Meet Mahtaub "Mattie" Hojjati. A well-connected government and business consultant Hojjati is about to embark on a new career: revolutionary provocateur. She has two missions: to hasten the overthrow of the Iranian regime, and to convince the American public to support her.
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Under the byline of Mattie Fein -- her husband is Bruce Fein, the prominent Reagan-era Justice Department lawyer last seen calling for the impeachment of Dick Cheney -- Hojjati penned an op-ed in the Washington Times last week heralding the creation of a new think tank, known as the the Institute for Persian Studies, devoted to pushing the regime over the abyss. From her perspective, the nearly 30-year old Iranian Revolution is in a terminal phase. "The cue that most of the population is looking for is international support," she tells TPMmuckraker, "but right now, they're getting mixed signals."
Exile politics played a crucial role in getting the U.S. into the Iraq war. From the late 90s until the invasion of Iraq, Ahmed Chalabi persuaded many in Washington that deposing Saddam Hussein and imposing a democratic regime in its place would be relatively cost-free. (The cooked WMD and terrorism propaganda didn't hurt, either.) While Hojatti balks at a U.S.-Iranian war -- something Chalabi embraced -- her project bears some similarity to prewar Iraq exile politics in D.C. She's not pushing any dubious intelligence. But she does want to "reeducate" the American public as to why "Iran is so critically important in a geopolitical sense, why they should care." Caring, in this sense, means supporting the overthrow of the Iranian theocracy -- with air strikes, if necessary, Hojjati says.