By Hamid Yazdan Panah
NIAC continues to use the nuclear crisis to score as many points as it can. Like a Mullah stuffing his face with the last remaining ghorme sabzi, NIAC has sought to squeeze every last drop of publicity (and money), out of the Iran talks. Not only is NIAC’s President Trita Parsi getting his articles re-published by the pro-regime Tehran Times, but NIAC itself is continuing to live off the fat of the political landscape, while pushing the same tired line as always. All of this has proven to be profitable, both for NIAC and the Iranian regime.
Trita Parsi, recently wrote a piece for CNN entitled: Five reasons why a deal would be good for the U.S. Nevermind the fact that Parsi is now writing “list” articles in the style of internet junk sites, the list put forth by Parsi is notable in the boldness of its claims. Parsi begins the piece by claiming stating; “Opponents of the deal will spend millions of dollars on ads pushing the U.S. public and Congress to kill the deal in the next few days.”
Parsi makes no mention of the money being spent to promote a deal with Iran, or the billions which stand to be made by those who are interested in seeing economic ties resume with the United States. A significant amount of evidence has been published in regards to Parsi’s own ties to Iran’s oil industry which I will not repeat here.
Recently, Bloomberg ran a piece entitled: “How Freelance Diplomacy Bankrolled by Rockefellers Has Paved the Way for an Iran Deal”. The article, shows that it’s not only opponents of the Iran deal who are spending big money to pursue political aim. The articles notes:
The philanthropy, which is run by a board split between family members and outsiders, has spent $4.3 million since 2003 promoting a nuclear pact with Iran, chiefly through the New York-based Iran Project, a nonprofit led by former U.S. diplomats. For more than a decade they’ve conducted a dialogue with well-placed Iranians, including Mohammad Javad Zarif, now Tehran’s chief nuclear negotiator.
One need only google the name Javad Zarif and Trita Parsi in order to find all sorts of connections and food for thought on this issue. Believe me, it’s a lot easier to connect these dots then the ones Trita tries to pawn off. It appears that Parsi and co. have continued to receive favors and support from all sides, whether it is having their articles re-posted by Iranian media, or being bank rolled by some of America’s wealthiest families.
If that wasn’t enough, Reuters recently wrote a report entitled: “Iranian nuclear deal set to make hardline Revolutionary Guards richer” the report details just how the IRGC has been able to take over Iran’s economy, and how sanctions relief would benefit their operations, which include the repression of protests in Iran, and carrying out terrorist activities abroad. A Reuters investigation has also claimed that the Supreme leader Khamanei has a financial empire that could be as large as 95 billion dollars. An empire that would gain substantially from sanctions relief.
Coinciding with this news is the announcement by NIAC that they would soon launch their own “lobbying arm” in order to be able to fully lobby on capitol hill (this time legally unlike the past). What does this mean for NIAC? Nothing much other than a legal formality, as it has long been a partisan lobbying group for quite some time.
The announcement by NIAC to begin full fledged lobbying activities, despite its 10 year campaign to claim that it is “not a lobby”, is not only ironic by itself, but shows that NIAC is ready to increase its appetite for funding and knows that there is more to be had in regards to its current policy positions.
It appears it pays very well to be pro-Iran deal. That is of course, if you are part of the regime and its lobby.
Hamid Yazdan Panah is an attorney focused on asylum and immigration in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also a human rights activist focused on the Middle East and Iran.