The People's Mujahedin of Iran is generating fans in the U.S. for their alleged role in killing Iranian nuclear scientists.
A policeman walks Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan's car, in which he was killed by an explosion / Reuters
The most powerful word in American politics is terrorist. For the first time since the Cold War ended, America has a consensus enemy (never mind that terrorism is a tactic rather than an ideology). Huge majorities support indefinitely detaining accused terrorists without charges, or killing them without due process. So you'd think that a Muslim terrorist group with Marxist roots would be anathema, especially if it was on the official American and Canadian lists of terror sponsoring organizations. But the People's Mujahedin of Iran, commonly referred to as MEK, has its American defenders.
For them, MEK's history of anti-American violence is forgivable. The important thing is that the group is hostile to the regime in Iran. According to NBC News, MEK fighters are assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists and are being "financed, trained and armed by Israel's secret service." The group has also waged a sophisticated lobbying effort to be struck from America's terrorist list, paying politicians as diverse as Howard Dean, Rudy Giuliani, and Wesley Clark who vouch for it. Jamie Kirchick says whoever is responsible for terrorizing Iranian nuclear scientists deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. Jonathan Toobin names MEK, acknowledges their terrorist past, and argues in favor of collaborating with them. "The MEK may be an unattractive ally," he writes, "but with its Iranian members and infrastructure of support inside the country, it is an ideal weapon to use against the ayatollahs. This is not just the standard and cynical argument about the ends justifying the means but rather an entirely defensible strategy in which a vicious and tyrannical government's foes become legitimate allies in what is for all intents and purposes a war."