Gambling with terrorism

Some in U.S paving ground for another round of violence


Gambling with terrorism
by Reza Nasri

If the ultimate goal of delisting the MEK is to create a political entity with military capacity that could come into play when push comes to shove with Iran, then we’re in for yet another foreign policy disaster.

If anything, the whole 9/11 ordeal revealed in a spectacular way that enhancing an extremist organization and tactically allying with it in order to gain strategic advantage over a bigger foe is not necessarily the best long-term policy. Terrorist groups and indoctrinated cults (regardless of how they’re designated) don’t make loyal friends. That’s now a historically proven fact. You could use them for short-term gains –just as you did with Afghanistan’s Mujahidin in early 1980s against the Soviet Union - but once they grow strong, they’ll go by their own twisted agenda.

Certainly, an unethical dogmatic cult like the MEK - which has the capacity of instructing its own members to self-immolate in support of their leaders - a cult that went as far as fighting alongside the troops of Saddam Hussein when he invaded its own country’s territorial integrity - is much less principled and predictable than some hawkish American politicians wish it to be. You may see a potential ally in the fiery group for the time being, but it’s utterly naïve to think that an ideological political formation that took up arms against its own people at a time of war would stay loyal to anyone or to any noble principle it pledges to uphold.

The truth is that enhancing the MEK from a ghostly Marxist-Islamist terrorist organization on the verge of dissolution to a dangerously consequential actor in the inflammable region of the Middle East would most likely be a risky decision that future U.S governments, along with moderate political and ideological forces in the region, will wholeheartedly regret. If left alone, the MEK would probably gradually fade away in the maze of history and spare future generations the hassle of combatting yet another fanatical force. If boosted and unleashed however, there would be no guarantee that anyone – including the U.S - would be able to exercise any sort of moderating influence on it. The risk is for Hilary Clinton to take. She could play it safe, call the terrorist group what it is and contain it until it’s dissolved. Or she could boost it up, let it loose and watch it in action.

The Secretary of State should bear in mind though that in its present miserable form, the MEK is one of the staunchest forces against peace and non-violent resistance among all other Iranian political groups. Not yet delisted, the MEK is perhaps devoting as much time and resource combatting and weakening the voices of non-violence within the Iranian opposition– such as the indigenous Green movement - as it is “fighting” the Iranian regime. It suffices to take a quick look at the MEK’s online media, TV programs and propaganda machine to see the level of hatred and resentment that this group spurs toward the very notion of “non-violence” and civility in political struggle (although the English version of its media productions aimed at a Western audience are much more “peaceful” than its Farsi ones).

So there should be no doubt in her mind that if the MEK’s capabilities and credibility are enhanced through recognition by the State Department, it would not hesitate to unleash all its newly gained impetus to suffocate all voices of rationality and plant the seeds of a new form of extremism that future generations of Iranians, Middle Easterns and Americans would have to deal with.

It is a pity to see that at a time where the Arab spring is promising a new era of rationality and prosperity in the tormented region of the Middle East, some forces within the U.S are yet again paving the ground for another round of violence to emerge.


more from Reza Nasri


by khengali on

Did you get a kick out of my pen name? I'm glad Shazde. Happy to oblige.

One needs a laughter once in a while. Your fellow MEK cultists always look so glum, so uptight, so constipated.They need to get laid more often or for the first time.

This khengali and his fellow American citizens would soon let you know what we've decided your MEK sorry fate should be in our beautiful, non-Islamic , non-Marxist US of A. Meanwhile, here's a tip as to how to get another cheap laugh while you anxiously await our answer. This time MEK cultist is the target. I have tried it many times. Never fails to amuse. Never gets old. Loads of fun. Here's what you do:

Approach a cult member. Greet him politely.Say you have a question about MEK you want answer to. He beams (doesn't suspect you're setting him up), says I'll be happy to answer your question. You cautiously  take three steps back then ask: Why did Rajavi marry Abrishamchi's wife?

Shazde I guarantee you'll see sparks fly, then fireworks start. It's hilarious! Try it sometimes.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

وقتی‌ "خنگ علی‌" از کسی‌ خوشش بیاد ...

