The Other Lobby: MEK’s Crusade Against US-Iran Negotiations

If you say it out loud, it seems too preposterous to be true. Four high-profile former government officials are getting paid by an Iranian dissident group that until 2012 was an officially designated terrorist organization to publicly oppose the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts with Iran.

BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray attended a briefing in the Dirksen Senate office building on Capitol Hill sponsored by “an Iranian exile group related to the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK).” The former government officials speaking out on behalf of this group against diplomacy with Iran included “former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, former Ambassador to Morocco Marc Ginsberg, General James L. Jones, and and former US Special Envoy for Nuclear Nonproliferation Robert Joseph.”

Robert Joseph described the diplomacy as “appeasement” and urged additional sanctions, which Obama has promised to veto, to stop “Iran’s nuclear quest.”

Howard Dean refused to answer questions as to whether he was still getting boatloads of money from MEK groups and even went so far as to say that U.S.-Iran negotiations should not go forward until the Obama administration agrees to grant some kind of asylum to the 3,000 MEK activists sheltered by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein that are now living in a U.S. military base called Camp Liberty.

“We ought to sign no agreement until those 3000 people are safe,” Dean said.

Rewind to 2003. George W. Bush included Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorists like MEK in his propaganda justifying the invasion of Iraq. “Iraq shelters terrorist groups including the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization,” reads a document in the archives of the White House’s website, “which has used terrorist violence against Iran and in the 1970s was responsible for killing several US military personnel and US civilians.”

As recently as 2007, a State Department report warned that the MEK, retains “the capacity and will” to attack “Europe, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, and beyond.”

Many experts, including current senior U.S. officials, believe that the MEK, backed by Israel, is the group responsible for assassinating Iran’s civilian nuclear scientists in what are clear-cut terrorist acts.

This is the group lobbying hard to get high-profile U.S. officials to come out publicly against the U.S.-Iran negotiations, which supporters say is the only thing with any chance of verifiably curtailing Iran’s nuclear program and keeping Washington off the inevitable war path to Tehran.

Like I said, reality seems stranger than fiction in this case.

  • mullahproblems

    When and why were they listed as terrorists?

    • JP McEvoy

      They are credited with the murder of six Americans and numerous bombings in the 70's and designated a terrorist organization by the US State Dept.

      They were delisted by the GW Bush administration, primarily to get Mayor Rudy Giuliani off the hook for his materially supporting a terrorist organization, a felony.

      The neocons take care of their own.

  • goldhoarder

    What support does the MEK have? Any? I’ve never heard there is any. A few thousand crazies getting money from Mossad and the CIA. This is the supposed opposition? The US empire is a monsterous evil on the world. Just ask Bruce Laingren. The senior diplomat taken hostage during the Iran hostage crisis.

  • Guest

    Mr. Mullah, that was when MeK was a Islamic socialist, as they called themselves, and when they were terrorizing shah elements and as you know, at that time, anyone who were against shah regime, in the eye of USG, they were terrorist, at the same time and as you know, USG is the enemy of socialist no matter the kind.

    But Ronald Reagan and then Bill Clinton and then George W. Bush come along and they all wanted to have "friend" who could become: "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", so, the system accepted these "friends" as their "pretend" friends for now, as they they have friends in Syria, who are the enemy of the Syrian government. Now there is one more thing, for over 30 years MeK were working under the supervision of Saddam regime in Iraq, now you figure the rest. These are the leftovers intellectuals and street garbage from 70s which USG and others have as "friends", using them as a "proxy elements" for what their interests are, more of a militarized and people suffering in Middle East, not mentioning the brutal regimes as Saudis and or apartheid as Israel or other dictatorial in this world whom are also the real friend of USG and EU governments.

    • the Lion

      The MEK were part of the group that held the US Embassy personnel hostage, they are the ones that wanted to kill the Americans!

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  • John Rintala

    They were on the terrorist list a long time. They were part of Saddam Hussein's war machine in its attack against Iran in 1980. The US removed them from the list so it could work with them against Iran.

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  • ikramghouri2000

    Crusade already started in 2001 as declared by G.Busch and will continue.

  • Pingback: The Other Lobby: MEK’s Crusade Against US-Iran Negotiations (aka; MOjahedin Khalq, MKO, Rajavi cult) | Terrorist Sects()

  • jtt

    "The facilitation of a prostitute nation."

  • Thanks for the interesting insight on this lobby. Personally I would hope that the US-Iran Negotiations will be successful. Some of my friends who visited Iran told me that it is a really beautiful country, it would be great if there would be peace again in this region.

