Mujahedin supporters mount U.S. lobbying effort

By Laurie Bennett

July 30, 2011 at 10:06am

Iranian American groups have launched an expensive campaign to have the People’s Mujahedin Organization removed from the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.

Two groups have hired Washington lobbyists to push a House bill calling for the change.

The Iranian American Community of Northern California has paid Akin Gump $100,000 in the past two months. Former congressmen Vic Fazio and Bill Paxon are among the Akin Gump advisers working on the campaign.

Another group, Iranian-American Community of North Texas, hired diGenova & Toensing in February. The lobby shop has been paid $100,000 this year.

The State Department describes Mujahedin, also known as Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), as “the largest and most active armed Iranian dissident group,” with a history of anti-western activity.

The House bill, sponsored by Republican Ted Poe of Texas, argues that members of the organization have ceased all military operations and reject terrorism.

The Financial Times reports that groups supporting the legislation have paid millions of dollars to former government officials to speak at their events.

Among those speaking on behalf of the groups, according to the FT, are Howard Dean, Rudy Giuliani, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton; former national security adviser Jim Jones; retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, former homeland security secretary Tom Ridge; former congressman Lee Hamilton; and former Attorney Gen. Michael Mukasey.

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  • #1.   ali aghai 07.30.2011

    It seems that the Iranian regime is really upset about the support for the MEK these days!

    Please keep repeating these nonsense about the MEK, you make your self more ridiculous than right!

    Just remember that the in Europe the Iranian regimes lobbies have tried the same method of demonizing campaign but finally the MEK was off the list, after 7 court rulings! And at that time the MEK had no support of former officials

  • #2.   Nasrin 08.01.2011

    Howard Dean, Rudy Giuliani, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton; former national security adviser Jim Jones; retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, former homeland security secretary Tom Ridge; former congressman Lee Hamilton; and former Attorney Gen. Michael Mukasey.
    All of the mentioned officials have spent years in U.S. government and very proud of their service. Do you really think they would jeopardize their reputation if they did the speeches for money and did not believe in it?. More importantly, with all the negative lobbing against MEK and their supporters, NO high ranking official would go to different conferences and defend them and talk about the wrong policy of previous and current administration, if they didn’t deeply believe in it. Iranian regime spends millions lobbing against MEK, why they are not able to get well know figures to speak on their behalf or their made up opposition?. Oh, let me see, you have to have legitimacy for people to defend you.

  • #3.   David 08.05.2011

    This is only one very small part of the network of groups lobbying for the MEK in the US. You can find a list of the front groups, including others that have hired lobbyists, here:

    It would be pretty amazing to see all the connections in this mapped out!

    - David

    PS - Laurie, You should expect a lot of MEK trolls to call you bad names. They’ll relentlessly attack any critics in an attempt to silence/discredit them.

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