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Embassy Row: ‘People’s Resistance’

No longer regarded as a terrorist group by the U.S. and Europe, the Iranian resistance now is urging the West to recognize the movement as a legitimate advocate for democratic change in a country ruled for more than 30 years by a brutal, theocratic regime suspected of trying to build nuclear weapons.

Maryam Rajavi, head of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, urged the European Parliament last week to enforce sanctions against the Iranian regime, safeguard the rights of disarmed Iranian rebels living in camps in Iraq and recognize the "Iranian people's resistance."

"Our people and the resistance's message is that, from the West, we seek neither money nor weapons. We only seek a definitive end to the policy of appeasement with the criminal rulers of Iran and the recognition of the Iranian people's resistance against religious fascism and for freedom and democracy," Mrs. Rajavi said.

"This step is indispensable. This is the only answer to the mullahs who are striving for nuclear weapons. It is the answer to terrorism, fundamentalism and a regime, which as the primary supporter and partner of [Syrian President] Bashar Assad, is directing the daily massacres in Syria."

She said that the removal of the resistance from the U.S. list of terrorist organizations last month was the "greatest defeat" suffered by the Iranian government since the 1979 revolution brought to power a regime ruled by Islamic extremist mullahs.

"We succeeded in crushing the terrorist label in its birthplace, the United States," Mrs. Rajavi said.

President Bill Clinton added the resistance to the terrorist list in 1997 to meet a key demand of the Iranian government when he attempted to open negotiations with newly elected leader Mohammad Khatami, who was thought to have been a moderate.

Fifteen years later, Mr. Clinton's wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, removed them from the list, under a federal court order.

Britain took the resistance off its own terrorist blacklist in 2008, and the European Union followed seven months later.

Mrs. Rajavi praised Struan Stevenson, a Scottish conservative member of the European Parliament, for his efforts to get European support for the resistance.

She also thanked a bipartisan coalition in the Congress and former Cabinet members Tom Ridge, the first secretary of Homeland Security, andMichael Mukasey, a former attorney general, for pushing for the removal of the resistance from the U.S. terrorist list.

LOVE AFFAIR WITH CHINA

Gary Locke, the U.S. ambassador to China, was in Washington recently to promote U.S. trade with America's largest creditor nation.

"The thing about China is that there's a love affair with American goods, products and services," he said.

However, an old Asia hand who has written a book warning of Chinese economic hegemony retorted that it is Mr. Locke who has a love affair with China.

Eamon Fingleton, an Irish journalist based in Asia for the past 25 years, noted that China last year purchased only $119 billion worth of goods from the United States, while Americans spent $326 billion on Chinese goods. Japan and South Korea sold at least 50 percent more to China than the U.S., and German companies do almost as well as American firms.

Mr. Fingleton, author of "In the Jaws of the Dragon: America's Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese Hegemony," said Germany, Japan and South Korea will retaliate against Chinese trade manipulation, while the United States is considered a "political milquetoast" in Beijing.

"My suggestion for Mr. Locke is that, instead of recycling [China's] 'don't-worry, be-happy' propaganda, perhaps the next time he speaks, he could explain why Japanese and Korean goods do so much better in the Chinese markets than American ones," Mr. Fingleton wrote in Forbes magazine.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email jmorrison@washingtontimes.com. The column is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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About the Author
James Morrison

James Morrison

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 ...

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