Three important events took place in recent weeks, every one of which could have significant impacts on the situation of terrorist MKO so that they could even lead to the removal of this group’s name from terror list (by the US) if they were considered an important element in Iran’s political scene.
These events were as follows:
1. The focus of different US agencies and parties on Iran,
2. Western countries’ decision to deal with Iran’s nuclear issue in the UN Security Council,
3. Crisis in the Middle East and the invasion of Israel to Lebanon.
Also, with a lower level of importance, US’s failure to advance its goals in Iraq can be added to these events.
* The focus of different US parties on Iran
Different parties in the US (including democrats, republicans and Neo-conservatives) began strong efforts during recent months to prove their views on Iran and used different Iranian figures and movements to convince the administration about the way to confront Iran.
State Department held a meeting and invited a number of reformists and student activists to discuss the issue of Iran. Although some of these people refused to participate in the meeting because they were concerned it might have a negative impact on their fame in Iran, the meeting was held with the participation of unimportant figures, which indicates the existence of an approach on Iran in the US administration. This approach calls on the US administration to be realistic about Iran.
Also, Enterprise Institute, represented and respected by many of Republicans and Neo-Conservatives, expressed its own solutions for the issue of Iran, which include "sanctions, targeting Iranian nuclear sites, trying to change the regime through the support of democratic forces inside Iran and creating a revolution".
Ledeen, of course, questions each of these solutions. On sanctions, he believes that it can’t change the regime and that long-term economical sanctions against Iran will be fruitless.
Although he himself proposes measures targeting of Iranian installations, he thinks it will unify Iranians against the US; he also reminds that Americans’ information on Iran after the revolution of 1979 has been bad and that one should not be optimistic about planning a military operation on the basis of current information.
About supporting Iranian opposition to create a revolution, Ledeen admits that no one knows if a revolution will be successful, and- in the case of success- stable, in Iran.
Ledeen says the US lacks enough intelligence and power to attack Iran and emphasizes on a good and strong relationship and establishing radio and TV channels against Iran.
On the other hand, IPC (Iran Policy Committee)- which is comprised of a number of figures close to Neocons in Washington- has again asked the Bush administration to use 3800 MKO members to put more pressure on the Islamic Republic.
Totally, the whole views and ideas of different parties in the US can be summarized in a line, one end of which proposes negotiations and relations with Iran and the other suggests wide military action. However, what concerns the MKO in this issue is that they have no place in proposals (on the table of US administration) and that they are not worthy to be invested on.
In the US, the only agencies that like to use this group as a tool, and in short time (and not as an alternative), are CIA (although it believes the group should not be delisted) and Pentagon.
* Western countries’ decision to deal with Iran’s nuclear issue in the UN Security Council
MKO tried to take advantage of Iran’s nuclear issue, therefore it played the game of claiming to have credible knowledge on Iran; they believed that the best case scenario for them is that Iran’s nuclear case is dealt with inside the UN Security Council. They welcomed the referral of Iran’s case to UN Security Council because they feared the continuation of negotiations between Iran and the Western countries for they know that such negotiations will lead to more restriction of their group. But in a long-term perspective, they believed that UN Security Council paves the way for a military action on Iran. With this, they hope the US will change its policies, delists their group, rearms them and uses them in its fight with Iran.
But the US has shown that in Iran’s nuclear case, it’s more looking for political pressure; this can also be found in the US’s new turn toward European policies. So, giving points to a terrorist group has no place in such a policy.
* Crisis in the Middle East and the invasion of Israel to Lebanon
When Saddam Hussein opened his arms to the MKO and used them in the war against Iran, he wanted the Iranian side to understand that he couldn’t stand Iran’s support for Iraqi opposition groups and that he was also trying to balance the powers.
Although his support for a group like the MKO (in comparison with Shiite and Kurdish parties that represent a huge part of Iraqi population and were supported by Iran) was nothing, it apparently justified the balance of powers.
Now that the US is strongly supporting Israel and accuses Iran of supporting Hizballah, MKO tries to appear as a force that can counter Hizballah so that the US may choose them for its confrontation with Iran.
MKO supporters in the US had also suggested the use of MKO to control Hizballah activities, but the MKO is too discredited to be taken seriously by the US administration.
Situation in Iraq is similar. While the MKO, recognizing the US sensitivity about Iran’s influence in Iraq, introduces itself as a dam against Iran, the position of Americans (designating the MKO as terrorist and restricting its members in Camp Ashraf) has not changed; to show their satisfaction with recent decision of Iraqi government on MKO, Americans preferred to stay silent.
The whole factors and parameters mentioned above have created opportunities that should be viewed as best chances from MKO’s viewpoint; however, these very opportunities couldn’t change the status of MKO and save them from the limitations and restrictions.
The failure of such opportunities shows the historical death of this group. A group that is ready to do anything possible for the US, but it’s still being ignored.
Irandidban – 2006/07/1