Habilian Association, August 22 2017:… On April 14, 2017, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a critical move met with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the front organization of the terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq in Tirana, Albania. This meeting highlights a significant development in establishing further communication between US government …
A Senator who is called “hawkish” even by his party (McCain, using terrorism, Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is a leading advocate in the U.S. Senate for aggressive U.S. foreign policies, including an interventionist “war on terror.” A founding member of the neoconservative-led Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, McCain consistently backed the George W. Bush administration’s efforts to expand the “war on terror” in the Middle East, championing the Iraq War and the invasion of Afghanistan. More recently, he has been a leading congressional advocate for confrontational policies on Iran and intervening militarily in Syria’s civil war. McCain is chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, a post he attained after the GOP won a majority in the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections.
McCain’s stature as one of his party’s leading hawks has been buttressed in part by his longtime chairmanship of the International Republican Institute, the GOP-linked arm of the National Endowment for Democracy that has been closely associated with subversive U.S. actions in Latin America and other parts of the world.
McCain is arguably one of the more militaristic senators of his generation, often partnering with Senate colleagues Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to press for U.S. military deployments across the globe. Following Lieberman’s retirement from the Senate after the 2012 elections, the New York Times ran a piece marking the end of “the three amigos,” observing that the trio’s “hawkish world views often placed them at odds with their respective parties, but together they secured a place at the center of every major foreign policy debate.”
McCain has supported Graham’s bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, appearing on campaign stops with Graham in states like New Hampshire. He told a crowd of Graham supporters in August 2015: “If you’ve been impressed today, as I hope you have been, with this candidate, I would like you to do me one favor if you would: Tell your friends, ‘Go and see Lindsey Graham.’”
On Iran Nuclear Deal
McCain has been a stanch critic of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. He frequently uses hyperbolic language in referring to the alleged threat Iran poses to the United States. For example, in a September 2015 town hall meeting organized by Christians United for Israel, McCain proclaimed that Iran is “probably the biggest threat to America and everything we stand for.”
He was a vocal opponent of the P5+1 negotiations that resulted in the historic agreement concluded in July 2015. He blasted the agreement as having “fundamental flaws” and echoed neoconservative concerns that the deal would be bad for Israel and U.S. allies in the Arab world. He said after the agreement was announced: “This is delusional and dangerous, especially as we see Iran on the offensive in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and elsewhere in the region. Instead, I fear this agreement could undermine the very goals we have maintained for 35 years—weakening the Islamic Republic, constraining its threatening influence, strengthening Israel and our Arab partners, lessening regional tensions, and preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.”
In March 2015, McCain signed a controversial letter crafted by hawkish Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) addressed to Iran’s leaders, which misleadingly claimed that any deal reached with the Obama White House would not last past his administration. McCain later appeared to express regret over signing the letter, stating: “It was kind of a very rapid process. Everybody was looking forward to getting out of town because of the snowstorm. I think we probably should have had more discussion about it, given the blowback that there is.”
Just prior to the April 2015 framework nuclear deal being reached with Iran, McCain wildly proclaimed that Israel may need to “go rogue” to survive the remainder of the Obama administration. He declared: “The Israelis will need to chart their own path of resistance. On the Iranian nuclear deal, they may have to go rogue. Let’s hope their warnings have not been mere bluffs. Israel survived its first 19 years without meaningful U.S. patronage. For now, all it has to do is get through the next 22, admittedly long, months.”
One commentator responded saying: “Recall that McCain is head of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a former Republican presidential candidate. His call for a foreign state to openly obstruct U.S. policy and in the process initiate a catastrophic regional war is perhaps unprecedented for someone of his senior position.”
On Syrian Civil War and ISIS
McCain has been a leading advocate of U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war, characterizing the Obama administration’s reluctance to involve itself in the conflict as “shameful” and “feckless.” An early proponent of funneling arms to opposition forces, McCain—along with Graham and Lieberman—penned an op-ed for the Washington Post in August 2012 claiming that “U.S. reluctance to intervene in Syria” was “allowing this conflict to be longer and bloodier, a radicalizing dynamic.” Earlier that year, McCain and Graham paid a surprise visit to Free Syrian Army forces in Turkey, declaring in a statement that “Diplomacy with Assad has failed,” even as former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was attempting to negotiate a ceasefire.
McCain amplified his calls for U.S. action in Syria in 2013, particularly after allegations emerged that the Assad regime had deployed small amounts chemical weapons against rebel forces (although UN investigators later said that rebels had likely used the weapons as well). Referring to President Barack Obama’s past remarks that the use of such weapons constituted a “red line” that could spur U.S. action, McCain quipped in May that the line “was apparently written in disappearing ink” and called for the United States to take “game-changing action” in Syria. Washington, he said, should “establish a safe zone” inside Syria and “supply weapons to the right people in Syria who are fighting, obviously, for the things we believe.”
Observers have warned against these steps. Bill Frelick, the refugee policy director for Human Rights Watch, has decried the notion of so-called “safe zones,” warning that “keeping people fleeing for their lives in buffer zones inside Syrian borders risks trapping rather than protecting them.”
Writing for LobeLog, former State Department official Wayne White argued that McCain had distorted Obama’s original comments, noting the president had implied action in response to the widespread use and movement of chemical weapons, not their use in a few isolated cases. Moreover, White added, due to stark sectarian divisions in Syria and the widespread presence of radical Islamist elements in the country’s opposition forces, arming the “right people” would prove nearly impossible—and would likely provoke a host of unintended consequences. “Still,” he concluded, “that has not stopped Sen. McCain (who so fervently backed US intervention in Libya, but now rails on about the deadly events in Benghazi despite the uncertain challenge posed by post-Qadhafi chaos), from advocating U.S. military involvement in the even messier situation in Syria.”
