American-backed Mojahedin Khalq Terrorists In Iran
(aka; MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
US State Department tells bold lies regarding the latest assassination in Iran as it harbors MEK terrorists in Iraq
... The M.E.K. has been on the State Department’s terrorist list for more than a decade, yet in recent years the group has received arms and intelligence, directly or indirectly, from the United States. Some of the newly authorized covert funds, the Pentagon consultant told me, may well end up in M.E.K. coffers. “The new task force will work with the M.E.K. The Administration is desperate for results.” He added, “The M.E.K. has no C.P.A. auditing the books, and its leaders are thought to have been lining their pockets for years. If people only knew what the M.E.K. is getting, and how much is going to its bank accounts ...
Tony Cartalucci, Landderstroyer, January 2012
January 12, 2012 - While the fifth and latest assassination of an Iranian scientist in broad daylight has Iran pointing the finger at Israel and the United States, with at least the US State Department denying any involvement, there is no evidence yet to determine exactly who was behind the attack.
However, the US State Department complicated what would have otherwise been plausibly denied, by claiming no US involvement "in any kind of act of violence inside Iran." This is a verified lie. The US has indeed conspired to carry out a campaign of covert violence against Iran and is on record already beginning operations against the Islamic Republic even before Obama came into office. These operations have continued up until present day with the US harboring, arming, funding, training, and providing diplomatic support for a US State Dapartment listed "foreign terrorist organization," the Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK).
Image: US State Department lists MEK as a "Foreign Terrorist Organization." This page has since been taken down and replaced with this .pdf list.
Who Is MEK and Why is the US Funding Terror?
The best profile of MEK is given to us by the Fortune 500 funded Brookings Institution in their report, "Which Path to Persia?" In their report, they also openly conspire to use what is an admitted terrorist organization as a "US proxy" (emphasis added):
"Perhaps the most prominent (and certainly the most controversial) opposition group that has attracted attention as a potential U.S. proxy is the NCRI (National Council of Resistance of Iran), the political movement established by the MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq). Critics believe the group to be undemocratic and unpopular, and indeed anti-American.
In contrast, the group’s champions contend that the movement’s long-standing opposition to the Iranian regime and record of successful attacks on and intelligence-gathering operations against the regime make it worthy of U.S. support. They also argue that the group is no longer anti-American and question the merit of earlier accusations. Raymond Tanter, one of the group’s supporters in the United States, contends that the MEK and the NCRI are allies for regime change in Tehran and also act as a useful proxy for gathering intelligence. The MEK’s greatest intelligence coup was the provision of intelligence in 2002 that led to the discovery of a secret site in Iran for enriching uranium.
Despite its defenders’ claims, the MEK remains on the U.S. government list of foreign terrorist organizations. In the 1970s, the group killed three U.S. officers and three civilian contractors in Iran. During the 1979-1980 hostage crisis, the group praised the decision to take America hostages and Elaine Sciolino reported that while group leaders publicly condemned the 9/11 attacks, within the group celebrations were widespread.
Undeniably, the group has conducted terrorist attacks—often excused by the MEK’s advocates because they are directed against the Iranian government. For example, in 1981, the group bombed the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party, which was then the clerical leadership’s main political organization, killing an estimated 70 senior officials. More recently, the group has claimed credit for over a dozen mortar attacks, assassinations, and other assaults on Iranian civilian and military targets between 1998 and 2001. At the very least, to work more closely with the group (at least in an overt manner), Washington would need to remove it from the list of foreign terrorist organizations."
- page 117-118 of "Which Path to Persia?" Brookings Institution, 2009
It should be noted that both the Brookings Institution and the RAND Corporation note that Iran, even upon possessing nuclear weapons is unlikely to use them or proliferate them to non-state actors. This is based on observations made of Iran's long standing chemical and biological arsenals that have been under strict control for decades.
There is also recognition of the fact, that despite the propaganda found throughout the corporate-media, Iran does indeed value self-preservation and conducts its foreign-policy aggressively but not irrationally. The real danger of Iran's possession of nuclear weapons, as stated by the Brookings Institution (page 24 & 25), is that they may attempt to then subvert American allies and emboldened by the inability for the US to retaliate, allow them to overturn the Middle Eastern status quo, as currently dictated by Wall Street and London. In other words, it is not American or Israeli national security that is at risk, but rather their unchecked and unwarranted hegemony throughout the region.
