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There is considerable debate in Washington over taking the MEK off the terrorist list.

Kenneth Katzman, a specialist in Middle Eastern affairs at the Congressional Research Service, said some U.S. officials are convinced that such action would be viewed by the Iranian government as a hostile act and eliminate hope for a resumption of talks on Iran’s nuclear program.

Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said taking MEK off the terrorist list would set back U.S. interests in Iran for years.

“An American embrace of a group that has killed so many Iranians and allied itself with Saddam Hussein and other American embassies would be a world-class [mistake],” he said.

Others argue that delisting the MEK would be interpreted by the Iranian opposition as the U.S. throwing its weight behind what they say is an undemocratic group that does not have much support inside Iran.

“This is not a group the U.S. would look to work with as part of a policy of supporting groups that are trying to achieve human rights and democracy,” said Mr. Katzman.