Conservative US politician meets Iranian opposition movement

Published July 13th, 2016 - 01:57 GMT
MEK supporters at a rally in Washington, DC (AFP/Saul Loeb)
MEK supporters at a rally in Washington, DC (AFP/Saul Loeb)

He’s the former speaker of the US House of Representatives, a 2012 presidential candidate, and possibly Donald Trump’s running mate. And Newt Gingrich can now add friend of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) to his resume.

On July 9, Gingrich spoke to a group of MEK members in Paris. He reportedly spoke in praise of the group, which seeks the overthrow of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Intercept reported on the meeting, and noted that senior member of the Saudi royal family prince Turki al-Faisal was also in attendance.

The embrace of the MEK by Gingrich and other US Republicans is somewhat perplexing. The group is left-wing, and was actually listed as a terrorist organization by the US government in the 1990s. The designation cited their murder of several Americans in Iran in the 1970s, as well as its decades-long armed struggle against the Iranian government. The group was even once supported by former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, The Intercept notes.

The MEK now seeks peaceful regime change in Iran, and is attempting to change their image in the media. Their website boasts of support from other US politicians who attended the aforementioned conference for example, such as former Vermont governor Howard Dean, a Democrat.

Should Trump pick Gingrich and win the election, will the US follow a pro-Iranian leftist opposition to the Islamic Republic’s government policy? Only time will tell.



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