EFE – December 22, 2010 – Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani today led a group of U.S., French and Algerian politicians to call on the U.S. to remove the main opposition to the regime in Tehran, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), from its list of terrorist organizations.
“The United States should be enthusiastically on your side. You want the same things we want,” Giuliani said at the international conference held in Paris for the PMOI.
In frank comments that were reminiscent of those of the conservative administration of Ronald Regan, Giuliani said that the Iranian regime must fear the United States and its negotiating partners.
If we want an Iran without nuclear weapons the regime has to be afraid, said the conservative politician, who added that the West cannot tolerate violations of principles like equality between women and men or the universal right to vote.
Also speaking to the hundreds of people in attendance was the president-elect of the PMOI’s political arm, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, Maryam Rajavi, who described the regime in Tehran as fragile and divided by internal crises, lacking a social base and facing demands for democracy from the youths.
Rajavi said the West can choose between two options for dealing with Iran. The first is negotiations and offering “concessions” to the government of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an attempt to stop manufacturing the atomic bomb, and the second is to strongly support the Iranian resistance to produce regime change.
The PMOI’s listing as a terrorist organization by the US Department of State has damaged the engine of change in Iran and “punishes” the only organized Muslim movement capable of stopping the spread of Islamic fundamentalism, Rajavi said. She also said the movement supports a democratic country without nuclear weapons based on a tolerant and moderate understanding of Islam.
In 1997, the administration of Bill Clinton placed the PMOI on the US blacklist.
However, the listing has been maintained on several occasions, including in the administration of George W. Bush, for which several of the politicians now calling on the government to change its strategy and delist the PMOI served.
Among the figures present at the conference were Frances Townsend, former White House adviser on homeland security in the Bush administration, and judge Michael Mukasey, who was appointed by the former president as Attorney General of the United States.
Also attending the event in Paris was Tom Ridge, Secretary of Homeland Security during Bush’s first term. Referring to Iran, he said that one cannot reach out to those whose fists are clenched.
The PMOI was also listed as a terrorist organization by the European Union (EU), but was removed from the EU list in 2009.
The conference, also attended by former Algerian Prime Minister Sid Ahmed Ghozali and former French Minister of State, Alan Vivian, also called for an end to restrictions against close to 3,400 PMOI refugees in Camp Ashraf in northeastern Iraq.
Since the transfer of the camp’s control by the US to Iraqi authorities, the Iranian resistance claims that Iraqis are refusing to allow in doctors and that there are constant death threats issued from loudspeakers set up around the camp.