Washington's Favorite Terrorists

Rajavi carrying U.S. down path of war yet again


Washington's Favorite Terrorists
by Trita Parsi

In the 10 years that I have lived in Washington, I have never seen lobbyists for al-Qaeda parade through the halls of Congress. I have not seen any events on Capitol Hill organized by Hamas. And I have not seen any American politicians take campaign contributions from the Islamic Jihad.

But the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an organization with the blood of Americans and Iranians alike on its hands, freely does all of these things, despite being a designated foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. government.

And in a matter of weeks, this terrorist group may succeed in getting removed from the terrorist list -- not as a result of any change of heart -- but as a result of an unprecedented multi-million dollar media and lobbying blitz.

If al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organization were holding fundraisers in DC, lobbying Congress, or holding press conferences at the National Press Club, the FBI, Homeland Security, and local law enforcement would be all over it.

Not so with the MEK. There, law enforcement seems nowhere to be found. In fact, a prominent spokesperson for the MEK terrorist group was hired by Fox News in the mid-2000s to serve as their on-air terrorist analyst. Go figure.

Since early January 2011, the MEK has spent millions of dollars on lobbyists, PR agents and communications firms to build up pressure on Secretary Hillary Clinton to take the group off of the terrorist list. Their argument is that the MEK rejected violence and terrorism in 2001 and as a result should be de-listed.

But this is not true, according to the FBI. A recently disclosed FBI report from 2004 reveals that the group continued to plan terrorist acts at least three years after they claimed to renounce terrorism.

No one should be surprised -- not even DC's "unwitting members of Congress" -- as the FBI calls the group's supporters on Capitol Hill. The State Department has documented the MEK's disturbing record: killing Americans and Iranians in terrorist attacks; fighting for Saddam Hussein against Iran and assisting Saddam's brutal campaign against Iraq's Kurds and Shia; its "cult-like" behavior; the abuses and even torture it commits against its own members; and its support for the U.S. embassy takeover and calls for executing the hostages.

And let's not forget, the MEK suppresses and holds captive its own members - more than 70 percent of the MEK members in Camp Ashraf in Iraq are held there against their own wishes, according to a RAND Corporation study.

But even if the MEK could be believed, the reality is that they are currently on the terrorist list and, as a result, they must be subject to U.S. terrorism laws. Simply put, the laws must be enforced -- without exception.

The State Department's review of their terrorism status, which is due to be completed by August of this year, must be conducted without the essentially illegal pressure tactics the MEK currently is employing through lobbyists, lawmakers and hired former officials.

If the group is taken off the list, not as a result of an objective review, but by virtue of their lobbying prowess, several repercussions can be envisioned.

First, the desire to de-list them in Washington seems partially driven by gravitation towards covert military action against Iran. Neither sanctions nor diplomacy have yielded the desired results on the nuclear issue, and some in Washington are advocating using the MEK to conduct assassination and sabotage campaigns inside Iran.

As one former State Department official put it, the "paradox is that we may take them off the terror list in order for them to do more terror."

Much like Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress, the permanent leader of the MEK, Maryam Rajavi, seeks to return from decades of exile as the anointed President of Iran. And freed of the terrorist designation, there is little reason to believe the MEK won't turn its lobbying apparatus -- which puts Chalabi's to shame -- to obtain U.S. funding and to promote war with Iran. In fact, some members of Congress already refer to the MEK as the "real Green movement." Even more shocking is that top former U.S. officials have called on the U.S. to recognize Rajavi as the rightful President of Iran.

Second, de-listing the MEK would spell disaster for the Iranian pro-democracy movement. According to prominent Green movement figures Mohsen Kadivar and Ahmad Sadri:

Removing the MEK from the FTO at this juncture would embolden Iran's hardliners to intensify their repression and discredit the Green Movement by implying that it is somehow connected to the widely detested MEK terror group. Furthermore, supporting the MEK would provide the Iranian government with the specter of a foreign-based threat that could be exploited to heal key fractures within the system, increase the number of Iranians who would rally around the flag, and facilitate the suppression of the indigenous political opposition.