Shazde Asdola Mirza

... معلومه که طرف چیکاره است!



by khengali on

Dear Dr. Reza Nasri

Good for you for fighting MEK's propaganda machine. The scandalized (Masoud Rajavi marrying Mayam, an already married woman), naturalized Iraqi citizens (the MEK leadership clique were all Ba'ath party members) should be put in their proper place."Mojahed" front page was a nice touch too!.Nothing can delegitimize MEK like its own printed words.

As for NIAC. I think we Iranians should all be a bit more generous and give it a break.NIAC is fighting a good figh on behalf of mother country Iran. If we are not willing to help NIAC or contribute to it, let's not undermine its efforts either.  All the attacks on NIAC by fellow Iranians  remind me of Arab/American attempts at making a PAC that could rivel AIPAC.But the Arabs spend so much time disagreeing and being disagreable with each, much to the delight of my Shushtari heart, that their attempts are mostly sabotaged by the members of their own community.



MeK will not serve progress and freedom for Iran.

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

What a twisted situation, The only group hated much more than the regime is the MeK, the usa may want to create a saddam hussein for Iran and that means screwing democracy for Iran and using heavy tactics on the ground in which case Irans democratic majority can not win.

People will submit to an armed militia, thats what we have with the IRI right now, people submitting, the IRI has no popular support.  This mess is going to be tough to deal with for people that love Iran.

G. Rahmanian

IR Should Not Be Trusted!

by G. Rahmanian on

Even if true this is yet another ruse by IR to buy time! By the way, didn't IR leaders say sanctions had no effect? So, why should they care about sanctions, now?


Look at my cartoon again

by Aladin Katoor on

Ramin J

on diversion tactics

by Ramin J on

as soon as the MEK gets criticized, they try to chnage teh subject to something else. The weather, soccer, or more commonly, NIAC. And within the cobversation on NIAC, the diversion is always towards questions that already have been answered rather than the real issues an dteh real work NIAC does.

If one is only reading the comment section at IC, one can be left wit the impression that NIAC is unpopular in teh Iranian community. Reality is the opposite, since no other group has raised as much money from the Iranian American grassroots as NIAC. Giving $100 speaks far more than writing 100 blog posts on IC.

the signature "Ehaas" had a briliant piece on how the attack machine against NIAC does not care about the facts. Some people on this very thread called for NIAC to take on the MEK, and when they did, the very same folks began attacking NIAC. Says something about them...

The Iranian-American Dark Knight



by Hooshang Tarreh-Gol on

Amir jan, I'm all for all the help we could get, from anywhere, inside, outside, Earth , Mars,.. But we ought to be very careful and precise with any assistance. No one really gives a hoot about Iranian people, anyone offering us assistance obviously has some interest in offering such aid as well, which is fine, as long as the terms are clearly defined, and there's no misunderstanding that getting help doesn't mean servitude.

South Korea and Taiwan are outstanding insatnces of  successful industrialization in the third world. Our 1979 episode was suppose to be a "transition" towards such a model, but it ended up on the wrong track. Thirty two years later, we might get a second chance. Late better than never.


Hooshang Tarreh-Gol

by Tabarzin on

The plan is not to replace the current regime with the Greens. NATO/EU/USA does not trust the Greens. The plan is to replace the current regime with amenable elements in the IRGC and a possible non-Islamist military strong-man.



Response to G. Rahmanian & Hooshang Tarreh-Gol

by AMIR1973 on

Mr. Rahmanian: Thanks for the info. I didn't know that. 

Mr. Tarreh-Gol: The only 'bad' part about help from the 'international community,' is that, once they come in, they 'll never leave. The only thing the 'interantional community' is looking towards in Iran is to smoothly replace IR with a "Green" version, and basically leave everything else, unchanged. 

