State Dept to Remove Iranian Rebel Group From Terror List

Years of Pricy Lobbying Gets Inaugural Group Off Foreign Terrorist Organization List

Adding hope to every other group that had found itself labeled a terrorist organization after a decade of bloody anti-US attacks and killing a number of US military officers, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK), one of the inaugural members of the US State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, has been ordered removed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The MeK was founded in the 1960’s as a Marxist-Islamist sect, called a cult by many, with designs on ousting the Shah of Iran and replacing him. After the Shah was ousted, they allied with Saddam Hussein in his invasion of Iran, and remained in exile in Iraq for decades.

How did this group manage to turn around its fortunes and find a way off the US terror list? Money, and lots of it. The MeK has been soliciting top US officials for years to give them paid endorsements, and has been quite successful in buying praise, though former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell’s endorsement did get him investigated for terrorist ties.

In the end, with so many officials not only excusing the MeK’s past attacks but openly endorsing them as a replacement regime in the event of a war with Iran, officials said it was “politically difficult” for Clinton not to sign off on their removal.

Reflecting just how successful the “advertising” campaign has been for the group, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R – CA) praised the move, saying the group desires a “secular, peaceful, and democratic government.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.