Saeed Ghasseminejad Of The ‘Foundation For Defense Of Democracies’ Really Hates Iranians

When it comes to think-tanks that want to bomb Iran back into the Stone Age, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) far surpasses them all. Despite the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent grandiose anti-Iranian “bombshell” performance was largely discredited by even the most mainstream media outlets as offering nothing substantially new to the Iranian nuclear program debate, the FDD still saw fit to republish an article from the National Review entitled “Netanyahu’s Intelligence Bombshell Should Spell End of Iran Deal.”

Even the New York Times’ editorial board were forced to admit that “Mr. Netanyahu did not provide any evidence that Iran had violated the deal since it took effect in early 2016” before adding that:

“The International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors the deal, has repeatedly judged Iran to be in compliance with its commitments, as have top American security officials. Many of Israel’s past and present military and intelligence leaders also say the deal is effective and should be kept in force.”

But let’s not allow facts to get in the way of a good neocon story.

Despite its ludicrous name, the pro-Israel Washington D.C. based think-tank, which focuses on national security and foreign policy, possesses nothing democratic about it. In fact, the more democratic a Washington-based think-tank claims to be, should give the reader more of an indication of how undemocratic it likely is.

Last year, the email account of one of the world’s most influential ambassadors, Yousef Al-Otaiba, was hacked and a number of emails were sent to the Intercept, the Huffington Post and the Daily Beast. These emails demonstrated an emerging relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the FDD, which formed a common intention over their hatred for Iran.

On March 10th, 2017, FDD’s CEO Mark Dubowitz wrote an email to both Otaiba and FDD Senior Counselor John Hannah, who is actually a former deputy national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney. The email had the subject line “Target list of companies investing in Iran, UAE and Saudi Arabia.” An attached memorandum also included a lengthy list of “non-U.S. businesses with operations in Saudi Arabia or UAE that are looking to invest in Iran.” In other words, these companies were identified so they could be forced “to [make] a choice” between investing in Iran or its rival counterparts.

The FDD is funded by pro-Israel billionaire Sheldon Adelson, an ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who unsurprisingly endorsed Donald Trump for president in an opinion piece for the Washington Post. This should give you an idea of the types of circles Otaiba and the FDD are operating within.

But what if we were to tell you that the FDD is embedded with influential Iranian-Americans? Do these Iranian-Americans share the FDD’s distaste for Iran and the desire to promote a pro-Israel agenda, or are they there to counter-balance the neocon establishment?

One such Iranian-American is Saeed Ghasseminejad, a research fellow at the FDD with over 11,000 followers on Twitter. When he isn’t busy retweeting Reza Pahlavi, also known as the heir to one of the world’s most notorious former dictators, or war-hawks like columnist Eli Lake, he is heavily tweeting pro-regime change sentiments of his own.

Mr. Ghasseminijad has since deleted the Tweets below, but the verbiage of those Tweets are still available:

Nix the Islamist regime, it fixes the deal. #jcpoa #irandeal

— Saeed Ghasseminejad (@SGhasseminejad) April 26, 2018

“Step 1 accomplished. Let’s work on step 2!” — Saeed Ghasseminejad (@SGhasseminejad) May 11, 2018

In response to a tweet from Richard Goldberg (a senior advisor at FDD) which read “It’s time to shift the Washington debate from whether or not to nix the #IranDeal to what a new deal should like (sic) after this one gets nixed” Ghasseminejad wrote in a now-deleted Tweet:

“Finally, I disagree with Richard on something! No! It is time to shift the debate to what the US should do to change the regime. No deal can fix problems an Islamist regime sitting on a vast amount of oil and gas can cause.”

It’s time to shift the Washington debate from whether or not to nix the #IranDeal to what a new deal should like after this one gets nixed.

— Richard Goldberg (@rich_goldberg) April 30, 2018

Finally, I disagree with Richard on something!
No! It is time to shift the debate to what the US should do to change the regime. No deal can fix problems an Islamist regime sitting on a vast amount of oil and gas can cause

— Saeed Ghasseminejad (@SGhasseminejad) April 30, 2018

It’s important to point out is that Ghasseminejad is not advocating for regime change from within Iran, so much as he is pushing for a policy of U.S.-sponsored regime change.

Yes, the same U.S. that famously “changed” the regimes in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and sought to do the same in Yemen, Syria, Ukraine, leaving nothing but complete destruction in its wake, should be tasked to do the same in Iran, according to this trustworthy Iranian-American analyst.

When you take a step back, it’s not hard to see how Ghasseminejad’s desire for regime change, and how to go about it, is perfectly in sync with that of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK).

Not long after Donald Trump unilaterally axed the Iranian nuclear deal, Ghasseminejad came out on Twitter in full force yet again with his most neocon statement yet, writing that:

“Many Iranians are using #WeAreHostages to echo what @realDonaldTrump said in his speech yesterday. Also, last night, they used #ThankYouTrump to show their support for US decision to leave disastrous #IranDeal. The US media doesn’t cover the real Iranians who hate this regime.”

If anything, the US media does a pretty decent job of demonizing Iran in its entirety, not just the regime. The less of a voice it gives to people like Ghasseminejad, the better.

It’s one thing to distaste the Iranian leadership; it is something wholly other to believe that Donald Trump – one of history’s most vile, racist, narcissistic sociopaths – actually cares about the plight of ordinary Iranians. Not to mention that at no stage has Donald Trump ever actually explained why the Iran deal is so bad. Presumably, he has never even read the JCPOA at all, given he has never actually offered a policy argument as to what is wrong with it.

Most disturbing of all, however, is Ghasseminejad’s echoing of a promise made by newly appointed national security advisor John Bolton to the MEK that regime change would take place in Iran before February 2019.

People like Ghasseminejad who parrot the Trump line do nothing for the people of Iran who are outraged at the US decision to renege on the Iran deal. Nor is Ghasseminejad’s position rooted in any meaningful discussion of geopolitics. What is wrong with the JCPOA in its current form, and what could possibly be worth putting the lives of millions of Iranians, Syrians, Israelis and countless others at risk when the JCPOA was by all accounts, working?

Ghasseminejad’s constant push for war proves one thing, just because you are Iranian-American does not mean that you truly care about the well-being of Iranians.

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