- Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Embassy Row: Clinton Under Pressure
Question of the Day
Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week pressed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on her failure to remove the Iranian resistance from the U.S. list of terrorist groups.
They warned that the lives of more than 3,000 dissidents living in a camp in Iraq are in danger because of the State Department’s refusal to take them off the list. The Iraqi government has even used the list as an excuse to attack the unarmed dissidents, one committee member said.
Rep. Ted Poe told Mrs. Clinton that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki last year cited the U.S. terrorist designation as a reason to refuse to allow a congressional delegation to visit the rebels of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) in Camp Ashraf, north of Baghdad.
Mr. Poe, Texas Republican, recalled that Mr. Maliki said his government treats the people there as a terrorist group because the United States lists them as such.
“So he dumped it back on our designation as the reason he was treating them the way he was treating them,” he said.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher warned Mrs. Clinton that the rebels are “in grave danger.”
“There are 3,000 Iranian exiles who have been residing in Iraq … because they are enemies of the Iranian mullah dictatorship,” the California Republican said.
Mrs. Clinton defended her department’s handling of the group’s nearly 4-year-old request for removal from the list. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice rejected the request from Camp Ashraf in 2008, but a federal appeals court two years later ordered the State Department review the request.
Attorneys for the PMOI this week increased pressure on the State Department by filing a request that the federal appeals court in Washington order Mrs. Clinton to remove the group from the terrorist list.
Viet Dinh, a former top Justice Department lawyer now representing the resistance, noted that Mrs. Clinton has recognized the group’s reunuciation of violence and is “legally bound to delist their organization.”
“She cannot pocket veto PMOI’s application for revocation of its terrorist status,” he said.
The group operated as an armed resistance against the Iranian regime from the Iraqi base as a guest of dictator Saddam Hussein, a bitter enemy of Iran’s.
The rebels surrendered their weapons to U.S. forces who toppled Saddam in 2003. The U.S. later declared them protected persons under international law, but Washington turned them over to Iraq on Jan. 1, 2009.
The resistance has been on the terrorist list since 1997, when President Bill Clinton declared them a terrorist group in an attempt to improve relations with Iran.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Embassy Row: India 'shocked,' 'appalled' by consular officer's arrest
- Wife of jailed U.S. Christian in Iran calls for White House help
- Embassy Row: Wife of Christian held in Iran feels abandoned by Obama
- Senate debate: Is Santa Claus an American citizen?
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Colorado poll shows women tuning out Democrats' 'war on women' strategy
- Sarah Palin's online channel hits snag as Stephen Colbert buys similar URL
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world