With Donald Trump winning the election, albeit only with the Electoral College, he’s been putting together those who will hold top spots within his administration. One of his top picks for Secretary of State is none other than former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Besides the obvious observation that Giuliani doesn’t have that much foreign policy experience, the experience he does have abroad needs to be heavily scrutinized.
According to The Washington Post:
“Senators who will be considering his confirmation may want to examine the fact that Giuliani took money to advocate on behalf of an Iranian dissident group while it was listed by the State Department as a foreign terrorist organization, potentially breaking the law.”
“For years, Giuliani has been one of the most prominent American officials to advocate on behalf of the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), a Marxist Iranian opposition group that claims to be the legitimate government of Iran and resembles a cult. A Treasury Department investigation in 2012 examined whether speaking fees paid by several MEK front groups to a long list of U.S. politicians, including Giuliani, violated laws on Americans receiving money from designated terrorist organizations.”
This could definitely be seen as a conflict of interest, to say the least, regarding our current relationship, or lack thereof, with Iran. And this issue isn’t exclusive to Giuliani. Politicians from both parties have been speaking on behalf of the MEK.
“Top State Department officials often complained about the U.S. politicians who were advocating for the MEK, calling their interference unhelpful and misguided. The American supporters of the MEK were increasing tensions between the U.S. government and the MEK while negotiations were ongoing.”
According to Josh Rogin in a 2012 article for ForeignPolicy.com:
“The U.N. and the State Department’s efforts have been made exponentially more difficult due to the MEK’s surprisingly strong base of support in Washington. In recent weeks, retired U.S. officials and politicians — many of whom admit to being paid by the MEK or one of its many affiliates — have mounted a sophisticated media campaign accusing the U.N. and the U.S. government of forcing the group to live in subhuman conditions against its will at Camp Liberty, an accusation U.S. officials say is as inaccurate as it is unhelpful.”
One of those people was Rudy Giuliani.
Needless to say, this relationship between the MEK and Giuliani may be toxic for future relations not only with Iran, but with several alliances and foreign relations abroad. Hopefully, Trump and his transition team are taking this information into account in their decision-making process. And if they don’t, hopefully the Senate will before confirming him.
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