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U.S. brass back Iranians listed for terror

May 13, 2011 at 3:47 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 13 (UPI) -- An Iranian exile group once sponsored by Saddam Hussein is trying to get off the U.S. terror list -- with support from many former top American officials.

The Mujahedin e-Khalq (People's Holy Warriors) is backed by big names like former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former CIA Director James Woolsey, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former FBI Director Louis Freeh and three former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs -- Hugh Shelton, Richard Myers and Peter Pace, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Two top officials who recently departed the Obama administration also have signed on: ex-National Security Adviser James Jones and former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair.

Those who have spoken for the group would not reveal their fees, but many of them charge $25,000 to $40,000 per appearance. The MeK is funded by Iranian exiles.

"We should take the MeK off the list and recognize them for what they are, which is the legitimate government," said former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who has made both paid and unpaid speeches on the group's behalf.

The MeK is based in Iraq where it supported Saddam's war against Iran in the 1980s. The State Department, citing many attacks, has listed it as a terrorist group since 1997.

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