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Iran: Removal of terror label against People’s Mojahedin, crucial for democratic change

Mohammad Mohaddessin, chair of the NCRI Foreign Affairs CommitteeBy: Mohammad Mohaddessin, chair of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee

Terrorism under the name of Islam and God emerged essentially with the coming to power of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran in 1979. In the past quarter century, the regime has always used hostage taking and terrorism as a means to further its foreign policy. The occupation of the U.S. embassy in 1979, the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, hijacking, the killing of pilgrims in Mecca, the assassination of opponents abroad, the bombings in Argentina and Khobar and forming, strengthening and assisting terrorist movements in the Middle East are a few examples.

The common denominator of all Muslim fundamentalists is the idea of installing a global Islamic empire, which overshadows all their differences. Though a Shiite, Khomeini repeatedly lamented the fall of the Ottoman Empire, which was led by Sunni Caliphs. The regime in Tehran is not only the sole empowered model for the fundamentalists but also their utopia, even if it did not support them materially. Similarly, the Soviet Union was the utopia for the communists and proponents of the dictatorship of the Proletariat, regardless of their specific political leanings. With the fall of the Soviet Union, these communists gradually wilted.

Fundamentalists, whether Shiite or Sunni, share enmity toward the West, modernism and democracy. This destructive ideology claims the leadership of 1.5 billion Muslims. In this context, the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei considers himself the Supreme Leader of Muslims across the world and not just Shiites. In other words, Islamic fundamentalism, whose heart beats in Tehran under the mullahs’ rule, is the biggest threat to peace and tranquility in the region and the world. Terrorism under the cloak of Islam emerged with the clerical regime and would be eradicated once this regime is changed. The fight against terror, therefore, is indispensable to the fight against the epicenter of terror, namely the regime in Tehran.

A lack of a clear understanding in the West of the nature of Islamic fundamentalism and of the mullahs ruling Iran has led to an absence of a decisive policy vis-à-vis this ominous phenomenon and the criminal rulers of Iran.

The European Union’s policy of appeasement has provided the biggest opportunity to the mullahs to complete their nuclear projects. Iranian officials boast that in the course of the two-year talks with the EU "the Islamic Republic has achieved brilliant results in technical, legal, political, propaganda and national security spheres… We overcame many of our deficiencies. We did not suspend work at Isfahan site for a moment, until we completed and tested it and obtained results. Arak was never suspended to begin with… We were spared a military attack… The nuclear talks allowed Iran to sign long-term contracts to export gas to India, China, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates."

The most destructive aspect of this policy was to include the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin, in the list of terrorist organizations. This move clearly strengthened a repressive regime and suppressed its legitimate opposition. Ironically, the Iranian Mojahedin is the only organized and nationwide force that by relying on a democratic interpretation of Islam has been waging a comprehensive cultural, religious and political struggle against fundamentalism in the past quarter century. This designation has in effect hamstrung more than 90 percent of this movement’s capabilities, potentials and resources, which could have otherwise been used to force fundamentalism into retreat. Instead, the mullahs have found opportunity to disseminate fundamentalism, recruit and train terrorists in Western countries without hindrance.

The clerical regime’s terrorist and fundamentalist activities have accelerated with the coming to power of its new President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He and his accomplices are fundamentalist terrorists who actively took part in the occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, in terrorist operations in and out of Iran and in the massacre of the Iranian people. On June 29, he said, “A new Islamic Revolution has arisen… The wave of Islamic Revolution will soon reach across the globe”.

The expansion of the Iranian regime’s meddling in Iraq has been confirmed by the U.S. and British political leaders as well as the King of Jordan, Saudi Foreign Minister and many senior Iraqi officials in their recent comments. It is only the frontal assault of this evil wave which requires urgent reaction and response.

With every passing day, the world community loses greater opportunities to confront the mullahs’ threats. The implications and perils of the heartland of fundamentalism, the world’s most dangerous terror sponsoring state, being armed with the world’s most dangerous weapon is not lost to anyone. All that the mullahs need to obtain nuclear bomb is time.

The only way to rid the world of the threats and dangers posed by the regime ruling Iran is to bring about democratic change in Iran. This change is within reach and the Iranian people are resolved to make it a reality. In the first six months of this year alone, Tehran and other Iranian cities have been the scene of 1,300 demonstrations, strikes, protest actions and sit-ins by different sectors of Iranian society, including students, workers, academics, women, young people, farmers, etc. Earlier, by boycotting the sham presidential elections, the Iranian people demonstrated their demand for change in Iran.

In these circumstances, removing the most effective and serious opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin, from the terrorist list would significantly contribute to democratic change in Iran, as it would not only allow this movement to use its enormous potentials and capabilities but would also send a strong signal to the Iranian people that they are not alone in their struggle against the ruling religious tyranny.