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The Mujahedin has increased its political activities in Washington in the hope that a showdown between the US and Iran would lead Washington to de-list them from the terrorist list and support them as a legitimate and popular opposition group
The Mujahedin-e Khalq organization (MKO/MEK) is beefing up its campaign to get off the State Department’s terrorist list and receive US funding by presenting itself as representative of the Iranian-American community. The MKO has since the early 1990s been on the State Department’s terrorist list. In 1997, their political wing, the National Council of Resistance of Iran was also added to the terrorist list, making it difficult for the organization to lobby in Washington in theory. In practice, however, the Mujahedin has maintained a very strong lobbying arm in Washington DC, and continued to pursue their political objectives while arguing that they represent the Iranian-American community. On January 20th, the Los Angeles Times wrote that “Iranian Americans generally… oppose a nine year State Department crackdown on an organization [the MKO] that it classifies as terrorist but that the Iranian community considers a resistance group.” The Mujahedin has increased its political activities in Washington in the hope that a showdown between the US and Iran would lead Washington to de-list them from the terrorist list and support them as a legitimate and popular opposition group. For instance, HR 282, introduced by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), a long time supporter of the Mujahedin on Capitol Hill, states that the White House must “designate at least one democratic opposition organization as eligible to receive assistance” from the US government within 90 days of the bills passing. Analyst point out the similarities between the Iran Democracy Act (HR 282) and the Iraq Democracy Act (from 1998), which resulted in Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress receiving millions of dollars from the US government. The Mujahedin is seeking to present themselves as representatives of the Iranian-american community in order to get off the terrorist list and receive financial support from the US government. NIAC has prepared a letters to your House Representatives as well as to the Los Angeles Times, pointing out that the MKO does not represent the Iranian-American community, and that Iranian Americans refuse to choose between the undemocratic government in Tehran and the undemocratic opposition. It is extremely important that Iranian Americans participate in this debate, and that they lend their expertise and unique perspectives on this matter. Please edit the letter and make it more personal. A personal perspective has a far greater impact than a letter with only abstract arguments. Do also strengthen or soften the arguments to make it better reflect your personal perspective. Please note that due to the existing terrorist classification of the MKO, NIAC will not prepare a letter endorsing or favoring their position.

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