- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Embassy Row: Threat to Iran
An Iranian dissident group long accused of terrorism by the United States remains the most serious threat to Iran’s brutal, theocratic regime, a U.S. report says — even though the group’s armed wing surrendered its weapons 10 years ago and now is confined to a refugee camp in Iraq.
The report on Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security said that one of the spy agency’s main responsibilities “is to conduct covert operations against the Mojahedin-e-Khlaq and to identify and eliminate its members.”
The Mojahedin-e-Khlaq (or MeK) was the militant wing of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran until U.S. forces disarmed the rebel army in the 2003 invasion of Iraq that overthrew Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi dictator had allowed the rebels to operate in Iraq to disrupt Iran, his longtime regional enemy.
The rebels, originally touting a blend of Islam and socialism, had supported the 1979 Iranian revolution but turned against the regime as it became more fanatical in its pursuit of worldwide jihad.
In the early 1990s, Iran’s spy masters recruited disgruntled MeK members and “used them to launch a disinformation campaign” against the Iranian resistance, says the report prepared in December by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress for the Pentagon's Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office.
During that period, Iranian leaders also insisted that the U.S. and other foreign nations designate the resistance as a terrorist group, if they wanted to open talks with the regime in Tehran.
Britain took the resistance off its terrorist list in 2008, and the European Union followed in 2009. The State Department, under a federal court order, removed the resistance from the terrorist list last year.
Even though the disarmed dissidents were relocated last year to a refugee camp in Iraq, they have “remained a viable organization,” the report says.
No peace in sight
The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan candidly conceded Thursday that prospects are poor for peace talks with Taliban militants, who many observers believe may be stalling until most American forces withdraw next year so they can defeat a weak Afghan army and re-establish an Islamist regime.
Ambassador James Cunningham told reporters in Kabul that a peace process “hasn’t even begun.”
“Our goal is the beginning — if not the conclusion — of a serious process on peace and reconciliation as soon as possible, but so far that hasn’t been possible,” he said.
The Obama administration reached out to the Taliban nearly a year ago, but the Islamists soon broke off negotiations. Some reports said they were angered by the U.S. refusal to release Taliban terrorists held at the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The U.S. toppled the Taliban in 2001 because the extremists sheltered Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist network after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
The Taliban had ruled Afghanistan for five years in a brutal regime that imposed strict Islamic law and prohibited women from getting an education. They regrouped into a terrorist army after U.S. forces overthrew them.
Several Afghan officials this week told Washington Times reporter Ashish Kumar Sen that they fear a Taliban takeover after a U.S. withdrawal.
• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The column is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
© 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
- Embassy Row: Wife of Christian held in Iran feels abandoned by Obama
- Wife of jailed U.S. Christian in Iran calls for White House help
- Most Americans want no Iranian uranium enrichment: poll
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- CPAC 2014: Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight for liberty
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- EDITORIAL: Connecticut revolts against gun controls that could criminalize 300,000
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Two liberals say Sarah Palin is right: Obama lacks substance
- Malaysia Airlines says plane on route to Beijing missing
- High schooler suing parents for money shot down by judge
- Soldier who hid to avoid saluting the flag to be punished in secret; Army won't release details
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again