The Arab-language TV channel Aljazeera broadcast a report about the conference in Washington on Thursday, where a number of senior US officials from the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations called for the removal of the main Iranian opposition, People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), from the State Department’s blacklist.
The TV channel said on Friday, “Former US officials said if the Iranian regime refuses to stop its nuclear activities, it will have to face the consequences.”
Referring to nuclear negotiations with the regime, it added, “The US State Department’s spokesman said he did not expect any significant developments during the negotiations between the big powers and the Iranian regime in Istanbul over the nuclear program.”
Broadcasting a report from Washington, Aljazeera said, “Former US officials, some of whom were in the inner circle of the Obama administration up until a few months ago say the Iranian regime is the biggest threat to the world, and remains a terrorist dictatorship whose nuclear weapons program is accelerating faster than the pace of sanctions.”
“The panel included James Jones, a former National Security Advisor in the administration, who held the position until last October. He said there is an unprecedented consensus on Iran among the Americans, Arabs and Europeans.”
“James Jones also said that an understanding is being formed in the international community that if the Iranian regime refuses to comply with its obligations, there will be negative outcomes. He said the agreement between the US, the Arab world and the Europeans on the issue has been unprecedented over the past 20 years.”
Aljazeera also said, “The positions expressed at the symposium, which discussed what should be done after engagement and sanctions, called for the removal of the PMOI from the list of State Department terrorist organizations in order to bolster the opposition both inside and outside Iran, to establish freedom in the country.”
The TV quoted Anthony Zinni, former commander of US forces in the Middle East, as saying that a war would create challenges and harm global economy affecting the flow of oil. It will also put innocent civilians in harm’s way, he said.
The Aljazeera reporter said the speakers believed that the military option should remain on the table but it is not the favored option.
“Such conferences are very important,” Aljazeera said, “especially because the opinions of former officials are usually sought by the administration, if required. The advice of think thanks in the US are also solicited.”
With increasing domestic pressure on the US government, some believe that negotiations with Iran cannot be an effective campaign slogan for Obama for the next president campaign.