In recognition of the changed, democratic character of the MEK, both Great Britain and the European Union have taken the MEK off their terrorist lists. The list of American foreign policy experts calling for the de-listing of the MEK is impressive: a former Attorney General, two former US Ambassadors to the UN, a former Director of the FBI, and a former Secretary of Homeland Security, to name only a few. Additionally, almost 100 members of Congress have signed a resolution calling for removal of the MEK from the terrorist roster.
While the continued blacklisting of the MEK is unreasonable and illogical, it is eerily consistent with Obama’s selective indignation when civilians are bludgeoned to death by police in Islamic regimes. Obama’s lack of support for the massive democratic dissent in the streets of Tehran in 2009 was shocking, but he welcomed the recent uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Syria despite the prominent presence of radical Islamists in the leadership of those protests. Obama committed American forces to help topple the dictator Gaddafi, but has not committed America and prestige and power to help the pro-democracy forces in Iran.
What is the thread that ties Obama’s strange and inconsistent policies together? The consistency lies in the peculiar ideology Obama brings to foreign policy decisions.
President Obama pledged during his campaign that an “open hand” would be extended by his administration to all nations, friend or foe. Disastrously enough, he has kept this promise. This has required overlooking mortal threats such as those posed by the Iranian regime, and ignoring potential allies like the MEK. It also explains why President Obama and his appointees in the US State Department have resisted firmer measures against Iran. In plain language, Obama’s ideology blinds him to the serious danger a nuclear-armed, anti-democratic Iran poses to the United States and our allies.
The United States urgently needs to confront and oppose Iran’s terrorist agenda through strong diplomatic and economic measures. A simple first step to signal our serious intentions would be to support Iran’s internal dissidents, a strategy which should begin with lifting the outdated and invalid terrorist stigma from the Mujahideen-e Khalq.
When Iran’s internal democratic forces see that the United States will no longer tolerate that nation’s backing for international terrorism, we will begin to see an unraveling of that regime’s despotic grip on its people.