If you recognize the necessity of a non-violent campaign against the Iranian regime, the last thing you want is to have the U.S. government support and fund one of the most violent and undemocratic Iranian organizations -- and, to make matters worse, to do so in the name of the Iranian Green movement.

Third, de-listing will put the rising Iranian-American community in a state of shock. In the last decade, an impressive civic awakening has occurred in this successful but previously politically silent community, with dozens of new groups being formed with the aim of contributing to the American democracy and providing the Iranian Americans in the U.S. with a voice. A U.S. funded and supported MEK will ensure a return to the pre-1997 era. Back then, in the eyes of most U.S. lawmakers, the voice of Maryam Rajavi was the voice of the entire Iranian-American community.

Now, by buying off officials to pry open the floodgates of U.S. financial and political support, Rajavi and her small but vocal minority threaten to simultaneously drown out the voices of the rest of the Iranian-American community, co-opt the voice of Iran's true opposition, and carry the U.S. down the path of war yet again.

First published in HuffingtonPost.com.

Dr. Trita Parsi is the 2010 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order and the author of the forthcoming book "A Single Roll of the Dice – Obama's Diplomacy with Iran," by Yale University Press, February 2012.


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more from Trita Parsi


by iamfine on

Now that we have an organization called NIAC, let us help and make it better. We should not down grade and humiliate any organization that is transparent and is trying to help Iranians abroad. As Americans say "if you didn't taste it then don't knock it down." Let us unite and help NIAC to grow and become a strong voice for Iranians in this country.

Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime

Mr. TP: It takes a killer to kill a killer!

by Everybody Loves Somebody ... on

The only solution to destroy a murderous regime is to throw at it a worse killer machine! MEK is that killer machine! Big bang boom baby!


From State Department website

by vildemose on


Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism. Iran’s involvement in the planning and financial support of terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia had a direct impact on international efforts to promote peace, threatened economic stability in the Gulf, and undermined the growth of democracy.


The Qods Force, an elite branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad. The Qods Force provided aid in the form of weapons, training, and funding to HAMAS and other Palestinian terrorist groups, Lebanese Hizballah, Iraq-based militants, and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan....more below 



NIAC nor MEK want a free

by vildemose on

NIAC nor MEK want a free iran so let them duke it out.

spot on.


Thanks Mr. Parsi: Hope for a NIAC electronic email message

by MM on

Thanks Mr. Parsi: I hope NIAC gets an electronic email message going to the US lawmakers regarding the MKO as an undemocratic Iranian institution.  We cannot get out of an IRI-hole and fall into an MKO-well.


"Mojahedin" , An Islamic cult

by jasonrobardas on

with an extensive terroristic history , led by a (Lachak besar) and her opportunist husband! They are so intensely detested by all progressive democratic Iranians.


Yeah, lets unite with MEK and Israel and reduce Iran to ashes...

by Disenchanted on


          and start building Iran from scratch! We love Saddam hossein surrogates. Those who embraced him while his scuds while raining on Tehran. Lets bring to power a cult that makes another North Korea out of Iran.

    If you want Iranian people grudgingly defend the current system to the last man speak of bringing Rajavi to power with the support of Israel and bunch of sellout US politicians. 

       Long live  Netanyahu, Rajavi, John Bolton..hurray....



by MRX1 on

why worry too much? replacing IRI with MKO is basically replacing one  sheikh va omati islamist group with another one. It will provide an opportunity for MKO members to loot , rape tortuture and kill. IRI goons did for 30+ years now it will be MKO turn. kind of like 8 years democrat , 8 years republican in U.S. However since we are backward and less sophisticated our durations are longer  30 years this, 30 years that.....

Unforturantely untill people wake up from their 1400 years sleep and start resurection of real Iran  this is going to be our fate for a long time to come.


The problem with this blog is..

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

The kind of people it's author hangs out with.

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."

Artificial Intelligence

Exactly Bahmani!

by Artificial Intelligence on

We are saying the same thing. We must forgive the MEK and build a strong opposition against the IRI. NIAC and Trita are light years behind.

