BRUSSELS, BELGIUM–(Marketwire – Jan. 28, 2011) – In an international conference on Iran, a bipartisan group of senior former US government officials, joined by prominent Members of the European Parliament, urged the United States to undertake a fresh approach to the Tehran regime.
They called for removal of the principal Iranian opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) from the list of terrorist groups in the United States, while adding that urgent action was needed to protect the residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq.
Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran, was joined by General James Jones, former National Security Advisor to President Obama; Bill Richardson, former New Mexico governor and US ambassador to the UN under President Clinton; Michael Mukasey, former Attorney General; John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN; and Amb. Dell Dailey, State Department’s Counterterrorism Coordinator until April 2009.
European Parliament Vice President Alejo Vidal Quadras led an EP delegation. Belgian Senator Dirk Claes, Irene Khan, former Amnesty International Secretary General, Prof. Ruth Wedgwood of Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC and international lawyer Juan Garcés also addressed the conference. The event was sponsored by International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) and the Belgian Parliamentary Committee for Democratic Iran.
“The Iranian people are not alone in suffering. The legitimate concern for all people in Camp Ashraf, in the Iraqi pledges to the United States for the safety and security, needs to be recognized and revitalized…,” Gen. Jones noted.
Governor Richardson added, “It does make sense to delist the PMOI/MEK as a terrorist organization. There is no terrorist link, there is no capability, no intent… America needs to follow the lead of the European Union and the European Parliament.”
“Religious dictatorship in Iran must end. This could be achieved neither with war nor through appeasement. The solution is the third option: democratic change by the Iranian people and the Resistance,” Mrs. Rajavi emphasized.
Mr. Mukasey added, “It is important that the designation be removed, before Iran and those acting on its behalf can wear down the residents of Ashraf and force them to leave, or impose even worse fate on them.”
While highlighting the role PMOI/MEK in any future policy towards Iran, Ambassador Bolton underscored “The policy of the United States must unequivocally be the overthrow of the regime in Tehran.”
Ambassador Daily emphasized, “The conditions have changed significantly in Ashraf and the Middle East to clearly justify the revocation of PMOI’s terrorist designation… The PMOI is a powerful counterbalance to Iran regime.”
Dr. Vidal Quadras said, “There exists a well-organized, powerful and committed opposition movement inside the country. Two immediate and urgent priorities emerge. The first is to protect Ashraf residents and the second is to remove the PMOI from US blacklist.”
“The real hope of tens of millions of Iranians is the PMOI. We must confront the mullahs before they gain hegemony in the Middle East. And it doesn’t mean armed invasion, it means taking the PMOI off the US terror list and it means providing protection for the brave residents of Camp Ashraf,” added Scottish MEP, Struan Stevenson.
International Committee of In Search of Justice