The U.S. government no longer rules out a bizarre, cultish Iranian exile group as an option for taking power in Tehran, Al-Monitor reported Wednesday.
Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) is a group known partly for its former designation as a terrorist group, partly for its innovative mixture of socialism and fundamentalist Islam, and partly for its willingness to throw money around Washington.
Two key Trump allies have ties to MEK or have supported the group in the past
None other than Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani spoke at an anti-Iran rally last month, saying that he was representing MEK, and not Trump.
National Security Adviser John Bolton has also voiced support for the group, in part because they represent an organized group with the aim of taking down the current Iranian government. That’s not a judgment on the nature of their organization, so to speak, or on the fact that they were included on a State Department list of terrorist groups until 2012.
“The behaviour and the objectives of the regime are not going to change and, therefore, the only solution is to change the regime itself,” Bolton reportedly said at a 2017 “Free Iran” conference that MEK held in Paris.
Financial disclosure forms show that Bolton was paid $40,000 for that appearance, and has received more than $180,000 in total from the group.