Social media abuzz with reactions to Michele Flournoy’s speech at MKO summit

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo shows Michele Flournoy (L) and US President Joe Biden shaking hands

Social media has been abuzz with words of condemnation from journalists and other users who said it was both “shocking” and “embarrassing” for Michele Flournoy, former US undersecretary of defense for policy, to address the annual summit of the notorious anti-Iran Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group. 

Addressing the virtual event on Saturday, Flournoy, once considered a front runner to be President Joe Biden’s defense secretary, accused Iran of posing a threat to the security of the Middle East, the United States, and to its own people.

“Since 1979, every US administration has had to deal with the threat posed by Iran’s revolutionary regime and the Biden administration is no different,” she told the convention. “Iran is one of the most urgent foreign policy issues on the president’s desk.”

Flournoy called for what she described as an “internal regime change” in the Islamic Republic.

In an attempt to draw attention to the “chaos” allegedly caused by the Islamic Republic, Flournoy readily turned facts on their head and offered a twisted and cut-down view of regional developments to the delight of MEK members.

For instance, she accused Iran of “attacking American forces in Iraq with ballistic missiles.” But she failed to mention that the January 8, 2020 surgical strike against Ain al-Asad, a sprawling airbase housing American troops in western Iraq, was in response to the brazen assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike days earlier.

Flournoy also said, truly, that “Iran has shot down Americana drones.” But, again, she left out the part that the RQ-4A Global Hawk surveillance drone had simply violated Iran’s airspace.

Journalists and other users took to Twitter to react to Flournoy’s speech.

“Michele Flournoy nearly became Biden’s Defense Secretary and co-founded the WestExec corporate influence peddling firm that sent 15 consultants into Biden’s White House. Now she’s shilling for the MEK cult that carries out assassinations & destabilizes Iran. Pure sleaze,” tweeted Max Blumenthal, editor at The Grayzone News.

Others said that politicians like Flournoy were not oblivious to what the MKO represents, but they nevertheless risk their reputation by addressing such events in return for the “fat checks” they receive.

“It's frankly absurd to imagine that people like Mike Pompeo and Michele Flournoy don't know what the MEK is or what it represents,” wrote Gregory Brew, a historian at the history department of Georgetown University in Washington DC. “They know what it means to take the money and speak at these events. And they do it anyway.”

“It isn’t that Michele Flournoy is naive enough to get duped by the terrorist cult MEK & speak at their conference for a fat check. She’s the ‘Democratic’ side of the same warmongering coin that wants to regime change Iran & destroy the lives of its 85 million people,” posted Sina Toossi a senior research analyst who writes for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy magazines.

Jacob Silverman, a journalist with The New Republic, a left-wing American magazine, said that it was embarrassing for a career politician like Flournoy to address a terrorist organization and call its work “important.”

“I watched Michele Flournoy's MEK speech. Mostly pro-Biden pabulum, but the whole thing is embarrassing, especially for a Serious Person. She called for ‘internal regime change’ and said MEK's work was ‘important,’” he posted on his Twitter page.  

Out of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist attacks over the past four decades, about 12,000 have fallen victim to the MKO's acts of terror.

During former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s war on Iran, which lasted eight years, MKO members were armed and equipped by the Iraqi regime to fight against Iran.

The MKO was designated 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.  The European Union (EU) also removed the MKO from its list of terrorist organizations in 2009.

The anti-Iran terrorists enjoy freedom of activity in the US and Europe and hold meetings with American and EU officials.

A few years ago, MKO members were relocated from their Camp Ashraf in Iraq’s Diyala Province and later sent to Albania, where they now reside and continue their anti-Iran activities.

The group throws lavish conferences every year in the French capital, Paris, with senior American, Western, and Saudi Arabian officials in attendance as guests of honor.


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