Artificial Intelligence

One more reason we should not trust NIAC & Trita

by Artificial Intelligence on

How convenient for Trita and his internet response NIAC groupies to come and declare the MEK as terrorists but NIAC does business and wants relations with the ultimate terrorist entity in the world called the  IRI! NIAC stinks of hypocrisy

In general though, its time for ALL the Iranian opposition groups- Monarchists, Communists, Leftist, Nationalists and the MEK to unit. Iranians must forgive each other if they really desire a secular Democracy. Yes we must forgive the MEK for what it has done in the past.We all must come together and have a unified stance against the IRI.

Trita is trying to make such unification among the opposition harder by writing these articles which at the end only benefit the IRI!

By the way- If I was AIPAC, I would support the MEK 100%. If IRI can
support Hezbollah and Hamas, Israel and its supporters have a perfect
right to support the MEK! Such is life.Deal with it and try to get rid of the IRI instead of supporting IRI groupies and apologists like NIAC.





Enemy of My Enemy is My Enemy

by bahmani on

The beauty (and the beast) of the US is that everyone is free. Free to lobby the US. If the MEK is in fact a terrorist organization, and still free to lobby the US, then theoretically so would Al Qaeda. And especially, so is Iran free to have anyone it can find willing to lobby the US on it's behalf.

Of course, there are lobbyists and then there are lobbyists!

Most lobbyists want something (usually money) from the US government. That's the whole point.

The MEK has made a rather bad bed in siding with Saddam against the government of Iran, and proposing a somewhat dated and altogether ridiculous proposition trying to serve up their own recipe and combo of leftist/socialist/religious fare, for the consumption of an Iranian audience that is moving at the speed of Twitter.

While the MEK is fraught with organizational and structural and PR problems, as someone who remembers them from before the revolution, I think it is better if MEK comes out of the shadows now, and like EVERYONE (ie RPII) be given the same chance to redeem their past deeds, and past crimes, and past mistakes, and see if they can convert themselves to a repentant positive contributor to the ultimate benefit of Iran.

Yes, in spite of everything we as Iranians can learn to forgive, if not forget. If we don't, we will most definitely need another revolution, far bloodier than this one, and and even longer wait, to weed out the necessary corruption that will most definitely result from that one, like revolutions always do whenever the blood of innocents is drawn.

Rather than stoke the fire of division which is only in favor of the current bad element in charge, one would think that rather than cut them off at the knees, we would welcome the MEK out of the dark and into the light. If for nothing more, than to be able to keep an eye on them.

I mean isn't that what "engaging in open dialogue" is supposed to be all about?

To read more bahmani posts visit: //brucebahmani.blogspot.com/

Masoud Kazemzadeh

Questions for NIAC

by Masoud Kazemzadeh on

I. Questions to NIAC and NIAC Internet Response Team: 


Could someone please explain to me:

1. Why Trita Parsi and NIAC, do not use the accurate description of TERRORIST REGIME for the VF regime ruling Iran????????? (while using the term "terrorist" for PMOI; WHY the double standard)

2. Why negotiating, recognizing, and making financial deals with number 1 terrorist entity in the world is promoted by Trita Parsi and NIAC but similar policies to the PMOI is attacked???????????







Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism. Iran’s financial, material, and logistic support for terrorist and militant groups throughout the Middle East and Central Asia had a direct impact on international efforts to promote peace, threatened economic stability in the Gulf and undermined the growth of democracy.


Iran remained the principal supporter of groups that are implacably opposed to the Middle East Peace Process. The Qods Force, the external operations branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad. Iran provided weapons, training, and funding to HAMAS and other Palestinian terrorist groups, including Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC). Iran has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support to Lebanese Hizballah and has trained thousands of Hizballah fighters at camps in Iran. Since the end of the 2006 Israeli-Hizballah conflict, Iran has assisted Hizballah in rearming, in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.


Iran’s Qods Force provided training to the Taliban in Afghanistan on small unit tactics, small arms, explosives, and indirect fire weapons. Since at least 2006, Iran has arranged arms shipments to select Taliban members, including small arms and associated ammunition, rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, 107mm rockets, and plastic explosives.


