April 5, 2008
with the Mullahs
Mohammad Parvin and Hassan Daioleslam
Feinstein is announced as the keynote speaker of an upcoming event in
Capitol Hill on US-Iran relations.1
Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC)
will moderate the conference. Parsi
was the political advisor and assistant to now the federal prisoner Bob
Ney. Ney’s conviction was partly related to the bribes he received
based international felons working with the Iranian regime.
The intentions of
Senator Feinstein are not in question. Preventing a disastrous war with
is an honorable intent. How
Senator’s objectives line up with those of Trita Parsi is a different
issue. In 1999, Parsi and
his Tehran based partner, Siamak Namazi kicked off a project to
influence the US Congress and the decision making process in favor of
reducing pressure off the Iranian theocratic rulers.
In their famous roadmap,2
they called for the creation of an Iranian American lobby in the
"to create a balance between the competing Middle Eastern
lobbies. Without it, Iran-bashing may become popular in Congress again."
The “competing lobby” was AIPAC
(American Israeli Public Affairs Committee).
NIAC has followed the decorations of the roadmap to the last dot.
Parsi’s coauthor was
Siamak Namazi, an important figure in the financial mafia of the Iranian
regime. Along with his brother and sister, Namazi controls the "Atieh
Bahar" firm in
. "Atieh" is the leading consulting firm for foreign oil
companies dealing with
and maintains direct collaboration with the top leaders in Iran.3
So the question to
Senator Feinstein is: why are you paving the way for those who
explicitly declare that they intend to lobby you and your colleagues.
Do you know who they are and why they do what they do?
In 2006, the
’s governmental newspaper, Aftab, 4 published
an article decorated with Parsi's close-up picture. The article's title
was: "Does the Iranian
lobby get active"? The author concluded that this lobby in the
acts as the regime's "unofficial Diplomacy".
Separately, Gholamreza Fathnejad, the head of the Iranian
Interest Section in the
) praised Trita Parsi's efforts and called for increased support for
When the first article
exposing Parsi’s connections and activities, was published in US in
April 2007, a large number of governmental newspapers came to his
rescue, claiming that "the Jewish lobby is attacking the Iranian
implications of Senator Feinstein's speech in a session organized and
moderated by Trita Parsi raise the more fundamental question
about Democratic Party's attitude towards the Mullahs regime and
their lobbying activities in the
. A case in point
is Shahriar Afshar , from Senator Feinstein's own State,
In 1997, Afshar , a
, founded the Iranian Trade Associations to lobby the removal of US
. Shahriar Afshar is also the president of "Iranian American
" which is affiliated to the Democratic Party and has participated
in fundraisings with Senator Feinstein in the past. 7
Afshar is best known for his relations with the Iranian regime. He has
been a usual participant and an active organizer of the Mullahs’ oil
related events and conferences. For
instance, Afshar's organization (ITA) actively helped to organize The
1998 Iranian Petroleum Conference in Cyprus which
was sponsored and supported by the Iranian regime. Afshar pledged to the
oil companies that he was trying to lure to the conference, that: "With several high-level Iranian government officials
in attendance, your company's success in
may well depend on your attendance at this dynamic conference.8
The Iranian community
and especially in
is profoundly shocked that their Senator is promoting lobbying groups
with such clear agendas. In
February 2008, a large number of Iranians gathered in Beverly Hill to
protest Trita Parsi’s presence. Parsi's
scheduled speech was consequently cancelled.
While such gathering might not actually be possible in the
confines of the Senate’s walls, it is up to the good Senator and her
staff to do the due diligence of the background check.
participation in this meeting is also salt of the injury of the victims
of human rights violations in
. NIAC is an organization
which so far has refused to condemn human rights violations by the
Iranian regime. In fact, it
has taken an active role in justifying these atrocities arguing that the
pressure for suspension of IRI’s atomic activities is the main cause
of these violations! The systematic persecution of ethnic and religious
minorities, the ongoing repression of women, and imprisonment torture
and execution of many brave Iranians who don’t submit to IRI,
as well as export of Islamic revolution and continuous threats of
are integral elements of this regime.
Under the banner of opposition to war, NIAC has been promoting
friendship with such a brutal regime.
Two months ago, in a meeting held in the congress building, when
Trita Parsi was asked why NIAC does not take any meaningful position
against human rights violations by IRI, he replied: “NIAC is not a
human rights organization. We
do not have expertise in that area”!
Senator Feinstein, your
good record in defense of human rights does not warrant your cooperation
with such organization. It rather raises the expectation that you stand
by freedom loving Iranian people and don’t allow a lobby group to use
your good name in legitimizing a terrorist regime. This can be
manifested in your support for the Senate Act S-970.
As we witnessed in
, a smart sanction will empower the Iranian people in their struggle to
replace the religious dictatorship by a secular democracy and will
eliminate the danger of war. There is no need
for any military intervention. The only help expected from civilized
nations is to stop helping and legitimizing the Mullahs’ regime until
its atomic activities and human rights violations are stopped. Release
of all political prisoners should be the first step.
mullahs or their lobbyists in the
will not bring us closer to peace. It
emboldens the war mongers in
. It buys them time to pursue their aggressive strive to gain
hegemony in the region and the world.
To prevent a disastrous war with
, stop mullah’s lobbyists. We
agree with you that a different approach in dealing with
is needed. But dear Senator Feinstein,
aren’t you just continuing the strategy that started with the infamous
“Cake and Colt”, and has so far cost us thousands of American lives
and hundreds of billions of dollars in debt?
Ph.D., is an adjunct professor at the
, an Aerospace Specialist, and Founding Director of the
for Establishment of Human Rights in Iran (
R) - http://mehr.org/
is an independent Iran Analyst and writer. He is well published in Farsi
and English. He has appeared as an expert guest in the
Voice of America-TV as well as other Persian media. Daioleslam has three
decades of history of political
activism and political scholarly analysis. http://iranianlobby.com/
's oil Mafia: http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2007/04/25/trita-parsi-bob-ney-and-iran%e2%80%99s-oil-mafia-penetrating-the-us-political-system/#respond
6- for instance, see the 5 following