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By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Topic - Foreign Terrorist Organization
The State Department leveled an official "Foreign Terrorist Organization" designation on an Islamist group in the West African nation of Mali on Thursday, asserting that the group has strong ties to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
The terrorist organization Hamas has launched its own news group, Al Rai, which means Opinion, with a staff of 15 writers who will "focus on the Palestinian issue, and Arab and international news relating to this issue," according to the agency's spokesman.
The Obama administration intends to take off its list of foreign terrorist groups an Iranian opposition group that was given shelter by Saddam Hussein in Iraq and has renounced violence.
On Oct. 7, 1997, during the Clinton administration, the People's Mujahedeen of Iran (POMI/MEK) was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The MEK represents the main opposition group to the Iranian theocracy and has been the source of key intelligence relating to Iran's secret underground nuclear sites. According to a senior Clinton administration official, the designation of the MEK as a terrorist organization was intended as a "goodwill gesture" to Tehran and its newly elected "moderate" President Mohammad Khatami. Such a goodwill gesture coming on the heels of the Khobar Towers bombing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where we had proof of Iran's involvement, resulting in the killing of 19 U.S. servicemen and the wounding of more than 500 was unbelievable.
How convenient. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can count on his media partners "El Pais, Le Monde, Speigel, Guardian & NYT," he says in a Tweet, to publish his mischief-making stuff no matter what.
If the new sanctions imposed on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) by the Bush administration are to have any meaningful, positive effect on Iranian behavior, they have to be seen as a first step toward pressuring Europe and Japan to curtail their financial relationships with the Iranian regime. Already confusion has emerged through leaks to The Washington Post and New York Times about how far the sanctions actually go.