Iran condemns US for taking group off terror list

[The MEK is a revisionist organization that was a participant in the 1979 revolution in Iran that overthrew the US-backed Shah. Later, they fell into conflict with the forces of the Islamic Republic. The MEK began to align with almost anyone who opposed the Islamic Republic, including Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the United States, and Israel. They are big players in the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a Western-backed and Western-based exile government in waiting that seeks to overthrow the Islamic Republic. They have been been one of the big players feeding the CIA and Mossad information on Iran’s supposed nuclear program. They have also been involved in the recent assassinations of scientists and sabotage efforts in Iran. Despite their claims to be revolutionary, leftist, Marxist, socialist, etc., they operate as CIA assets in the region. Even though they have a close relationship with US and Israeli intelligence and covert operations, their violent attacks in and outside of Iran landed them on the US so-called terrorist list. Over the years, the MEK have generated support from a wide array of forces ranging from First Worldist feminists (they try to generate support for war against Iran by appealing to feminists who wish to “save” Iran’s women from Islam) to their most vocal advocate in Congress, the arch-reactionary and racist Tom Tancredo of Colorado. Tom Tancredo, the most anti-migrant voice in Congress, has advocated their removal from the terrorist list for years. In reality, the MEK has not been treated as a so-called terrorist group by the United States. In fact, they have received support from the United States and worked closely with US intelligence. So, that the MEK was removed from the so-called terrorist list changes little in practice. Iran is right to protest the US hypocrisy. The MEK is not the only revisionist group that has ended up as agents of imperialism, the Iranian Maoists (Western-based exiles) behave in much the same way. Just because an organization spouts some leftist rhetoric or upholds this or that revolutionary icon does not make an organization revolutionary. There is a long history of forces that claim to be leftist, socialist, communist, revolutionary, etc. that have ended up working for the enemy. Revisionism, wrecking, treason, etc. have a long history. This is why it is absolutely necessary that we understand that line is decisive. Organizations that are not led by the most advanced revolutionary science will more easily fall into the enemy camp. This is why it is absolutely necessary that all comrade arm themselves with Leading Light Communism.– NP]

Iran condemns US for taking group off terror list

(AP)

PARIS (AP) — Iran condemned on Saturday the Obama administration for taking an Iranian militant group formerly allied with Saddam Hussein off the U.S. terrorism list, saying it shows Washington’s “double standards.”

The Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), which began as a guerrilla movement fighting Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, helped overthrow the monarch in 1979 then quickly fell out with the Islamic Republic’s first leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. It fought in the 1980s alongside Saddam’s forces in the eight-year Iran-Iraq war but disarmed after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The State Department delisted the group on Friday, meaning that any assets the MEK has in the United States are unblocked and Americans can do business with the organization. On Saturday, at their Paris headquarters, MEK members gathered to celebrate, tossing flower petals and displaying photos of members killed in the past 15 years.

“We call on the international community to respect the will of the Iranian people for a regime change in Iran,” Maryam Rajavi, the Paris-based head of the exiled opposition group, said Saturday.

Iran’s foreign ministry said in a statement that the delisting of MEK was “a violation of America’s legal and international obligations” that could threaten U.S. interests. The decision “will bring U.S. responsibility for past, present and future terrorist operations by this group,” the statement also said.

Iranian State TV criticized the decision, saying that the U.S. considered the MEK “good terrorists” and claims Washington is using the group to work against Tehran. State radio said the move highlights President Barack Obama’s anti-Iranian sentiments.

“There is much evidence of the group being involved in terrorist activities. Delisting them shows America’s double standard policy on terrorism,” state TV said. The U.S. distinguishes between “good and bad terrorists” and the MEK are now “good terrorists because the U.S. is using them against Iran,” the report also said, adding that Washington and Israel use the group to spy on Iran’s nuclear program.

The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has denied the claims, saying the program is peaceful and is intended for electricity generation and scientific research.

The State Department said the MEK hasn’t committed terror for more than a decade. The group has also complied with demands that over 3,000 of its once-armed members abandon their base in Iraq near the Iranian border for a camp outside Baghdad, an essential step to ending their decades-long presence in Iraq.

The group claims it is seeking regime change through peaceful means, aiming to replace Tehran’s clerical system with a secular government.

However, a senior State Department official suggested that removing MEK from the U.S. terrorist list does not translate into a shared common front against the Islamic Republic. The official said Washington does not view MEK as an opposition movement that can promote democratic values in Iran. The official on Friday briefed reporters on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

In a rare interview on Friday, Rajavi said “the most important impact … will be seen inside Iran.”

“The balance of power is going to change. For example, the first message for the Iranian people will be they won’t fear increasing their activity and increasing their demonstrations,” she said. The fear “will evaporate … and that will lead to the expansion of anti-regime activities within Iran.”

Iran says MEK is responsible for the deaths of more than 12,000 Iranians over the past three decades, including senior government officials.

The MEK spent huge sums of money over years lobbying for removal from the U.S. terror list, holding rallies in European capitals and elsewhere that featured luminaries like former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge from the administration of George W. Bush. Former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was among those recently welcomed by the MEK to Paris.

The group was protected in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, but its members are disliked by the new Iraqi government, dominated by Shiite Muslims like those in Iran.

The United States had insisted the MEK’s members leave Camp Ashraf, their home in Iraq, as a condition for removal from the terrorist list. All but several hundred militants are now located in Camp Liberty, a former U.S. base outside Baghdad, looking for placement in third countries.

The MEK was removed from the European Union’s terrorist list in 2009.

___

Associated Press writer Ali Akbar Dareini contributed from Tehran, Iran.

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