- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Iranian group is taken off U.S.’s list of terrorists
Question of the Day
NEW YORK — The Obama administration has taken a group of Iranian dissidents off the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, culminating a long-running public relations campaign by the dissidents and their supporters.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s decision to remove the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MeK) from the list will be published Wednesday in the Federal Register. The group also is known as the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran.
After an exhaustive review ordered by a federal court, U.S. officials found no evidence of the group’s involvement in terrorist activity.
The MeK, which opposes Iran’s theocratic regime, was given shelter by Saddam Hussein in Iraq in the 1980s. It has since renounced violence, and in 2003 surrendered its weapons as part of a cease-fire agreement with U.S.-led forces that toppled Saddam.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has sought to shut down the group’s paramilitary base, Camp Ashraf, in a bid to expel its members from his country.
Mrs. Clinton’s decision resulted, in part, from the MeK’s cooperation in relocating from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty, a temporary location near Baghdad’s international airport.
A U.S. appeals court in June set an Oct. 1 deadline for Mrs. Clinton to decide about removing the MeK from the terrorist blacklist.
Britain and the European Union took the MeK off their terrorist lists in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
The MeK was responsible for terrorist attacks in Iran in the 1970s that killed several U.S. military members and civilians, according to the State Department. The group denies any role in the deaths of U.S. military personnel.
The MeK has sought to position itself as a democratic force in Iran; however, U.S. officials are skeptical about its qualifications.
The Clinton administration designated the MeK as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997 in an attempt to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough with the Iranian government.
A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday condemned U.S. plans to take the MeK off the terrorist list.
“The United States’ double standard in dealing with terrorism and instrumental use of these groups for political gain is not a new issue,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by Iranian state media.
“If the U.S. government goes ahead with this move, then it will be accountable for the blood of thousands of Iranians and Iraqis spilt by this cult and it weakens world efforts in combating terrorism,” he said.
The MeK, whose leadership is based in Paris, invested a lot of money in an intense and expensive campaign to get itself off the U.S. terrorist blacklist. The group has prominent Republican and Democratic supporters, some of whom have admitted taking money to speak on behalf of the group.
The MeK asserts it now is working to overthrow Iran’s Islamic regime through peaceful means.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
- Boko Haram takes credit for abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls, threatens to sell them
- Al Qaeda core degraded, but 'more aggressive' affiliates still pose threat to U.S.
- Political uncertainty and violence in first Iraqi election since U.S. withdraw
- Egypt judge sentences 683 Islamists to death over Morsi-tied violence
- Doctor's killing in latest Afghanistan attack puts NGOs in crosshairs
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- Houston mayor: Sorry that police put man's blind dog on road to die
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors