‘MKO terrorists masked as freedom fighters to pressure Iran’‎

The United States arrays “yesterday’s terrorist” anti-Iran Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) and ‎honors them as “today’s freedom fighters” to use them against the Islamic Republic, says an analyst.‎

On September ‎‏28‏‎, the terrorist group was taken off the US State Department’s blacklist a week after ‎US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent the US Congress a classified communication about the move.‎

The US claimed that the decision was made because the MKO has not carried out any acts of terror ‎over the past ‎‏10‏‎ years.‎

Meanwhile, a September ‎‏21‏‎ New York Times article reaffirms that the support of prominent US ‎politicians for the MKO organization has undoubtedly played a role in the de-listing of the MKO ‎organization as a terrorist group.‎

The article said the long list of high-ranking US politicians supporting the MKO includes: former CIA ‎Directors, R. James Woolsey and Porter J. Goss; former FBI director Louis J. Freeh; former US President ‎George W. Bush’s homeland security secretary, Tom Ridge; Attorney General, Michael B. Mukasey; ‎and President Barack Obama’s first national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones.‎

Many of MKO’s American supporters, yet not all, are said to have received fees of up to ‎‏15‏‎,‎‏000‏‎ to ‎‏30,000‏‎ dollars to give speeches to the group, in addition to travel expenses to attend MKO rallies in ‎Paris. The former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, Edward G. Rendell, admitted in March that he ‎had received a total of ‎‏150,000‏‎ to ‎‏160,000‏‎ dollars, the US daily article added.‎

Press TV has conducted an interview with Beirut-based international lawyer and director of the ‎Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace movement, Franklin Lamb, to further shed light on the ‎issue.‎

Press TV: Mr. Lamb thanks for being with us. Let’s just first look at the statement that’s being given ‎out by the US State Department on its decision. It says that in view of the group’s public renunciation ‎of violence, the absence of confirmed acts of terrorism for more than a decade and their cooperation ‎in the closure of their paramilitary base in Iraq we’ve decided to delist them.‎

Now legally speaking at least the question is where is the issue of accountability for the crimes and the ‎terrorist activities that the group has carried out before these years that they haven’t carried out ‎terrorist activities according to the US?‎

Lamb: Yes, well let me just say that the rationale that you just iterated from the American government ‎is frankly nonsense. These aren’t the issues.‎

‎ The issue is as we saw a recall in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Libya and now in Syria, yesterday’s terrorists ‎can be today’s freedom fighters even if they are going to be tomorrow’s terrorists. This is a thinly, ‎thinly disguised effort to ratchet up the pressure on Iran. I think that’s clear.‎

Even acknowledged sources in the US Congress what we can say is that the MEK has been I think well-‎tutored politically on how the American system works. Look who they’ve had endorse them: former ‎FBI director [Louis J.] Freeh, former head of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Howard Dean of the ‎Democratic National Committee and five or six important members, former members of Congress.‎

What do these people have in common? They are out of office. They missed the government perks ‎and they’re paid ‎‏100‏‎ thousand dollars each by the MEK to give speeches. So it’s not much for them to ‎endorse this initiative which is aimed at opening up the American system to the MEK now based in ‎Paris.‎

‎ Count the days before their headquarters is in Washington. Count the days before the Zionist lobby ‎joins them and funds them and the American intelligence agency supports them in order to do what?‎

‎ In order to create a hopeful, viable opposition to the government of the Islamic Republic in time for ‎next year’s election. These will be billed to the public and the world as the new Jeffersonian ‎Democrats of the Middle East. Whatever it takes to dress them up in respectability. So that’s what we ‎see here. Forget history. Forget terrorism. Forget who killed who on American soil that used to stand ‎for something. We have a political agenda. We want them. We need them.‎

We’re going to squeeze Iran in the coming months. I think we’ll bear this out.‎

Press TV: You say the issue of cooperation between the MKO and the US administration. We know for ‎one that following the fall of Saddam, there was cooperation between the US and the members of ‎this group when they were stationed in Camp Ashraf in Iraq. So what you’re concluding is that this is a ‎continuation of that cooperation but now legally acceptable at least for the United States.‎

Lamb: Absolutely, that was ‎‏30‏‎ years ago that we supported the MEK as part of our support of Saddam ‎against Iran. That’s three decades ago. We weren’t all that interested in this group until recently we ‎see an opportunity, another layer of sanction if you will, another way to pressure the regime, hoping ‎that it will implode in some way. I don’t know that we have a big future with the MEK but they’re very ‎useful instrument today.‎