Your article “Banned Terror Group Seeks U.S. Rebirth” (World News, May 13) conveys some misleading impressions regarding the Mujahedin e-Khalq (MeK). There should be no doubt about what the MeK seeks: a democratic, secular, nonnuclear Iran at peace with its neighbors and with friendly relation with the U.S.
The article discusses alleged strategic concerns about the effect of removing MeK from the terrorist list on U.S. relations with the Green Movement in Iran—whose purported leaders would continue Iran’s theocracy. What it omits is that by law only groups that currently engage in terrorism or retain both the capability and the intent to do so may be listed. The MeK unequivocally renounced violence in 2001 and totally disarmed soon thereafter. It therefore may not lawfully be listed as a terrorist organization.
The allegation that the MeK is disliked by Iranians is belied by what the U.S. Embassy in London described as the “paranoid” attitude of the regime toward the group, which has made MeK membership a capital offense and which would hardly feel so threatened if the MeK lacked popular support. And it was the MeK’s slogans for regime change, not those of the Green Movement, that demonstrators chanted during the 2009 uprisings. Outside Iran, independent Western media report that MeK’s rallies are attended by upward of 80,000 supporters.
The article demeans the support for MeK’s delisting by a host of distinguished former U.S. officials because some were paid their customary speaking fees. But these highly respected public servants would never espouse a position they thought inimical to our national security interests. The article also neglects to mention the extensive support from many members of Congress, hundreds of U.K. and European parliamentarians, and numerous retired military officers who served at the MeK’s Camp Ashraf in Iraq.
In a nation committed to the rule of law, no policy consideration (and the ones the article identifies are specious) can trump the fact that the legal requirements for keeping the MeK on the terrorist list cannot be satisfied. It is well past time for delisting the MeK.
Andrew L. Frey