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Mon Jan 13, 2020, 07:33 PM

Trump Admin Walks Back Anti-MEK Memo


The State Department ordered employees days ago not to meet with an Iranian dissident outfit close to Rudy Giuliani and other Trumpworld figures. Now, the memo is being overridden.

Betsy Swan
Erin Banco
Asawin Suebsaeng

Published Jan. 13, 2020 7:07PM ET

At whiplash speed, the State Department is walking back an order barring American diplomats from meeting with controversial Iranian dissident groups—including one close with Trump World allies and previously designated as a terror group, the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK). The initial memo, greenlit by a career State Department employee, angered Congressional Iran hawks. And the Department’s move to change its guidance has drawn cheers from them.

The first memo, first reported by Bloomberg and reviewed by The Daily Beast, included sober warnings against meeting with the MEK, pointing to its terrorist past and saying most everyday Iranians have a low view of the group. The memo also warned about interactions with the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, highlighting its attacks on Iranian military targets; and directed diplomats to get permission from State Department headquarters before meeting with members of an Azeri separatist group. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent out the memo on January 7, and it cautioned that meetings with these groups could undermine U.S. efforts to reach a deal with Tehran. Joey Hood, a senior career State Department official, approved the memo, according to the document The Daily Beast reviewed.

But now, the memo is being overridden. The Daily Beast obtained a cable, sent to U.S. diplomats Sunday night, superseding the week-old directive.

“Posts should welcome opportunities to meet with and learn from members of the Iranian diaspora community,” said the cable, which explicitly noted it “supersedes” the January 7 missive. “After 40 years of repression and violence at the hands of the Ayatollahs, the Iranian people’s pride in their history has not diminished nor has their resolve to celebrate it in the face of the Islamic republic’s abuses.”


I'm not up to speed on this - guessing we all will be soon.

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Reply Trump Admin Walks Back Anti-MEK Memo (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Jan 13 OP
stillcool Jan 13 #1
BigmanPigman Jan 13 #2
Leghorn21 Jan 13 #3

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 07:51 PM

1. I don't want..

to get up to speed. As it is, I'm trying to read while covering one eye...lessen the impact. Works better with scary movies.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 07:55 PM

2. Didn't Joe Lieberman go with Rudy to Albania to check out MEK?

I think both of them are involved in something dirty.

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Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 08:01 PM

3. Been hearing about Giuliani and MEK for years now...

November 2016:

You can tell a lot about potential Cabinet nominees by the terrorist group they shill for.

As President-elect Donald Trump settles on his nominees for secretary of state and other front-row positions, he has his pick of people who have lobbied for the bizarre and brutal Mujahidin e-Khalq (MeK), an Iranian resistance group that helped launch the Islamic revolution and then fell out with the Tehran regime. The MeK has plenty of American blood on its hands, as well as that of thousands of Iranians killed while the group was a strike force serving Saddam Hussein in the 1980s and '90s.

Perhaps the best known MeK votary is none other than former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, reported to be on the shortlists for Trump’s secretary of state and director of national intelligence, whose ties to the group have resurfaced as the press examines the numerous possible conflicts of interest created by his international business activities. The MeK has paid Giuliani handsomely for years—$20,000 or more, and possibly a lot more—for brief appearances before the group and for lobbying to have it removed from the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO), which occurred in 2012.

Among other MeK devotees are former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton—another secretary of state in waiting—and champion Trump booster Newt Gingrich. Former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao (also the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), who suddenly appeared at Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club on Monday for a meeting with the president-elect, has also been on the MeK payroll, as has former Bush 43 security aide Fran Townsend, whose name has been in play as a possible Trump secretary of homeland security or director of national intelligence.

Much more:

me, I have no idea

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