Iranian Opposition Group PMOI On Verge of Removal From Terrorist List
• Paulo Casaca In World Terrorism
On June 1, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for DC gave the U.S. Department of State (DOS) a 4-month deadline to decide on whether the main Iranian opposition group, People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI) - also known as MEK - should be removed from the list of foreign terrorist organisations, failing which the Court would automatically revoke the terrorist designation.
The PMOI – an organisation founded in 1965 – is part of wider the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). It is virtually the only significant opposition force which survived, at the national level, following the political genocide performed by the ruling theocracy after the so-called “Islamic Revolution.” After it was savagely persecuted and saw its members assassinated en masse, the PMOI led an armed movement against the regime.
In the 1990s the U.S. and later Europe adopted legislation on the basis of which any sort of violence against a state entity – regardless of the nature of this state, regardless of the reasons, context, nature and targets of this violence – might be a ground for an organisation to be classified as terrorist.
Furthermore, this legislation gave a very broad power to foreign affairs departments to legislate, investigate, judge and punish international terrorism, with little or no participation by other state bodies and limited the power of legislative and judicial branches.
This was the legal basis used by the State department to create a blacklist of foreign organisations of 1997 whose most significant inclusion was the PMOI and the most shocking absence was Al Qaeda.
The PMOI decided to renounce the use of violence against the Iranian authorities in 2001, as it chose to remain entirely within the Western legal framework.
The PMOI’s decision, however, was ignored by Western powers, and the movement and its allies were subject in 2003 to brutal attacks by the U.S. forces in Iraq and by French authorities in France itself. After it was able to recover from the attacks, the PMOI challenged through the judicial system the blacklisting imposed by the Western diplomatic machines, having obtained consecutive judicial victories, the last case in point being US judicial decision, which followed a previous one contemptuously ignored by the State department.
The fact that appeasement tactics failed completely to change the mindset of the Iranian theocracy did not discourage those who keep defending negotiations with the regime (or its “reformists” or “moderates”) at all costs.
The recent spree of bombing of Iranian nuclear scientist dissidents and Israeli diplomats showed how far the State department is ready to go to appease Iran when repeatedly its anonymous sources were quoted to support the Iranian authority’s propaganda.
Iran is known for attributing systematically to their victims the terrorist activities it carries out. Anyone who closely follows the most famous terrorist attacks promoted by Tehran, such as those of Buenos Aires or the dissident assassinations in Vienna, Berlin or Geneva will notice the lack of professionalism of the terrorist attempts that allowed criminal investigative authorities to establish the modus operandi of the attacks, the perpetrator’s network and chain of command that goes up to highest level of the Iranian authorities.
The NCRI has denounced the regime’s decision to eliminate from its nuclear program those who do not show sufficient ideological commitment through terrorist attacks and attributing their responsibility to the opposition, the Mossad or the U.S.
When the latest attack against a nuclear scientist in Tehran took place, however, Western media followed the recital of the events by the Iranian authorities.
Michael Rubin in Newsweek, playing on his credentials of supposedly opposing the Iranian authorities, harshly criticised Israel for such terrorist activities and alliances, playing therefore a vital role in giving credit to the Iranian regime absurd propaganda.
As the bombing campaign continued through Tbilisi, Delhi and Bangkok – attacks in Baku having been apparently dismantled in extremis twice – the fingerprints of the Iranian authorities became ever more apparent, and the core of the claimants on the global Zionist conspiracy dwindled to the Iranian authorities and to their more faithful followers.
The Guardian, at first quoted CIA “Iranian experts” arguing with the high professionalism of the Iranian terrorist outfits to defend the version of events of the Iranian authorities, but later, in face of the evidence, acknowledged the Iranian authority’s responsibilities:
"The question is not was this Iran-backed or Iran-organised but who in Iran was running all this," said one western security official.
Analysis by Indian investigators of the type of explosive used in Delhi reveal it to be a variant of TNT. The shell of the bomb was manufactured outside India and magnetic strips used to attach the device to the car in Delhi were identical to those recovered in Bangkok and Tbilisi.
The first elements of the plot were put in place in April 2011 when at least five Iranians who have been implicated in the attacks travelled to Thailand and India, apparently on reconnaissance missions, investigators say.
A team of top Indian police officers has been set to travel to Tehran for several weeks but the trip now appears unlikely to go ahead.”
This Guardian article, to my knowledge, for the very first time among the opinion making press of the West, points out to the crux of the matter:
“Analysts speculate that one reason India may have been chosen as a location for the attacks is that their perpetrators could count on the desire of Delhi to keep friendly relations with Tehran and to "go easy" on any investigation or prosecution.
"Let's just say the demands of diplomacy and those of police work don't necessarily always coincide," said one senior Indian police officer involved in the investigation.”
And this is the lesson coming from India, as the demands of diplomacy and those of police do not necessarily always coincide, the fight against terrorism can never be left entirely in the hands of a sole Governing body!
Let’s hope the West will be able to learn this fundamental Indian lesson.
People's Mujahedin of Iran
Paulo Casaca was a Member of the European Parliament for ten years where, namely, he chaired the delegation for relations with NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He is the author of several books and reports on the issue of religious fanaticism. He is Founder and executive director of the “South Asia Democratic Forum” in Brussels.