The US and Possibility of Delisting MKO

The following article was sent by one of the users. Regardless of any judgment concerning the political views of the author, what is important is her fair reflection of some points on the recent support of some Americans in behalf of MKO. It should be noted that welcomes similar opinions and respects political stances.

There are evidences of a possible change in the policy and position of America towards Mojahedin Khalq [MKO, MEK, PMOI, NCR, NLA]. Regardless of the enthusiastic support of people like John Bolton, and the representatives of two American ruling parties, the supports for Mojahedin is believed to be an attempt to end the deadlock in the West’s negotiations with Iran over the nuclear issue. Fox News TV that covered the reports of a conference held in Washington quoted a board of America's former national security experts saying:

A bipartisan delegation of former senior national security experts said more talks with the Iranian regime would be futile. They urged the President Obama to support a controversial opposition group struggling against the regime in Tehran. The delegation, including General James Jones, reached a consensus that the current and the previous policy of appeasement towards Iranian regime is doomed to failure. [MKO website, 24 January 2011]

The report adds:

These authorities urged the removal of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization from the US list and Michael Mukasey put forward the question "Why should MEK remain in such a list? [MKO website, 24 January 2011]

In his closing statements in the conference, Torricelli is reported to have said:

The listing of the MEK as a terrorist organization by the United States government is wrong. It is wrong as a matter of law, it is contrary to the facts, it is interfering with the rights of American citizens to be heard, and it is contrary to American foreign policy. [MKO website, 24 January 2011]

But, when the change takes a practical form depends on factors: that  how long the State Department and Obama can stand up to the pressure of their critics: that what will be the US’s alternative to choose between its short or long term interests and its international credit; and that when the US reaches a a convincing decision to remove MKO from its terrorist list, a decision that, apart from political and interest-securing achievements, can be considered rational in the framework of democratic ends.

The truth is that, despite claims of MKO that its designation was the outcome of a political decision, Americans know well that even if it was a politically-purposeful decision, it was not actually a wrong decision. Perhaps what has pandered such suppositions was the simultaneity of the US’s policy of shift toward engagement with Iran and the willingness of Iran's then-new president, Mohammad Khatami, for an international interaction and dialogue coincidental with the designation of MKO as a terrorist organization. But it should be reminded that America's first serious stance against MKO goes back to years before 1997.

Despite the statement provoked an angry reaction from the organization, Mujahedin never tried to contest the charges at the time as a political decision. Rather, they considered the decision the outcome of an inappropriate, weak research and disregarding the right of the organization to defend itself against the charges. Now more than two decades after the State Department’s first position, the US seems to have taken a different turn to utilize Mujahedin for the advancement of its political and strategic objectives. You can well notice this interest-seeking turn in the speeches of the former senators and ex-security experts talking in behalf of MKO. It means that the two rival parties have reached a consensus on utilizing the group especially when you hear the former Sen. Robert Torricelli saying “The listing of the MEK as a terrorist organization by the United States government is wrong”.

The question now is what interests America seek to achieve by the removal of MKO from its terrorist list. Can it be that America does it to persuade Iran to stop its nuclear program? It will be so naïve an idea since Americans know better than anyone that MKO lack the social support and the needed legitimacy. But it will be different if America’s aim is to bring MKO out of the list, re-arm it and let it instigate disorder and carry out terrorist operations inside Iran. Furthermore, Rajavi’s struggle to be removed from the terrorist list is worthless in itself unless the group and its so-called the Liberation Army can be re-armed. Once in an interview with PressTV Abbas Dashti, a defected member of MKO, quoted Rajavi saying: “We must do all our best to be removed from America’s terrorist list to get our weapons back again”.

Of course, we have already heard Rajavi addressing Camp Ashraf residents, when it was surrounded by American forces, that between the arms and the master of the arms [Americans] he preferred the latter since the arms could be somehow provided at any time but hardly the master of arms. As a result, delisting of MKO is a revival of the group and its re-arming by the US for a new round of terrorism whether Americans intend it or not. But what will be the consequent of unleashing the terrorist Mujahedin? Rajavi has a past experience that once in their best state, the organization’s operation cells stationed close to Iranian borders failed in their terrorist operations. The alternative will be a new chain of blind terrorist operations as it is absolutely impossible for MKO to launch other military operations similar to that of ‘the Eternal Light’. However, even if the US’s step to delist MKO imply an antagonistic move against the Iranian regime’s behavior, the worst for its own is challenging its international repute for unleashing a most controversial, unquestionable terrorist organization. The least America has to pay will be widening of a credibility gap between the US and Iranian people. But more can be said about the possibility of such decision, and which of course will be a suicidal one, by America.

Farkhondeh Farahmand, February 16, 2011