The outcome of this decision has particular relevance to a group of PMOI members for whom the U.S. bears some direct responsibility. Some 4,000 Iranian PMOI members have been living in Iraq at Camp Ashraf since 1986. After the U.S. invaded Iraq, the group surrendered its weapons, which had been used to launch attacks against the Iranian regime. In return, the U.S. signed pledges with each of the residents to protect their safety. But those pledges have not been honored since the U.S. turned control of the camp over to the Iraqis. The Iraqis have moved 1,000 of the residents to a facility that lacks basic infrastructure and have attacked the camp on at least two occasions, killing dozens of Iranian men and women.
The best solution for those PMOI members would be to have the freedom to settle in third-party countries. But the PMOI's presence on the terrorist list makes it difficult for them to do so. If the U.S. has good reasons to keep the PMOI on the terrorist list, it should produce actual evidence in court that the group is a direct and current threat to America or our allies. But one thing is clear; the administration should not keep the group on the list in hopes that it will somehow bring about better relations with an Iranian regime that is on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons and is our proven enemy.
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .
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