While the Iranian government and people call the exiled opposition group National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) ‘terrorist’, nearly two dozen former top U.S. government officials have urged President-elect Donald Trump to work with the group!
According to Fox News, a letter signed by 23 former officeholders calls on Trump to consult with the Paris-based group.
“Iran’s rulers have directly targeted US strategic interests, policies and principles, and those of our allies and friends in the Middle East,” the letter reads, in part. “To restore American influence and credibility in the world, the United States needs a revised policy.”
The letter’s signatories include former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani; former Sen. Joe Lieberman; and retired Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Bill Clinton.
NCRI, the political arm of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MeK) and a political coalition of Iran’s democratic opposition groups and figures, was founded in 1981 with the aim of overthrowing the Iranian regime.
In 2003, the United States listed NCRI as a terrorist organization and closed its Washington office. But in 2012, the US State Department formally removed MEK from its list of terrorist organizations in a decision made by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
MEK’s past acts of terrorism included its involvement in the killing of U.S. citizens in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on U.S. soil in 1992. While the group says it does not intentionally target civilians, it has often risked civilian casualties. It routinely aims its attacks at government buildings in crowded cities. MEK terrorism has declined since late 2001.
Last month, a group of Iranian dissidents wrote a letter to Trump, urging the president-elect to follow through on his campaign promise to revisit the nuclear deal between Iran and six global powers, including the U.S.
“During the presidential campaign, we and millions of Iranians followed your forthright objection to the nuclear agreement reached between the Obama administration and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the letter reads.
According to Fox news, the Trump transition team has not given any official response to the letter, and it’s unclear whether Trump has any plans to take a meeting with Iran dissidents and groups.
Earlier Sunday, Iran’s deputy foreign minister told reporters that “the new U.S. administration cannot abandon the deal.” Abbas Araghchi added that the agreement “will not be renegotiated” and repeated an earlier warning by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who publicly stated, “If they tear it up, we will burn it,” without elaborating.