Stephen Harper Joined Gingrich, Giuliani to Deliver Speech to Ex-Terrorist Organization
Stephen Harper recently spoke at a Paris event staged by MEK, a group once listed as a terrorist organization in the US and Europe. Harper was joined by Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Guiliani and former Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich who also spoke at the event.
Proud to stand up for freedom and democracy for the people of Iran. While the Iranian regime poses a threat to us all, the most oppressed are its own citizens. Freedom, dignity and self determination are universal values. pic.twitter.com/ImcByvdlyp
— Stephen Harper (@stephenharper) June 30, 2018
MEK was removed as a terrorist group by the Harper government in December 2012. They were previously removed as a terrorist organization by the EU in 2009 and the US in September of 2012.
According to Politico, the US “blamed the MEK for killing three U.S. Army colonels and three U.S. contractors, bombing the facilities of numerous U.S. companies and killing innocent Iranians”.
A report by the Christian Science Monitor explained how high ranking US officials were paid thousands of dollars to speak in support of MEK. These officials included Democrats such as Howard Dean and Bill Richardson, and Republicans such as Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey, a former US attorney general. It was part of an effort by MEK to get off the terrorist watch list.
Since retiring, Harper has aligned himself more closely with far-right officials and questionable political organizations around the world.
He previously attended an event sponsored by Dentons with Gingrich where he urged Canadians to see NAFTA “through the U.S. government’s eyes, and finding solutions it can sell”. Gingrich was one of the speakers at the event staged by MEK.
According to news reports, Harper plans to meet John Bolton at the White House, a meeting that up until recently was undisclosed to Canadian officials. Harper has refused to discuss the purpose of the meeting.
This isn’t the first time Harper has courted far-right governments.
In April he tweeted congratulations to Viktor Orbán. Orbán’s government is under pressure from the European Union due to their anti-democratic tendencies. The EU cited concerns about “the independence of the judiciary, freedom of expression, the rights of minorities, and treatment of migrants and refugees in Hungary”.
Congratulations to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Hungary’s Fidesz for winning a decisive fourth term! The IDU and I are looking forward to working with you.
— Stephen Harper (@stephenharper) April 9, 2018