Iran opposition head says West must end appeasement

VILLEPINTE, France Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:09am EDT

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VILLEPINTE, France (Reuters) - An Iranian dissident leader urged major powers on Saturday to stop appeasing Tehran and start supporting opposition groups after the latest round of talks on Iran's nuclear program ended in deadlock.

Maryam Rajavi, who heads the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), also accused the United States of dragging its heels on a decision to remove her group from its terrorist list.

"Western countries lost this decade by providing all sorts of incentives to the Mullahs - a decade of appeasement and fruitless negotiations," Rajavi said ahead of a meeting of thousands of Iranian exiles on the outskirts of Paris.

World powers and Iran failed to secure a breakthrough at talks on Tehran's nuclear program on June 19 and set no date for more political negotiations, despite the threat of a new Middle East conflict if diplomacy collapses.

The West fears Iran is working to develop an atomic bomb. Tehran says its nuclear work is focused on generating electricity and other peaceful projects.

The NCRI, an umbrella bloc of five opposition groups in exile that seek an end to Shi'ite Muslim clerical rule in Iran, were first to expose a secret uranium enrichment plant at Natanz in 2002.

"Stopping the Mullahs' nuclear threat is possible only through changing (its) dictatorial regime," she said. "If one is not interested in handing the bomb to the Mullahs, one should side with the Iranian people's resistance to topple the regime."

Also known as the People's Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI), the group led a guerrilla campaign against the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran during the 1970s that included attacks on U.S. targets.

The United States added the group to its official list of foreign terrorist organizations in 1997, but the group has since renounced violence.

It has mounted a legal and public relations campaign to have its terrorist designation dropped. A U.S. appeals court ordered Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to decide on its fate by October 1.

"Following the June 1 ruling ... the State Department has no choice but to delist the PMOI, unless it wants to again trample upon justice and law to satisfy the Mullahs," Rajavi said.

(Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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Comments (7)
Untermensch wrote:
The whole raison d’ĂȘtre of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (aka NCRI/PMOI) is armed struggle to seize power in Iran. “Renounced violence”? If so, what is the importance of being removed from the terrorist organization list?

How does it go? … sticks ans stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?

And why do they need foreign assistance to achieve democratic change (democracy = government by the people, not the people installed by foreign intervention).

Rajavi should spend more time running a public relations campaign with the Iranian people.

Jun 23, 2012 6:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Austell wrote:
These people are just traitors…

They are from the rich classes and talk about freedom and democracy in opposition and from exile, but the second the US invades these countries and installs the next leader from these bunch they become dictators!

Not one of these opposition exiles who has been installed as leader after a US coup has been democratic.

All this crap is just a power grab, a job interview if you will.

These guys are terrorists yesterday, human rights activists today, and dictators tomorrow!

Reuters just loves throwing its time and money behind anything the US regime hate…


There’s something seriously wrong with your society when your media infrastructure is dedicated to hatred, racism and invasion.

You guys are in serious trouble!

Jun 23, 2012 10:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Logical123 wrote:
Maryam Rajavi is NOT an opposition leader. It is amazing that Reuters has been reduces to such a low level that it can put such garbage in print. She and her husband have built a cult of personality as the gods of the terrorist cult MEK or MKO. This dangerous group consists of brainwashed zombies that are ready to die for the Rajavis. Nobody should pay any attention to anything that comes out of the poisonous mouths of the Rajavis.

Jun 23, 2012 11:58am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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