wielded by the ruling mullahs, led by Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran. It’s also doubtful this election will change anything regarding what Israel and the United States are most concerned about, Iran’s nuclear program.

IAEA: Ahmadinejad election rival launched Iran nuclear program

International Atomic Energy Agency documents revealed that Iran began a secret nuclear program during the tenure of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the opposition leader running against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The documents, which Iran transferred to the IAEA several years ago, show that Tehran decided in 1987 to purchase the centrifuges it is using to enrich uranium.

Mousavi, who is seen as a moderate candidate in the West, served as Iran’s prime minister between 1981 and 1989, and while that position has since been eliminated from Iranian politics, it was an executive position that was similar in nature to the current presidential role.

One of the documents revealed that the then-head of Iran’s atomic energy organization requested Mousavi’s approval for purchasing the centrifuges on the black market. Iran subsequently acquired the centrifuges through the smuggling ring of Pakistani scientist Abd al-Qadir Khan.

Anyway, this election ought to be interesting and I hope Ahmadinejad loses, just so we don’t have to see or hear the malignant dwarf anymore.

/stay tuned and pray there’s no violence