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The mullahs' mouthpiece in the US
Tuesday, 09 August 2011
By David Amess, British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom
For two decades, the policy of appeasement has dominated the relationship between the West and Iran. Realpolitik was top of the agenda as the Iranian regime’s cronies in the U.S. cloaked as “Iran experts” and analysts recommended offering incentives to the regime in Tehran in return for constructive coexistence with Iran.
Strong rhetoric had to be replaced with constructive dialogue for improving relations, they argued, claiming that such an approach would in the long-term lead to reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Iran, severed since 1979.
The advocates of appeasement were fully convinced that this doctrine would eventually prompt a hidden reformist inside the clerical system who in the long run could improve the situation in Iran through subsequent reforms and achieve constructive coexistence between the US and Iran. Believing the theocracy in Tehran to be a lasting regional superpower, they pushed for dialogue and ignored the regime’s barbaric violations of its citizens’ human rights, its pursuit of nuclear weapon and its support for terrorism throughout the world.
An essential implication emerging directly from this appeasement doctrine was the blacklisting of the main Iranian opposition to the theocracy in Tehran, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK).
The MEK, which has for three decades opposed clerical rule and seeks a free, democratic and secular Iran, was put on the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations list in 1997 and subsequently blacklisted in the U.K. and E.U. After a series of legal battles the MEK was de-listed in the U.K. in 2008 and in the E.U. in 2009. Last year the Court of Appeals in Washington found in the group’s favor and ordered the State Department to review the designation. More than 400 days later, the State Department is still reviewing the case.
Appeasement has emboldened the theocratic regime to spread Islamic fundamentalism, use terror at home to suppress dissent, and move aggressively ahead in its quest to obtain a nuclear bomb. Last week the Treasury Department imposed additional sanctions on Iran for facilitating al Qaeda’s operations in the region.
Iran’s increasing threats to world peace have alerted a whole host of global lawmakers and senior former U.S. officials who have questioned the wisdom in continuing to appease Iran. They include two former chairmen of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff, a former commander of NATO, a former national security advisor to the president, a former attorney general, two former directors of the CIA, two former U.S. ambassadors at the U.N., a former Homeland Security secretary, a former White House chief of staff, a former commander of the Marine Corps, a former policy planning director of the State Department, a former director of the FBI, and the list goes on.
These former officials have acknowledged one of the root causes of the failure of U.S. policy towards Iran has been the blacklisting of its main opposition, the MEK, which has hampered the efforts of the opposition in bringing about democratic change. The blacklisting, they argue, was never legally justified and nor is it politically prudent anymore. These officials have called on the State Department to de-list the MEK.
Now, as Secretary Clinton seems close to making a decision, Iran’s apologists in the US have started to panic. With no sound argument for the ban to be maintained, Tehran’s advocates in Washington are rushing to the mullahs’ rescue with a notorious tactic: If you cannot kill the message, kill the messenger. They have now embarked on a campaign to demonize those officials who speak in favor of the MEK, accusing them of speaking only to get paid.
Blinded by the truth, the regime’s cronies are trying desperately to save the futile appeasement policy and brazenly demand that these American politicians, senior military officers and security officials openly advocate a more lenient U.S. attitude towards the Iranian regime, even as the mullahs in Tehran are behind the killing of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. They accuse any and all who do not dance to the tune of the mullahs of wanting war on Iran and being on the payroll of the Iranian Resistance.
Too bad for the mullahs in Tehran that the West is steadily becoming united in its efforts to tackle its nuclear weapons drive. It’s time now to expose Iran’s cronies in the West who are advocating continued appeasement and leading the world to an ultimate confrontation with a nuclear-armed Iran.
David Amess, a conservative member of Parliament from the United Kingdom, is a leading member of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom.