A bipartisan group of US lawmakers will address an online gathering of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO), a terrorist organization that has carried out numerous attacks against Iranian civilians and government officials since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, and Senator Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, are among those that organizers say will address the three-day event.
They will be joined by Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, as well as Republican Sens. Rick Scott of Florida, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas.
The summit, being organized by major Iranian exile organizations in the US and Europe, touted itself as “the largest-ever online international event dedicated to liberating Iran.” Organizers said they hoped the annual event will help incite uprisings against the government in the Islamic Republic.
“Iranian society is a powder keg on the verge of explosion,” Maryam Rajavi, leader of the MKO terrorist cult and president of its umbrella National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), told The Washington Times. “More ferocious and extensive uprisings are waiting to erupt at a moment’s notice.”
The planned summit comes as the administration of US President Joe Biden is working to potentially rejoin a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that his predecessor, Donald Trump, abandoned three years ago in defiance of international criticism.
Representatives from Iran and other remaining signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)-- namely the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China-- have been negotiating in the Austrian capital, Vienna, since April in an effort to revive the accord.
A US delegation is also in the Austrian capital, but it is not directly attending the talks because the United States is no longer a party to the deal. Iran has made it clear that all sanctions, which the JCPOA had lifted but were reimposed in the wake of the US withdrawal, should first be removed in a verifiable manner before the United States can return to the accord.
The congressional roster addressing the online MKO event indicates the political headwinds the Biden administration faces on Capitol Hill in diplomacy with Iran.
The MKO had been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States for 15 years before it was delisted in 2012, following an intense lobbying campaign by pressure groups in Washington and Iranian exiles.
Ever since, the cult, responsible for the death of more than 12,000 Iranians, has been heavily propagandized as an “Iranian opposition group” by the West.
The European Union (EU) also removed the MKO from its list of terrorist organizations in 2009, seven years after blacklisting the outfit.
MKO throws lavish conferences every year in the French capital, with senior American, Western, and Saudi Arabian officials in attendance as guests of honor.
Past attendees include former US national security advisor John Bolton, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, and former Saudi Arabian spy chief Prince Turki al-Faisal.