I’d be interested in informed comments about this news:
The State Department announced Friday that it has removed the Mujahedin-e Khalq, an Iranian exile group known as the MEK, from its list of foreign terrorist organizations.
The move follows an intense, years-long, and well-funded lobbying push by the group and its supporters, in which numerous high-level former U.S. officials and politicians participated. It also comes closely after the resolution of efforts to relocate several thousand MEK members in Iraq. In addition, a federal court ruled in June that the State Department had until Oct. 1 to decide whether or not the MEK still belonged on the terror list.
“With today’s actions, the Department does not overlook or forget the MEK’s past acts of terrorism, including its involvement in the killing of U.S. citizens in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on U.S. soil in 1992,” the State Department said in a statement. “The Department also has serious concerns about the MEK as an organization, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed against its own members.”
The statement added that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s decision “took into account the MEK’s public renunciation of violence, the absence of confirmed acts of terrorism by the MEK for more than a decade, and their cooperation in the peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf, their historic paramilitary base.”
…Marquee names from both major political parties — including Michael Mukasey, Patrick Kennedy, Rudy Giuliani, Andy Card, Howard Dean, Lee Hamilton, Bill Richardson, Tom Ridge, Wesley Clark, Fran Townsend, and John Bolton — have spoken out on behalf of the MEK in recent years. Many of those, and others, have received tens of thousands of dollars for their participation at MEK events, a fact that earlier this year drew the attention of the counterterrorism arm of the Treasury Department.
Does this in any significant way advance the prospects for ousting the current regime in Iran?