Once again, Trita Parsi of NIAC has asked for money. As usual, he presents himself as a genuine defender of peace and frames his critics (including me Hassan dai) as the stooges of warmongers and neocons who seek the invasion of our country. Parsi's new writing reveals his true nature and deceit.
The lawsuit that he and NIAC filed and finally lost, showed one thing clearly that he lies as easily as we breath. He and NIAC were punished for these lies and will have to pay hundreds of thousands of Dollars. They lied to the court, their expert lied (and was disqualified) and their attorney was disbarred. In its ruling, the court sanctioned NIAC for discovery abuses and untrue declarations to the court. The judge wrote: "There is no question that plaintiffs have repeatedly tried to evade their discovery obligations... In awarding sanctions, the Court is mindful not just of the need to compensate defendant, but also of the need to deter plaintiffs from future discovery abuses." (Ruling, p. 23)
Let me explain Parsi's deceit in two parts, first his campaign to present himself as a peace defender.
Parsi's lobby has always been about business and opening up trade between US and Iran. The peace mantle is just a disguise and human face for his lobby. In his letter to his partner and Washington lobbyist Roy Coffee, Parsi explained the real nature of his lobby:
"Although the mission of the proposed lobby should be to improve relations between the US and Iran and open up opportunities for trade, the initial targets should be less controversial issues such as visas and racial profiling/discrimination... Despite its predominantly business oriented constituency, it is essential that the lobby creates a “human face” for its aims and goals. AIPAC successfully painted the opponents of the Iran Libya Sanctions Act as “greedy businessmen who had no scruples when it came to doing business with terrorist regimes.” The oil companies failed to characterize their campaign with “human concern for the well-being of innocent Iranians stuck with a dictatorial regime” or “support for the poor mid-Western family father who lost his job due the sanctions. The human element is essential both when it comes to attracting support among Iranian-Americans and when it comes to winning the debate and the votes on the Hill."
The NIAC internal documents released during the lawsuit show that Mr. Parsi was working for and being paid by Atieh Bahar, an Oil consulting company in Tehran with close ties to the regime. Parsi coordinated his lobby with Siamak Namazi, who was Atieh Bahar's partner and managing director.
NIAC and Parsi have continued a joint lobby with USAEngage representing large US corporation to lift the sanctions against Iran.
Trita Parsi has used his contact with the Iranian regime's officials as a business asset. In 2006 after meeting Javad Zarif, the regime's ambassador to the UN, he launched "Iran negotiation project" for which he asked nearly $100.000 to be shared with Gareth Porter (another so-called anti war activists). In an email explaining his project, Parsi wrote: "Few analysts in Washington have the access of Dr. Parsi to decision makers in Iran."
Parsi contacted US politicians and asked them to meet Ahmadinejad's deputy in Europe. He participated in these secret meetings led by Mojtaba Hashemi Samareh and held in Europe.
For more clarification about NIAC's lobby, I ask the readers to study NIAC's internal documents released by the court and judge by themselves.
Now, a quick response to his allegation that I was coached by neocons or funded by warmongers to attack NIAC.
I started to investigate about NIAC in 2005-6 after the Jack Amramoff's scandal was revealed and Parsi's boss Bob Ney was indicted and jailed. Ney had received bribes from a London based arm dealer who tried to buy a VIP airplane for Khamenei. First time I contacted Middle East Forum was in August 2008, several years after I started my reports about NIAC.
NIAC sued me in April 2008 to break me under financial burdens. I took a lawyer and paid from my own pocket until I had no more money. I asked for help and in September 2008, MEF contacted several law firms and Sidley Austin LLP, led by Senior Litigation Partner and 2012 Best Lawyers’ Chicago Products Liability Lawyer of the Year Mr. Timothy Kapshandy graciously accepted to defend me pro bono. Michele Obama worked for Sidley Austin's Chicago office as well.
MEF helped my legal defense and as of today, I have not received a dime from them. They paid directly to my lawyers for court expenses, as they have not billed their work. I am grateful to MEF, to Dr. Pipes and Sidley Austin for their courage to defend my freedom of expression.
My email to Michael Rubin (editor of ME Quarterly) was in December 2008, several years after I had started to write about NIAC and therefore, he did not coach me to attack NIAC. In fact, I had sent my articles to MEQ for publication and they refused to publish it. In response to my request, Rubin explained the MEQ's policy and what they can publish so that I modify my article. I did not modify it and it was never published.
Regarding MEF and Sidley Austin's help to my legal defense, I repeat what I told Eli Clifton:
“I reiterate my deepest gratitude toward MEF and Sidley Austin for supporting my legal defense. Every American and anyone who seeks peace and democracy should be grateful to them as their support helped me and others to confront NIAC’s bullying and we were able to continue writing and show the deception behind NIAC’s lobby. This lawsuit is a victory for peace lovers and real progressives whose criticism of American foreign policy do not turn them into advocates of Tehran rulers.”