Every time the main Iranian resistance movement, The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), makes progress in its campaign to depose Iran’s murderous theocracy, AEI’s self-proclaimed academic, Michael Rubin restates the same malicious allegations, which are cheaply copied from the Iranian intelligence service (MOIS) and debunked in 2006 and 2011.
The organization’s deeply democratic internal ties
Indeed, these absurd newspaper pieces, such as the nonsense that MEK leaders “rule with an iron fist,” arise from his displeasure at the MEK’s sustained organizational cohesion and integrity, which is based on the organization’s deeply democratic internal ties.
The Free Iran World Summit 2021
Interestingly, Rubin took his latest cue from the Iranian regime, whose Foreign Ministry launched a frantic attack against the hundreds of foreign dignitaries attending the Free Iran World Summit 2021.
He asserts that the MEK acquired over 1,000 prominent current and former officials, as well as members of Congress. He also accused the MEK of being a “cult” that the Iranian people “despise” for siding with Iraq, just as government officials.
The Supreme Leader’s mouthpiece, the daily Kayhan
It’s no surprise that Rubin’s entertainment articles are warmly welcomed and reprinted by nearly all state-controlled media channels in Iran. The Supreme Leader’s mouthpiece, the daily Kayhan, lost no time in repeating Rubin’s article on the second page of its July 19th issue.
Rubin is certainly operating as a campaigner for the regime. The origins of his animosity and fanatical fight against the MEK are unknown. His attack pieces, which are strangely coordinated with the regime’s influence efforts, provide a much-needed propaganda lifeline to the regime, especially now that Tehran has chosen a new president who is universally denounced for his role in the 1988 massacre.
Afrasiabi lobbied US authorities
Kaveh Afrasiabi was arrested by US authorities on January 19, 2021, for being an “unregistered agent of the Iranian government.” Afrasiabi lobbied US authorities for years, published books and articles promoting the Iranian regime’s political agenda, and was secretly hired by the regime’s UN mission. One of Afrasiabi’s main tasks was to defame the MEK, using almost the same rhetoric as Rubin.
The MOIS has frequently instructed its propagandists to speak out against theocracy while slamming the main opposition. In order to give legitimacy to their accusations on the MEK, many uncovered pro-regime writers condemn the mullahs more than Rubin does.
Rubin defended Ahmad Chalabi
Rubin, on the other hand, is the only individual to question the loyalty of individuals who have supported the Iranian Resistance for more than a decade. Rubin defended Ahmad Chalabi, his favorite “democratic opposition” figure when he was embroiled in corrupt practices, as evidenced by this piece in Commentary: “Was Chalabi corrupt? He did not loot billions… He was a businessman, and he may have blurred the lines between politics and commercial opportunities on occasion.”
Rubin, for one, isn’t exempt from controversies. According to the New York Times, he inappropriately concealed an affiliation and funding from a private contractor in Iraq in 2006. “Normally, when I travel, I am reimbursed for my expenses, including a per diem and/or honorarium,” Rubin explained. “However, Mr. Rubin would not comment further on the number of such payments he may have received,” the Times added.
Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International questioned if Rubin had been paid by the UAE to produce a piece denigrating an Emirati dissident in 2016, according to press sources.