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Open letter to Lord Corbett of Castle Vale

Dear Lord Corbett,

With the greatest respect, I refer to your interview with the BBC Persian Service on February 23, 2007 (Link to the interview) which was published on the BBC’s website. May I first express my pleasure that you have entered into a free discussion about the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation (MKO). As you know, there are many questions about the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation which remain unanswered.

You have mentioned in your interview that the reason behind the proscription of the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation in Britain and other places is purely political and was made in relation to the interests of the Iranian Regime. This might be true, but what I would like to know is why the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation is still being kept on the lists of terrorist entities in almost every western country when these countries are engaged in a serious confrontation with the Islamic Republic of Iran? As you are well aware, Britain represents the toughest stance against Iran in Europe. At the same time Britain has been and is still leading the European Union against the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation. Doesn’t this reality disprove your claim that this matter is no more than politically motivated bargaining? I would like to know, if the Mojahedin was proscribed on the basis of a political decision, then why is it not de-proscribed now on the same basis? What could possibly be the political interest for the British government in insisting on keeping the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation on the list of proscribed terrorist organisations?

I think the reason for proscription of the Mojahedin Khalq as a terrorist organisation has never been a political decision. I think the decision has been purely security related. All the security services in the west categorise the MKO as a destructive cult in which violence has become part its infrastructure. Indeed, if anything, the point that the Mojahedin’s activities in western countries have not been confronted to the full could be interpreted as a politically motivated act due to the grievances between Iran and western countries. But no responsible security official would leave a cult like the MKO, which has theorised the use of violence, unchecked and unmonitored. The only way for the security services to be able to monitor and control the organisation is to keep it on the list of proscribed terrorist organisations. You are well aware yourself that the Mojahedin after the fall of the late dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, is no longer considered to pose a threat to Iran. But could the people responsible for the security of European countries confidently announce the same? Could they really announce that the Mojahedin is not a threat to European countries?

In your interview, you have mentioned that the history of the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation’s armed operations goes back to before 2001, and you have emphasised that they have preformed no terrorist or similar activities after this date. What I really want to know is whether the organisation has in fact ruled out armed struggle – once the core of its ideology, strategy and tactics. Or is it simply because the organisation is incapable of carrying out terror acts at this moment of time?

You have also endorsed the Mojahedin’s assassination of the former head of Evin Prison. It has become a mystery for me. If the killing of all the people whom the Mojahedin have assassinated inside Iran is justified, then what about the thousands of similar people in Iran right now who have not been assassinated? Why is it that the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation (with your endorsement) does not attempt to deal with them? Why has the organisation refrained from its prior activities and is not working towards assassinating these subjects and instead has put a stop to its armed struggle from 2001? And if they have really come to the conclusion that they should stop this armed struggle, then why do not announce it publicly and criticise their past activities and above all why do you still try to legitimise their violent history?

I do not know if you have any answers for my questions. But I would be most grateful if you could offer some explanations concerning the questions I have posed. From my heart I wish that the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation would return to logic and one day be among the important players in the Iranian political scene. I would like to propose that the best course of action that the MKO could take is to start reviewing its past and clearly denounce violence against anyone and at anytime. I am sure that in doing so the organisation would be acting in its own best interests.

With many thanks.

Yours faithfully,

Ebrahim Khodabandeh

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