Mujahedin-e-Khalq After Trump

Mujahedin-e-Khalq After Trump

Mujahedin-e-Khalq After TrumpReza Alghurabi, Press TV, January 20 2021:… The MKO’s worrisome track record has not deterred prominent Americans from endorsing the organization. In the months preceding the State Department’s decision to delist the MKO, dozens of well-known advocates—primarily but not exclusively conservatives—lobbied on behalf of the group. Vocal supporters included former CIA directors R. James Woolsey Jr. and Porter Goss, former FBI director Louis J. Freeh, as well as Tom Ridge and Michael Mukasey, both cabinet secretaries in George W. Bush’s administration. Other proponents included former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and the late Senator John McCain. Mujahedin-e-Khalq After Trump 

Mujahedin-e-Khalq After TrumpBiden Dilemma : Iranians Saw Trump As A Mad Man But Blame America For Their Woes

Mujahedin-e-Khalq After Trump

Dumping of Trump to leave thugs stumped

By Reza Alghurabi

Among the many indicators of misdirection in the Trump administration’s policy toward Iran, one of the clearest was the fondness for the cult-cum-terrorist group known as the Mujahedin-e-Khalq or MKO.

For years, the group was designated a terrorist organization by the US State Department. But after an aggressive and well-funded lobbying campaign supported by a bipartisan cast of high-profile former public officials, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in September 2012 that the group would be removed from the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

However, in the State Department’s briefing on delisting of the MKO, a senior State Department official asserts that the Department does not overlook or forget the MKO’s past acts of terrorism, including its involvement in the killing of US citizens in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on US soil in 1992. He also pointed out that the Department has “serious concerns” about the MKO as an organization, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed against its own members.

The MKO’s worrisome track record has not deterred prominent Americans from endorsing the organization. In the months preceding the State Department’s decision to delist the MKO, dozens of well-known advocates—primarily but not exclusively conservatives—lobbied on behalf of the group. Vocal supporters included former CIA directors R. James Woolsey Jr. and Porter Goss, former FBI director Louis J. Freeh, as well as Tom Ridge and Michael Mukasey, both cabinet secretaries in George W. Bush’s administration. Other proponents included former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and the late Senator John McCain.

Ties to the Trump administration

The MKO’s close ties to high-profile figures were clear after the election of Donald Trump in November 2016. The group saw Trump’s election as an opportunity to significantly influence US policy toward Iran.

On January 9, 2017, just days before Trump took office, a bipartisan group of 20 former US officials published a letter to Trump urging him to open a strategic dialog with the MKO. They reprinted a letter they published in 2015, calling much more firmly for a US-MKO strategic relationship.

In the following, we will take a look at the positions of several people close to Donald Trump who are among the supporters of the MKO in the United States.

John Bolton

John Bolton was Donald Trump’s third national security adviser. During the 2016 election campaign, Bolton broke with neoconservative pundits like Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol in praising Donald Trump’s foreign policy.

There have been quite a few former officials, politicians, and retired military officers that have been cheerleading for the MKO over the last few years, but Bolton was one of their oldest and most consistent American supporters. “Bolton probably sees the MKO as a fellow traveler in the drive for regime change in Iran,” said Cliff Kupchan, chairman and Iran expert at Eurasia Group.

According to The Christian Science Monitor, Bolton along with Patrick Kennedy, Rudy Giuliani, and Michael Steele have all received handsome speaking fees in the past from MKO-affiliated organizations. They were among a gaggle of former US officials, who lobbied the US hard in recent years to take the MKO off the State Department terrorist list. MKO expert Joanne Stocker asserts that the MKO likely paid Bolton at least $180k in “speaker fees,” making him more a lobbyist than a statesman.

Bolton Favored MEK Terrorists

Rudy Giuliani

The former mayor of New York City was a vocal supporter of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, backing up his radical talking points, like the claim that President Barack Obama “founded ISIS.”

Giuliani was believed to be a likely pick for secretary of state in the Trump administration. However, on December 9, 2016, Trump announced that Giuliani had removed his name from consideration for any Cabinet post. On January 12, 2017, President-elect Trump named Giuliani his informal cybersecurity adviser.

For years, Giuliani has been one of the most prominent American officials to advocate on behalf of the MKO. The group has paid Giuliani handsomely for years—$20,000 or more, and possibly a lot more—for brief appearances before the group and for lobbying to have it removed from the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO), which occurred in 2012. A Treasury Department investigation in 2012 examined whether speaking fees paid by several MKO front groups to a long list of US politicians, including Giuliani, violated laws on Americans receiving money from designated terrorist organizations.

