September 25, 2017

January 26, 2009

[spoiler title=”EU to take Iranian group off terror blacklist”] January 26, 2009

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) – European Union foreign ministers have decided to remove an Iranian opposition group from the EU’s terror list.

Diplomats say the decision takes affect on Tuesday and ensures that the assets of the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran will be unfrozen.

The move is likely to lead to a further deterioration of EU ties with Iran, which wanted the group to remain blacklisted.

Monday’s decision enacts several court rulings that said the EU had failed to prove the Iranian group was a terrorist outfit. It is the first time an organization has been “de-listed” by the EU. [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Iranian Mojahedin (PMOI) no longer considered Terrorists”] Published: January 26, 2009
Stop Fundamentalism

Stop Fundamentalism, 26 January, 2009 – After 7 years of continuous struggle in Europe, the Iranian main opposition group, People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, has managed to remove itself from European list of terrorist organizations.

A European Court had earlier annulled the blacklisting and ruled that the council of ministers was wrong to include the organization in the list. The final ruling came on 4 December last year, ordering the council to remove the organization immediately from the list.

Reuters reported today that the European states agreed on Monday to remove exiled Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahidin Organization of Iran (PMOI) from the EU list of banned terrorist groups. The list includes Palestinian Hamas and Sri Lanka’s Tamil tigers. The PMOI is the group which exposed Iran’s covert nuclear program in 2002. PMOI enjoys the support of many Iranian exiles in Europe and also has won the support of majority among many European parliaments. The group also enjoys huge support inside of Iran enabling it to expose many activities of the Iranian regime including its military nuclear program and also its meddling in the Middle East. PMOI’s main stronghold is in Ashraf city in Iraq in which about 4000 Iranian dissidents reside under the protection of the 4tth Geneva Conventions. Iraq’s government has continuously threatened to closed down the city and extradite the residents back to Iran reasoning that the organization is listed as terrorist organization in Europe. PMOI allies have repeatedly accused the EU of seeking to “appease” Tehran by keeping the group blacklisted, Reuters reports.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told reporters that “We have to find a way to respect the court judgment … I think the Iranian standoff with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) is very clear. During 2009 there will and should be significant focus on this issue. [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”The Iranian Resistance condemns the blackmailing of German government institutions in Iran”] January 24, 2009
NCRI

NCRI – As the meeting of EU Council of Ministers and an announcement on the new EU list of terrorist organizations approaches, the ruling fascism in Iran resorts to various levers, especially blackmail through hostage-taking threats, in a bid to coerce European countries into violating the rulings of Europe’s highest judicial authorities by maintaining the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) on the blacklist. On January 22, the Iranian regime, through its commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, attempted to threaten the German government with a repeat of the U.S. embassy take-over in Tehran in 1979 in order to compel Germany to bow to its demands. On January 21, the German daily Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger wrote in this regard, “The Iranian regime has levied very serious allegations against German education facilities, foundations, media, and embassy in Tehran, accusing them of carrying out spying activities. Iran’s military commander has threatened Germany with a potential take-over of its embassy.”

The Iranian Resistance condemns the mullahs’ threats and blackmail regarding hostage-taking of German foundations, and invites Germany to adopt a firm stance vis-à-vis the ruling mullahs and to prevent the religious fascism to take European countries hostage and turn them into tools used for the attainment of its fundamentalist and terrorist objectives.

During the past seven years, the erroneous and failed policy of appeasement has not only served as the major roadblock on the path of democratic change in Iran, but it has also acted as the main factor in intensifying suppression inside Iran and the emboldening of this regime to export fundamentalism and terrorism and pursue nuclear weapons. The price of this policy has been paid by the lives and financial assets of millions of Iranians who live under the mullah regime’s suppression.

It is time for the international community to stop the dictatorship in Iran, which acts as the most active sponsor of international terrorism, through the adoption of a completely firm policy as well as implementation of comprehensive sanctions against it.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
January 22, 2008 [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”PMOI members arrested in Iran”] Middle East Times
January 19, 2009

TEHRAN, Jan. 19 (UPI) — Elderly members of the dissident People’s Mujahedin of Iran were arrested at an Iranian airport and transferred to the notorious Evin Prison, the group said. The PMOI said family members of residents from its Camp Ashraf enclave in Iraq’s Diyala province were arrested Friday by members of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security at Mehrabad Airport in Tehran.

The PMOI is an Iranian resistance movement seeking regime change in Iran. It is considered a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States and Iraq, though the group is under U.S. military protection as protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran, the Paris-based political wing of the PMOI, said most of those detained ranged in age from 60 to 80 years. The NCRI said the MOIS agents transferred the detainees to Evin Prison, where several political prisoners are held. There is speculation that Ron Arad, the Israeli air force pilot captured by Hezbollah in 1986, was held at Evin Prison for a short time.

Both groups noted the PMOI members were traveling to Iraq carrying the appropriate documents and called on the international community to intervene to protect the detainees as Evin Prison is notorious for its human-rights violations.

Another PMOI member, Abdolreaz Rajabi, died Oct. 30 while in detention at Gohardasht Prison from alleged torture at the hands of Iranian authorities.

