To the extent that the Iranian people’s six-month-old uprising for regime change is real, which it certainly is (“The People’s Revolt in Iran,” Review & Outlook, Dec. 22), the U.S. administration’s attitude toward it remains astonishing and unbelievable.
You should have mentioned that while current developments share striking similarities with those of 1978 prior to the Iranian revolution, the mistakes committed by the current Democratic administration bear striking resemblances to those of the Carter administration in 1978.
No one wants to see the U.S. interfering in Iran’s internal affairs. But it would be equally inexcusable to exercise silence while still pinning hope on nuclear negotiations with the clerical regime, a regime that is the primary state sponsor of international terrorism and whose rush to acquire nuclear weapons has brought on a regional crisis.
Washington is currently not on the side of the Iranian people. Even worse, by keeping the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK), on the State Department’s terror list, it has in effect rewarded the Iranian regime. The terror tag, levied in 1997 by the Clinton administration, aimed to placate the regime and change its behavior. It is completely devoid of legal, moral and political justification.
After seven court rulings that annulled the terror label against the MEK, the U.K. and the EU removed the organization from their own lists in 2008 and 2009. A court in the U.K. ruled in 2008 that “The reality is that neither in the open material nor in the closed material is there any reliable evidence that supported a conclusion that PMOI retained an intention to resort to terrorist activities in the future.”
The MEK rejected violence in 2001 and voluntarily disarmed in 2003. Interviews and extensive investigations conducted by nine U.S. security agencies on more than 3,400 MEK members in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, revealed that they pose absolutely no threat to America’s national security.
When it comes to the nuclear issue, the MEK has also served as the world’s eyes and ears by exposing the mullahs’ clandestine nuclear weapons program for the past seven years.
Why this organization remains on the U.S. terror list is a lingering mystery in Washington.
The Obama administration should remove the unwarranted restrictions placed on the Iranian opposition. Politically and morally, it should place itself on the side of millions of Iranians who are chanting for freedom. After that, it can leave the rest to the Iranian people and their organized resistance movement.
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