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Avoiding an error of great historical proportions

As a concerned Iranian, I am dismayed that the European Court is considering removal of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/MKO) from the list of organizations participating in acts of terrorism and violence. The prospect of support for this group is not only a grave foreign policy error in the ongoing war on terror but a great dishonor to the victims of September 11th and a disgrace to the civilized world.

The MKO’s terror record is extensive and includes assassinations of American citizens and widespread bombings in Iran throughout the 1970s. Following the revolution of 1979, the MKO claimed some credit for the seizure of the U.S. embassy and subsequent hostage taking, and later demonstrated against their release. In the 1980s and 1990s, the group conducted attacks against targets of the Iranian regime in countries such as Canada, Denmark, Italy, Spain and the United States. The MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base http://www.mipt.org/ has recorded 16 verified incidents of terrorist activities by the MKO, which resulted in a total of 80 injuries and 34 fatalities. Furthermore, the MKO acted as Saddam’s private army and received millions of dollars in financial and military support from the Ba’athist regime and participated in the massacre of the Iraqi Kurds in an operation code named Morvarid, soon after the Iraqi army was evicted by coalition forces from Kuwait in 1991. According to Human Rights Watch May 2005 report http://www.hrw.org/ , MKO routinely imprisoned, tortured and executed its dissident members for either criticizing the MKO leadership or wanting to leave the organization.

Although Tehran’s attempts to acquire nuclear technology, its efforts to fund radical groups in the Middle East, and its stifling of democratic currents in Iran need to be addressed through diplomacy and dialogue, European policy makers need to know that the vast majority of Iranians absolutely despise the MKO for taking sides with Saddam’s Ba’athist regime during the Iran-Iraq war, therefore any shift towards a policy in support of the MKO would simply mean turning a pro-European Iranian public against the west; an error of great historical scale.

Saeed Hazrati./Iran Pars, Canada, February 6, 2006

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