The Mojahedin’s fake Twitter account ‘Heshmat Alavi’ has surfaced again. This time to attack Representative Ilhan Omar and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) advocacy group. The MEK (through the Heshmat Alavi account) accuses Omar of “appeasing” the Iranian regime by advocating for diplomacy over war as a policy aim. The MEK claims that former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is feeding her, through various individuals linked to NIAC, narratives that “push Iran’s talking points”. But Iran’s talking points are not hidden or obscure; ‘don’t threaten us, lift sanctions’ appears to be the nub of it.
In January 2020, when Joe Biden was sworn in as president, we warned that he must act swiftly to establish a diplomatic route to differentiate his administration from the Trump administration in relation to Iran. He failed to do any such thing and US policy toward Iran has not changed, it is all sticks and no carrots. But Iran is not the same country it was even two years ago. There is no sign that Iran wants or needs to engage with the US. President Raisi is looking eastward for allies and is ‘diplomatically’ ignoring the US in real terms. Calls for diplomacy are an acknowledgement of this new reality.
Initially, in 2020, the MEK tried to attach itself to the Democratic Biden administration. However, Biden has proven incapable of either making new policy or taking any decisive action on Iran. In response, the MEK recently hitched up with Mike Pence. An indication that the MEK’s backers believe the Republicans are still the safe bet in confronting Iran.
The Heshmat Alavi attack on Rep. Omar is characteristically wrong footed in that it completely fails to understand the irony of its own position. After what it believes to be a clever ‘whodunnit’ to join the dots of people Omar has been in contact with – all people who live out their professional lives in the full glare of public notice and accountability – Alavi demands that NIAC be investigated as a lobbying arm of the Iranian government.
Instead, the NCRI (aka MEK) should be investigated. In June BGR Group registered the NCRI (aka MEK) as a foreign principal (agent) in the USA. BGR Group was to provide public relations services for their annual conference. The document describes the NCRI as neither a state nor a political party, it claims instead to be a political organization acting as a “parliament-in-exile”. In section 10. The NCRI claims not to be owned, directed by, controlled by, financed by or subsidized in part by a foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign principal. This flies in the face of all available evidence that in fact the NCRI (aka MEK) has been funded and directed by a variety of the above, from Saddam Hussein to the Saudis, Israelis and elements in the US itself for decades.
There is only one reason why the MEK, through disinformation, character assassination and false accusations, would need to totally reject any move toward increasing diplomatic relations with Iran. That is because the very existence of this group depends on conflict, violence and enmity. Unfortunately for Maryam Rajavi, the world has moved on without her.
By Ann Singleton