Iranian group's big-money push to get off US terrorist list
SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: A roster of influential former US officials is speaking at rallies in support of removing the MEK, an Iranian opposition group with a violent anti-American history, from the US terrorist list. A decision is expected within weeks.
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According to his company website, Mr. Livingstone is also a member of the Iran Policy Committee (IPC), which in 2005 laid out a regime-change plan for Iran; its top priority was delisting the MEK.Skip to next paragraph
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An IPC panel in 2007 lists one speaker as Alireza Jafarzadeh, the MEK spokesman in Washington who the RAND report notes had "directed the MEK's US lobbying apparatus" until it was designated an FTO. Mr. Crowley told the Monitor that Mr. Jafarzadeh – who today runs a Washington consultancy and conducts pro-MEK work – is "the driving force” behind the current campaign.
Mukasey, the former attorney general, was photographed speaking with Jafarzadeh at a July 7 hearing on Capitol Hill titled "Massacre at Camp Ashraf: Implications for US Policy." He told the Monitor that Jafarzadeh was "as far as I know, liaison to the Iranian-Americans who attended the hearing."
Jafarzadeh did not respond to communications from the Monitor asking for comment.
Several speakers at MEK-linked events told the Monitor they were paid by the Iranian American Community of Northern California. Director Ahmad Moein did not respond to multiple telephone and e-mail attempts to reach him; the group’s website is dedicated to pro-MEK issues and events.
Also supplying some funds has been Colorado's Iranian American Community, according to a disclosure report filed in early July by Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) and posted at legistorm.com. That group paid $6,589.62 for six days of first class travel and lodging expenses for Rep. Filner to attend the June MEK rally in Paris.
The House disclosure form describes him attending a "Grand meeting of Iranians in support of human rights and democracy for Iran." It makes no mention of the MEK, nor meeting Rajavi. In his speech, Filner said: "I bring you greetings and support from the Congress of the United States … I want to congratulate Madame Rajavi ... we will succeed."
In 2007, Filner also accepted $7,949.40 worth of travel to attend a "rally for Iranian human rights" in Paris. Both trips were paid for by Tim Mehdi Ghaemi of the Colorado group, according to the required "Private Sponsor Travel Certification Form."
In 2004, this Colorado group was among 23 co-sponsors of a fundraiser for Iran's Bam earthquake victims that turned into a “night of resistance.” Seventeen were found to have MEK connections, including the Colorado group, according to news reports at the time. Then-Pentagon adviser Richard Perle delivered a paid speech, unaware of the MEK link. The US government froze the assets of the primary sponsor, the Iranian-American Community of Northern Virginia.