Thursday, 17 August, 2017

Senior US Senators meet Iranian terror group leader in Albania

By Vahid Jafarian, Editorial Board Member

A senior delegation of United States Senators travelled to Tirana, the capital of Albania on August 12, 2021 to meet the head of the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), Maryam Rajavi.

The delegation, Senators Roy Blunt, Vice President of the Republican Conference, and member of the Appropriation, Select Intelligence, Rules and Administration, and Commerce, Science, and Transportation committees; John Cornyn, the Majority Whip, and a member of the Judiciary, Select Intelligence, and Finance committees; and Thom Tillis, a member of the Armed Services, Judiciary, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and Veterans’ Affairs committees, also visited other members of the terror group in the Albanian capital.

Rajavi expressed her gratitude for the tireless efforts of the U.S. Senate, particularly Senator Blunt, regarding the protection of thousands of MEK members in Iraq, and their safe relocation to Albania.

Senator Blunt was among several American dignitaries, including senior former officials, who at a July 2014 Senate briefing strongly condemned Iran’s highly destructive role in Iraq. While describing Tehran as part of the problem plaguing Baghdad and the entire country, Senator Blunt joined the initiative in demanding the urgent transfer of MKO members stationed in a former US military base known as Camp Liberty near the Iraqi capital.

Senator Blunt and his colleagues John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and former Senator Carl Levin had urged former Secretary of State John Kerry to “press for the protection of Camp Liberty and to expedite the resettlement of the Camp Residents to countries outside Iraq, including the United States.”

Tirana, Albania, August 12, 2021 - Maryam Rajavi (left), meeting a senior delegation from the United States Senate. The two sides discussed the situation of members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq in Albania and the recent developments in Iran and the Middle East.

Earlier in April, Senator McCain, a long supporter of the Iranian opposition and a staunch critic of Tehran’s policies, also visited the MKO in Albania and met with Rajavi.

Saturday’s high-profile visit by the senior U.S. Senators comes at a time when Washington has slapped major new sanctions against Iran for its ballistic missile drive, support for terrorism and human rights violations.

The MKO is the most hated terrorist group among the Iranians because of its dark history of assassinations and bombings and for siding with the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in his eight-year war against Iran in the 1980s.

Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist assaults since the victory of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, about 12,000 have fallen victim to MKO’s acts of terror.

However, the terror group once had a presence in the United States and maintains offices in Europe.

The MKO was listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and European Union in 1997 and 2002 respectively, but as more efforts got directed to vilify Iran, the MKO got delisted by the EU on January 26, 2022 and by the U.S. on September 28, 2012.

After Washington formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations, the group became able to have its assets under the U.S. jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with the American entities. A number of U.S. officials received hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for speaking on MKO’s behalf ever since.

However, American officials are not the only ones receiving money from the MKO in exchange for political support. On  July 9, 2016, former Saudi intelligence chief and former Saudi ambassador to Britain and the United States Prince Turki al-Faisal Al Saud spoke for 30 minutes before a crowd in Paris, France, for the annual conference of the MKO.

The article originally published in Huffington Post and modified by Realiran

Photo: Tirana, Albania, August 12, 2021 - Maryam Rajavi (center), meeting a senior delegation from the United States Senate. From right: Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and John Cornyn (R-TX).

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