In September 2013, after new reports emerged alleging the Syrian government had used chemical weapons, McCain led calls in the Senate for the United States to launch military strikes against Syria. He strongly denounced the Obama administration for ultimately deciding not to attack and instead agreeing to a Russian-brokered deal on Syria giving up its chemical weapons stockpiles. “What concerns us most is that our friends and enemies will take the same lessons from this agreement: They see it as an act of provocative weakness on America’s part,” McCain said in a joint statement with Graham at the time.
McCain has also criticized the Obama administration for its approach toward combatting ISIS. He wrote in an August 2014 New York Times op-ed co-authored with Graham: “Still, we must face facts: A comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS would require more troops, assets, resources and time.”
In October 2014, McCain told CNN that ISIS was prevailing in the fight in Iraq. “They’re winning, and we’re not. The Iraqis are not winning. The Peshmerga, the Kurds are not winning,” he opined. He also argued that the United States should “take the fight to Syria’s president” as part of war against ISIS, and called for establishing a no-fly zone in Syria.
In early 2015, McCain declared that “American boots on the ground are necessary to defeat [the group] in Iraq and Syria.” He told MSNBC in February 2015: “I’m talking about 10,000 in Iraq. Then we need to say that our objective is to eliminate Bashar Assad as well as ISIS in Syria, and we recruit other Arab nations with Americans, but not too many, to fight against ISIS and Bashar Assad in Syria and coordinate those movements with air power guided by air controls.”
McCain has advocated an aggressive U.S. posture towards Russia in response to the on-going Ukraine crisis. He has called for adopting “crushing” sanctions against Russia and has said that “it is long past time” to arm Ukraine.
In March 2014, McCain lamented that there was not a military solution the United States could pursue in Ukraine. “I’d love to tell you that there is Andrea, but frankly I do not see it. I wish that there were. … I do not see a military option and it’s tragic,” he told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
In May 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appointed McCain as an advisor.
Iraq War Advocacy and Neoconservative Drift
A veteran of the Vietnam War who was tortured as a POW, McCain has always given top billing to his views on national security, which have steadfastly remained on the hawkish right (although, unlike many of his Republican colleagues, he has been an unwavering opponent of torture and “enhanced interrogation”). Despite frayed personal relations with President George W. Bush stemming from a bitter primary race for the 2000 GOP presidential nomination, McCain was an important ally of the president’s policies in Iraq, supporting the war effort long after it fell from public favor. The senator was once quoted as saying it would be “fine” if U.S. troops remained in Iraq for “a hundred years.”
As the GOP’s 2008 presidential nominee, McCain hinged his campaign on the argument that he would be a stronger commander and chief than his opponent, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). McCain’s ongoing support for the Iraq War, however, ran up against growing public discontent with the conflict, highlighting his association with the unpopular George W. Bush and stoking concerns that he was weak on the economy. Obama frequently cited McCain’s hawkish tendencies as a sign that the Arizona senator was out of touch. For example, during the candidates’ second debate in October 2008, Obama responded to McCain’s charge that Obama was too inexperienced on foreign affairs, saying: “Senator McCain suggests that … he’s somber and responsible. … [T]his is the guy who sang, ‘Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,’ who called for the annihilation of North Korea. That I don’t think is an example of ‘speaking softly.’ This is the person who, after we had—we hadn’t even finished Afghanistan, where he said, ‘Next up, Baghdad.’”
McCain was also an early advocate of President Bush’s “surge” in Iraq, a marked escalation of the war that came shortly after a sweeping GOP defeat in the 2006 midterm elections, which were widely interpreted as a public rebuke of the deeply unpopular conflict.
After returning from a January 2007 trip to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), McCain and Lieberman presented their opinions on Iraq to an audience at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Washington, D.C.-based think tank that serves as home for many leading neoconservative writers. Emphasizing his belief that the Iraq War was still “winnable,” McCain laid out his argument for a troop surge: “The presence of additional coalition forces would give the Iraqi government the ability to do what it cannot accomplish today on its own—impose its rule throughout the country. In bringing security to Iraq and chiefly to Baghdad, our forces would give the government a fighting chance to pursue reconciliation.” This plan was echoed by one proposed by AEI scholar Frederick Kagan and retired Gen. Jack Keane, which unveiled at the same AEI event at which McCain and Lieberman spoke.
Earlier, in 2002, McCain played a role in supporting aWhite House-orchestrated campaign to build public and congressional support for the invasion of Iraq when he served as an honorary co-chair of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, founded in late 2002 by Bruce Jackson of the now-defunct Project for the New American Century. While most of the committee members were neoconservatives and Republican Party hawks like McCain, several hardline Democrats also supported the group, including Lieberman and former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE). The group’s executive director was Randy Scheunemann, a lobbyist who while on the staff of then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), wrote the Iraq Liberation Act, which authorized $98 million for the Iraqi National Congress and served as a key stepping-stone on the path to the Iraq War. Scheuenmann went on to become McCain’s top foreign policy advisor during the 2008 presidential race.
Outside observers noted the impact of Scheunemann and other hawks on McCain’s policy preferences. According to John Judis, it was during McCain’s failed bid for the GOP 2000 presidential nomination that the influence of hardliners began to take root. Judis writes that McCain began “seeking to differentiate his views from those of other Republican presidential aspirants and from the growing isolationism of House Republicans … [placing] his new interventionist instincts within a larger ideological framework. That ideological framework was neoconservatism. McCain began reading theWeekly Standard and conferring with its editors, particularly Bill Kristol.” Shortly after his staff consulted with Kristol, McCain hired a bevy of neoconservative-aligned operatives, including Scheunemann, Marshall Wittmann, and Daniel McKivergan.
