Last week, many current and former American politicians, officials, and retired military officers disgraced themselves with their cheerleading for the totalitarian cult Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) at the latest Paris rally for its political umbrella group, the so-called National Council of Resistance of Iran. The Washington Times has now reproduced the speeches the MEK’s American supporters gave in a special “regime change” report, which also includes the remarks made by the cult’s leader, Maryam Rajavi. The remarks went from the merely ridiculous when John McCain told the MEK members that “your fight is our fight” to the truly delusional when Joe Lieberman toasted the cult’s leader and asserted that she has “tremendous support from people inside Iran and outside.” It should go without saying that anyone that participated in the MEK’s latest rally should never be taken seriously on any issue relating to Iran. It’s a long list with people from both parties. If this were any other organization with a similar history of terrorism and collusion with Saddam Hussein, it is unlikely any of these people would be caught dead at such a gathering, but because it seeks regime change in Iran these hawks are only too glad to lend their support.
In truth, the MEK has no support inside Iran and scarcely any among Iranians outside Iran. A 2013 survey of Iranian diaspora members found that less than a third of them support regime change, and just 15% support an organized opposition group. Of all those groups, the MEK was the most unpopular and received support from just 5%. Almost all Iranians in the world want nothing to do with this group, but among an alarmingly large and growing number of American politicians it is treated as representative of Iranian views. This is not only absurd and wrong, but potentially very dangerous, since it means that the debate over Iran policy in Washington is being badly warped by the influence of the MEK and its boosters. When you hear one of these people talk about supporting the Iranian opposition or the Iranian people, remember that it is this awful cult that they have in mind.