On Sept. 28, the U.S. State Department revoked the Mujahedin-e Khalq’s (MEK) designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. The leftist group killed six Americans in Iran in the 1970s and attempted an attack against the Iranian mission to the United Nations in 1992. The State Department then added it to the terrorism list in 1997. But the MEK renounced violence in 2001 and no terrorist attacks have been positively linked to the organization for more than a decade.
Certainly, now with Camp Ashraf effectively closed, only a residual group remaining, and with over 3,000 of its – Camp Ashraf’s former residents peacefully relocated to Camp Hurriya, the major task in our humanitarian efforts with respect to this organization’s members is their peaceful, orderly resettlement outside of Iraq. If this decision assists in those efforts, so much the better. I will be working intensely in the days and weeks to come with European Governments and other governments bilaterally and with the UNHCR to advance this process...
SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE: We do not see the MEK as a viable opposition or democratic opposition movement. We have no evidence and we have no confidence that the MEK is an organization that could promote the democratic values that we would like to see in Iran.
There is nothing in the way they govern themselves that would suggest they’re interested in adopting democratic principles, and there is a long and fairly rich set of documentation on how they treat their own personnel that really does suggest to the contrary. So we continue to have serious concerns about the group with regard to allegations of abuse that’s committed against its own members. They are not part of our picture in terms of the future of Iran.
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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in New York on Sept. 22 and addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 26. President Barack Obama and other U.S. and world leaders condemned Iran’s positions on Syria, Israel and its nuclear program both before and after Ahmadinejad’s address.
“President Ahmadinejad says foolish, offensive and sometimes unintelligible things with great regularity. What he should focus on is the failure of his government of Iran to abide by its international obligations, to abide by United Nations Security Council resolutions.”
On Sept. 26, President Ahmadinejad addressed the 76th annual U.N. General Assembly. He spoke about the need "to remove the structural barriers" between people and criticized the current state of global decision-making.
The following are excerpts from his speech:
“Arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass-destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent: Testing new generations of ultra-modern weaponry and the pledge to disclose these armaments on due time is now being used as a new language of threat against nations to coerce them into accepting a new era of hegemony. Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality...”
The Islamists Are Coming
The Islamists Are Coming, edited by Robin Wright, surveys the rise of Islamist groups in the wake of the Arab Spring. Often lumped together, the more than 50 Islamist parties with millions of followers now constitute a whole new spectrum—separate from either militants or secular parties. They will shape the new order in the world’s most volatile region more than any other political bloc. Yet they have diverse goals and different constituencies. Sometimes they are even rivals.
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