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The Despicable Hawkish Embrace of the MEK

Newt Ginrich

The Trump administration’s MEK fans participated in the group’s annual rally in Paris over the weekend:

Giuliani spoke to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an umbrella coalition largely controlled by the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MeK), which was once listed as a terrorist organisation in the US and Europe and is still widely viewed as a Marxist-Islamist cult built around the personality of its leader, Maryam Rajavi.

“We are now realistically being able to see an end to the regime in Iran,” Giuliani told a crowd of about 4,000, many of them refugees and young eastern Europeans who had been bussed in to attend the rally in return for a weekend trip to Paris.

“The mullahs must go, the ayatollah must go, and they must be replaced by a democratic government which Madam Rajavi represents,” Giuliani said. “Freedom is right around the corner … Next year I want to have this convention in Tehran!”

It is bad enough that prominent Americans and other Westerners lend support to a totalitarian cult because it happens to share their loathing of the Iranian government, but it is even worse that they are helping to rehabilitate this group as if it were a legitimate and democratic alternative to that government.

This not only whitewashes a despicable organization that has the blood of Americans and Iranians on its hands, but it is an insult to genuine Iranian political reformers and dissidents. The MEK has no support in Iran or the Iranian diaspora, and no one wants anything to do with it except for paid Western shills and the government of Saudi Arabia.

No matter what happens in Iran, the MEK won’t be returning there next year or for a long time to come. They are understandably reviled in Iran for their crimes and treachery, and anyone embracing them reveals an intense hostility to Iran and an equally profound ignorance of the country and its people.

Unfortunately, Bolton, Giuliani, and Gingrich aren’t just has-beens getting paid to recite talking points. If they were, their support for this group might be disgraceful but ultimately irrelevant. The danger is that these men are among Trump’s closest advisers and allies, and it seems more likely than not that they are pushing an agenda of regime change in Iran. As long as these Trump allies are cheerleading for the MEK publicly, we should assume that they are offering the president similarly warped and poisonous advice privately as well.

By Daniel Larison,

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