'And think what a regime change in Tehran would mean: no more threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. Instead, there would be a democratic state to oppose rather than support the Assad regime in Syria, and to give Iraq a chance to find the democracy that tens of thousands died for'
Opines Alex Carlile, Liberal Democrat peer in The Guardian, on news that the US has removed the Iranian opposition party the MEK from its status as a terrorist organisation. In accordance with Orwellian doublethink, the movement that once backed Saddam Hussein is now a beacon of freedom.
Iit is interesting that the response to the Iraq debacle,in which the deaths run into hundreds of thousands , if not a million( not tens of thousands ) , is to shift the blame for that on to Iran and to propose the same approach to Iran as was done with Iraq in the run up to war in 2003.
Sanctions are already affecting the civilian population badly. The idea will be to impoverish Iranians so that the degree of popular support the current government in Tehran has will be sapped and then a popular momentum for "regime change" can be hijacked by the US for its benefit ( enter the MEK ).
Such strategies seem doomed to backfire. One reason Iran could be developing nuclear weapons is that it fears what happened to Iraq. And yet Iran is a semi-democratic autocracy and not a dictatorship.
Potentially the situation could be very dangerous if Tehran reacts to the collapse of Assad's regime in Syria by intensifying its backing for Shia movements in countries where they form a majority whilst governed by undemocratic Sunni elites such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
This is the view, moreover, of leading Iranian-Americans who think the delisting is insane and counter-productive. Presumably, they may well have more knowledge of this than the witless Lord Carlile. The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) states it,
...deplores the decision to remove the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations. The decision opens the door to Congressional funding of the MEK to conduct terrorist attacks in Iran, makes war with Iran far more likely, and will seriously damage Iran’s peaceful pro-democracy movement as well as America’s standing among ordinary Iranians.
"The biggest winner today is the Iranian regime, which has claimed for a long time that the U.S. is out to destroy Iran and is the enemy of the Iranian people. This decision will be portrayed as proof that the U.S. is cozying up with a reviled terrorist group and will create greater receptivity for that false argument,” said NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi.