Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.; shown) is not only the darling of the neonconservatives and war hawks, but he also seems to be making a play to get in the good graces of “an Iranian dissident terrorist group.” Here’s the story as reported by Nick Hankoff for Voices of Liberty on May 8:
On Wednesday, Cotton participated in a panel called “After Iran Nuclear Framework Agreement, Now What?” organized by the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) in a Senate meeting room. The OIAC, through spending millions of dollars lobbying, is responsible for getting an Iranian dissident terrorist group removed from the State Department’s official list of terrorist organizations in 2012 by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
That would be the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), a group that assassinated half a dozen Americans in Iran and targeted many others in the run up to the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The MEK was founded with Marxist, feminist, and Islamic tenets and incorporated cultish tendencies including personality worship of its husband-wife founders, forced divorces for elderly women, and a forbiddance to marry for young women.
The revolutionary group considers itself a government-in-exile, ready to return to Iran once the current regime is overthrown. The MEK has no measure of support from the Iranian people.
Cotton’s cozying up to the “MEK-fronting OIAC” is particularly troublesome in light of the fondness President Obama seems to have for the same gang. Consider this facet of the story told by The New American’s Alex Newman in 2012:
After a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign that unlawfully enlisted top members of the bipartisan U.S. political class, the Obama administration decided that the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MeK), an Islamo-Marxist terror cult notorious for murdering Americans, should no longer be on the State Department’s list of designated terrorist organizations. Experts say the decision paves the way to begin openly showering U.S. taxpayer money on the anti-American outfit in its bid to overthrow the Iranian regime.
The controversial decision to formally "delist" the organization came in the wake of reports charging that the federal government was already arming and training the cult-like Iranian MeK in violation of U.S. terror laws. The purpose of the alleged support, according to multiple sources, was to help wage a proxy war against Iran. Criticism of the administration’s recent decision, however, erupted quickly and forcefully.
Newman also briefly outlines the MEK’s origins and mission:
Also known as the People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran, the MeK was founded in an effort to advance a hybrid system incorporating communism and Islam. It officially landed on the U.S. government’s terror list some 15 years ago for perpetrating numerous terror attacks against civilians and more than a few senior American military personnel. The group was also allied with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, helping him to wage a brutal war against Iran while suppressing dissidents within Iraq.
In fairness, Senator Cotton may be ignorant of the MEK’s militant and terroristic intent. In fact, perhaps his alliance with the group may be an example of an enemy of his enemy being his friend.
Both Cotton and the MEK oppose any agreement between Iran and the United States. Cotton was the chief architect of a controversial letter co-signed by 46 other senators and sent to the government of Iran explaining that any treaty between the two countries would require congressional approval.
For its part, as Hankoff reports: “The female co-founder of the MEK, Maryam Rajavi, has said that toppling the government in Iran is the best shot the US has at defeating the Islamic State.” He adds that, “Cotton has said bombing Iran would last no longer than how long proponents of the 2003 Iraq War promised.”
Hankoff and Newman both point out that Cotton’s not the only neocon to feel comfortable in the company of MEK.
“It’s possible Tom Cotton is (willfully?) ignorant to the leftist, tyrannical values and aspirations of the MEK. But like Howard Dean, Rick Perry, Rudy Giuliani, and many other politicians, there are big opportunities to work together for mutual political growth and enrichment,” Hankoff writes.
Newman confirms this collaboration, reporting:
Despite federal statutes defining as a felony the provision of any “material support” to designated terrorist organizations, the MeK managed to buy die-hard support from numerous senior U.S. politicians and former officials on both sides of the aisle. Advocates for the terror cult range from neo-conservative terror-war cheerleaders like Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey to liberals like Howard Dean and Gen. James Jones. Former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, ex-CIA and FBI bosses, and many others jumped on the pro-MeK bandwagon, too.
In light of Cotton’s admitted alliance with MEK, where is the outrage from conservatives? Where is the call for Cotton to renounce any association with the group, especially considering that to continue their relationship would be a felony and a violation of federal law prohibiting such cooperation?
Hankoff puts it this way, “Neocons and Marxist-Islamist terrorist cultists joining together to undermine US-led international negotiations to prevent war with Iran. Politics makes strange bedfellows.”
Calls for comment by Senator Cotton’s office made by The New American were unreturned at press time.
Photo of Senator Tom Cotton: AP Images