Mike Pompeo, United States Secretary of State under President Donald Trump, has visited the camp in Albania of the Iranian Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK).
“In the end the Iranian people will have a secular, democratic, non-nuclear republic, I pray that this day will come soon,” Pompeo said during his controversial visit Monday. “I am committed to this cause; I know you all are too.” Pompeo met with the MEK leader Maryam Rajavi, describing her as “president-elect” of Iran.
Some Iranian dissidents have criticized Pompeo’s visit to the MEK center in Albania, as they regard the organization as non-democratic.
Pompeo, secretary of state when the US in 2018 left the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and imposed ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions, Monday called Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi a “butcher” who had “orchestrated” prison executions in 1988. Pompeo claimed 30,000 prisoners had been executed, the majority of whom “were the MEK.”
The Islamic Republic holds the MEK responsible for bombings in Iran in 1980s and for its alliance with Saddam Hussein until his overthrow in 2003. The United States relocated the opposition group from Iraq to Albania in 2013 as pro-Tehran Shiite groups were attacking the MEK and Kurds were demanding to hold the organization accountable for siding with Saddam.
Pompeo said that current “unrest in several Iranian cities, triggered by a sudden jump in prices,” showed Raisi had “failed” as president. “His mission is clear,” Pompeo said. “Inflict pain. Frighten, continue to loot and plunder.”