By: Mir M.Hosseini
American Lieutenant Colonel Lewis Lee Hawkins who was attached to the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group to the Imperial Iranian Armed Forces in Tehran was assassinated in Tehran on the morning of June, 2,, 1973, as he was walking from his home to a street corner to be picked up by his driver. Two MKO members riding a motorcycle fired a couple of gun shots at point-blank range and killed him instantly.
Later investigations reveal that it was a blind-target assassination as a show against the imperialist presence in Iran. The CIA backed coup of 1953 was a turning point that switched public opinion towards the US image; from a reliable partner into a devil intruder.
The puppet Iranian regime at the time started an all out war on resistance, labeling them all as terrorist. The MKO was thought to have been completely silenced until Aug, 28, 1976 when the group plotted against 3 American spies in Tehran and killed them all during a sophisticated operation.
MKO fell at odds with the Islamic Republic soon after the 1979 revolution. The new regime was little tolerated towards voices of dissent and things became ugly when MKO staged a military uprising and got involved in several bloody bombings. Probably, the turning point was the time when the group lost all popular support after fleeing to Iraq and fighting against Iran. US harbored the group after occupation of Iraq in 2003 but it keeps MKO on its list of terrorist groups despite the fact that the European Union removed the group from its similar list of terrorist organizations in 2009.