FDI Warns Congressmen about Iranian Mujahidin

Press release - July 23, 1997

The Foundation for Democracy in Iran applauds the move by 222 U.S. Membersof Congress, who in a letter released today have expressed their oppositionto the Tehran regime and their support for freedom and democracy in Iran.However, the Foundation has protested what it believes is misguided supportfor an anti-democratic opposition group, the People's Mujahidin Organizationof Iran, that has been closely associated with the Tehran regime in thepast and more recently has taken shelter in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

The Congressional letter released today by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R,Fla),Gary Ackerman (D,NY), and James Traficant (D,Oh), calls on the United Statesand Europe "to adopt a more determined policy to launch a united multilateraleffort to oppose the present Iranian government and encourage democraticchange in Iran."

A more detailed statement attached to the letter, which some of thesignatories may not have read, includes a clear statement of support fora group which the U.S. State Department has included on its annual listof International Terrorist organizations, the People's Mujahidin Organizationof Iran, also known as the Mujahidin-e Khalq (MEK).

FDI fully agrees that the United States should take a firm stand againstthe Tehran regime. We are on record as fully supporting the U.S. policyof economic sanctions against the Tehran regime, and have advocated takinga tougher stance against the Islamic Republic's abysmal human rights recordas well. The United States should act in cooperation with its allies, wherepossible, and unilaterally if that fails, to increase pressure on the regime.We fully believe that a strong, free, and democratic Iran would abandonthe behavior the United States finds objectionable.

However, in a letterto the signatoriesof the Congressional letter released today, the Foundation warned that"the MEK has shown that it does not support a democratic, pluralisticIran, but instead is dedicated to bloodshed and an era of renewed radicalism.The group's own statement of principles (Maryam Rajavi's "16 points")explicitly excludes from any future democratic polity in Iran groups itfinds objectionable or that disagree with its aims. Clearly, this is arecipe for more dictatorship, not for democracy."

The full textof FDI's letter can be accessed electronically from our Internet site.

Members of Congress signing the pro-Mujahidin letter included: IleanaRos-Lehtinen, Gary Ackerman, Sam Gejdenson, David Dreyer, Eni Faleomavaega,Jon D. Fox, Robert Menendez, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Edolphus Towns, SteveChabot, James Traficant, and Robert Ney.

The Foundation for Democracy in Iran is a private, non-profit corporationregistered in the State of Maryland. Contact: Kenneth R. Timmerman, ExecutiveDirector. Tel: (301) 946-2918. Fax: (301) 942-5341. FDI materials, includingthe FDI Newswire, are available free-of-charge via the Internet at http://www.iran.org