Release: Schaefer for AG Campaign Releases Television Advertisement: “Terrorists Not Clients”

  

New Ad Reveals Josh Hawley’s Work on Behalf of Known Terrorist Organization

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The campaign for Republican Candidate for Missouri Attorney General Schaefer for Missouri Attorney today announced the release of its third ad “Terrorists Not Clients” highlighting Professor Josh Hawley’s defense of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran.

“The unsettling revelation that Professor Hawley continually defended some of the most heinous terrorists in the world is not what Missourians are looking for in their next Attorney General,” Schaefer Campaign Manager Scott Dieckhaus said. “As the only trusted prosecutor in the race Kurt Schaefer has spent his life fighting to make Missouri safe, and will prosecute the most dangerous threats, rather than defending them.”

 

The latest ad also reiterates Hawley’s work on behalf of the terrorist known as the “American Taliban” – Abdul Maalik Muhammad. 

“The facts are disturbing – Professor Hawley stood with the People’s Mojahedin of Iran – a designated terrorist organization. Missourians deserve an Attorney General to fight for them, not for terrorists,” Dieckhaus said.


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Terrorists Not Clients” 

FULL SOURCE DOCUMENT

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Josh Hawley & the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran

In 1997, the U.S. State Department designated the “Marxist-Islamic” People’s Mojahedin Organization

of Iran [a.k.a. PMOI and Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization] as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

According to the State Department, the PMOI “killed several U.S. military personnel and civilians” in

the 1970s, in addition to bombing “several” U.S. companies and the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. PMOI

members also took part in the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

Description: Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October 8, 1997, the Mujahadin-E Khalq Organization

[MEK] is a Marxist-Islamic Organization that seeks the overthrow of the Iranian regime through its military wing, the

National Liberation Army [NLA], and its political front, the National Council of Resistance of Iran [NCRI].

The MEK was founded in 1963 by a group of college-educated Iranian Marxists who opposed the country’s pro-western

ruler, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The group participated in the 1979 Islamic Revolution that replaced the Shah with a

Shiite Islamist regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini. However, the MEK’s ideology – a blend of Marxism, feminism, and

Islamism – was at odds with the post-revolutionary government, and its original leadership was soon executed by the

Khomeini regime. In 1981, the group was driven from its bases on the Iran-Iraq border and resettled in Paris, where it

began supporting Iraq in its eight-year war against Khomeini’s Iran. In 1986, after France recognized the Iranian regime,

the MEK moved its headquarters to Iraq, which facilitated its terrorist activities in Iran. From 2003 through the end of

2011, roughly 3,400 MEK members were encamped at Ashraf in Iraq.

Activities: The group’s worldwide campaign against the Iranian government uses propaganda and terrorism to achieve its

objectives. During the 1970s, the MEK staged terrorist attacks inside Iran and killed several U.S. military personnel and

civilians working on defense projects in Tehran. In 1972, the MEK set off bombs in Tehran at the U.S. Information

Service office [part of the U.S. Embassy], the Iran-American Society, and the offices of several U.S. companies to protest

the visit of President Nixon to Iran. In 1973, the MEK assassinated the deputy chief of the U.S. Military Mission in

Tehran and bombed several businesses, including Shell Oil. In 1974, the MEK set off bombs in Tehran at the offices of

U.S. companies to protest the visit of then U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger. In 1975, the MEK assassinated two U.S.

military officers who were members of the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group in Tehran. In 1976, the MEK

assassinated two U.S. citizens who were employees of Rockwell International in Tehran. In 1979, the group claimed

responsibility for the murder of an American Texaco executive. Although denied by the MEK, analysis based on

eyewitness accounts and MEK documents demonstrates that MEK members participated in and supported the 1979

takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and that the MEK later argued against the early release of the American hostages.

The MEK also provided personnel to guard and defend the site of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, following the takeover of

the Embassy. (U.S. State Department, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 – Chapter 6, Published July 31, 2012)

From 1986-2003, the PMOI, which has long advocated for overthrowing the Iranian regime, depended on

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein for military aid and financial support. In turn, the PMOI reportedly

aided the Iraqi Republican Guard in its “bloody crackdown” on anti-Hussein Shia and Kurds.

