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The Trump Administration’s MEK Fan Club

Nahal Toosi reports on the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) fans with ties to the Trump administration:

Two close confidants of President Donald Trump are scheduled to speak Saturday before a controversial Iranian opposition group previously designated as a terrorist outfit, raising fresh questions about the group’s Washington influence as Trump pursues a pressure campaign against Tehran.

Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and informal adviser Newt Gingrich are listed as headliners for Saturday’s “Free Iran” conference in Paris, organized by the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and its affiliates.

The MEK is a deranged totalitarian cult with no support inside Iran and a record of killing Americans and committing acts of terrorism. It is an ongoing disgrace that American politicians and officials lend this group support and help them to push their dangerous regime change fantasies. It might be tempting to dismiss the MEK’s fans as disreputable opportunists out to make a quick buck (and there is some truth to that), but the problem is that their public embrace of this group has aided the MEK in selling itself as a legitimate opposition group. National Security Advisor John Bolton has been a regular attendee at these events for many years, and while he apparently won’t be attending this year there is no question that he is still on board with the MEK’s goal of regime change.

Far too many people with close ties to the president have been and continue to be vocal shills for an awful organization that is widely loathed in Iran for siding with Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war. Pro-MEK boosterism in Washington has been a problem for years, but now that the group has the ear of some of the president’s confidants and advisers it makes it even worse. The fact that some of the president’s top advisers and allies back the MEK just confirms that this administration has nothing but contempt for the Iranian people and proves that its Iran policy is horribly misinformed.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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