The Mujahedin of Iran: Conversation with an MEK Insider (Mideast Connections 2)

At the Thunderbird School of Global Management early this spring, I attended a luncheon and met Amir Emadi. A clean-cut, well-spoken MBA student of Iranian descent, he handed me his card. On its back was a large and unfamiliar logo. Underneath big letters stated “Camp Ashraf.”

This startled me, and I looked quizzically at him. “Camp Ashraf?” I asked. The home of People’s Mujahedin of Iran, an organization that until recently was on the U.S. Government’s terrorism watch list? And silently I wondered, “Does Thunderbird have students with links to terrorist groups?”

Amir responded to my puzzlement with equanimity, which made me truly curious. Turns out, both of his birth parents have been members of the MEK, as well as numerous relatives. When Amir was born, his father and mother sent him abroad, to be adopted and raised by a family close to the organization.

What an interesting background, I thought and decided to ask him for an interview. This video is the result. Amir speaks about the organization’s history, gives his take on the question whether the MEK betrayed the Iranian people during the Iran-Iraq War that lasted from 1981 to 1988, describes Camp Ashraf and the deal that the MEK made with the U.S. after the Iraq invasion of 2003, and finds that when former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani advocated delisting the MEK, he did it not for money but out of conviction.

You may or may not agree with Amir’s worldview. What you will have to admit is that for a graduate student in his twenties he makes a remarkable case for the group on camera. Check out the website he designed at CampAshraf.org. I’d say he’s got a future in public relations.

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