Sunday, August 21, 2016

Holding the Islamic Republic of Iran Accountable

by Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker

International Analyst NetworkCodex-Politics, November 6, 2011                       Global Politician, November 8, 2011                                                                    Intellectual Conservative, November 11, 2011                                                                   American Chronicle, November 14, 2011

Also published as “How to Spook the Islamists in Iran”, American Thinker, November 6, 2011    
About one month ago, news[1] broke of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States in Hezbollah[2]-like operation run by Qods Force[3] operatives in which a truck loaded with high explosives would be detonated in front of a popular upscale  Washington, DC restaurant while the target and hundreds of other diners were present. The details of the plot became known to our intelligence agencies and thus to the president by the end of July. Had the plot not been detected—its discovery thankfully due to an error committed by one of the Iranian agents—and the bomb successfully detonated, the carnage would have easily rivaled that incurred in Hezbollah’s deadly attack on the American Marine barracks in Beirut on October 23, 1983[4] in which 241 U.S. Marines lost their lives, and scores more wounded.

Like the successful al-Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon of September 11, 2001, the Iranian plot constitutes an act of war. For those that have been paying attention, we actually have been under attack by Iranian forces for 32 years, but this is the first time that the IRI has dared to consider carrying out an attack not only on the continental United States, but actually within the nation’s capital.

The response from the current administration has been “deafening”—that is, if one were deaf he/she would have barely missed anything more than those of us with normal audio capacities were privileged to hear. The White House announced its intention to seek yet stiffer sanctions against the Khamenei regime—something that I’m sure has the mullahs all in a tizzy. Oh, wait, the last four rounds of sanctions have yet to change the regime’s behavior. Oh well, maybe number five’s the charm, the proverbial straw that will break the Iranian camel’s back.

If the White House and the Department of State were not so badly disengaged from reality, and if both were willing to pull their collective heads out of the sand, both would figure out that it’s way past time to readjust Iran’s way of thinking. The mullahs and their Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps thugs (the Sepah-e Pasdaran)[5] are overdue for what we used to term “an attitude adjustment”. Now admittedly, the USA is not currently in the greatest shape in economic terms, but there is a way to administer an attitude adjustment that doesn’t cost the US one cent and will certainly cause the IRI to take us much more seriously. And that attitude adjustment could be administered within less than a month!

What would possibly cause Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the mullah clerics, and the IRGC and the Bassij (theological militia) to pay attention to our opinions and actions? The single quickest act that the White House and the State Department can perform, short of launching an armed attack on Iranian forces and territory, is to reverse a fourteen year old politically-driven faulty decision to place the Iranian resistance group Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), aka the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI),[6] on the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Based on the decision of the High Court of the United Kingdom in 2008[7], as well as that of the European Union the next year[8], and the July 16, 2010 order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit[9], the PMOI has no reason to be on the FTO list. Having been removed from the black list in the UK and the EU, keeping the PMOI on the FTO serves only to tell Tehran that this country is still is afraid of the mullahs and the IRGC.

Why do I think that taking the PMOI off of the FTO makes any difference to the Tehran regime? Well, it’s just that Tehran has consistently demanded that Washington keep the PMOI on the list if it expects to be able to sit down with the Iranians and discuss anything whatsoever. Research conducted by the Iran Policy Committee has shown that the mullah regime is obsessed with trying to destroy the PMOI. Tehran has spent an inordinate amount of money and resources to annihilate the leadership of the PMOI. Assassinations, bribes, developing whole government departments dedicated to demonizing the PMOI are only a small part of what Tehran has tried to do in order to destroy[10] the PMOI. Quite frankly, as long as the PMOI is kept on the list, Iran knows that we aren’t really serious about any plans to assist the Iranian people in their quest for regime change. On the other hand, taking the PMOI off of the FTO definitely will catch Tehran’s attention in a big way and cause the regime to lose sleep. 

