The Irony of “Appeasement”

There is no irony in appeasement, according to major media who, on February 20 and 21, reported on a press conference held in Brussels by the National Council of Resistance of Iran. From Associated Press account:

An exiled Iranian opposition group claimed Wednesday that Tehran was speeding up a program to develop nuclear weapons. “The Iran regime entered a new phase in its nuclear project,” said Mohammad Mohaddessin of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran.

The NCRI is the political wing of the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, which advocates the overthrow of government in Tehran. The Mujahedeen has been designated a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union as well as Iran.

Mohaddessin said his group got the information from “hundreds” of reports and sources from within the Iranian regime, whom he did not name.1

The PMOI—a.k.a., the Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MeK)—made the same claim in December 2002. The allegation then—that the Iranian regime was enriching uranium at weapons-grade level within secret facilities—turned out to be only partially (and irrelevantly) true: the facilities existed (not a violation in itself), but contrary to the group’s claims, were not weapons-production sites. Still, the information from the MeK—contrived in conjunction with Israeli entities—was used by U.S. hawks to pass sanctions against Iran. But their case has been so weak; the neocons have had to use blatant coercion to persuade UNSC nations to vote in favor.

The most notable and dangerous in all this is that the unproven MeK-Israeli, nuclear weapons claim is the basis for the main finding of the most recent National Intelligence Estimate: that Iran had “halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003.” Iran never had a weapons program—at least not one that has been confirmed by U.S. intelligence, the IAEA, or anyone else but Iranian “dissidents” and Israelis and neocons, i.e., the ones who have been wrong all along.

Further deconstruction of the Iranian nukes fraud and the neocons’ nuclear shakedown of Iran:

Iran was late in reporting which is a Safeguard issue. Tehran voluntarily stopped the process of enriched uranium; it also allowed the IAEA to carry out intrusive, spot inspections. No country has allowed as many inspection hours as Iran. [Tehran] proposed to operate Iran’s enrichment program as joint ventures with private and public sector firms from other countries; this would ensure that the program remained transparent and could not be secretly diverted for military purposes, at the same time it would maintain Iran’s sovereignty by having an indigenously enriched uranium cycle. Although this was rejected, Iran continued to cooperate.

Iran suspended its enrichment activities for two and half years, but each time under pressure from the U.S., the burden of proof was transferred to Iran knowing the negative could not be proved.2

“Coverage”

All this occurs, when in fact no evidence has ever been verified that supports the weapons charge, as AP surprisingly points out (albeit in the last two sentences of the story and about a year late on the timeline). What media always fail to mention, however, is that the lack of damning proof of an Iranian weapons program, then and now, undercuts the misleading NIE conclusion and the nuclear leg of the neocons’ aggressive campaign.

But by omitting such vital facts, major media are perpetuating the prevailing U.S.-Israeli-NCRI conjecture, asserting that Tehran had a viable nuclear weapons program at one time, has resumed it, and is now accelerating the manufacturing process.

In that regard, news media are lying and abetting terrorism and treason. Terrorism, because all individuals who harbor, fund, arm, train, feed, or employ terrorists are terrorists (George Bush’s words—not mine). Treason, because the Mek and their handlers in and around the U.S. government are violating U.S. and international law and constantly lying to the people of the United States and the world in an effort to drum up support for further violent insurrection and aggressive war in the Middle East.

Nothing dubious here

Major news media conceal the U.S. government’s dubious relations with the MeK. It is of no consequence that the United States has been harboring, funding, training, and employing U.S.-designated terrorist groups in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East.345

Some news media provide extra “coverage” by inserting a misleading historical context in an effort to soften the image of the Iranian “opposition group.” From the EU Observer’s report on the NCRI press conference:

[T]he PMOI was persecuted by the Iranian government, with thousands of their members killed. They were subsequently sheltered by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.6

The insinuation that the “persecut[ion]” was unprovoked is absurd. Prosecuted is more like it, according to the U.S. State Department:

According to a 2003 report by the State Department, “During the 1970s, the MEK killed US military personnel and US civilians working on defense projects in Tehran.… The MEK detonated bombs in the head office of the Islamic Republic Party and the Premier’s office, killing some 70 high-ranking Iranian officials…. In 1991, it assisted the Government of Iraq in suppressing the Shia and Kurdish uprisings in southern Iraq and the Kurdish uprisings in the north.” In other words, the MEK was a terrorist group—one that took its orders from Saddam Hussein.7

But to “mainstream” news media, it doesn’t matter that the same Iranian opposition group with a history of committing terrorism on U.S. and Iranian civilians is relied upon as the means to justify and accomplish the neocons and the Mek’s mutual ends of regime-change and resource procurement in Iran.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, spokesman for the MeK, has appeared intermittently over the past few years as a “Middle East Expert,” or “Terror Expert,” on CNN and Fox. Of course there’s never a hint as to his affiliation with the MeK, much less its terrorist designation. But hey, how can he be a terrorist when he heads his own D.C.-based think-tank!

Nothing illicit here

The most thoroughly unreported facts about U.S.-Iranian affairs are the most incriminating ones.

