The EU has re-listed the Iranian opposition group (MEK, MKO, PMOI, OPMI, Rajavi Cult, etc.) in the terror blacklist. EU has maintained the group in the list for the past few years. But a single question remains lingering on my mind about the effectiveness of such designations while the EU officials seem to be uninformed about the group’s illusory tactics. The recent (June 17) bludgeoning by the group’s high-rank members and supporters in Paris against some of its former members has raised the concern for many.
The MEK continues to operate in Europe with its headquarter in Auver-sur-oise Village in Paris. The MEK refer to its former members as the agents of the Iranian Information Ministry in order to justify its violent attacks. The truth is that the MEK has used this tactic to smear its critics, a well-known practice by almost all violent cults. The group operates on a philosophy of demagoguery, deception, and misleading of the public.
What is astonishing is that the EU politicians have failed to recognize the group’s main trickery that had fooled US politicians for a few years. MEK has a decoy publicly known as NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran) with its headquarter listed in the same location of the MEK. While MEK remains in the list, the NCRI has not been listed due mainly to EU’s failure of recognizing that MEK and NCRI are indeed the same with unitary leadership and financing system. The MEK wants us to view the NCRI as an umbrella organization of which the MEK is a member. The truth is the opposite; it is the NCRI which is a part of the MEK.
On July 9, 2004 US Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its verdict about the very same subject. At issue was the NCRI’s claim that it was different from the MEK. In response the NCRI’s petition, the Court noted that “…after extensive investigation of MEK and NCRI, the FBI reported to the State Department that ‘it is the unanimous view of the FBI personnel who are involved in and familiar with the FBI’s investigation of the [MEK] that NCRI is not a separate organization, but is instead, and has been, an integral part of the MEK at all relevant times.’ Contrary to NCRI’s portrayal of itself as an umbrella organization, of which the MEK was just one member, the FBI concluded that it is NCRI that is ‘the political branch of the MEK.’” The Court finally rejected the NCRI’s petition. This led to enlisting of the NCRI as an alias for the MEK and the closing of its office in Washington DC.
Re-listing of the MEK in the terror blacklist by the EU was important. What is even more critical for EU is to get serious about combating terrorism by recognizing the MEK’s deceptive tactics, and by including the NCRI as an alias for the group- something the US did in 2004. After all, EU is responsible for the safety and protection of its people against terrorist activities of the MEK disguised as NCRI.
By Ahmad Baaraan, Paris