Jason Rezaian makes a strong case against lending any support to Mujahideen-e Khalq:
While many argue that the Iranian regime is too repressive to allow opposition, I would venture to say that there are still thousands, perhaps millions, of Iranians completely willing to speak openly about their attitudes on the 2009 election — but good luck finding a single person who is pro-MEK.
In fact, working with the MEK would mean to cease speaking to the Iranian people. Furthermore, it would provide validation for those voices in the Iranian regime that have long accused the U.S. of meddling in their affairs, unnecessarily strengthening the domestic position of hardliners within the system. In a country with varied opinions on all subjects, the contempt reserved for the MEK is nearly universal [bold mine-DL].
Sitting here in Tehran, the mere thought of the MEK becoming a legitimate contributor to the policy dialogue on Iran is laughable, except to those of us who would actually like to see an end to the more than three decades of animosity between the U.S. and Iran, and hope for a productive future relationship through real diplomacy. To us — and we are much stronger in number than the MEK could ever hope to be — the idea is insane, heartbreaking and reprehensible.
It is difficult to convey just how misguided the push to take the MEK off the government’s list of terrorist groups is, but Rezaian does it better than anyone else I’ve seen. I agree entirely with Rezaian’s assessment, and I would add that the idea of working with the MEK is part of an effort to prevent real diplomacy from ever taking place and to make sure that animosity between the U.S. and Iran remains and increases. The main problem isn’t that some of the people promoting this idea are misinformed about the degree of support the MEK has in Iran, but that the MEK’s support in Iran or lack of it doesn’t matter to them. What matters to these pro-MEK Americans is that the MEK is hostile to the government in Tehran, which matches up with their hostility to the Iranian government. Yes, they’re being short-sighted and oblivious to internal Iranian politics, but what else is new?