The impact of this group of advisors on the senator’s thinking was revealed in early 1999, according to Judis, when McCain spoke at Kansas State University using a speech Scheunemann helped draft. In it, McCain echoed the neoconservative idea of “national greatness conservatism,” arguing: “The United States is the indispensable nation because we have proven to be the greatest force for good in human history…. [W]e have every intention of continuing to use our primacy in world affairs for humanity’s benefit.” Judis reported about the stumping, “The centerpiece of the speech was a strategy that McCain called ‘rogue-state rollback,'” a term Scheunemann claimed to have coined based on rhetoric used by critics of 1950s Cold War containment strategy.
McCain promotes an Israel-centric vision of Mideast peace, often echoing neoconservative rhetoric equating U.S. security with that of Israel. Speaking at a 2001 conference of the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC), McCain said: “In addition to her moral commitment to Israel’s security, America must provide Israel with whatever military equipment and technology she requires to defend herself, above and beyond what we supply today if necessary. Our support for Israel must intensify, as threats to Israeli security have intensified.” In a speech to the American Jewish Committee in 2002, McCain said: “I think the Israeli people would agree that we can’t wait for rogue regimes like Iran, Iraq, and Syria to develop the weapons that would seriously challenge Israel’s defenses, and our own. I think Israelis would agree that a posture of robust deterrence is no longer enough in this age of weapons of mass destruction.”
Similarly, during the Israel-Lebanon conflict in summer 2006, McCain rejected mounting criticism of Israel for its response to the Hezbollah kidnappings. “What would we do if somebody came across our borders and killed our soldiers and captured our soldiers?” asked McCain. “Do you think we would be exercising total restraint?”
Despite sharing a number of common policy objectives with neoconservatives and other hawks, McCain has promoted negotiated compromises in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a May 2006 interview with Haaretz, an influential Israeli daily, McCain said that he favored Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations led by realists like Brent Scowcroft or Jim Baker; he also nodded his assent in response to the question: “In general, a movement toward the June 4, 1967 armistice lines, with minor modifications?” Writing in the New Republic, John Judis commented that the interview—which McCain disputed after an upsurge of Israeli criticism—indicated that McCain might be “closer to George H.W. Bush than to George W. Bush. And that’s not a bad thing at all.”
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Scheunemann, who advised McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign as well as his failed 2000 presidential bid, argued that despite a number of “realists,” such as Scowcroft, among McCain’s foreign policy advisors, his own influence and that of other like-minded advisors like William Kristol and Robert Kagan was paramount in McCain’s thinking. “I don’t think, given where John has been for the last four or five years on the Iraq War and foreign policy issues, anyone would mistake Scowcroft for a close adviser,” Scheunemann said, adding that even if Scowcroft were close, McCain “was not taking the advice.”
McCain has served since 1992 as the chairman of the International Republican Institute, a program of the Republican Party that was created in 1983 as a channel for funding from the then-newly created National Endowment for Democracy. Since its early years of work supporting U.S. partners in Central America and the Caribbean, the IRI has gained a reputation as a surrogate for interventionist U.S. foreign policy. IRI has offices around the world, and currently funds nongovernmental organizations in 50 countries. During the Bush administration, the IRI was a leading U.S. actor in supporting individuals and organizations that sought to overthrow President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti (successfully in February 2004) and President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela (unsuccessfully in April 2002).
Support for Terrorists
McCain has a long record of backing unsavory and vicious people that happen to support regime change or that share his hostility to certain other governments. He was a cheerleader for the KLA during the Kosovo intervention, he was a fan of the rebellion in Libya from the start despite the presence of jihadists in their ranks, and he has been one of the most outspoken advocates of sending weapons to rebels in Syria on the pretense that they were “moderates.” In addition to misjudging the “moderate” rebels, McCain has been a leading advocate for a policy that has sent weapons into Syria when they have been seized by Jabhat al-Nusra or ISIS. Those are just the most obvious examples of McCain’s terrible judgment. McCain doesn’t discriminate when it comes to choosing allies of convenience in pursuing unwise and reckless goals, so it was probably just a matter of time before he started associating with the MEK. 
On April 14, 2017, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a critical move met with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the front organization of the terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq in Tirana, Albania. This meeting highlights a significant development in establishing further communication between US government and this terrorist organization.
Speaking to members of the Mujaheddin-e Khalq at their headquarters in Tirana, McCain spoke about his opposition to the Iranian government. He also congratulated members of the group for successfully relocating to Albania from Iraq. Senator McCain praised MEK members by calling them freedom fighters and “an example to the whole world”!
Rajavi praised McCain for his efforts in support of MEK member in Ashraf and their relocation out of Iraq’s Camp Liberty. McCain also congratulated member of the group for successfully relocating to Albania out of Iraq. During their time in Iraq, the group had been subject to attacks from Iranian-backed militias.
Prior to the meeting, Senator McCain visited one of the centers of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Tirana and met with the PMOI/MEK members who were relocated to
Albania from Camp Liberty, Iraq.
After the event, McCain met separately with Rajavi, the group said.
McCain has spent the first week of the congressional recess traveling across Eastern Europe. He’s made stops in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro.
His office did not immediately return a request for comment on his visit to Albania.
Previously, in an unprecedented move, a 23 member bi-partisan group of senior former US officials signed a critical letter and delivered it to President Donald Trump. The letter suggested new policy options regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran and the need for the US to open up a meaningful channel of communication with the Iranian opposition, namely the coalition, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
This is something that has never been done under any other administration. The letter was signed by senior former US officials including Rudy Giuliani, Joseph Lieberman, Patrick Kennedy, General Hugh Shelton (a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Bill Clinton) to name a few. It explains that revised policies toward Iran are needed because Iran has used every opportunity since its establishment to scuttle US foreign policy objectives and damage US national, geopolitical, economic and strategic interests with the assistance of its proxies.