In 1981, MEK leadership attempted to overthrow the newly installed Islamic regime; Iranian security forces subsequently

initiated a crackdown on the group. The MEK instigated a bombing campaign, including an attack against the head office

of the Islamic Republic Party and the Prime Minister’s office, which killed some 70 high-ranking Iranian officials,

including Chief Justice Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, President Mohammad-Ali Rajaei, and Prime Minister

Mohammad-Javad Bahonar. These attacks resulted in an expanded Iranian government crackdown that forced MEK

leaders to flee to France. For five years, the MEK continued to wage its terrorist campaign from its Paris headquarters.

Expelled by France in 1986, MEK leaders turned to Saddam Hussein’s regime for basing, financial support, and training.

Near the end of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, Baghdad armed the MEK with heavy military equipment and deployed

thousands of MEK fighters in suicidal, waves of attacks against Iranian forces.

The MEK’s relationship with the former Iraqi regime continued through the 1990s. In 1991, the group reportedly assisted

the Iraqi Republican Guard’s bloody crackdown on Iraqi Shia and Kurds who rose up against Saddam Hussein’s

regime. . . . Following an initial Coalition bombardment of the MEK’s facilities in Iraq at the outset of Operation Iraqi

Freedom, MEK leadership negotiated a cease-fire with Coalition Forces and surrendered their heavy-arms to Coalition

control. From 2003 through the end of 2011, roughly 3,400 MEK members were encamped at Ashraf in Iraq.

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In 2003, French authorities arrested 160 MEK members at operational bases they believed the MEK was using to

coordinate financing and planning for terrorist attacks. Upon the arrest of MEK leader Maryam Rajavi, MEK members

took to Paris’ streets and engaged in self-immolation. French authorities eventually released Rajavi.

Strength: Estimates place MEK’s worldwide membership at between 5,000 and 10,000 members, with large pockets in

Paris and other major European capitals. . . .

External Aid: Before Operation Iraqi Freedom began in 2003, the MEK received all of its military assistance and most of

its financial support from Saddam Hussein. The fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime has led the MEK increasingly to rely on

front organizations to solicit contributions from expatriate Iranian communities. (U.S. State Department, Country Reports on Terrorism

2011 – Chapter 6, Published July 31, 2012)

In 2003, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell froze the assets and closed the U.S. offices of a PMOI

affiliate based on information that the affiliate backed the group’s acts of terrorism. Secretary of State

Colin Powell ordered the closure of two offices in the United States connected to an Iranian opposition group,

the State Department announced. He also ordered their assets frozen. The Washington-based representative of

the group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, accused the Bush administration on Friday of giving in to

demands of the Iranian government, part of President George W. Bush’s “axis of evil.” Treasury Department

spokesman Taylor Griffin said that nearly $100,000 in financial assets belonging to the group was found in the

United States and was frozen. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control carried out Powell’s blocking order.

The State Department has considered the Mujahedeen Khalq a terrorist organization since the Clinton

administration. The U.S. government says the group, known as the MEK and People’s Mujahedeen, is the same

as National Council of Resistance, although some resistance officials say they are only close affiliates. It has

been allowed to operate in the United States, where it often holds press conferences near the White House to

accuse Iran of making weapons of mass destruction and supporting terrorists. State Department spokesman Tom

Casey said Powell’s action was “based on information from a variety of sources that these entities functioned as

part of the MEK and have supported MEK’s acts of terrorism.” But Alireza Jafarzadeh, the National Council of

Resistance’s U.S.-based representative, suggested the opposition was a pawn in negotiations with Iran. The U.S.

government wants access to senior al-Qaida operatives who may be under house arrest in Iran, and it is seeking

U.N. access to suspected Iranian nuclear sites. . . . Treasury on Friday also ordered U.S. banks to block any

assets found in the United States under the name of the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, but it was not immediately

known whether any assets under than name were found and frozen. Rep. Bob Ney, a Republican, praised the

Bush administration for calling “the MEK for what they are – terrorists – and there is no such thing as a good

terrorist.” (The Associated Press, August 15, 2003)

In 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reaffirmed the PMOI’s designation as a terrorist group.