It then seems that US support for MEK becomes all the more indefensible when one realizes it is for extraterritorial hegemony, not national security that America is sponsoring bonafide terrorists.
As revealed in Seymour Hersh's 2008 New Yorker article "Preparing the Battlefield," not only has MEK been considered for their role as a possible proxy, but the US has already begun arming and financing them to wage war inside Iran:
"The M.E.K. has been on the State Department’s terrorist list for more than a decade, yet in recent years the group has received arms and intelligence, directly or indirectly, from the United States. Some of the newly authorized covert funds, the Pentagon consultant told me, may well end up in M.E.K. coffers. “The new task force will work with the M.E.K. The Administration is desperate for results.” He added, “The M.E.K. has no C.P.A. auditing the books, and its leaders are thought to have been lining their pockets for years. If people only knew what the M.E.K. is getting, and how much is going to its bank accounts—and yet it is almost useless for the purposes the Administration intends.”
Seymore Hersh in an NPR interview, also claims that select MEK members have already received training in the US.
Incredibly, US forces in Iraq had provided MEK's main camp with security, and with the recent "withdrawal" of US troops from Iraq, the US State Department and even the UN have been scrambling to find a new safe haven for the US listed terrorist organization. Even more unimaginable is the fact that many of the foremost fearmongers and proponents of the "War on Terror" are engaged in desperate lobbying efforts to get MEK delisted. In October of 2011, a full page ad was taken out in the Washington Post on MEK's behalf.
Image: Full-page treason - US politicians, many the most prominent proponents of the "War on Terror," appeal to the President of the United States to delist MEK as a terrorist organization. While hand-wringing humanitarian concerns are cited, what the ad fails to mention is that MEK has long been sought after to serve as an armed US-proxy to be turned on Iran and carry out a campaign of terror, as stated clearly in the Brookings Institution "Which Path to Persia?" report. (click image to enlarge)
Among those signing the statement made in the ad were John Bolton, Howard Dean, Rudy Giuliani, Ed Rendell, and Tom Ridge. When reading the statement, it must be kept in mind that the Brookings Institution already confirmed that MEK was a terrorist organization and that it had verifiably killed US military personal and civilians. Also keep in mind that Brookings admitted that MEK's targets in Iran included political and civilian targets. With MEK's specialty being among other things, assassinations, they are also likely suspects behind the recent spat of targeted killings of Iranian scientists.
The Brookings Institution report, "Which Path to Persia?" confirms that indeed US policy makers have conspired to use MEK as an armed-proxy to commit acts of violence inside Iran, while Seymour Hersh's 2008 New Yorker article "Preparing the Battlefield confirmed that MEK had already begun receiving weapons, training, and financing to begin their campaign. Foreign Policy's most recent article, "State Department scrambling to move the MEK -- to a former U.S. military base?"confirms that MEK is still receiving considerable support from the US to this very day.
The US State Department's recent claim that it is not involved "in any kind of act of violence inside Iran," is clearly false. The US is committing acts of violence inside of Iran to the extent of using not only special forces as noted by Hersh's 2008 article, but also by using terrorists with a long history of attacking political and civilian targets in Iran.
(Maryam Rajavi directly ordered the massacre of Kurdish people)
(Ali Safavi as the commander of Saddam's Private Army in Iraq)
(Daniel Zucker, Maryam Rajavi and ALi Safavi in terror HQ in Paris )
Jafarzadeh representing terrorist organisation NCRI
(Picture form MKO/ NCRI clandestine television)
Jafarzadeh has already published his suicide bombing note
An Iranian Cult and Its American Friends
(aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
... Mr. Dean’s speech stunned me. But then came Rudolph W. Giuliani saying virtually the same thing. At a conference in Paris last December, an emotional Mr. Giuliani told Ms. Rajavi, “These are the most important yearnings of the human soul that you support, and for your organization to be described as a terrorist organization is just simply a disgrace.” I thought I was watching The Onion News Network. Did Mr. Giuliani know whom he was talking about? Evidently not. In fact, an unlikely chorus of the group’s backers — some of whom have received speaking fees, others of whom are inspired by their conviction that ...
