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America Must Not Stand On Wrong Side

INTELLECTUAL CONSERVATIVE – By Kambiz Assai, on September 6th, 2011

Washington D.C.’s Circuit Court is the latest court to ask the Secretary of State to reconsider her predecessors’ decision and delist the Iranian opposition group MEK as a terrorist entity.

The Arab Spring is very real and visibly all dictators in the region are feeling the tremble. 


The regime in Iran is also a likely candidate for receiving the next turmoil, and the mullahs in Iran have therefore every right to feel concerned. They have already witnessed people coming out to the streets and tearing away Khamenei’s pictures and chanting “death to dictator” only two years ago.

Mullahs were quite fortunate that time. They managed to clamp down on the movement by shooting into the crowd, running cars over the young people and hanging people from cranes in public.

Today, following the events in Egypt and Libya, the mullahs know that the situation is critical for them and they have to stay on the alert every day and all the times. Given the conditions, the Iranian regime can certainly not afford any mistakes and has no alternative but to make every effort to put maximum pressure on its opposition.  That certainly includes their main opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) which is considered the most organized opposition in exile to the Iranian regime. 

The Iranian regime succeeded in putting maximum pressure on the MEK through the designation of the group in the FTO list of the United States back in 1997 during Clinton administration.  The regime needs to ensure that MEK stays on that list.

The MEK was named in the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations list in 1997 in an attempt by the US administration to establish a long-sought relationship with Iran. State Department officials have confirmed that Madeline Albright, then Secretary of State, included the group in the newly adopted list on specific demands coming from Tehran.

However, to the dismay of the Iranian Ayatollahs, the MEK has today gained strong bipartisan support in both Houses in the Unites States calling for the terror tag to be removed by Secretary Clinton.

The “terror tag” has already been removed by both the United Kingdom and the European Union years ago, but it still remains in place in the United States.

The MEK fought a long judicial battle and won in several courts in counties including Great Britain and France, as well as in the European Union.

The court orders affirmed that the MEK has never been engaged, nor does it intend to engage, in terrorist activities and have given the group a clear bill of health as it comes to terrorism.
Washington D.C.’s Circuit Court was the latest court to ask the Secretary of State to reconsider her predecessors’ decision and delist the group as a terrorist entity. That is why the State Department is studying the case, and that is why the Iranian regime’s Lobby and known regime agents and collaborators in Washington are preaching the U.S. government to keep them listed.

But keeping MEK on the list, is not only wrong from a human perspective but it is also judicially incorrect. Despite repeated calls from senior members of both U.S. Houses, the State Department has repeatedly failed to provide any evidence that would show the MEK has ever had anything to do with terrorism.

The call now goes to Secretary Clinton, as it has been stated that she will be making her decision soon.

 The decision made has to be based on facts and not allegations or political considerations.  It is a decision that many innocent lives depend on in and cannot be taken lightly.  It must not side the United States government with the mullahs against the Iranian people.  That is the side America cannot afford to be on.

Kambiz Assai is a scholar of Iranian politics now living in exile and a former political prisoner of the religious dictatorship in Iran. He writes about Iranian current events and human rights issues extensively and never gives up the dream of returning to a free and democratic Iran