Former US officials support for MEK due to the group's intelligence gathering against Iran, reported Washington Times.
Washington Times cites former US officials who are backing the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK, a.k.a. MKO( as saying that the intelligence-gathering role of the MKO in Iran is the reason why they support the group.
Guy Taylor's Washington Times wrote in a report which was published on the Washington Times that each of the former U.S. officials who spoke with The Times on his report acknowledged that some of their respect for the MKO "stems from the group’s history of having shared intelligence with Washington" about Iran’s nuclear program and the Iranian military activity inside Iraq.
The MKO has provided U.S. military officials and successive U.S. administrations with “all types of good intelligence,” said Gen. Shelton.
All of these former U.S. officials also acknowledged that their "travel and accommodations expenses in France" were being paid for by the MKO.
"However, each also asserted that it is common practice for them to accept payment for speaking engagements and stressed that their support for Friday’s rally and the plight of the MEK had nothing to do with money."
One March 13, 2012, New York Times reported that the prominent former American officials have been giving well-paid speeches in support of the MKO which was fighting to reverse its 15-year-old designation by the State Department as a terrorist organization .
"Former chairman of the Democratic National Committee said he had given seven or eight speeches since July calling for the M.E.K. to be taken off the terrorist list and estimated that he had been paid a total of $150,000 or $160,000." "Rendell said he had been told that his fees came from Iranian-American supporters of the M.E.K., not from the group itself."
Other former officials who have accepted fees for speaking in support of the MEK said that they and their agents had not received subpoenas. Some did not respond to inquiries. The fees have ranged from $15,000 to $30,000 for a brief speech.
Washington Times added that questions over the extent to which it may or may not be in Washington’s best interest to support the group continue to swirl through Washington’s foreign policy community.
"The biggest question centers on whether the NCRI is truly representative of the wider Iranian opposition community — inside Iran and around the world."
Taylor added that finding informed sources willing to speak openly on the question, however, is known to be difficult.
"One source approached by The Times said it was unthinkable to speak openly against the NCRI because doing so would result in death threats from this group."
"Nothing signals cluelessness about Iran more than treating NCRI as a legitimate opposition group," said the source, who agreed to be quoted only on the condition of anonymity. "It sided with Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war, so its popularity in Iran is on par with that of the American Taliban who fought alongside Osama bin Laden against the U.S".
The MKO's spokesman in Washington told Washington Times that such characterizations are nonsense and argued that the organization’s reach and popularity inside Iran are deep and were instrumental in bringing about the 2009 uprising against the government in Tehran!
Asked about where the organization gets its funding, MKO spokesman asserted that financing "has been and continues to be the Iranian people inside and outside Iran".
All of the former U.S. officials who spoke with The Times for this article acknowledged that their travel and accommodations expenses in France were being paid for by the NCRI. However, each also asserted that it is common practice for them to accept payment for speaking engagements and stressed that their support for Friday’s rally and the plight of the MEK had nothing to do with money.