A sizable portion of the House of Representatives has already cosponsored H.Res. 100, a resolution recently introduced by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA). This fact has angered many Iranian Americans across political stripes, as the resolution is viewed as endorsement of a group – the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) – that is widely reviled for fighting alongside Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war, its human rights abuses against its own members, and its history of authoritarianism and violence that led to its designation as a terrorist group by the United States for many years.
While presented as a resolution intended to stand with the people of Iran and supporting their democratic aspirations, the resolution includes a specific endorsement of the MEK leader Maryam Rajavi’s plans for Iran. Rajavi herself is favorably quoted in McClintock’s press release announcing the introduction of the resolution. Unfortunately, each cosponsor added will boost the MEK’s efforts to present itself as the leader of the opposition to the Islamic Republic. National Iranian American Council Action strongly discourages legislators from supporting the measure, and encourages those who may have mistakenly supported it to remove their sponsorship from the bill.
The MEK often operates through its umbrella groups and shell organizations, including the “Organization of Iranian American Communities” (OIAC) and “National Council of Resistance in Iran.” The literature on its violent past and present is extensive, and should deter reputable Congressional offices from any ties with the group:
- The MEK was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. for attacks that killed Americans, only being removed in 2012 after a fierce lobbying campaign and as part of U.S. efforts to prevent MEK’s leaders from using MEK members as pawns in a potential humanitarian disaster. The terrorism designation was not lifted based on any assessment that MEK had ceased its violence or authoritarianism. Source
- MEK has and continues to commit gross human rights violations against its own members and engage in “cult-like” practices, including family separations and forced sterilizations. Source
- The MEK is reviled in Iran for fighting on behalf of Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war, which diminished any popular legitimacy that it once claimed. Source
- The MEK had close financial ties to former Trump-linked officials bent on war, including John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani. Source
- Associated Twitter accounts have also grossly vilified Iranian-American staffers on the Hill and others in the diaspora.
- Iran’s government often seeks to discredit and criminalize its legitimate political opponents as being associated with the MEK; any indications of official U.S. support for this organization are used to undermine credible voices in Iran seeking democracy and human rights.
Cosponsoring a resolution from such a group does active harm to legitimate efforts from the diaspora to stand with the people of Iran as they struggle for democracy and basic rights. Fortunately, an appropriate bipartisan and bicameral resolution appropriately standing with the people of Iran and against the brutal crackdown of the Iranian government in H.Con.Res. 7 has passed the House of Representatives.Back to top