Despite its pledge to support the stabilization of Iraq, Iranian authorities continued to provide lethal support, including weapons, training, funding, and guidance, to Iraqi Shia militant groups that targeted U.S. and Iraqi forces. The Qods Force continued to supply Iraqi militants with Iranian-produced advanced rockets, sniper rifles, automatic weapons, and mortars that have killed Iraqi and Coalition Forces, as well as civilians. Iran was responsible for the increased lethality of some attacks on U.S. forces by providing militants with the capability to assemble explosively formed penetrators that were designed to defeat armored vehicles. The Qods Force, in concert with Lebanese Hizballah, provided training outside of Iraq and advisors inside Iraq for Shia militants in the construction and use of sophisticated improvised explosive device technology and other advanced weaponry.


Iran remained unwilling to bring to justice senior al-Qa’ida (AQ) members it continued to detain, and refused to publicly identify those senior members in its custody. Iran has repeatedly resisted numerous calls to transfer custody of its AQ detainees to their countries of origin or third countries for trial; it is reportedly holding Usama bin Ladin’s family members under house arrest.


Senior IRGC, IRGC Qods Force, and Iranian government officials were indicted by the Government of Argentina for their alleged roles in the 1994 terrorist bombing of the Argentine-Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA); according to the Argentine State Prosecutor’s report, the attack was initially proposed by the Qods Force. In 2007, INTERPOL issued a “red notice” for six individuals wanted in connection to the bombing. One of the individuals, Ahmad Vahidi, was named as Iran’s Defense Minister in August 2009.



Number 2 Terrorist entity in the world: al Qaeda




Number 3 terrorist entity in the world:  The Hezbollah in Lebanon:

Hezbollah responsible for murdering Iranian opposition figures:





e-mail between Trita Parsi and officials of the terrorist regime exchanging niceties. Here is the e-mail between TP and the Ali Asghat Soltanieh the terrorist regime high level OFFICIAL.

P. 7.


Trita Parsi to the TERRORIST regime OFFICIAL:


Dear Amb. Soltanieh,

It was a great pleasure seeing you in Holland for the Pugwash meeting. I very much enjoyed our conversation and I look forward to remaining in touch.

Trita Parsi



Another NIAC official has been pushing for members of US Congress to meet high level official of the TERRORIST regime (e.g., Mashaee).

Pp. 11, 13.




 The following is a quote from a letter written by Trita Parsi to Roy Coffee.



Trita Parsi's letter:


Although the mission of the proposed lobby should be to improve relations between the US and Iran and open up opportunities for trade, the initial targets should be less controversial issues such as visas and racial profiling/discrimination. Since the lobby will be spared from creating a grassroots network of its own, the initial focus on non-controversial issues will only serve to establish credibility within the community, and not massive support (which would necessitate the complete avoidance of issues such as US-Iran relations).

Furthermore, it would bea wise strategy to mainly target Iranian-American businessmen for financial support. This group has both a higher propensity to support the lobby’s mission and it is also in a better position to underwrite the expenses of the lobby. Nonetheless, despite its predominantly business oriented constituency, it isessential that the lobby creates a "human face" for its aims and goals. AIPAC successfully painted the opponents of the Iran Libya Sanctions Act as "greedy businessmen who had no scruples when it came to doing business with terroristregimes." The oil companies failed to characterize their campaign with "human concern for the well-being of innocent Iranians stuck with a dictatorial regime" or "support for the poor mid-Western family father who lost his job due the sanctions." The human element is essential both when it comes to attracting support among Iranian-Americans and when it comes to winning the debate and the votes on the Hill. "






Soosan Khanoom

I think Washington

by Soosan Khanoom on

I think Washington wants us to stop fighting with IRI because no one ....NO ONE in his or her rightest mind prefer MEK Over IRI .....

Hmmmmm .... that explains it all .....


