• 25 April 2011
  • Posted By Jamal Abdi
  • 2 Comments
  • MEK

The MEK issued a statement late last week that not only casts serious doubt on their claims to have renounced terrorism but demands that they be allowed to come to the U.S. 

The group cites a disarmament deal they negotiated with the U.S. as the basis for the demand:

The Ashraf residents, in their two-day negotiations with (former Commanding General of U.S. Forces in Iraq) General Odierno on 9 and 10 May 2003, announced that after their disarmament, upon conditions that the US is incapable of giving them protection in Iraq, they are ready to go to the US.

The referenced deal, negotiated after the toppling of the MEK’s chief patron Saddam Hussein, apparently requires the United States to relocate MEK members in Iraq to the U.S. or E.U.:

…it is up to the US, in return to [sic] their disarmament and in accordance with the agreement signed with each of the residents, to transfer every one of them without exception to the US or European Union member States.

The fact that the MEK is designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization would prevent them from legally coming to the U.S., but an assortment of prominent U.S. politicians, lobbyists, and consulting firms are working to reverse that terror designation.  However, the MEK statement also raises new questions about whether the group has truly renounced terrorism as they have claimed:

Hence, if in the future similar to the past, the goal of establishing various committees in Iraq’s Prime Ministry is for the sole purpose of the residents’ repression, killing and closing down Ashraf, there will be no choice left for Iran’s freedom fighters other than resistance at any price.

So now that the MEK is threatening “resistance at any price” and demanding relocation to the U.S., the question is: will U.S. officials supporting MEK, some of whom have acknowledged receiving “substantial amount” of cash,  invite these “freedom fighters” into their own backyards?

Perhaps Rudy Giuliani, who told an MEK conference in Paris last year that “the United States should not just be on your side…it should be enthusiastically on your side,” knows of a good place in Lower Manhattan to relocate the group.  Never mind that MEK leaders Massoud and Maryam Rajavi reportedly celebrated September 11th by broadcasting the attacks at Camp Ashraf.  Rudy apparently has no problem with the Rajavis’ declarations following September 11th that, “if (Al Qaeda) could do such a sophisticated military operation we must be able to do so in a much better manner,” and, “wait and see the fruits of our revolutionary Islam!”

Or maybe Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), the lead sponsor of a resolution calling for MEK to be removed from the U.S. terror list, could invite the group to Texas.  I’m sure he would enjoy informing his constituents in Liberty County that 3,500 Marxist-Islamist “freedom fighters” will be moving in down the street.

Or who knows, maybe the MEK’s U.S. supporters will be given pause by these new revelations, not to mention previous findings of torture and cult-like practices at Camp Ashraf.  Maybe they will be convinced to focus not on legitimizing the MEK’s leaders but instead on the estimated seventy percent of Camp Ashraf residents that RAND estimates were brought there against their will and would leave MEK if given the chance.

But don’t hold your breath.  If officials are being paid “substantial” amounts of  money to advocate on behalf of MEK and have a change of heart, they might have to give the money back.

Posted By Jamal Abdi

    2 Responses to “Will Giuliani invite MEK “freedom fighters” to relocate in Manhattan?”

  1. Pirouz says:

    Best NIAC blog post ever.

  2. Patrick says:

    Best picture of Rudy Giuliani ever

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Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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