 Jennifer Steinhauer, “With Chairmanship, McCain Seizes Chance to Reshape Pentagon Agenda,” The New York Times, June 8, 2015,http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/09/us/politics/mccain-uses-committee-post-to-press-for-defense-agenda.html.
 Jennifer Steinhauer, “Foreign Policy’s Bipartisan Trio Becomes Republican Duo,”
New York Times, November 26, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/27/us/politics/liebermans-retirement-is-end-of-three-amigos.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.
 Jose DelReal, “John McCain in New Hampshire: ‘Lindsey Graham, he’s my man!,’” The Washington Post, August 1, 2015,http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/08/01/john-mccain-in-new-hampshire-lindsey-graham-hes-my-man/.
 Sydney Abeyta, “Sen. John McCain Talks Iran, ISIS at Tempe Forum,” AZ Central, September 4, 2015,http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/politics/2015/09/04/john-mccain-iran-isis/71713906/.
 Jamie Jackson, “John McCain Denounces Iran Deal, Says ‘We’re Losing Badly’ to ISIS,” The Daily Signal, July 15, 2015,http://dailysignal.com/2015/07/15/mccain-denounces-iran-deal-says-were-losing-badly-to-isis/.
 Morgan Chalfant, “John McCain: ‘Delusional and Dangerous’ Iran Nuclear Deal Built on ‘Hope,’” Free Beacon, July 14, 2015,http://freebeacon.com/national-security/john-mccain-delusional-and-dangerous-iran-nuclear-deal-built-on-hope/.
 Newsmax, “Sens. McCain, Johnson Express Regret Over Iran Letter,” March 13, 2015, http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/mccain-Johnson-regret-Iran/2015/03/13/id/630020/.
 Jon Rainwater, “McCain Joins Bolton, Invites Israel to Bomb Iran,” The Huffington Post, March 31, 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-rainwater/mccain-joins-bolton-invit_b_6973978.html.
[9 [ Zaid Jilani, “McCain Suggests Israel ‘Go Rogue,’ Blow Up Iran Negotiations By Starting War,” Alternet, March 29, 2015, http://www.alternet.org/mccain-suggests-israel-go-rogue-blow-iran-negotiations-starting-war.
 Kevin Robillard, “John McCain: Obama ‘shameful’ on Syria,” Politico, July 23, 2012, http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78851.html.
 John McCain, Joseph I. Lieberman and Lindsey O. Graham, “The risks of inaction in Syria,” Washington Post, August 5, 2012,http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/mccain-lieberman-and-graham-the-risks-of-inaction-in-syria/2012/08/05/4a63585c-dd91-11e1-8e43-4a3c4375504a_story.html.
 Josh Rogin, “McCain and Lieberman meet with the Free Syria Army,” Foreign Policy “The Cable” blog, April 10, 2012,http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/04/10/mccain_and_lieberman_meet_with_the_free_syria_army.
 Wayne White, “Syria: Pressure for US Military Action Rising Ominously,” LobeLog, May 6, 2013, http://www.lobelog.com/syria-pressure-for-us-military-action-rising-ominously/; Reuters, “McCain: Israeli strikes could force US action, Jerusalem Post,” May 5, 2013, http://www.jpost.com/International/McCain-Israeli-strikes-could-force-Obama-to-act-on-Syria-312153.
 Bill Frelick, “Blocking Syrian Refugees Isn’t the Way,” New York Times, April 23, 2013,http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/24/opinion/global/blocking-syrian-refugees-isnt-the-way.html?_r=1&.
 Wayne White, “Syria: Pressure for US Military Action Rising Ominously,” LobeLog, May 6, 2013, http://www.lobelog.com/syria-pressure-for-us-military-action-rising-ominously/.
 Darlene Superville, “McCain, Graham blast Syrian chemical weapons deal,” Yahoo News, September 14, 2013, http://news.yahoo.com/mccain-graham-blast-syrian-chemical-weapons-deal-195925431–politics.html.
 John McCain and Lindsey Graham, “Stop Dithering, Confront ISIS,” The New York Times, August 29, 2015,http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/30/opinion/john-mccain-and-lindsey-graham-confront-isis.html?_r=0.
 Rory Carroll, “McCain urges ground troops to defeat Isis: ‘They’re winning, and we’re not,’” Guardian, October 12, 2014,http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/12/mccain-isis-syria-iraq-strategy.
 John Bennet, “McCain: More US Boots on Ground in Iraq, Syria,” Defense News, January 26, 2015, http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/congress/2015/01/26/isis-terrorism-iraq-syria-obama/22349661/.
 Sandy Fitzgerald, “John McCain: Ground Troops Needed to Stop ISIS, Syria’s Assad,” Newsmax, February 9, 2015,http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/John-McCain-ISIS-ground-troops-Bashar-Assad/2015/02/19/id/625698/.
 Marina Koren, “What Would Vladimir Putin Do if John McCain Gets His Way on Ukraine?,” National Journal, February 19, 2015,http://www.nationaljournal.com/congress/2015/02/19/What-Would-Vladimir-Putin-Do-if-John-McCain-Gets-His-Way-Ukraine.
Daniel Schearf, “McCain Urges ‘Crushing’ Sanctions for Russia, Arms for Ukraine,” VOA News, September 4, 2014, http://www.voanews.com/content/mccain-urges-crushing-sanctions-for-russia-arms-for-ukraine/2439206.html
 Ben Armbruster, “McCain: ‘It’s Tragic’ There’s No U.S. Military Option In Ukraine,” Think Progress, March 7, 2014,http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/03/07/3378371/mccain-military-option-ukraine/.