ELIZABETH RUBIN, New York Times, August 13, 2011
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on August 14, 2011, on page SR5 of the New York edition with the headline: An Iranian Cult and Its American Friends, Elizabeth Rubin is a contributor to The New York Times Magazine, where her article "The Cult of Rajavi" appeared in July 2003.
A FEW weeks ago I received an e-mail from an acquaintance with the subject line: Have you seen the video everyone is talking about?
I clicked play, and there was Howard Dean, on March 19 in Berlin, at his most impassioned, extolling the virtues of a woman named Maryam Rajavi and insisting that America should recognize her as the president of Iran.
Ms. Rajavi and her husband, Massoud, are the leaders of a militant Iranian opposition group called the Mujahedeen Khalq, or Warriors of God. The group’s forces have been based for the last 25 years in Iraq, where I visited them shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003.
Mr. Dean’s speech stunned me. But then came Rudolph W. Giuliani saying virtually the same thing. At a conference in Paris last December, an emotional Mr. Giuliani told Ms. Rajavi, “These are the most important yearnings of the human soul that you support, and for your organization to be described as a terrorist organization is just simply a disgrace.” I thought I was watching The Onion News Network. Did Mr. Giuliani know whom he was talking about?
Evidently not. In fact, an unlikely chorus of the group’s backers — some of whom have received speaking fees, others of whom are inspired by their conviction that the Iranian government must fall at any cost — have gathered around Mujahedeen Khalq at conferences in capitals across the globe.
This group of luminaries includes two former chairmen of the joint chiefs of staff, Gens. Hugh H. Shelton and Peter Pace; Wesley K. Clark, the former NATO commander; Gen. James L. Jones, who was President Obama’s national security adviser; Louis J. Freeh, the former F.B.I. director; the former intelligence officials Dennis C. Blair and Michael V. Hayden; the former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson; the former attorney general Michael B. Mukasey, and Lee H. Hamilton, a former congressman who was co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission.
Indeed, the Rajavis and Mujahedeen Khalq are spending millions in an attempt to persuade the Obama administration, and in particular Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to take them off the national list of terrorist groups, where the group was listed in 1997. Delisting the group would enable it to lobby Congress for support in the same way that the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 allowed the Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi to do.
Mrs. Clinton should ignore their P.R. campaign. Mujahedeen Khalq is not only irrelevant to the cause of Iran’s democratic activists, but a totalitarian cult that will come back to haunt us.
When I arrived at Camp Ashraf, the base of the group’s operations, in April 2003, I thought I’d entered a fictional world of female worker bees. Everywhere I saw women dressed exactly alike, in khaki uniforms and mud-colored head scarves, driving back and forth in white pickup trucks, staring ahead in a daze as if they were working at a factory in Maoist China. I met dozens of young women buried in the mouths of tanks, busily tinkering with the engines. One by one, the girls bounded up to me and my two minders to recite their transformations from human beings to acolytes of Ms. Rajavi. One said she had been suicidal in Iran until she found Ms. Rajavi on the Internet.
At Camp Ashraf, 40 miles north of Baghdad, near the Iranian border, 3,400 members of the militant group reside in total isolation on a 14-square-mile tract of harsh desert land. Access to the Internet, phones and information about the outside world is prohibited. Posters of Ms. Rajavi and her smiling green eyes abound. Meanwhile, she lives in luxury in France; her husband has remained in hiding since the United States occupied Iraq in 2003.
During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the group served as Mr. Hussein’s own private militia opposing the theocratic government in Tehran. For two decades, he gave the group money, weapons, jeeps and military bases along the border with Iran. In return, the Rajavis pledged their fealty.
In 1991, when Mr. Hussein crushed a Shiite uprising in the south and attempted to carry out a genocide against the Kurds in the north, the Rajavis and their army joined his forces in mowing down fleeing Kurds.
Ms. Rajavi told her disciples, “Take the Kurds under your tanks, and save your bullets for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.” Many followers escaped in disgust.
So the Rajavis then began preying on Iranian refugees and asylum seekers in Europe to fill their ranks. The Rajavis promise them salaries, marriage, family, freedom and a great cause — fighting the Iranian government. Then the unwitting youths arrive in Iraq.