Maryam Rajavi Advocate Giuliani In Meltdown

Newt Gingrich

The former speaker of the US House of Representatives and unsuccessful GOP presidential candidate was widely considered to be a potential running mate for Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, for which he reportedly actively lobbied the real estate mogul.

Gingrich supported Trump more quickly than many other establishment Republicans.  After having consulted for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, Gingrich encouraged his fellow Republicans to unify behind Trump, who had by then become the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. Gingrich reportedly figured among Trump’s final three choices to be his running mate; the position ultimately went to Governor of Indiana Mike Pence. Following Trump’s victory in the presidential election, speculation arose concerning Gingrich as a possible secretary of state, or chief of staff, or advisor. Eventually, Gingrich announced that he would not be serving in the cabinet.

Gingrich has been especially enthusiastic about the MKO over the years, describing it as the vanguard of “a massive worldwide movement for liberty in Iran.” In 2017, Gingrich showed up along with former Democratic senator and former vice president nominee Joe Lieberman at a conference in Paris to laud the MKO. After speaking at another conference organized by the MKO, Gingrich said of them, the group “is clearly the largest resistance organization and deserves respect.”

Elaine Chao

The Donald Trump secretary of transportation spoke before an MKO conference in 2015 in Paris. She also had a seat next to Maryam Rajavi, the “president-elect” of the so-called National Council of Resistance of Iran, the political arm of the MKO. She also received a $50,000 honorarium from the MKO-associated Alliance for Public Awareness, according to a report she filed with the US Office of Government Ethics. Chao received another $17,500 honorarium for a March 2016 speech she gave to the Iranian-American Cultural Association of Missouri, which MKO opponents also link to the group.

The Department of Transportation said in a statement that Chao has a “strong record of speaking out in support of democracy and women’s rights in the Middle East,” but “has not spoken to MKO events.”

Michele Bachmann

The former member of Congress from Minnesota and founder of the House Tea Party Caucus was a vocal supporter of Donald Trump. In an interview with SiriusXM Progress, Bachmann, who serves on Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board, described Trump as a “committed believer” of Jesus Christ and a “man of faith” who has “asked God for help and wisdom.”

Bachmann is a major supporter of the MKO. On November 17, 2010, she appeared at a press conference at a Freedom Watch symposium aimed at promoting regime change in Iran through military intervention and direct US support for the MKO. At the event, Bachmann voiced her support for the MKO, asking that they be removed from the US State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

Jo Lieberman

Following his retirement from the Senate in 2013, Lieberman became senior counsel at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, a law firm in New York City whose notable clients include Donald Trump. In early 2017, Lieberman introduced President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee as Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension committee. On May 17, 2017, Lieberman was interviewed by President Donald Trump for the position of FBI Director, to replace recently fired James Comey.

On January 9, 2017, in a letter to Trump, the former Sen. Joe Lieberman along with other former officeholders, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and retired Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, wrote a letter to the incoming president and urged him to work with the so-called National Council of Resistance of Iran. In December 2016, Lieberman also appeared at an event at the Capitol Hill organized by the MKO. At the event, Lieberman said the goal of increased pressure on Iran would be to elicit concessions from Iran by causing them to “begin to wonder about the survival of the regime.”

Former Terrorists Praised By Former US Officials

John Ashcroft

The former US attorney general endorsed Trump in September 2017, saying that he offers a new hope for the American people.

Ashcroft was a passionate supporter of the MKO when he was in the Senate. In December 1999, the US Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) agents arrested Mahnaz Samadi, a leading spokeswoman for the MKO, at the Canadian border. Hearing about the case from his constituents, the then Missouri Senator comes to the rescue and writes a letter on May 10, 2000 to Attorney General Janet Reno opposing Samadi’s arrest. In his letter, he calls her a “highly regarded human-rights activist.”

Ken Blackwell

The former mayor of Cincinnati and the Ohio State Treasurer and Secretary of State led appointment selections for positions involving domestic issues during the presidential transition of Donald Trump. He has defended his work on Trump’s Election Integrity Commission, and described Trump as “a transactional person.”