© 2009 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be reproduced, redistributed, or manipulated in any form. [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Iran Hangs 22 in Executions This Week”] January 22, 2009
New York Times

TEHRAN – Iran hanged 22 convicted criminals in mass executions on Tuesday and Wednesday in Tehran and a few other cities, official news media reported. Iran has the highest number of executions in the world after China. Crimes like murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and adultery are punished by execution. The state-run television news reported Thursday that 10 men were hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison on Wednesday. The semi-official Fars news agency reported that an 11th man, scheduled to be executed in February, witnessed the hanging of the 10. The Iranian news accounts said the convicts included a drug addict who murdered his aunt, and a robber who killed a cabdriver.

Fars also reported that six men convicted of murder and drug trafficking were hanged on Tuesday in the central city of Yazd. Three more men were hanged in Yazd on Wednesday, the ISNA Student News Agency reported.
The government-run daily newspaper Iran reported that a drug smuggler identified only by his first name, Gholam, was hanged on Tuesday in the city of Kardj. And two men also identified by their first names, Mohammad, 41, and Reza, 34, were hanged Tuesday in the central city of Isfahan. [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Clear and Present Danger”] WASHINGTON — Now that the festivities are over, it is time for the masters of the media to stop asking inane questions of the new folks in town — such as, “How do you like your new office?” — and for the Obama administration to get down to work on a clear and present danger.

Notwithstanding the “day one” and “first week” coverage, the most pressing issue confronting the American people isn’t closing “Gitmo” or the always ephemeral “Mideast peace process” in the aftermath of Gaza or even “fixing the economy.” Item No. 1 ought to be preventing the world’s No. 1 exporter of radical Islamic terror from obtaining nuclear weapons: Iran. Unfortunately, the new administration is not off to an auspicious start.

On Wednesday, less than 24 hours after his inaugural, the Obama White House Web site announced, inter alia , that they will engage in “tough and direct” diplomacy with Iran “without preconditions” and that he intends to use “the power of American diplomacy” to deal with “Iran’s illicit nuclear program, support for terrorism, and threats toward Israel.” According to the statement, the new commander in chief believes that “seeking this kind of comprehensive settlement with Iran is our best way to make progress.” If that’s really what Mr. Obama believes, he is — to put it politely — mistaken. This “new approach” includes little more than what our European allies have been trying for more than five years.

The White House statement suggests that if Iran abandons its effort to acquire nuclear weapons, the U.S. will offer incentives, such as membership in the World Trade Organization, new economic investment and normalized diplomatic relations. It also notes that if Iran continues its “troubling behavior,” we will lead efforts to further Iranian economic and political isolation. The only difference between this proposal and the Bush administration’s is that the U.S. now will have an official seat at the table while Tehran’s emissaries diddle the diplomats with deceit, deception and delay.

Before issuing such a “bold initiative” and “outreach” toward the theocrats ruling in Tehran, Mr. Obama’s advisers should have shown their boss the report provided late last month to French President Nicolas Sarkozy from a nonpartisan parliamentary commission on Iran’s nuclear program. The report details Tehran’s success in circumventing U.N. sanctions and concludes that Iranian scientists already have the know-how to build a nuclear weapon and that unless action is taken to prevent it, they will possess all necessary technology, equipment and fissile material to deploy nuclear weapons no later than the end of next year, “perhaps sooner.”

Note to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and CIA Director-designate Leon Panetta: President Sarkozy has shared this report with other Western intelligence and diplomatic missions, but only the Europeans appear to have read it. They are not waiting for the “new hand of progress” to do a grip and grin with a radical Iranian ayatollah who believes “Zionism should be wiped from the earth.”

On Thursday, while Mrs. Clinton was doing a meet and greet with her new staff at Foggy Bottom, diplomats from the 27 states of the European Union recommended removing an Iranian exile opposition group, the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, from the EU terror list. The agreement is expected to be ratified by the EU foreign ministers when they meet in Brussels, Belgium, Monday.

If the EU determination is affirmed, only the U.S. will continue to describe the PMOI as a “terrorist organization” — a designation it earned in the 1980s, when it received support from Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war. I know because I chaired the meeting that made the recommendation. But that was then; this is now.

The PMOI, it should be noted, is the group that first alerted the world to Iran’s covert nuclear program. Though most Western intelligence agencies dismissed the charge in 2002 and the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency scoffed at the allegations, the information was spot on. Since then, the PMOI has provided covert surveillance and reporting on inbound and outbound Iranian arms shipments, such as the weapons-laden vessel bound for Syria interdicted this week in the Red Sea by a U.S. warship on counter-piracy patrol. Unfortunately, only the lawyers were at work Wednesday, so the Cypriot-flagged ship was allowed to proceed toward the Suez Canal with hopes that perhaps the Egyptians would find a reason to stop it.

If Mr. Obama is truly serious about getting the attention of the ayatollahs, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the people of Iran, he ought to remove the PMOI from the U.S. terror blacklist immediately and give the EU kudos for their leadership. Such action would be an extraordinary signal of support for those who want to bring about a change in Tehran. After all, isn’t “change” what this administration is all about?