What is most disturbing is how the group treats its members. After the Iran-Iraq war, Mr. Rajavi orchestrated an ill-planned offensive, deploying thousands of young men and women into Iran on a mass martyrdom operation. Instead of capturing Iran, as they believed they would, thousands of them were slaughtered, including parents, husbands and wives of those I met in Iraq in 2003.
After my visit, I met and spoke to men and women who had escaped from the group’s clutches. Many had to be deprogrammed. They recounted how people were locked up if they disagreed with the leadership or tried to escape; some were even killed.
Friendships and all emotional relationships are forbidden. From the time they are toddlers, boys and girls are not allowed to speak to each other. Each day at Camp Ashraf you had to report your dreams and thoughts.
If a man was turned on by the scent of a woman or a whiff of perfume, he had to confess. Members had to attend weekly ideological cleansings in which they publicly confessed their sexual desires. Members were even forced to divorce and take a vow of lifelong celibacy to ensure that all their energy and love would be directed toward Maryam and Massoud.
Mr. Hamilton and Generals Jones and Clark have been paid speakers’ fees by front groups for Mujahedeen Khalq and have spoken in support of the group in public conferences. They claimed ignorance of how the group treated its members.
“I don’t know a lot about the group,” Mr. Hamilton told me over the phone last week. But in 1994, when he was chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Hamilton received a report describing the group as a violent cult with a distinct ideology synthesizing Marxism and messianic Shiism.
At a February conference in Paris, Mr. Dean praised the group’s extraordinary “bill of rights.” And General Jones said to Ms. Rajavi: “It is time for those of us from the United States who have come to know and admire you and your colleagues and your goals to do what is required to recognize the legitimacy of your movement and your ideals.” When I asked General Jones last week if he knew that some considered the group a totalitarian cult, he replied, “This is the first time I’ve heard anything about this.”
He said he’d checked with military and F.B.I. officials. “I wanted to make sure we weren’t supporting a group that was doing nefarious things that I don’t know about,” he said. “Nobody brought it up, so I didn’t know what questions to ask.”
IN fact, a 2004 F.B.I. report on the group detailed a joint investigation by the American and German police, which revealed that the group’s cell in Cologne, Germany, had used money from a complex fraud scheme to buy military equipment. The group used children with multiple identities to claim multiple benefit checks from the German government. Evidence also showed that the group had obtained money in Los Angeles to purchase GPS units to increase the accuracy of planned mortar attacks on Tehran.
It is possible that such plots do not bother General Jones and other supporters of the group. But Iraq will no longer tolerate its presence. Its government wants the Mujahedeen Khalq out of the country by the end of the year. In April, Iraqi forces attacked Camp Ashraf. General Jones and other supporters of the group were outraged.
They are right that we should have compassion for those trapped inside the camp. A 2009 RAND Corporation study found that at least 70 percent of the group’s members there were being held against their will. If the group’s American cheerleaders cared for those at the camp half as much as they did for the Rajavis, they would be insisting on private Red Cross visits with each man and woman at Camp Ashraf.
American officials who support the group like to quote the saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” By this logic, the group’s opposition to the Tehran theocracy justifies American backing. But there is another saying to consider: “The means are the ends.”
By using the Mujahedeen Khalq to provoke Tehran, we will end up damaging our integrity and reputation, and weaken the legitimate democracy movement within Iran.
As a senior State Department official told me, “They are the best financed and organized, but they are so despised inside Iran that they have no traction.” Iranian democracy activists say the group, if it had had the chance, could have become the Khmer Rouge of Iran.
“They are considered traitors and killers of Iranian kids,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Mujahedeen Khalq’s status on the terrorist list is under review. “They are so unpopular that we think any gesture of support to them would disqualify and discredit us as being interested in democratic reform.”
If the group is taken off the terrorist list, it will be able to freely lobby the American government under the guise of an Iranian democracy movement.
Recent history has shown that the United States often ends up misguidedly supporting not only the wrong exile groups in the Middle East, but the least relevant ones. We cannot afford to be so naïve or misguided again.
