Tony Cartalucci, Global Research, October 12 2015:… All three witnesses made passionate pleas before a room full of nodding senators for America to continue backing not only MEK terrorists currently harbored on a former US military base in Iraq, but to back groups like MEK inside of Iran itself to threaten the very survival of the government in Tehran. In the opening …
The Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK): The US Prepares to Back a New Terrorist Army in Iran, Prelude to a Wider War?
As US attempts to extort a settlement in Syria built on regime-change, US senators and generals conspire to arm and back a new terrorist army aimed at Iran.
An October 7, 2015 hearing before the US Senate Committee on Armed Forces (SASC) titled, “Iranian Influence in Iraq and the Case of Camp Liberty,” served as a reaffirmation of America’s commitment to back the terrorist organization Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK) and specifically 2,400 members of the organization being harbored on a former US military base in Iraq.
Providing testimony was former US Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, former US Marine Corps Commandant and former Supreme Allied Commander Europe General James Jones, USMC (Ret.), and Colonel Wesley Martin, US Army (Ret.).
All three witnesses made passionate pleas before a room full of nodding senators for America to continue backing not only MEK terrorists currently harbored on a former US military base in Iraq, but to back groups like MEK inside of Iran itself to threaten the very survival of the government in Tehran.
In the opening remarks by Lieberman, he stated:
It was not only right and just that we took them off the foreign terrorist organization list, but the truth is now that we ought to be supportive of them and others in opposition to the government in Iran more than we have been.
Lieberman would also state (emphasis added):
Here’s my point Mr. Chairman, we ought to compartmentalize that agreement also, that nuclear agreement. We ought to put it over there, and not let it stop us from confronting what they’re doing in Syria. Continuing the sanctions for human rights violations in Iran in support of terrorism. And here’s the point I want to make about the National Council of Resistance of Iran and other democratic opposition groups that are Iranian – we ought to be supporting them.
This regime in Tehran is hopeless. It’s not going to change. There’s no evidence … every piece of evidence says the contrary. So I hope we can find a way, we used to do this not so long ago, supporting opposition groups in Iran. They deserve our support, and actually they would constitute a form of pressure on the government in Tehran that would unsettle them as much as anything else we could do because it would threaten the survival of the regime which from every objective indicator I can see is a very unpopular regime in Iran.
The United States, unrepentant regarding the arc of chaos, mass murder, terrorism, civilizational destruction it has created stretching from Libya to Syria, now seeks openly to extend it further into Iran using precisely the same tactics – the use of terrorist proxies – to dismantle and destroy Iranian society.
While Lieberman, General Jones, and Colonel Martin all failed categorically to accurately describe the true nature of the MEK terrorists they seek to support in a proxy war with Iran, the US policy papers these three lobbyists are reading from have done so and in great detail.
MEK has carried out decades of brutal terrorist attacks, assassinations, and espionage against the Iranian government and its people, as well as targeting Americans including the attempted kidnapping of US Ambassador Douglas MacArthur II, the attempted assassination of USAF Brigadier General Harold Price, the successful assassination of Lieutenant Colonel Louis Lee Hawkins, the double assassinations ofColonel Paul Shaffer and Lieutenant Colonel Jack Turner, and the successful ambush and killing of American Rockwell International employees William Cottrell, Donald Smith, and Robert Krongard.
Admissions to the deaths of the Rockwell International employees can be found within a report written by former US State Department and Department of Defense official Lincoln Bloomfield Jr. on behalf of the lobbying firm Akin Gump in an attempt to dismiss concerns over MEK’s violent past and how it connects to its current campaign of armed terror – a testament to the depths of depravity from which Washington and London lobbyists operate.
To this day MEK terrorists have been carrying out attacks inside of Iran killing political opponents, attacking civilian targets, as well as carrying out the US-Israeli program of targeting and assassinating Iranian scientists. MEK terrorists are also suspected of handling patsies in recent false flag operations carried out in India, Georgia, and Thailand, which have been ham-handedly blamed on the Iranian government.
MEK is described by Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Ray Takeyh as a “cult-like organization” with “totalitarian tendencies.” While Takeyh fails to expand on what he meant by “cult-like” and “totalitarian,” an interview with US State Department-run Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty reported that a MEK Camp Ashraf escapee claimed the terrorist organization bans marriage, using radios, the Internet, and holds many members against their will with the threat of death if ever they are caught attempting to escape.