 AFP, “Ukraine appoints US senator McCain presidential aide,” Yahoo News, May 13, 2015, http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-appoints-us-senator-mccain-presidential-aide-003503382.html.
 David Corn, ” McCain in NH: Would Be “Fine” To Keep Troops in Iraq for “A Hundred Years,” Mother Jones, January 3, 2008,http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2008/01/mccain-nh-would-be-fine-keep-troops-iraq-hundred-years.
 CNN, “Transcript of Second McCain, Obama Debate,” http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/07/presidential.debate.transcript/.
 John McCain, Remarks at the American Enterprise Institute, “Iraq: A Turning Point: Panel II: Reports from Iraq,” January 5, 2007.
 American Enterprise Institute, “Iraq: A Turning Point: Panel II: Reports from Iraq,” January 5, 2007.
 John B. Judis, “Minister Without Portfolio,” American Prospect, January 1, 2003.
 Jim Lobe, “New Champions of the War Cause,” Asia Times, November 6, 2002.
 John Judis, “Neo-McCain,” New Republic, October 16, 2006.
 John Judis, “Neo-McCain,” New Republic, October 16, 2006.
 Quoted in “John McCain, Republican,” The Israel Factor, Haaretz.com, November 13, 2006.
 Quoted in “John McCain, Republican,” The Israel Factor, Haaretz.com, November 13, 2006.
 Cited in “John McCainand Israel,” One Jerusalem, http://www.onejerusalem.com/2008/02/28/john-mccain-and-israel/(accessed on November 9, 2008),
 John B. Judis, “John McCain’s (Disputed) Plan for Middle East Peace,” New Republic, October 25, 2006.
 John B. Judis, “John McCain’s (Disputed) Plan for Middle East Peace,” New Republic, October 25, 2006.
 Josh Gerstein, ” McCain Signals Distance From Bush, Neocons,” New York Sun, August 23, 2006.
 Mike McIntire, “Democracy Institute Gives Donors Access to McCain,” New York Times, July 28, 2008; Tom Barry, “Aristide’s Fall: The Undemocratic U.S. Policy in Haiti,” IRC America’s Program, February 27, 2004.
 Daniel Larison, “McCain Is the MEK’s Newest Fan”, The American Conservative, June 15, 2015. http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/mccain-is-the-meks-newest-fan/.
Lets create another Vietnam for America(pdf).
(Mojahedin English language paper April 1980)
Letter to Imam (Khomeini) (pdf).
(Mojahedin English Language paper April 1980)
Some questions unanswered regarding the US military invasion of Iran (pdf).
(Mojahedin English Language paper June 1980)
link to one of the Mojahedin Khalq songs
advocating terror and killing Americans
(In Persian written and distributed after the Iranian Revolution)
Iran’s Social Network Sites (SNS): We Hate Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK, MKO, NCRI, Rajavi cult …)
Dr. Raz Zimmt, The Moshe Dyan Center, Tel Aviv university, August 08 2017:… The angry reactions aroused by MEK’s conference in Paris attest to the intensity of the hostility towards the organization among Iranian citizens, including critics of the regime. Most of the Iranian public view the organization’s conduct since the Islamic revolution as a series of treacheries that climaxed with the organization’s support of the Saddam regime …
We Hate Mojahedin-e Khalq: SNS Respond to a Conference of the Iranian Opposition
In early July, Iran’s National Resistance Council, the political wing of the opposition group Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), held its annual conference at the Villepinte Exhibition Center in a suburb of Paris. The conference sparked angry reactions and public criticism on Iran’s social networking sites (SNS). This anger was exacerbated by Saudi and US representation at the conference, which was seen as evidence of Saudi and American efforts to instigate political change in Iran through compromising support of a terrorist organization widely considered traitorous by Iranians.
MEK’s ideology combines Shi‘ite Islam with Marxism. During the early 1970s, the organization emerged in opposition to the Iranian monarchy. The United States and the European Union previously designated MEK as a terrorist organization due to its involvement in terrorist attacks in Iran, with several attacks against Western (including American and Israeli) targets. Shortly after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, MEK and the new regime fell into severe conflict, with the regime implementing strongly suppressive measures against MEK. As a result, the organization transferred most of its activities to Iraq, where it aligned itself with the Saddam Hussein regime. In the 1980s, during the Iran-Iraq War, MEK even participated in several Iraqi army operations against Iran. As a result, MEK was left with very little support in Iran proper, with many Iranians considering MEK activists traitors. In recent years, there has been no evidence of the organization’s involvement in terrorism. Instead, it focuses mainly on political activity in Europe and the United States aimed at enlisting support for regime change in Iran. Nonetheless, critics believe this political activity is merely a façade.
This year’s annual MEK conference was chaired by the organization’s leader, Maryam Rajavi, and attended by hundreds of participants from around the world, including Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, who formerly served as head of Saudi intelligence, as well as largely hawkish former US officials, including the former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, former US Senator Joseph Lieberman (Ind.-Conn.), and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In their speeches at the conference, these senior officials harshly criticized the Islamic republic, accused it of supporting terrorism, and called for regime change in Tehran.
