|Giuliani Wants MEK Off Terror List, Blasts Obama On Iran|
|Wednesday, 29 February 2012 20:27|
TRNS: This is Justin Duckham with the Talk Radio News Service and I am here with former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani. How are you doing today sir?
Giuliani: I’m doing fine Justin, nice to be with you.
TRNS: We are here at the Willard Hotel for a symposium on Iran and one of the top issues that many people here are buzzing about is Camp Ashraf. What are the major issues related to that right now? What should we be focusing on?
Giuliani: Camp Ashraf is a place that was designated a number of years ago as a place the people from Iran who had been in opposition to the regime in Iran are being kept and they’re being kept there under the protection of the United States government because, at one point they had arms, they gave up their arms, in return for giving up their arms the United States promised them that they would be protected. Now the Iraqi government, under Maliki wants to move them to another place, Camp Liberty, which is a tiny small portion of a much larger broken down base and Maliki has already on one occasion, actually two occasions, there have been attacks on the people in Camp Ashraf, of which over 40 people have died, 1000 people injured, and Maliki is doing this really at the behest of the Iranian government because the Iranian government is very frightened about this group’s ability to undermine their regime. This is precisely the kind of group we should be supporting. This is exactly what we want. We would like to see a democratic, secular government in Iran, governed by the rule of law, and these people at Camp Ashraf that’s what they’re in favor of, but for that they’re being persecuted. And even though we promised them protection, we’ve now turned our back on them; the United States has turned its back on them. Forty of these people have already been moved to Camp Liberty. Camp Liberty has no sewage, it has very little water, it has no electricity at night, and it’s more like a prison or concentration camp than it is a relocation camp. So we’re here, Republicans, Democrats, and me, former Mayor Dailey of Chicago, and me, we have people from both sides of the aisle, generals who’ve served in Iraq, diplomatic officials who have served in Iraq are here to say that the United States government has to live up to its promise to these people to protect them.
TRNS: Now you’re also part of a movement of lawmakers and former officials who are requesting that the MEK is removed from the State Departments terrorist watch list. Now that may be kind of surprising considering that you were the mayor on 9-11. Why should the public not be sort of jarred to hear that Rudy Giuliani is asking for a group who’s designated as a terrorist group to be taken off a list.
Well the public should be jarred by the fact that I want to see a movement of a group, I want a group that’s been listed as a terrorist group taken off the terrorist list. How they should be jarred is well why the heck Mayor Giuliani is going to be in support of that after a long career in law enforcement, being the third ranking official in the Justice Department, and mayor of a city that was attacked by Islamic extremist terrorists. Well for the same reason that Louis Freeh, who is head of the FBI is in favor of the same thing. Louis Freeh will tell you that they probably never should have been designated as a terrorist group in the first place. He was head of the FBI at the time. The reason it was done was to placate the Iranian government. President Clinton thought it would help in negotiations with Iran, this never helped. The group is not a terrorist group, it has never engaged in anything remotely resembling terrorist activity for over ten years, which is the standard that’s used. They have been delisted by the European Union; they’ve been delisted as a terrorist group by the UK. The only other country that lists them as a terrorist group right now, other than the US, is Iran so that could give you some indication that this is a terrible listing. One hundred and thirty members of Congress agree with me that they should be delisted, Republicans and Democrats. This is part of the problem, and it’s part of the State Department’s stubbornness, in kind of sticking with what was a mistake in the first place. And they’re under order now; the State Department is, for eighteen months, to make a decision. Secretary Clinton and the State Department, has been sitting on this for eighteen months, and it’s really tragic because this becomes part of Maliki’s justification for killing people. He says well if the State Department lists them as a terrorist group, they must be a terrorist group so I could just go in there and kill them. The reality is they’re not a terrorist group, over one hundred former officials agree with that having analyzed this on their own. Over one hundred members of Congress agree with that. They should be delisted, and we should embrace them. They’re on our side. They want to see the mullahs overthrown, and here’s something the State Department should kind of wake up about and get realistic about it. Why does the Iranian government so desperately want to continue listing them as a terrorist group when Europe has delisted them, the UK has delisted them? Because the Iranian government is afraid of them, that’s why because, the Iranian government is afraid that they could destabilize the mullahs and destabilize Ahmadinejad. And rather than President Clinton writing letters to the Ayatollah, which is one of more absurd things that the President has done, he should be in favor of regime change in Iran, and this group could help with regime change.
