'Lying, cheating, stealing' ex-CIA chief parties with anti-Iran terrorists again

On December 17, former US secretary of state and CIA director, Mike Pompeo, headlined an Organization of Iranian American Communities summit in Washington in support of the so-called “uprising” in Iran, amid his push for Republican candidacy in the 2024 elections.

Pompeo used the appearance to tout his central role in the Trump administration’s hawkish stance toward Tehran, which saw Washington impose a welter of crippling economic sanctions on the country, unilaterally walk out of the landmark nuclear deal, and assassinate the famed anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani, among other hostile and unprovoked acts.

”Our administration used every tool at our disposal to level and eliminate power from the [Iranian] regime,” the hawkish former top American diplomat boasted.

“While I can’t say too much about my work while I was the CIA’s director, you should know that our cooperation with allied nations to reduce its external capabilities had a real impact.”

Pompeo went on to praise the incendiary foreign-backed riots that have rocked the country since mid-September, claiming hundreds of precious lives.

Although, in recent weeks, the scale and magnitude of these riots have drastically come down, with rioters beginning to grasp the futility of their quest - not least due to the far larger, and entirely unreported, pro-government demonstrations - the former CIA head honcho’s support to the deadly unrest in Iran continues uninterrupted.

While acknowledging that the Trump administration’s approach to Iran “began in the idea” that anti-government elements “must be supported in every way,” Pompeo aggressively dismissed any suggestion the recent riots in Iran were in any way “the product of foreign meddling”:

"Three months of powerful unyielding protests and uprisings don’t happen randomly…These protests are the result of 40 years of organized opposition," he remarked, referring to the deadly foreign-backed riots as "protests" and "uprisings."

As Press TV has previously documented in detail, there are ample, unambiguous indicators that the anti-government riots in Iran have been fomented, directed, and amplified by the CIA and multiple other US alphabet agencies, although one need not take this network's word for it.

The agency that Pompeo once led - “we lied, we cheated, we stole, we had entire training courses" - is notorious for stirring up violent upheavals and overthrowing governments the world over, under the guise of "popular grassroots movements."

And Iran has since the 1950s been a favorite target of the CIA in this regard.

The Organization of Iranian American Communities that Pompeo addressed is a palpable reflection of this incontestable fact. Its “parent” is Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), a terrorist group proscribed by Tehran, and Baghdad.

For many years, it was also recognized as a dangerous, violent extremist sect by the governments of Britain, Canada, Japan, and the US - and with good reason.

MKO began life as an anti-Pahlavi student protest group in the 1960s. For the next decade, it carried out multiple terrorist attacks that killed many, including several US citizens.

Initially supportive of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, it quickly turned against the country’s clerics and refocused its violence on the popular government, and average Iranian citizens. In all, the group has killed over 17,000 Iranians since its inception.

One of the group’s most murderous periods was during the Iran-Iraq War when it supported the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s brutal assault on Iran.

Towards the end of the war, Baghdad provided MKO with heavy military equipment and deployed thousands of its fighters in suicidal, mass-wave attacks against Iranian forces.

Afterward, the group was instrumental in brutally quashing Kurdish uprisings in northern Iraq and Shia unrest in southern Iraq.

Simultaneously, the CIA, along with British and Saudi intelligence, funded MKO to the tune of $3 billion to destabilize Afghanistan and fight the Red Army, following the Soviet Union’s invasion of Kabul in 1979.

California-based academic Mark Mason has dubbed the effort “the single most expensive US covert foreign operation since the inception of the CIA” in 1947.

Despite this horrific history, the US quietly removed the group’s terrorist designation in 2012, after lobbying from a panoply of high-ranking US military, security and intelligence officials.

The flimsy basis for their request was that the group represented a viable opposition and government-in-exile. Nothing could be further from the truth, but such delusions can easily be bought if the price is right.

After the illegal US invasion of Iraq in 2003, MKO began regularly paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-Iranian political hawks in Washington, often in the form of vast speaking fees.

Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, former senator Joseph I. Lieberman, and former Vermont governor Howard Dean as well as many other lesser-known figures have addressed events arranged by MKO and its Organization of Iranian American Communities offshoot.

Blinded by their ravenous desire for dollars, these individuals enthusiastically share stages with and eagerly endorse the legitimacy of violent militants.

In effect, MKO aggressively purchases favor and credibility in US political circles - although the media has been reluctant to endorse its status as so-called Iran’s government in exile. David Patrikarakos, who could hardly be accused of pro-Tehran sympathies, has referred to it as “in truth…a cult-like group.”

Still, MKO’s bloodsoaked background rarely, if ever, emerges in mainstream news reporting on the Organization of Iranian American Communities, the summits of which Pompeo attended even while serving as US secretary of state.

This year, speakers urged the Biden administration - which has already promised to do whatever it takes overtly and covertly to undermine Iran’s government - to escalate sanctions, and consider taking more actions against Tehran. Among the attendees were many US government officials, old and new.

Maryam Rajavi, head of the MKO terrorist group, used the opportunity to call on Washington to issue a firm statement in direct support of the democratically-elected Iranian government’s overthrow.

“The time has come for the US to recognize the legitimacy of the fight of the Iranian youths against this evil and terrorist force. The US should officially recognize the Iranian people's Revolution to establish a republic based on democratic values,” she said.

“Embassies and institutions affiliated with the regime that provide support for repression inside Iran must be shut down. Any form of negotiation and making concessions to the criminal rulers of Iran should be stopped.”

Strong words indeed, although the irony is, the overwhelming majority of Iran’s population revile MKO as homicidal, traitorous lunatics, and do not support foreign-backed revolution - let alone one so clearly sponsored and endorsed by a criminal terrorist gang.

If nothing else, the spectacle of Mike Pompeo, who once proudly led an agency notorious for its torture and murder of Muslims throughout the Middle East, headlining an event arranged by a terrorist group, amply underlines how Washington’s fanatical desire to destroy its enemies leads the country and its rulers to buddy up with the most dangerous elements imaginable.

Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist and MintPresss News contributor exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. His work has previously appeared in The Cradle, Declassified UK, Electronic Intifada, Grayzone, and ShadowProof.
(The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of Habilian.)