MEK Terrorists do not represent Iranian-Americans

 
 

What is the Background?
The Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) has been designated by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) ever since the FTO list was established in 1997 and previously was designated in the Patterns on Global Terrorism report. 
  • According to the State Department, the MEK is a Marxist-Islamic Organization responsible for terrorist attacks that have killed Americans and Iranians.  
  • As recently as 2009, the State Department affirmed, “MEK leadership and members across the world maintain the capacity and will to commit terrorist acts in Europe, the Middle East, the United States, Canada and beyond.”
  • RAND and Human Rights Watch have reported that the MEK is a cult that commits human rights abuses against its own members, including forced separation of families, torture, and indoctrination rituals. 
What is the Problem?
A decision is imminent regarding whether the MEK will stay on the terrorist list or if it will be permitted to receive U.S. Government funding and support.  The State Department has been ordered to review the MEK’s terrorist designation as result of a legal appeal by the MEK and a decision is expected in August 2011.
The MEK has spent millions of dollars on lobbyists, PR agents and communications firms to orchestrate an unprecedented political campaign to pressure its way off the terrorist list.  High profile former U.S. officials have received payment to advocate publicly for the MEK, and Members of Congress have introduced resolutions calling for MEK to be removed from the FTO list. 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to issue a decision on whether the MEK will continue to listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in August 2011. 
MEK Factsheet2you
The Iranian-American community must not stay silent
  • The MEK does not represent the Iranian-American community or the pro-democracy movement in Iran.
  • We do not support the use of violence and war to replace Iran’s undemocratic regime that abuses human rights with the MEK’s undemocratic cult that tortures its own members.
  • Our community’s view must be absolutely clear: we support the aspirations of the Iranian people for human rights and democracy, not the aspirations of Maryam Rajavi and the MEK.
  • We call on the FBI and law enforcement to enforce the law and investigate MEK activities, including paying U.S. officials to speak at MEK conferences,  
  • We call on the State Department to not bend to political pressure orchestrated by the MEK to have itself removed from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list.
Help us set the record straight.  To take action visit: www.MEKterror.com


MEK Factsheet
The Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) seeks to be removed from the U.S. list of Foreign Terrorist 
Organizations, which would enable the group to raise money in the U.S. and even receive 
direct U.S. government funding and support.  
• The State Department reports the MEK is a terrorist group that has murdered innocent 
Americans and maintains “the will and capacity” to commit terrorist attacks within the 
U.S. and beyond. 
1
  
• The MEK claims to have renounced terrorism in 2001, but a 2004 FBI report states “the 
MEK is currently actively involved in planning and executing acts of terrorism.”
 2
   
• RAND and Human Rights Watch have reported that the MEK is a cult that abuses its 
own members. 
3 4
• MEK has no popular support in Iran and has been denounced by the Green Movement, 
Iran’s peaceful democratic opposition movement.
5
Delisting MEK: Disastrous Repercussions
The MEK is opposed by the Iranian people due to its history of terrorist attacks against 
civilians in Iran and its close alliance with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war. 
1. The greatest beneficiaries of delisting MEK would be Ahmadinejad and Iranian hardliners who 
seek to link the U.S. and the Green Movement to MEK.    
2. U.S. support for MEK would be used as a propaganda tool by hardliners to delegitimize and destroy 
Iran’s true democracy movement. 
3. American credibility among the Iranian people would be ruined if the U.S. supported this group.
Iran’s Opposition Green Movement Rejects the MEK
o The leaders of the Green Movement, Iran’s true popular opposition movement, have denounced the 
MEK and warned that the Iranian government seeks to discredit Iran’s opposition by associating it 
with the MEK:   
• “The Iranian Government is trying to connect those who truly love their country (the 
Greens) with the MEK to revive this hypocritical dead organization.” – Mehdi Karroubi, 
Green Movement leader.
 6
                                                          
