Mujahedin Machine vs. Iranian-Americans

MEK wants to silence independent voices opposing their pro-war agenda


Mujahedin Machine vs. Iranian-Americans
by Trita Parsi

Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) has been launching relentless attacks against the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). The immediate reason is the Iranian-American campaign spearheaded by NIAC to keep the MEK on the U.S.'s terrorist list. NIAC and others have launched this campaign because delisting the MEK would unleash a major force for a U.S.-Iran war, undermine the peaceful pro-democracy movement in Iran while empowering anti-democratic hardliners, and put the free voices of the Iranian-American community under threat.

The MEK's attacks are not new. The MEK and neo-conservative elements supporting them have for years been orchestrating attacks against prominent Iranian American individuals and institutions who do not subscribe to their views. The targets have included not just me and NIAC, but also individuals like Ramin Jahanbeglou, Vali Nasr, and Shirin Ebadi. Indeed, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has detailed how the MEK accuses any and all of its detractors of being agents of the Islamic Republic.

NIAC poses a threat to the MEK in many ways - because we give the Iranian-American community a voice in Washington that opposes war, opposes indiscriminate sanctions and supports human rights and indigenous democratization in Iran.

The MEK has a radically different agenda, and like some of its neoconservative counterparts, wants to silence independent voices opposing their pro-war agenda.

The MEK and these neo-conservatives sought hard to hide the true source and reasons for the attacks against prominent Iranian Americans and NIAC. The MEK knows very well how despised they are in the Iranian-American community. More often than not, their attack dogs pretend to be Monarchists or of some other denomination. Few, if any, admit their ties to the MEK. And these neo-conservatives know that the attacks will appear more credible if they have an Iranian face.

But recently, the MEK's desperation has shone through. Now, they no longer pretend to be disconnected from their campaigns against other Iranian Americans. Their attacks are posted on their own websites, and the attackers openly declare their dedication and loyalty to the MEK.

In this new desperation, they have also revealed their larger agenda. In a recent article, the MEK juxtaposed NIAC's current campaign to educate the public about the ramifications of delisting the MEK from terror list against an analysis I wrote in 2007 describing the likely consequences of the Bush administration's plan to include the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) on that same list.

The purpose of this comparison is to support the baseless claims by the MEK and its network of supporters that NIAC supports the regime in Iran.

The comparison falls flat. The designation would have had no economic impact on the IRGC, which was already exhaustively sanctioned by the United States. Instead, the designation was intended to advance a cause for war before the Bush administration's term ended. Indeed, the entire issue seemed ripped straight out of the Iraq war playbook. This is why several leading U.S. policymakers opposed the measure, including the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (led by now Vice-President Joseph Biden and Republican Senator Richard Lugar).

Senator Joe Lieberman, one of the strongest advocates for an Iran war in the Senate, later introduced the idea in legislative form and added language that explicitly gave a green light to conducting military action against Iran. The Kyl-Lieberman amendment stated the following:

(4) to support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of United States national power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments, in support of the policy described in paragraph (3) with respect to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its proxies.

The call for the "use of all instruments" including military instruments is what constituted a green light for war. In reality, the amendment had less to do with listing the IRGC as a terrorist organization than supporting military action against Iran before Bush's term came to an end.

The amendment caused a storm in the Senate - and even the Democratic primary debates - because it was rightly seen as an effort to start a war with Iran. Opposition from anti-war groups and Lieberman's colleagues in the eventually saw the above paragraph deleted from the amendment.

To suggest that my analysis, or Senator Biden and others' opposition to this move, was favorable to the IRGC is preposterous. Indeed, NIAC has been a key supporter of precision sanctions targeting the IRGC and leaders of the Islamic Republic. These targeted sanctions hit the elements in the Islamic Republic responsible for crafting policy and for the human rights abuses, while sparing innocent civilians and allowing the nascent opposition movement room to grow and build their power.

And herein lies the difference between NIAC's approach and the tactics of the MEK and these neo-conservatives. Though they pretend to target the IRGC, their policies in reality pave the way for a war that would see hundreds of thousands dead. NIAC and the Iranian-American community as a whole, on the other hand, puts the well being of the peoples of the America and Iran at the center. We have consistently opposed war, and instead pursued policies that would target the IRGC and the leaders of the Islamic Republic without hurting the Iranian people or risking a war that would be disastrous for both countries.

The questions people should ask themselves is why the MEK and these neo-conservatives consistently support policies that on the surface appear to target the clerical regime, but in reality drive the US and Iran towards a military confrontation.

