Support for the Iranian exile group Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, among some former U.S. government officials is a product of their "own illusions," an Iranian studies expert tells TPM.
"I think part of it is wishful thinking, and [the MEK's] very active PR campaign to represent themselves," Ahmad Sadri, a professor of Islamic World Studies and Sociology at Lake Forest College in Illinois, said in a phone interview. "They are saying to the world 'we are whatever you want us to be.'"
As TPM has reported, the MEK has a history of support in Washington, and a number of prominent U.S. national security experts and former government officials have recently taken up the MEK cause, which includes getting the MEK removed from the State Department's list of terrorist organizations. The MEK was put on the terror list in 1997, in a move that has been described as a nod to Iran's then reformist president.
At a panel in Washington D.C. two weeks ago, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and ex-Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) joined former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey in painting the MEK not only as unfairly shackled by the terrorist label, but also as a critical part of the Iranian opposition movement.
"The Mujahedin have absolutely no backing in Iran," Sadri told TPM. He said he'd fir... >>>
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