US Policy Helping Iran Regime

Over the last several months, peoples in several Middle Eastern countries have taken to the streets in protest of oppressive governments — reflecting a profound desire for reform and an end to corruption. Many politicians in Washington have hailed these protests and openly encouraged government leaders in the countries affected to take meaningful steps to transition to democratic rule. Except for Iran.

When the Iranian people rose up in June 2009 and began a wide and continuing protest against the Ahmadinejad administration and its religious leaders, all we heard from Washington was a modest degree of lip-service. Meanwhile, scores of Iranian youths wearing green, the color of the opposition, were killed, tortured, or imprisoned.

Iran remains the elephant in the room in terms of U.S. foreign policy. While sanctions have been placed on the country and other punitive diplomatic initiatives imposed, there has been no serious focus on or support for the Achilles Heel of the regime in Tehran — the Iranian people and their organized opposition.

In fact, the past three U.S. administrations have seriously and expressly weakened the ability of opposition forces in Iran to effect positive change. All three have done this by abusing U.S. law that permits the State Department to designate entities as “terrorist organizations” and thereby deny them recognition and access to resources. This is precisely what the federal government for 14 years has done to the single most important and best organized Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK).

The MEK is not in fact a terrorist organization, but was so designated in 1997 by the Clinton Administration to curry favor with Tehran. This ill-placed “goodwill gesture” effectively destroyed the ability of MEK to develop support and raise resources in the U.S. and elsewhere. Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama continued the policy, despite its obvious lack of success at producing any positive changes to the repressive regime in Iran. In fact, a strong argument can be made that continuing to placate Tehran by designating the most important opposition group in the country as a “terrorist organization,” has actually strengthened the regime.

Ramifications of this policy extend also to military and national security concerns. Iran’s continued development of nuclear and missile capabilities very well could be slowed by strengthening, rather than weakening, civil opposition groups. Groups like the MEK are more concerned with increasing freedom within Iran than with saber-rattling and wasting resources on dangerous nuclear weaponry.

To be sure, the MEK is controversial, and other Iranian opposition groups, including those associated with the former Shah, despise it. But being “controversial” is hardly a basis on which to black ball a legitimate political entity whose goals – freeing the Iranian people from the grip of religious zealots – coincide with official U.S. policy.

This view is shared by many leading military, intelligence and diplomatic experts in the United States. Earlier this year, three former Bush Administration officials – Michael Mukasey, Tom Ridge, Frances Fragos Townsend – along with Rudy Giuliani, wrote in the National Review that “MEK is not a terrorist group.” They noted also that the organization had, in fact, proved to be an asset to the United States by “provid[ing] valuable intelligence to the United States on Iranian nuclear plans.” John Bolton, Bush’s former UN Ambassador, concurs in this assessment.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle also see the value in helping rather than hurting the MEK — 83 members of the House have co-sponsored a resolution encouraging the State Department to delist the organization.

Ironically, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made statements publicly supporting “all Iranians who wish for a government that respects their human rights, their dignity and their freedom.” But the gulf between her public statements and official administration policy continuing the unfair and counterproductive punishing of MEK, belies Washington commitment to “human rights, dignity and freedom” in Iran.

by Bob Barr — The Barr Code

60 comments Add your comment

Cyrus

July 18th, 2011
7:02 am

The mek is viewed by overwhelming majority of Iranians as traitors and a terrorist organization which sided with Saddam during Iran-Iraq war and has Iranian blood on their hands. The notion that mek is gong to bring a regime change or democracy to Iran is ludicrous! The author has no concept of the history of mek and his view is plainly put-ignorant and stupid.

Iranians in Iran will determine their future and mek is not only not welcomed back to Iran, it will have legitimacy nor constructive impact on this transformation of the nation of Iran towards demo racy.

Kourosh

July 18th, 2011
8:45 am

MEK has clearly demonstrated that it is not commited to democray. Those who are familiar with the opinion of the majority of Iranians about this organization know that Iranians would rather stay with the IRI fascist dictatorship than to replace it with the a Polpot-like killing machine such as the MEK!

Farhad

July 18th, 2011
8:46 am

Sir,

you don’t know anything about MEK. MEK is in fact a terrorist organization. Just investigate its past. If however it is now convenient for some countries/organizations to take side with MEK in order to counter the current regime in Iran, that is a different matter.

Carlosgvv

July 18th, 2011
8:50 am

It’s likely that money is, as usual, at the bottom of a situation like this. Big Business is probably doing a profitiable trade with Iran on many fronts. If this is the case, it’s easy to see why The Administration does nothing.

