Members of Congress and supporters of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) are to press the Obama administration to recognise it as the “legitimate opposition” to the Iranian government after the group is removed from the US list of banned terrorist organisations in the coming days.
Of course, this has been what many of the MEK’s American advocates have been calling for all along. The completely false claim that the MEK represents the legitimate Iranian opposition was one of the principal reasons many of these advocates gave for removing the group from the list of foreign terrorist organizations. It’s absurd that any informed person could seriously believe an Islamo-Marxist totalitarian cult represents a legitimate, much less democratic, alternative to the current Iranian regime. This is the falsehood that many of the group’s advocates promote.
The reinvention of the MEK as a “democratic” political organization just demonstrates how meaningless that label can be. It’s a reminder of how willing some Iran hawks are to work with any group, no matter how disreputable, if it shares their hostility to the Iranian government. Anyone who supports aligning the U.S. with this group is admitting that he isn’t interested in a more democratic Iran or the success of the Iranian opposition. Now that the group will be removed from the list, the supporters it has cultivated in Congress and elsewhere will be able to agitate on its behalf much more freely, and its lobbying efforts will presumably increase. The coordinated campaign to remove the MEK from the FTO list was a disgrace, and the sequel promises to be even more obnoxious.