One of the founding members of the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, the Iran-based cult the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK) is almost certain to be delisted in the next 60 days, in a move that is likely to dramatically increase tensions between the US and Iran.
The MeK was originally listed for its role in assassinating Americans in Shahist Iran, and has been petitioning for its removal. A number of politicians have been openly endorsing the organization, arguing that formal US backing for the organization would be a key step toward regime change in Iran.
Technically speaking, officials say, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hasn’t made an official decision on the matter, but has promised to do so in the next 60 days. At the same time, they concede that it would be “difficult politically” not to remove the MeK from the list.
The move would be a great relief to several officials, including former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who violated federal law by taking funds from a still-listed terrorist organization in return for giving speeches on their behalf. The MeK has been paying off top officials for years to endorse their removal from the terror list, offering $20,000 for a 20 minute speech of support.