PARIS, December 22, 2010 (AFP) – Several senior former U.S. officials in the G. W. Bush administration expressed support for the Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Paris on Wednesday, calling the U.S. to remove the group from its list of terrorist organizations.
Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani sought a change of policy towards Iran.
“Appeasement of dictators leads to war, destruction and the loss of human lives. There can be only one answer to tyranny: to resist with force and determination,” Giuliani told an audience of several hundred supporters of the PMOI.
The speakers also declared support for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an opposition group in exile in Tehran regime, which includes the PMO as its main member organization.
The PMOI, which was removed last year from the list of terrorist organizations by the European Union, has remained on the U.S. list.
“For your organization to be described as a terrorist organization is just really a disgrace. The United States should be enthusiastically on your side. You want the same things we want,” said Giuliani, who is considered to be a hero for his work as mayor with New Yorkers after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
“The PMOI is not a terrorist organization, they represent the voice of freedom in Iran,” agreed Tom Ridge.
For her part, the President-elect of the NCRI, Maryam Rajavi, said the only solution to the Iranian crisis was democratic regime change organized by the Iranian people and resistance.
At the event, the NCRI unveiled a letter signed by dozens of former government leaders and ministers from around the world calling on President Barack Obama to delist the PMOI.
Founded in 1965 with the aim of overthrowing the Shah’s regime and later the Islamist regime, the PMOI fled Iran in the 1980s.