Paul Sheldon Foote: Terrorist groups exist because someone wants them to
(US, UK, Israel use Mojahedin Khalq, PJAK terrorists)
... They have existed throughout those regions for a number of reasons: one is strong American support. Even though the American government denies it, it's been reported by Seymour Hirsch in The New Yorker; it's been reported by Laura Rosen in the War and Peace Blog. They can deny it all they want, but we do strongly support it -- independent journalists have gone through the region and videotaped all these communist terrorist groups and they all admit they are working with the American government. They also of course have strong support from Israel. What the American media doesn't bother to report is ...
Press TV, July 19 2011
Terrorist groups exist because someone wants them to. The US, England, France, Israel and Saudi Arabia finance, train, house and protect them.
Press TV talks with Paul Sheldon Foote, Professor of California State University from Irvine who provides an outline of the extent of involvement both the US, Israeli and Saudi Arabian governments and intelligence services have with terrorist group PJAK that targets Iran, Turkey and Syria. Following is a transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Would you please explain who PJAK is and what their goals are?
Paul Sheldon Foote: PJAK as was mentioned in your report is a branch of communist terrorists that includes the PKK -- same leadership; the only difference is one attacks Iran, one attacks Turkey and one attacks Syria.
They have existed throughout those regions for a number of reasons: one is strong American support. Even though the American government denies it, it's been reported by Seymour Hirsch in The New Yorker; it's been reported by Laura Rosen in the War and Peace Blog. They can deny it all they want, but we do strongly support it -- independent journalists have gone through the region and videotaped all these communist terrorist groups and they all admit they are working with the American government.
They also of course have strong support from Israel. What the American media doesn't bother to report is that one of the two branches of the Kurdish groups is a Jewish branch. There is a large Jewish population of Kurds both in Iraq and in Israel. There used to be a pipeline that went from Iraq to Israel.
And so the Israelis have had Mossad members on the ground in Kurdistan. They have even tried to create a central bank in Kurdistan and they have been manning the terrorist attacks and directing the terrorist workers and providing weapons. And so there's a very strong Israeli element in all of this.
Press TV: Can you describe the strength of the MKO inside Iraq? The Iraqi government doesn't appear to be doing what should be done to counter the MKO in many respects. And how does PJAK have complete control of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, which is almost autonomous?
Paul Sheldon Foote: This goes back to December of 2002 when former US President Bush spoke at the UN and they issued a background paper specifically mentioning the Mujahidin-e Khalq (MKO) as a pretext for whenever we needed to go to war with Iraq.
In 2003 American coalition forces attacked Camp Ashraf Iraq and killed some of the terrorists there. They quickly settled and they turned around and started using them to go inside Iran to kill Iranians.
We have been using them as terrorist tools -- the only question is who they work for. Terrorists exist because someone wants them to exist. Their headquarters is in Paris, France because the French government wants them to exist. They have broadcasting facilities in England because England wants them to exist.
Terrorism only exists because someone's paying the bills and that includes America, France and England.
Press TV: We have the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia -- all are trying to push, through financing and training, this group to militarily get engaged and cause instability inside Iran. Does not Iran therefore have the right to defend itself?
Paul Sheldon Foote: Yes of course. I can give you an example of this Saudi financing. You could get Massoud Khodabandeh on a future show -- he owns a website called www.iran-interlink.org. Last time I was in London he told me that when he was at Camp Ashraf, Iraq in a very high position in the Mujahidin-e Khalq he personally supervised the receipt of a large shipment of gold bars from Saudi Arabia to the MKO.
The agreement they made with the Saudis is that they had to shave off the insignia and markings on the gold bars so no one could know where the gold came from. You can verify he was there at their head quarters at Camp Ashraf Iraq and a large shipment of gold came in. The Saudis fund every terrorist organization they can imagine in the region.
Press TV: Do you think if there wasn't this interference by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia that this problem would perhaps have been resolved regionally along with the neighbors of Iran, let's say Turkey and Syria along with the local governments there in Baghdad?
Paul Sheldon Foote: Absolutely. There is no reason for these problems. A large percentage of Iraqis are actually Iranians who have been living in Iraq for more than 100 years.
The borders of the Middle East were imposed on the Middle East after WWI by France, England and the rest of the world. These are artificial lines. My wife has relatives buried in Iraq and she is from Iran. Who's to say that anyone outside the region should be defining the lines and imposing these kinds of conflicts on the region? The only objection to Iran is that Iran finally has a government independent; that stands up and will not tolerate having its oil stolen as it was under the Shah.
For the video, see:
Iran exile group should stay on terror list, say experts
(Joint Experts’ Statement on the Mujahedin-e Khalq)
... “Removing the MEK from the foreign terrorist organisation list and misconstruing its lack of democratic bona fides and support inside Iran will have harmful consequences on the legitimate, indigenous Iranian opposition,” the 37 experts say in the letter. “By attempting to claim credit for Iran’s democracy movement, the MEK has aided the Iranian government’s attempts to discredit the green movement and justify its crackdown on peaceful protesters by associating them with this widely detested group.” The signatories include ...
Anna Fifield, Financial Times, Washington, August 12 2011
A group of US-based Iran experts – including academics, former political prisoners and former officials – is writing to Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, to urge her not to remove an Iranian exile group from the US list of foreign terrorist organisations.
The letter is an attempt to counter an aggressive lobbying campaign by supporters of the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or People’s Mujahideen of Iran, to be taken off the list a decade after it renounced violence.
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The experts contend that delisting the MEK would be a huge blow to the pro-democracy “green movement” that formed in Iran during the 2009 presidential election, which Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad is widely viewed as having stolen. Months of protests followed but the movement has since lost its momentum.
“Removing the MEK from the foreign terrorist organisation list and misconstruing its lack of democratic bona fides and support inside Iran will have harmful consequences on the legitimate, indigenous Iranian opposition,” the 37 experts say in the letter.
“By attempting to claim credit for Iran’s democracy movement, the MEK has aided the Iranian government’s attempts to discredit the green movement and justify its crackdown on peaceful protesters by associating them with this widely detested group.”
The signatories include John Limbert, head of Iranian affairs in the state department until recently and one of the diplomats held hostage during the 1979 siege of the US embassy in Tehran; Paul Pillar, a former US intelligence agent now at Georgetown University; Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council; and Hadi Ghaemi of Human Rights Defender.
The state department is expected to rule this month on whether the MEK will be removed from the list, which also includes al-Qaeda and Hizbollah.
The UK removed the MEK from its list in 2008 and the European Union in 2009 after courts found no evidence of terrorist actions since the MEK renounced violence in 2001. It won more than 20 battles in courts across Europe as it sought to be delisted there.
A Washington DC court last year ruled that the MEK had been denied due process during its last appeal to the Bush administration to be taken off the list and ordered the state department to reconsider the request.
But many US analysts agree with the signatories that delisting the MEK would be a setback for Iran’s grassroots opposition.
The MEK presents itself as Iran’s main opposition group but is widely reviled in the country for supporting Saddam Hussein during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war and his crackdowns on the Shia population in Iraq.
But supporters say there is no longer any justification for keeping the group on the list.
“The MEK has halted all military activity since 2001, renounced violence and condemned terrorism in all its forms in 2004, handed over all its weapons voluntarily to the United States in 2003,” said Ahmad Moein, executive director of the Iranian American Community of Northern California, a group that supports the MEK.
The MEK could now lead a viable alternative to the current Iranian regime, he said. “We support the aims of MEK for the establishment, through the electoral process of a democratic, secular, non-nuclear republic that is at peace with all its neighbours,” Mr Moein said.
Joint Experts’ Statement on the Mujahedin-e Khalq
Financial Times, August 12, 2011
We the undersigned would like to convey our concern regarding the potential delisting of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK) from the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organization list, and its false claims to be “Iran’s main opposition” with a base of popular support in Iran.
