The United States recently removed the Mojahedin Khalq Organization from its list of foreign terrorist organizations, despite the fact that the MKO has been widely recognized as a terrorist group by the international community.
Pundits believe that Washington’s priority in its dealings with the MKO over the past few years has been the protection of U.S. interests and not the terrorist activities of the MKO in Iran, Iraq, and other countries. The criterion used for delisting the MKO was that it has not conducted any terrorist operations against the interests of the U.S. This is a clear manifestation of the United States’ double standards in dealing with the issue of terrorism.
Thus, the MKO remained a terrorist group while it became an instrument in the hands of the U.S. government to serve its interests, especially when it comes to countering the rising influence of Iran in the Middle East. Over the years, MKO members have provided U.S. and European intelligence agencies reports about Iran’s nuclear program, some of which were disinformation. The 2013 presidential election in Iran will also provide another opportunity for the MKO to conduct activities against the Iranian government and people.
However, many political analysts believe U.S. President Barack Obama made a huge mistake when he decided to delist the group. The MKO’s long record of terrorist activities, including the slaughter of thousands of innocent citizens, has increased Iranians’ hatred of the group. Obama’s decision will certainly be met with disdain in Iran and the rest of the world and will create a negative impression of Obama’s rhetoric about fighting against terrorism. U.S. citizens have now gained a better perception and a more detailed picture of what Obama’s foreign policy stands for and are beginning to realize that the U.S. government’s so-called campaign against terrorism is just a pretext to realize its goals.
Since he came to power in 2009, Obama has repeatedly declared that he will make every effort to gain the trust of the Iranian government and people. However, by delisting the MKO, Obama shot himself in the foot.
Mohammad Jamshidi is the director of the foreign policy department of the research center of the Iranian parliament.
By Mohammad Jamshidi