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You need some eyes on the Iranian ground, Daniel

Reader comment on item: Empower Iranians vs. Tehran

Submitted by Kevin (United States), Jul 27, 2011 at 11:51

Daniel, though I often disagree with you, I respect the amount of research you put into your articles and opinion pieces. .... 95% of Iranians and Iranian diaspora members, such as myself, will tell you that they're vehemently against the MEK. Hands down. Here's why:

1) MEK's clear terrorist background - Though they've arguably slowed down their violent activities in recent years, their history is clear, and their weapons caches and numbers of armed militants at their Camp Ashraf base in Iraq are an even clearer signal.

2) MEK's willingness to kill ordinary civilians (connected with above) - Many Iranians, even (and dare I say, especially) progressive ones are still angry that the MEK sided and actively fought with Saddam and Iraq's aggression in the Iran-Iraq war.

3) MEK's incredibly harsh internal policies - The MEK's oftentimes cult-like worship of the Rajavis, coupled with their inhumane practices towards current MEK militants and violence against would-be ex-members worries even the most ardent of those wishing to toppple the current Iranian theocracy. Just take a look at their satellite channel, and you feel like you are watching a 1960s-era Soviet propaganda network.

4) MEK's continued fanatic Shi'ite Islamic ideology - "Why replace one Islamic government with another?" is a common refrain of Iranians. Although not as "fundamentalist" as the mullahcracy in Tehran, the MEK's initial support of the reactionary movements of 1979-80 shows how much religious ideology is a central part of their dogma. Iranians want a secular opposition movement, not a group like the MEK, to be representing their interests and to be protesting against the current regime.

5) MEK's foreign financial support - Although no longer lavishly funded by Saddam, the MEK is still supported by various European powers. Iranians want a homegrown opposition, both because it is only domestic agitation that can sustainably change Iran's governmental trajectory, and also since perceived or real foreign connections give the Iranian government an easy excuse to ruthlessly crack down on any liberal dissent in the country.

It would be a huge mistake if the MEK was taken off the US terror list. The West's objectives of encouraging democratic opposition in Iran will instead be undermined is this action is taken.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (26) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1are you serious? [118 words]emAug 5, 2011 06:13188045
the enemy of our enemy... [83 words]Evan MarkJul 27, 2011 16:30187754
1You need some eyes on the Iranian ground, Daniel [368 words]KevinJul 27, 2011 11:51187741
Tough Or Diplomatic [115 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Mark D.Jul 25, 2011 19:51187701
2something is missing here ! [88 words]AliJul 23, 2011 19:06187650
question for DP [7 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
yuval Brandstetter MDJul 22, 2011 02:28187618
Libya and Iran [129 words]Mark D.Jul 23, 2011 23:20187618
1not comparable [146 words]Derar MarkJul 25, 2011 09:53187618
MEK [44 words]Lujack SkylarkJul 21, 2011 13:13187605
On increMental [67 words]Jay1Jul 20, 2011 21:25187585
1Just let Iran stew in its own juices, and don't de-list the MeK [549 words]Kepha HorJul 19, 2011 23:53187572
MEK is hated [12 words]aloJul 19, 2011 22:30187570
Topple the Mullah Regime [60 words]NuritGJul 19, 2011 17:07187563
6Acts of war went unpunished in 79 [55 words]Abu NudnikJul 19, 2011 17:01187562
carter was an antisemitic weakling [24 words]rick oneilJul 23, 2011 18:19187562
1Determining the True Power of the Iranian Islamic Revolution [380 words]M. ToveyJul 19, 2011 16:44187561
1Empower Iranians ... ? [54 words]FereydounJul 19, 2011 15:10187559
Fereydoun, is that really true? [171 words]Kepha HorJul 20, 2011 00:01187559
Principal of valeyat-a- [98 words]Steve BorkowskiJul 19, 2011 11:30187555
Did you forget that Obama is President? [345 words]john w mcginleyJul 19, 2011 10:13187551
1MeK vs. Iranians [234 words]Yek IraniJul 19, 2011 09:30187550
butting heads [223 words]Joe Six-PackJul 21, 2011 11:13187550
Innocent Americans ? [17 words]AliJul 23, 2011 19:36187550
Not innocent [133 words]Joe Six-PackJul 25, 2011 08:38187550
America Does Not Bear the Burden for Islamic Culpability [177 words]M. ToveyJul 25, 2011 16:38187550
Informative article [20 words]Mitra SamaniJul 19, 2011 03:58187543

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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