1
 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2006, available at: http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2006/82738.htm   
2
 Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) Criminal Investigation, November 29, 2004, available at: 
http://www.niacouncil.org/site/DocServer/FBI_Report.pdf?docID=921  
3
 RAND Corporation, The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq: A Policy Conundrum, available at: 
http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2009/RAND_MG871.pdf
4
 Human Rights Watch, No Exit: Human Rights Abuses Inside the Mojahedin Khalq Camps, May 18, 2005, available at: 
http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/45d085002.html
5
 Mohsen Kadivar and Ahmad Sadri, Salon.com, “Hillary Clinton’s Crucial Choice on Iran,” March 26, 2011, available at: 
http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/03/26/iran_green_movement/index.html 
6
 Tony Karon, Time, “Why Are Some U.S. Politicians Trying to Remove an Iranian 'Cult' From the Terror List?” March 4, 2011, available 
at:  http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2011/03/04/why-are-some-u-s-politicians-trying-to-remove-an-iranian-cult-from-the-terror-list/.   
Original quote in Farsi available at: http://www.peykeiran.com/Content.aspx?ID=11802  www.mekterror.com
• “The MEK can't be part of the Green Movement. This bankrupt political group is now 
making some laughable claims, but the Green Movement and the MEK have a wall 
between them and all of us, including myself, Mr. Mousavi, Mr. Khatami, and Mr. 
Karroubi.” – Zahra Rahnavard, Women’s rights activist and wife of Green Movement 
leader Mir Hossein Mousavi
7
Iraqi National Congress Redux?
o The MEK claims it is “the main opposition in Iran,” yet similar to Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National 
Congress that helped bring the United States into war with Iraq, the MEK is an exiled organization 
that has no popular support within Iran. 
8
o RAND reports that the MEK are “skilled manipulators of public opinion.” The MEK has a global 
support network with active lobbying and propaganda efforts in major Western capitals. 
9
o Members of Congress have been deceived and misinformed into supporting this terrorist  
organization:   
• In 2002, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen led efforts for the U.S. to support the group, prompting 
then-Chairman and the Ranking Member of the House International Affairs Committee, 
Henry Hyde and Tom Lantos, to send a Dear Colleague warning against supporting the 
MEK.  They cautioned that many Members had been “embarrassed when confronted with 
accurate information about the MEK.” 
10
   
• In the current Congress, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) have each 
introduced resolutions calling for MEK to be removed from the Foreign Terrorist 
Organization list.   
A Capacity and Will to Commit Terrorist Acts in the U.S. & Beyond
o The Bush administration determined in 2007 that “MEK leadership and members across the world 
maintain the capacity and will to commit terrorist acts in Europe, the Middle East, the United 
States, Canada, and beyond.”
 11
o The Canadian and Australian governments have also designated the MEK as a terrorist 
organization. The Canadian government just reaffirmed its designation in December.
 12 13
o An EU court removed the MEK from its list of terrorist organizations, but only due to procedural 
reasons.  According to a spokesperson for the Council of the European Union, the EU court "did not 
enter into the question of defining or not the PMOI [MEK] as a terrorist organization." 
14
                                                          
7
 Patrick Disney, Foreign Policy Magazine: Middle East Channel, “Congressional backers look to exiled Iranian group for regime change,” 
September 22, 2010,
http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/09/22/congressional_backers_look_to_exiled_iranian_group_for_regime_change  
8
 Jason Rezaian, Foreign Policy Magazine: Middle East Channel, “Washington's dangerous (and deluded) support for the MEK,” March 1, 
2011, available at: http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/02/24/washingtons_dangerous_and_deluded_support_for_the_mek
9
 RAND Corporation, The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq: A Policy Conundrum, Pages 39-40, available at: 
http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2009/RAND_MG871.pdf  
10
 Sam Dealey, The Hill, “Rep. Ros-Lehtinen defends Iranian group labeled terrorist front for Saddam Hussein,” April 8, 2003, available at: 
http://replay.web.archive.org/20040619065636/http://www.thehill.com/news/040803/roslehtinen.aspx  
11
 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2006, available at: http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2006/82738.htm   
12
 Canadian Department of Public Safety, “Currently Listed Entities,” December 22, 2010, available at: 
http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/ns/le/cle-eng.aspx#MEK  
13
 Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. http://www.dfat.gov.au/globalissues/terrorism.html. See Australia’s sanctioned 
terrorist list at http://www.dfat.gov.au/icat/regulation8_consolidated.xls  www.mekterror.com
Saddam Hussein’s Terrorist Militia 
o The MEK received all of its military assistance and most of its financial support from Saddam 
Hussein, including funds illegally siphoned from the UN Oil-for-Food Program, until 2003. 
15
  