Howard

July 18th, 2011
9:38 am

Bob…Jimmy Carter and his bumbling administration gave the world this dangerous situation, which is a shame since the Iranian people and its history are so exceptional. But no president since he left office has done one thing to stop the spread of the religious fanatics that have ruled this land. Iran will only be dealt with when it attacks another nation. I wouldn’t think they’d be that insane to attack Israel or USAS interest…the outcry would result in Iran’s destruction to a point it wouldn’t be a functioning nation for a while. No, Iran will export its current evil to more covert enemies…while Washington again as it has since 1979 does nothing…but those evil and feared UN sanctions. Now there’s a real deterrent!!!

alexgeorge1

July 18th, 2011
10:21 am

Kudos to the author.

An excellent analysis of the U.S. policy on Iran, which clearly points to the need for the administration to give up on the idea of engagement with Tehran.
No wonder Cyber Bassijis of the Islamic Republic are terrified and have churned out the stale, venomous propaganda cooked in the kitchen of the Iran’s intelligence ministry.
Those who betrayed the Iranian people are the mullahs who have murdered tens of thousands of democracy-seeking Iranians, mostly from the MEK.

Pooya

July 18th, 2011
10:28 am

Thanks for writing about the unjustified designation of MEK as a terrorist group and the need to delist them ASAP. There are in fact detractors who label MEK terrorist, unpopular, etc. The bottom line is they help the Iranian regime by closing the hands of MEK, whether they admit it or not. It is way past time for the State Dept. to delist this group and I hope Secretary Clinton will do the right thing by doing so.

Majid Saatchi

July 18th, 2011
10:38 am

The infamous Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels’s has a well-known saying: “If you tell a lie big enough and repeat it often enough, and the whole world will believe it.”
Trita Parsi’s preposterous and naive attempt to besmirch the reputation of the main Iranian opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) as a “terrorist” group smacks of pure desperation to lay lie upon lie in order to build a metaphorical dam against a growing tide of support for the MEK in Washington and around the world.
That is, of course, not unexpected. Parsi is the head of the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), a group widely considered as a “de facto lobby” for Tehran in Washington. Parsi himself has been the subject of an investigation by the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, which “revealed that most of the millions of dollars of federal funds received by NIAC were not used for their intended purpose and that he was working with a regime-controlled front posing as an Iranian nongovernmental organization.”
And in 2009, it was revealed that NIAC may have violated lobbying rules and tax evasions after the group’s own internal memos came to light as a result of a court order. According to the Washington Times, “Law enforcement experts who reviewed some of the documents, which were made available to The Times by the defendant in the suit, say e-mails between Mr. Parsi and Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations at the time, Javad Zarif – and an internal review of the Lobbying Disclosure Act – offer evidence that the group has operated as an undeclared lobby and may be guilty of violating tax laws, the Foreign Agents Registration Act and lobbying disclosure laws.”
In October 2006, Parsi e-mailed the Iranian regime’s UN ambassador. The email, one of a long series of messages between the two, reveals how Parsi acted as the middleman between regime officials and several members of Congress in order to prop up support for the regime on Capitol Hill: “There are many more that are interested in a meeting,” Parsi wrote, “including many respectable Democrats. Due to various reasons, they will contact you directly.”
Parsi’s intense lobbying campaign for better relations with the regime and also for preventing the delisting of the MEK has clearly nothing to do with the Iranian people’s interests. Far from it, its main motivation is to ensure that the regime’s interests are preserved by keeping the MEK constrained and under constant pressure. The fact that, on several occasions, the regime’s official at the UN praised Parsi’s articles as “excellent,” serves to reveal the main beneficiaries of his efforts in Washington.
Parsi’s lobbying campaign to prevent the delisting of the MEK has clearly nothing to do with the Iranian people’s interests. Far from it; its main motivation is to ensure that the regime’s interests are preserved by keeping the MEK constrained.
The truth is that the Iranian regime has been involved in a multi-million dollar campaign to discredit the MEK and curtail the organization’s activities in the West because it fears and sees first-hand the organization’s social base inside Iran. A May 7, 2008 Wall Street Journal report said, “Iranian officials for years have made suppression of the MEK a priority in negotiations with Western governments over Tehran’s nuclear program and other issues, according to several diplomats who were involved in those talks.”
And how conveniently Parsi disregards the following fundamental facts about the case:
The main motivation behind the State Department’s listing was to curry favor with the mullahs. In September 2002, for example, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs during the Clinton Administration, Martin Indyk, told Newsweek, ‘[There] was White House interest in opening up a dialogue with the Iranian government. Top Administration officials saw cracking down on the [MEK], which the Iranians had made clear they saw as a menace, as one way to do so.’
• In July 2010, the US Court of Appeals in D.C. “ordered the State Department to review its designation of the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran as a foreign terrorist organization, strongly suggesting the designation should be revoked,” according to the Washington Post.

