The risk is for Hilary Clinton to take. She could play it safe, call the terrorist group what it is and contain it until it's dissolved. Or she could boost it up, let it loose and watch it in action
The MEK wants to be removed from the terrorist list because, by law, its presence there prevents it from directly promoting its agenda in Washington, and most importantly, from fundraising.
"Time is running out, lives are at stake," he declared. "For the United States this is a case where American interests of opposing the regime in Tehran are entirely consistent with American values of freedom and democracy."
But with the MEK, we're talking about a senseless monolithic cult - with absolutely no voice or seeds of moderation inside - with a violent mentality and language that has not evolved one bit since 1980...
Fifth and finally, the MEK as a whole -- not just its political wing, the National Council for Iranian Resistance (NCRI) -- must renounce violence in an official proclamation, published both in English and Persian, and completely disarm before being considered for FTO delisting.
The proponents of war with Iran simply want another INC, and another Chalabi, to promote and start a military conflict with Iran. This country does not need another war, and we need not make that mistake once again.
Given the MEK's dreadful human rights record and US support for human rights in Iran, delisting could make the US look hypocritical but in combination with other steps it could also advance US-Iran relations.
What is the appropriate response here? Should Gov. Perry distance himself from those who have associated with and advocated on behalf of Mujahedeen Khalq?
American officials who support the group like to quote the saying, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." By this logic, the group's opposition to the Tehran theocracy justifies American backing. But there is another saying to consider: "The means are the ends."
Once armed to the teeth by Saddam Hussein's regime, the inhabitants are now living in a country that does not want them, near the border of a government that they have been at war with for most of their existence.
A US step in the direction of friendlier relations with the MEK would almost certainly be pointed to as evidence that the US - which has praised the Greens and called for political reform inside Iran - is actually working to install an MEK regime in Tehran.
The Christian Science Monitor is out with a lengthy investigative piece today about the Mojahedin-e Khalq and efforts by its supporters to remove it from the U.S. State Department's list of international terrorist organizations.
All told, at least 33 high-ranking former U.S. officials have given speeches to MEK-friendly audiences since December of last year as part of more than 22 events in Washington, Brussels, London, Paris and Berlin. While not every speaker accepted payment, MEK-affiliated groups have spent millions of dollars on speaking fees, according to interviews with the former officials, organizers and attendees.
Iran expert and Atlantic Council Non-resident Senior Fellow Barbara Slavin highlighted the MEK's lack of support in Iran, noting that, in her travels to Iran as a journalist, she had only met a single individual who was a supporter of the group.
American diplomats have been trying to arrange new homes for the camp residents but have been hampered by the fact that their leaders refuse to accept refugee status.
"You have to look at the nature of this organization. It's like saying you support Nazis because you don't like communists." Barbara Slavin said.
The complicated case of the terrorist, cult-like Mujahedin-e- Khalq Organization has been a controversial debate among US politicians for years now.
Today, we in the United States face our own Norwegian moment as a massive lobbying campaign is underway to remove the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
Take, for example, recent moves by U.S. officials to remove Mujahedin-e Khalq from its terrorism registry, which would qualify it to receive U.S. funding, despite what Iran calls "a compelling record of terrorist activities."... Is this not actively supporting and attempting to provide safe haven for terrorism?
None would disclose how much they had been paid but Ed Rendell, the former Pennsylvania governor, said he received $20,000 for an 11-minute speech. "But even if I was paid $50,000, I wouldn't do it if I didn't believe in it," he said.