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Iranian group's big-money push to get off US terrorist list

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Howard Dean, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, hailed Rajavi in Berlin last March.

"Madame Rajavi does not sound like a terrorist to me; she sounds like a president," Mr. Dean said, gesturing toward the MEK leader from the dais. "And her organization should not be listed as a terrorist organization. We should be recognizing her as the president of Iran."

Mr. Dean confirmed to the Monitor that he received payment for his appearances, but said the focus on high pay was “a diversion inspired by those with a different view.”

Influence and money

Lee Hamilton, former co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, told the Monitor he received a "good fee" to speak in Washington. He "approved" of the MEK's 10-point platform, which enshrines democracy, gender equality, and freedom, but added: "We all know it's a piece of paper.... Now is that in fact their practice? I don't think I am the one to judge that."

Hamilton told the audience he remains "really puzzled" about why the MEK remains on the terrorist list.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell also spoke at an MEK-linked event and was paid $20,000 for a 10-minute speech. Mr. Rendell confirmed that figure to the Monitor, and said: “No amount of money could make me say something I didn’t believe.”

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