The anti-Iranian Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) paid immense bribes to top American politicians to gain their support for delisting the group from the US terror watch list, a New York Times report says.
According to the NY Times report, former CIA and FBI officials as well as retired generals and well-known members of both political parties in the US were among those supporting the terror group.
The revelation comes as US State Secretary Hillary Clinton on September 21 sent the Congress a classified communication about delisting the MKO from the US terror watch list.
This comes as the group has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iranian civilians and officials.
The terror group has also been involved in the suppression of Iraqi Kurds and assisted former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Furthermore, the group had for the last 15 years been formally described by the US State Department as a "foreign terrorist organization.”
The Bush administration had claimed that one of its reasons for attacking Iraq in 2003 was Saddam Hussein’s support of "international terrorism," for which he mentioned Iraq’s "sheltering" of the MKO as a major example.
Nonetheless, conservative politicians in the US seek to portray the MKO terror group as a Democratic option for Iran’s future, the report noted.
Two officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in advance of an official announcement, said that Clinton’s decision to drop the group’s terror label was partly based on the group’s recent cooperation in moving more than 3,000 of its members from its longtime Iraq location, Camp Ashraf.
The MKO fled to Iraq in 1986, where it enjoyed the support of Iraq’s executed dictator Saddam Hussein, and set up its Camp Ashraf near the Iranian border.
On Sunday a final convoy of 680 MKO members from Camp Ashraf arrived at the former site of Camp Liberty, located near the Baghdad airport.
The NY Times article reaffirms that the support of prominent American politicians for the MKO organization will undoubtedly play a role in the de-listing of the MKO organization as a terrorist group.
The long list of high-ranking US politicians supporting the MKO includes: former CIA Directors, R. James Woolsey and Porter J. Goss; former FBI director Louis J. Freeh; former US President George W. Bush’s homeland security secretary, Tom Ridge; Attorney General, Michael B. Mukasey; and President Barack Obama’s first national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones.
Many of MKO’s American supporters, yet not all, are said to have received fees of up to 15,000 to 30,000 USD to give speeches to the group, in addition to travel expenses to attend MKO rallies in Paris.
The former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, Edward G. Rendell, admitted in March that he had received a total of 150,000 to 160,000 USD.
According to an American official, for the time being, about 100 of the group’s members are expected to stay at Camp Ashraf, with permission of the Iraqi government to oversee the group’s property there.
In the meantime, MKO members at the Camp Liberty site are being interviewed by United Nations officials who have granted refugee status to several hundred of them and are now looking for countries that are ready to accept them.