While describing the MKO as “The main Iranian opposition group,” “representatives of a moderate interpretation of Islam,” Blackwell has called the group’s ringleader “a devout and profoundly anti-fundamentalist Muslim woman leader.” Attending the annual rally of the MKO in Paris, Ken Blackwell tweeted a photo of himself and Gingrich at the gathering on July 9, 2016.

Clare Lopez

During the 2016 election campaign race and after Donald Trump won the GOP nomination, the right-wing conspiracy theorist Clare Lopez backed some of his misleading campaign claims, like that the United States paid a ransom to Iran for the release of US citizens. Since Trump’s election, transition team insiders had reported that Lopez was in consideration for deputy national security advisor in the Trump White House. Since Trump took office, Lopez proved a reliable ally.

Clare Lopez is a tough supporter of the MKO and has described this terrorist group as “the largest, the oldest, the best organized, the most dedicated of Iranian democratic opposition,” admitting that she already had participated in their annual rallies in Paris.  In 2011, when the group was still in the US Department of State’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, she explicitly announced that the department must immediately remove it from the list. She also rejects reports from Official US agencies regarding the violent history of the MKO, including the assassination of several US military personnel and civilians in the 1970s.

Tom Cotton

This junior United States senator supported Trump during the 2016 presidential contest. He was mentioned as a possible candidate for secretary of defense in the Trump administration. Cotton frequently met with Trump’s staff during the transition period, and, according to Steve Bannon, he suggested John F. Kelly for the role of secretary of homeland security. In December of 2018, Politico reported that Cotton is a potential choice to replace Jim Mattis as US Secretary of Defense after Mattis announced his resignation for January 1, 2019.

In a Senate meeting room on May 6, 2015, Cotton joined a panel hosted by the so-called Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC), a front group for the MKO. According to the Lobe Log’s Eli Clifton, Cotton and the MKO share a common agenda when it comes to the nuclear negotiations with Iran. “Neither Cotton nor the MKO, in other words, thinks there should be any negotiations with the Iranian government.” Clifton wrote.

Brian Hook Met MKO Rep. Before And After Soleimani’s Assassination

Lee Zeldin

This member of Congress representing New York’s 1st district endorsed Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee On May 3, 2016. In 2017, Zeldin supported Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, saying it offered the FBI a chance at a “fresh start” to rebuild trust.

In a testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s panel on Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade on April 29th 2015, the MKO ringleader Maryam Rajavi told lawmakers about regime change in Tehran. The hearing drew a crowd of MKO supporters, including Rep. Judy Chu, and Sheila Jackson Lee, who were not on the committee but stopped by to praise Rajavi. During the hearing, Freshman Rep. Lee Zeldin, left little doubt that he believed in MKO. “Because there are individuals like you, who are willing to rise up and take control of your country’s future,” he told Rajavi.

Walid Phares

Walid Phares is a right-wing conspiracy theorist and university professor who has worked for the Republican presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney in 2012 and Donald Trump in 2016. He worked as an advisor to presidential candidate Donald Trump and he was paid $13,000 per month by the campaign.

Phares has called the MKO as “the main Iranian opposition movement” and praised its role in the 2017–2018 violent riots in Iran. The Justice Department documents show that Phares met with the MKO on two separate occasions after Trump’s electoral victory in November 2016.

Lindsey Graham

This senator from South Carolina was an outspoken critic of fellow Republican Donald Trump’s 2016 candidacy and repeatedly declared he did not support Trump. After a March 2017 meeting with Trump, Graham became a staunch ally of the president, often issuing public statements in his defence. His ambiguity concerning Trump has brought scrutiny from both the right and left. Graham is also an ardent supporter of Trump’s third national security adviser, John Bolton. Lindsey Graham is a supporter of the MKO and have appeared regularly at the group’s events.

Now, Trump’s defeat in the presidential election is causing the circle of lobbyists and supporters of terrorism to collapse. Extremists in the Middle East, such as the Mujahedin-e-Khalq, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Mohammed bin Salman took advantage of Trump’s presidency to beat the drums for war more vigorously while diminishing opportunities for dialog and a world free of violence.

Trump’s defeat and the Capitol riots were not simply the failure of one candidate. They indicated the defeat of Trumpism. This bellicose and anti-peace ideology must not influence future developments around the world. Trump’s circle of friends and supporters are a threat to democracy, world peace and security. This anti-peace circle with its destructive ideology has no place in the post-Trump world.