o The MEK helped execute Saddam’s bloody crackdown on Iraqi Shia and Kurds. Maryam Rajavi, 
the MEK’s permanent leader, instructed her followers to “take the Kurds under your tanks.” 
16
A Cult That Abuses Its Own Members
o Human Rights Watch reports that MEK commits extensive human rights abuses against its own 
members at Camp Ashraf, including “torture that in two cases led to death.” 
17
o A RAND report commissioned by DOD found that the MEK is a cult that utilizes practices such as 
mandatory divorce, celibacy, authoritarian control, forced labor, sleep deprivation, physical abuse, 
confiscation of assets, emotional isolation, and the imprisonment of dissident members. 
18
o RAND concluded that up to 70% of the MEK members at their Camp Ashraf headquarters were 
likely recruited through deception and are kept there against their will. 
19
o The FBI reports that the MEK’s “NLA [National Liberation Army] fighters are separated from their 
children who are sent to Europe and brought up by the MEK’s Support Network. […] These 
children are then returned to the NLA to be used as fighters upon coming of age.  Interviews also 
revealed that some of these children were told that their parents would be harmed if the children did 
not cooperate with the MEK. ”
20
   
A History of Anti-Americanism
o One of the founding ideologies of the MEK is anti-Americanism—the MEK is responsible for 
murdering American businessmen, military personnel, and even a senior American diplomat. 
21
o The MEK strongly supported the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, vigorously 
opposed their eventual release, and chastised the government for not executing the hostages. 
22
The MEK was Not “Added” to the FTO List as a Goodwill Gesture to Iran
o The MEK has been a designated terrorist group since the State Department established the FTO list 
October 8, 1997.
 23
 MEK was also listed in the Patterns on Global Terrorism report prior to 1997. 
24
  
                                                                                                                                                                                                        
14
 CNN, “Iran condemns EU for delisting terror group,” January 27, 2009, available at: 
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/27/iran.eu.terror.group/  
15
 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2009, available at: http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2009/140900.htm  
16
 Elizabeth Rubin, New York Times Magazine, “The Cult of Rajavi,” July 13, 2003, available at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/13/magazine/the-cult-of-rajavi.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm   
17
 Human Rights Watch, No Exit: Human Rights Abuses Inside the Mojahedin Khalq Camps, May 18, 2005, available at: 
http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/45d085002.html  
18
 RAND Corporation, The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq: A Policy Conundrum, Page 3, available at: 
http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2009/RAND_MG871.pdf
19
 RAND Corporation, The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq: A Policy Conundrum, Page 74, available at: 
http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2009/RAND_MG871.pdf
20
 Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) Criminal Investigation, November 29, 2004, available at: 
http://www.niacouncil.org/site/DocServer/FBI_Report.pdf?docID=921
21
 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2009, available at: http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2009/140900.htm
22
 Letter from the Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs to Congressman Lee Hamilton, Congressional Record Page E2263 in the 
103rd Congress, available at http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/1993_cr/h930929-terror-pmoi.htm    
23
 U.S. Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 1997, available at: 
http://www.state.gov/www/global/terrorism/1997Report/backg.html  
24
 U.S. Department of State, Patterns on Global Terrorism. See, for instance, the 1994 report, available at 
http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/terror_94/append.html  

 
 

There are two FBI reports on MEK that were publlished in 2002 and 2004.