Jeesh Daram

حاجی عجله نکن

Jeesh Daram

آمریکا دست به اقداماتی میزند که بصلاع منافع ملی خودش است. نه مثل ما خاور میانه ای ها که عادت داریم آش خودمان را بخوریم و حلیم حاج حسن را هم بزنیم.  آمریکا با حمایت از یک گروه قوی ضد دولت ایران سعی در وارد آوردن فشار و در نهایت ایجاد اغتشاشات داخلی در ایران میکند، نه برای منافع ایرانیان بلکه بخاطر ادامه نوکری دولت ایران و هشدار به آن دولت.  این مجاهدین درست مانند همان دانشجویان مخالف رژیم شاه هستند که دکتر ابراهیم یزدی  (شاشیدم توی دکتراش) و اون یارو شاعر بند تنبانی رضا براهنی راه میافتادند از این کالج به اون کالج که دانشجوی ضد شاه کرایه کنند، آنهم برای سازمان انتلیجنت سرویس و سیا.  بعد هم شاه بحرفشان توجهی نکرد زدند کونش را پاره کردند و مملکت را به اینجا کشاندند.  حالا این گروه هم نقش اصلی اش نوکری برای سیا و انگلستان است. مطلب مهم آنستکه اگر ایرانیان خارج از کشور گروه متحد دیگری بمانند مجاهدین خلق ولی بزرگتر و با آرمانی متفاوت داشتند مطمئنا آمریکا از آنان استفاده میکرد و نه از مجاهدین خلق.  شما اول سوال کن که خود برای ایران چه کرده ای و برای وطن چه خدمتی انجام داده ای که حالا از آمریکا انتظار داری منافع تو را در راس تصمیمات خود قرار دهد. 


this is great two hated organizations going at it

by seannewyork on

as someone who wants a free iran this is a great thing I am seeing.  NIAC nor MEK want a free iran so let them duke it out.

Ari Siletz

Disastrous US message to the Iranian people!

by Ari Siletz on

Recruiting the MEK would be the ultimate proof that the US is an enemy of the Iranian people, not just an enemy of the Iranian regime. The shot in the arm for the regime would be good for another 32 years. With lots of Takbirs, salavaats, hugs and kisses, Khamenei and his gang must be passing khorma around the neighborhood. 


Deeply dumb!



by Fred on

To cool off while reviewing court documents attesting to the relationship between NIAC lobbyist and the officials (plural) of the Islamist Rapist Republic, a US designated terrorist entity,  NIAC lobby internet Basijis, crop-dusters and otherwise, should sip on Zereshk-juice. It is good for you!

Ramin J

Thank you thank you thank you NIAC!!!!

by Ramin J on

You are one gutsy organization.

You take on the mullahs when they violate human rights, you take on AIPAC when they push for war, and you take on the MEK when they try to undermine the non-violent pro-democracy movement.

You have some guts. Thank you!

Ramin J

Fred - thank you for exposing yourself

by Ramin J on

For anyone who loves Iran and America, be well aware of Fred. He is teh one that always attacks NIAC, always defends Israel and now is even defending the hated MEK.

if we use Fred's flawed logic, that means that Fred MUST (not may, but MUST) be working for the Israel lobby and for the MEK. 

I am not sure if you do, but clearly your sympathiesare with the enemies of Iran, not the people of Iran. NIAC should feelflattered by your relentless attacks on them.


The facts stated in this article…

by Bavafa on

Only highlights the [lack of] wisdom of the neocons and AIPAC who have been pouring martial support for this terrorist cult which legally is unlawful yet is happening in a broad daylight.  This is all despite a very unambiguous rejection and border line hate of the Iranian people of such cultish group.  So, with that in mind and many other facts, one wonder what the gangster like necons and their supportive group AIPAC have in mind for Iranians. Such misguided and criminal support for such terrorist group has grave consequence not only for Iranians, but also for Americans.  Getting in bed and supporting terrorism does not pay for a long term security of our adopted nation nor our mother land and must be condemned with strongest voice. I applaud NIAC for raising awareness to such misguided and criminal activity and hope an organized mass e-mail protest will be followed.  I along with a few others have already contacted our [bought and sold] representative in the US to express our outrage. Mehrdad

P.S. Could "Apparently, what is good for the goose, is not good for the gander " charge also apply to Fred's question in his blog here



Traitors of Different Genders

by Tavana on

'Trita Parsi' & "Maryam Rajavi' are of the exact same 'traitor' characters under two different disguises!


Goose and gander

by Fred on

It is interesting that NIAC lobbyist, who according to published documents is on friendly terms with the high officials of the Islamist Rapist Republic, a US designated terrorist government, sees fit to admonish other unsavory characters for their lobbying efforts.

Apparently, what is good for the goose, is not good for the gander