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The United States, Iran and Terrorism

For reasons that defy logic, France will once again host an anti-Iranian terrorist group meeting this weekend. The oddly named People’s Mojahedin Organization (most commonly known as the Mujahideen-e Khalq, but also operating under the following names and abbreviations: MEK PMOI, MKO, NCRI, Muslim Iranian Students Society, Organization of the People’s Holy Warriors of Iran, the National Liberation Army, Sazeman-e Mujahideen-e Khalq Iran), which supports the violent overthrow of the democratically-elected government of Iran, will meet in Paris. This organization, in addition to having the blessing of the French government, is endorsed by United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

The MKO was once listed by the U.S. as a terrorist organization, but that designation was removed in 2012. This was a puzzling move when looked at on the surface. According to one report, by early 2016, “…out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist assaults since the victory of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 had fallen victim to MKO’s terrorist attacks.” Some estimates put that number, and the number of MKO victims, much higher. Should an organization that has killed this many people in one country through terrorist activities not be designated a terrorist organization?

In May of 2017, the Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism (ADVT), an Iranian anti-terror group, met with the Swiss ambassador to Tehran, who represents U.S. interests there. Said the group: “All the families of the victims of terrorism are shocked by how [US] senators and officials are linked with and support the MKO leaders and consider it as a blatant support for terrorism in the international arena.”

Just two months later, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that Iran was “the primary state sponsor of terrorism”. This was a bizarre statement for many reasons, not the least of which is U.S. support for a terrorist group with a long list of Iranian victims, which to this day seeks the violent overthrow of the government. It seems to this writer that perhaps Mattis has missed the mark in signalling out Iran as “the primary state sponsor of terrorism”. Perhaps, just perhaps, it is the country that is bombing seven other nations, attempting to destabilize at least three more, and that supports MKO as it strives to topple the Iranian government, not caring who it kills in the process. This, of course, is not Iran, but the U.S.

How serious are the crimes of this group? As early as 2003, one analyst said that “The leaders of MKO cult must be brought to justice in a court of crimes against humanity in a fair trial. The ICC (inThe Hague) is the proper place to give a fair trial for their atrocities against their own members and other Iranians.” Of course, that was, according to the U.S., before the organization ‘reformed’, and was then removed from the U.S. terrorist list. So now it is simply a benign political organization, almost like a lobby group. So there.

In the summer of 2016, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief addressed the MKO conference, also held in Paris. His very presence indicated his support for an organization whose stated goal is the overthrow of the Iranian government.

Let’s look for a moment at another organization that the U.S. has officially declared ‘terrorists’. Hamas, the democratically-elected government of Palestine’s Gaza Strip, is so designated chiefly because its charter once stated its goal as the destruction of Israel. Why, one might ask (if one is particularly naïve) would one organization’s goal of destroying one country mark it as a terrorist group, yet the same goal of another organization is supported by the U.S? Why will the U.S. refuse to meet with representatives of one group (Hamas), and yet welcome with open arms, and open pocketbooks, the other (MKO)?

U.S. spokespeople will proclaim that the mighty U.S. only wants to rid the world of terrorists, and make it safe for democracy. This fairy tale is hard to believe when one considers that since the end of World War II, the U.S. has killed at least 20 million people. It’s difficult to swallow, when the U.S. supports Saudi Arabia’s bombing of civilian centers in Yemen, as it allows terrorist groups to unite and gain strength. The lie of U.S. goodness and morality somehow doesn’t fit with its long support of ISIS. And certainly its endorsement of MKO throws more mud on its already filthy reputation.

And what of Hamas? The people of the Gaza Strip grew tired of being governed by a U.S. and Israeli puppet, and therefore elected an organization that actually tried to assist them. That Fatah, led by the traitor Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, and Israel and the U.S. have done everything possible to thwart Hamas’s efforts would seem to make the U.S. and Israel terrorist groups, not Hamas.

But such is the topsy-turvy world of U.S. doublespeak. Murder, kidnapping, torture, etc., are only wrong when done by countries the U.S. doesn’t like; but when the U.S. or one of its allies perpetuates these atrocities, it’s all done in the name of freedom, democracy and morality.

And why doesn’t the U.S. like some countries? Iran is its enemy because Iran is Israel’s chief rival for power and influence in the Middle East, and pro-Israel lobbies in the U.S. have long since bought and paid for the U.S. Congress. Iraq had the nerve to place itself atop oil that the U.S. owned; well, maybe it didn’t own it, but destroying Iraq enabled the U.S. to steal it, and also make a fortune for such characters as then Vice President Dick Cheney, whose company made billions on ‘reconstruction’. Yemen resists annexation by Saudi Arabia, a nation that, like Israel, has an abominable human rights record, but spends millions on U.S. weaponry. The U.S. doesn’t care who those weapons are used on, as long as they are bought from the U.S.

And so U.S. support for MKO makes perfect sense in the senseless world of U.S. governance. Add it to the long list of terror organizations that the U.S. has either established or supported. The innocent blood that is shed by MKO in Iran, and also in Yemen and other nations, matters not at all to the U.S. Its brutal geopolitical goals must be achieved; if that is over the dead bodies of innocent men, women and children around the world, so be it. Money and power are all that matters; human rights, international law and common decency be damned.

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Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

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