Huffpost UK Politics uk
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Peter Martindale Headshot

Good Morning Mr Obama, Do You Understand Iran?

Posted: Updated:


As the Obama administration continues to favour the Iranian regime of the ayatollahs, over the Iranian people, one has to question how in command of the reality of the situation, the President of the USA is. .

For some years, the Iranian freedom movement has been asking America to stop hindering its progress with backroom deals with, and appeasement of, the Iranian regime. There are certain sanctions against the regime, as opposed to of the people, which could help the movement, but apart from that they do not want assistance from America for what Iranians view as their internal struggle. One of the ways in which America is, knowingly, hindering the whole freedom movement in Iran, is in its listing of the key group, the MEK/PMOI (Mojahedin-e-Khalq), as a terrorist organisation! Furthermore this listing was only imposed as recently as 1997 and at the behest of the Iranian regime, as one of the bargaining chips in the USA's soft, and ineffective, approach to dealing with the Ayatollah led government in Tehran. Furthermore, Iran even persuaded the USA in 2003 to bomb the MEK headquarters that was located a safe distance inside Iraq!
Had the USA supported the MEK, then with this stronger lever in their hands they would have been able to apply more effective pressure on Iran, instead of which the USA has rendered itself almost impotent in its dealings with the mullahs. Change is always ultimately from within to be successful. It is probably fair to say that, worldwide there are strong reservations about American interventions which are often perceived as imperialistic and mis-managed.

The American courts have found the US Government stance on proscription of the MEK to be flawed; when is the US government going to set the example to show that it is democratic and respects the decisions of independent judiciary and the rule of law, that it calls on other governments around the world to do?
Other world powers have examined the MEK and come to the conclusion that it is not a terrorist organisation.

What message does it send to other regimes in the region, that legitimate freedom movements can be proscribed as trouble makers and terrorists? What hope does it give to other freedom movements that their role model is deemed illegal by the USA?

Tens of thousands of Iran's youth have been executed for the most spurious reasons by kangaroo courts, simply to satisfy an almost satanic bloodlust of the mullahs, and to intimidate the population with fear. This is well documented and has been the modus operandi in Iran for three decades. America frequently cites 'it is killing its own citizens' as the battle cry to overthrow a government, whether Iraq, Libya, Syria, or as we have seen in even the most American 'friendly' state, Egypt.
The major states of the rest of the world have recognised the PMOI as legitimate; is this yet another example of America being out of touch with the world? When the American government is so out of kilter with world events, it is little wonder it makes a mess of international relations.
Tehran is working to undermine the freedom movements in other countries in the Persian Gulf. Is the USA unwitting in its assistance to Tehran by undermining the Iranian freedom movement - or does it once again have some alterior motive, as it did in the overthrow of Prime Minister Mosadegh of Iran and of both the preceding and succeeding Shahs?

Proponents in the Obama administration of the proscribing of the MEK, maintain that the group is insignificant. If that is so then why does Tehran refer to their exixtence so often, and point to the fact that The USA lists the group as terrorists? Why does the Islamic fundamentalist regime in Iran sign agreements with the government in Iraq to eradicate the MEK? If it is so then why does the Tehran regime occupy itself with lobbying other governments to persuade them that the MEK are terrorists? Why does Tehran trouble itself with having supporters of the PMOI in other countries killed? If the MEK/PMOI is so insignificant, then remove it from the list of terrorist organisations, and let it be: at worst then it can be just one of the groups bringing its supporters to the ground swell of Iranian desire for regime change and for freedom.

To give the Obama government the benefit of the doubt, it is by default that it is propping up the regime in Tehran. It is now no longer America's dirty secret that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein has handed power in Iraq to allies of the Iranian regime. If Iran is not to consolidate its hold on Iraq and thence on the wider region, then the Iranian freedom movement has to succeed quickly. What Iranians want is for America to step aside and allow them to have their 'Persian Spring'. The consequences of not doing, are too awful for the whole world, thereby allowing a fundamentalist regime to expand its grip on the region. Surely that is the worst nightmare of the relatives of servicemen killed or wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Does America really stand for freedom?

American military personnel, and later validated by American judges, investigated the MEK and deemed them allies of America. They signed individual contracts to protect every one of the MEK members at their refugee camp in Iraq. The FBI have concurred with this assessment. Yet Mr Obama and his State Department, have a diferent view.

The MEK base at Camp Ashraf, is, at the time of writing, surrounded by Iraqi and Iranian military personnel threatening to kill the residents. There have been several such attacks over the last two years, resulting in dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries of these members of a freedom movement. The Tehran-Baghdad alliance justifies the attacks as being against a terrorist group, and point to the fact that MEK is on the American list of terror organisations. If there is a decency in President Obama, a humanity, then he must de-list the organisation and enable the UN to perform its role of protecting these refugees, who have the status of Protected Persons under the Geneva Convention. Indeed, he, and his government, is in breach of international law if he fails to. President Obama, these are people's lives you are using as pawns in your negotiations with Tehran.

Perhaps the language that America understands is, that; there will be regime change in Iran; does America want to benefit from the trade opportunities that will ensue, or be excluded by a population which will not forgive their treachery?

------------------------------