“All of our tools of persuasion of coerce Iran have failed. Iran has a fear of PMOI due its popularity and secular nature, they have the fear of PMOI its encouragement of free elections and rule of law, Iran has the fear of PMOI due to freedom of religion and no nuclear weapon or weapons of mass destruction, Iran has the fear of the PMOI due to freedom of speech and press. Right now Iran fears the PMOI.” said Dell Dailey, Head of the U.S. State Department Counter Terrorism office in the Bush Administration, in an international conference on Iran in Brussels, January 25.
Excerpts from his remarks follow:
It is a distinct pleasure to be here in Brussels engaging in a dialogue with such prominent public leaders on such an important international, regional and also distinctly United States of America issue.
Such attention from my perspective covers two vitally important areas for the residents of the camp. It first continues to highlight the awful humanitarian conditions that exist there and it continues to focus on the importance of revoking the designation as a foreign terrorist organization for the PMOI.
Timing of this conference is flawless, right now the United States’ Department of State in its continuing process is considering efforts whether to retain the PMOI designation for the foreign terrorist organization list. It is critically important to ensure all relevant information from this conference gets to the US government during these important, critical deciding moments. And yes the “conditions” have changed significantly at Ashraf and the Middle East to clearly justify the revoccation.
Time is of the essence, like ambassador Bolton said, the Iranian regime is continuing to develop nuclear weapons. Time is also important as ever before for 3400 residents; men, women and children located in Camp Ashraf and their future vulnerability. This vulnerability is a function of the United States and coalition members progressing in the normalization of relations with the new post saddam Hussien nation of Iraq. But the increased irony of Iraq at the expense of members of camp Ashraf should not occur. The regional actors, United States, European Union and the UN need to maintain pressure on the government of Iraq to treat camp Ashraf members with dignity, care, restraint and respect. My first concern is humanitarian conditions in Ashraf, they are becoming abhorant and must be improved, the repeated incursions by Iraqi police have occurred on numerous dates. Some are on July 2009, October 2010, November 2010 and recently January 2011 all resulting in injuries or several in deaths.
More restraints have been put occupants of the camp Ashraf for obtaining medical care. For example limiting specialist doctor care and being denied hospital access an its likely cases. Couple that with continuous blasting of propaganda into the camp from over 180 loudspeakers to create conditions that are physically unlivable. These humanitarian attacks need to be stopped and not repeated.
As Iraq must make its peace with Iran and becomes a newly democratically led member of the region, camp Ashraf should not be the prize that Iran wins. Iran shown hatred for the camp and its residents so recently as the hanging of a visitor to Ashraf and a photographer of the elections of (debafule of the elections) they were hung just 2 days ago in Iran. This persists. For Iraq and United States members of Ashraf and the PMOI are the best counterbalance to Iranian aggression.
As a global terrorist state, Iran is supporting terror in Afghanistan, all the Middle East and now rapidly becoming a nuclear threat and power. Iran must be met and stopped and the PMOI has the contacts, insights, cultural awareness and a proven past record of providing the United States and hence the world with previously unknown intelligence about Iran. This effictive and reliable source of information should be used to the maximum by nations threaten now and in future by Iran. No other internal or external organization has been this productive in obtaining information on Iran. We should not allow it to fall idle.
The use of the Iran opposition, the PMOI, is a powerful counterbalance to Iran as already been shown. Its (regime’s) success in stopping the opposition is an important asset and target of Iran government.
So much so it continues to hunt ruthlessly inside Iran and possibly Iraq. Since United States remains militarily committed in Iraq and Afghanistan, it can do no further security operations in the region. Since the UN had adopted up to 3 security resolutions and applied economic sanctions with limited success, Iran stands with impudence and defiance to the world; while making its nuclear capability match its deliverable capability.
The PMOI and Iran opposition are the best instruments of power to get inside the Iran theocracy and undo them. No one expected an uprising in Tunisia and the people of Iran have a recent history of throwing off the rulers both in 1979 and almost recently in this past year. We should capitalize on this.
My second point is revocation of PMOI from the US foreign terrorist organization (FTO) list. United States has continued to retain PMOI on the FTO since its original inclusion numerous years ago. Many actions have occurred since then to require the United States to reevaluate this decision, our allies, both from the European Union and the United Kingdom have removed the PMOI from their comparable lists. This has been accomplished by thorough review of the facts, classified and unclassified, current indicators and a history from 2001 until now. No terrorist activity, the United States should do the same.
Most unfortunately reports indicate that Iraqi government continues with the unacceptable raids into camp Ashraf because the United states has identified the occupants as terrorists and therefore can be treated the same. Although important and occasionally useful the United States foreign terrorist organization list (FTO) has been marred in ill-thought out foreign policy. Currently the PMOI is on the list while the Taliban remain off of the list.
We have had thousands of American and coalition troops killed by the Taliban since 9/11 but not one killed by PMOI. Why are they still on the list? Why would the United States allow the Taliban to remain off of the list while keeping the PMOI on the list? This is poor inconsistent foreign policy!
This is the gravest miscarriage for the use of foreign terrorist organizational list. It brings a great discredit upon the United States for our most important resources, our people and our friends and it gives protection to the foreign leadership that has been sworn to kill us. It is appropriate for the Secretary of States to fix this gross embarrassment and obviously painful error as soon as possible.
In addition to the European Union and UK removing the PMOI from the list, numerous US congressmen and senators have expressed their support for the revocation. 113 signed House resolution 1431 for such removal. The Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism has encouraged the removal. With the new Congress seated and ready to fix problems, this also should be fixed immediately and cooperatively through our legislators our executive action.
Finally and most importantly, the conditions in which the list “have changed significantly” do want revocation. Those conditions are very clear, the rising power of Iran. If ever there was a time to reconsider it is now. All of our tools of persuasion of coerce Iran have failed. Iran has a fear of PMOI due its popularity and secular nature, they have the fear of PMOI its encouragement of free elections and rule of law, Iran has the fear of PMOI due to freedom of religion and no nuclear weapon or weapons of mass destruction, Iran has the fear of the PMOI due to freedom of speech and press. Right now Iran fears the PMOI.
Is Iran a possible Tunisia? With the PMOI riding to power through a democratic change in Iran? Let us hope so!
In closing, it is with great irony and embarrassment, and internationally confusing that United States and Iran are of equal mind and on the same team as keeping the PMOI on the foreign terrorist organization. We must revoke them from the terrorist designation list.