The U.S. State Department has reaffirmed its designation of an Iraq-based Iranian opposition group as a terrorist

organization. The presence in Iraq of the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran has long been a source of

friction between Washington and Baghdad, which is under pressure from neighboring Iran to deport the group.

The People’s Mujahedeen had filed a petition for revocation of its designation as a terrorist organization. But

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wrote in a notice published Monday in the Federal Register that after

reviewing the case she determined that the designation is still valid and appropriate. (The Associated Press, January 12, 2009)

The New York Times’ Elizabeth Rubin argued the U.S. should ignore the PMOI’s long-running public

relations and legal campaign to get delisted as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. She called the PMOI a

“totalitarian cult,” deemed the group “irrelevant to the cause of Iran’s democratic activists,” and noted

that such activists compared the group to Pol Pot’s genocidal Khmer Rouge. A few weeks ago I received

an e-mail from an acquaintance with the subject line: Have you seen the video everyone is talking about? I

clicked play, and there was Howard Dean, on March 19 in Berlin, at his most impassioned, extolling the virtues

of a woman named Maryam Rajavi and insisting that America should recognize her as the president of Iran. Ms.

Rajavi and her husband, Massoud, are the leaders of a militant Iranian opposition group called the Mujahedeen

Khalq, or Warriors of God. The group’s forces have been based for the last 25 years in Iraq, where I visited

them shortly after the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003. Mr. Dean’s speech stunned me. But then came

Rudolph W. Giuliani saying virtually the same thing. At a conference in Paris last December, an emotional Mr.

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Giuliani told Ms. Rajavi, ‘‘These are the most important yearnings of the human soul that you support, and for

your organization to be described as a terrorist organization is just simply a disgrace.’’ I thought I was watching

The Onion News Network. Did Mr. Giuliani know whom he was talking about? Evidently not. In fact, an

unlikely chorus of the group’s backers – some of whom have received speaking fees, others of whom are

inspired by their conviction that the Iranian government must fall at any cost – have gathered around

Mujahedeen Khalq at conferences in capitals across the globe. . . . Indeed, the Rajavis and Mujahedeen Khalq

are spending millions in an attempt to persuade the Obama administration, and in particular Secretary of State

Hillary Rodham Clinton, to take them off the national list of terrorist groups, where the group was listed in 1997.

Delisting the group would enable it to lobby Congress for support in the same way that the Iraq Liberation Act

of 1998 allowed the Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi to do. Mrs. Clinton should ignore their P.R. campaign.

Mujahedeen Khalq is not only irrelevant to the cause of Iran’s democratic activists, but a totalitarian cult that

will come back to haunt us. . . . At Camp Ashraf, 40 miles north of Baghdad, near the Iranian border, 3,400

members of the militant group reside in total isolation on a 14-square-mile tract of harsh desert land. Access to

the Internet, phones and information about the outside world is prohibited. Posters of Ms. Rajavi and her

smiling green eyes abound. Meanwhile, she lives in luxury in France; her husband has remained in hiding since

the United States occupied Iraq in 2003. . . . By using the Mujahedeen Khalq to provoke Tehran, we will end up

damaging our integrity and reputation, and weaken the legitimate democracy movement within Iran. As a senior

State Department official told me, ‘‘They are the best financed and organized, but they are so despised inside

Iran that they have no traction.’’ Iranian democracy activists say the group, if it had had the chance, could have

become the Khmer Rouge of Iran. ‘‘They are considered traitors and killers of Iranian kids,’’ said the official,

who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Mujahedeen Khalq’s status on the terrorist list is under

review. ‘‘They are so unpopular that we think any gesture of support to them would disqualify and discredit us

as being interested in democratic reform.’’ (Elizabeth Rubin, The New York Times, August 14, 2011)

Details of the PMOI’s cult-like activities: [I] met and spoke to men and women who had escaped from the

group’s clutches. Many had to be deprogrammed. They recounted how people were locked up if they disagreed

with the leadership or tried to escape; some were even killed. Friendships and all emotional relationships are

forbidden. From the time they are toddlers, boys and girls are not allowed to speak to each other. Each day at