Our ability to give the Iranian-American community an opportunity to be heard in Washington DC is a threat both to the agenda of the MEK and that of these neo-conservatives. Therefore, the attacks against independent voices in the Iranian-American community and NIAC will continue. But as the community comes to understand the agenda of the MEK, it will no longer buy their conspiracy theories.

First published in

Trita Parsi is president of the National Iraian American Council (NIAC).


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more from Trita Parsi

US & Saudis created Bin Laden

by BoosBoos on

Al Qaeda has always been the IRI's sworn enemy - Al Qaeda is financed from Saudi Arabia (as was the Taliban).  These are competing religious movements that have more rivalries than Russian and U.S. hockey teams.  

The U.S. invaded 2 countries and likely killed over 1 million people in its 'hunt for Bin Laden' and the reality is that found Bin Laden watching cable TV in a duplex in Pakistan (one of its allies).  The U.S. and the Saudis groomed the whole Al Qaeda movement in the 1980s ... they created that Bin Laden, and it's their responsibility to defang that whole movement - not Iran's.  

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Dear gorbeh pashmalo

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


why do always insist on being sarcastic somewhere on the border of being belligerent?

Fair question. I find the original question by Oon Yaroo to be a loaded one. Because he makes it sound like this is a secret. Why does he even need to ask it when it is public information? It is like asking "Who is the President of USA". Well he could spend 2 minutes and find out! Anyone with a computer may go to and look it up! 

That makes me sarcastic because why should I have to do his leg work? Is it too much to ask people to do a minimal amount of work before asking! 

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


What you say is news to me but I am willing to have an open mind. I have read the part about recent support of IR to Taliban so that part I know. Of course all these are allegations without proof.

But I don't need them to know IRI is evil. The executions; torture of Iranians are facts. Those are enough to make me oppose IRI. I just wanted to get the Taliban bit right. Regardless even if they did help US against Taliban the IRI still needs to go.

gorbeh pashmalo

VPK: Thanks for the info. I'll verify.

by gorbeh pashmalo on

BTW, why do always insist on being sarcastic somewhere on the border of being belligerent? Just calm down and relax. People will listen and respond to your comments more civilly if you just relax. Relax, it would do you good! :-)

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Oon Yaroo

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


NIAC does not receive any money from the Islamic Republic. NIAC is funded by the following:

  • Member donations about 70 %.
  • Ploughshares Fund,
  • Rockefeller Brothers Fund,
  • Nathan E. Cummings Foundation
  • Parsa Community Foundation.
  • In the past, NIAC has also received funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

All of this is available on their web site. So it is not rocket science finding it. You make it sound like it is a secret but it is not.

Oon Yaroo

Can someone answer the following question?

by Oon Yaroo on

Who/what funds NIAC machinery? IRR, Americans, Iranians, ...



Anonymous Observer


by Anonymous Observer on

That's actually IR propaganda that they have fed the world.  The IR never intended on helping the U.S. in its war against Al-Qaeda.  In fact, prior to 9/11, the IR actively helped Al-Qaeda.  Read the 9/11 Commission Report.  The IR was allowing known Al-Qaeda members, including many of the 9/11 hijackers, free and safe passage through Iran.  They even went as far as not stamping their passports when they transited through Iran, which means that they knew who these people were.  Post 9/11, the IR provided sanctuary to high echelon of Al-Qaeda, including Seif Al-Adel, who was (and may still be) in Iran for a number of years post U.S. attack on Al-Qaeda.  Al-Adel was recently appointed operational head of Al-Qaeda after Bin Laden's death.  Also, many members of Bin Laden's immediate family, including one of his daughters who recently "escaped" Iran by taking refuge in Saudi embassy in Tehran, found refuge in Iran after the U.S. attack.

Lastly, many reports and evidence now suggests that the IR is supplying the Taliban with weapons, training and intelligence.  

The IR has never intended, nor has it ever been interested, in reconciliation with the U.S.  They are too ideological for anything resembling peace.  

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Dear AO

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


has helped every anti-American insane terrorist cult around the globe and has allied itself with anti-U.S. governments. 

As you know I oppose IRI but just to be fair let us go over some history. IRI provided support to USA in its war against the Taliban and AQ. In fact IRI support probably did a lot more against Taliban than fake Pakistani.

Disclaimer: I am not saying IRI is good; it is not! But the statemenet that is helped "every anti-American" is just wrong. The motives were self interest. IRI almost went to war against Taliban Iranian diplomats got murdered.


MEK = terror

by BoosBoos on

Whether the Iranian government has done something wrong, is not an excuse for legitimating the Mujahadeen Khalq - a terror organization that repeatedly has killed civilians.   