I'm not suggesting that the 'international community' come into Iran. I'm suggesting that they provide assistance to Iranians in achieving regime change as they did in South Africa and Libya and as they are in the process of doing in Syria via comprehensive economic sanctions (especially on oil, natural gas, and the Central Bank of Iran) that will help deprive the regime of some of the financial resources that it has for maintaining its apparatus of repression and bribery. That can allow a more level playing field, so to speak, between the IRI and its opponents. I would also point out that South Korea went from a very poor agrarian society (whose economy was smaller than that of Iran as late as 1979) to a leading industrialized democracy, thanks in large part to help from the U.S. (and of course, the efforts of its own people) -- same goes for Taiwan.   


Iranian working class is in a very different position today

by Hooshang Tarreh-Gol on

than it was back in '79.

Back then our problem was too much growth and most if not all those protests against the employers and the state were on the offensive mode. Today's protests and struggles are almost all defensive.NIOC itself has been cut up into god knows how many different parts, and all the work in there handed over to contractors and sub-contractors. Almost 80 to 90% of the workers in Iran are working on temporary bases, with no benefits, no insurance, and of course no job security.

The only 'bad' part about help from the 'international community,' is that, once they come in, they 'll never leave. The only thing the 'interantional community' is looking towards in Iran is to smoothly replace IR with a "Green" version, and basically leave everything else, unchanged.

Any military confrontaion in Iran will be ten times worse Iraq and Afghanistan combined. And all sides know this. With the current worldwide chronic economic crisis, a prolonged crisis in the Persian Gulf could have negative, immdediate global consequences, dragging the whole world into a depression and worse.

G. Rahmanian


by G. Rahmanian on

The strike by the NIOC employees came about when two employees were gunned down and not as a result of union work! Change without force is impossible unless all Iranians who work go on a nation-wide strike. Foreign states can help by imposing sanctions on IR's oil and gas. When and if that day comes, the regime will collapse!


 Kudos to Faramarz for a

by vildemose on

 Kudos to Faramarz for a well-reasoned argument regarding NIAC's stance. Well-done.

Reform requires the consent of the corrupt


Replicating 1978 (e.g. oil strike) is unlikely

by AMIR1973 on

You will find that my suggestions are even more drastic and involve a general strike especially involving the Iranian oil workers all the way to help from the legitimate armed forces of Iran

The Islamist regime is 110% geared and ready for any replication of the tactics of the 1977-79 revolution, particularly an oil strike. All independent labor unions have been eradicated and any oil worker who participated in such a strike could expect to face the harshest punishments (and probably their families too). On the other hand, sanctions on oil are beyond the reach of IRI thugs. Whereas the Syrian opposition has been promoting an oil embargo, NIAC has been opposing it against the IRI using the pretext "that it while only hurt ordinary Iranians".

Artificial Intelligence

Dear Faramarz

by Artificial Intelligence on

With regards to NIAC, CASMII, MEK & IRI debate here on IC, I have yet to see someone articulate and respond to the issues as well as you have done in your multiple posts below . Agree with it all!


Responses to Amir and Faramarz

by MM on

Thank you for your answers and I'll make sure to forward them to NIAC.  You will find that my suggestions are even more drastic and involve a general strike especially involving the Iranian oil workers all the way to help from the legitimate armed forces of Iran, as described in my blog "Practical path towards democracy".  However, the first step in any measurable progress against IRI involves a united front and I am interested in finding an answer to that problem.

I like some of the ideas on de-legitimizing IRI by some of the actions that the foreign governments can implement, but to say that everything is on the table is inviting foreign intervention and that is something I am not for.


Dear Faramarz

by AMIR1973 on

I agree with pretty much EVERY word in your post. You state it perfectly...Regards.

Masoud Kazemzadeh

From Mr. Nasri's Own Site!!!!!!!!!!

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

ایران را کشوری می دانستند که توانسته نونهال مردم سالاری دینی را از گذرگاههای صعب العبور افراطی گیریهای انقلابی، بحرانهای داخلی، مداخلات خارجی، جنگ تحمیلی و آفت واپسگرایی به سلامت عبور دهد، و نمونه معقولی از دموکراسی بومی را در منطقه پر تلاطم خاورمیانه به نمایش بگذارد.
تصویری که پیش از انتخابات از ثبات داخلی ایران و نظام سیاسی اش وجود داشت خود یکی از مهم ترین ضوامن امنیتی کشور محسوب می شد

