In light of the new findings by the United States about Iran's plot to assassinate Saudi Ambassador to Washington, there are speculation as to what exactly the Obama administration intends to do about it?
Although, the finding by itself has escalated the tentions between the two countries and promted President Obama to use the famus "all options on the table" phrase once again (something he has refrained from using for sometime), real measures need to be taken rather than just utering words as a response to what seems to be a true violation of international norms, laws, and conventions by the Iranian regime.
While there are no legal justifications to include the MEK on U.S. black list, the State Department continues the designation not on legal or factual basis but a misguided policy. Removing the MEK from FTO list would definitely send a clear message to the mullahs that the US means business.
In his October 12 New York Times article, Louis Freeh, former FBI director (1993 to 2001) says:
"Tragically, the State Department's unjustified terrorist label makes the Mujahedeen Khalq's enemies in Tehran and Baghdad feel as if they have a license to kill and to trample on the written guarantees of protection given to the Ashraf residents by the United States. And Tehran's kangaroo courts also delight in the terrorist designation as an excuse to arrest, torture and murder anyone who threatens the mullahs' regime. "
While the 1997 designation of the MEK by Clinton administration was clearly a political move to reach Tehran, its failure is yet to prompt its removal from the list. That is despite everyone's agreement that MEK has never been a threat to United States or its interests. In New York Times Louis Freeh continues:
"During my tenure as F.B.I. director, I refused to allocate bureau resources to investigating the Mujahedeen Khalq, because I concluded, based on the evidence, that the designation was unfounded and that the group posed no threat to American security. "
"And the F.B.I. did try, unsuccessfully, to focus the Clinton administration on the threat posed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which exported terrorism and committed or orchestrated acts of war against America, including the 1996 Khobar Towers attack in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 American airmen. "
The government of Iraq has set a date (End-of-the-year) for closing Ashraf and it justifies its crackdown on the residents using the FTO listing as an excuse. Freeh says:
"Incredibly, as our duty to protect the camp's residents reaches a critical stage, the State Department offers only silence and delay. The secretary is still "reviewing" the designation nearly 15 months after the United States Court of Appeals in Washington ruled that the department had broken the law by failing to accord the Mujahedeen Khalq due process when listing it as a terrorist group. Mrs. Clinton has not complied with the court's order to indicate "which sources she regards as sufficiently credible" to justify this life-threatening designation. The reason is clear: there is no evidence. "
As the venue to deal with Tehran narrows with the passage of time, still there is only one definite indication of a change in policy towards Iranian mullahs and that is how the U.S. government will decide to treat Iran's main opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq - MEK. Delisting is the only viable option to deal with the mullahs' regime.
We are delighted to present you with the current issue of Iran Update, a publication of International Solidarity for Democratic Change in Iran (ISDCI).