Reza Alghurabi is an Arab journalist who lives in Iran. He is a former researcher at the Beirut Centre for Middle East Studies and an independent researcher and journalist writing in Iranian newspapers including the Khorasan daily.

Link to the source

Hosting MEK Moves Albania To The FATF’s Grey List. How?

Mujahedin-e-Khalq After Trump 

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Also read:
Link

With Trump gone , is the MEK finished ?

With Trump gone , is the MEK finishedAawa Association (Mardom TV), November 21 2020:… With Trump gone it may now be possible to find workable solutions to the issues raised in this debate. The horrible situation of individual MEK members can be effectively resolved by providing them real choice about their futures. A cost effective and straightforward plan would be to issue visas to their families and allow them to visit their loved ones in the camp. Once reconnected to this network of support, members can choose whether to remain with the MEK or live freely with their loving families for the remainder of their lives. With Trump gone , is the MEK finished ? 

With Trump gone, is the MEK finishedDonald Trump Is At War With Iran, Not ISIS

With Trump gone , is the MEK finished ?

Moderated by Mr Parsa Sorbi this live online debate on Mardom TV, addressed this question. A panel of nine experts talked about the many various and complex aspects of this issue.

With Trump gone , is the MEK finished

With Trump gone , is the MEK finished

The political: How did the MEK end up in Albania, and what difference might the change in US president make to the MEK’s future – will the MEK’s role in cyber misinformation be curtailed, will the Iranian diaspora be enabled to flourish without MEK suppression. How should Albania treat the MEK now that relations with the US will change, and what approach has the European Union taken in the past few years in dealing with the MEK’s unwanted behaviour.

The MEK’s presence in Albania: How Albanians discovered that hosting the MEK has resulted in the toxification of their country’s government, media, judiciary and security services. Panellists question the MEK’s impunity – from building an extra-territorial, extra-judicial enclave in which its enslaved members are disappeared, to how senior MEK members enjoy access to the institutes of state that Albanians are denied in their own country. At the same time, ordinary members are denied basic human rights and are effectively stateless.

In conclusion: With Trump gone it may now be possible to find workable solutions to the issues raised in this debate. The horrible situation of individual MEK members can be effectively resolved by providing them real choice about their futures. A cost effective and straightforward plan would be to issue visas to their families and allow them to visit their loved ones in the camp. Once reconnected to this network of support, members can choose whether to remain with the MEK or live freely with their loving families for the remainder of their lives.

PART ONE – POLITICAL CONTEXT

In this section, experts talk about the effect of the Trump administration on the fortunes of the MEK in America, Albania and Europe.

Panellists:

Mr Massoud Khodabandeh, Middle East Strategy Consultants, former MEK member, UK

Mr Sina Toossi, Senior Research Analyst at the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Washington

Dr Olsi Yazeji, Albanian-Canadian Historian, media presenter, Albania

Mr Reza Jebelli Sadeghi, former MEK official in the USA, now working in the EU Parliament, Brussels

PART TWO – MEK IN ALBANIA AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

This section focuses on MEK activities and behaviour since arriving in Albania and local reactions. Panellists drill down into the behaviour of the MEK in relation to Albanian civic life and the lives of the membership.

Panellists:

Mr Gjergji Thanasi, award winning investigative journalist, Albania

Ms Migena Bala, lawyer from Tirana, Albania

Mr Hassan Heyrani, businessman in Tirana, former MEK member representing the ex-members in Albania from Tirana

Mr Edward Termado, Armenian-Iranian former POW (Iran-Iraq war) and former MEK member, Germany

Ms Anne Singleton, Open Minds – Cults and Deradicalization expert, UK

With Trump gone , is the MEK finished ?

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MKO_MEK_Maryam_Rajavi_With Trump gone, is the MEK finishedThe Iran Protests, Regime Change, And The MEK

Also read:
https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/trump-campaign-uses-mujahedin-e-khalq-troll-farm-in-albania/

Trump Campaign Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq ( MEK ) Troll Farm In Albania

Trump Campaign Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq Troll Farm In Albania

Massoud Khodabandeh, Iran Interlink, October 28 2020:… leading up to the U.S. Presidential election, Iranian-American journalists and other commentators and campaigners are suffering an onslaught of online attacks. Some of these relentless Tweets include death threats. Targeting critics of Trump and his legacy like Jamal Abdi (Head of National Iranian American Council), Negar Mortazavi (prominent Journalist for The Independent and other outlets) and Dr Asal Rad (Historian). The attacks emanate from the MEK’s troll farm in Albania. The MEK’s Heshmat Alavi account is still being used in spite of it being exposed as a fake account last year by Murteza Hussain in The Intercept. Trump Campaign Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq ( MEK ) Troll Farm In Albania .