The MEK has no political base inside Iran and no genuinesupport among the Iranian population. The MEK, an organization based in Iraq that enjoyed the support of Saddam Hussein, lost any following it had in Iran when it fought on Iraq’s behalf during the 1980-1988 war. Widespread Iranian distaste for the MEK has been cemented by its numerous terrorist attacks against innocent Iranian civilians. Since Saddam Hussein’s ouster, the MEK’s ability to maneuver in Washington and Iraq now depends almost entirely on the uneven enforcement of existing U.S. laws concerning Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
Prominent human rights organizations – including Human Rights Watch – have determined the MEK to be a cult-like organization with a structure and modus operandi that belies its claim to be a vehicle for democratic change. When Iran’s post-election turbulence commenced in 2009, the MEK quickly sought to associate itself with the wave of popular opposition inside Iran. By attempting to claim credit for Iran’s democracy movement, the MEK has aided the Iranian government’s attempts to discredit the Green Movement and justify its crackdown on peaceful protesters by associating them with this widely detested group. When the MEK began its efforts to claim the mantle of being “Iran’s main opposition,” genuine Iranian opposition leaders such as Mehdi Karroubi and Zahra Rahnavard immediately pushed back. Karroubi pointedly said, “The Iranian Government is trying to connect those who truly love their country (the Green Movement) with the MEK to revive this hypocritical dead organization.”
Removing the MEK from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list and misconstruing its lack of democratic bona fides and support inside Iran will have harmful consequences on the legitimate, indigenous Iranian opposition. We urge the U.S. government to avoid conflating a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization with Iran’s Green Movement as the Iranian people continue their struggle for democracy and human rights.
1. Prof. Ervand Abrahamian, Author of The Iranian Mojahedin
2. Prof. Ali Ansari, University of St Andrews
3. Reza Aslan, Author of No God but God
4. Prof. Shaul Bakhash, George Mason University, author of Reign of the Ayatollahs
5. Prof. Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Syracuse University
6. Prof. Juan Cole, University of Michigan
7. James Dobbins, former Assistant Secretary of State
8. Prof. Farideh Farhi, University of Hawaii at Manoa
9. Dokhi Fassihian, Human Rights Defender
10. Hadi Ghaemi, Human Rights Defender
11. Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, former reformist member of Parliament
12. Kevan Harris, Johns Hopkins University
13. Prof. Nader Hashemi, University of Denver
14. Prof. Ramin Jahanbegloo, former political prisoner in Iran
15. Prof. Mohsen Kadivar, Duke University
16. Prof. Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University
17. Prof. Stephen Kinzer, Author of All the Shah’s Men
18. Amb. John Limbert, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and hostage in Iran
19. Prof. Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham
20. Firuzeh Mahmoudi, United4Iran
21. Reza Marashi, Former Iran Desk officer, US Department of State, NIAC Research Director
22. Azadeh Moaveni, Author of Lipstick Jihad
23. Prof. Rasool Nafisi, Strayer University
24. Sahar Namazikhah, Journalist
25. Dr. Trita Parsi, Author of Treacherous Alliance - The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the US
26. Prof. Paul Pillar, Georgetown University
27. Prof. Nasrin Rahimieh, University of California, Irvine
28. Prof. R. K. Ramazani, University of Virginia
29. Jason Rezaian, Iran-based journalist
30. Prof. Ahmad Sadri, Lake Forest College
31. Prof. Mahmoud Sadri, Texas Woman’s University
32. Prof. Muhammad Sahimi, University of Southern California
33. Elaheh Sharifpour-Hicks, Human Rights Expert
34. Sasan Shoamanesh, managing editor of Global Brief, Canada’s leading international affairs magazine
35. Prof. Gary Sick, Columbia University
36. John Tirman, Executive Director, MIT Center for International Studies
37. Wayne White, Middle East Institute, former Deputy Director of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence
RT: Lobbyist in Capital Hill with pockets stuffed with MEK’s money
(aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, Rajavi cult)
... The Alyona Show on RT – Russian English –Language news Channel suggests the US media focus on the “Lobbyist in Capital Hill with pockets stuffed with MEK’s money”, on July 9th. The show criticizes US officials’ hypocrisy and double-standard sell the cause of terrorists. Comparing MEK with Al-Qaida the show poses the question that how a terrorist designated organization can be debated in a hearing held in the US congress ...
Alyona show, Russia Today, July 16 2011
Link to the full program on RT
same video on you tube (Alyona Show)
Royals V. MEK
The Alyona Show on RT – Russian English –Language news Channel suggests the US media focus on the “Lobbyist in Capital Hill with pockets stuffed with MEK’s money”, on July 9th. The show criticizes US officials’ hypocrisy and double-standard sell the cause of terrorists. Comparing MEK with Al-Qaida the show poses the question that how a terrorist designated organization can be debated in a hearing held in the US congress.