October 19, 2017

Washington Post, May 12, 2011: Senior US Officials Call on Secretary Clinton to Delist MEK

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Iranian dissidents and a U.S. dilemma

REUTERS NEWS AGENCY WASHINGTON — Call it the coalition of the baffled — a diverse group of prominent public figures who challenge the U.S. government’s logic of keeping on its terrorist blacklist an Iranian exile organization that publicly renounced violence a decade ago and has fed details on Iran’s nuclear programme to American intelligence. On the U.S. Department of State’s list of 47 foreign terrorist organizations, the Mujahedin-e-Khalq is the only group that has been taken off similar lists by the European Union and Britain, after court decisions that found no evidence of terrorist activity in recent years. In the U.S., a court last July ordered the State Department to review the … [Read more...]

No Good Options for Iranian Dissidents in Iraq

PolicyWatch #1797 By Patrick Clawson April 19, 2011  In an April 8 confrontation at Camp Ashraf, Iraq -- home to some 3,400 members of the Iranian dissident organization Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) -- Iraqi army forces killed at least thirty-four people, according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. The clash highlighted an ongoing problem: what to do about the presence of several thousand people the Iraqi government badly wants to be rid of, when no other country to which they are willing to go will accept them. Distasteful as the current situation is, the status quo may be best. The Confrontation When Iraqi forces entered Camp Ashraf on April 8, Baghdad … [Read more...]

Obama, Iran and a push for policy change

REUTERS NEWS AGENCY Could the administration of President Barack Obama hasten the downfall of Iran’s government by taking an opposition group off the U.S. list of terrorist organizations? To hear a growing roster of influential former government officials tell it, the answer is yes. The opposition group in question is the Mujadeen-e-Khalq (MEK) and the growing list of Washington insiders coming out in its support include two former Central Intelligence Agency chiefs (James Woolsey and Michael Hayden), two chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Peter Pace and Hugh Shelton), former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge and former FBI head Louis … [Read more...]

MEK Is Not a Terrorist Group

The National Review Online The material-support statute is fine; the designation is the problem. The moral of this story may be that sometimes it’s better not to have friends, especially the sort with easy access to the op-ed page of the New York Times, or “The Newspaper of Record,” as it sometimes bills itself. About a week ago, in the guise of defending us against an imagined prosecution for materially assisting a foreign terrorist organization based on our comments at a conference where we urged that Mujahadin e Khalq (“MEK”) be removed from the State Department’s list of such organizations, Prof. David Cole of Georgetown Law School took to the op-ed page of the Times with a bit … [Read more...]

Washington Times, December 1, 2010: US Lawmakers Call on Secretary Clinton to Delist MEK

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America, Iran and a terrorist label

 REUTERS NEWS AGENCY Who says that the United States and Iran can't agree on anything? The Great Satan, as Iran's theocratic rulers call the United States, and the Islamic Republic see eye-to-eye on at least one thing, that the Iranian opposition group Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) are terrorists. America and Iran arrived at the terrorist designation for the MEK at different times and from different angles but the convergence is bizarre, even by the complicated standards of Middle Eastern politics. The United States designated the MEK a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997, when the Clinton administration hoped the move would help open a dialogue with Iran. Thirteen years later, there is … [Read more...]

Delist MEK Petition

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What is the Purpose of the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations List?

PolicyWatch #1643 By Patrick Clawson March 18, 2010 The United States maintains a range of "terrorist lists," of which the Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list is one of the better known. But in two recent court cases, the U.S. government has offered arguments that raise questions about the purpose of the list. FTO List vs. State Sponsors List Another list is that of state sponsors of terrorism. The act of naming a foreign government as a terrorism sponsor is one instrument among many to affect the general foreign policy stance of the country concerned. Yet in practice, the state sponsors category has become a list of governments Washington simply does not like, often with … [Read more...]

America, terrorists and Nelson Mandela

REUTERS NEWS AGENCY Woe betide the organization or individual who lands on America’s terrorist list. The consequences are dire and it’s easier to get on the list than off it even if you turn to peaceful politics. Just ask Nelson Mandela. One of the great statesmen of our time, Mandela stayed on the American terrorist blacklist for 15 years after winning the Nobel Prize prior to becoming South Africa’s first post-Apartheid president. He was removed from the list after then president George W. Bush signed into law a bill that took the label “terrorist” off members of the African National Congress (ANC), the group that used sabotage, bombings and armed attacks against the white minority … [Read more...]