Western HR Prizes, the other side of the coin of supporting MKO terrorists
Secretary of Iran’s Human Rights Council Mohammad Javad Larijani rapped the West’s double-standard policies and stances on human rights issues, saying that western states shelter terrorist groups like the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) and award them in the name of defending human rights.
"Our people are familiar with the West’s discriminatory and hostile attitude towards the Islamic Republic of Iran," Larijani said in a meeting with Head of Iran-Germany Parliamentary Friendship Group Bijan Jirsarayee in Tehran on Wednesday.
Larijani rapped the double-standard polices and behavior of the western states towards the human rights issues in Iran.
On one hand, the western states shelter and support terrorist groups like the MKO (also known as the MEK, NCR and PMOI) and the PJAK terrorist group and cooperate with the US in imposing unilateral sanctions against Iran which have inflicted great losses on the Iranian people and is a blatant violation of human rights, and on the other hand, they suddenly emerge as advocates of human rights and grant awards to culprits in Iran as if they are defenders of human rights, he added.
The European Parliament announced that this year’s winners of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought are two Iranian culprits, lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and film director Jafar Panahi. Sotoudeh is now imprisoned in Iran for security crimes and Panahi is a fugitive living outside Iran.
Also after the EU delisted the MKO from its list of foreign terrorist organizations, the US in September 2012 adopted the same measure. The decision made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.
Before an overture by the EU, the MKO was on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations subject to an EU-wide assets freeze. Yet, the MKO puppet leader, Maryam Rajavi, who has residency in France, regularly visited Brussels and despite the ban enjoyed full freedom in Europe.
The MKO is behind a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, a number of EU parliamentarians said in a recent letter in which they slammed a British court decision to remove the MKO from the British terror list. The EU officials also added that the group has no public support within Iran because of their role in helping Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).
Many of the MKO members abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the grouplet are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.
A May 2005 Human Rights Watch report accused the MKO of running prison camps in Iraq and committing human rights violations.
According to the Human Rights Watch report, the outlawed group puts defectors under torture and jail terms.
The group, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.
Leaders of the group have been fighting to shed its terrorist tag after a series of bloody anti-Western attacks in the 1970s, and nearly 33 years of violent struggle against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran’s new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by MKO members in 1981.
The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.
The terrorist group joined Saddam’s army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.
Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who argued for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.
In recent years, MKO ringleaders have been lobbying governments around the world in the hope of acknowledgement as a legitimate opposition group.
The MKO spent huge sums of money over years lobbying for removal from the US terror list, holding rallies in European capitals and elsewhere that featured luminaries like former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge from the administration of George W. Bush. Former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was among those recently welcomed by the MKO to Paris.
The MKO is responsible for carrying out numerous acts of terror and violence against Iranian officials and civilians as well as the people of Iraq.
The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in early September, one week after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent the US Congress a classified communication about the move.