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Profile: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen


Positions that Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has held:

  • US Representative from Florida




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Ileana Ros-Lehtinen actively participated in the following events:


October 2002      US confrontation with Iran

       Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida circulates a letter in Congress that expresses support for the Mujahedeen-e Khalq [MEK]. At the same time, however, Republican Congressmen, Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) and Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), outspoken critics of Iran's government, circulate a dissident letter chastising Ros-Lehtinen for including partial and inaccurate information in her letter. “We are strong opponents of the current government of Iran but do not believe that it is necessary to use terrorism or make common cause ... [with] Saddam Hussein to change Iran's government,” they write. “Particularly in view of the fact that the MEK is based in Iraq, has taken part in operations against the Kurds and Shia, has been responsible for killing Americans in Iran, and has supported the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran, we wanted you to have the full background on this organization as most recently reported by the Department of State, so that you may best decide whether to lend your name to this letter.” Ros-Lehtinen adds, “Some colleagues have signed similar letters in the past and then been embarrassed when confronted with accurate information about the MEK.” [The Hill, 4/8/2003]
People and organizations involved: Mujahedeen-e Khalq, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Henry Hyde

April 2003      US confrontation with Iran

       Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) defends her support for the Mujahedeen-e Khalq [MEK], a militant Iranian opposition group that has been included in the US State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations since 1997 (see 1997). “This group loves the United States” and they are “assisting us in the war on terrorism; they're pro-US,” she says. “This group has not been fighting against the US. It's simply not true.” Regarding the group's past history, which has included attacks against US citizens, collusion with Saddam Hussein, and terrorist attacks against Iran, she says that they are “past history,” asserting that they have “no bearing on what is going on right now in the field.” Ros-Lehtinen further says that there is “wide support” in Congress for the group and that the MEK will be “one of the leading groups in establishing secular government in Iran.” Ros-Lehtinen currently chairs the House International Relations committee's Central Asia and Middle East Subcommittee. [The Hill, 4/8/2003]
People and organizations involved: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mujahedeen-e Khalq

January 6, 2005      US confrontation with Iran

       Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida re-introduces a bill on United States' policy toward Iran (a similar bill was introduced in the 108th Congress in 2003). The bill, named the Iran Freedom Support Act (HR 282), says, “[I]t should be the policy of the United States to support independent human rights and pro-democracy forces in Iran.” It would also authorize the president to “provide financial and political assistance (including the award of grants) to foreign and domestic individuals, organizations, and entities that support democracy and the promotion of democracy in Iran and that are opposed to the non-democratic Government of Iran.” These efforts would be paid for with funds already “available to the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative, and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).” [Financial Times, 1/18/2005 Sources: Iran Freedom Support Act (H. R. 282)]
People and organizations involved: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

'Passive' participant in the following events:

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