Some initial thoughts on the MEK being delisted

Israel/PalestineMiddle EastUS Politics
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Editor’s Note: Yesterday, after I heard that the State Department was set to take the Iranian group Mujahideen al-Khalq (MEK) off the Foreign Terrorist Organization list I emailed Nima Shirazi to ask him his thoughts. Here’s his response. – Adam Horowitz

My thoughts are these:

US State Dept probably made such a decision for the following reasons:

1. The political pressure from MEK’s highly-paid lobbyists (e.g. Dersh, Rendell, Dean, Townsend, Giuliani, Ridge, Ros-Lehtinen, Mukasey, Jim Jones, Wesley Clark) was probably not as powerful a tool as the fear of these people getting prosecuted for supporting a declared terrorist organization.  With all the recent attention and mainstream reporting on MEK tactics, events and money funneled to these public figures, I think State worried about DOJ actually having to act upon its own “material support” laws (which obviously were only intended to target Muslims, not fine, upstanding, establishment scumbags like Sheila Jackson-Lee.)

2. The US and Israel are already funding, training and arming the MEK.  Delisting the group, in real terms, barely does anything in a tangible sense.  It’s far more of a de-moralizing tactic to punish the Iranian people for not doing the bidding of regime change advocates here in the West.

3. The decision may be designed to distract the Iranian delegation during its UN General Assembly visit next week.  Rather than having to focus on the obvious threats and lies coming from Netanyahu (which has been in the news so much lately that people are starting to catch on), the Iranian delegation – lead as usual by Ahmadinejad himself – will now have to address this decision all week, rather than the overhyped warmongering.

Also, an interesting element of this is that, if the US doesn’t believe the allegations about Mossad’s backing of the MEK to murder Iranian scientists, that probably means that the US believes (read: knows) that Mossad itself is responsible for the attacks (without using MEK operatives as proxies), as  revealed by Yossi Melman and Dav Raviv.

Just some thoughts…

About Nima Shirazi

Nima Shirazi is co-editor of the Iran, Iraq and Turkey pages for the online magazine Muftah. His political analysis can be found on his blog,, where this post first appeared. Follow him on Twitter @WideAsleepNima.

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