The July ruling states, “Some of the [State Department] reports included in the Secretary’s analysis on their face express reservations about the accuracy of the information contained therein.”

In 2004, after an exhaustive 16-month investigation of each and every MEK member in Iraq by seven different US agencies, including the State Department, the US Government acknowledged that “there was no basis to charge any member of the group [MEK] with the violation of American law,” according to the New York Times.

The State Department’s own top counterterrorism official, Dell L. Dailey, advised to have the MEK removed from the list in 2008, but then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice rejected the proposal, according to the New York Times.

In June 2008, the United Kingdom removed the MEK from its terror list after a special tribunal called the proscription “perverse,” and the English Court of Appeals said even the government’s classified and secret material “reinforced” its view that the MEK is not involved in terrorism. The European Union also decided to take the group off its list in January 2009 after the Court of First Instance ruled that the EU’s evidence “is manifestly insufficient” to justify the continued designation of the MEK.

The French Judiciary dropped all terrorism and terrorism financing charges against the MEK after an eight-year investigation.
The fact is that the terrorism label against the MEK has been challenged, discredited, and deflated not by “lobbyists,” as Parsi naively claims, but by high-ranking international courts and judges, not just in the US, but in the European Union and Britain as well, unless Parsi wants to claim that the judges were on the payroll of MEK, too!
It is ironic to see Parsi, who is engaged in an intense lobbying campaign to prevent the MEK’s delisting, accuse prominent former US officials supporting the MEK, which include three former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, two former heads of the CIA and a former FBI director, nine former State Department officials, an Attorney General and the First Secretary of Homeland Security, of being essentially on the MEK’s payroll! Does Parsi consider himself more patriotic and protective of US national security interests than the likes of General James Jones, General Hugh Shelton and General Wesley Clark.
In a speech before tens of thousands of Iranians in Paris on June 18, 2011, Secretary Tom Ridge said that during the “entire period of time” he served in Washington, “we looked at threats and we looked at terrorist organizations, those individuals or those groups that were threatening the security, the safety of the United States of America never once, not once, never ever, ever, ever did MEK appear on a list as being a threat to the United States of America. They are not a terrorist organization.”
But, Parsi thinks his evidence trumps all this national security intelligence. He flaunts as one of his “sources” a discredited report by RAND against the MEK. But he deliberately forgets to mention that the individual who oversaw the compilation of that report was James Dobbins, who is a leading expert with the Campaign for a New US Policy on Iran (CNAPI), which was created by (guess who?) Parsi himself!
Needless to mention, a 134-page book was published in January 2010, which provided a plethora of evidence, documents and statements disproving RAND’s biased and ill-intentioned assertions.
A central part of NIAC’s agenda is to dissuade dissidents abroad from speaking out against the regime. Those who do speak out are branded – you guessed it – as “warmongers.” In fact, in January 2008, during a meeting on Capitol Hill, when asked why NIAC and Parsi have been silent on the killings in Iran and why they refuse to talk about human rights violations in Iran, Parsi himself said, “NIAC is not a human rights organization. That is not our expertise.” It certainly isn’t. It certainly isn’t when it comes to the Iranian regime, but somehow NIAC becomes the foremost expert on these issues when it comes to the MEK. Go figure.
In an August 2006 letter to the Iranian regime’s ambassador to the UN, Parsi revealed his amicable relationship and close cooperation with the regime official in the context of opening up some political breathing room for the regime in Washington. “Hope all is well and that you are back from Tehran,” Parsi wrote to Javad Zarif, adding, “Would love to get a chance to see the proposal [from Tehran] or to understand more what it entails.”
Is it any wonder then, that in an internal email to an NIAC project manager, Parsi reassured him that going to Iran will not carry any risks because “NIAC has a good name in Iran”? He added, “In fact, I believe two of our board members are in Iran as we speak!” There was no mention, however, of what possible instructions those two board members came back with.

Massoud Taheri

July 18th, 2011
10:43 am

This is not the first time in history that the main and the most effective opposition group is branded “Terrorist” by a regime and its supporters in other countries. I guess everyone remembers Mr. Nelson Mandala and ANC, they were also considered to be “terrorists” by the regime in South Africa and their supporting governments in the West (including the US)!!

Things will eventually will change in Iran and the truth will come out about the brave men and women who gave up everything in life in order to oppose and defeat the brutal medieval religious regime in Iran.