If one of your family members was killed or imprisoned by the MEK, you would be entitled to request a criminal indictment against MEK and no Judge would care what the IRI has or hasn't done - it's irrelevant to the commission of crimes against innocent people by MEK.  There's no principle of law that states you can kill or kidnap civilians because you object to the government of their country of origin.  

I can't go around starting my own terror cult by citing the fact that Bin Laden, Jundallah, or the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also have done bad things. If it were that easy, we'd all lawfully be waling around with AK-47 rifles and grenade launchers.   

 MEK is a terror group - disband them and send them to a country where other Iranians do not reside ... no body wants to be associated with these clowns.   


How sad to see a few

by Khebedin on

How sad to see a few Americans give away the reputation of America for a few worthless dollars.

This issue and their connection with this criminal group has further damaged any chance of Iranians forming a friendly relation with America.

NIAC in my view should be  admired and encouraged for informing the Iranian of the nature of this criminal group. Iranains in Iran hate MEK. MEK were breast fed by SADAM. My suggestion is to send them all to Iraq and give them Iraqi passport

Anonymous Observer

The sheer arrogance is mind boggling!

by Anonymous Observer on

For 32 years, the Islamic Republic openly, belligerently and without even the slightest hesitation has chanted “death to America,” has called for the destruction of the U.S., has helped every anti-American insane terrorist cult around the globe and has allied itself with anti-U.S. governments. In fact, those are things that it brags about and is proud of. In response, the U.S. has, after more than a decade, decided to take a major armed anti-IR opposition group off its terrorist list. And what do some Iranians do? Tear themselves apart as if the U.S. owes Iranians something, or as if the world revolves around Iran and Iranians to the extent that other countries in the world should put their interests aside and look for Iranians’ interests first!!!

The sheer arrogance and collective Iranian narcissism is just astounding. It’s yet another flaw in our deeply flawed culture. And the funny thing is that the people who are the most vocal about this non-issue are the ones who are always “saddened” by what they perceive to be “Iranian racism.” I guess the irony is lost on these folks!

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Au Contraire: from where I am standing, Trita Parsi and his ...

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

NIAC wants to silence independent voices opposing their pro-IRI agenda ... the rest is total garbage!

"... would unleash a major force for a U.S.-Iran war"

Wake up! You are either a complete fool, or trying to fool everyone else. Your beloved IRI has been at war with USA for 30 years! Using all sorts of terrorist acts, hostage taking and covert operations. Death-to-America is their stated policy and even part of their religious chant ... right after Allah Akbar! Now, you are trying to convince us that IRI should not be treated like a terrorist state, but their opponents should be jailed and killed as terrorists?

"... undermine the peaceful pro-democracy movement in Iran while empowering anti-democratic hardliners"

Fooling us again? Who cares in Iran about the Mojahedin anyway? The only force undermining each and every pro-democracy move in Iran is the absoulte rule of Velayat Faghih (which is entrenched in IRI constitution) and the terrorizing Pasdar and Basij fascist forces (the main beneficiaries of the Velayat Faghih). And it is you and your pro-IRI lobby who are trying to relieve any meaningful sanction and active pressure from them.

"... and put the free voices of the Iranian-American community under threat."

This one is just like the icing on your foolish cake. Shame on you and your NIAC storm troopers who attack anyone who dares to oppose your pro-IRI policies. Your groupies who constantly brand all of us as MEK members! It is you and your fascist-loving cyber army, who are putting the free voices of opposition under threat of jail, torture and killing!

Shame on Trita Parsi

Shame on NIAC

Shame on IRI

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Dear Shushtari

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Woud you please tell me how delisting MKO will help Iran? Will it bring down IRI or put a dent in it? What good will possibly come out of it. I am curious as to what you think the benefit of this action supported by Neocon is.

Yes Assad is liikely a gonner. Nothing to do with MKO. IRI probably will follow also nothing to do with MKO. In fact the actions of IRI is what is thier biggest problem. Therefore how does MKO help Iran in any way please tell me how.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


No I do not think USA is in a position to invade Iran now. The US congress is at war with Obama. The Tea Party is more interested in removing Obama than IRI. Besides they are running low on money and troops.

This whole MEK thing is a waste of American time. The Neocon think to harass IRI by MEK and drag USA into another war. But they are pusing their luck. There just ain't the money; troops or will on the USA part right now for a war.



VPK Do you think USA would invade Iran?

