IRANIAN ANALYSTS WARNED THE US AGAINST NORMALISING WITH IRAN
PARIS 15 Aug. (IPS) 8.16.2003
Iranian political experts welcomed US State Departments decision to outlaw the Council of National Resistance of Iran (CNRI), the political front of the outlawed Mojahedeeen Khalq Organisation (MKO), but at the same time expressed concern to see it being exploited by the ruling ayatollahs to increase their crackdown on Iranian dissidents.
The State Department said on Friday that it had placed the CNRI on its list of terrorist organisations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) immediately proceeded to close down the Councils offices in Washington D. C and other major American cities, including New York and Los Angeles.
"The Americans for the first time in their relationship with Iran have a real capital of sympathy with the Iranian people, mostly with the young generation, the only one in the whole of the Middle East to really like and appreciate the Americans. They should not deceive the Iranian people by comforting a regime that has no future", observed Mr. Ali Keshtgar, the Editor of the Paris-based "Mihan" (Homeland) monthly.
The order, signed by Mr. Colin Powell, the State Secretary, says all banking accounts of the CNRI would be closed and its members in the US would be informed that their activities would be regarded as harmful to the interests of the United States.
"The Mojahedeen Khalq Organisation and its affiliates, under any name, are considered as terrorist organizations and their activities are illegal inside and outside the United States", Mr. Powell stated.
The MKO had been already been declared a terrorist organization by both the US and the European Union, but its political arm, the National Council of Resistance was allowed to operate.
When the Allied occupied Iraq some 100 days ago, they also attacked several of the military bases the deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hoseyn had placed at the disposal of the MKO for their operations against the Islamic Republic, but latter reached an agreement with the Organisation allowing its members to keep their light weapons.
On last June, more than a thousand French crack policemen and gendarmerie forces raided the MKO's international headquarters in the small town of Auvers Sur Oise near Paris, arrested 13 leaders of the group, including Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the NCRI's co-leader, and seized more than 9 millions US Dollars and 200.000 Euros, all in cash.
A semi-military organisation, the MKO, led by Mr. Mas'oud Rajavi, obeys a strict Marxist-Islamist ideology and is the only armed group fighting the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Because of Friday weekly holiday in Iran, there was no immediate reaction from Tehran and at the time of placing this article on the web, no spokesmen from the MKO or the CNRI had made any comment.
Though the State Department offered no reason for its somehow surprise decision, but some Iranian and western sources said it might be part of the ongoing
Tehran-Washington secret negotiations aimed at encouraging Tehran to hand over to the United States some of the high-ranking al-Qaeda officials believed to be in the Iranians custody.
According to the Americans, one of Osama Ben Ladens sons, Sad, his second man in command, the Egyptian Dr Eyman al Zawaheri, al-Qaeda spokesman, Soleyman Abou Qaith, the networks present coordinator Seyf al Adl are in Iran.
But the Saudi-owned pan Arab daily "al Sharq al Awsat" said on Thursday that all four men had left Iran, probably for safer places along Iranian-Afghanistan-Pakistan borders.
Informed Iranian sources confirmed the news, saying that the Iranian authorities, of fear to see some of the men being officially pinpointed by the Americans, had evacuated tem outside Iran.
Tehran immediately denied the information, reiterating that none of the men were ever in Iran.
But the statement lacks credibility, as in previous declarations; the official spokesman for President Mohammad Khatami had insisted that Iran had not been able to identify all of the 500 al-Qada and Taleban operatives in detains.
"The Americans are well aware of the activities of the MKO. At the same time, they have also put the Islamic Republic among evil and terrorist states. It is therefore possible that Washington, by placing the NCRI on their list of terrorist organizations, wants to encourage Iran in handing over leading terrorist personalities" Mr. Keshtgar added.
"The decision to ban the Mojahedens Resistance Council does not mean that Washington wants normalize relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, a regime that is the mother of all terrorists, but that it wants enter into a bargain over the suspected al-Qaeda people believed to be in the custody of the Iranians", he pointed out.
In his view, Washington would make a "terrible mistake" if it really was looking to appease the Iranian Mullahrchy.
Asked by Iran Press Service if, anyhow, Iran is in a position to reciprocate the Americans decision, handing over to them some of the senior al-Qaeda people? Mr. Keshtgar ruled out, observing not only the Islamic Republic would be discredited in Arab and Islamic worlds, but also would face rebellion from its own base, the basij volunteers, the revolutions guards, the judiciary, the lumpen religious and the masses of uneducated people. ENDS US MKO 15803 http://www.iran-press-service.com/