Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has deleted the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (Mujaheddin-e-Khalq - MEK) from the list of terrorist organizations after they evacuated Camp Ashraf (100 km north of Baghdad) and agreed to relocate at at Camp Liberty (near Baghdad airport).

Originally an Iranian Marxist political party, the People’s Mujahedin gradually became a political sect devoted to the worship of it’s leaders Massoud and Maryam Rajavi.

After fighting the Shah Reza Pahlevi and taking part in the beginnings of the Khomeini Revolution, they defected to Iraq and fought alongside Saddam Hussein against the Islamic regime.

For years, the People’s Mujahedin have been behind hundreds of terrorist actions in Iran, against both leaders and indiscriminately against civilians. They were also used by Saddam Hussein to do the menial tasks that his personal guard refused to do.

The decision of the State Department can be explained in three ways:
-   The sect has lost its clout and Washington is seeking an amicable solution.
-   The Mujahedin have always served the interests of the neoconservative faction in the Pentagon, even if their alleged support in overthrowing Saddam Hussein never existed.
-   The sect has embarked on a public relations campaign to refurbish its image.

On January 6, 2012, the People’s Mujahedin had organized a conference in Paris (photo) attended by several U.S. personalities (Tom Ridge, John Bolton, Howard Dean etc.). The participants were transported all expenses paid and remunerated for their attendance (for example, 150 000 USD in the case of Edward G. Rendell, a former Democratic governor from Pennsylvania).

French officials also attended (Philippe Douste-Blazy, André Vivien etc.), but the amount of their remuneration was not disclosed.

In the United States, the People’s Mujahedin enlisted many lobbyists including leading journalists like Carl Bernstein (of Watergate fame) and Clarence Page (Chicago Tribune columnist).

Star Lobbyists Help Iran Group Escape Shadow, by Scott Shane, The New York Times, 22 September 2012.