Camp Ashraf you had to report your dreams and thoughts. If a man was turned on by the scent of a woman or a

whiff of perfume, he had to confess. Members had to attend weekly ideological cleansings in which they

publicly confessed their sexual desires. Members were even forced to divorce and take a vow of lifelong

celibacy to ensure that all their energy and love would be directed toward Maryam and Massoud. (Elizabeth Rubin, The

New York Times, August 14, 2011)

Rubin also highlighted the PMOI’s role in Saddam Hussein’s attempted genocide of the Kurds and the

group’s ill-conceived attack on Iran, which resulted in the slaughter of thousands of its followers. During

the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the group served as Mr. Hussein’s own private militia opposing the theocratic

government in Tehran. For two decades, he gave the group money, weapons, jeeps and military bases along the

border with Iran. In return, the Rajavis pledged their fealty. In 1991, when Mr. Hussein crushed a Shiite

uprising in the south and attempted to carry out a genocide against the Kurds in the north, the Rajavis and their

army joined his forces in mowing down fleeing Kurds. Ms. Rajavi told her disciples, ‘‘Take the Kurds under

your tanks, and save your bullets for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.’’ Many followers escaped in disgust. So

the Rajavis then began preying on Iranian refugees and asylum seekers in Europe to fill their ranks. The Rajavis

promise them salaries, marriage, family, freedom and a great cause – fighting the Iranian government. Then the

unwitting youths arrive in Iraq. What is most disturbing is how the group treats its members. After the Iran-Iraq

war, Mr. Rajavi orchestrated an ill-planned offensive, deploying thousands of young men and women into Iran

on a mass martyrdom operation. Instead of capturing Iran, as they believed they would, thousands of them were

slaughtered, including parents, husbands and wives of those I met in Iraq in 2003. (Elizabeth Rubin, The New York Times,

August 14, 2011)

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In January 2010, Josh Hawley was 1 of 6 lawyers who represented the PMOI in its long-running quest to

have the U.S. State Department, which was then led by Hillary Clinton, delist it as a Foreign Terrorist

Organization.

PEOPLE’S MOJAHEDIN ORGANIZATION OF IRAN, PETITIONER v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE

AND HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, IN HER CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF STATE, RESPONDENTS

No. 09-1059

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT

613 F.3d 220; 392 U.S. App. D.C. 55; 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 14647

January 12, 2010, Argued

July 16, 2010, Decided

SUBSEQUENT HISTORY: Later proceeding at In re People’s Mojahedin Org. of Iran, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 7173 (D.C.

Cir., Apr. 10, 2012)

PRIOR HISTORY: On Petition for Review of an Order of the Department of State.

Nat’l Council of Resistance of Iran v. Dep’t of State, 373 F.3d 152, 362 U.S. App. D.C. 143, 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS

14187 (2004)

CASE SUMMARY

PROCEDURAL POSTURE: Respondent United States Secretary of State issued an order designating petitioner, a

Muslim organization and its aliases, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. When the Secretary denied petitioner’s request

for revocation of the FTO designation, petitioner sought review.

OVERVIEW: After reviewing an administrative record with both classified and unclassified information, the Secretary

denied the petition. Ordinarily, the court would have had to decide whether to set aside the denial based on the adequacy

of the record. However, a review was not sufficient to supply otherwise absent due process protection of notice to the

organization and an opportunity for a meaningful hearing, which did not happen here. Petitioner was notified of the

decision and permitted access to the unclassified portion of the record only after the decision was final. Even though

petitioner was given the opportunity to include in the record its own evidence supporting delisting, it had no opportunity

to rebut the unclassified portion of the record the Secretary was compiling. Despite the Secretary’s claims, there was no

basis for relaxing due process requirements and the failure to provide required notice and unclassified material in advance

of the decision was not harmless. The court left the designation in place but remanded with instructions to provide

petitioner the opportunity to review and rebut the unclassified portions of the record on which the Secretary relied.

OUTCOME: The court remanded with instructions to allow petitioner the opportunity to rebut the unclassified portions of

the record. . . .

COUNSEL: Andrew L. Frey argued the cause for the petitioner. Miriam R. Nemetz , Melanie W. Rughani , Steven M.

