In a particularly blatant display of U.S. double standards, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the Mojahedin Khalq (People’s Mojahedin), known also by the acronyms MKO, MEK, and PMOI (People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran), and dedicated to the violent overthrow of the legitimate government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, had been removed from the United States’ list of designated terrorist organizations as of September 28, 2012.
By removing the MKO from the list, the terrorist organization can now legally seek funding from the U.S. government, some of whose officials have already received hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for speaking on its behalf. In addition, U.S. companies can now engage in business transactions directly with the MKO without the necessity of obtaining a license.
The MKO is a cultish, Marxist-influenced radical terrorist organization with roots in the Freedom Movement of Iran dating back to 1965 that was revitalized in the 1970s by a group of young intelligentsia who had been influenced by foreign ideas about Islam, politics, and government. The MKO began its armed struggle against the U.S.-supported shah in 1971 and continued its efforts by joining the Islamic Revolution of Iran. The terrorist group assassinated at least six U.S. citizens, participated in the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, and opposed the release of the U.S. hostages, urging their execution instead. Later on, however, the MKO withdrew its support for the revolution’s leadership and directly opposed the government of the fledgling Islamic Republic.
In the aftermath of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini submitted the proposed constitution for an Islamic government to a public referendum on December 2, 1979. The MKO rejected the concept of velayat-e faqih (rule of the supreme jurisprudent), abstained from the referendum, and began to voice their opposing views by carrying out increasingly violent acts, including assassinations and bombing attacks on government leaders.
On June 28 1981, the MKO began a series of vicious attacks by bombing the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party during a meeting of party leaders, resulting in 74 fatalities. This was followed by other terrorist attacks resulting in deaths and destruction at a time when the Islamic Republic was engaged in its Sacred Defense against Saddam Hussein’s regime (the Iran-Iraq war) from 1980 to 1988.
Eventually forced into exile because of its terrorist activities within Iran, the MKO was given asylum and financial support in Iraq by Saddam from 1986 until the time his regime was toppled by the U.S. invasion in 2003. On July 26, 1988, after the UN-brokered ceasefire was accepted, a 7,000-man assault force from the MKO, armed by Saddam, invaded and attacked Iran, but was forced to retreat back into Iraq three days later. According to the U.S. State Department, the MKO aided Saddam’s Republican Guard in suppressing the 1991 Shia uprising in Iraq.
Since November 4, 1979, the MKO has been responsible for over 70 acts of terrorism within Iran, which have claimed the lives of over 12,000 Iranians over the past three decades. Other humanitarian organizations place the figure of Iranian victims of terror even higher, while the MKO itself claims that it has inflicted over 40,000 casualties within Iran.
The U.S. State Department, acknowledging the terrorist group’s grizzly record, stated “the Department does not overlook or forget the MKO’s past acts of terrorism, including its involvement in the killing of U.S. citizens in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on U.S. soil in 1992.” According to news sources, the MKO is responsible for carrying out the assassinations of leading Iranian scientists and when asked about this by a BBC correspondent, a senior State Department official responded, “The United States government has not claimed that the MKO was involved in the assassination of scientists in Iran.”
The official added, “We believe that terrorism is terrorism no matter what country on earth it may be practiced in or against any party that it may be practiced against. So we do not distinguish between actions in or against Iran or in or against any other country.” This statement is especially breathtaking, since the MKO is listed in the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database as one of the organizations responsible for the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. In other words, while continuing to hold the Iranian government responsible for the U.S. embassy hostage crisis, the U.S. government has effectively pardoned one of the actual perpetrators by removing its name from the terrorist list!
So why has this obviously irrational delisting of the MKO taken place? Just as the Afghan mujahedin were used in a covert U.S. war to overthrow the Soviet-aligned government in Afghanistan, the MKO is being used in conjunction with Mossad to fight a covert war against the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. And the U.S. trained members of the MKO at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nevada Security Site under the auspices of the Joint Special Operations Command between 2005 and 2008. According to an unnamed source, as a result of the Nevada JSOC training, “MKO now has a capacity for efficient operations that it never had before.”
It appears that as long as the terrorists commit their abominable acts in accordance with Washington’s policy goals, they are not treated as terrorists but instead as allies, and even while they are still officially listed as terrorists by the State Department. As arch-Zionist Alan Dershowitz would undoubtedly agree, the MKO may still be terrorists, but they are now the United States’ terrorists. No doubt, deceased Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson, the mastermind of Operation Cyclone, would agree as well.
Yuram Abdullah Weiler ,