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

I was very surprised that the Russian Foreign minister said today, We are very concerned by recent American plans and discussions taking place on invading Iran and that everything needed to be done to make sure that does not happen.

I think it's mis-information on the russian part, as the US is in no position right now to go into another war, am I right?

Not that there is anything anyone can do to have an impact on that decision or what to do if they did.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

the USA has the power to make Donald Duck Irans next Foreign minister
and Minnie Mouse Irans first female cartoon character President. 

You give them too much credit. The USA is barely able to keep Karzai in power. Besides it is now into "elections". I guarantee you PMOI will get fewer votes than Chalebi. Mousavi or AN will get more votes! Don't worry now.



VPK why is it called evin?

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

It sounds like a sophisticated mineral water doesn't it?

It's too close to Evian...

Lets rename it Jick Danyells.

FYI MEK are already in Iran, so the never step foot in Iran thing you are going to have to reword. 

I'm not too optimistic by the way regarding your reasoning, the USA has the power to make Donald Duck Irans next Foreign minister and Minnie Mouse Irans first female cartoon character President. 

Of course not using the democratic path, but the route used in North Korea and Cuba, which they pretend to be at odds with.  Do you think this is paranoia on my part?

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


The PMOI will never be able to step foot in Iran - not now and not under a new government, and not even if we elect Santa Claus as the next President of Iran. 

Yes they will and right to court; trial and then to Evin. 


Oon Yaroo

VPK: The drink is on me!

by Oon Yaroo on

Any time, any place!


this idiot doesn't quit!!!

by shushtari on

on their website, all they talk about is how delisting MEK will ruin iran, yada yada yada.

this parsi character is a disgrace to iran and it's people.

I think he is afraid that his paychecks will stop coming when the mullahs are toppled. 

sure enough, assad is almost a gonner, and the akhoonds are next....I wonder what this moron is going to do when he finds himself out of a job, and has to stop pretending to be a voice for iran and it's freedom LOL

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Oon Yaroo

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Yes Syria will have a regime change and so will Iran. Then a new Iranian regime will be ready with its courts to try the Rajavi. I will happily drink to that!


Rajavis' Honeymoon in Hawaii

by BoosBoos on

The PMOI will never be able to step foot in Iran - not now and not under a new government, and not even if we elect Santa Claus as the next President of Iran.  

The PMOI risks having anti-PMOI groups formed that counter their activities - I would not be surprised if Iranians start taking matters into their own hands by attacking this group in Iraq.  

Bottom Line:  These PMOI nutjobs are forever traitors to the Iranian people - they need to find a new identity as nationals of some other country because they will never be accepted by Iranians in Iran or abroad.  It's time for the PMOI to relocate their headquarters to Alcatraz.   

I wish the PMOI good luck in turning into senior citizen revolutionaries; they should just ask the CIA to send them supplies of diapers for adults and heart medication to Iraq because they are going to grow old there without achieving anything in their lives.  The Rajavis, however, will enjoy spending the money of their cult members on fine French cuisine and trips to Hawaii. Mrs. Rajavi needs more cash to buy colurful headscarves and bribe U.S. politicos.    


Now, did you have to mention Syria as well?

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

But now that you mentioned, what the heck: 

"On Thursday, the US - followed by the UK, France, Germany and the EU - called for Mr Assad to "step aside", saying his "calls for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing and slaughtering his own people".

"In a separate development, UN investigators said on Thursday that the use of violence in Syria "may amount to crimes against humanity". In a report to the UN Human Rights Council, they said the UN Security Council should refer the issue to the International Criminal Court."

Source: //

What a great start to my weekend :)

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."

Oon Yaroo

Listen up! IC Islamists, supporters of IRR, NIAC, CASMII, Palest

by Oon Yaroo on

Palestinians, and the rest of the "ham az tubreh khor & ham az akhoor khor...!"

MEK will be delisted no matter how many of the above group jump of Golden Gate bridge! 

Syria will have a regime change soon despite all the efforts by the IRR to stop it!

IRR is surrounded by the Americans and there is not a single thing IRR can do about it!

Finally and thankfully all the planets are lining up for the final blow to the IRR!

Regime change at last! Regime change at last!

Thank God Almighty, we will have regime change at last!


Scary Logic

by BoosBoos on

bahmani :  I'm scared of your comment:   "However, MEK should precisely be immediately de-listed, so we can review and make fun of their weird ideas. As long as they are terrorists, they are on a pedestal and can't be touched."   You can make fun of them now.  You don't have to delist to make fun.   The real issue is that terrorists shouldn't be on a pedestal ....  NOT delisting terrorists. 