View Source Here [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Advice for President Obama on the Aspirations of the Iranian People”]

By Daniel M. Zucker, on January 23rd, 2009
Now is the time for Barack Obama to demonstrate that he respects the aspirations of the Iranian people.

On Sunday, January 11, 2009, President-elect Barack H. Obama stated in an interview on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” that his administration would move quickly to change the U.S. approach towards Iran, moving to engagement and increased diplomacy, “sending a signal that we respect the aspirations of the Iranian people . . ..”1

Such a statement sounds admirable and it would be a very fine policy — if it was truly the aspirations of the Iranian people that were being addressed. Unfortunately, Obama is falling into the same trap as the prior two administrations, and failing to realize that the Iranian people have no aspirations to be a nuclear power — it is only the Islamic theocracy that desires nuclear weaponry.

The Iranian people — the 90+% of the population that despise the current fascist regime — desire a regime change from the present oppressive religious kakistocracy to one that is a secular democracy.2 The people of Iran do not want Obama to respect their government; they want the United States to help them get rid of the mullahs that have made their lives miserable for the past thirty years. The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, despite its billions and billions of dollars of income from oil and gas sales, has presided over a per capita wage reduction of over 50% since the downfall of the Shah three decades ago. 25% of Iranians are unemployed; over 50% of Iranians today are 30 years of age or younger, and half of those that are of age to be part of the work force are unemployed. The inflation rate in Iran today tops 25% annually.3 Iranian capital is being pulled out of the Iranian market and sent abroad as Iranians continue to loose faith in their economy and their government.

Actually, the Iranian people don’t want the United States or any other country to interfere in its affairs; they wants to solve their own problems. One might think that such a policy is in congruency with our new administration. However, such a supposition overlooks the fact that the two prior administrations interfered in the Iranian people’s affairs by agreeing to a request from the oppressive regime of the ayatollahs — at the time led by President Mohammed Khatami, the smiling public face of the dictator Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei — to place the leading Iranian opposition groups — the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, in Farsi: Mojahedin-e Khalq or MeK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) — on the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list.

For the past twelve years, the United States has been helping the mullahs oppress the Iranian people with the aid of their thuggish Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (Sepah-e Pasdaran) — a group that the State Department finally placed on the terrorist list after nearly four years of mounting evidence of its involvement in killing American soldiers in Iraq4 — by keeping the legitimate Iranian resistance movement handcuffed. A parallel from World War II would have been for the U.S. to place General Charles De Gaulle’s Free French Movement on the terrorist list at the request of Adolf Hitler.

The disinformation, distortions, and outright lies that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS, in Farsi: VEVAK) put out about the Iranian opposition have all been debunked in exhaustive studies by the legal systems of the United Kingdom and the European Union, whose respective high courts have declared in the past several months that neither the PMOI nor the NCRI belong on such terrorist lists.5 It has been a long battle for the Iranian resistance to clear its name, but indeed it has proven its case.

Now it is time for the new administration of Barack Obama to demonstrate that the President means what he says — that he does respect the aspirations of the Iranian people — and level the Iranian playing field by taking the PMOI and NCRI off of the FTO, allowing the people of Iran to take back their country from the Islamic fascists that hijacked their revolution three decades ago.

If Obama has the strength of character to do this single action, he will show the Iranian people that he believes in them and not their corrupt leaders. He will allow the Iranian people the chance to change their regime by themselves, without intervention by outsiders. He will demonstrate to the world that he is capable of delivering “change that we can believe in.” He also will have cut the hand that feeds Hamas and Hezbollah, and it will be more than just the Iranian people that line up to thank him.

View Source Here

Endnotes

1. Reuters, “Obama says will move quickly on new Iran approach”, January 11, 2009, http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090111/pl_nm/us_usa_obama_iran_1.

2. Nicole Sadighi, “Iran’s Restive Populace”, American Thinker, August 12, 2007, http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/08/irans_restive_populace.html.

3. AFP, “Iran’s inflation tops 27%”, September 7, 2008, http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=40628.

4. For details of designation, see: HP-644: “US Designates Iranian Entities and Individuals for Proliferation Activities and Support for Terrorism”, IntelliBriefs, October 26, 2007, http://intellibriefs.blogspot.com/2007/10/us-designates-iranian-entities-and.html, and Ali Safavi, “In Major Policy Shift, US Designates IRGC, Qods Force, dealing a serious blow to Tehran”, Near East Policy Research, November 6, 2007, http://www.neareastpolicy.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=60&Itemid=30.

5. See: Middle East Times: “PMOI Off UK Terror List, EU Told: Now Do the Same”, June 24, 2008, http://www.metimes.com/Editorial/2008/06/24/pmoi_off_uk_terror_list_eu_told_now_do_the_same/3965/, and also for the EU case: “Press Release No. 84/08, Judgment of the Court of First Instance in Case T-284/08, People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran v Council”, December 4, 2008, http://curia.europa.eu/en/actu/communiques/cp08/aff/cp080084en.pdf [/spoiler]