در عرصه بین المللی نیز تصویری که از ایران پیش از انتخابات وجود داشت، با تصویری که امروز در اذهان عمومی نقش بسته، بسیار متفاوت است.
تصویر ایران پیش از 22 خرداد، تصویر کشوری متحد، با ثبات و مستقل است که به عنوان مهم ترین بازیگر در مناسبات خاورمیانه نقش ایفا می کند.
ایران را در محافل آکادمیک و عامی جهان کشوری می پنداشتند که برخلاف تبلیغات مغرضانه رسانه ای،  در روابط خارجه اش، با عملگرایی، عقلانیت و رعایت چهارچوبهای حقوق بین المللی  رفتار می کند و از این رو قابلیت مذاکره، همکاری و مسئولیت پذیری فراوانی دارد. ایران را مدرن ترین کشور منطقه می خواندند که با اتکاء بر جامعه ای جوان، پویا، تحصیل کرده و متخصص، می تواند در پی تعاملی سازنده با سایر قدرتها، پله های توسعه را به سرعت بپیماید، و در مقابله با مشکلات بشر در عصر جهانی شدن، نقش مهمی بازی نماید.

پیش از انتخابات، نیروهای مسلح، به ویژه سپاه پاسداران نیز نزذ افکار عمومی ایرانیان از جایگاه والایی برخوردار بودند. قاطبه مردم، سپاه را یکی از ارزنده ترین سرمایه ها ملی خود می دانستند که در طی سالهای پرتلاطم بعد از انقلاب، نه تنها از تمامیت ارضی، ارزشهای انقلابی و منافع کشور در مقابل مهاجمان به خوبی محافظت کرده است، بلکه موفق شده با اتکاء به پایگاه مردمی خود، ایران را به بزرگ ترین قدرت خاورمیانه مبدل سازد.
اما امروز تصویر ایران نزد ایرانیان و جهانیان به تصویر کشوری شکننده و آسیب پذیر تبدیل شده است. امروزه، بخش عظیمی از جامعه ایران، اعتمادش به نهادهای حکومتی، و در نتیجه به صلابت نظامی سیاسی مخدوش گشته، و افکار عمومی جهان نیز ثبات ساختار سیاسی ایران را به شدت مورد سوال قرار می دهد. تصویر به جا مانده از ایران پس از  22 خرداد، حکایت از کشوری دارد که در آن، نهادهای حکومتی، اعم از اجرایی و قضایی، بر خلاف انتظار،  آنقدر توسعه نیافته اند که صرفا بر مبنای قوانین مصوبه عمل  کنند و مکانیسم های نظارتی نیز چندان رشد نکرده اند که مستقل از سلیقه های خاص، بر مبنای اصول دموکراتیک و مردمی، ایفای نقش نمایند.
بحرانهای پس از انتخابات و نحوه مدیریت آنها نیز باعث شده که استقلال نیروهای مسلح در مناسبات سیاسی کشور شدیدا مورد سوال قرار گیرد و سپاه پاسداران، که هموراه به عنوان نهادی مردمی، فراجناحی و ملی شناخته می شد،  خواسته یا ناخواسته در تصادم و تقابل با  خواست آحاد مردم قرار گیرد.


Response to MM

by AMIR1973 on

please give NIAC your suggestions as to how to deal with IRI, or, tell me and I will forward them to NIAC.  

The following is by no means complete: Comprehensive sanctions on IRI's oil and natural gas. Sanctioning all IRI banks and financial institutions, including the IRI's Central Bank. Making regime change the official policy of the U.S. and its allies. No negotiations of any sort with the IRI. Closing of all IRI embassies, consulates, propaganda outlets, front organizations, and linked entities in the U.S. and allied countries. Expulsion of all IRI "diplomats" and IRI Fellow Travelers, including (but not limited to) Press TV propagandists. Travel ban on anyone linked to IRI Foreign Ministry, Oil Ministry, etc. Implement the same policies that helped bring regime change to Libya (Qaddafi has been in power even longer than the IRI) and are now starting to be implemented against the murderous Assad regime in Syria. 


