People’s Mujahedin of Iran : From Terrorist Group to US Best Friends

“There is a viable opposition to the rule of the ayatollahs, and that opposition is centred in this room today. The behaviour and objectives of the regime are not going to change, and therefore the only solution is to change the regime itself.”

John Bolton — US national security adviser  [MeK Conference 2017]

“In the seven years I lived in the country, I saw a great deal of criticism towards the ayatollahs but I never met a person who thought the MeK should, or could, present a viable alternative.”

Jason Rezaian — Iranian-American Washington Post journalist

Donald Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, addresses exiled People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) supporters in Paris, France, June 30, 2018

The People’s Mujahedin of Iran [PMOI in English or MeK in Farsi] was once officially listed as a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union. Now, the Trump Administration wants them to run Iran. How was MEK removed from these terrorist organizations list? They simply bought their way out! Flashback. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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The United States put the MeK on the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations in July 1997. The European Union, pressured by Washington, added MEK to its terrorist list in May 2002.

The United Kingdom lifted the MeK’s designation as a terrorist group in June 2008 followed by the Council of the European Union in January 2009. The U.S. State Department formally removed MEK from its official list of terrorist organizations in September 2012.

In April 2012, Seymour Hersh reported that former U.S. officials were paid to speak in support of MEK, including former CIA directors James Woolsey and Porter Goss; New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; former Vermont Governor Howard Dean; former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Louis Freeh and former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.

Bolton is estimated to have received upwards of $180,000 to speak at multiple events for MeK. His recent financial disclosure shows that he was paid $40,000 for one speech at an MeK event in 2017.

How MEK was De-Listed

On May 7 2008, Britain’s Court of Appeal ruled that the Government had been wrong to include an Iranian opposition group on its list of terrorist organizations.

In a 22-page document, the Court of Appeal ruled there were “no valid grounds” to contend that a British panel made legal errors when it ordered the removal of the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran from a list of more than 20 proscribed terrorist organizations under Britain’s Terrorism Act.

“The only conclusion that a reasonable decision maker could reach was that, since 2003, the PMOI has not taken any steps to acquire or seek to acquire further weapons or to restore any military capability in Iraq,” the Court said.

“To the extent that the P.M.O.I. has retained networks and supporters inside Iran since 2002, they have been directed to social protest, finance and intelligence gathering activities which would not fall within the definition of ‘terrorism’ for the purposes of the 2000 Act.”

“The terrorist label has crumbled. The era of grave injustice to the Iranian resistance has come to an end. The mullahs and their backers are left in disgrace. This is a great victory for the Iranian people,” said Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran [NCRI].

The PMOI was also listed as a terrorist organization by the United States in 1997 and the European Union in 2002 on the basis of the 2001 British finding against the PMOI.

All Member States of the European Union followed the UK ruling and removed the organization from their terrorist organizations list in January 2009.

The U.S. State Department formally removed MeK from its official list of terrorist organizations in September 2012.

MEK as a Western Intelligence Source

The group is most famous for having revealed in 2002 the existence of a secret nuclear program in Iran, which was eventually confirmed by the IAEA inspectors.

Experts generally believe that this information was likely to have been passed on by Israel or Saudi Arabia. In 2016, Prince Turki al-Faisal — a former head of the Saudi intelligence agency — attended a MeK conference near Paris.

The NCRI unambiguously blames Tehran for the bombing of Pan Am 103 over the town of Lockerbie. On their official Web site,  the group once posted the following message.

“The policy of kowtowing to the Iranians goes back a long way. It started in the late 1980s when Sir Geoffrey Howe, the then foreign secretary, attempted to establish a constructive dialogue with the mullahs in what proved a futile attempt to persuade Teheran to free British hostages in Lebanon.

As part of this policy, the British government took the shameful decision to drop its claim that the Iranians had masterminded the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people in December 1988, even though British intelligence uncovered significant evidence of Iranian involvement.”

Iranian MEK Group Off Terrorist List

September 2012 — An Iranian group called MEK has been removed from the US government’s terrorist list.

The group is responsible for killing several US military personnel and US civilians in the 1970s and it has also been linked to using terroristic violence against Iran.

So why isn’t this group considered a terrorist one anymore?

Jamal Abdi of the National Iranian American Council joins RT’s Kristine Frazao to talk more about the State Department decision.

REFERENCES

Who is the Iranian group targeted by bombers and beloved of Trump allies? — Guardian

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People’s Mujahedin of Iran : From Terrorist Group to US Best Friends

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