Schneebaum , E. Barrett Prettyman Jr. and Joshua D. Hawley were on brief. . . .

Douglas Letter , Attorney, United States Department of Justice, argued the cause for the respondents. Ileana M. Ciobanu ,

Attorney, was on brief.

JUDGES: Before: HENDERSON and TATEL , Circuit Judges, and WILLIAMS , Senior Circuit Judge. Concurring

opinion filed by Circuit Judge HENDERSON.

In July, Hawley and the PMOI prevailed when an appellate court ruled the Clinton-led State Department

had to re-evaluate the group’s designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. A federal appeals court has

ruled that the State Department must re-evaluate its terrorist designation of the People’s Mojahedin

Organization of Iran, the main resistance organization of the Islamic republic. A 3-judge panel of the U.S. Court

of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled unanimously Friday that the State Department did not give the PMOI due

process and that the U.S. must give the organization a chance to rebut accusations against it. . . . [The] State

Department said that it would “study [the court’s opinion] carefully,” but that “the U.S. government still views

the [PMOI] as a terrorist organization.” According to the State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism

2008, the PMOI “advocates the violent overthrow of the Iranian government.” The report also listed several

reported terrorist and “cultlike” activities. “The decision in 2009 … was based on the belief that the [PMOI] had

not demonstrated that enough had changed to remove them from the terrorist list,” said Rhonda Shore, publicaffairs

officer for the State Department Office of the Coordinator of Counterterrorism, citing former Secretary

of State Condoleezza Rice’s decision. (The Washington Times, July 20, 2010)

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In 2012, the Clinton-led State Department succumbed to the PMOI’s multi-faceted public relations and

legal campaign – to which Hawley was a party – and delisted the group as a Foreign Terrorist

Organization. However, the State Department noted the group’s “past acts of terrorism” – namely its role

in the killing of U.S. citizens in the 1970s and an attack on U.S. soil in 1992. The Secretary of State has

decided, consistent with the law, to revoke the designation of the Mujahedin-e Khalq and its aliases as a Foreign

Terrorist Organization under the Immigration and Nationality Act and to delist the MEK as a Specially

Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224. These actions are effective today. . . . With today’s

actions, the Department does not overlook or forget the MEK’s past acts of terrorism, including its involvement

in the killing of U.S. citizens in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on U.S. soil in 1992. The Department also has

serious concerns about the MEK as an organization, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed

against its own members. (U.S. Department of State, Press Release, September 28, 2012)

NOTE: It appears the 1992 attack on U.S. soil referenced by the State Department involved an attack on

Iran’s mission to the U.N. in New York City. In April 1992, the MEK conducted near-simultaneous attacks

on Iranian embassies and consular missions in 13 countries, including against the Iranian mission to the United

Nations in New York, demonstrating the group’s ability to mount large-scale operations overseas. (U.S. State

Department, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 – Chapter 6, Published July 31, 2012)

The Guardian detailed the PMOI’s multi-faceted, multi-millionaire dollar campaign that led to its

delistment. To the US government, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran [MEK] was a terrorist group

alongside al-Qaida, Hamas and the Farc in Colombia. The MEK landed on the list in 1997 with American blood

on its hands and by allying itself with Saddam Hussein along with a long list of bombings inside Iran. But the

organisation is regarded very differently by a large number of members of Congress, former White House

officials and army generals, and even one of the US’s most renowned reporters, Carl Bernstein. They see the

MEK as a victim of US double dealings with the regime in Tehran and a legitimate alternative to the Iran’s

Islamic government. That difference is in no small part the result of a formidable fundraising operation and

campaign to transform the MEK’s image led by more than 20 Iranian American organisations across the US.

These groups and their leaders have spent millions of dollars on donations to members of Congress, paying

Washington lobby groups and hiring influential politicians and officials, including two former CIA directors, as

speakers. In a highly sensitive political game, MEK supporters have succeeded in pressing the state department

into removing the group from the list of terrorist organisations after winning a court order requiring a decision

to be made on the issue before the end of this month. But its supporters were forced to tread a careful path so as

not to cross anti-terrorism laws. Only a few years ago, the US authorities were arresting pro-MEK activists and

freezing the assets of front groups for “material support for a terrorist organisation”. Now members of Congress

openly praise the group in apparent contradiction of the anti-terrorism legislation many of them supported.