Trump clearly has no intention of defeating terrorism.Donald Trump clearly has no intention of defeating terrorism.

Trump Campaign Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq ( MEK ) Troll Farm In Albania

Trump Campaign Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq Troll Farm In Albania

Trump Campaign Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq Troll Farm In Albania

In the final days leading up to the U.S. Presidential election, Iranian-American journalists and other commentators and campaigners are suffering an onslaught of online attacks. Some of these relentless Tweets include death threats. Targeting critics of Trump and his legacy like Jamal Abdi (Head of National Iranian American Council), Negar Mortazavi (prominent Journalist for The Independent and other outlets) and Dr Asal Rad (Historian).

On one occasion even Richard Grenell, who has recently been politely expelled from Germany (they really couldn’t stand his regular racist comments and unacceptable interference in European affairs), now the guy who runs the Trump2020 campaign, has retweeted one of these tweets.

The attacks emanate from the MEK’s troll farm in Albania. The MEK’s Heshmat Alavi account is still being used in spite of it being exposed as a fake account last year by Murteza Hussain in The Intercept.

Revealingly, the Trump campaign has joined in with these attacks, amplifying the threats, harassment and lies through Re-Tweets and Shares on social media.

It is common knowledge that Saudi Arabia’s Sheikh Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS) is seriously worried about the departure of Trump, opening the prospect of investigations into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, ordered by him and carried out in the Saudi Embassy in Turkey. The Mojahedin-e-Khalq for their part are both worried about the future of their new benefactor (Saudi’s Mokhaberat after the fall of Saddam), and worried about their own future as pressure on Albania to give them free rein there may be lifted and the members would be subjected to the plan of deradicalization and integration as was planned by the Obama administration. This will place Maryam Rajavi in a particularly difficult position since she was deported from France and has been confined in Albania without the possibility of being granted a visa from any western countries.

(End)

Trump Campaign Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq Troll Farm In Albania

With Trump gone , is the MEK finished ?

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American Hostages and MEK(Iraq shelters terrorist groups including the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), which has used terrorist violence against Iran and in the 1970s was responsible for killing several U.S. military personnel and U.S. civilians)

MEK Assassinated AmericansThe MEK’s dirty past includes the anti-Imperialist inspired murder of six Americans in pre-revolution Iran which it later celebrated in songs and publications

Also read:
https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/heshmat-alavi-gate-trump-and-mek/

” Heshmat Alavi Gate ” , Trump and MEK

 Heshmat Alavi Gate , Trump and MEKNegar Mortazavi and Borzou Daragahi , Independent, June 11 2019:…The “Heshmat Alavi” persona had a strong presence on Twitter and harassed Iranian journalists, academics, and activists who are critical of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq organisation, a one-time armed guerilla group now holed up in Albania. There is no known link between the Iran Disinfo programme and the fake persona. At least one was cited by the Trump administration as proof against the effectiveness of the Obama-era nuclear deal. Some of the MEK articles were also picked up by US government funded Voice of America’s Persian-language service. Heshmat Alavi Gate 

White House MEK Trolls and the Iran Case " Heshmat Alavi Gate " , Trump and MEKMEK Cult Operatives Undermining American Democracy

” Heshmat Alavi Gate ” , Trump and MEK

With Trump gone , is the MEK finished ?

Outrage on Capitol Hill over ‘completely unacceptable’ US-funded scheme to shape Iran debate

‘This is something that happens in authoritarian regimes, not democracies’

Heshmat Alavi Gate , Trump and MEK

United States officials say they are outraged by a government-funded troll campaign that has targeted American citizens critical of the administration’s hardline Iran policy and accused critics of being loyal to the Tehran regime.

State Department officials admitted to Congressional staff in a closed-door meeting on Monday that a project they had funded to counter Iranian propaganda had gone off the rails. Critics in Washington have gone further, saying that the programme resembled the type of troll farms used by autocratic regimes abroad.

“It’s completely unacceptable that American taxpayer dollars supported a project that attacked Americans and others who are critical of the Trump administration’s policy of escalation and conflict with Iran,” a senior Congressional aide told The Independent, on condition of anonymity.

“This is something that happens in authoritarian regimes, not democracies.”