A 2004 FBI report on the Mujahaddin-e-Khalq (MEK) was revealed in June 2011 which states that the MEK “is actively involved in planning and executing acts of terrorism,” despite the organization’s alleged renunciation of terror in 2001. 

The document states that the MEK “routinely lobbies unwitting members of Congress under the pretext of human rights issues in Iran,” and that MEK members have endured “years of ideological training and for lack of better word ‘brain washing’.” 

The report also discusses cult practices by the organization, including the separation of families, stating that the children of MEK fighters are sent to Europe where they are “further indoctrinated into the organization” and “used for various social benefit fraud” to raise funds before being returned “to be used as fighters upon coming of age.”


Some of the highlights (all direct quotes):
  • “Los Angeles investigation has determined that the MEK is currently actively involved in planning and executing acts of terrorism.” [pg 4]
  • “This organization routinely lobbies unwitting members of Congress under the pretext of human rights issues in Iran.“ [pg 5]
  • “NLA fighters are separated from their children who are sent to Europe and brought up by the MEK’s Support Network.  Investigation has learned that these children are then further indoctrinated in to the organization and are often used for various social benefit fraud such as was revealed during joint FBI/Cologne Police Department investigation in Germany.  In one case one of the children was chained to a bed and only after her escape and report to local police was the fraud scheme discovered.  Interviews of some of these MEK children found children fully indoctrinated into a “cult-like” organization with no regard to the welfare of the child.  These children are then returned to the NLA to be used as fighters upon coming of age.  Interviews also revealed that some of these children were told that their parents would be harmed if the children did not cooperate with the MEK.  Open source reporting from defecting MEK members has revealed that MEK fighters are often told the same story about their children should they take issue with MEK leadership and desire to leave the organization.” [pgs 26-27]
  • “The MEK, in addition to being a foreign terrorist organization, is a “cult”…MEK members and supporters often indicate that Rajavi makes his decision based on input from God.” [pg 26] 
  • “MEK members/supporters/fighters have been through years of ideological training and for lack of better word ‘brain washing’.” [pg 31]
  • “This (Foreign Terrorist Organization) designation was made due to the MEK’s long and violent history of past terrorist activity directed against U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Iran during the 1970s, the assassinations of multiple Americans, the MEK’s ongoing acts of terrorism in Iran, and the MEK’s past terrorist activities in Western Countries to include hostage taking and attacks on Iranian diplomatic establishments and officials.  This designation was also made to send the message that the U.S. had taken the high road on terrorism and would designate any foreign group engaged in terrorist activity abroad to include not only groups that target U.S. interests, but terrorists groups that target any sovereign nation.” [pg 24]               
  • “Additionally, the MEK continues to practice misinformation operations in the U.S. and Europe.  MEK lobbyist routinely hold press conferences and pass information regarding the current Iranian government that is inaccurate and is designed to influence Western Media and governments.” [pg 18]
  • “Interviewers should keep in mind that membership in the MEK is a significant step in the MEK hierarchy or leadership cadre.  It is safe to say that only the high echelon leadership will most admit to being MEK members.” [pg 29] 
  • “ Another tactic that the MEK has been employing is disinformation regarding former MEK members and witnesses who have come forward to testify and speak against the MEK. The MEK will brand these former members and witnesses as Iranian government agents. This information is often picked up by Western Intelligence agencies as factual information and is disseminated as intelligence. This further frustrates criminal investigators as they attempt to interview these former MEK members and potentially use them for testimony." Pg 18-9  
The 2002 FBI document includes a report of an FBI raid of the MEK’s offices in Falls Church, Virginia in December 2001. It states that the FBI discovered that “the indoor swimming pool had been drained and a floor placed over the drained pool. The area above the pool was divided into offices. In each of these offices, a hatch in the floor led into the drained swimming pool. This area was used for storage of materials…”
Among the materials discovered were “signed, blank checks,” and the report states, “Confidential sources have reported to the FBI and that the NCRI and the PMOI use the signed, blank checks to pay their expenses and fund their activities.”

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