A Pennsylvania-based speakers’ bureau sent an invitation to a Washington think-tank expert offering $10,000 for a speech on behalf of a group designated by the U.S. as a “foreign terror organization,” according to an investigation by Salon’s Justin Elliott. 21st Century Speakers Inc. contacted the think-tanker “on behalf of our client, the National Council of Resistance of Iran [NCRI], Foreign Affairs Committee.” NCRI is the political wing of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), a Paris- and Iraq-based armed Iranian revolutionary group that laid down its guns after the U.S. invaded Iraq. NCRI is described as an MEK “political front” by the State Department in its list of Foreign Terror Organizations. Georgetown Law professor David Cole, an expert on material terror support laws, told Salon that the speakers’ bureau agent was “committing a crime because she’s providing a service to NCRI by arranging for this.” This year, pro-MEK groups in the U.S. undertook a multi-million dollar public relations campaign — including paid speeches and busing in conference attendees — to get the group removed from the terror rolls.
U.S.-Based Speakers’ Bureau Working With U.S.-Designated Iranian Terror Group