So, if Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Barrack H. Obama have any genuine “cajones between them, and are concerned not only to properly defend this nation but also to serve a higher cause of justice, it is to be hoped that they finally will listen to the scores of officials and dignitaries[11] from the current and past administrations as well as U.S. military personnel that have had extensive direct contact with the PMOI and are advocating the immediate removal of the group from the black list. Should the current administration fail to heed this advice, history will judge its reticence as a sign of cowardice and folly. Given the poor track record of the “Arab Spring” to produce Western-leaning democracies instead of Islamist-led oligarchies, a move to assist the Iranian masses to throw off the hated Islamist regime would seem obvious. Let’s see whether Foggy Bottom and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue can get it straight this time as to who really are our friends and who are our enemies. Mr. President and Madame Secretary: the ball’s in your court; for God’s sake, take a shot!

Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zucker is founder and Chairman of the Board of Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East, a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching the public and its elected officials of the need to promote genuine democratic institutions throughout the Middle-East region as an antidote to the dangers posed by Islamic fundamentalism. He may be contacted at

[1] Charlie Savage and Scott Shane, “Iranians Accused of a Plot to Kill Saudis’ U.S. Envoy”, The New York Times, October 11, 2011,
[2] John Pike, “Hizballah / Hizbollah / Hizbullah / Hezbollah”, Global Security, September 7, 2011, 
[3]  Anthony H. Cordesman, “Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the Al Quds Force, and Other Intelligence and Paramilitary Forces”, Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 16, 2007,         
[4] Charles Raymond Snow, “The Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing”, The Case Against Iran, December 27, 2006,
[5]  Anthony H. Cordesman, Op. Cit.,        
[6] Due to a highly successful dis-information campaign by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry (MOIS=VEVAK) many reports on the PMOI contain misinformation and disinformation. This statement applies to the Global Security article as well as to the entry in Wikipedia. However, the following monographs, although lengthy, help one to get to the core of the issue:
André Brie and Paulo Casaca, “People’s Mojahedin of Iran: Mission Report”, Friends of a Free Iran—European Parliament, September 21, 2005, M. Lopez, et. al.Appeasing the Ayatollahs and Suppressing Democracy: U.S. Policy and the Iranian Opposition: A White Paper, Iran Policy Committee, Washington, DC, c. 2006,  DLA Piper, Iran: Foreign Policy Challenges and Choices, Washington, DC, November 2006, and Global Options, Independent Assessment of the Mujahedin-e Khalq and National Council of Resistance of Iran, Washington, DC, November 2006. (The latter two monographs are published together by DLA Piper).
[7] See: OPSI, Statutory Instruments 2008 No. 1645, Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism, The Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organizations) (Amendment) Order 2008, No. 1645,  or
[8] AFP, “EU strikes Iranian opposition group from terror list”, EUbusiness, January 26, 2009,
[10] See the following, which records Iranian anti-PMOI operations in the United Kingdom: British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, “SPYING FOR THE MULLAHS: IRAN’S AGENTS IN UK”, October 2007, . For more information on the Iranian regime’s campaign against the PMOI, see the following: National Council of Resistance of Iran-Foreign Affairs Committee, Crime Against Humanity, 2001. (This book catalogs the Iranian Mullah regime’s massacre of 30,000 political prisoners.) Also see Mohammad Mohaddessin, Enemies of the Ayatollahs, Zed Books, Ltd, London, 2004, especially part IV.
Currently the Iranian government is pressing the Iraqi government of fellow fundamentalist Shiite Prime Minister Nouri K. al-Maliki to close Camp Ashraf, home to 3400 members of the PMOI for over a quarter century, and is attempting to force their extradition to Iran where most would face prison, torture and death. See the following update: AFP, “Iran / Iraq: 120 MEPs to postpone the closure of Camp Ashraf”, FAC-NCRI, October 26, 2011,
[11] This recent issue of “Iran Liberation” shows a few of the current supporters of the PMOI’s campaign to remove the faulty “terrorist” label from the organization: note that supporters also include Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, FBI Director Louis Freeh, and CIA Deputy Director John Sano.

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