Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and Trump Administration

Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and Trump Administration

Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and Trump AdministrationTom Porter, Business Insider, January 10 2020:… The MEK — officially the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or the People’s Mujahideen of Iran in English — has waged war against the Islamist regime in Iran since it seized power in 1979. Formerly based in Iraq, the group is believed to have killed thousands of Iranians in terror attacks.  But far away from the battlefields of the Middle East, the MEK has also waged a campaign for influence in glossy functions at diplomatic events in western capitals, successfully cultivating powerful allies in western governments. Among them are current and former officials in the top echelons of the Trump administration — including those who Trump regularly turns to advice on Iran, such as personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.  Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and Trump Administration .

Trump_lawyer_Rudy_Giuliani_MEK_Maryam_Rajavi_terrorists_2As Giuliani Calls for Regime Change in Iran, Netanyahu Raises the Specter of “War”

Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and Trump Administration

Trump has been getting advice on Iran from officials and allies linked to a shadowy Iranian dissident group that celebrated Soleimani’s death

Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and Trump Administration 1

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani speaks in front of portraits of deceased members of the Iranian dissident group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK),

In the wake of the US assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, an obscure group of Iranian dissidents once classified as a terrorist organisation by the US celebrated the news.  

“In Tehran, Isfahan, Qom and Qaemshahr, among numerous other cities, MEK supporters were celebrating Soleimani’s death by throwing parties and handing out pastries,” the People’s Mujahideen of Iran tweeted, with pictures of jubilant supporters. 

The MEK — officially the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or the People’s Mujahideen of Iran in English — has waged war against the Islamist regime in Iran since it seized power in 1979. Formerly based in Iraq, the group is believed to have killed thousands of Iranians in terror attacks. 

But far away from the battlefields of the Middle East, the MEK has also waged a campaign for influence in glossy functions at diplomatic events in western capitals, successfully cultivating powerful allies in western governments. 

Among them are current and former officials in the top echelons of the Trump administration — including those who Trump regularly turns to advice on Iran, such as personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. 

Soleimani was “directly responsible for killing some of my MEK people,” Giuliani told The Daily Beast in an interview on Monday, making no attempt to disguise his closeness to the group.

“We don’t like him very much.”

Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and Trump Administration 2

Rudy Giuliani (centre) and John Bolton (left) stand in front of portraits of deceased members of the Iranian dissident group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK)

And its not just Giuliani who has longstanding ties to the MEK.

In September, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attended an event on the fringes of the United Nations assembly in New York alongside the MEK.

Hawkish national security adviser John Bolton, who departed the administration in September after reportedly pushing for Trump to launch strikes against Iran, also had links to the MEK. Bolton has attended the group’s conferences, and long served as its most powerful advocate in Washington DC.

Where Rudy Giuliani’s Money Comes From ( Maryam Rajavi, MEK, NCRI)

Eli Clifton, an expert on US foreign policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, told Business Insider that the MEK had long advocated the assassination of Iranian regime officials. 

“The MEK clearly endorses the assassination of Iranian government officials and employees. In 2012, NBC News reported that the MEK was directly involved in the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists,” Clifton wrote in an email Wednesday.

A cult-like group of Marxist Islamic radicals behind scores of terror attacks 

The MEK emerged in opposition to the then ruler of Iran, the Shah, in the late 1960s, inspired by a blend of Marxist ideology and Islamic theology.

When Islamist rivals seized control of the country after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the MEK fled to neighboring Iraq, where it  fought against Iran alongside then-president Saddam Hussein’s forces.

Defectors have claimed that the group seeks to brainwash members — forcing them to confess to sexual fantasies in bizarre public shaming rituals and  to send away their children to be brought up by others. It has been described by several ex-members as a cult.

Several thousand MEK members live in a compound in Albania, where they reportedly spend their days on social media distributing anti-Iranian propaganda. 

Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and Trump Administration 3

Iranians tear up a US flag during a demonstration in Tehran on January 3, 2020 following the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Major General Qasem Soleimani in a US strike on his convoy at Baghdad international airport. – Iran warned of “severe revenge” and said arch-enemy the United States bore responsibility for the consequences after killing one of its top commanders, Qasem Soleimani, in a strike outside Baghdad airport

In Paris, where the MEK’s official headquarters is located, the group holds glitzy functions as it seeks to cultivate influential western officials. It has hired Iran hawks in Washington to speak at its events, paying them large speaking fees. It was eventually de-listed as a terror group by the US in 2012 following a long lobbying campaign. 

Despite the rigid control it exerts over members, it has sought to portray itself as the only viable democratic alternative to the current Iranian regime. 

“When the president’s personal attorney and former national security adviser have effectively endorsed the MEK as a legitimate opposition group and a viable government exile for Iran, it certainly raises serious questions about the extent to which the MEK is influencing the administration’s Iran policy,” Clifton told Business Insider.

