The cables were released by the U.S. government under the Freedom of
Information Act in May. U.S. lobbyists for Mujahadeen dismissed the
cables as inaccurate and biased to fit the State Department's conception
that MEK was a terrorist group, Middle East Newsline reported.
"The question is why, when every single Camp Ashraf resident was taken
outside, and interviewed by the U.S. military in American-controlled
facilities in 2003 and 2004, and each were given the choice to leave, none
of those individuals had done so?" Allan Gerson, an attorney for MEK in
Over the last two years, MEK has been recruiting former senior U.S.
officials to remove the group from the State Department's terror list. Many
former officials, including those from the State Department, assert that
Mujahadeen was deemed a terrorist group in 1994 as part of a U.S.
reconciliation effort with Iran.
The State Department cables quoted defectors as describing MEK as a cult
that punishes former members. The cables said the MEK leadership ordered the
execution of all attempted defectors.
"They reaffirmed existing perceptions of the MEK as a cult-like
organization that thrives on maintaining control of its members and those
lured to Ashraf under false pretenses," one cable read.
The State Department traced MEK from the Iranian revolution in 1979. The
cables said MEK supported the Islamic takeover of the U.S. embassy in
Teheran in which diplomats were held hostage for more than a year.
Several years after the revolution, MEK was outlawed by the mullah
regime in Iran. The group fled to neighboring Iraq and was supported by the
Saddam regime, which used MEK to attack civilian targets in Iran.
"They are hated among Iranians, since their hands are stained with the
blood of their fellow countrymen," the State Department, quoting an exiled
Lobbyists said the State Department cables would have little affect on
the effort to legalize MEK in the United States. Members of Congress as well
as potential presidential candidates, arguing that MEK has eschewed
violence, have called for the removal of the group from the State Department