Majid Saatchi

July 18th, 2011
10:45 am

MEK and Ashraf is not a technical matter. This is completely a political issue and we surely know how to protect 3,000 people. We have done this many times in the past and sometimes we have not. Therefore, this is not a technical issue. In fact it is a political matter and in our history we know that sometimes we surrendered and did not act based on our responsibilities.”
“This is an issue of 3400 people,” she added. “I believe that we have to emphasize the protection of these people over and over again.”

Majid Saatchi

July 18th, 2011
10:49 am

There are those who fear that if the US were to take a harder stance on Iran, military conflict would ensue. These fears are not baseless. If the past decade has taught us anything, it is that military intervention can be ineffective, counterproductive, and above all, tragic. However, there is a fine line between engaging in military intervention and no longer pursuing failed diplomacy.
The terrorist designation of the MEK has not only failed to appease the Iranian regime, it has resulted in severe harm and restriction for an organization devoted to the liberation of the Iranian people. The State Department has a moral and legal obligation to undo this grave error and delist the MEK.

nilofar

July 18th, 2011
10:50 am

Congressman Bob Barr has always been a no-none-sense leader and seeing things based on facts and not fiction, and this article is another example of that :)
Given the importance of US policy on Iran, I am so glad he’s adding his voice to the issue of the MEK’s delisting to get us on the right path. Hope he takes this message to Washington in person.

Toby

July 18th, 2011
10:56 am

In some serious regards, the US is, unfortunately, a terrorist organisation too; the war against illegal drug users, the murder & abuse of animals (humans & especially non-humans), the war against third-world nations in the name of capitalism… that is tyranny. Anyway, yes, Iran gets special & unjust treatment because of what resources it has; money talks louder than it should.

Naseem Azadi

July 18th, 2011
10:58 am

To the members of NIAC and other apologists and lobbyist of the terrorist Iranian regime: old accusations no longer hold. Saddam is long gone. The MeK is still in Iraq. The MeK found Iraq the most obvious location to help free Iran and still think the same regardless of who rules Iraq. The MeK did not fight Iran. They fought a religious fascism. The Iranian people did not want a war; Khomeini and the murderous revolutionary guards, Pasdars and Baseejis wanted the war; the very same people who rape, torture, imprison, and execute Iranian youths. You must all be very thankful that the MeK helped stop the war and pour the “peace” poison into Khomeini’s mouth. Otherwise Khomeini would have likely given you or one of your relatives a plastic key to the heaven and sent you off to the war fronts to free Jerusalem via Karabala, never giving you a chance now to spread lies about the MeK.

roughrider

July 18th, 2011
12:25 pm

History will show that George Bush’s decision to invade Iraq was the biggest foreign policy error since LBJ escalated the Vietnam War. Bush did what the Iranians could not do by unseating the Sunni government. Now when we pull our troops out, majority Shiite Iran will take over Iraq.

MrLiberty

July 18th, 2011
12:34 pm

Well, first the CIA overthrough their democratically-elected president and put in the Shah. That one act laid the foundation for everything that has followed from the Ayatollah to the hostage crisis to today’s tensions. When are people going to finally wake up to realize that the US government is the biggest TERRORIST group on the planet and that the CIA is their primary agent of terror?

Darwin

July 18th, 2011
12:36 pm

Yes, let’s promote democracy in Iran. Then, once they have democratic rule, if they do something we don’t like, we can send the CIA in to help overthrow the government and put in place a dictator. Oh wait – we already did that.

Sarah

July 18th, 2011
1:30 pm

I’m glad that the issue of the People’s Mojahedin is finally getting some attention. Anyone who is a bit serious about the situation of Iran knows clearly that the PMOI and those in Ashraf are Iran’s number one enemies, and no one states that clearer than the Iranian regime itself. As many heads of the regime made clear in 2009 to their belief, the uprisings in Iran are directly linked to the PMOI, I mean let’s be serious Moussavi, the PM of the Iranian regime for 8 years, is not going to advocate regime change! this is exactly why ashraf was attacked in July 2009 and again in April of this year, because the Iranian regime sees Ashraf as its only threat.
Not only is the PMOI not a terrorist organization, but they are the main victim of this regime in the last 30 years and the only hope we Iranians have for freedom and democracy.
And to those who spread propaganda against the PMOI, why is it that we never see you commenting on violation of human rights by the regime? where were you when unarmed Ashraf residents were killed in cold blood? where were you in 1988 when 30000 were executed only for supporting the PMOI? and BTW if the PMOI are not democratic and don’t have any support and… how come they are the only ones who are able to organize Iranians from around the world to take a stance against the regime?!? they gather 100,000, ok, we don’t expect others to do the same but show me one group that can gather 10,000 abroad. then let’s judge who has support and who doesn’t!
The future will be the judge and one day history will tell of the sacrifices and the bravery of Mojahedin.

