MEK: Islamic Socialists to Ba’athists to Right Wing Republicans

Lobbyists labor to get Iranian group taken off of U.S. terror list. Two lawyers well-known for their intelligence and national security work in Washington are lobbying to remove an Iranian group from the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations. On behalf of the Iranian-American Community of North Texas, Joseph DiGenova and Victoria Toensing of DiGenova & Toensing have registered to lobby for removing the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK) — otherwise known as the People's Mujahedin of Iran — from the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations list, according to lobbying disclosure records released last week. Frequent media commentators, husband and wife DiGenova and Toensing were members of the Reagan Justice Department and have worked for prominent Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill in the past.“They are not a terrorist organization. It's that simple,” Toensing told The Hill. According to the State Department, the MEK is credited with several terrorist attacks that killed Americans in the 1970s and later found itself in conflict with the new Iranian regime after the Shah was deposed. The group would go on to support Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War and base its operations there in Camp Ashraf, often launching terrorist attacks against Iranian interests…….”

Now they have the support of extreme right-wing Republicans in the U.S. Congress (is there any other kind in Congress?). The MEK (or MKO) have also come full circle with the Arab potentates on the Gulf. They were in good standing during the Iran-Iraq War because they supported Saddam, but after the (Persian) Gulf War in 1990 they were out of favor around the Gulf. Now, with the “wrong” government in Baghdad, the MEK are back in favor among the Gulf oligarchies: their media is calling for their camp to remain in Iraq, near the Iranian border (but they wouldn’t want them in ‘their’ territory). A full circle: but that is the way it is with exile politics, they often create strange bedfellows.

Right now, nobody gives this shadowy group any chance in Iran, except maybe some right-wing Republicans and Gulf potentates. Their pro-Saddam days ensure that they have little popularity inside Iran. That is right now: very few people thought the Bolsheviks had any chance either before 1917. But their association with Republican rightists is ominous to many Iranians: they remember that Operation Ajax (1953) “succeeded” under a Republican administration in overthrowing their last fully freely elected government.