U.S. State Department Explains MEK Delisting
On September 28, the U.S. Department of State released a statement justifying its removal of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The Department’s primary justifications were the “MEK’s renunciation of violence, the absence of confirmed acts of terrorism by the M.E.K. for more than a decade, and their cooperation in the peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf” in Iraq. The statement also made clear that the department was not overlooking the MEK’s past acts of terrorism and that it was still seriously concerned about the organizations alleged abuses committed against its own members. Additionally, the Department noted that despite their concerns, the organization’s re-designation was consistent with its humanitarian interest in seeking a safe resolution to the Camp Ashraf situation and U.N. led efforts to relocate its former residents in a humane manner.
A senior State Department official told journalists, “We have no evidence or confidence the MEK could promote the democratic values we would like to see in Iran.” The decision was met with widespread criticism when it leaked last week.