[...] US Policy Helping Iran Regime [...]

Jubin

July 18th, 2011
1:57 pm

Bob Barr is right on the mark. The MEK need to be removed from an unjust listing NOW! The lives of innocent human beings, 3400 at Camp Ashraf and dozens of political prisoners in Iran, who are threatened by the Iranian regime and Iraqi proxies is at stake as they use the US listing as justification. Don’t you just cringe when you hear that “The US, Iraq and Iran all list the MEK as terrorist.” This is despite that fact that high courts in the UK, EU, and the French prosecutorial service have reviewed all classified and unclassified evidence and ruled the MEK not only not terrorist but as a resistance movement. US appeals court in DC Circuit also asked State to review and strongly suggested that the evidence does not support their listing. So let’s get on with this and the US should stop shooting itself in the foot and antagonizing Iranian people in their struggle for freedom against a brutal religious dictatorship.

kasra Nejat

July 18th, 2011
2:32 pm

Excellent Article Mr. Barr, great analysis with the facts.
The Mojahedin of Iran fighting the dectatorship ruling Iran for moore than 3 decade to bring freedom and democracy for their people. The Mojahedin of Iran are the victim of human rights violation , the mullah’s regime executed moore than 120,000 members and supportes of P.M.O.I/MEK. US should recognize their struggle for democracy .

The Mullahe’s regime had entered the final phase of its role. The time has come for the U.S. to take a leading role in initiating a practical policy that endorses the legitimate of Mojahedin of Iran .Regime change in Iran is the practical step , first US Deparment of States should unleash the Mojahein’s hand from this false lable , then United States should open a dialogue with National Council of Resistance of Iran led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi.
Kara Nejat, President
Iranian American Cultural Association of Missouri

Gerald West

July 18th, 2011
2:52 pm

Bob, unfortunately the US does not have a good reputation among Iranians, even among those who oppose the present government. Our bad reputation is justified: we helped overthrow the only elected government Iran has ever had, and we supported the murderous Shah and his henchmen for many years. Strong US “moral” support for a organization seeking better governance in Iran would be an embarrassment.

We bolstered the power and influence of Iran by committing a strategic blunder: the invasion of Iraq. We replaced Sunni-governed Iraq, which was a bulwark against the spread of Iranian influence in the Middle East, with Shia-governed Iraq, which is a ally of Iran and a conduit for Iranian support to the rebellious Shia minorities in the Arabian oil-producing countries.

Declaring moral support for an Iranian opposition group will not correct our treachery and blundering of the last 40 years!

Ayn Rant

July 18th, 2011
3:39 pm

Bob, unfortunately the US does not have a good reputation among Iranians, even among those who oppose the present government. Our bad reputation is justified: we helped overthrow the only elected government Iran has ever had, and we supported the murderous Shah and his henchmen for many years. Strong US “moral” support for a organization seeking better governance in Iran would be an embarrassment.

We bolstered the power and influence of Iran by committing a strategic blunder: the invasion of Iraq. We replaced Sunni-governed Iraq, which was a bulwark against the spread of Iranian influence in the Middle East, with Shia-governed Iraq, which is an ally of Iran and a conduit for Iranian support to the rebellious Shia minorities in the Arabian oil-producing countries.

Declaring moral support for an Iranian opposition group will not correct our treachery and blundering of the last 40 years!

thewatchdog

July 18th, 2011
4:52 pm

As far as i am concerned the U.S. missed the boat when the Iranians took over the U>S. embassy and held the citizens of the U.S. captive for 400 plus days. Our reputation as a country that defended itself, people and embassies abroad was gone. The U.S. president should have given Iran a week to let the embassy employees go. At the end of that time Iran should have been invaded. It did not happen and they have been a nemises since.

thewatchdog

July 18th, 2011
4:53 pm

back to your old tricks negating my comments

Ayn Rant

July 18th, 2011
4:55 pm

Why have you blocked my comments?

Gerald West

July 18th, 2011
4:57 pm

Bob, are you deliberately blocking some of the comments submitted, or is the AJC website losing them?

Hannah

July 18th, 2011
5:48 pm

Ahhhh how the regime apologists love to hurl abuse at the MEK and call them traitors and terrorists.

SERIOUSLY- the entire WORLD knows that the regime is the one stoning women and men to death, hanging them by cranes, gouging eyes out, raping men and women repeatedly, electrocuting and mutilating bodies, torturing people and bringing them back from the brink of death only to torture them more. THE REGIME OF IRAN WILL FALL. You who support the regime and try to abuse the MEK will also wilt away and Iran will free. The regime will be overthrown with the help and insight of people like Bob Barr who expose the regime and support those who strive for a better Iran. Viva MEK. Down with the terrorist regime of Iran.