The Algiers Accords, signed by Iran and the United States on January 19, 1981, clearly states, “The United States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs.”8

Yet, from the Iraq-Iran War, during which the United States funded Saddam Hussein and supplied him with WMDs which he then used against Iran—to the current war build-up against Iran, whereby groups like the MeK and Jundallah are being harbored, funded, and employed—the laundry list of Algiers Accords violations by the United States is long and ugly. And every violation is a violation of the U.S. Constitution, which states that such contracts are to be treated as law of the land.

Move along, folks

One of the most irony-deficient (and shamelessly self-effacing) examples of U.S.-Iran media coverage came in the Observer’s uncritical account of the NCRI’s use of fallacious war propaganda to emotionally blackmail and upbraid the EU into taking a more aggressive stance toward Iran:

Referring to the “huge trade” between Europe and Iran, Mr Mohaddessin said: “The EU is trying to achieve security through appeasing the Iranian regime. The EU is appeasing the Iranian regime and it is a disaster for the Iranian people. You remember what happened in the 1930s? They carried out exactly the same policy with Hitler that the EU is doing now with the Iranian regime.”9

This reality-inversion of a comparison is trumpeted almost exclusively by fringe pro-war elements within and around U.S. and Israeli governments and in “pro-western” think-tanks; the other 99.7% of the world laughs it off, knowing that the only Middle Eastern regime with a modern history of aggressive war and secret nuclear weapons production is the one in Israel.

In 1986, former Israeli nuclear facility worker, Mordechai Vanunu, revealed to a foreign news news reporter that Israel was developing nuclear weapons in secret facilities—a confirmation of what the rest of the world had already hypothesized. He was kidnapped by Mossad agents in Italy, charged with treason, and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Unlike the MeK and others, he didn’t confide in or collaborate with a foreign government, and wasn’t revealing information that wasn’t already known outside of Israel. Nevertheless, he has been a political prisoner for the last 21 years. Even his 2004 release gave him little freedom: he is not allowed to leave the country and is under, among other restrictions, curfew and gag order, not allowed to talk to foreigners.10

Although Vanunu’s claims about Israel’s illicit nuclear weapons program were true and were made on moral and legal grounds—and the treatment he has received is unlawful and at times barbaric—his story is still ignored by mainstream media.

On the other hand, the NCRI-MeK is a U.S.-designated terror organization with a verified history of terrorism against Iranian and U.S. targets and treason against their people; yet they are treated by the U.S. government and major news media as trustworthy allies, and their flawed, Israeli-assisted intelligence is considered more credible than that of any U.S. intelligence agency.

And to top it all: By not giving in to U.S.-Israel-MeK demands for aggression toward Iran—the demands of U.S. and EU-branded terrorists—the EU is “appeasing the Iranian regime.” Such is the criminal hypocrisy of deceptive and aggressive war, and the irony of appeasement.

  1. Raf Casert (AP): “Group Claims Iran Speeding Up Nuke Plans“: Associated Press: February 20, 2008. []
  2. Soraya Sepaphour-Ulrich: “Iran Intelligence Report: Another Psychological Warfare?“: CounterCurrents: December 5, 2007. []
  3. Rostam Pourzal: “Who Among Iranians Fears the NIE?“: ZNet: December 19, 2007. []
  4. Ardeshir Ommani: “U.S. Support for Terror in Iran“: CASMII: April 10, 2007. []

  5. Larisa Alexandrovna: “On Cheney, Rumsfeld order, US outsourcing special ops, intelligence to Iraq terror group, intelligence officials say“: The Raw Story: April 13, 2006. []
  6. Leigh Phillips (euobserver.com): “Iran opposition group accuses EU of ‘appeasement’“: EU Observer: February 20, 2008. []
  7. Craig Unger: “From the Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Iraq“: Vanity Fair: March 2007. []
  8. Algeria, the United States & Iran: “The Algiers Accords“: Pars Times: Accessed on February 22, 2008. More on the 1981 Algiers Accords and the neocons: “US Wants to Have It Both Ways on Iranian Nonintervention Pact,” by Reese Erlich. []
  9. Phillips/EU Observer []
  10. Eileen Fleming: “The Vanunu Saga: 2008“: We Are Wide Awake: February 2008. []

Dan Alba likes to defend those who defend those who can not defend themselves, and exposing those whose offenses are indefensible. Read other articles by Dan, or visit Dan's website.

