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Congressional invite to MEK sparks furious backlash

Former State Department officials are refusing to testify alongside Mujahedeen-e-Khalq leader Maryam Rajavi.
Maryam Rajavi (2nd R), president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, attends an international meeting in Rome December 19, 2013. The meeting organised by the Italian committee of parliamentarians and pro-democracy Iranian activists was held to discuss the nuclear talks in Geneva, organisers said. REUTERS/Alessandro  Bianchi (ITALY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX16ORH
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A House panel's invitation to the leader of an Iranian dissident group has caused a furious backlash from former State Department officials who refuse to testify along with her.

Former ambassador to Syria Robert Ford and ex-counterterrorism coordinator Daniel Benjamin told Al-Monitor that they did not want to give a platform to the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), a group that the United States considered a terrorist organization until three years ago. Ford said he would not testify at the same time as Maryam Rajavi, while Benjamin has pulled out altogether from Wednesday's terrorism subcommittee hearing on the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS).

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