  • Mark Thomason

    MEK is a tiny group, entirely a proxy. It is used as cover by a very different Lobby. If that other Lobby did not want what it wants, the MEK would not even exist, much less "have" these lobbyists, paid by others than MEK.

    It is actually even more outrageous than it appears to be on the face of it.

    • outsider

      Howard Dean being paid by the MEK? I always thought he was an Obama loyalist, although he did want Obama to hold out for "single payer." Dean is a phony and a fake – now he is also a traitor. Is he on the AIPAC payroll also?

  • Ricky M

    John, whose interests do you serve when you continuously write against the MEK? It is ironic that you criticize honorable patriots of this country, but yet write articles that are only distributed in websites belonging to the Iranian lobby. That same lobby that is using "diplomacy" as a cover to let the Iranian regime continue being one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world. The same regime that doubled its executions in January, all while those like yourself naively find diplomatic hope in Rouhani.

    The Iranian regime has an ideology that is fundamentaly against the United States. The same ideology that pushes it towards wanting to be a nuclear power. An ideology that believes in bringing about the end of the world and spreading an Islamic empire. If you spent time understanding why they hate our guts, you would not waste time finding hope in another Mullah. Regardless of how hard we try, they will NEVER be our friends. Get over it.

    • Eileen K.

      Ricky, we negotiated with the former USSR for several years, even though the two superpowers were adversaries. It's much better for everybody concerned to negotiate than to threaten/wage war. The Warsaw Pact dissolved in 1989; the USSR collapsed two years later; all of this done without major wars.

      The only beneficiaries of any major war are the war profiteers themselves, nobody else. The US is nearly bankrupt; it can certainly not afford a major regional war in the Middle East. In fact, Iraq and Afghanistan turned out to be more of a disaster for this nation than a triumph. The war profiteers made trillions of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ from both these wars, and they're continuing to reap their ill-begotten profits.

    • Duglarri

      Writing against the MEK seems like a good idea when: first, they're a murderous cult. Second, when their membership itself is a collection of brainwashed prisoners, prevented from escaping by leaders who live in Paris or the Riviera. Third, where their sources of funding are completely opaque. How on earth do they pay for all these events, anyway? Fourth, when their spokespeople are a who's who of who can be bought and paid for. Howard Dean? "No deals till these people are safe?" How much money are they paying Mr. Dean? How astonishingly shameful is it that someone of his prominence has a price at which he will associate with a group whose terrorist past is proven beyond any shadow of a doubt? When there are dozens of people in jail for "material support for terrorism" for doing no more than linking to Hezbollah videos, here are major American figures who gave actual, literal support for this terrorist group- while it was officially a terrorist group- and not a word is said.

      Seem like there are good terrorists and bad terrorists.

      What does that say about the astonishing corruption of the American political system? It says there is no depth to which these people will not sink. It means they are for sale to the highest bidder.

      And what are the chances that they are simply being paid with recycled US aid money? Paid to a certain country, of course, which lavishly funds this group, which then funnels the money back to these prominent Americans.

      Of course the MEK is directly and completely financed by Israel. How else would this outfit have continued to operate for thirty years with absolutely no visible means of support?

      That's why John should continue to write "against" them.

    • outsider

      Ricky writes: Iran has "an ideology that believes in bringing about the end of the world and spreading an Islamic empire." Which is it? You can't spread your empire if the world has come to an end, can you? Sounds like Ricky has been listening to too much neocon/AIPAC/Israeli propaganda.

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  • Majid

    I despise IRI but I hate the leadership of MEK more. I just feel sorry for some brainwashed MEK supporters in Iraq who are being attacked.
    MEK leadership has committed treasonous acts and been puppets of Anti Iranian regimes like Saddam. Vast majority of Iranians dislike MEK. Therefore, the question is where do they get the financial support to pay off many high profile prostitutes politicians in the US and EU who are getting paid 10's of $1000's each? These prostitutes know that this organization is a cult and anti-democratic but they don't give a sh*t about Iranian people if such a group is imposed on them. MEK has now become a tool in the hands of Israel and Saudi Arabia. They provide 100's of millions of dollars to MEK to do their dirty works such as killing Iranian scientists, bombings, and exposing some nuclear secret (the info is given to them by israel). Iranian people have moved beyond groups such as MEK. If given an opportunity, majority will throw IRI in the dustbin of history and elect a secular democratic system.

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