AMENDMENT NO. 1298 TO S. 1281, STATE DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZATION BILL, 1994 (Senate - March 21, 1994)

[Page: S3328]

Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, during Senate consideration of the 1994 State Department authorization bill, I offered, and the Senate approved, an amendment concerning the People's Mujahidin of Iran [PMOI]. It has recently come to my attention that, due to an oversight, a statement that I intended to accompany the amendment was not printed in the Congressional Record. I offer the rationale for my amendment below as I would have offered it when the amendment was considered.

The findings of this amendment are facts and are attested to by the State Department. The operative clauses simply requires the State Department to examine the current activities of the PMOI for inclusion in its annual report on terrorism. If it decides not to include the PMOI, it must report its justification for not doing so and supply an unclassified report on the organization's current activities.

My principle concern is that the PMOI is permitted to freely lobby Congress without a clear understanding of the organization's history and current activities. All of us are concerned about human rights in Iran, and in many other areas of the world, but Members should have information at their disposal to consider the source. The Senate should not be in a position where it unknowingly, in the cause of human rights, supports an organization with a record of human rights abuses.

I offered this amendment only after extensive efforts to have a 1987 FBI report on the organization updated. Recognizing my own limits to pass judgment on the current activities of the PMOI, the intention of my amendment is to require such an update by the Department of State.

The American people deserve an official public accounting of any lobbyist with either a present or past connection to international terrorism. My efforts to gain an accounting of the PMOI have been vigorous and they will be equally vigorous should any other lobbyist with a history of terrorism come to my attention.