One woman behind the harassment campaign, a longtime Iranian-American activist, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the State Department over the years to promote “freedom of expression and free access to information.”

The campaign relentlessly attacked critics of the Iran policy on social media, including Twitter and Telegram messaging app, accusing them without evidence of being paid operatives of the regime in Tehran.

A spokeswoman for the State Department told reporters on Monday that funding for the “Iran Disinformation Project” had been suspended and is under review after it was reported that it went beyond the scope of its mandate by veering from countering propaganda from Iran to smearing domestic critics of White House policy.

State Department officials disclosed to lawmakers they had granted $1.5 for Iran Disinfo, which repeatedly targeted, harassed and smeared critics of Trump’s tough stance against Iran on social media.

Among those targeted were American activists, scholars, and journalists who challenged the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran.

The revelation that US taxpayer money was being used to attack administration critics has now sparked a flurry of queries.

“There are still so many unanswered questions here,” Congresswoman Ilhan Omar wrote on Twitter. “What rules are in place to prevent state-funded organisation from smearing American citizens? If there wasn’t public outcry, would the Administration have suspended funding for Iran Disinfo?”

Cold War-era US rules barring the use of government-funded propaganda against American citizens have been flouted for decades.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee accused the State Department of giving taxpayer money to operatives “accused of intimidating and harassing U.S. human rights activists, journalists, and academics who’ve criticized their hawkish policies on Iran.”

She added: “This is unacceptable and we will not stand for it.”

State Department officials speaking at the closed-door meeting admitted the project was out of bounds, according to Congressional staffers speaking to The Independent on condition of anonymity.

Both Democratic and Republican Congressional staffers were highly critical of the project and questioned whether US officials should continue to work with the contractor, E-Collaborative for Civic Education. The State Department spokeswoman declined to outline steps to prevent such an operation in the future.

Some have said the harassment campaign resembles those launched by the Iranian regime against its critics, as well as clandestine troll farms run by Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other autocracies in attempts to shape online debate and intimidate critics.

In a twist, Iran Disinfo has even attacked journalists deemed insufficiently supportive of the Trump administration’s policies at US-funded news outlets including Voice of America, Radio Farda, and RFE/RL.

The harassment campaign is one aspect of an Iran policy that critics have warned was overly politicised, incoherent and risky.

Defying American allies, the United Nations Security Council, and the advice of his own intelligence mandarins, Mr Trump voided the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year and launched an unprecedented campaign of sanctions and threats against Tehran, vowing to pressure the country into cutting a “better deal” than the one it forged with his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Seeking evidence that its policies were working and popular, the administration has relied an unconventional information sources, often citing obscure right-wing news outlets and think tanks.

E-Collaborative for Civic Education, co-founded by Iranian American activist Mariam Memarsadeghi, is a long-time State Department contractor.

It purports to promote democratic political life and empower civil society inside Iran, but it appears to have no presence inside the country and instead confines itself to engaging with Iranians in the Diaspora.

Congressional officials also confirmed to The Independent that one individual working for the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, an influential Washington organisation with hawkish views on Iran, is part of the E-Collaborative for Civic Education’s Iran Disinformation Project.

One Congressional staffer said he expected the State Department would examine “the extent of coordination” between Iran Disinfo project and “pro-war think tanks like the Foundation for Defence of Democracies.”

Over the weekend, The Intercept revealed that a purported Iranian activist, who had published dozens of articles on Iran in prominent outlets such as Forbes and The Hill, does not exist and is a fake persona run by a team of operatives connected to a bizarre Iranian political cult.

The “Heshmat Alavi” persona had a strong presence on Twitter and harassed Iranian journalists, academics, and activists who are critical of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq organisation, a one-time armed guerilla group now holed up in Albania. There is no known link between the Iran Disinfo programme and the fake persona.

At least one was cited by the Trump administration as proof against the effectiveness of the Obama-era nuclear deal. Some of the MEK articles were also picked up by US government funded Voice of America’s Persian-language service.

Both the Alavi account and the US-funded account frequently accused Iranian Americans sceptical about the Trump administration of being dupes of the Tehran regime.

“It’s an outrage that the Trump Administration was funnelling taxpayer dollars to a smear campaign accusing US citizens of dual loyalty to a foreign regime,” Dylan Williams, vice president of the left-leaning Jewish-American organisation J Street, told The Independent.

