“Audit the Mujahedin-e-Khalq” is the title of Michael Rubin’s recent article on the group’s criminal background and its current shallow claims for democracy and freedom in Iran propagating in its well-heeled lobbies in the US government. “While the group describes itself as dedicated to freedom in Iran, it is anything but,” Rubin states in the first lines of his article.
As a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Michael Rubin has previously authored several articles on the MEK, its violent history and its well-funded lobbying campaign among the US’s corrupt politicians. He starts his article suggesting, “The Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) is a barometer of Washington corruption.”
Rubin gives a brief of the MEK’s background:
“While the group describes itself as dedicated to freedom in Iran, it is anything but. Its roots lie in a combination of Islamism and Marxism. In the run-up to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the group both allied with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and conducted terrorism against Americans and American companies.
“[Ayatollah]Khomeini back-stabbed his MKO allies. In an episode their spokesman buries and the MKO purges from their website, the group allied itself with Saddam Hussein, killing not only regime officials but also Kurdish dissidents and ordinary Iranians.”
Iranians march for freedom and democracy, not for a cult whose leader still veils and who runs the organization as an autocracy
According to Rubin, the MEK has not changed and today it has nothing to do with the Iranians’ aspirations for freedom and democracy:
“Today, they are not much better: The ongoing Iranian revolution shows the emptiness of previous MKO claims. Iranians march for freedom and democracy, not for a cult whose leader still veils and who runs the organization as an autocracy.”
Criticizing the American politicians who receive MEK’s hefty amounts of dollars, he warns them about the MEK’s unpopularity among the Iranian public opinion:
“Some American politicians may feel they do no harm by taking MKO cash in exchange for peppering a short gala speech with MKO talking points, but they are wrong. Endorsing the MKO is a gift to the Islamic Republic. It plays into the ayatollahs’ propaganda that the West hates Iranians rather than respects them. The MKO, of course, rejects such reality. They embrace the big lie. MKO spokesmen claim popularity and grass roots support, and castigate anyone who criticizes them as part of some broad pro-Islamic Republic conspiracy, no matter how ridiculous.”
Regarding the MEK’s lavish propaganda campaigns in the West, Rubin calls for investigations on the group’s financial resources. “While their galas are glitzy and seek to project an aura of popularity, their finances are opaque,” he writes.
“If the MKO truly was anything more than a political Ponzi scheme, they would open their books to audit. They would explain the murky origins of the money they channel through shell organizations to gain the endorsement of American and European politicians. They would explain how Maryam Rajavi lives a life of luxury, as apparently do the few prominent spokesmen whom the group allows to speak to outsiders.
Every non-profit in the U.S. must file tax returns and explain their income and spending. The MKO and its subsidiaries may not be non-profits, nor is its headquarters in the U.S., but there is no reason the group cannot voluntarily provide the minimum information expected and provided by thousands of American nonprofits.
At the very least, Alireza Jafarzadeh, who often acts as the group’s mouthpiece in the U.S., might release his tax returns just as American politicians do. It would be telling if he lives in luxury while many MKO members live in group homes and apparently donate the vast majority of their earnings to the group.
The reality, of course, is that the MKO will make every excuse not to open their books. They will bluster, but they will never hire a neutral auditor to confirm the legitimacy of their organization. To do so would be to expose the image they seek to project as an illusion carefully crafted for greedy or naïve outsiders.”
He asks the US American and European politicians to “steer clear of the MKO, and redirect any money offered by the group to the protesters actually fighting for freedom in Iran rather than simply seeking to profit from it.”