UNITED STATES POLICY TOWARD IRAN'S MOJAHEDIN -- HON. LEE H. HAMILTON (Extension of Remarks - September 29, 1993)

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in the House of Representatives


Committee on Foreign Affairs,
Washington, DC, August 3, 1993.

Hon. Warren Christopher,
Secretary of State, Department of State,
Washington, DC.

Dear Mr. Secretary: Attached is a copy of a resolution which is being circulated by some of my colleagues in the House of Representatives regarding U.S. policy toward Iran. Among other things, this resolution urges the President to consider opening a dialogue with the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

I would appreciate receiving the Administration's views on this resolution, in general, and specifically on the desirability of dialogue with the NCR.

I appreciate your prompt consideration of this matter. I look forward to hearing from you.

With best regards,


Lee H. Hamilton,


Whereas, the Human Rights Watch World Report for 1993 reports that `Iran retained its unenviable reputation for having one of the worst human rights records in the region.'

Whereas, the Iranian authorities have harshly repressed anti-government protests and demonstrations seeking establishment of democracy and human rights.

Whereas, prisoners of conscience remain in prison and torture of prisoners continues.

Whereas, several government opponents living abroad were murdered in circumstances suggesting that they may have been victims of extrajudicial executions.

Whereas, persecution continues against political opponents and ethnic and religious minorities.

Whereas, Iran remains one of the world's most egregious state sponsors of terrorism, according to the State Department's 1993 Report on Terrorism.

Whereas, Iran has engaged in a major rearmament drive, and is also pursuing the acquisition of non-conventional weapons.

Resolved by the House of Representatives of the United States of America, that the Congress,

1. Supports a U.S. foreign policy which promotes human rights and democracy in Iran.

2. Supports a ban on all arms sales and military assistance to the current regime in Iran.

3. Urges a strong U.S. role in developing an international policy to end the sale of arms and technology to Iran until it ends human and political rights abuses.

4. Urges the President to support the aspirations of the Iranian people for democracy and human rights and to consider opening a dialogue with the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which espouses democracy and human rights.



Washington, DC, September 20, 1993.

Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives.

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Assistant Secretary, Legislative Affairs.



The Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), the Iraq-based Iranian opposition organization, was in full support of the takeover of the US embassy and the holding of our hostages during the 1979-81 hostage crisis in Iran. Their own published statements show that their anti-US position at that time was much more hard-line than that of Iran's leaders.

Though the Mojahedin now deny a role in that crisis, they advocated a tough hostage policy in several issues of their own official newspaper, Mojahed, published in Persian in Tehran in 1980-81. The MKO's present leader, Masud Rajavi, was in command of the group at that time.

One commentary in particular (in issue 107, published January 27, 1981--just a few days after the hostages' release), scores the Khomeini government for releasing the hostages too soon and for too little gain. Among its main points:

--The Mojahedin at the Embassy: The commentary reminds its readers that the Mojahedin were the `first forces that fully stood in support of the occupation of the American house of spies. The organization's members and sympathizers stood in front of the embassy 24 hours a day for weeks and months . . . and kept the place as a focal point of anti-imperialism.'

--The hostage `card:' The commentary derides those `monopolizing' power in Tehran--i.e., the clerical regime--for misusing the hostage card only to benefit themselves in their own internal power struggles. It argues that the card could have been used better for the struggle against American imperialism.

--Iran's revolutionary leaders: soft on America: The paper mocks the `anti-imperialism' of the leaders as insincere, complaining that their calls for the trial and execution of the hostages turned out to be hollow. It says the Mojahedin had `regularly warned' against giving ground on the hostages, which would only `embolden and encourage the imperialists.'

--America the enemy: The commentary declares that the Mojahedin's policy was to use the hostage crisis to spread `anti-imperialistic culture' and to reveal the true face of American imperialism as the `fundamental enemy of our people.' It quotes a letter the MKO sent some fourteen months earlier to Iran's Revolutionary Council demanding that all treaties and relations with America be cut off without delay. The commentary declares that the Mojahedin still aim `as much as possible to close the path to reconciliation with America.'