Sue Rajavi

by BoosBoos on

I'm surprised that victims of the PMOI / Mujahadeen Khalq haven't sued Rajavi and Guilliani in court.   Seems logicial ... sue Rajavi as a principal and Guilliani as an accessory after the fact. Terror is terror. 


As I said, NIAC is the best Opposition Group we've got...

by bahmani on

Once again, NIAC by the very hand of Trita hisself, have shown what a well organized opposition machine NIAC is.

For lack of any better opposition, I will send a hearty-healthy "Afarin" their way.

However, MEK should precisely be immediately de-listed, so we can review and make fun of their weird ideas. As long as they are terrorists, they are on a pedestal and can't be touched.

To read more bahmani posts visit: //


 what do we need to do to

by vildemose on

 what do we need to do to bring up charges against Masoud and Maryam Rajavi?? We need to take these two to court first and foremost. Should we start a petition??

"Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe." Robert Browning in 'Ceuciaja'


Let's see other Iranian-American organizations' work?

by MM on

Besides the work NIAC does for the Iranian-Americans, and besides the 2 conferences/year on Iran issues, support/against legislations on Iranian issues and talks with the congress and the WH, here is a sampling of NIAC's work on the worsening human rights issues in Iran, ranging from e-letters to free jailed folks/lawyers to the support for sanctioning of the human rights violators in Iran.

Please show me another Iranian-American organization that is doing more (in actions and not rhetoric, 2/day blogs on IC or just youTube videos.....), except for the MEK who is spending millions to buy the US politicians, and I may choose to support them too.  

NIAC's work on the human rights violations in the past 8 months alone:

Despite Iran's Rejection, Human Rights Pressure Continues
NIAC Welcomes Appointment of Human Rights Monitor, Calls for Iran to Cooperate
Watch: Maziar Bahari Discusses Imprisonment, How Iranian Americans Can Support Human Rights
The New International Focus on Human Rights in Iran
NIAC Commends Targeted Human Rights Measures Against IRGC, Basij

NIAC Condemns the Killing of Haleh Sahabi
Administration Officials Emphasize Multilateral Successes on Iran as Congress Considers New Unilateral Sanctions
California Democrats Endorse Iranian Student Visa Fix, Human Rights
NIAC Hosts Shirin Ebadi for Discussion on Human Rights, Engagement, and War
Virginia Connection: Ebadi Comes to McLean
NIAC Hosts Shirin Ebadi for In-Depth Conversation on Iran Policy & Human Rights
Panel Debates Opportunities for Iran Engagement
Experts: Nonviolence, Human Rights Focus are Best Options for Iran's Democracy Movement
NIAC Applauds Today's Establishment of Human Rights Monitor on Iran
Proposal at U.N. Body Puts Focus on Iran's Human Rights Record
The Atlantic: A New Opportunity for the U.S. to Promote Human Rights in Iran

US and Swedish Officials Outline Human Rights Initiative at NIAC Conference
Holding Iran Accountable for its Human Rights Record
NIAC Commends UN Human Rights Council Efforts on Iran
Congress Clashes over U.S. Participation at the Human Rights Council
Arrest of Iranian Opposition Leaders Further Demonstrates Need for International Efforts
NIAC Commends Targeted Human Rights Measures
NIAC Applauds Senate Call for Human Rights Monitor
Take Action to Help Stop Human Rights Abuses in Iran
Independent UN Experts Call for Moratorium on Death Penalty in Iran
Arbitrary Arrests and Detentions Demonstrate Need for Serious International Efforts

Iran's Human Rights Situation Receives Much Concern, Little Action at UN Human Rights Council

Questions Linger About Nokia Siemens Involvement in Iran
United 4 Iran: Send an E-Letter for Safe Release of Iranian Human Rights Lawyer

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Mehrdad is right

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

I believe a pro-war and willingness to be an instrument of betrayal to Iran and Iranians is the key factor that the US Neocons/AIPAC would use in selecting who to partner with.

Reza Pahlavi has been a harsh critic of IRI and supports democracy. But he has always opposed war. Refused to betray Iran and volunteered to fight for Iran. At the same time as MEK was fighting against Iran. 

He also turned down the Israeli request to "expose" the Iranian nuclear program. So they went to MEK who gladly did it. That is why MEK is a favorite of Neocon and Reza Pahlavi is not. The Neocon and MEK have a lot in common. Primarily a disrespect for people and human rights. A willingness to do anything regardless of morality. And a hunger for power above all. I know MEK members alwasy try to mix things up with NIAC. But the problem is not NIAC it is the Rajavi.