Pages: 1 2
The intelligence analysis group STRATFOR called the listing “a major gesture toward Iran.” The Iranian regime has consistently accused the U.S. of supporting Jundullah, especially in the wake of a 2007 ABC News report alleging such. A “senior U.S. government official” explained that financial aid to Jundullah was part of an arrangement for the group to help track Al-Qaeda. This does not necessarily mean Jundullah is pro-American, though, as the group reacted to its designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by saying, “The United States has always supported criminals and murderers, like Sharon and Zionists, and supports also criminals (in the Iranian regime) to advance its interests.”
At the same time, the State Department is in a legal battle with a third opposition group called the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), which began under the Bush Administration. Recently, the European Union parliament passed a resolution officially asking the United States to remove the MEK from the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organization. The MEK was removed from the United Kingdom’s own list in 2008 and the European Union’s list last year after a protracted but successful legal fight.
On July 16, the MEK scored a victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia when the judge ruled that the State Department had to review the group’s designation and offer it a chance to see the evidence against it and defend itself. It was decided that the MEK’s due process had been violated. The State Department said that classified intelligence bolstered its accusations against the MEK, but the court noted that “Some of the reports included in the Secretary’s analysis on their face express reservations about the accuracy of the information contained therein.”
The MEK’s battle may become part of the 2012 presidential race. Potential candidate John Bolton has called for their de-listing and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has publicly agreed.
“I have studied terrorism for over 35 years. I have investigated terrorism and I have seen first hand, in my city, the devastation that terrorism can bring about. This is not a terrorist organization,” Giuliani said. He called on the rest of Congress to support a House resolution supporting the MEK’s de-listing that already had the support of 83 bi-partisan members of Congress.
The credibility of the MEK as an opposition group is hotly debated among proponents of regime change in Iran, with some arguing that it has popular support and others saying that supporting the group would cause a backlash amongst Iranians. Whatever the case may be, the MEK’s past legal battles have resulted in verdicts that do not fit the definition of a terrorist group.
The blacklisting of PJAK and Jundullah and the resistance to delisting the MEK are overtures to the Iranian regime by the Obama Administration but it also sends a message to Iranians: Anyone that reacts to the Iranian regime’s violence with violence of their own will be branded a terrorist.
Pages: 1 2