Wednesday, 4 April 2012

MEK: Do Not Enchain Iranian Peoples' Hope For Freedom

MEK: Do Not Enchain Iranian Peoples' Hope For Freedom

Favoring Mullahs Lobbies to American Rich Values
by S। Azad

(5PR Media)

David Amess, a prominent British member of parliament in an article wrote:

“The State Department is playing a dirty game. Anyone bold enough to express concern about dubious actions of the State Department regarding the PMOI(MEK) is chased by the Treasury, and yet the State Department expects the Iranian Diaspora to express openly its support for the PMOI. What an irony. Inside Iran, anyone daring to support them, if caught, would be sent to the gallows almost instantly. Now in the U.S., that seems to be the case, too. A different kind of gallows – defamation.”

Wide arrays of knowledgeable persons have recognized that there is no justification for MEK’s continued presence on the FTO list.

In Europe alone 4000 parliamentarians from four continents appealed to the US for a change of attitude towards Iran’s main opposition movement in 24 officially votes statements.

An array of former American administrative, military and state officials, including a former Attorney General, FBI director, Homeland Security Secretary, two CIA directors, three former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a former NATO commander, two former US envoys to the UN, President Obama’s ex-National Security Advisor, and political heavyweights Howard Dean, Rudi Giuliani, and Patrick Kennedy support the call for the de-listing of the MEK.

In the Iranian New Year Nowrouz celebrations last week, in the European parliament, Mr. Struan Stevensson President of European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq said:“It is disgraceful that the US continues to maintain the PMOI-NCRI on the US State Department black list. This is used continually by the Iraqi government as an excuse to attack and persecute these innocent people. Now the State Department facing yet another demand by the American courts has come up with the lame excuse that Hilary Clinton has been too busy traveling around the world to have time to consider this issue.”

Mr. Jim Higgins, a member of the European parliament's Bureau from Ireland said: “Unfortunately, the story today is a sad one when the United States seem to have decided to turn a blind eye.”

The Italian senator Lucio Malan expressed his and his colleagues support for the main Iranian opposition MEK and said that both in the House of Deputies and in the Senate advocate the resistance and have declared their support for protection and rights of Ashraf residents on many occasions. The senator rejected recent smear campaigns of US supporters of the MEK and said : “This is unfortunately happening in the U.S. right now at the cost of discrediting some of the most trusted and trustworthy former officials of that nation who are brave men known for speaking out the truth and opposing injustice. They are following the path of the great heroes of American history. I deeply admire them. And I want to tell them on behalf of my Italian colleagues that we join our hands with yours and we join our voices to yours for the protection of the Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty residents.”

In an article David Amess, the prominent British member of Parliament while greeting the Iranian New year wrote: “I have been a supporter of the residents of Ashraf (and now in camp Liberty) for more than 20 years; I stand with them today. The pro-Iranian lobby in the U.S. is trying to smear brave American politicians, military officials, and human rights activists who have been defending our course. We were honored to have a number of these officials with us on our panel. Some in the American government claim the PMOI does not have the support of the people of Iran. This is their justification for the continued unjust designation - and what an absurd justification, as well as a totally untrue claim.”

MEK was classified as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” (FTO) (1) during the Clinton administration at the request of the Iranian government in a futile effort to placate the mullahs in Tehran whom Clinton believed were open to negotiations

Today, the organization has strong bipartisan support in both the U.S. House (2) and Senate.(3) The poisonous “terror tag” has been removed by both the United Kingdom (4) and the European Union by 22 court orders and 3 main High EU courts.

The inclusion of the MEK in the State Department list of terrorist organizations was a “goodwill gesture” by the Clinton administration to then newly elected President Mohammad Khatami. Martin Indyk, Assistant Secretary of State of Near Eastern Affairs at the time MEK was blacklisted, told Newsweek on September 26, 2002, “... [There] was White House interest in opening up a dialogue with the Iranian government. At the time, President Khatami had recently been elected and was seen as a moderate. Top Administration officials saw cracking down on the [PMOI], which the Iranians had made clear they saw as a menace, as one way to do so.”

Putting Iranian politics' considerations parallel to those concerning foreign terrorist organizations is unethical in the first place, and is detrimental to US anti terrorist policy in the second. At the end, it undermines democratic principles of coherent state behavior.

Tehran’s regime is the world’s first sponsor of State terrorism, according to State Department’s categorical definitions. Listing the main opposition movement to the same regime in the FTO list sends a wrong signal to all parties. It suggests that everything, including FTO lists, can be subject to opportunistic bargaining when it comes to short or middle term political interests.

Even if we were putting foreign policy considerations first, the worst policy is to continue a failed policy with no reason. Mohammed Khatami never delivered the promised “reforms”. On the other hand, the engagement policy or “walking behind” has only emboldened the ruthless clerics in Tehran. It has permitted them to quietly construct their array of enrichment centrifuges needed to produce more than necessary enriched uranium to bring the country close to making its first Bomb, creating one the most serious foreign policy challenges of all US administrations thereafter.

The brutal regime in power in Iran has definitely not changed its behavior, nor has the State Department in listing the MEK.

In a Paris conference Lieutenant Colonel Leo McCloskey who served at camp Ashraf,Iraq for 13 months said MEK is not a terrorist organization:“ The people of Ashraf are not terrorists. They are people trying to be a symbol of courage, as you are in here. They have willingly undergone years of isolation in a very difficult environment. They have cooperated with the United States military, U.S. embassy, UNHCR, International Red Cross, the government of Iraq. They have demonstrated that they’re willing to go to the extremes to help out the situation, as they’ve done now with the people that have moved to Liberty in the hope that by moving there they would find freedom. But they’re not finding that.”

The MEK is not a terrorist organization. It has neither the intent nor ability to engage in terrorism or terrorist activity.

Smearing the main opposition to the Clerical dictatorship in Iran, the MEK, is not only unjust to the people of Iran, who thirst for freedom, but it is an injustice to the notion of peace and stability in the Middle East and security of our world.

The FTO list is an important tool in combating terrorism, but its designations must stand to reason. If due process is completed in an impartial and objective manner and not influenced by the likes of an unsubstantiated, amateurish cut-and-paste job like the LHM, then it would lead to delisting the MEK.”

S. Azad, Analyst on Middle East affairs and security, freelance writer and film editor.


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