The conference aroused strong reactions in Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who ended an official visit to Paris on the eve of the conference, criticized France for permitting the opposition group to operate within its borders, saying that regional and European countries are well aware of MEK’s terrorist activities. Ali Akbar Velayati, the Iranian Supreme Leader’s advisor on international affairs, emphasized that hosting terrorists would not contribute to regional or international peace. On SNS, thousands of Iranian users mobilized a virtual campaign against the organization using the English and Persian hashtags “Iran hates MEK” and “No to MEK.” The posts included insults and slurs against members of the organization accused of causing the death of thousands of Iranian citizens. Users contended that MEK is a terrorist organization entirely unrepresentative of the Iranian people, and devoid of popular support. They stressed that opposition to MEK unites Iranians, regardless of ideology or political outlook. As one user tweeted, “There is no difference between conservatives, reformists or independents! We all agree on hatred for Munafakin [a derogatory term for the MEK, meaning hypocrites or false Muslims].”
Predictably, the main criticism of the organization was based on its alignment with the Iraqi regime during the Iran-Iraq war. Iranian users called MEK members “betrayers of the homeland” and “traitors,” accusing them of collaborating with the Ba‘ath regime’s chemical attack on the citizens of Iran during the summer of 1987. “When Iranian women and children trembled in fear of Iraqi missiles, the MEK drank faludeh [a cold Iranian beverage],” wrote one commenter. Many users emphasized that the Iranian people would neither forget nor forgive the organization for its historic misalignment.
Along with expressions of hatred towards the opposition group, users also attacked its supporters in the West and Saudi Arabia. Many users compared MEK to ISIS, arguing that there was no difference between supporting the Iranian opposition group and supporting the Islamic terror organization. Western support for MEK, spearheaded by American politicians close to the current administration, was considered further proof of the West’s hypocrisy. Critics contended that while Western countries claim to defend democracy and human rights against terrorism, they perpetuate a terrorist organization responsible for thousands of innocent civilians’ deaths, and for serious human rights violations in internment camps it operated in Iraq. “Trump administration wants to back an Islamist terrorist cult (MEK) to bring democracy to Iran. What a sick joke,” tweeted one user. Meanwhile, Saudi support for this opposition group reignited Iranian hostility towards Saudi Arabia, which has been the target of Iranian users’ hatred and racism for the past several years of worsening relations between the countries. “Saudi Arabia supports Maryam Rajavi as leader of Iran, but within Saudi Arabia women have no right to drive!” read one tweet.
The angry reactions aroused by MEK’s conference in Paris attest to the intensity of the hostility towards the organization among Iranian citizens, including critics of the regime. Most of the Iranian public view the organization’s conduct since the Islamic revolution as a series of treacheries that climaxed with the organization’s support of the Saddam regime during the Iran-Iraq war, which remains a traumatic memory for Iranians. Therefore, Iranians consider any support for MEK to be an illegitimate offence against national pride. The Iranian public’s aversion to foreign interventions and allies of Iran’s enemies sporadically captivates SNS discourse, as exhibited by the conference’s backlash.
 “Iranian FM decries France green light to MKO activities,” Press TV, July 1, 2017.
 “Velayati Blasts France for Hosting MKO Terrorists,” Fars News Agency, July 3, 2017.
 #IranHatesMEK and-#No2MEK
 In this context, see Iranians’ responses to a letter in which Iranian activists in exile urged US President Trump to adopt an aggressive policy towards Iran .Raz Zimmt, “Critics or Traitors? Responses to Iranian Exiles’ Letter to Trump,” Beehive, 5(1), January 2017,
Dr. Raz Zimmt investigates Iranian social media responses to the annual conference of Mojahedin-e Khalq, an Iranian opposition group whose support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War remains a searing national trauma.
ISIS Drew On MEK Expertise For Terror Attacks On Tehran (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult)
Massoud Khodabandeh, Iranian.com, June 20 2017:… The following piece has been written by somebody I know well. He does not want his real name to be used because that would jeopardize the sensitive nature of his current work in counter terrorism in Europe – Massoud Khodabandeh… As a former member of the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist organization (MEK), I followed the news of terrorist attacks on Tehran with shame, guilt and anger. My shame and guilt stem …
ISIS Drew On MEK Expertise For Terror Attacks On Tehran (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult)
The following piece has been written by somebody I know well. He does not want his real name to be used because that would jeopardize the sensitive nature of his current work in counter terrorism in Europe – Massoud Khodabandeh.
As a former member of the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist organization (MEK), I followed the news of terrorist attacks on Tehran with shame, guilt and anger.
My shame and guilt stem from having been involved in such attacks in the past as a member of the MEK. My anger springs from what I see as the MEK’s ongoing influence in these current attacks. Based on my inside knowledge of the MEK I believe this organization has now helped the most notorious terror organization in the world to attack our country and our people.
As I followed news of the attacks I was forced to remember my own role in a similar mission and how my membership of the MEK had almost cost me my life. While analyzing the details of the ISIS attack as they emerged, it was easy to see that these operations in Tehran had been based on the expertise of MEK operations in several ways. I have identified some of these similarities which I have given in outline below.
The targets selected by ISIS were sites constantly targeted by the MEK. The Iranian Parliament and its members had always been primary targets for the MEK since the 1980s. The group had managed to assassinate several members of the Parliament and tried to plant a bomb there at one point. They were unsuccessful and some members were killed by security forces while other terrorist teams were arrested. Similarly, after Ayatollah Khomeini’s shrine was created, Massoud Rajavi, the late MEK leader, announced that “Khomeini’s grave must be exploded”. It became a mantra among MEK members which they would chant in indoctrination sessions. The MEK tried unsuccessfully to send terrorist teams there in 1991 and 2002.
While ISIS and the MEK have the same interests in attacking Iran, ISIS could have caused much greater anti-government fear and hatred among the civilian population in line with its regime change agenda if they had bombed a civilian target like transport infrastructure or a shopping mall. They could have done more damage by targeting the Revolutionary Guards whose forces are in Syria. Instead, the ISIS targets matched those which had been constantly under attack by the MEK for thirty years.
