MEK Makes Desperate New Iran Nuclear Accusation, Reuters Yawns

With the world anticipating real progress at the next round of P5+1 talks set to start next week in Geneva, the MEK is getting desperate. Because they appear to only want a violent regime change in Iran, talk of actual diplomacy is their worst nightmare. Today, Reuters reports on the latest wild accusation tossed out by the MEK using the “umbrella” organization of the National Council of Resistance of Iran:

An exiled Iranian opposition group said on Thursday it had information about what it said was a center for nuclear weaponisation research in Tehran that the government was moving to avoid detection ahead of negotiations with world powers.

Reuters clearly was unmoved by the accusation, as they immediately pointed out that NCRI is biased and politically motivated. However, even in pointing out the bias of NCRI, Reuters perpetuates a myth that has been disproven:

The dissident National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) exposed Iran’s uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and a heavy water facility at Arak in 2002. But analysts say it has a chequered track record and a clear political agenda.

Uhm, yes. Having your major group spend decades on the list of terrorist organizations (before eventually buying their way off the list and registering as a lobbying group) would indeed qualify as “a chequered track record”. But Reuters insists on repeating the falsehood that the NCRI and MEK were responsible for exposing the underground enrichment site at Natanz. That myth has been thoroughly debunked by Jeffrey Lewis:

The debate about whether Iran has constructed a clandestine centrifuge program drives me nuts.

You mean other than the one we already found?

And by we, I mean the United States—or at least its intelligence community. As I understand the sequence of events, the United States—knowing full well that Iran had a clandestine centrifuge program—watched Iran dig two MASSIVE HOLES near Natanz (see the big picture), then ratted the Iranians out to the IAEA. About the same time, someone leaked that information to an Iranian dissident group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which then released the second-hand dope in a press conference where they got the details wrong.

Lewis goes on to cite multiple independent sources to confirm that the intelligence community, not the NCRI, was responsible for discovering the Natanz facility. [It is also instructive to note the role ISIS played in the charade of promoting NCRI responsibility.]

Aside from that major error on attribution of the discovery of Natanz, Reuters was so unmoved by the newest ploy from NCRI that they didn’t even rewrite today’s article very much from the last wild NCRI accusation in July (the link here is to CBC carrying the Reuters story):

But analysts say it has a mixed track record and a clear political agenda.

But in that July story, Reuters went further in linking that accusation to a desire to derail diplomacy:

The latest allegation comes less than a month after the election of a relative moderate, Hassan Rouhani, as Iran’s new president raised hopes for a resolution of the nuclear dispute with the West, and might be timed to discredit such optimism.

Yes, the MEK clearly sees diplomacy as the real enemy. That article also rehashed the abject failure of an accusation NCRI and MEK made in 2010:

In 2010, when the group said it had evidence of another new nuclear facility, west of the capital Tehran, U.S. officials said they had known about the site for years and had no reason to believe it was nuclear.

It would appear that NCRI and MEK need to step up their acts. They have reached a level of incompetence that is barely worthy of rewriting the standard dismissal that Reuters keeps on file.

Many years ago, Jim got a BA in Radiation Biophysics from the University of Kansas. He then got a PhD in Molecular Biology from UCLA and did postdoctoral research in yeast genetics at UC Berkeley and mouse retroviruses at Stanford. He joined biosys in Palo Alto, producing insect parasitic nematodes for pest control. In the early 1990’s, he moved to Gainesville, FL and founded a company that eventually became Entomos. He left the firm as it reorganized into Pasteuria Biosciences and chose not to found a new firm due a clash of values with venture capital investors, who generally lack all values. Upon leaving, he chose to be a stay at home dad, gentleman farmer, cook and horse wrangler. He discovered the online world through commenting at Glenn Greenwald’s blog in the Salon days and was involved in the briefly successful Chris Dodd move to block the bill to renew FISA. He then went on to blog at Firedoglake and served a brief stint as evening editor there. When the Emptywheel blog moved out of Firedoglake back to standalone status, Jim tagged along and blogged on anthrax, viruses, John Galt, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is now a mostly lapsed blogger looking for a work-around to the depressing realization that pointing out the details of government malfeasance and elite immunity has approximately zero effect.

5 replies
  1. Ajax Lessome says:

    Iran has a long and notorious history for the torture and severe treatment of its political prisoners and dissenters. It’s an unfortunate aspect of the rule under Iran’s mullahs who like any other tyrant are more concerned with preserving their power and hold over the people than in governing and leading them into a better future. Khamenei and his handpicked president Rouhani are going to chart a course for Iran that leaves little doubt over the fate of Christians, converts, political opponents, ethnic minorities and all others who are not in lock step with their Islamic view of the world. For all of the attempts at portraying a new moderate face of Iran, Rouhani is a loyal career hardliner. You can see his resume at http://www.hassan-rouhani.info. The only real hope for Iran’s future and political prisoners is regime change.

  2. shekissesfrogs says:

    pretty funny buzzfeed article, Jim.
    It’s kind of like when the Syrian Emergency Task Force’s website was accidentally pointed here: “syriantaskforce.torahacademybr.org”, instead of it’s own domain, because they were being hosted and developed on the same server.

    The “torahacademybr.org” URL belongs to the Torah Academy of Boca Raton, Florida whose academic goals notably include “inspiring a love and commitment to Eretz Yisroel.”

    There’s more incestuous connections at the article. But SETF is who who paid for McCain’s visit and hired Elizabeth Obady.

    I think they do this stuff so much, that they have gotten sloppy with it. M.E.K. is just like SETF to Israel.

  3. Change Iran Now says:

    You what I get a kick out of all the time? It’s people who attack the MEK, but give Iran a free pass when it comes to public executions, supporting Assad, even while he gasses his own people, and continues seeking the destabilization of other mid-East nations in order to grow its sphere of Shi’ite influence. But then again, most of Iran’s supporters conveniently ignore the worst excesses of the regime in favor of saying “trust them!” Show me at what point negotiation and diplomacy has ever caused Iran to take a meaningful step to restrict its enrichment program, give up its military support or halt its human rights abuses. Last time I checked with Amnesty International, Iran is on a record pace for public hangings since Rouhani was elected. That’s some vote for moderation.

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