Bill Richardson speaker fees linked to MKO terrorist group

Former UN ambassador Bill Richardson has been travelling around the world earning money for speaking fees.

When former Gov. Bill Richardson left office he told New Mexicans he was looking forward to visiting baseball parks across the United States.

Instead, the former pitcher has been traveling around the world earning speaking fees.

Eyewitness News has learned some of Richardson’s fees were paid by an Iranian dissident group listed on the U.S. State Department’s list of known terrorist groups.

In addition to paying the former governor, the Mojahedin-e Khalq, also named MEK, has been spending millions to have Richardson and other diplomats, politicians and even former U.S. military generals use their influence to help them get de-listed.

In December 2011, Richardson, the former U.N. Ambassador, told the National Resistance Council in Paris, France that there is increasing international and bipartisan support for the group.

KOB found the video from Richardson's speech in Paris on YouTube.

At least 33 high-ranking former U.S. officials have given speeches to MEK-friendly audiences since December of last year as part of more than 22 events in Washington, Brussels, London, Paris and Berlin.

While not every speaker accepted payment, MEK-affiliated groups have spent millions of dollars on speaking fees, according to interviews with the former officials, organizers.

Richardon is represented by the Washington Speakers’ Bureau and reportedly earns between $25,000 and $50,000 a speech.

Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the MEK agreed to give up its weapons arsenal in exchange for protection from the U.S. military.

But following a review in 2007, the U.S. State Department maintained the organization’s classification as a Foreign Terrorist Organization when it ruled the group still possessed the "capacity and will" to commit terrorist acts.

Exiled in Iraq, members of the MEK are suspected of assassinating nuclear scientists working for Iran’s nuclear development program.

Earlier this month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated she has not made a decision to de-list MEK.

She said they must voluntarily relocate from their current camp to another location inside of Iraq first.

 

http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S2533306.shtml?cat=517


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