“Decent people wouldn’t tolerate such state-sponsored defamation if the target was Jewish Americans and we shouldn’t when the target is Iranian-Americans.”

(End)

” Heshmat Alavi Gate ” , Trump and MEK 

Link to the source

With Trump gone , is the MEK finished ?

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White House MEK Trolls and the Iran Case " Heshmat Alavi Gate " , Trump and MEKWhite House MEK Trolls and the Iran Case

Ali Safavi NCRIRemember: MEK was an American excuse to invade Iraq

American servicemen killed by Mojahedin Khalq MEK MKO Rajavi Cult in IranThe MEK’s dirty past includes the anti-Imperialist inspired murder of six Americans in pre-revolution Iran which it later celebrated in songs and publications

Also read:
https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/pompeo-set-to-back-mek-rajavi-cult-the-wrong-group-again/

Pompeo Set To Back The Wrong Group Again (MEK, Rajavi cult)

Pompeo Set To Back The Wrong Group Again MEK Rajavi cult Alireza JafarzadehAnne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Iran Interlink, April 24 2019:… Exactly fifteen years ago we wrote about how making a deal with the MEK was a big mistake by the USA. At that time, the MEK led by Massoud Rajavi was closer to Saddam Hussein than the US. Today the MEK led by Maryam Rajavi is closer the Saudis than the US. Either way, the MEK leadership has proven over and over that they will always put their own interests above that of anything. To make this mistake once is shameful. For Mike Pompeo to repeat the mistake now is simply wrong. Heshmat Alavi Gate 

Pompeo Set To Back The Wrong Group Again MEK Rajavi cult Alireza JafarzadehJafarzadeh has already published his suicide bombing note.
Wondering at those Americans who stand under the flag of Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, NCRI, Rajavi cult) only to LOBBY for the murderers of their servicemen

BY Anne KhodabandehOpen Minds

Pompeo Set To Back The Wrong Group Again (MEK, Rajavi cult)

Anne_Khodabandeh_Singleton_2019

Anne Khodabandeh, Singleton

Exactly fifteen years ago we wrote about how making a deal with the MEK was a big mistake by the USA. At that time, the MEK led by Massoud Rajavi was closer to Saddam Hussein than the US. Today the MEK led by Maryam Rajavi is closer the Saudis than the US. Either way, the MEK leadership has proven over and over that they will always put their own interests above that of anything. To make this mistake once is shameful. For Mike Pompeo to repeat the mistake now is simply wrong. Heshmat Alavi Gate

Pompeo Set To Back The Wrong Group Again MEK Rajavi cult Alireza JafarzadehAli Reza Jafarzadeh, Suicide bomber, Terrorist recruiter for Saddam Private Army with Mike Pompeo 

Once Again, the US Makes a Bad Deal with the Wrong Group

Trump Campaign Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq Troll Farm In Albania 

Anti War , April 22 2004
Link to the source

by Anne Singleton Posted onApril 22, 2004

Heshmat Alavi Gate

Bob Woodward’s latest book, Plan of Attack, exposes the underbelly of the build-up to the US war with Iraq. In it Woodward reveals that the “CIA hired the leaders of a Muslim religious sect at odds with Saddam, but nonetheless with numerous members highly placed in Saddam’s security services. The CIA’s code name for them: the Rock Stars.”

Asked to reveal the identity of this sect, Woodward refused. But to observers of the scene looking at the various possibilities, it is not difficult to pinpoint exactly who this group is… the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) led by arguably the best conman in the Middle East, Massoud Rajavi. If that is the case, it really does call into question some decision-making at the top.

The MEK, although listed as terrorists in the USA since 1997, still maintained a high profile presence as a “democratic alternative to the Iranian regime” in the heart of the US government and had powerful friends, such as Richard Perle and Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, in the Pentagon, Congress, and the House.

With Alireza Jafarzadeh as Massoud Rajavi’s permanent representative in the US, and Mohammad Mohaddessin his “foreign minister” travelling back and forth on a weekly basis from Baghdad to Washington, this group was the only one with which the CIA had contact in Iraq. Certainly it ahs been the only group which had simultaneous open access to Washington’s corridors of power and to the top levels of the Iraqi regime. But whose side is Rajavi on?