Nearly 100 members of the House of Representatives backed a resolution calling on the US government to drop

the MEK from the terrorist list. At the forefront of the campaign are several Iranian American organisations

across the US. They are:

· The Iranian American Society of Texas. It paid more than $110,000 in fees last year to a Washington lobby firm,

DiGenova & Toensing, to campaign for the lifting of the ban on the MEK and the protection of its supporters still in

camps in Iraq. The Texas group’s president, Ali Soudjani, has personally donated close to $100,000 to members of

Congress and their political campaigns over the past five years because, he told the Guardian, of their positions on the

MEK and Iran. . . .

· Colorado’s Iranian American Community. One of its leaders, Saeid Ghaemi, paid close to $900,000 of his own money to

a Washington lobby firm, DLA Piper, for its work to get the MEK unbanned, the protection of its members in Iraq and

human rights issues. Ghaemi’s brother, Mehdi, who is president of the Colorado group, paid $14,000 to fly a member of

Congress, Bob Filner, to meet MEK leaders in Paris and attend the group’s rallies. In the weeks before Filner spoke at an

event in support of delisting the MEK last year he was the recipient of several thousand dollars in donations from Iranian

Americans living outside his district.

· The Iranian American Community of Northern California. It paid $400,000 over the past year to a Washington lobby

group, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, to work on Capitol Hill to work for the removal of the MEK from the list of

foreign terrorist organisations. The company assigned several former members of Congress to the account. The IACNC

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has also organised events in support of unbanning the MEK with appearances by Ros-Lehtinen and other prominent

members of Congress as well as former White House officials. . . .

· The Iranian Society of South Florida. The group came to the notice of US authorities eight years ago as one of the

sponsors of a fundraiser in Washington ostensibly to help victims of the Bam earthquake which killed 30,000 people. The

FBI concluded it was a front for raising funds for the MEK. The ISSF’s president and vice-president, Bahman Badiee and

Akbar Nikooie, have for years made regular donations to Ros-Lehtinen. The Florida congresswoman boasts on her

website of receiving an award from the ISSF. Nikooie also spent at least $130,000 in 2009 to pay a lobby firm, DLA Piper,

to promote “human rights” in Iran, including pressing for the unbanning of the MEK in the US. . . .

· The California Society for Democracy in Iran. Its founder and president is Nasser Sharif who has called for the US

government to “engage the Iranian people and their organized resistance”. Sharif is listed as donating thousands of dollars

to [Reps.] Rohrabacher and Filner. Sharif called the MEK’s banning an “injustice” in an article in the Orange Country

Register in which he quotes Rohrabacher in support of his cause. He has organised events at which the speakers include

Ros-Lehtinen, Rohrabacher, Filner and Poe.

Several of the groups also poured money into persuading leading politicians and former administration officials

to speak on behalf of unbanning the MEK. Among those who have addressed meetings arranged by the Iranian

American Community of Northern California are the former Democratic presidential candidate, Howard Dean;

the former FBI director, Louis Freeh; the ex-attorney general, Michael Mukasey; and Tom Ridge, the former

homeland security secretary. They have been joined by members of Congress including Ros-Lehtinen, Poe and

Jackson Lee. Sharif’s California Society for Democracy in Iran has organised meetings at which John Bolton,

the former US ambassador to the UN; Andrew Card, President George W Bush’s chief of staff; Mukasey, Ros-

Lehtinen, Rohrabacher and other members of Congress have spoken. Several prominent former officials have

acknowledged being paid significant amounts of money to speak about the MEK. The former Pennsylvania

governor, Ed Rendell, has accepted more than $150,000 in speaking fees at events in support of unbanning the

MEK. Among others who have spoken in support of delisting the group are two former CIA directors, James

Woolsey and Porter Goss. Some speakers have been flown to Paris and Brussels. The US authorities have at

times scrutinised efforts in support of unbanning the group, including launching investigations in to whether

they breached laws against financial dealings with banned organisations or legislation barring material support

for terrorism. (The Guardian, September 22, 2012)