LobeLog on Facebook   LobeLog on Facebook

Iran Doesn’t Have a Nuclear Weapons Program. Why Do Media Keep Saying It Does?

by Adam Johnson When it comes to Iran, do basic facts matter? Evidently not,...

Message no image

Published on October 7th, 2011 | by Ali Gharib


On The Same Day Romney Announces Advisers, One Of Them Appears In Ad Promoting An Iranian Terror Group

Reposted by arrangement with Think Progress

As ThinkProgress noted in August, one of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s top foreign policy advisers has taken an active role in a campaign of advocacy for a controversial Iranian exile group listed by the State Department as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” (FTO).

Mitchell Reiss, a former Bush administration State Department official, has spoken at events and moderated at least two panels making the case that the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), a formerly-Islamic Marxist armed revolutionary group now claiming to renounce violence and preaching democracy, should be removed from the U.S. terror rolls.

On Thursday, Reiss made the announcement of formal foreign policy advisers to the campaign that Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy described as a “shadow National Security Council.”

Also Thursday morning, Reiss’s name conspicuously appeared in the Washington Post — but not in a news article. Instead, he was listed among the signatories to a paid, full-page advertisement (PDF) by a British group supporting the U.S. de-listing the MEK as a terrorist group. In an “Open Letter to President Obama,” the signatories urged Obama to “Delist the MEK (PMOI) Now” and to “Protect Camp Ashraf” — the camp inside Iraq where more than 3,000 of the group’s former-fighters live.

Here’s a photo of the signatories.

Both Reiss and the Romney camp at large have been less than forthcoming about their relationships with the MEK. Here are a few questions intrepid reporters should press them on at availabilities:

– Many of the other signatories listed to today’s Post ad have admitted being paid huge sums of money for speaking appearances both before the group itself at rallies in Europe and at Washington panels where close associates of the group advocate for their delisting. Has Reiss been paid for any of his appearances?

– Several commentators have raised questions about whether or not some of the advocacy for a designated terror group crosses the line into “material support for terror.” This is particularly true since the Supreme Court found an expansive definition of “material support” in Holder vs. the Humanitarian Law Project, where “coordinated” speech with terror groups was prohibited. Georgetown law professor David Cole observed that “(b)y ‘coordinated,’ [Chief Justice John Roberts] seemed to mean speech that involves some kind of direct contact with the group in question.” Has Reiss had any contact with the MEK either with the leadership in Paris or the former-fighters in Camp Ashraf?

– Lastly, though Romney seems to have a position on Iran (largely defined by attacking Obama’s policies), he has yet to stake out a position on the MEK itself. It seems clear that with a two-time campaign foreign policy adviser is a staunch supporter of the group. So where does Romney stand on delisting the MEK and giving them American government support as an Iranian opposition group?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One Response to On The Same Day Romney Announces Advisers, One Of Them Appears In Ad Promoting An Iranian Terror Group

Show Comments >

  1. avatar scott says:

    Ali, you’re so dumb. It’s Islamo-fascist that we’re fighting; not Islamo-marxists. Please try to keep up in the future.

About the Author


Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.

Back to Top ↑
  • Named after veteran journalist Jim Lobe, LobeLog provides daily expert perspectives on US foreign policy toward the Middle East through investigative reports and analyses from Washington to Tehran and beyond. It became the first weblog to receive the Arthur Ross Award for Distinguished Reporting and Analysis of Foreign Affairs from the American Academy of Diplomacy in 2015.

  • Categories

  • Subscribe

    Enter your email address to subscribe to our site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Popular Posts

  • Comments Policy

    We value your opinion and encourage you to comment on our postings. To ensure a safe environment we will not publish comments that involve ad hominem attacks, racist, sexist or otherwise discriminatory language, or anything that is written solely for the purpose of slandering a person or subject.

    Excessively long comments may not be published due to their length. All comments are moderated. LobeLog does not publish comments with links.

    Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing from you!