Not once is any of this backstory mentioned in the testimony of any of the witnesses before the senate hearing, defiling the memories of those who have been murdered and otherwise victimized by this terrorist organization. The de-listing of MEK in 2012 as a foreign terrorist organization by the US State Department is another indictment of the utter lack of principles the US clearly hides behind rather than in any way upholds as a matter of executing foreign policy.
American Support of Anti-Iranian Mercenaries a Prelude to Wider War
MEK has already afforded the US the ability to wage a low-intensity conflict with Iran. MEK’s role in doing so was eagerly discussed in 2009, several years before it was even de-listed as a terrorist organization by the US State Department in the Brooking Institution’s policy paper “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran” (PDF).
The report stated (emphasis added):
Perhaps the most prominent (and certainly the most controversial) opposition group that has attracted attention as a potential U.S. proxy is the NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran), the political movement established by the MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq). Critics believe the group to be undemocratic and unpopular, and indeed anti-American.
In contrast, the group’s champions contend that the movement’s long-standing opposition to the Iranian regime and record of successful attacks on and intelligence-gathering operations against the regime make it worthy of U.S. support. They also argue that the group is no longer anti-American and question the merit of earlier accusations. Raymond Tanter, one of the group’s supporters in the United States, contends that the MEK and the NCRI are allies for regime change in Tehran and also act as a useful proxy for gathering intelligence. The MEK’s greatest intelligence coup was the provision of intelligence in 2002 that led to the discovery of a secret site in Iran for enriching uranium.
Despite its defenders’ claims, the MEK remains on the U.S. government list of foreign terrorist organizations. In the 1970s, the group killed three U.S. officers and three civilian contractors in Iran. During the 1979-1980 hostage crisis, the group praised the decision to take America hostages and Elaine Sciolino reported that while group leaders publicly condemned the 9/11 attacks, within the group celebrations were widespread.
Undeniably, the group has conducted terrorist attacks—often excused by the MEK’s advocates because they are directed against the Iranian government. For example, in 1981, the group bombed the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party, which was then the clerical leadership’s main political organization, killing an estimated 70 senior officials. More recently, the group has claimed credit for over a dozen mortar attacks, assassinations, and other assaults on Iranian civilian and military targets between 1998 and 2001. At the very least, to work more closely with the group (at least in an overt manner), Washington would need to remove it from the list of foreign terrorist organizations.
Proof that Brookings’ policy paper was more than a mere theoretical exercise, in 2012 MEK would indeed be de-listed by the US State Department with support for the terrorist organization expanded. The fact that former senators and retired generals representing well-funded corporate think tanks even just this week are plotting to use MEK to overthrow the Iranian government should raise alarms that other criminality conspired within the pages of this policy paper may still well be in play.
Lieberman himself suggests that proxy war and regime-change should proceed regardless of the so-called “nuclear deal” – with the 2009 Brookings report itself having stated that (emphasis added):
…any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.
Clearly, both Brookings in 2009, and Lieberman this week have conspired to use the so-called “Iranian Nuclear Deal” as cover for betrayal and regime change.
For those wondering why Russia has intervened in Syria in the matter that it has, it should be plainly obvious. The US has no intention to stop in Syria. With Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya behind it, and Syria within its clutches, it is clear that Iran is next, and inevitably this global blitzkrieg will not stop until it reaches Moscow and Beijing.
Even as the US adamantly denies the obvious – that is has intentionally created and is currently perpetuating Al Qaeda, the so-called “Islamic State,” and other terrorist groups in Syria, it is openly conspiring to use another army of terrorists against neighboring Iran, live before a US Senate hearing. Should the US succeed in Syria, it would not be the end of the conflict, but only the end of the beginning of a much wider world war.
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: Using Al-Qaeda To Fight ISIS Is Crazy And Dangerous
Adam Dick, Western Journalism, September 23 2015:… The wide-ranging interview also contains Wilkerson’s frank insights regarding several other matters, including the paid lobbyists in America for the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) — “one of the most brutal terrorist organizations in the world,” the Saudi Arabia government — or some elements of it — “financing …
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: Using Al-Qaeda To Fight ISIS Is Crazy And Dangerous
Wilkerson declared this assessment in an interview Thursday with RT host Thom Hartman.
