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PMOI obstacle to peace

The U.S. relationship with an Iranian opposition group based in Iraq jeopardizes the future of relations with the Islamic Republic, an Iranian report says.

An Iranian Press TV report says the U.S. relationship with various militant groups in the post-Sept. 11, 2001, geopolitical environment is duplicitous.

The United States and Iran have had an acrimonious relationship since a CIA-backed coup in 1953 overthrew the Iranian government. Now, the report said, "U.S.-Iranian political atmosphere and dominant American philosophies have encouraged the U.S. government to forge a friendship with an Iranian opposition group that is living in exile, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran."

The report points to a 2007 BBC report saying Tehran in 2003 offered to abandon its support for Hamas and Hezbollah if the United States would revoke its support for the PMOI, but U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney refused the offer, the report said.

Press TV said that instead of pushing for warmer ties with Iran, Washington has thrown its support behind the PMOI in order to promote democracy in Iran. The column cites a report this year from Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker claiming the U.S. intelligence community has "longstanding ties" to the PMOI as well.

Furthermore, though considered a terrorist group, the PMOI is offered U.S. military protection in its base in Ashraf city in eastern Iraq, Press TV notes.

"Especially in a time where both Iran and the U.S. have mounting levels of distrust for one another; how would supporting an enemy of Iran make Iran want to be a cooperative friend to the U.S.?" the report asks.

UPI, August 1, 2008



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