{mosimage}United Press International, By Brian Binley MP: The issue of Iran and the threat that it poses has been argued in public by two major groups. On the one hand we have had the anti-war lobby, with the neo-cons embracing the other extreme. These arguments have gone back and forth over whether Iran has a nuclear capability, whether it is carrying out terrorist actions and whether the human-rights abuses carried out in Iran should be of concern to us in the West.

United Press International

By BRIAN BINLEY
UPI Outside View Commentator

{mosimage}LONDON, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The issue of Iran and the threat that it poses has been argued in public by two major groups. On the one hand we have had the anti-war lobby, with the neo-cons embracing the other extreme. These arguments have gone back and forth over whether Iran has a nuclear capability, whether it is carrying out terrorist actions and whether the human-rights abuses carried out in Iran should be of concern to us in the West.

The propaganda war between the two has definitely hit full force in recent times. We have had the anti-war lobby jumping on the bandwagon in relation to the U.S. intelligence report regarding Iran's nuclear capabilities, a report that with greater analysis can be seen to contain deep flaws. While on the other hand the neo-cons' propaganda campaign has gained heat through the war of words between Washington and Tehran.

However, one thing within this entire situation deeply worries me. The anti-war lobby on many occasions now is going as far as to support the Iranian regime on a number of issues simply under the pretence that anything that is anti-U.S. must be good. Not only is this policy wholly unjustified, because it cannot be right in any shape or form to show support for a regime that is conducting such horrific human-rights abuses against its people; but further than this is the dangerous nature of this policy.

The anti-war lobby's use of such a stance is achieving the exact opposite effect to that which is aimed. This lobby's lack of a solution and to some extent friendly stance towards Tehran and its leaders is leading us down a path where many who may well be anti-war now, feeling that a short while down the line, there is no other solution but an attack on Iran.

Any individual who believes that war should not be contemplated -- and I include myself within that group -- must offer a solution to the threat posed by Iran. The nuclear capabilities of Iran may be under question, but the fact is if the Iranian regime allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency full and uninhibited access to all of its nuclear sites, this would no longer be an issue. However, the behavior of the regime currently and the fact that its nuclear program was hidden for 18 years leaves a doubt in most minds as to their intentions. It is for this reason that a threat is certainly posed by Iran.

However, it is not simply due to its murky nuclear program that we worry. The Iranian regime has and continues to conduct some of the worst human-rights abuses in the world, from public executions to the continued use of torture and stoning to death. It is for this reason more than any other that I search for a solution to the Iran problem and look for an approach in which the Iranian people can bring about democracy by themselves.

It was during this search that I came across the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran and the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The situation of these opposition groups was difficult to understand due to the great deal of positive as well as negative information bandied about. However, treading carefully I reached the conclusion that these two groups not only offer a solution in bringing democracy to the people of Iran, but they are also the solution to averting a further war in the region.

However, the British government has unjustifiably labeled the PMOI as terrorist. This terror tag has now been annulled by one national Court of the United Kingdom and one European Court. In the United Kingdom the Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission found that the home secretary's decision to maintain the PMOI on the U.K. terror list was "perverse," "flawed" and "must be set aside."

In this regard the anti-war lobby and the left as a whole must take a long hard look at itself and realize that the current path followed is playing directly into the hands of the neo-cons in Tehran and Washington. Search for a solution and you will find that the PMOI and the NCRI can offer the real solution to this crisis. The Iranian people supported by these opposition groups can bring about democratic change in Iran. This is a solution that we must all support.

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(Brian Binley is a Member of Parliament from the U.K. Conservative Party)