January 24, 2018


Conflicting Objectives: An Analysis of the U.S. State Department’s Assessment Of the Mujahedin-e Khalq

The ExecutiveAction’s “Conflicting Objectives: An Analysis of the U.S. State Department’s Assessment Of the Mujahedin-e Khalq”, analyzes the State Department’s objectivity in assessing the Peoples Mojahedin Organization of Iran, also known as PMOI or MEK, to determine if it was engaged in terrorism and the conflicting policies at the Department that biased its view toward the group.

When the United States enacted the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) in 1996 to counter a rise in global terrorism, it failed to consider the potential for conflicts of interest within the State Department when evaluating the record of a potential terrorist group.

Maintaining the MeK on the FTO list to support America’s foreign policy objectives is a gross abuse of authority by the State Department and directly violates the AEDPA, which allows the Secretary of State to only place groups on the FTO list that engage in terrorism – and not as a bargaining chip to promote U.S. relations with another country.

In the Forward to “Conflicting Objectives,” Richard R. Schoeberl, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) executive with leadership responsibilities at FBI Headquarters and the National Counterterrorism Center, writes:

“Based on my experience as a Unit Chief in the Counterterrorism Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there are ample grounds to conclude that the MEK should be removed from the FTO list. I join with the members of the U.S. Congress, the European Union, the British Parliament, together with U.S. military officers who have previously served in Camp Ashraf, and countless Iranian-Americans calling for the removal of the MEK from the FTO list. The Secretary of State should heed the findings of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (July 2010) and re-examine the MEK’s continued designation and provide them due process rather than relying on classified data that can’t be verified or challenged. If that process is completed in an impartial and objective manner and consistent with the Court’s instructions, then it would lead to delisting the MEK. The FTO list is an important tool in combating terrorism and designations should not be subject to political influence or callous expediency on the part of policy makers.”