TRNS: I was just about to ask about that. There’s quite a bit of tension right now. How do you believe the global dynamics of the situation would be changed if the MEK was removed from the list?
Giuliani: Well I think the United States has to change from being supplicant to being a leader. The United States is in a position under President Obama of essentially begging Iran. We beg Iran to talk to us by the President writing silly letters to the Ayatollah. We refuse to say the words that if necessary we’ll use military action so Iran doesn’t believe that we’ll ever use military action. We have people in the Obama administration telling us that Iran is really rational which is totally absurd. Any government that was organizing the possibility of killing the Saudi Ambassador in this city, in the nation’s capital, this is according to the Obama administration, they’ve indicted the president for it; is not a rational actor. Any government that denies the Holocaust that wants to destroy the state of Israel is not a rational actor. And there’s nothing about the Iranian regime since the early 1980s or late 70s when they took American hostages that suggests they’re rational. Yet we have people in the Obama administration telling us they’re rational. I think we’d be much better off if the Obama administration would take a Reagan-like approach to Iran which is, get tough. Stop writing phony letters asking for negotiations, tell them we don’t negotiate with maniacs, we don’t negotiate with irrational people. What we do is we get strong, and if necessary, we use our military, and don’t give us an excuse to do it, and not to appear so reluctant. I think if they thought that we weren’t as reluctant as Obama appears to be to use military force the chances at the sanctions and everything else would work much better. Than if they take for granted the fact that we’re just kind of begging them and in the position of a supplicant
TRNS: Now one of the things that people mention immediately when you talk about removing these people from the list is the Charlie Wilson’s War scenario, wherein we supported the Taliban and then having to go back into Afghanistan and take care of that a number of years later. Why would that be a false metaphor in this case?
Giuliani: Well because we have a long history with these people and we have an awful lot of people including all these people that are here today and the many others that have signed the brief Professor Dershowitz, who have seen the history of this over the past ten to fifteen years. This is a group that supports a non-nuclear Iran, it’s a group that supports a secular government in Iran, it’s a group that supports the rule of law, it’s a group that supports democracy, it’s a group that has as its acting leader a woman, which would be a real major change in the Middle East, and a major change for the government of Iran. So there’s every indication that this group has a long history of supporting the same things we support, and no indication at this point that it’s a terrorist group. This comes from people who have served in Iraq, who know this first hand, who know this on the ground. So I feel very secure that the support here will help the United States, and failure to support is hurting the United States.
TRNS: And what’s your general sense of how these tensions are going to play out in the coming months? Do you think there’s going to be on Iran from Israel? Or do you believe there’s going to be a pre-emptive strike from Iran?
Giuliani: Well I think our failure to take this seriously, and what I mean by not taking it seriously are the things I hear the administration saying. You know the recent comment that Iran is rational which boggles my mind and makes me wonder about the soundness of the Administration’s position. The recent report that seems to have come out of our intelligence community that Iran really isn’t ready to become a nuclear power when even the UN seems to disagree with that. It looks like we’re doing everything we can to apologize for Iran, and to apologize to Iran, rather than to stand up to Iran. My firmly held view, which I’ve put in my book, I have a chapter that says, “Stand up to Bullies,” is, when you don’t stand up to bullies, there’s a much greater chance that you’re going to have war, and when you do, much less of a chance. I think of Chamberlain and Hitler, and Chamberlain’s you know begging Hitler for peace and you what do we get? We got war. Well President Obama is now begging the Ayatollah to talk to him, and the Ayatollahs are spitting in his face. The President should stand up to the Ayatollah, should stand up to Ahmadinejad. If we’re for regime change in Syria, if we were for regime change in Libya and Egypt, well this regime in Iran is worse than all three combined. And there’s no consistency if we’re not for regime change in Iran as well. We should be on the side of the people of Iran who deserve democracy and freedom as much as the people of Syria, Libya, and Egypt.
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