Sheehan Comment on State Department Decision to Correct FTO List

Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan’s statement on the Department of State’s announcement on September 21 that it will remove the Iranian opposition organization, Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK/PMOI), from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list.

“Secretary Clinton’s decision to remove MEK/ PMOI from the Department of State’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list is an important step toward correcting U.S.-Iran policy. The delisting was necessary to ensure that the list remains a credible tool for countering actual terrorist threats and is a victory for those concerned with the protection of civil liberties. The move also sends a clear signal to Tehran that U.S. counterterrorism policy will not be politicized, nor will the Iranian opposition be used as a source of leverage in negotiations. As the Iranian regime expands its arc of influence and closes ranks with Shiite officials in Baghdad, the democratic cause in the Middle East- to which the U.S. has contributed so much- must now shift to the promotion of democratic change in Tehran. Such change is best accomplished from within and U.S. officials must now turn their attention to the protection of opposition members against persecution and back organized efforts to promote grassroots change.”

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