Time to Redress a Grave Injustice
The world watches with apprehension as
Iran's ruling mullahs persist with violations of human rights,
sponsorship of terrorism, and nuclear development. The regime
threatens regional and global security through a lethal mix
of fundamentalism and nuclear weapons.
As the EU has tried "constructive engagement" with
the clerical regime, the mullahs have shown no willingness to
respond properly, demanding that the main opposition group,
the People's Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), be listed as a terrorist
group. Giving in to that demand has only helped those who use
terror at home and sponsor it abroad, while the mullahs' nuclear
is time for the EU to focus on the democratic aspirations of
the Iranian people. Europe and the rest of the world should
be on the side of the millions demanding freedom and human rights,
not those who have stolen these from them.
co-chaired a symposium at Church House, Westminster, London,
on 22 March, where dozens of members of both Houses of Parliament
from the three major political parties joined more than 500
lawyers, human rights advocates, trade unionists, clergymen,
student activists and members of the Anglo-Iranian community
to call on the Government to de-proscribe the PMOI and remove
a serious impediment to democratic change in Iran.
Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the opposition coalition,
the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said via satellite
link-up, "The terrorist label against the Iranian Resistance
is not only a move against an opposition movement. It is capitulation
to the dictates of the ayatollahs and a barrier to change in
both appeasement and military intervention, Mrs. Rajavi called
for support for democratic change by the Iranian people and
the Iranian resistance movement.
the law on the side of the resistance, we must stand by the
Iranian people in their struggle against the religious tyranny.
On 15 March, millions of young Iranians heeded the PMOI's call
to turn the traditional end-of-Persian-year fire festival into
a national protest against mullahs' tyranny. These young Iranians
need the support and encouragement of freedom-loving people
around the world. By blacklisting their resistance movement,
we are sending them the opposite signal.
The terrorist tag must be hung around the neck of the real terrorists,
the mullahs who rule Iran, not their victims. The symposium
in London was part of a growing campaign to undo this injustice.
Appeasement must end and the PMOI removed from the terror list
to signal support for democratic change by the Iranian people
and their legitimate representative, the National Council of
Resistance of Iran.
Corbett of Castle Vale
Rt. Hon. The Lord Slynn of Hadley, QC
Empower Iran's opposition forces
Checking the mullahs
International Herald Tribune
- Jan 28, 2005 - How should the world deal with the challenges
posed by the Iranian regime, with its continuing support for terrorism,
increasing meddling in Iraq and relentless pursuit of nuclear
under debate range from engagement, with the hope of empowering
the "moderates," to military invasion.
But the best option is to initiate change through the Iranian
people and the organized resistance movement.
is no need for war; no one would want to see an Iraq II played
out in Iran. But engagement, which has shaped policy toward Iran
on both sides of the Atlantic for two decades, has been a disaster,
strengthening the most radical factions of the ruling theocracy.
The failure to isolate a religious dictatorship bent on spreading
its fiery brand of Islamic fundamentalism and acquiring nuclear
weapons has led to the current stalemate.
Tehran's missiles, capable of bearing weapons of mass destruction,
can reach eastern and southern Europe.
No concession is going to dissuade the mullahs from continuing
their ominous objectives.
Only days after Tehran signed an agreement with Britain, France
and Germany to temporarily suspend its uranium enrichment activities,
Iran's powerful former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, boasted,
"Tehran is set to be a member of the nuclear club soon and
will resume enrichment after a maximum of six months."
The engagement policy failed even to keep President Mohammad Khatami
and his camp, dubbed as moderate in the West, viable.
Today, the most extreme faction dominates the political establishment,
and the Revolutionary Guards control most levers of power, including
But there is another answer: democracy.
The more than a thousand students who shouted antigovernment slogans
during a speech by Khatami at Tehran University last month are
evidence that Iranians seek a change in the totality of the regime.
As a first step in that direction, Western governments must not
assist the ruling theocracy.
And that means removing the terrorist tag that has been put on
the People's Mujahedeen Organization.
group is the pivotal force in the largest Iranian opposition coalition,
the National Council of Resistance, which has revealed Tehran's
nuclear, missile and terrorist plans.
In 1997, the U.S. State Department placed the People's Mujahedeen
on the list of foreign terrorist organizations as a goodwill gesture
to Khatami, who was Iran's new president.
But after a 16-month investigation in Iraq, where the group has
had a presence on the Iranian frontier for 18 years, the United
States determined that its members were "protected persons
under the Fourth Geneva Convention" and that there was no
basis to charge any of them.
Over the years, many U.S. Congressmen and their counterparts in
Europe, citing the group's widespread popular and religious roots
in Iran, have described the People's Mujahedeen as a legitimate
resistance movement and the antithesis to Islamic fundamentalism,
stressing that it should be removed from the terror list.
November, the International Conference of Jurists, a convention
of 500 human-rights lawyers in Paris, declared that blacklisting
the organization was a violation of the European Convention on
Human Rights, the fundamental right to defense and the presumption
The Iranian resistance is committed to holding free and fair elections
within six months of regime change, to electing a constituent
assembly and handing over affairs to the people's elected representatives.
It seeks a peaceful Iran without weapons of mass destruction,
on good terms with its neighbors and dedicated to friendship with
the world community.
More than fifty years after the coup that toppled the elected
government of Mohammed Mossadegh, fate has again put America at
a historic crossroads.
time, unlike in 1953, the United States must identify itself with
the Iranian people and their aspirations for freedom, democracy
and a secular state.
such an approach can guarantee lasting peace and stability in
the Middle East.
(Maryam Rajavi is president of the National Council of Resistance