ISIS used locally recruited Iranians for this attack. Their main challenge was to get their weaponry to Tehran without being detected by Iranian security forces. This had always been the main challenge for MEK terrorists. They used different methods to get their weapons to Tehran. For example, hiding the weapons in a small truck loaded with food or inside an empty computer case. The MEK experiences were helpful to the ISIS attackers. They paid a female acquaintance to join them to go to Tehran, pretending it is a family visit. This was to raise less suspicion. Between 2000-2003, the MEK used the same approach to get their terrorists from Iraq to Tehran. The first suicide bomber in Iran was a female MEK member. Since then, the MEK used women in suicide operations to ‘normalize’ their terrorist teams.
The suicide mission
An important similarity is the human factor. Just like the MEK, ISIS terrorists selected and trained for suicide missions are thoroughly brainwashed first. They undergo intensive indoctrination and psychological manipulation sessions and afterwards they are not allowed to think of anything else but their mission; terror. From the videos and reports, it is clear that the terrorists are numbed and fearful people who are prepared to use weapons as a first resort against innocent unprepared people. The ISIS terrorists exploded their vests in their first moments of contact with security forces. A couple of them even exploded their vests as soon as they just saw the security forces. This is similar to MKO terrorists who were brainwashed to assassinate unarmed civilians or perform a mortar attack in a large city like Tehran. They were also armed with cyanide pills and a hand grenade and ordered that rather than risk capture they must commit suicide and hurt as many of the people around them as possible.
It has been widely reported that, just like the MEK, ISIS also gets support from inside Saudi Arabia. After the Tehran terrorist attacks neither Saudi Arabia nor the MEK condemned the events. This echoes MEK behaviour under the Saddam regime. The MEK could not and would not condemn any action of Saddam or the Saudis because they were being paid and supported by them.
The MEK needed governmental level backing to move across national borders. Saddam arranged for MEK operatives to get inside Iran from Pakistan and Turkey rather than cross the Iraqi border which was under international scrutiny. ISIS has also been able to cross borders and move weapons and fund its activities in a way that indicates governmental level of support.
There is no indication that the MEK were directly involved in the Tehran attacks. But from my inside knowledge and based on having performed a similar style of suicide attack in Tehran myself some years ago, there is little doubt in my mind that ISIS have been able to use MEK expertise to pursue this modern terrorist attack.
MEK’s Maryam Rajavi blackmails Albania to become the new ‘Saddam regime’ for them.
Massoud Khodabandeh, Top topic, May 08 2017:… Rajavi then publishes these alongside letters signed by American personalities in support of the MEK. The letters from the Americans are addressed to the Albanian Prime Minister and bear the familiar hallmark of MEK authorship. (One letter published by the MEK is signed in blue ink. We can only speculate how the MEK obtained the original letter which should have been sent directly from the Americans to the Albanian PM!) …
MEK’s Maryam Rajavi blackmails Albania to become the new ‘Saddam regime’ for them.
The forced relocation of the MEK organisation from Iraq to Albania resulted in drastic changes within the group. No longer forced to endure the extremes of heat and cold in Baghdad, living alongside ordinary family neighbours for the first time in two decades and the loss of their leader Massoud Rajavi have all profoundly affected the members. They now have the ‘luxury’ to think and their changed environment and circumstances have led them to challenge the leadership.
Defections started almost immediately and the MEK is now in the grip of a crisis of disaffection. The problem was exacerbated when Sahar Family Foundation moved its operation from Baghdad to Tirana. Sahar was created to offer support and help to families of MEK members who were trying to get in touch with their estranged loved ones in the MEK while they were based in Iraq. The MEK leaders regard families and familial relations as “poison” and have tried every way possible to prevent these families contacting their loved ones in the group.
Now that Sahar has begun its work in Albania, the new MEK leader Maryam Rajavi has panicked. Sahar began by reminding the UNHCR and Albanian authorities of the international laws governing refugees, in particular UN human rights conventions and articles, and how the MEK rejects these norms.
Maryam Rajavi reacted by shooting herself in the foot. https://www.mojahedin.org/news/197420
Maryam’s counter campaign is based on the tactics used by Massoud Rajavi in Iraq – blackmail and coercion – but it is too little and too late and has lost its potency.
Soon after Sahar started its campaign to inform Albanian authorities of the MEK’s illegal and scandalous behaviours, Rajavi announced that three disaffected individuals, Hadi Sanikhani, Gholamreza Shokri and Sarfaraz Rahimi, had made contact with their families in Iran and declared them therefore to be ‘agents of the regime’. For this reason, she said, “we will cut their refugee allowances from now”. The MEK then said that the only way for their UNHCR money to be restored was for these individuals (and others) to write whatever the MEK dictates. In Saddam’s prisons the MEK also used such coercive tactics to force compliance and silence.
The three individuals went to the UNHCR office and explained what had happened. The UNHCR advised them to go the MEK’s HQ and talk to them. There they were threatened and attacked by MEK operatives. Two of them have since published their account of the events, but Sarfaraz Rahimi has given in and accepted to write for them. He writes what they dictate against the other two – who are understandably complaining about having no food or money in Tirana – condemning them as agents of the Iranian regime.
Rajavi then publishes these letters of Rahimi alongside letters signed by American personalities in support of the MEK.
The letters from the Americans are addressed to the Albanian Prime Minister and bear the familiar hallmark of MEK authorship. (One letter published by the MEK is signed in blue ink. We can only speculate how the MEK obtained the original letter which should have been sent directly from the Americans to the Albanian PM!)