زهره قائمی فرمانده ترور صیاد شیرازیBBC: Who are the Iranian dissident group MEK? (Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, PMOI, …) 

The group’s activities in Europe have attracted the ire of Iran, with French officials in October 2018 accusing Iranian intelligence of being behind a plot to bomb a rally held by the MEK’s political arm in Paris. The rally was attended by Giuliani and Newt Gingrich, former House speaker and Trump ally. 

And with the US now taking the hardline stance towards Iran it has long advocated, it will be likely seeking to consolidate its influence in Washington DC. 

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Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and Trump Administration

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Cut Ties With MEK - Pompeo Ordered American OfficialsTectonic Shift In World Order After Unforced Error By Trump

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MEK Terrorists And UANI CEO Rudy Giuliani

MEK Terrorists And UANI CEO Rudy GiulianiJulian Pecquet, Al-Monitor, January 08 2020:… The disclosure raises new questions about ties between United Against Nuclear Iran CEO Mark Wallace and the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a Paris-based umbrella group dominated by the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq. The council also met twice with President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani around the time of the UN General Assembly, drawing renewed attention to Giuliani’s unregistered advocacy on behalf of the group. MEK Terrorists And UANI CEO Rudy Giuliani 

MEK Terrorists And UANI CEO Rudy GiulianiMaria Ryan Rudy Giuliani and Saudi Paid MEK Terrorists in Albania

MEK Terrorists And UANI CEO Rudy Giuliani – Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and Trump Administration 

Iran opposition lobbied Giuliani, CEO of United Against Nuclear Iran

The main group pushing for regime change in Iran lobbied the head of the hawkish United Against Nuclear Iran on the sidelines of his organization’s annual event in New York last fall, new lobbying filings show.

The disclosure raises new questions about ties between United Against Nuclear Iran CEO Mark Wallace and the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a Paris-based umbrella group dominated by the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq. The council also met twice with President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani around the time of the UN General Assembly, drawing renewed attention to Giuliani’s unregistered advocacy on behalf of the group.

The council’s US office disclosed meeting Sept. 23 with Wallace to discuss “developments in Iran” — the first time the group has reported meeting with the United Against Nuclear Iran CEO since registering to lobby in May 2013. The next day, Wallace hosted a gathering of Iranian opposition groups dominated by the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, raising criticism from some Iran watchers distrustful of a group that the State Department designated a terrorist organization until 2012.

United Against Nuclear Iran sought to distance itself from the event at the time, saying Wallace had convened it in his personal capacity on the eve of the group’s official annual summit Sept. 25. Al-Monitor, however, reported at the time that the program for the event was listed as United Against Nuclear Iran, something the group said was in error.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran and United Against Nuclear Iran share similar views on Iran. Both applauded last week’s US airstrike that killed Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, with United Against Nuclear Iran calling it a “significant blow” to Iran’s military power while the council labeled it a “fatal blow” to the regime in Tehran.

United Against Nuclear Iran did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

The US office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran also disclosed meeting with Giuliani, the keynote speaker at Wallace’s event, to discuss “the human rights situation in Iran” and “developments in Iran” on Sept. 23 and Sept. 25. The group previously disclosed lobbying Giuliani in September 2018.

Giuliani has long been plagued by accusations that he is taking money from the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and affiliated groups without properly registering as a foreign lobbyist. He told Bloomberg last year that he was paid by a US organization of Iranian-Americans rather than the France-based National Council of Resistance of Iran to speak at the council’s rallies. Such “grasstops” lobbying of influential figures who have the ear of government officials is fairly common, legal experts say, and would only require an intermediary to register as a lobbyist if he or she is shown to be acting on behalf of a foreign principal rather than simply providing a favor.

The filing of the US office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran is also notable for revealing that Washington law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is serving as legal counsel to the council’s US office. In a statement to the Justice Department’s Foreign Agents Registration Act unit, the firm argues that the donors to the National Council of Resistance of Iran should be kept anonymous to avoid retaliation by Iran.

Akin Gump notably lobbies for the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Iran’s biggest rivals in the Gulf. Neither Akin Gump nor the National Council of Resistance of Iran replied to a request for comment about how long the firm had represented the council as legal counsel.

Akin Gump previously lobbied on behalf of the Iranian American Community of Northern California — which has been linked to the National Council of Resistance of Iran — to get the State Department to delist the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq. The firm reported $620,000 in lobbying-related payments for those efforts in 2011 and 2012.

The council’s US office reported receiving more than $123,000 from June 1, 2019, through Nov. 30, 2019, from about 100 donors. The group reported spending more than $120,000 during that timeframe.