College of William & Mary Professor and Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member Lawrence Wilkerson frankly assesses that former United States General and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director David Petraeus’ proposal that the US support al-Qaeda to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) is a “crazy idea” that creates a blowback danger for Americans. Wilkerson declared this assessment in an interview Thursday with RT host Thom Hartman.
In the interview, Wilkerson, a former US Army colonel and chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, elaborates on his conclusion by warning:
“I would point out that this is just the kind of thing we do that gives us this enormous blowback later. There is a direct line between our support for the mujahideen — the training and arming of al-Qaeda in particular in Afghanistan — and 9-11. And there will be a line, I assure you, between any support we give al-Qaeda or al-Qaeda-like elements in Syria and any future attack on the United States overseas, or here, by them. It’s just something that happens, and it’s extremely dangerous to be playing with this sort of thing.”
The wide-ranging interview also contains Wilkerson’s frank insights regarding several other matters, including the paid lobbyists in America for the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) — “one of the most brutal terrorist organizations in the world,” the Saudi Arabia government — or some elements of it — “financing and supporting” ISIS, and former Vice President Dick Cheney, who Wilkerson calls “an obscene blemish on the American reputation” who “ought to be in jail for war crimes.”
Watch the complete 12-minute interview at the beginning of Thom Hartman’s show here:
On June 30, RPI Chairman Ron Paul and Executive Director Daniel McAdams discussed on the Ron Paul Liberty Report some earlier advocacy for the US government to overtly support al-Qaeda in the Middle East. Watch their discussion here:
This article originally appeared at RonPaulInstitute.org and is reprinted here with permission.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.
UANI, Joe Lieberman and the MEK (Mojahedin Khalq)
Ali Gharib, Lobelog, August 12 2015:… As far back as 2008, Lieberman was joking—yes, joking, as if this were a laughing matter—about the “appeal” of bombing Iran. In a 2010 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations that re-purposed many of the talking points Lieberman had used to push for the invasion of Iraq, he spoke of a six-month deadline—six months! …
UANI, Joe Lieberman and the MEK (Mojahedin Khalq)
I only have a few words to add to Jim’s post about United Against a Nuclear Iran naming Joe Lieberman as its new president. Those words are: Mojahedin-e Khalq. That’s the ex-terrorist Iranian opposition group, often known as the MEK, that has campaigned tirelessly for decades for regime change in Iran, and Joe Lieberman is one of their favorite advocates in Washington.
Here’s a bit of something I wrote in June about Lieberman’s positions on Iran and the MEK:
As far back as 2008, Lieberman was joking—yes, joking, as if this were a laughing matter—about the “appeal” of bombing Iran. In a 2010 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations that re-purposed many of the talking points Lieberman had used to push for the invasion of Iraq, he spoke of a six-month deadline—six months! in 2010!—for Iran to roll back its nuclear program before the U.S. had to seriously consider a military strike.
Lieberman’s been at it since then, too. In 2012, he said that a military strike could cause Iran’s nuclear program to “be delayed for enough years that we may hope and pray that there will be a regime change.” And that is the central point of Lieberman’s advocacy: he wants a U.S. policy of regime change. Just this month, he participated by video in a confab of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the ex-terrorist Iranian opposition group that relentlessly pushes for regime change.
“Inevitably,” Lieberman addressed the MEK members directly, “as individuals you may ask yourself: Is it possible that we can bring about a change of regime in Iran? And I want to say to you that it is. I’m confident that it is and it will happen.” The US, he said, “should be working closely with your resistance group.” The event was even the subject of a “sponsored report“—whatever that means—from The Washington Times that helpfully categorized Lieberman’s statements as “American support for regime change and the Iranian opposition.”
I mention this because of the raft of deal opponents who just won’t stop insisting that actually they don’t want war with Iran, they just want a “better deal.” If that’s the case, they ought to stop naming Joe Lieberman to prominent positions in their organizations. As it stands now, the hawkish former Democrat holds positions in several major anti-deal groups in Washington. Jim noted his roles at theAIPAC anti-deal spin-off (which has also promoted MEK materials in its advertisements), the American Enterprise Institute, and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, adding to that now his elevation from advisory board member at UANI to being its leader.
