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MKO, A Potential Global Threat

The US has accepted the responsibility of a terrorist threat unleashed with intact fangs
A venomoid is a venomous snake made harmless, but extracting its venom or exposed to cold temperature means a dangerous but temporarily harmless and inactive snake. The serious difference between the two is a matter of life and death for those in touch. So, there is the very same serious difference when a dangerous terrorist cult surrenders its arms and publically renounces terrorism, as well as making alterations in its infrastructural organizational principles, and the one that is forcibly disposed of weapons to curb its threatening terrorist and militarist potentiality. The State Department’s decision to delist the designated MKO is a clear indication of the two latter illustrations.

A more perfect illustration is provided in a tale in Persian literature, Rumi’s ‘The Snake-Catcher’s Tale’. A snake-catcher went into the mountains in winter and found a sluggish, inactive snake. He brought it back to the city claiming to have killed a dragon! And the gathered crowed were amazed and fascinated by the big task! But the hot sun woke the terrible life and dormant bestial potentiality in it; it tore easily and hungrily loose, spreading panic and killing many instantly including the snake-catcher himself.

The State Department delisted MKO credited with a decade long inactivity in terrorism and also for peacefully leaving its paramilitary base, Camp Ashraf. But how can an innately violent and terrorist group, gone into a state of inactivity for many reasons, claim it has forsworn terrorism without a single alteration in its old principles it stresses to maintain? As Bijan Niyabati, a leftist ideologue of the group, has emphatically and repeatedly stated, “Any criticism of MKO’s strategy of widespread armed struggle adopted in military phase that may deny necessity of armed resistance is deemed absolutely illegitimate”.

Notably, a series of the organization’s early pamphlets, designed to provide the basis for its general aspirations and systematic world-outlook, explicitly theorize and advocate the violent strategy of armed struggle. In fact, the cornerstone of its struggle when emerged as an opposition was partly the Machiavellian doctrine of the ‘end justifying the means’. A specified catalogue of these early booklets and pamphlets that were drafted by a selected ideological team to manifest the organizational ideology and policy are still strongly valued as practicable. The specific series are entitled Takamol (Evolution), Shenakht (Epistemology), Cheguneh Quran biamuzim (How to study the Koran), Rah-e anbiya rah-e bashar (The way of the prophets: the way of humanity) and finally a book entitled An account of the formation and short history of Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization from 1965 to 1975.

Its ideology conforming more closely to the modern phenomenon of terrorism as a tool of a political movement, MKO believes it is also a phenomenon itself among all other opposition groups. Naturally, it opposes any criticism and change of strategy and resists urges of modifications in general ideology as well as refusing to grasp the necessity of laws ruling over the phenomenon. As stated in its published ‘An account of the formation and short history of Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization’, “To make any change in any phenomenon, one has to develop a comprehensive recognition of it. In respect to society and social movement and struggle, the recognition is of great significance because of their complexity. Thus, any change within a phenomenon, society and social movement requires recognition of the laws controlling them”.

Relatively, if any change is to happen within MKO concerning disavowal of terrorism, the ideological principles that legitimize aggressive conduct has to be removed from its methodology of struggle, otherwise, it is hard to believe that it will be unwavering in its renunciation of terrorism. Armed strategy is the effect of the group’s principal ideological cause and source and its renunciation is totally out of question if the cause remains intact.

The change in principles is a move of such great significance that even MKO itself cannot ensure to what degree it is feasible and practical. Not in a single occasion has the organization tried to convince neither the insiders nor the outsiders that it intends to actualize the will to stop military and violent activities. Now, how the State Department has come to warrant MKO’s terrorist inactivity for a certain period remains a mystery, but at least it has actually accepted the responsibility of a terrorist threat unleashed with intact fangs but extracted venom!

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