This combination of letters (forced confessions alongside Americans letters to the Albanian PM claiming Iran is operating against the MEK in Albania under the guise of cultural centres, etc) had two aims. One was to warn dissidents inside the MEK what will happen if they leave or disobey orders. The other aim was to get the Albanian government to back the MEK and replicate the role played by Saddam Hussein in the group’s survival by punishing dissent, only this time in Albania.
Reactions were not as Rajavi wanted or anticipated. Inside the MEK and among ex-members there has been outrage. It seems to everyone that after three decades of unpaid work for the MEK and Saddam Hussein, the day someone leaves they instantly confess, in their own writing, to being an agent of the Iranian regime. There are only two possibilities: the organisation is lying and takes forced confessions, or the organisation is a training ground for agents of the regime.
Others complain that although the Americans have the right to recruit people as mercenaries, they do not have the right not to pay them and force them to be gladiators in Albania.
Albanians themselves see this MEK presence as yet further evidence that America is using their country for any and every form of corruption and illegal activity. Albania is still notorious as a centre for narcotics, arms smuggling and people trafficking in spite of efforts to clean up the country so it can join the EU. Albanians complain that their country is reportedly being used to smuggle US arms to Syria and other places for so-called ‘moderate’ rebels, that NATO uses Albania to conduct activities it can’t perform in the US or EU and that the CIA and the Pentagon have turned Albania into an extra-judicial base for nefarious activities. And now John Bolton and Senator John McCain alongside others use Albania as a springboard to pursue unclear political agendas which may include training terrorists and providing land and logistic for groups which are to be deployed in other countries.
Along with dumping nuclear waste and Guantanamo Bay prisoners, Albania now has had the MEK dumped on it. Instead of getting advice and support to de-radicalise these fanatics the government is being blackmailed and corrupted into performing the same role as Saddam Hussein undertook to protect and deploy the MEK.
National Geographic, March 04 2017:… Leading MEK members squirm under the knowing gaze of Michael Ware. Watch the shifty looks and glances as the MEK representatives try to lie about their true intentions. They admit to wanting regime change, but claim to be pacifists. Ware asks ‘Why does a political organization still need to have a para-military organization?’ He then cleverly gets them to …
Associated Press, February 16 2017:… The group at one point successfully infiltrated the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, according to a State Department report. And a series of bombings attributed to the MEK accompanied visits by presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter to Iran, including one to target an American cultural center. In 1973, MEK assailants wearing motorcycle helmets shot dead U.S. Army Lt. …
Iran Interlink, February 15 2017:… The following OpEd by MEK advocate Col. Wes Martin was published first in The Hill, followed by Mojahedin Khalq’s “Iran Probe” and the “NCRI” websites. Iran Interlink has published it here as indication of how hysteria has become the new normal in American published writing. A form of madness appears to have infected US politics and now all and sundry are dancing …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, February 07 2017:… He also signals that his war is not with ISIS but with the country Iran. Donald Trump rose to victory in part on the promise to take on ISIS and defeat the group. Yet ISIS cannot be defeated except by a coalition of forces that includes Iran. The facts on the ground in Syria and Iraq demonstrate unequivocally that ISIS forces in Aleppo and Mosul have been defeated largely due to the involvement
Gazeta Impakt, Albania, Translated by Iran Interlink, January 01 2017:… According to Fatos Klosi, former director of the National Intelligence Service, the American CIA chief has warned Albania that Donald Trump will renounce support for the MEK terrorists and it will be the Albanian Government itself which must deal with internal security and must confront a group trained militarily from the time of Saddam Hussein …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, December 24 2016:… That can only happen if journalists and investigatory bodies (human rights, nuclear experts, war crimes, etc) are able to base their work on facts and not the fake and fictionalised fantasies of stooges like the MEK, which are clearly designed to misinform on these issues. The information laundry cycle is not difficult to follow – the Washington Times takes its report …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, November 12 2016:… In particular, Rudi Giuliani, John Bolton and Newt Gingrich. Putting aside their weak personalities as well as their individual neoconservative agendas, the common thread which links these names together is their decade long support for the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist organisation (also known as Saddam’s Private Army or Rajavi cult). It is certain that …
Iran Interlink, October 30 2016:… Local observers in Tirana are reporting that the Mojahedin Khalq cultic terror group (MEK) is buying and creating several sandwich and kebab shops in the city and is using the MEK members to work in these fast-food businesses. On the surface this may look like a positive move. In an article titled ‘Albania: What would a de-radicalization program for the Mojahedin Khalq involve’, it was …
Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh, Iran Interlink, October 16 2016:… In spite of American promises, no de-radicalisation programme is in place to deal with over 2500 members of the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group who have relocated to Tirana from Iraq. The MEK has a long history of violent and criminal activity. This has not stopped now they are in Tirana. Unless the Albanian government introduces its own programme, it must accept …
Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington post (and Top Topic), October 09 2016:… For the local citizens, mystery surrounds their arrival and their lifestyle. Should these secretive and covert neighbours be treated with suspicion or kindness? At a local level, the first thing neighbouring families need to be aware of is that among all MEK members, sexual relations have been banned for over 25 years. This means there are no marriages or children or young people in the organisation. More troubling …
Massoud & Anne Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, July 14 2016:… Whether Rajavi is already dead or now killable is not known – only he can answer this – but he and his whole organisation are certainly now, body and soul, in the capable hands of the Saudi Prince. If he is still alive, Rajavi’s only role is to act as go-between to instruct his wife what she must do on behalf of the Saudis. If he is dead
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, July 08 2016:… Clearly this message is not aimed at Iranians. The clamour for regime change in Iran does not emanate from inside the country in spite of its many social, civic and political problems. Who then is Maryam Rajavi’s constituency? Fro