Kourosh

July 18th, 2011
6:12 pm

Gerald West, please educate yourself about what you are talking! Mossadegh was “the only elected government Iran has ever had”!!? Mossadegh was not elected, he was appointed by the Shah like all his predecessors. His style of governance was everything else than democratic. Kinzer’s book is not the only point of view on this. I recommend “Mossadegh, Pathology of a Failure”!

Sam K

July 18th, 2011
6:32 pm

The biggest shame, the State department is courting the so called representatives of the Green movement, folks like Trita Parsi from the NIAC pro-Iranian regime lobby group which has done a good job at convincing it that factions within the Iranian regime have the capability of reforming and slowly effecting change for as long as the US continues to boycott real democracy and regime change advocates like the MEK. The Iranians on the streets were chanting for regime change, not reform, and the folks at NIAC are opportunists that are faking their representation of Iranians demand for regime change by lobbying the state department to lay off sanctions, keep MEK on the terrorist list and garner tax-payer funding and funding from oil-companies that would much rather have the Ayatollahs stay in power and squeeze every drop of cheap oil from that country than to allow the 4th largest oil producing nation to become prosperous and democratic. Ultimately, there are 2 groups that benefit from Iran under a theocracy and corrupt government, oil tycoons and the ayatollahs and their henchmen like Trita Parsi who wine and dine with Washingtons elite to cloud and mask what Iranians truly desire and are willing to fight and die for, regime change, freedom and democracy.

Ahab the Arab

July 18th, 2011
8:03 pm

“Many politicians in Washington have hailed these protests…”

Yeah I hope our government knows what it’s doing, cheering on these revolutionaries as the Middle Eastern governments fall one by one.

It seems like we’re helping to destabilize established governments and just hoping that what follows will be democracy. But Egypt appears to be headed toward a military dictatorship. And Khadafi, although a nut case dictator, was more or less a friend who kept the oil flowing. What does anyone really know about the Libyan rebels who are trying to overthrow him?

Tahmineh

July 18th, 2011
9:40 pm

Right on Mr. Barr! Thank you for bringing some attention to this important issue. MEK means a lot to the Iranian people and their resistance against the Mullahs. Not only our government needs to delist the MEK just as the Europeans finally did, but also guarantee the protection of Camp Ashraf. And for those of you who made the comment about this group not being of any importance, could you answer why the Iranian government has ordered Maleki to attack the camp twice already?

Eric

July 18th, 2011
9:50 pm

Bob, I hope you’re going to address the new surveillance cameras in Atlanta. Let’s just spend more money, and never mind lack of informed consent among “free” citizens. This gov. has gone too far!

Foroud

July 18th, 2011
10:21 pm

Howard, it was not Jimmy Carter, but Dwight Eisenhower and the CIA who got this whole mess going. And for those saying that the MEK is a “Polpot killing machine”, when and where exactly did this happen? And don’t say the line about “Kurds under the tanks” because that is so blatantly and obviously a lie propogated by the regime. Good article, it’s time for the US to follow Europe’s stance on delisting.

Ali

July 18th, 2011
10:55 pm

I am an Iranian engineer and I have recently immigrated to USA. I want to thank you for this article. I am not pro MEK but I know that they have made a lot of sacrifices during last 30 years fighting with the religious fanatics’ and terrorists in Iran. Majority of Iranian are looking them with respect, especially low-income middle class people. Thanks again for your efforts!

Mahnaz

July 18th, 2011
11:15 pm

As Iranian-American community, we appreciate first of all a valuable and reliable reporter as yourself as well as the written article which relays a message of truth and to the point report. We salute you.

Mahnaz

July 18th, 2011
11:18 pm

As Iranian-American community, we appreciate first of all a valuable and reliable reporter as yourself as well as the written article which relays a message of truth and to the point. We salute you.

amir

July 19th, 2011
12:08 am

Excellent Article.

bethDehghan

July 19th, 2011
12:47 am

Enter your comments here

bethDehghan

July 19th, 2011
12:48 am

Excelent article Bob!

Khalil Khani

July 19th, 2011
1:42 am

Thank you for this detailed analyses. Lack of reliable standards in US foreign policy about the real freedom fighters have made the people of Middle Eastern countries to suffer. Especially, this is more obvious about Iran by designating MEK as a terrorist organization. The US various administrations have all experienced the results of appeasement policies toward Mullahs’ regime in Tehran. It is time for a realistic policy on Iran. First, MEK must be de-listed from the State Department’s list. Second, there should be a ban on various Iranian lobbies in the congress such as NIAC, which are paid by the Iranian Mullahs. By keeping MEK in that list, the State department is sharing the responsibility of extreme suffering of Iranians with oppressive regime in Tehran. This a support for a tyrannic regime that wants to wipe out Israel, denying the Holocaust and working hard to obtain nuclear weapons against the will of world community.

