Eight former U.S. officials will appear at a Washington, D.C. event on Friday in support of an Iranian opposition group labeled a terrorist organization by the United States, all in the midst of a federal investigation into speaking fees paid for appearances at previous conferences.
An unknown number of former officials who have spoken at events in support of the People’s Muhajedin Organization of Iran, or MEK, have been subpoenaed by the Treasury Department. Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former FBI Director Louis Freeh have hired former Clinton Solicitor General Seth P. Waxman in response to the probe.
Friday’s event, held at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., will feature Mukasey, Freeh, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, former Marine Corps Commandant James Conway, Former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Marc Ginsberg and former U.S. Ambassador Stuart Holliday. Mitchell Reiss, former State Department Policy Planning Director, will moderate.
A flyer for the event says it is co-sponsored by The Iranian American Community of Northern California and Human Rights and Democracy International. The event marks the anniversary of an April 8, 2011 assault on Camp Ashraf — a location where many members of the MEK have been temporarily stationed — by Iraqi forces. Troops allegedly killed 34 and injured 318 during the raid.
Here’s the description of why the event is being held from a flier:
On April 8, 2011, thousands of Iraqi soldiers, using Humvees and armored personnel carriers, attacked Camp Ashraf, home to 3,400 members of Iran’s main opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). Some 36 unarmed and defenseless residents, including 8 women, were killed and hundreds more were wounded. This assault was condemned universally by the US, the US Congress, the EU and the UN. Since then, the residents of Ashraf, after receiving assurances from Secretary of State regarding their safety and security, agreed to relocate to Camp Liberty, near Baghdad International Airport. So far, 1,200 residents have gone to the new site, with the rest scheduled to go once Liberty can accommodate them. The UNHCR has recognized the residents of Ashraf as asylum-seekers and people of concern and has started the process of reconfirming their refugee status. Nevertheless, the future of the political refugees is far from certain.