In reality, Rajavi’s MEK is an isolated quasi-religious military cult which, based in Iraq for 20 years, had taken arms, training, and orders directly from Saddam Hussein. Saddam trusted the MEK completely, more so than the Iraqi’s surrounding him. After all, Rajavi’s stated goal was to grasp power in Iran. Hussein knew that Rajavi wasn’t trying to topple him, and knew also that Rajavi totally relied on Saddam’s help to achieve his goal.

Saddam gave Rajavi a free hand to undertake intelligence and security operations inside Iraq and as much logistical help as needed to run terrorist operations over the border into Iran, their common enemy. Ordinary Iraqi agencies didn’t dare to challenge MEK activities in their own country, so close was the organization to Saddam. It meant that MEK was acting right inside the Iraqi security system.

In a recently exposed videotape of Rajavi and some of Saddam’s top echelons, we get a picture of their relationship. After Rajavi had ordered his National Liberation Army to help suppress the Kurdish and Shiite rebellions in March 1991 after Gulf War I, Saddam praised and rewarded him. In a meeting with General Saber, Rajavi made a revealing speech:

I think that the relations between us and you and Iraq, being the government of Iraq or the Baath Party and at the top of it Mr President [Saddam]. And on the other side the Iranian Resistance and the Mojahedin and the National Liberation Army.
I think that our relation is not a purely political relation and one cannot interpret our relations like that any more. And I think that the brotherhood relation has been completed. Such brothers that would not come short of anything for each other.
Whatever is against you, it is obviously against us, and visa versa. Our security is one. When we receive a blow, it is to both of us. And when there is progress, it affects us both…

…As far as we are concerned I have only one thing to say. In my mind and in my heart, I cannot separate the account of our interests from your interests. They are exactly matching each other. We may have some differences in our views. The reality is, that our interests match each other and are closely mixed together. Therefore I would ask you to send my sincere regards to Mr. President [Saddam] and say to him that there is no need for him to thank us or anything else. And tell him on my behalf that we have been in your house and we are with you and will be with you as far as is in our power.”

If the CIA had heard this speech, would they have been so ready to believe that Rajavi would help them? Even if they thought Rajavi’s co-operation with Saddam was cynically pragmatic, did it not occur to someone that his relationship with the US might be the same?

Rajavi most probably passed all the information he had from the CIA straight to Saddam. Why wouldn’t he? As he said himself “Whatever is against you [Iraq], it is obviously against us, and visa versa. Our security is one. When we receive a blow, it is to both of us.” Rajavi didn’t believe before the war that Saddam would, or even could, be toppled. He believed his Iraqi protector was invincible and would shelter him until he reached Tehran in some unforeseeable future. Rock Stars they may have been, but it was Saddam who rocked Rajavi’s world, not the US.

Woodward points out, the CIA is still not sure whether the intelligence they got from the sect was reliable or not. Why are we not surprised? It should have been obvious that a man who had already prostituted himself to anyone and everyone in his quest for power, a man who proudly headed ‘Saddam’s Private Army’, would not be an entirely reliable associate.

Even so, when it became obvious to Rajavi that Saddam would go, he turned around and promised the Americans full cooperation in exchange for protection. And he got it. Although the MEK bases were bombed and some of his fighters killed, this was most probably stage managed so that the group could surrender to the US without arousing the suspicion of the Iraqis. Rajavi was protected in his largest base, Ashraf, with 4,000 of his fighters around him and those fighters and the base itself protected by several hundred US soldiers. In Iraq, Rajavi couldn’t have found a safer place. The Iraqi people were ready to attack the MEK as remnants of Saddam’s regime. Even now, the Iraqi Governing Council has unanimously asked the US to get rid of the sect and remove them as soon as possible from Iraq.

When Ari Fleischer, the president’s spokesman, publicly praised the MEK on March 10 2003, it was widely interpreted as the result of a CIA deal.

Because of this deal, the MEK couldn’t believe their bases were being bombed and claimed these were Iranian airplanes. But when the US army confirmed that MEK in the camp had returned fire, Mohaddessin, shocked at the news panicked and in an interview announced that they had a deal with the Americans not to be attacked.

When the State Department quite logically added an MEK alias, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), to the list of terrorist entities on August 15, 2003, because of its close alliance with Saddam Hussein, Jafarzadeh, the MEK contact in Washington, suddenly gave up his job as MEK representative and was appointed top Iran Advisor for Fox News in Washington! Coincidence? We think not.

And what has the US got from this deal to protect the MEK? Intelligence in Iraq? A mouthpiece in the US media?

(End)

Heshmat Alavi Gate

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