Julian Pecquet is the Editor of Special Projects for Al-Monitor, where he supervises the award-winning Lobbying Tracker as well as managing long-form stories. Before that he covered the US Congress for Al-Monitor. Prior to joining Al-Monitor, Pecquet led global affairs coverage for the political newspaper The Hill.

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MEK Terrorists And UANI CEO Rudy Giuliani

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UANI MEK terrorist Organizations ; Iranian Gov.

UANI MEK terrorist Organizations Rossella Tercantin, The Jerusalem Post, September 29 2019:… The announcement followed reports that United Against Nuclear Iran’s summit would include a fringe Iranian diaspora group, Mujahideen-e Khalq, which had close ties with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. According to a report by the Washington Post, the summit has sparked controversy for including a fringe Iranian diaspora group, Mujahideen-e Khalq,  or MEK ,  which until 2012 was included in the list US list of foreign terrorist organizations for allegedly killing Americans in the 1970s and for its ties to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. For the latter reason, the group is harshly criticized in Iran as well. UANI MEK terrorist Organizations  

UANI MEK terrorist Organizations Pompeo Support for MEK and UANI

 

UANI MEK terrorist Organizations ; Iranian Gov.

IRAN TO INCLUDE NGO AGAINST NUCLEAR IN LIST OF TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS

The announcement followed reports that United Against Nuclear Iran’s summit would include a fringe Iranian diaspora group, Mujahideen-e Khalq MEK , which had close ties with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Iran announced on Tuesday that it would begin the process to include the American NGO United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) in the list of terrorist organizations.

UANI describes itself as a “not-for-profit, bi-partisan, advocacy group that seeks to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to obtain nuclear weapons.” According to its website, it was founded in 2008 by Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and Middle East expert Ambassador Dennis Ross.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi’s announced the Tehran would label UANI as a terrorist group on the eve of the organization’s Iran Summit scheduled for Wednesday. The event will feature US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

According to a report by the Washington Post, the summit has sparked controversy for including a fringe Iranian diaspora group, Mujahideen-e Khalq, or MEK, which until 2012 was included in the list US list of foreign terrorist organizations for allegedly killing Americans in the 1970s and for its ties to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. For the latter reason, the group is harshly criticized in Iran as well.

“On the one hand, the United States deceitfully speaks of compromise and negotiation, and on the other hand, it organizes, finances, and arms criminal and terrorist groups … and provides them with intelligence,” Mousavi said, adding that MEK is responsible for the death of thousands of Iranians during the Iraq-Iran war.

Iran, its threats to the stability of the region, and the need to find solutions to prevent Tehran from reaching a nuclear weapon are among the topics at the center of the United Nations General Assembly which is taking place in New York between September 17 and September 30.

UANI MEK terrorist Organizations ; Iranian Gov.

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MEK Trashing American Foreign Policy

MEK Trashing American Foreign PolicyJohn Hudson, Washington Post, September 24 2019:… Pompeo is scheduled to speak at an event hosted by Iran hawk and former diplomat Mark Wallace, who has drawn criticism for including a fringe Iranian diaspora group, Mujahideen-e Khalq, or MEK, in his programming surrounding the U.N. gathering. Until 2012, the MEK was listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States for allegedly killing U.S. personnel in Iran in the 1970s and for its links to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. It is largely reviled inside Iran because of its alliance with Baghdad during the Iran-Iraq war. It is participating in a dissident convention hosted by Wallace a day before Pompeo’s speech at the Iran summit. MEK Trashing American Foreign Policy 

MSNBC_Massoud_KhodabandehThe MEK’s man inside the White House (Maryam Rajavi cult, Mojahedin Khalq)

MEK Trashing American Foreign Policy

Trump, Iran’s Rouhani descend on same corner of New York but remain far apart

September 23 at 12:35 PM

MEK Trashing American Foreign Policy

After months of lobbing threats and vowing military reprisals, President Trump will find himself on the same block of midtown Manhattan as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani this week at the annual U.N. General Assembly.

At times, Trump has flirted with the idea of meeting with Rouhani for a historic tete-a-tete, only to retreat to a position of imposing tougher economic sanctions.

Trump’s top advisers privately opposed such a meeting and appeared to win that debate after an attack on Saudi oil facilities Sept. 14 prompted the United States to impose more sanctions on Tehran. But Trump has not ruled anything out.

“Nothing is ever off the table completely, but I have no intention of meeting with Iran, and that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen,” the president told reporters Sunday on the South Lawn of the White House. “I’m a very flexible person.”

Even if Trump changed his mind and extended an invitation, however, it is far from clear that Rouhani would accept, something critics attribute to the Trump administration’s mixed messages.

