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Fri Sep 28, 2012, 07:34 PM

MEK supporters push for recognition by US as official Iranian opposition

Source: Reuters

Members of Congress and supporters of the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) are to press the Obama administration to recognise it as the "legitimate opposition" to the Iranian government after the group is removed from the US list of banned terrorist organisations in the coming days.

The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, delisted the MEK as a terrorist group on Friday following a well funded campaign to change the image of the group – which was banned in 1997 because of a history of killing Americans, assassinating Iranian politicians and violent support for Saddam Hussein – and portray it as Washington's ally in confronting Tehran.

The state department said it is not overlooking "the MEK's past acts of terrorism" and that it has "serious concerns about the MEK as an organisation, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed against its own members". But the group's renunciation of violence and "the absence of confirmed acts of terrorism by the MEK for more than a decade" had led to it being unbanned.

Critics say it is a marginal organisation with little popular support in Iran, even among opponents of the Islamic government. Its removal from the terrorism list is seen as a political move that may complicate negotiations over Tehran's nuclear programme and provide a pretext for a further crackdown against the opposition.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/28/mek-supporters-us-iranian-opposition

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Reply MEK supporters push for recognition by US as official Iranian opposition (Original post)
dipsydoodle Sep 2012 OP
KoKo Sep 2012 #1
KoKo Sep 2012 #2
oberliner Sep 2012 #4
Ash_F Sep 2012 #5
oberliner Sep 2012 #6
Ash_F Sep 2012 #7
oberliner Sep 2012 #8
Ash_F Sep 2012 #9
oberliner Sep 2012 #10
Comrade Grumpy Sep 2012 #3

Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 09:39 PM

1. I'll never get over Howard Dean giving speeches for Big Bucks supporting them...

But, then. I was idealistic some years ago.. I've learned since.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 09:48 PM

2. Howard Dean, Ed Rendell, Wesley Clark, Bill Richardson, Lee Hamilton, Rudi Giuliani, Tom Ridge, etc.

U.S. Government Embraces the Same Iranian Terrorist Group that Bush Cited When He Alleged that Saddam Was Sponsoring “International Terrorism”
Posted on September 25, 2012 by WashingtonsBlog

Nonetheless, a large group of prominent former US government officials from both political parties has spent the last several years receiving substantial sums of cash to give speeches to the MEK, and have then become vocal, relentless advocates for the group, specifically for removing them from the terrorist list. Last year, the Christian Science Monitor thoroughly described “these former high-ranking US officials – who represent the full political spectrum – have been paid tens of thousands of dollars to speak in support of the MEK.” They include Democrats Howard Dean, Ed Rendell, Wesley Clark, Bill Richardson, and Lee Hamilton, and Republicans Rudy Giuliani, Fran Townsend, Tom Ridge, Michael Mukasey, and Andrew Card.

***

Money has also been paid to journalists such as The Washington Post’s Carl Bernstein and the Chicago Tribune’s Clarence Page. Townsend is a CNN contributor and Rendell is an MSNBC contributor, yet those MEK payments are rarely, if ever, disclosed by those media outlets when featuring those contributors (indeed, Townsend can go on CNN to opine on Iran, even urging that its alleged conduct be viewed as “an act for war”, with no disclosure whatsoever during the segment of her MEK payments). Quoting a State Department official, CSM detailed how the scheme works:
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/09/u-s-government-embraces-the-same-iranian-terrorists-that-bush-cited-to-allege-that-saddam-was-sponsoring-international-terrorism.html

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Response to KoKo (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 01:45 PM

4. So many prominent Democrats have spoken on their behalf

Perhaps they have changed?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 02:19 PM

5. They have changed

Most of the original, strongly religious, leadership was killed by the Shah before the revolution. The group has evolved to become more secular, billing themselves as Marxists.

I think many U.S. leaders support them because they consider them to be viable opposition to the Islamic government, whom they now oppose. They need to be careful with this because the group still advocates violence to this day. They are likely the ones behind the recent killings of Iranian scientists. They have little support among the majority of leftist opposition because of this. It wasn't OK when they were killing American diplomats and it's not ok now.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/09/12/abdi.dont.delist.mek/index.html

The White house should continue to support the Green movement instead.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #5)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 02:45 PM

6. Is Mousavi still under arrest?

If so, has there been any noise about trying to get him released?

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Response to oberliner (Reply #6)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 02:59 PM

7. House arrest.

Another area the State Department would serve better to concentrate on. In spite of this, reformists gain greater support every year.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #7)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 03:15 PM

8. I agree with you

It's unfortunate that the MEK seems to have so many more allies in the US than the Iranian Green Movement.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #8)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 02:49 AM

9. I think it is down to just lack of knowledge/ignorance of the group.

I do think the Green movement still has more support from Dems. It is literally thousands of times larger than MEK. I don't think this declassification necessarily means that MEK will become the "go to" group for Iranian opposition.

And I don't disagree with declassifying them if they disavow the use of violence, especially against civilians. But, to my knowledge, they haven't done this yet. It's possible that they have done so, in meetings with our leadership, but I haven't found any reports of it.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #9)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 06:34 AM

10. Appreciate the info

You are right - mostly ignorance in the US.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 01:39 PM

3. They're not terrorists when their on our side.

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