War on terror or war and terror?
The recent meeting of Mike Pence, former vice president of the United States, with the leader of the terrorist group MEK in their camp in Albania once again demonstrated that Americans hold on to double standards in treating various terrorist groups.
Of course, this was not the first instance of top American personalities visiting the leaders of the terrorist group or participating in their meetings. Claiming that the group, which had already claimed the lives of more than 17,000 Iranians over a four-decade span, stopped its military conducts to pursue a career in politics, the United States and the European Union removed the group from their respective Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) lists in 2001. The group, however, failed to give up on its terrorist nature, continuing to its subversive and terrorist actions on Iranian soil, even though Iranian security apparatus managed to foil much of its ambitions.
The terrorist group has recently admitted to two cases of its acts of sabotage and terrorism in Iran, which begs the question: “Why do the American government and the European Union refuse to reinstate its former status as a terrorist group?”
Americans labeled the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, an official military organization of the state of Iran, as a terrorist group. In a blatant act of terrorism, moreover, they assassinated Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force, which has been engaged in fighting terrorism in the region since long ago. Now, on the one hand, some former US officials are visiting the terrorists’ camp, which is not entirely unprecedented as former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo made presence in their meetings, not to mention John Bolton who made a habit of being seen with them. And, on the other hand, the American government refuses to include it on its list of designated terrorist groups.
Referring to their admission of involvement in the two recent acts of terrorism in Iran, Reza Nasri, an international lawyer, said in a tweet, “In light of this recent development, the UK, EU and US – along with Canada – should seriously consider revising their past decision and designate MEK again as a terrorist organization.”
In addition, Trita Parsi, executive vice president for Quincy Institute, tweeted, “Those who pushed for the MEK to get off the US terror list didn’t do so because they believed they had abandoned terrorism. They pushed for their delisting because they wanted the US to support the MEK’s terror activities. They wanted the MEK to be America’s terrorists.”
Americans’ refusal to re-list the terrorist group clearly demonstrates that their rhetoric of fighting terrorism is only a tool to advance the policies of the White House, no matter who holds its reins.