February 19, 2018

Attempts to demonise supporters of Iranian resistance

The Financial Times
August 10, 2011
From Lord Archer of Sandwell and Lord Fraser of Carmyllie

Sir, Your article “Favourite ‘terrorists’ in US focus on lobbying” (July 30) and its complementary piece on FT.com, “Heavyweights back Iranian exile group”, repeat the Iranian regime’s stale allegations against the main organised opposition group People’s Mujahedin of Iran (Mujahedin-e-Khalq) and do a disservice to the Financial Times’ record of unbiased journalism. They are part of an effort by Iran’s intelligence ministry to demonise the supporters of the Iranian resistance.

Some 22 courts in the UK, Europe and the US have ruled that the PMOI is not involved in terrorism; furthermore, the UK government de-proscribed the group in 2008, as did the European Union in 2009 after the courts rejected the very allegations that the articles have yet again brought up.

The Rand report, referred to in the article, has received serious academic criticism for its unsound research methodology and the veiled political advocacy behind it. The institute’s director James Dobbins is a vocal advocate of rapprochement with Iran and has been active in the “Campaign for a New Policy on Iran” which lobbies the US to lift sanctions on Iran.

In the past two years, there has been a serious gap in the direction of the so-called Green Movement leaders and the millions who took part in anti-government protests following the stolen 2009 presidential election. While the demonstrators have repeatedly made clear they demand complete regime change, the leaders of the Green Movement have been equally clear in confirming their support for the mullah-led regime. These figureheads attempt to tarnish the PMOI’s image to convince the US to maintain its ban on the resistance in the hope that this true force for change in Iran remains enchained in the west.

All that the former senior US officials have been publicly demanding is that the US abide by the ruling of the DC Court of Appeal and revoke the terrorism designation of the PMOI to prevent that label from being misused by Iran and Iraq to torture and murder the group’s members and supporters who are committed to bringing democracy, freedom and peace to Iran.

Peter Archer,
President, International Parliamentary Campaign in Defence of Ashraf
Former UK Solicitor General

Peter Fraser,
Co-President, International Parliamentary Campaign in Defence of Ashraf
Former Lord Advocate for Scotland