Letters to the Editor

Readers write about the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran and morality in capitalism.

Iranian group takes issue with article

The Feb. 11 article, "Iran sees less threat in exiled MKO militants," includes distortions about the opposition People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI).

The reference to the Mujahideen-e Khalq, or MKO ("People's Holy Warriors") is used exclusively by Iran's ruling mullahs when writing or speaking about the PMOI. [Editors' note: The US State Department, among others, cites this designation.] The article relies on Gholam Reza Sadeghi as a source, even though he was never a PMOI member. [Note: The Monitor has a copy of an agreement with him "for individuals of the PMOI" countersigned by a US officer at Camp Ashraf.] And neither Massoud nor Maryam Rajavi ever wrote to him, nor did PMOI send his son to Iran.

The suggestion that the Iranian regime treats those affiliated with its main opposition humanely and compassionately pales in the face of the way it has treated PMOI members or sympathizers who have refused to surrender to it while in captivity. The article rehashes the Iranian regime's absurd claims that the PMOI had been assisted by Israel in making its revelations about Iran's nuclear program. [Note: Many Western analysts hold this view.] Even more preposterous is the assertion that "Much of the information the UN has received from the group in recent years has a political purpose."

Describing the PMOI as a cult is nothing more than parroting Tehran's propaganda. [Note: The description is in State Department reports, among other places.] Having failed to destroy the democratic resistance movement through executions, torture, assassinations, or even the terror label (by way of making deals with the Western countries), the mullahs attempt to discredit the PMOI by calling it a cult. If the PMOI did not profoundly believe in democratic principles, it would have wilted under these pressures many times over.

We wish the Monitor had called PMOI before publication of such an unbalanced article. [Note: The article's author has called the PMOI many times over the years without response. The PMOI was not contacted for this story.]

Shahin Gobadi

Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee,

National Council of Resistance of Iran

Capitalism and moral behavior

Regarding Muhammad Yunus's Feb. 15 Opinion piece, "How 'social business' can create a world without poverty": So far, Mr. Yunus has done a fabulous and exemplary job of using the two wings of regular capitalism: the private sector and the nonprofit sector – so his record appears clean. If his ideas on reforming the for-profit sector mean he will simply use capitalism as he already has done, then great, but be warned – these ideas of reform will be used by others who would rather use government to force fast change than the many lifetimes' worth of long persuasion required through using the market.

Morals are held by people, not systems, and by simply using laws to change from a system that expects less moral behavior to a social system that expects a higher level of moral behavior will not miraculously make people more moral.

John Mecham
Oakton, Va.

In response to Muhammad Yunus's recent Opinion piece on social business: With all due respect for the author, we would be better off praising capitalism more for what it is and what it has accomplished.

The biggest problem is with the many governments around the world that stifle it.

L.P.O. Martz
Havre de Grace, Md.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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