Fellow board members who actually support the Iran nuclear deal, such as Graham Allison and its Lieberman’s immediate predecessor, Gary Samore, might take note.
But hawkishness on Iran is a matter apart from support for the MEK. The group is reviled in Iran; it has launched terrorist attacks there; many impartial analysts have described it as a cult. Eli and I have already written about UANI’s targeting of legal humanitarian trade with Iran, and how it belies its professed solidarity with the Iranian people. Now, we can add UANI’s promotion of a pro-MEK hawk to that score. What’s worse, though, is the group’s elevation of a man who has such a cavalier attitude toward war with Iran and who wants official US policy toward the Islamic Republic to be regime change.
We’ve seen this move before with the Iraq war, and UANI seems determined to have Joe Lieberman, who, as Jim noted, was Honorary Co-Chair of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, return to star in the sequel.
About the Author
Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.
Poe’s Financial Ties To MEK May Explain Maryam’s House Testimony
Eli Clifton, Lobelog, April 30 2015:…The group, which went into exile after losing a violent power struggle in the early years of the Islamic Republic, aligned itself with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war and, despite claims to being Iran’s viable democratic government in exile, is widely believed to have little …
Poe’s Financial Ties To MEK May Explain Maryam’s House Testimony
Wednesday’s scheduled congressional hearing on “ISIS: Defining the Enemy” is rapidly shrinking in size. Two key witnesses are refusing to attend due to the invitation to testify that Ted Poe (R-TX), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, extended to Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK).
Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford and former State Department counterterrorism director Daniel Benjamin have both said that they won’t appear for the hearing after learning that Rajavi would also be a witness on the same panel. She is scheduled to participate via videoconference from Paris, the headquarters the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a MEK front.
MEK, which the State Department removed from terrorism list in 2012 following a lengthy and expensive lobbying campaign, is believed to have been responsible for the killing of six Americans in Iran between 1973 and 1976.
The group, which went into exile after losing a violent power struggle in the early years of the Islamic Republic, aligned itself with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war and, despite claims to being Iran’s viable democratic government in exile, is widely believed to have little or no grassroots support in Iran. The group has long faced criticism from Iran specialists and rights groups such as Human Rights Watch that it has devolved into a cult based on devotion to Maryam and her long-missing husband, Massoud Rajavi. According to numerous accounts, the group exerts a high degree of control over its followers, going so far as to mandate divorces and celibacy for their soldiers.
But, as Ali Gharib and I documented in February, MEK’s influence in Washington, particularly with Iran hawks, has coincided with a flow of money from the group to American politicians, in particular, to embattled Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) who is currently under indictment on unrelated federal corruption charges.
So why did Poe and the Republican majority on the terrorism subcommittee decide to invite Rajavi (a copy of whose testimony was obtained by Ali who previewed it Tuesday on The Nation’s website) Campaign finances may offer at least part of the answer.
Poe received $17,900 in campaign contributions from supporters of the MEK between 2009 and 2014, according to an analysis I conducted of campaign finance data. Surprisingly, nearly half—or $8,600—of the total flowed into his campaign while the group was still on the State Department’s terrorism list between 2009 and its delisting in 2012.
In contrast, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), returned a $2,600 campaign contribution from a MEK supporter in Virginia in 2013. “During routine due diligence by campaign staff, it was discovered that a few donors had associations the campaign was uncomfortable with,” a spokesman for Graham’s campaign told Politico. “In an abundance of caution, the contributions were refunded.”
Poe seems less concerned about the association. His insistence on inviting Rajavi adds to the irony of his chairmanship of the terrorism subcommittee (shades of Sen. James Inhofe’s chairmanship of the Senate Environment Committee).
With Ford and Benjamin out, Rajavi will be joined on Wednesday by only one other witness: Walid Phares, a pro-Israel Lebanese-American Maronite Christian with a long association with hard-line neo-conservatives and a terrorism “expert” for Fox News. During Lebanon’s civil war that raged from 1975 through the 1980’s, Phares served as an ideologue for the Lebanese Forces, an umbrella group of various Christian militias. Some of these militias carried out the Sabra and Shatila massacres in September, 1982, in which at many as 3,000 Palestinians—mostly women, children and the elderly—were killed following Israel’s conquest of Beirut. Among other positions, he served as co-chairman of the Middle East working group of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy advisory team.
