The paradoxical stance adopted by the US towards Mojahedin-e Khalq cultist organization has turned into a rather serious challenge mounting the already existing tension between the US and Iran. According to a number of political analysts, the dual stance might be the result of internal political disparities among the parties. But it has to be noted that regardless of all disparities, the parties reach a consensus when it comes to confront any alien element that imperils the country’s general interests. However, the prevalent political contradictions emerged mostly after the State Department first designated MKO as a terrorist organization in 1997, a status that the group continues to occupy ever since.
Despite MKO’s claim that its classification as a terrorist organization was at the behest of the Iranian government, the State Department’s latest report describing the group a cult of personality as well as a terrorist group indicates that the Americans have well realized the group’s threats. The internal disputes to deproscribe MKO in no way mean that some have come to be duped by group’s pro-democratic propagandas but rather it is regarded as an easy tool against Iranian regime. The speculation was even further underpinned when the group came to receive protection of the coalition forces in Iraq following Saddam’s fall. However, there are many undeniable factors, especially disclosed by the State Department’s report, that convince Americans never put any trust on the group. The features can be classified as:
– MKO’s Marxist ideology
– Group’s innate antagonism with capitalism and adoption of armed struggle to start a mass movement against capitalism
– Perpetration of terrorist operations against American military personnel and civilians inside Iran
– Playing a pivotal role to escalate the emerged US-Iran tension following the Islamic revolution
– supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979
– MKO’s secrete ties with the USSR and the communist camp in general
– A zealous attachment to Machiavellianism
– Masterminding terrorist plots against American interests inside Iran
– Unannounced but implicit acknowledgment of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 terrorist operation
– Wearing a mask of pro-democracy as a tactic to assume political power
– maintaining the capacity and will to commit terrorist acts across the world
– close military and intelligence collaboration with Saddam’s regime Regardless of all lobbying attempts to get the group off the hook, MKO remained on the list. But the raised question is that how a designated organization happened to be the first terrorist organization to be granted ‘protected status’ by the US in its move to combat terrorism?
Hardly any of the designated terrorists groups on Americans’ list strive for getting close to the US to gain political legitimacy and most of them are recognized to be jeopardizing American interests here and there. In contrast, MKO hankers after convincing Americans that throughout its campaign, it has tried to accomplish a goal of establishing democracy on the US model. Interestingly, the group in an attempt to justify its claim distorted its past records of activities and adopted ideology. The best evidence is its published Democracy Betrayed wherein the group tries to prove absolute devotion to American favoured capitalism and liberalism.
But Americans are well aware of the fact that exactly in the same way that they manipulate the group, Machiavellian mannerism is theorized within MKO. That is why Americans, in spite of the heavy cost they sometimes have to pay, keep in touch with the group while is keen to it at a distance; that is exactly what America is doing in Iraq.
Soon after Americans settled in Iraq, more than a year after the invasion, they actually frustrated MKO’s liberation army by disarming it. In July 2004 all members of MKO in Iraq, including the leadership of the organisation based there, signed agreements which permitted them release from the control and protection of the Coalition forces in Iraq. In order to obtain that benefit, each individual had to sign a statement containing the following words:
…I agree to the following:
a. I reject participation in, or support for terrorism.
b. I have delivered all military equipment and weapons under my control or responsibility.
c. I reject violence and I will not unlawfully take up arms or engage in any hostile act. I will obey the laws of Iraq and relevant United Nations mandates while residing in this country.
Thus, renunciation of militarism was enforced on MKO against its will and its terrorist potentialities were curbed in Iraq. Furthermore, by setting up Temporary International Presence Facility (TIPF) in the vicinity of Camp Ashraf, dissatisfied members were granted opportunity to leave the group which debilitate the organization to a large extent. Beyond that, the State Department Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism in its last report released on April 30 for the first time brought up establishment of a cult of personality by its leader:
In addition to its terrorist credentials, the MEK has also displayed cult-like characteristics. Upon entry into the group, new members are indoctrinated in MEK ideology and revisionist Iranian history. Members are also required to undertake a vow of "eternal divorce" and participate in weekly "ideological cleansings." Additionally, children are reportedly separated from parents at a young age. MEK leader Maryam Rajavi has established a "cult of personality." She claims to emulate the Prophet Muhammad and is viewed by members as the "Iranian President in exile."
To sum up the Americans views, they indirectly argue:
– That MKO is a terrorist group that maintains unusually aberrant manners compared with other blacklisted organizations
– That its mannerism is rooted in its cult-like structure
– That MKO is a greater potential cult threat beyond its terrorist threat
– That the group is not only a global threat but also a closed cult enslaving its own members physically and mentally
– That the granted ‘protected status’ in Iraq is a measure to have it under control and to find an appropriate way of restoring the members’ mental health
– That instilled by the hope that it can win the US support, MKO can be prevented to commit mass-murder suicide like that of Jim Jones cult of the Peoples Temple
– That it is possible to have MKO under strict control through international conventions
– That the US’s paradoxical deal with MKO is the result of recognizing group’s dual terrorist-cult nature
– That MKO respect no political ethics in its campaign to assume the power
– That the gained experiences over destructive cults like Jim Jones and David Koresh is a warning to be more cautious and conservative to cope with MKO
– That ….
It can be continued with more reasons to see why the US has adopted a paradoxical but rational approach concerning MKO. Mojahedin.ws-February 2, 2008