Javad

July 19th, 2011
1:57 am

Excelent article Bob. Thanks.

Mitra

July 19th, 2011
2:13 am

An excellent analysis of the U.S. policy on Iran; you are correct about the unjustified designation of MEK as a terrorist group and the need to delist them right away. Thanks for this analysis.

Carlosgvv

July 19th, 2011
8:58 am

Majid Saatchi

I really enjoyed that excerpt from your book. Have you published yet?

LeeH1

July 19th, 2011
8:59 am

The best thing america can do is to develop new methods of communication over the Internet which cannot be intercepted or closed down by local governments. Whether this means satellite Internet services across borders or other methods, it would be the most important and significant thing we can do. Nation-wide communication of protests and ideas is the thing most tyrannical regimes fear. No cruel government can stand against it.

Eunomia » The MEK Has Not Changed

July 19th, 2011
10:23 am

[...] One-time Libertarian presidential nominee Bob Barr has joined the pro-MEK bandwagon: In fact, the past three U.S. administrations have seriously and expressly [...]

Mehrdad Qajar

July 19th, 2011
11:00 am

Why is it that every time these days an article is printed by MEK MEMBERS and LOBBYISTS the blog is INFESTED by the members of the group, to try to fake a legitimacy for the group. They all sound the same. They all use the same terminologies and same fake names. But the truth is that, regardless of the lobbying efforts and the crocodile tears for Camp Ashraf, this is a group committed to killing and murdering and sabotaging the civilian Iranian population
In his article Congressman Barr demonstrates his ignorance on issues regarding. The MEK cult is not the main opposition to the murderous theocratic regime in Iran. As he rightly alluded the strength of the MEK numbers 3400 in Iraq and a few thousand supporters in the U.S. and Europe. Compare this to the at least 3 million people that came out to oppose Ahmadinejad in 2009. They had no connections to the brutal Islamic-Marxist cult of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. This is a group committed to killing and murdering and sabotaging the civilian Iranian population, the Shias in Iraq for Saddam the Kurds for Saddam There IS NO OTHER GROUP IN THE WORLD WHO WOULD SO READILY KILL HIS OWN for the highest bidders! They are the LEAST LEGITIMATE, and MOST DESPISED opposition group in and out of Iran! They are HYPOCRITES of the WORST KIND, since they are chanting for democracy and yet NONE OF THE MEMBERS EVEN KNOW WHAT IT IS! They are a cult like organization. All children are removed from parents at an early age and send off to training and brainwashing camp, men and women NEVER INTERACT IN THE CAMPS, and live in separate quarters. Couples are forced to divorced and interaction and socialization even among the same genders is not permitted, since Maryam Rajavi, feels it is not good for the organization! There has NEVER EVER BEEN AN ELECTION AMONG THIS GROUP, and rather there is a cold and harsh and murderous dictatorship in the group. MEMBERS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO EVER LEAVE THE GROUP, and the few who escaped were threatened or killed to teach others a lesson. Now what is worst than this husband and wife’s mistreatment and abuse of their own members is the killing sprees that the husband and wife enjoy to cover the expenses of the army and their own lavish lives thanks to multimillion dollar Saudi generosity.
It is thanks to the Saudi benefactors millions that the MEK has been able to buy itself power in Washington and our naïve politicians are falling prey to this brutal undemocratic politico-religious cult. Every foreign journalist that has visited Iran in the past 30 year attest to the fact that the Iranian public who opposes the mullahs regime detests the MEK. Therefore any action to delist the organization from the terror list will be regarded as an effort by the US to impose once again impose its will as it did in the coup of 1953…. Just imagine with one ignorant move we will end up losing the only people that support us in the Middle East.

Sadi

July 19th, 2011
12:42 pm

Good Morning Mr. Barr,
I was impressed with the extent of your knowledge of Peoples Mujahedeen of Iran and hope that other men and women in our country will learn quickly the importance of removing the PMOI from the FTO list.
God Bless you and hope he will multiply people like you, who has no fear of telling the truth the way it is.
Sadi

mehrdad

July 19th, 2011
2:59 pm

hi.
I underestand your analysis.
it is exelent ant real .
thank you so much to telling the real thing to people ane your fear awareness.
we have to underestand the time and how dengerous is this dictator in iran is and what kind of damage they done what else they can do to this world.
if we do the background check. we will see what kind of devil we dealing.
1- 120.000 Execution 2 – suporting all the terrorist group where ever they are. for example. hezbolah , hamas . all the terrorist in iraq in afganestan and ……………trying to get he,s dirty hand on nuclear weapons. and they destroy the country and the people in iran.
now the the last and only chance for mr obama to prove it to all world he is the one came for real change is to removing the grate PMOI from the FTO LIST.
Thank you

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ali

July 19th, 2011
10:47 pm

Great article, US has been on the side of the equation for the past 14 years. MEK is the best hope for Iranians to establish democracy in Iran. MEK could be our strongest ally in the Middle East. MEK in power will create over 100,000 jobs in US.

