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.
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)
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.
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
Filed under: Blog Entry | Tagged: Andrew Frey, Ayatollahs, Camp Ashraf, Carter Administration, Chiang Kai-shek, Classified Evidence, Clinton Administration, Democrats, Department's Terror List, Douglas Letter, Douglas MacArthur, EU, European Union, Federal Court, Foreign Terrorist Organisations, International Terrorist Groups, Iran, Iran Nuclear Program, Iranian Opposition, Iranian Opposition Movement, Iranian Regime, Iraq, Lawsuit, Mayer Brown, MEK, Mujahideen-E-Khalq, National Council Of Resistance, National Council Of Resistance Of Iran, National Liberation Army Of Iran, Non-Violence, Obama Administration, Organisation Of The People's Holy Warriors, People's Mujahideen, People's Mujahideen Organisation Of Iran, PMOI, Primary State Sponsor Of International Terrorism, Public Record, Regime Change, Resistance Movement, Saddam Hussein, Shah Of Iran, Terrorism, Terrorism List, Terrorists, U.K., U.S. Government, U.S. State Department, United Kingdom, Uprising, Violence, Washington | Leave a comment »