US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will attend a meeting linked to a terror cult that has murdered 6 Americans
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media before departing from al-Bateen Air Base in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, as U.S. special representative on Iran Brian Hook, left, listens. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP)
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Associated Press
• US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to attend a meeting at the UN General Assembly that is linked to the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (the People’s Mujahedin of Iran).
• MEK is a notorious Iranian cult which has murdered at least six American civilians and thousands of Iranians.
• It was once a designated terrorist organisation.
• MEK has given enormous speaking fees to American politicians willing to
speak at its events, including Rudolph Giuliani, John Bolton, Joe Lieberman, and Howard Dean.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to attend an event at the UN General Assembly tomorrow that is linked to a notorious Iranian cult which has murdered at least six American civilians and spent over 20 years protected by Saddam Hussein’s regime.
The Mujahedin-e-Khalq (or People’s Mujahedin of Iran) “is an organisation that fancies itself as the official Iranian opposition in exile,” said David Patrikarakos, an analyst and author of Nuclear Iran: The Birth of an Atomic State.
“In truth, it’s a cult-like group that was for years on the State Department’s list of terror organisations and has little support in Iran due to the fact that it fought with [Iraqi leader] Saddam’s forces during the Iran-Iraq War.”
The meeting, dubbed the “2019 Iran Summit,” will feature Pompeo and Mark Wallace, a longtime US advocate of MEK. Former US senator Joseph I. Lieberman, who has previously spoken at MEK events, will also attend the Pompeo-Wallace event.
Officially, MEK will hold a separate event, according to the Washington Post, putting a small degree of separation between Pompeo and MEK itself.
When asked about the meeting’s links to MEK, a State Department official “dismissed the concerns about the MEK’s participation in Wallace’s event, [telling the Washington Post], “Have you looked at the people attending the U.N.?”
MEK is currently based in an Albanian compound and does not report the sources of its funding. It has a long history of violence against civilians, hostility towards Israel in rhetoric that borders on anti-Semitic, and sponsorship of attacks against the West.
Despite this, the group has managed to purchase its way to credibility in some US political circles by offering huge speaking fees to US lawmakers willing to share a stage with violent militants. A MEK front group called the National Council of Resistance of Iran is already using Pompeo’s name in its propaganda.
The MEK supported the overthrow of the US-backed regime of the Shah in the 1970s conducting scores of terror attacks against US military and commercial targets inside Iran, as well as supporting the 1979 takeover of the US embassy.
It later broke with its revolutionary comrades and defected to Iraq, and the patronage of its president, Saddam Hussein.
A US State Department analysis concluded that the group had killed six Americans, including military officers and civilians doing business in pre-revolutionary Iran, as well as thousands of Iranian civilians in terror attacks.
This history of aligning with two of America’s most hated enemies in the Middle East — Iraq and Iran — along with its pursuit of a terror campaign inside Iran that killed thousands of civilians, a conclusion reached by the US State Department, led to the group being designated a terror organization by the US government until 2012.
How did a group widely considered among the most bizarre and violent in the region became acceptable company for current US government officials? Money.
After the US invasion of Iraq and defeat of Saddam in 2003, the group immediately began throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars at anti-Iran politicians in Washington, usually in the form of speaking fees to address the group’s rallies and events.
Former National Security Advisor John Bolton, former NYC mayor and current lawyer to the president Rudy Giuliani, former senator Joseph I. Lieberman, and former Vermont governor Howard Dean as well as a slew of lesser-known figures have all addressed the group and publicly taken up their cause. MEK is known for paying very large speaking fees.
This attention — and American desperation for a dissident group to support against the current Iranian regime — led to the group being delisted as a terrorist organization in 2012.
Even if you set aside its history of murdering Americans and supporting despotic regimes, it is unlikely that the group will ever become a credible political partner of the US.
That’s because in Iran, MEK is regarded as a bunch of traitors who fought alongside Saddam Hussein and have a history of murdering Iranian civilians in terror attacks.
“The fact that the Secretary of State is openly meeting with them will only serve to provoke the Iranians with little gain for the US or its interests,” said Patrikarakos. He pointed out that the group is widely hated even by Iranians who otherwise oppose the current regime.
“Indeed, working with them discredits the West in the eyes of normal Iranians who otherwise aren’t crazy about the Islamic Republic,” he added.
Mitch Prothero, Businessinsider.com