Trump has tried to appeal to Tehran in various statements, ruling out regime change and entertaining a French plan to extend a line of credit to Iran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal the United States withdrew from last year. But the president’s hawkish advisers have taken a tougher posture: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that Iran is “bloodthirsty and looking for war,” and his diplomats did little to help facilitate a meeting in the run-up to the General Assembly, said U.S. officials, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal operations.

On Wednesday, Pompeo is scheduled to speak at an event hosted by Iran hawk and former diplomat Mark Wallace, who has drawn criticism for including a fringe Iranian diaspora group, Mujahideen-e Khalq, or MEK, in his programming surrounding the U.N. gathering.

Until 2012, the MEK was listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States for allegedly killing U.S. personnel in Iran in the 1970s and for its links to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. It is largely reviled inside Iran because of its alliance with Baghdad during the Iran-Iraq war. It is participating in a dissident convention hosted by Wallace a day before Pompeo’s speech at the Iran summit.

Analysts said Pompeo’s involvement in Wallace’s event risks confusing Trump’s declaration last month that “we’re not looking for leadership change.”

“This is an extremely unwise and dangerous decision,” said Dalia Dassa Kaye, director of the center for Middle East public policy at the Rand Corp.

“The message this will send is that regime change is still in the mix despite the president’s statements to the contrary,” she said. “There’s already confusion about U.S. aims on Iran, so this will only raise more questions about what the U.S. has been trying to achieve since its withdrawal from the nuclear agreement.”

An Iran scholar scheduled to speak at the same event as Pompeo has dropped out because of the MEK’s involvement in the event Wallace is hosting Tuesday.

Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institution said in a statement to The Washington Post that she “would never knowingly engage with the Mujahideen-e Khalq, a cultlike terrorist organization that is despised by many Iranians.”

“Although the summit and the diaspora event will be held on separate days, the overlap in the sponsorship of the two events was too close for my comfort,” she said.

Pompeo has previously distanced himself from the group when asked about the attendance of Trump attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani and then-national security adviser John Bolton at MEK events. The group offers generous speaking fees and has cultivated close connections in Washington among Democrats and Republicans, including to former senator Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and former Vermont governor Howard Dean (D).

“Let’s not beat around the bush,” Pompeo reportedly said during a meeting with Iranian American leaders in April. “Ambassador Bolton spoke at an MEK rally. President Trump and I have not.”

A senior State Department official dismissed the concerns about the MEK’s participation in Wallace’s event, saying, “Have you looked at the people attending the U.N.?”

When asked about his decision to include the MEK, a spokesman for Wallace said he “decided early on that the convention will not discriminate or make value judgments on participation.”

His spokesman, Joshua Silberberg, added that Wallace’s organization, United Against Nuclear Iran, “admires Suzanne Maloney and respects her decision about participating in the Iran summit on Wednesday, which is an unrelated event.”

Ali Safavi, an official with the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which speaks for the MEK, said Maloney “has no credibility whatsoever to comment on the MEK.”

As diplomats from around the world streamed into New York for the United Nations’ 74th annual General Assembly, Pompeo and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif continued to trade barbs.

Pompeo, going further than Trump in assigning blame for the attack on Saudi Arabia, said, “This was an attack by Iran on the world.”

“We’re looking for a diplomatic resolution to this, unlike the Iranians,” he told CBS.

Unlike Pompeo, Trump has not directly blamed the country for the assault, saying last week that “as soon as we find out definitively, we’ll let you know.”

Trump did, however, approve new sanctions on Iran’s state bank Friday and signed off on a new deployment of U.S. troops to the Middle East to enhance Saudi Arabia’s air defenses.

With those moves, Iran’s foreign minister told reporters that Trump “knowingly or unknowingly on Friday closed the door to negotiations.”

“I think it’s all going the wrong direction in addressing this issue,” Zarif told CBS on Sunday. “I don’t think this type of posturing helps.”

U.S. officials said the Trump administration would try to build a coalition to denounce Iran’s activities in the Middle East this week. Rebels in Yemen, known as Houthis, took responsibility for the strike on Saudi oil facilities, but Pompeo and Saudi Arabia have said the militants do not possess the type of drone and cruise missile weaponry used in the attack. Even some Democrats reluctant to embrace Trump’s messaging have rejected Iran’s denial of involvement, including former secretary of state John F. Kerry, who said Iran was responsible “one way or the other.”

In an acknowledgment of the worsening tensions, France’s top diplomat, who has tried to broker a meeting between Rouhani and Trump, said it was now more important to de-escalate the “dangerous” situation rather than set up a meeting between the two governments.

“What is at stake during this week is whether or not we can carry on with this de-escalation process,” Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

Carol Morello contributed to this report.

MEK Trashing American Foreign Policy

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Ali Safavi NCRIAli Safavi, commander of Saddam’s Private Army, Mojahein Khalq NCRI Now writting as Dr. Safavi!!

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