Detach the Destiny of the Enslaved from Terrorists

To tie the destiny of residents and terrorist case of MKO deteriorates the predicament of the former

To tie the destiny of Ashraf residents to the controversial removal of Mojahedin Khalq Organization MKO from the State Department’s terror list has turned into another incongruous problem that has resultantly emboldened the group’s leaders to further disregard the previously arrived agreements and to start a new round of defiance by making new excuses. It all began with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement saying; “Given the ongoing efforts to relocate the residents, MEK cooperation in the successful and peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf, the MEK’s main paramilitary base, will be a key factor in any decision regarding the MEK’s FTO status”.

Was it a thoughtful statement or for any untold reason, for outsiders Clinton’s remarks were somehow viewed as an indication that the US is close to removing the terrorist group from its blacklist. But inside the group, Mrs. Clinton’s words were grabbed at as an offer that led MKO under the delusion that now it had an upper hand for any bargain over the lives of the residing members at Ashraf. Maybe she was looking for a fast and peaceful solution to the plights of the residents and regarded it as a humanitarian issue but it is hard to believe that she was unaware of the group’s innately opportunistic makeup.

Maryam Rajavi’s immediate reaction and response to Mrs. Clinton was that of someone playing the leading role in a bargain. She offered the removal of MKO from the terror list and relocation of residents to Temporary Transit Location TTL simultaneously and also to move residents to the Jordanian border instead of TTL near Baghdad. Besides, MKO was encouraged enough to fill the pockets of the scores of American pro-MKO personalities with bundles of dollars to send them onto the stage to voice their support on its behalf and to urge removal of the terrorist tag. In fact, knowingly or unknowingly, Mrs. Clinton’s sentence became a promoter and feeder of the group’s propaganda blitz as it is a master of the art.

The disadvantages of Mrs. Clinton’s offer seem to have outweighed the intended advantages and have been less than expected to help the enslaved residents out of their predicament. However, there are signs and hopes that the US feels a strong sense of responsibility for what MKO has wrongly taken as buttress for supporting its collapsing structure. An investigation is being conducted at the present by the US Treasury Department focusing on whether the former American officials have received funding, directly or indirectly, from MKO. Proved or unproved, it is a manifestation of the Administration’s concern about the release of a designated terrorist group and the consequences. It is also an indication that some people have been engaged in violating longstanding federal law barring financial dealings with terrorist groups, meaning nothing has changed concerning MKO as a designated FTO.

The latest reaction hit on Monday when the Obama administration urged a US appeals court not to interfere with its review and decision-making process over whether to remove MKO from the FTO blacklist. The group had in February accused the State Department in a court filing of ignoring a 2010 court order to reconsider its status as a terrorist group. According to reports, the State Department urged the court to stay out of the matter, saying it was continuing to evaluate the matter, consulting with the intelligence community and other government agencies and that it had met with representatives of the terrorist MKO.

However, MKO’s removal and its re-designation is a case between the US and a terrorist group while relocation of Ashraf residents is a humanitarian issue. To tie the two only deteriorates the predicament of the enslaved in a terrorist cult and the responsibility of any defiant backwash by MKO is on those who compromise with the group.

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