President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and informal adviser Newt Gingrich are scheduled to speak before a controversial Iranian opposition group, Politico reports.
Giuliani and Gingrich’s address, at a conference to be held on Saturday, June 30, comes as Trump puts immense pressure on Iran, indicating movement toward outside-induced regime change in the Middle Eastern country. As Middle East Eye noted in May this year, the man running the show is John Bolton, Trump’s National Security Adviser, who has been a part of the powerful, neoconservative section of George W. Bush’s administration; an administration which has waged infamous, expensive, and regime-changing wars of its own.
After abandoning the Iran nuclear deal, the Trump administration has, according to the Wall Street Journal, driven Iranian oil exports down, boosting the fortune of Iran’s adversary and American ally, Saudi Arabia. As the WSJ further noted, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is also planning to increase oil production to a record high of nearly 11 million barrels a day, which is expected to further jeopardize Iran, a country which remains under U.S. sanctions.
Now, as tensions escalate, Trump’s close confidants, Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich, are scheduled to address the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq. Formerly considered a terrorist group, the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq is, according to Politico, the organizer of the “Free Iran” conference, to be held in Paris this weekend.
Described as a terrorist group and a cult, the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq has been, slowly but steadily, cultivating relationships with Western politicians. Their most recent targets, as Politico noted, are Giuliani, Gingrich, and Bolton. Much like other politicians, the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq has lobbied, Gingrich and Giuliani will be paid handsome speaking fees.
Their appearance at the conference, “underscores once more how some of Trump’s top surrogates are advocates of regime change in Iran,” Dartmouth University’s Daniel Benjamin and former Obama administration counter-terrorism official, told Politico.
Furthermore, the group’s efforts appear to have swayed politicians on the other end of the political spectrum. Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a Democrat, is also scheduled to speak at the event.
Former presidents, Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama, have called the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq a terrorist group, accusing it of carrying out a string of bombings, some of which had resulted in deaths of American citizens. The same group has also supported the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, Politico noted.
“Iranians don’t want to replace one regime with another,” an Iran analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Politico, referencing the lack of support for the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq among the Iranian people, even those staunchly against the current regime.