September 12, 2011 7:04 p.m. EDT
Editor’s note: Louis Freeh served as director of the FBI from 1993-2001; Lord Corbett of Castle Vale heads the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom; and Rt. Hon. Lord Waddington QC is a former British home secretary and leader of the House of Lords. Freeh has received payment for travel expenses and speaking at conferences organized by groups that want People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran removed from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.
In 1997, the Clinton administration added the MEK to the State Department’s blacklist in what a senior administration official, according to the Los Angeles Times, described as a good will gesture to Iran — thought at the time to be moving toward a more moderate form of government. The Bush administration maintained the ban, which many saw as an effort to persuade the Iranians to abandon their nuclear weapons program. But Iran is no closer to moderation and its nuclear ambitions get closer and closer to fulfillment.
Former U.S. officials calling for the MEK to be de-listed include former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, three former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, two former directors of the CIA, former commander of NATO Wesley K. Clark, two former U.S. ambassadors to the U.N., former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, a former White House chief of staff, a former commander of the Marine Corps, former U.S. National Security Adviser Fran Townsend, now a CNN contributor; and even President Obama’s recently retired National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones. Their call is backed by 93 members of Congress, who have signed a bipartisan resolution urging the president to revoke the designation, and by prominent Democratic and Republican leaders such as Howard Dean and Rudy Giuliani.