- President Barack Obama
- Sen. John Cornyn
- Rep. Mike McCaul & Lloyd Doggett
- Secretary Janet A. Napolitano
- Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.
- Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton
I am deeply concerned by the unprecedented and possibly illegal campaign of political pressure and intimidation being carried out by a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), because our terrorist laws do not seem to be implemented and because this organization is a threat to the peaceful pro-democracy movement in Iran.
The MEK is a violent extremist cult–as documented by the State Department, FBI, Human Rights Watch, RAND Corporation, and others. MEK has murdered American and Iranian civilians, called for the execution of U.S. hostages in Iran in 1980, and fought under Saddam Hussein until he was deposed in 2003. The MEK even celebrated the September 11th attacks, with their leader Masoud Rajavi telling his followers on September 12, 2001, “if (Al Qaeda) could do such a sophisticated military operation we must be able to do so in a much better manner…wait and see the fruits of our revolutionary Islam!”
Yet despite its extremist ideology, its history of violent anti-Americanism, and its terrorist designation, the MEK has been given a free hand to organize conferences in Washington, lobby U.S. officials, and pay former U.S. officials to advocate on behalf of removing the MEK from the FTO list.
The State Department is currently reviewing the FTO status of the MEK and its decision is expected imminently. The MEK and its affiliates and supporters are working feverishly to exercise maximum political pressure and intimidation to influence this decision. The politicization of the State Department decision as a result of this potentially illegal MEK campaign would be disastrous.
It is illegal to coordinate, provide material support, or receive funds from Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Yet top former U.S. officials have acknowledged receiving cash to appear alongside MEK leader Maryam Rajavi and to call for MEK to be taken off the terrorist list. Some have even called for Rajavi to be recognized as Iran’s president. Why is this activity allowed to continue?
It is unfathomable that a terrorist organization would be allowed to game our political system to manufacture policies in their favor. The U.S. Government is supposed to be protecting the American people from terrorism, not turning a blind eye to it. The U.S. must enforce the laws on the books.
What is Congress doing to protect us from the MEK? What is the FBI doing to enforce the laws that are supposed to protect us from terrorist organizations? How is the State Department ensuring the decision on the MEK’s FTO designation is not manipulated by political pressure and intimidation?
If not, will we soon see Al Qaida lobby freely in Washington as well?
The sources of funding MEK activities must be investigated, any activities being coordinated with MEK must be shut down, and officials must stop taking cash from the organization and its affiliates to advocate on behalf of MEK.
The MEK has curried favor in Washington by misrepresenting itself as the “main opposition in Iran” and claiming to speak on behalf of the Iranian people and the Iranian-American community, despite being reviled by Iranians and Iranian Americans. Iran’s indigenous democratic opposition, the Green Movement, have warned that the Iranian regime seeks to discredit the peaceful opposition by “reviving” the MEK. Delisting the MEK would severely undermine Iran’s peaceful opposition movement, destroy U.S. credibility among the Iranian people, and unleash a major force for war.
The MEK does not speak for me. It does not speak for the Iranian-American community, the Iranian people, or Iran’s indigenous democratic opposition. I call on you to ensure that U.S. laws regarding terrorism are enforced and the MEK’s political pressure and intimidation campaign is halted so that the State Department decision is based on facts. I look forward to your response.