Iranian lobby is strong in Washington. They are behind misinformation about MEK and creating the illusion about “reformist inside Iranian government.

We need take bold step and give our FULL support to MEK.

An iranian

July 20th, 2011
2:47 am

If the US wanted to further alienate the Iranian people, young and old, men and women, they should precisely lift the terrorist designation of the MEK ! Indeed, to paraphrase the article’s title “US Policy Helping Iran Regime”, this would be THE US policy that would really help the Iran Regime ! Kudos to the author !!

An iranian

July 20th, 2011
2:52 am

I strongly recommend Daniel Larison’s 19th July article in The American Conservative http://www.amconmag.com/larison/2011/07/19/the-mek-has-not-changed/
in which he effectively debunks all arguments in favor of the MEK. A must-read article if you want to know all aspects of the argument.

Zari

July 20th, 2011
10:17 am

This is an excellent article regarding the current situation in Iran! The message is very clear that Iranian people are aimed for regime change in Iran, regardless! They do not want to see any negotiations or appeasement with these killers. The time is over for Mullahs!! Despite of who insisting to negotiate or appeasement, and how Mullahs brutally killing the innocent people, there is no going back for Iranian regime. Iranian people with the help of main Iranian opposition group, the PMOI will over throw these killers and they will remember who stand up next to them when they needed!

Heather

July 20th, 2011
3:41 pm

No matter what your opinion of the MEK is, the truth is that people are being tortured, killed, and denied medical care by the U.S. and Iranian government. This is a life or death human rights issue first and foremost. I personally know many people who have family members living in Camp Ashraf, the headquarters of the MEK. They are peaceful people, dedicated to effecting positive change in their country. They have been subjected to abuse. They are the terrorized ones, not the terrorists.

esse

July 20th, 2011
7:58 pm

Iranian government did more than 450 acts of terrors out of Iran and killed number of Americans in Iraq and Afghanestan and….. can some one tell what MEK did that US calls them Trorrist.

Peymanehsar

July 21st, 2011
8:30 am

Dear Bob Barr
Thanks for your factual article. The issues have been discussed and explained so many times that I think repeating it unfortunately will be like proving the proven.

I want to mention only a few of the US authorities, Michael Mukasey, Tom Ridge, Frances Fragos Townsend – along with Rudy Giuliani, who have honestly and cleary mentioned your valid points.

As a result, we should come out of this shackle of ” The terrorist listing” that has forcefuly been glued to the Iranian resistance leg because there is no truth in it and is only serving a false dream called: ” The American Appeasement of The regressive Iranian Dictatorship”.

I think, now is time to start life post false listing and plan helping Iranian resistance to unify The resistance’s forces and focus its energy on a regime change in Iran and bring freedom based on the Universal Human Rights to the Iranian’s who have deservedly proven over and over that if left alone or helped but not hindered can well nurture it.
Freedom in Iran will bring stability to the region.
This is not a time for MEK to waste all its energy on removing its name from the unfair listing.
This time for MEK to give hope to the Iranian popoulation and make The Mullah’s accountable for all their crimes against humanity including their bombing of the Jewish cultural centre in Argentina.
The de-listing of MEK will let its supporters all around the world and especially in Iran to come out and proudly support regime change in Iran for a democratic system in Iran
Viva democracy and friendship,
No matter who we are or where we are, we are one, chasing the same goal: FREEDOM.

mazdak

July 21st, 2011
7:58 pm

MEK was listed by president Clinton as a goodwill gesture to Khatami. I hope the reason Mrs. Clinton is so stuborne and irrational
in this matter is not a family matter, like what we saw in Bush’s era which we are still paying dearly for it. Mrs Clinton it is not a Family Feud game, people are losing their life because of your lack of action. Delist M.E.K. NOW it MEK sence.

Kambiz Dad

July 25th, 2011
5:59 am

A very good article! It seem to have touched a sensitive nerve in Tehran and thus all these negative comments by their agents to read on this blog!

That means: Keep up the good work :)
Kambiz