MM Aziz

by Faramarz on

We are past the point of semantics and technicalities about the charter of NIAC and are now dealing with the devil that is in front of us, The Islamic Republic.

Like the 70% of the Iranian-Americans that you have mentioned, I am also opposed to war. Nobody likes a war and bloodshed, but I also believe that when it comes to this brutal Regime that has no regards for human life and human dignity, all options need to be on the table, including the use of force. We cannot whitewash the torture and the death of the Iranians today because we are afraid of what might happen tomorrow.

My suggestion to NIAC is very simple. Come out and say that you are opposed to this Regime. Say that you will support all the reasonable and legal means to topple this Regime and replace it with a democratic one, starting with sanctions and eventually with oil embargo that will castrate the regime. Then say that if the Regime uses force against the unarmed opposition, the Iranian people have the right to defend themselves and if they ask for help, the international community has an obligation to come in and help them, as was the case in Libya and will most likely will be the case in Syria. Self defense and self preservation are the most basic of human instincts and rights.

Why should we deny the Iranian people that basic right?

G. Rahmanian

Mr. Nasri:

by G. Rahmanian on

"Certainly, an unethical dogmatic cult like the MEK - which has the capacity of instructing its own members to self-immolate in support of their leaders - a cult that went as far as fighting alongside the troops of Saddam Hussein when he invaded its own country’s territorial integrity - is much less principled and predictable than some hawkish American politicians wish it to be." Reading the above, some questions came to mind. 1. Does PMOI indeed instruct "its own members to self-immolate in support of its leader?" Or is it your guess that it does. Has such instruction been documented? Because if it has been documented then it can be used against the organization Iin the court of law. By the way, since, from reading your artiicle, you seem to champion the motto, "Once a terrorist, always a terrorist." I don't think quoting former members would be a sensible idea. 2. Isn't it true that PMOI forces attacked IR forces in 1988, years after Iraqi forces had retreated from the areas they had invaded in the beginning of the war? According to former IR president Abol Hassan Bani Sadr the war could and should have ended in its first six months. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that would have been too soon because Iranian territories were still being occupied by Iraqi forces. Would you not say the IR regime could have ended the war after the Iraqi forces were routed and had retreated to within the Iraqi territory? I appreciate YOUR honest response!


Dear Faramarz

by MM on

According to a survey of Iranian-American community, 70% oppose a war / foreign intervention in Iran, according to Berkeley University’s study.  The majority of NIAC members also oppose war, according to internal surveys.  If so, then it leaves NIAC with the following choices:

* Help with negotiations between the US / Iran, when asked for help, by e.g., members of the US congress (//, to do so since there are no diplomatic relations between the two countries. 

* Become an opposition group, as others have suggested for NIAC to become (Challenging NIAC to become an opposition group).  But, I do not really see this happening since NIAC is an Iranian-American organization.

* Convince the US adminstration to include human rights in any negotiations, and hopefully this has led to the recent 2010 (and more) boycott of the 8 Iranian officials with the worst human rights record.

* Help foster collaboration between the opposition in iran and those in Diaspora to create a united front against IRI, "hambastegi" as Mehrdad cries out every time he comments.  My recent suggestion to NIAC, BTW.

There are plenty of those in IC who advocate, e.g., bomb Iran using "smart bombs", but I do not.  If you do not either, then please give NIAC your suggestions as to how to deal with IRI, or, tell me and I will forward them to NIAC.  NIAC supports democracy in Iran, with an emphasis on the implementation of human rights as the first step towards whatever the Iranian people choose as the form of government, rather than a MEK. 


Mehrdad Jaan

by Faramarz on

NIAC and the other organizations like it are completely irrelevant, as far as I am concerned. They don’t resonate with Iranian-Americans and they don’t resonate with the Iranians back home. They are just a feel-good exercise for a very few people.

What I don’t like about NIAC is that they claim to represent us, the Iranian-Americans, the entire half a million or a million of us! Next time you are at a Sizdeh-Bedar picnic or a Chelo Kabobi, ask the people around you if they have even heard of Trita, or the gentleman who wrote this blog.