3 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Shabnam said on February 29th, 2008 at 12:31am #

    Dan:
    Thank you very much for this article. The United States decision to impose more sanction to punish Iranian children and push them toward their graves, the same as Iraqi children, because Iranian people want to practice their rights under NPT is illegal. Iran is NOT violating its NPT agreement, according to head of the agency, Elbaradie, who is monitoring the program yet the criminals in Washington and Tel Aviv have threaten Iran with war and destruction through their propaganda tool, the media and cooperation of other Zionists and colonial power, France, Germany, Britain and Russia. The United States and Israel are in contact with an Iranian terrorist organization, MEK, or the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), which assisted Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war, and they are receiving unreliable intelligence from them, like before the Iraq invasion, and US and Israel consider this terrorist organization as an asset to be used against Iranian people although this organization’s name is on the state department’s terrorist list. MEK have killed U.S. military personnel and civilians in Iran and backed the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy. From the early 1990s through at least 2001, MEK members attacked Iranian embassies and other facilities in several countries, killed Iranian officials and carried out attacks near the Iraq-Iran border.
    MEK has a close relationship with the Neocon such as Daniel Pipe and Richard Pearle who was the keynote speaker at MEK’s 2000 convention as alternative to regime in Tehran. MEK is also supported by the congress woman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who is very
    http://www.iran-interlink.org/files/News/Ros-Lehtinen.2.30jan03.pdf

    Pro Israel and supports MEK alternative to current Iranian regime. Mojahedin, MEK, are viewed as traitors and terrorists by the majorities of Iranian people who was funded by Saddam for years. “MEK activists rarely deny the militia’s collaboration with the Washington hawks and Israel.
    MR. Alba you are correct when you write:
    “On the other hand, the NCRI-MeK is a U.S.-designated terror organization with a verified history of terrorism against Iranian and U.S. targets and treason against their people; yet they are treated by the U.S. government and major news media as trustworthy allies and their flawed, Israeli-assisted intelligence is considered more credible than that of any U.S. intelligence agency.”
    In fact PMOI in its newspaper “Mojahed” in October 1980 wrote:

    “ever since its foundation in 1965, PMOI, the thrust of the battle against the US advisors fell to the mojahedin, who targeted and claimed the lives of a number for the first time, while it was the PMOI whose bombs planted in imperialist and Zionist institutions and destroying them which first caused the imperialists and their domestic mercenaries to be alarmed.”

    Not only does the “Mojahed” provide the record of the PMOI’s terrorist activities in the 1970s, the organization also published The History of the PMOI, 1965-171, which describes a long list of terrorist acts carried out by the PMOI. These include how the Mojahedin planned to kidnap the British cultural attaché in the UAE, how they tried to smuggle arms and explosives onto a Pan Am aircraft, how they succeeded in smuggling arms and explosives on aircraft after dousing the seats with gasoline and holding the crew at gunpoint.” This terrorist organization is after power and they are willing to their services to anyone who helps them to reach their goal.
    http://www.iran-interlink.org/files/News/Ros-Lehtinen.2.30jan03.pdf
    http://www.pars-iran.com/en/?mod=view&id=851

    One of their members is Mohammad Mohaddessin, commander in Saddam’s Private Army, posing as a writer and political personality. This person has been described by
    one of the members of American left as follows:
    “Mohammad Mohaddessin’s recent work, Enemies of the Ayatollahs, published by Zed Books, is a detailed and informative history of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), the largest and oldest resistance organization in Iran. “
    And he continues to make the terrorist organization as an alternative to the present regime of Iran:

    “Perhaps the most important theme in Enemies of the Ayatollah, at least in terms of its Western audience, is the presentation of an alternative vision of Islam. This vision is a cornerstone of the PMOI’s opposition to the Tehran regime and is based on the premise that Islam “not only fully compatible with democracy, human rights and the values of modern-day civilization, but that it is an inherently tolerant and democratic religion.”

    “The founders and members of the PMOI, on the other hand, see the Koran in a different light, subject to a reinterpretation that remains true to the essence of the words, yet takes into account the differences between today and the time when Mohammed wrote it down. This approach is no different than that of liberal Christian and Jewish denominations.”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/jacobs04102004.html

    PMOI along with its supporters must be exposed and be isolated.

  2. DetainThis said on March 2nd, 2008 at 11:16am #

    Much obliged, Shabnam; that was very instructive. Indeed, these double-standards must end, and the USA should cease all its unlawful and dangerous overseas meddling for which the common people always pay the ultimate price.

  3. Shabnam said on March 4th, 2008 at 12:49pm #

    The “democratic west” once again is revealing its true face by supporting the terrorist organization, MEK, to destroy Iran and maintain their, as Churchill said, PERMENT INTEREST, by killing and robbing others which can be traced by following their foot prints in Americas, US; Canada and in Australia; New Zealand, in Africa and south Asia for example, Pakistan and more around the world.
    As soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich in regard to “Lord Corbett of Castle Vale” who supports the terrorist organization, MEK, to maintain the “democratic west” through acts of terrorism, killing, propaganda, partition and grab of other people’s national resources has written:

    “Empirical evidence supports the fact that Britain’s foreign policy has been in direct conflict with that of Iran’s national interest. Given that the MEK’s history has been fully explored and recorded by the Human Rights Watch organization and the United States State Department, one has to examine Lord Corbett’s risky undertaking in associating his distinguished title with this group.”

    Who is providing this group with such logistical support? I guess the answer is “those who created and supported Al Qaeda in the first place, the West, so it can be used against their enemies and later to be destroyed by the empire and its associates.
    http://www.payvand.com/news/08/mar/1037.html#_edn2