Congress cannot rely on Rajavi’s testimony – Camp Liberty residents must be taken to safety now
Al-Monitor’s Congressional Correspondent Julian Pecquet writes that the “leader” of the controversial Mojahedin Khalq is going to testify before Congress next week. The subject of the House Foreign Affairs terrorism panel is “ISIS: Defining the Enemy”.
A careful reading of this informative article reveals just how wrong it is for anyone in the American political establishment to be associated with the Mojahedin Khalq (MEK) – masquerading here as the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) – in any way and for any reason.
Firstly, for the record, the MEK is still led by fugitive leader Massoud Rajavi who is the cultic mastermind behind the group. Maryam Rajavi, his wife, is not particularly clever or politically minded and has acted essentially as her husband’s public mouthpiece in the west since she arrived back in France in 1993. She will now testify to Congress by videoconference rather than in person. After trying for two decades to obtain a visa to visit the USA and/or the UK, wise people in those countries still refuse her entry, for good reason.
The fundamental contradiction the article exposes is the assumption of the House Foreign Affairs terrorism panel that “Maryam Rajavi will discuss the threat the Islamic State poses to members of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) at Camp Liberty.” She won’t. She can’t. Because the MEK are friends of the Islamic State (IS), they support the Islamic State. Maryam Rajavi has spoken in Farsi in favour of the Islamic State. The Islamic State do not pose any danger to the MEK in Camp Liberty. In fact, before the Iraqi army and militias drove IS back from its encroachment, it was clear to all those who know the MEK that the leaders were hoping that when IS reached Baghdad, the MEK would be liberated from Camp Liberty and join the terrorist forces.
Instead of condemning the Islamic State, Maryam Rajavi will speak about how the Iranian government wants to kill the people in Camp Liberty and is plotting every day to find ways to massacre them all. This is an old script. It has been the MEK script for thirty years. Does Ted Poe think the MEK has suddenly flipped sides and will line up with Iran against the Islamic State?
Whatever threats are faced by the residents of Camp Liberty, one thing is certain. The reason they cannot leave is because the MEK leaders refuse to allow them to leave. Members of Congress should robustly question Maryam Rajavi about that. They need to ask why the UN is unable to progress its work with these vulnerable people. Why, if they are in such direct danger, she doesn’t allow the Iraqi authorities to remove them to separate accommodation. The Iraqis have offered to place the MEK in various secure hotels and apartments in order to make life safer and more comfortable for them. The MEK have refused. Congress needs to ask Maryam Rajavi why the residents of Camp Liberty are not able to make contact with their relatives. Hundreds of families have travelled to Iraq since 2003 attempting to make contact with their loved ones. The MEK have accused them all of being ‘agents of the Iranian regime sent to kill them’. Is this plausible? Most of the family members are old people; the parents and siblings and in some cases the children of people trapped in Camp Liberty. Are they really desirous of massacring their loved ones?
If this is not enough to convince members of Congress that this is a group which lies and deceives, and only follows its own agenda, then there is plenty more evidence to help convince them. It is easy to debunk the myths.
Certainly the MEK has never made a public statement in English or in Farsi that it has renounced violence. If anyone knows of such a public statement, they should urgently produce it. Indeed, Maryam Rajavi’s speeches all revolve around the need for ‘regime change’. Nobody in the American political establishment is naïve enough to believe that this would not involve a violent intervention. Nor can they interpret Rajavi’s speech as other than an advertisement for her own group to undertake that violent intervention.
Sadly, for Rajavi and her supporters, happily for the rest of us, the MEK is incapable of undertaking any such task. Massoud Rajavi is, however, and this is where the danger lies, not only capable of training and advising groups like Al Qaida and IS on manipulating their own forces in terrorism, but is expert in how to spin this through deceptive media and internet campaigns to manipulate and eventually win grudging western support. He is an expert cult manipulator.
The Rajavis’ agenda may coincide today with efforts by some in America and Israel to derail the nuclear negotiations, but investigative journalist Gareth Porter has already revealed that most of what the MEK said against Iran was simply fabricated. Knowing that the Rajavis will obey no other needs except their own for their own survival, this must surely signal that any reliance on Rajavi’s evidence is profoundly misguided.
Let’s hope that Congress does its job and asks searching questions rather than acting as cheerleaders for a deeply unpopular and totally unrepresentative terrorist cult.