As far as joining NIAC to change their mission, NIAC very much like MEK is a reflection of the strong beliefs of their leadership, the rank and file just need to contribute and drink the Kool-aid!

I’ll take my chance with Hilary and Obama!

Soosan Khanoom

Great article

by Soosan Khanoom on

Thank you for posting this.  I would like to add that State department exactly knows what MEK organization is and who they are dealing with.  

There is only one thing in the state department's mind and that's not the interest of Iranians or even the U.S but only the interest of Isreal especailly the BiBi's gang.  




Farmarz jaan: If I may, respectfully, point out

by Bavafa on

To suggest that any one who actively opposes MEK legitimization then by default is for the grand bargaining with IRI, at best is too simplistic in thinking. It has been argued and I believe MEK legitimization can punch a big blow to the Iranian opposition groups and strengthen the IRI hand at home. This legitimization will not do any thing to advance Iranian opposition's cause if the aim is to bring freedom and [secular] democracy to Iran. So, in a way, I believe opposing such legitimization is supporting legitimate opposition groupS within and outside of Iran.

Regarding NIAC, one wonders why so much anti-NIAC effort if we are to believe that they are a "narrow lobby group of a few hundred people" specially that we should not be alarmed about MEK as their leadership is a bunch of senior citizens in need of colonoscopy. Can you see the contradiction here?

This is all in light of the FACTS that one can join NIAC and try (please note the verb) to change its mission. Should he/she fails in his/her aim, there is absolutely no danger or threat to prevent him to move on and in fact creating another organization in countering it. However, such options sadly is not available to MEK members.

I do however agree with your sentiments about NIAC's weak (at best) approach in pointing out IRI atrocities against Iranian people. It is worth mentioning that this approach was pretty much none existence a few years ago and the membership participation has resulted in a more focus on human rights at the same time the as they are paying more attention to it, the criticism has not changed if any, it has strengthen.

'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 



Mehrdad Jaan

by Faramarz on

This whole MEK argument by NIAC and NIAC-lite organizations is a smoke screen to push their main agenda which is to lift the sanctions, get a Grand Bargain and let’s all get along hugs and kisses. After all, didn’t we all agree that MEK’s leadership is a bunch of senior citizens who are more in need of healthcare and colonoscopy than a fighting force parachuting out of airplanes? And the fact that MEK has to use rent-a-mob to bring people to their rallies who don’t even know why they are there proves their status as an opposition group.

Now, these NIAC types have a more dangerous agenda because they are trying to legitimize the Regime by crying wolf over MEK, AIPAC, Zionists, etc. What they fail to understand, since many of them like Trita have not been subject to a Basij/Pasdar treatment is that the Regime’s DNA contains anti-US, anti-women, anti-democracy components that will not go away through a Grand Bargain. A grand bargain will never happen.

In the battle between the not-perfect and the evil, I will always choose the not-perfect. That’s why I have chosen to live where I live and say what I say.


Reza Nasri

by Fred on

The merits of a previous article of yours in 2009 proposing a deal with the Islamist Rapists was  discussed by many, however you chose to not reply to any of the issues raised.

To my knowledge not one of your published articles takes issue with the Islamist Rapist Republic, and instead puts the blame on others as both CASMII and NIAC lobby do,

So does your own foundation.






Farmarz jaan, a comment or two about MEK

by Bavafa on

Which is the main topic of this article will go a long way.

It is of much interest how the main topic, MEK, which by far is a greater danger to Iran and Iranians with far longer history in betraying Iran and Iranians are completely ignored yet NAIC gets condemned left and right, simply because they have taken up on the same issue.

Sticking our head in the sand and pretend… will only help in fooling ourselves

'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 



Viewer discretion is advised...

by پندارنیک on

I leave the substantial discussion about the content of this good blog to credible pundits who are visiting it, and will only touch one rather cosmetic issue here.

I don't see the top image being the true representative of the evil spirit of the MEK cultist organization as it is today. It somehow portrays it as an anti-imperialist militia movement. The question of whether the organization  has been betrayed by its leadership's cordial relationship with Iran's sworn enemies, from the days of Saddam to now, whether it is where it is today because of its ideology, is not the subject of this blog.