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The MKO’s deep pocket is not enough

Despite the well funded efforts by the Mujahedin Khalq Organization’s lobbyists in the US Congress, the pro Israel lobbying group, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) turned its back to the MKO. AIPAC gave up on pushing for a vote on an anti-Iran bill after top sponsor of new sanction bill — who is actually an MKO’s main advocate in the Congress– Senator Robert Menendez spoke against an immediate vote. AIPAC said in an emailed statement, "that there should not be a vote at this time on the measure.”[1]

The New York Times’ Mark Landler suggests that there have been very few issues on which the AIPAC "lost showdown with the White House"."But now Aipac, as the group is known, once again finds itself in a very public standoff with the White House,” He writes. "Its top priority, a Senate bill to impose new sanctions on Iran, has stalled after stiff resistance from President Obama, and in what amounts to a tacit retreat, Aipac has stopped pressuring Senate Democrats to vote for the bill."[2]

US Lawmakers confirm that the political climate on Capitol Hill has changed since the bill’s sponsors and Aipac made their push to sign the new bill to increase sanctions against Iran in December. Apparently they plan "to give Mr. Obama breathing room for diplomacy".

Menendez and AIPAC’s change of course, however, came after the bill lost steam when several Democratic cosponsors of the legislation, including senators Joe Manchin (West Virginia), Kirsten Gillibrand (New York), Ben Cardin (Maryland), Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), and Chris Coons (Delaware), said they did not favor an immediate vote on the bill, according to Press TV.[3]

In December 2013 when the new anti Iran legislation was first brought to the Congress by Senator Menendez and his colleague Senator Kirk, Jim White of the Empty Wheel website gave the MKO too much credit to state that ” the work (and funding money) of MEK, which advocates for (in my opinion, violent) regime change in Iran, seems to be just as likely [AIPAC], if not more likely, to be behind this hideous piece of legislation ”.[4]However he was definitely right to accuse Menendez of being in the payroll of the MKO.

Earlier, in November, Austin Wright of Politico reported that an MKO activist in the US Masood Abooali contributed $2,600 in August to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s reelection campaign. In his investigative report he also revealed, "Earlier this year, Abooali contributed to two other Iran hawks, giving $2,600 to Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and $1,000 to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee."[5]

It is worth to know that Menendez is under criminal investigation by the FBI for his ties to two fugitive Ecuadorian bankers and his donors. Moreover, Ros- lehtinen is charged with the same crime. "While the fugitive brothers cannot donate directly because they are not US citizens, their American relatives can and have given generously to Ros-Lehtinen, Menendez and others," reported  Brett Wilkins of  Digital Journal. "In addition to Ros-Lehtinen, who received $20,000 from the family, and Menendez, who got $10,000 for his 2012 campaign." [6]

Although the two Senators deny any quid pro quo with the fugitive brothers the author of the piece adds more to the list of their mistakes. He criticizes Ros-lehtinen for publicly voicing "her support for Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK), a then-State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization of Iranian dissidents who once assassinated numerous US officials and carries out attacks inside Iran with US and Israeli assistance."[7]

By the way, the MKO’s lavish parties for its high profile –corrupt–  friends in the US Congress in order  to run its hostile policies against the Iranian nation has not worked yet and it is unlikely to work in the future.

By Mazda Parsi


[1] Pecquet, Julian, AIPAC breaks with GOP on Iran sanctions, THE HILL, February 6, 2014

[2] Landler, Mark, Potent Pro-Israel Group Finds Its Momentum Blunted,  New York Times,  February 3, 2014

[3]Press TV, AIPAC gives up on anti-Iran bill vote, February 7, 2014

[4] White, Jim, MEK Purchases 27 US Senate Votes for War with Iran, emptywheel.net, December 20, 2013

[5] Wright, Austin, Lindsey Graham returns donations to Iranian exile group, Politico.com, November 13, 2013

[6] Wilkins, Brett, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) helped fugitive embezzlers, Digital Journal, February 6, 2014

[7] ibid

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