MEPs support for MEK terrorists undermines human rights pressure on Iran
(letter to Federica Mogherini)
Massoud Khodabandeh, Middle East Strategy Consultants, London, December 09 2014:… By publishing an article directed by the MEK, a group of MEPs has played directly into the hands of Iran’s hardliners. The MEPs Gérard DEPREZ, Tunne KELAM, Ryszard CZARNECKI EP Vice-President, Eduard KUKAN, José BOVÉ, Julie WARD, and Rina Ronja KARI are …
MEPs support for MEK terrorists undermines human rights pressure on Iran
Open Letter to Federica Mogherini, the new EU foreign policy chief
As you are aware the Iranian Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group works through the “Friends of a Free Iran” in the European Parliament. This parliament is to give a platform today (December 10) to the second-in-command of this group Maryam Rajavi (a private room has been hired in the buildings by one of the MEK’s lobbyists purely for lobbying purposes). Not only that, a group of MEPs has boldly written to you demanding you change your policy to suit this woman. What possibly can be their motive? As a European citizen and an expert in the field of cults and terrorism, I cannot agree that you ignore such a presence in the parliament. It cannot be in the best interests of the European Parliament as a home to democracy to give a platform to for what is an undemocratic stance toward the people of Iran.
By publishing an article directed by the MEK, a group of MEPs has played directly into the hands of Iran’s hardliners. The MEPs Gérard DEPREZ (ALDE – Belgium), Tunne KELAM (EPP – Estonia), Ryszard CZARNECKI EP Vice-President (ECR – Poland), Eduard KUKAN (EPP – Slovakia), José BOVÉ (Greens – France) Julie WARD (S&D – UK) and Rina Ronja KARI (GUE/NGL – Denmark) are members of the MEK’s ‘Friends of a Free Iran’ in the European Parliament.
The article starts with the claim that Ban Ki Moon said people should hold their governments to account. He did not say that the EP should interfere in the internal affairs of another country. Certainly these MEPs have no mandate to hold another country’s government to account in this way. It is not their elected government, but that of a sovereign nation with its own electorate. It is certain Ban Ki Moon was referring to this electorate when he made this statement.
However, let us allow that Iran’s human rights record, like that of every other country of the world, should come under proper scrutiny. The proper bodies to conduct such research are those quoted by these MEPs – the UN – in particular the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran – Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty International. The reports of these bodies are public knowledge and widely available.
(Interestingly, in addition to all these human rights bodies, there is hardly a group or organisation or government, and not a single Iranian opposition group inside or outside Iran which has not condemned the Mojahedin Khalq for its human rights abuses time and time again.)
Now, if the MEPs do indeed see fit to challenge Iran over this issue on International Human Rights Day, is it not proper to do so directly, through dialogue, communication and diplomacy, rather than a futile rant. A rant which, in addition, quotes the second-in-command of the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group, Maryam Rajavi. This group of MEPs has been persuaded – somehow – to have her words put into their mouths as though they cannot make their own statements or figure out their own political arguments. (The MEK shoehorned one of their favourite words, ‘embolden’, into the piece but didn’t manage to get another favourite, ‘appeasement’ in.)
As a result they stupidly allow themselves to say such things as “Tehran has also been the center [sic] for the expansion of terrorism and fundamentalism throughout the region, endangering world peace and security.” The article cannot and does not present any evidence for this opinion. Indeed, most sensible people anywhere would point first to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States as the source of increased terrorism and fundamentalism in the region. But then, the MEK are known advocates of ISIS and other terrorist groups.
Relying on this argument, these MEPs are demanding less dialogue with Iran, not more. Again, back to the ‘let’s bomb Iran or at least disrupt dialogue’ narrative.
Such nonsense has delighted Iran. The semi-official Fars News Agency has immediately translated the article for distribution among Farsi speakers in Iran and worldwide. What better argument could the hardliners have that the issue of human rights is being politicised than to have the leader of a notorious terrorist group put their words into your mouth.
These MEPs really need to get to grips with the fact they are being manipulated into pursuing an agenda not of their own making, which ultimately serves to worsen human rights in Iran and to help crush any indigenous opposition movements and activities. Any Iranian not associated with the MEK terrorist group – on any side of the argument – will tell them this.