Danny Postel of openDemocracy makes a very good point (via Rick Perlstein) about neo-conservative support for the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), which has been designated a terrorist group by the State Department, although Postel’s description of the MEK as an “Islamist-Stalinist cult” also expresses quite well what it’s about. He names all the obvious suspects as MEK supporters, including, of course, Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week’s founder and chief impresario David Horowitz and Daniel Pipes, among others. At the same time, it is worth noting that some key hard-line neo-cons, particularly Michael Rubin and some of his confreres at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), knowing just how popular MEK is in Iran, have publicly cautioned against any active U.S. support for the group (although they have also never called for its dissolution, let alone the repatriation or its Iraq-based members to Iran or third countries as Tehran has urged, either).
The MEK’s biggest Washington booster is a group led by former National Security Council aide and Georgetown University professor Ray Tanter and former CIA analyst Claire Lopez called the Iran Policy Committee (IPC) which refers to the MEK and its many front organizations as Iran’s most important democratic “opposition.” A former top Freedom House official, Bruce McColm, is also very involved, as are some extremely hawkish retired generals — some, not surprisingly, associated with Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy (CSP) — who have called for bombing Iran for several years now. The IPC insists that the MEK is not a terrorist group, has never specifically targeted Americans, and grew out of its anti-Americanism even before Islamic Revolution that ousted the Shah. (That wasn’t the impression I had when I spent a week in Tehran in September 1979.)
Incidentally, IPS hopes to offer some coverage of the Week’s events in the coming days.