By Struan Stevenson, originally published in Townhall.com, April 20, 2022
Talks in Vienna aimed at revising the tattered Iran nuclear deal have rambled on for more than a year. President Joe Biden is keen to revive the deal, which was unilaterally abandoned by President Trump in 2018, but talks have stalled due to demands by the Iranian regime that their Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) should be removed from the US Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) blacklist. Democrats are hesitant about the move, realizing they would be accused of being soft on terrorism. The Democrats have had a difficult and confusing history concerning Iran. When President Jimmy Carter was in office shortly after the revolution that ousted the Shah of Iran in 1979, supporters of the fundamentalist extremist Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini stormed the American Embassy in Tehran and seized 52 US hostages. The hostages were held for 444 days and released only after Ronald Reagan won the presidency in January 1981.
When Bill Clinton entered the White House in 1993, he was immediately assailed by an army of agents, lobbyists, and apologists for the fascist theocratic regime in Iran, who pled with him to list the main Iranian opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran/Mojahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) as a terrorist organization. Desperate to appease the mullahs, Clinton obliged by blacklisting the PMOI/MEK. The US was quickly followed by the EU and UK. It took years of costly legal battles in America, Europe, and Britain to have the unjust listings rescinded, with the UK courts even describing the terrorist labelling of the PMOI/MEK as “perverse.”
Struan Stevenson is the Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CiC). He was a member of the European Parliament representing Scotland (1999-2014), president of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-14), and chairman of the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup (2004-14). He is an international lecturer on the Middle East and president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA).