Iranian American community and Human Rights


Daniel M Pourkesali
by Daniel M Pourkesali

Below was author's response to a mailing received from National Iranian American Council to all its members on successful initiatives taken in 2008:

Dear friends at NIAC,

As a long time member, I congratulate and continue to appreciate and support the good work you're doing on behalf of the Iranian-American community. However I'm a bit dismayed by the insistence to inform the public about "Iran's human rights violations". Exactly which population is NIAC trying to "educate"?

As an organization representing the interests of Americans of Iranian heritage, shouldn't NIAC's focus be on such violations by this government? Respect for universal human rights begins at home and not through PR campaigns to promote such rights in Iran
or any other country. In the past several years, we've witnessed a massive erosion of civil and political rights that have proven hollow for both citizens and non-citizens who've suffered from U.S. policies and actions here and abroad.

Please take some time and read this report by the American Civil Liberties Union for the United Nations Human Rights Committee documenting U.S.' pathetic record on human rights in all areas including national security, women's rights, racial justice, immigrants' rights and religious freedom.

I'm by no means suggesting that NIAC should stop holding the Iranian government responsible for adhering to universally recognized human rights principles, but that accountability MUST begin with the country that is hosting its membership.

Thank you for your attention.

Best wishes and Happy Holidays.




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Fred: With all due respects you are mistaken!

by Ari (not verified) on

First - on the issue of human rights violation in Iran:

Many of us have raised our voices against human rights abuses directly to the Iranian authorities face to face. Iranian authorities and not the U.S. are the ones' who need to hear this directly from Iranians. This is an Iranian issue which has nothing to do with the U.S.

Second: We are quite aware that the U.S. does not give a damn about the rights or abuse of rights of the Iranian people or anyone else for that matter including its own citizens, as such no need to complain to deaf ears.

Third: We have no intention of giving the U.S. authorities any more excuses to meddle in the affairs of Iran and the Iranian people. The U.S. is going about doing its harm to Iranians without much help from us and we have no intention whatsoever to be tools in their pawn!

On a personal note, no matter how much I disdained what was going on in Iran under the Shah (including human rights abuses etc.), I considered this an Iranian issue and I was not about to raise my complaints here in the U.S.

Fourth: I totally agree with Daniel. If NIAC wishes to write about human rights abuses it should provide a balanced view as opposed to a one sided view - against Iran.

As you are aware the rights of U.S. citizens under the Constitution have been violated under the Bush Administration and previous administrations on a constant basis. The U.S. has one of the worse human rights record and is way on top of the list.

If NIAC wishes to appease the U.S. authorities by not providing a just and balanced account here lays my problem with NIAC. It is easy to complain about another country when you are not living in that country, but it obviously does not seem kosher for NIAC to complain about U.S. abuses when it's organization is based here in the U.S. AND WHY NOT?

As some other commentator has mentioned it is called the National IRANIAN- AMERICAN council isn’t it!!


Fred, get a life!

by Anonymous8 (not verified) on

I know how much fun it can be to attack other people. What the hell is any of this supposed to prove? 99% of Iranians everywhere hate the Mojahedin.

What are you trying to say anyway? What is your problem exactly? That CASMII or NIAC are not Zionist parrots like you want?

More power to Daniel, Rostam and everyone else doing good work for Iran and for peace.


Won’t go away

by Fred on

Responding to legitimate questions would be the easiest rout to take.  Why the Head of CASMII lobby U.S. continuously writes and defends the Islamist republic and it is ok? Why CASMII members defend the Islamist republic policies and it is ok? Why the CASMII lobby coordinates propaganda travel tours to the Islamist republic and uses the returnees in its propaganda activities and it is ok? There are other whys that won’t go away or I till they are all answered.  A quick sampling of CASMII ‘s work for those who care to know:

Human rights, the June 12 beatings of women and how much Iranian women love Ahmadinejad:

Things are getting better and better in Iran:

CASMII like the Islamist republic is after the beaten down MKO cult member:
In this piece, “Fanatic friends”  CASMII U.S. head is represented as “ Rostam Pourzal,”



Fred, Parkhash, or

by tinoush on

Long ago, there was an individual on by the handle "parkhash".  On more than one occasion, I was his target.  He would throw baseless accusations at anyone who did not go along with his particular brand of politics.  This was one certifiably disturbed individual.  Parkhash went to the point of attacking my professional work, sending extremely disgusting and insulting emails (I have a file of them). I gave Parkhash a taste of his own medicine.  Through a bit of searching, I found out that his real name was Parviz Khashaki, at least that is the name associated with Parkhash on several blogs.  As soon as I emailed him and revealed his identity to him privately, he vanished from  His last entry is in 2006.  But soon after another character with the same tone and style of insults popped up.  I emailed the new Parkhash and this one vanished too.

My point is that, the nature of these type of individuals is to get on sites like this and create discord by making baseless accusations.  I went through Fred's posts and read random ones spanning his time on this site, and his style of writing and attacking are a spot on copy of parkhash.  Is he parkhash?  Who knows?  We should just try to exclude him from the debate by overwhelming his message of hate.  Don't take his right to expression, but express more than him!!

There are sites like that offer services of the type that Fred is providing.  If a government, or entity does not like a particular type of information on the net, they hire these guys to overpower internet hits or write baseless accusations/propaganda to reduce the effectiveness of the targeted idea. You can research this. It's very real.  A few people have come forward to talk about how these companies work.  You have a person with four or five screens and a list of hundreds of identities going on various sites and writing/copy-pasting nonsense.  Sometimes the propaganda is crafted to sound very academic.  Sometimes it's mere slander and provocation.  We ALL need to do our own research into every piece on the web.  It's very easy to figure out what NIAC and CASMII are and do.  It's easy to look at the track record of Daniel Pourkesali who writes under a real name.  It's not so easy to find out who Fred and Parkhash are?  Maybe, he's a temp sitting at the headquarters of pounding away at half a dozen keyboards!

javad fakharzadeh

Learn how to debate democratically...

by javad fakharzadeh on

We are living in a free society and must learn and appreciate the freedom we enjoy. Mr. Pourkesali's article about NIAC letter on human rights violation in Iran is raising good points here; lets not shoot the messenger and lets have freedom to express one's opinion.

Earlier this year, and as a NIAC member, I received a questionnaire about human rights violation in Iran. I filled out the form and I recall there was a question raised about NIAC position in this regards. I supported the idea of discussing human rights violation in Iran. This was my personal belief and I still support it in full heartily.


Fred you sound like a broken record

by IRANdokht on

You seem to have completely misunderstood what NIAC and CASMII are all about and you keep repeating the slanders you came up with a long time ago, over and over again.

It's getting tiring to say the least. It's obvious that despite your continuous ramblings, these two organizations have been working tiredlessly to improve the image of Iran, and theirs is a solid voice of reason against the inhumane sanctions and possible military attacks against Iran.

What do you have to gain by trying so hard to discredit them? what organization are you representing? what good intentions can you possibly have? Obviously none! 



Sky high

by Fred on

CASMII lobbyist in part says: “We do not defend the current ruling regime nor do we covet a political system installed through foreign military invasion and occupation.”

 Isn’t this contrary to what this lobbyist was complaining about in his original posting, namely that an Iranian-American organization should contend with the problems in the U.S. where Iranian-Americans live. Since all their activities including propaganda by its Iranian-American members are to the benifit of the Islamist republic  has the lobbyist informed his CASMII U.S. branch head that they “do not defend the current [Islamist] regime”? The contrary evidence to the lobbyist’s claim of neutrality is sky high.

Daniel M Pourkesali

CASMII’s position

by Daniel M Pourkesali on

CASMII’s position has been very clear from the outset -- We’re against sanctions because they
only hurt ordinary people and we vehemently oppose any outside interference in
the internal Iranian political affairs. We do not defend the current ruling regime nor do we covet a political system installed
through foreign military invasion and occupation.


Pourkesali's position on IR

by Teerdaad (not verified) on

I am very curious to know what is Mr. Pourkesali's position on Khamenei's regime (a.k.a. Islamic Republic). The gentleman and his group CASMII have never condemned Khamenei's regime for their barbaric, bloody repression against Iranian people. Why is that? And he is worried about democracy in U.S.? They let you freely lobby for anti-U.S., anti-Iran Islamic Republic in U.S., don't they?

Darius Kadivar

For Once I approve NIAC ... ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

On the Contrary I think that Human Rights in Iran is a central concern and interest of most Iranian Americans since we have families back home and also hope to see many benefit from the same freedoms. I see no contradiction all the more that we live in a Society where laws are drafted to defend the individual and not the contrary like in Iran where people are imprisoned and suppressed simply for expressing an opinion or having a lifestyle which is not approved by the government and Islamic Laws.

Mr Pourkesali we live in a society where you are not imprisoned for your opinions nor is your freedom of speach ever censored. Otherwise I guess would have been shut down ten years ago.

I don't think that this website and your Free Speach here would be as respected in Iran today. So some recognition towards American society and its Institutions would deserve a minimum of acknowledgment for the Record of the IRI would have much less to be proud of.

On the otherhand I believe that NIAC have been defending Iranians subject to prejudice in the US in the past and continue to do so when it is the case today. Also they have expressed their protest when Hollywood films like Crossing Over were mis representing the Iranian American Community by claiming in its script that Honor Killings were a typical thing in our community. Thanks to Trita Parsi and NIAC the Script was rewritten by the Hollywood director and production team in order to be accurate on this detail that could have been misinterpreted by non Iranian viewers in America.

As for expressing ourselves on lack of  Human Rights in our former homeland or concern in this regard is a Top Priority and Responsability of Any Iranian who is living in the Free World and has some compassion for those back home who do not, otherwise I would think it would be simply selfish of us to ignore this fact.



An Iranian American


ignore the Zionist parasites please...

by Anonymous8 (not verified) on

They care only about one country: Israel. Ironically they are destroying that country soon!

Fred is giving lectures about "propaganda operations"? He is calling someone else a lobbyist!

Do not listen to anything they say, mr. Pourkesali. You have a valid point. It should be debated among HUMANS.


Do as I say, Not as I do

by Fred on

In a clarifying note to his previous posting the CASMII/NIAC lobbyist says: “The point of the letter was that NIAC should take a more balanced position and be just as vocal about human rights abuses here in the U.S. where it affects its members the most.” 

Again, taking that line of logic, the CASMII/NIAC lobbyist and his coworkers in the CASMII lobby need to explain why they do not practice what they, or at least this particular card carrying member, say.

How come their propaganda activities are exclusively to the benefit of the Islamist republic without an iota of criticism to give a semblance of “more balanced position”? 

Answering the other long-standing and to date outstanding legitimate questions would be a plus too.

Daniel M Pourkesali

Thank you for your

by Daniel M Pourkesali on

Thank you for your comments. This was in response to a Dec 18th email from NIAC to all its members with the subject line “What Iranian Americans have accomplished in 2008” (see below). The point of the letter was that NIAC should take a more balanced position and be just as vocal about human rights abuses here in the U.S. where it affects its members the most. IMHO reserving such criticisms for Iran only comes across as a disingenuous attempt to perhaps silence the critics or gain some sort of credibility and status with the members of Congress and the western media.

Dear NIAC member,

From defeating a resolution paving the way for a US-Iran war (supported by one of DC's most powerful lobbies), to leading the struggle to gain Small Business Administration benefits for Iranian-American small business owners, to the most successful Get Out The Vote campaign in our community's history, the National Iranian American Council has shown that when Iranian Americans are organized, their voices are heard.

Thank you for making 2008 a benchmark year for NIAC and the Iranian-American community.

But our work is not complete. Make a $100 - fully tax deductable - donation to NIAC which would allow us to organize two in district meetings with members of Congress by clicking here.

NIAC is working tirelessly to ensure that Iranian-Americans' civil rights are protected while educating the public about Iran's human rights violations, and promoting a diplomatic solution to the conflict with Iran.

Now with a new administration and new Congress taking over the reins of government, we need your support more than ever to ensure that our community helps shape the future.

Well funded and powerful lobbying groups have regrouped and are determined to stop NIAC and put war back on the agenda. Show them that Iranian Americans are organized and ready to fight back by making your $100 - fully tax deductable - donation to NIAC by clicking here.

For the past two years we have been able to influence the debate on Iran substantially. Now with a new administration in office, NIAC has been chosen to coordinate the largest coalition of groups working on promoting diplomacy and avoiding war, giving Iranian Americans a seat at the table when dealing with issues important to our community. But we cannot do it without the generosity of our members.

Please take this opportunity to do your part and make a 100% tax deductable donation to NIAC by clicking here. (If you prefer, you can send a check to our office at the address below.)

Together, we can change the world.
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National Iranian American Council
1411 K Street NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005


A la carte logic

by Fred on

In order for the logic this CASMII lobbyist employs to hold any water it has to apply to everyone. Although it makes for a good activity report back in Tehran but since CASMII lobby and NIAC lobby share important non Iranian founding executive members such as Alex Patico and others, the CASMII/NIAC lobbyist’s logic is flawed.

BTW as the U.S. branch CASMII lobby head announced publicly that he is proud to take his son did he also take this acting-as-though-peeved CASMII/NIAC lobbyist along to the Islamist president’s shindig in NY? And was this lobbyist also in the Islamist vetting committee as the U.S. Head CASMII was which decided which questions were to be asked of their Islamist president at the fest?


The real question is

by Zion on

... why 'an organization representing the interests of Americans of Iranian heritage' should be solely focused on fomenting inter-governmental relations between the United States and the Iranian Islamic regime in the first place.

David ET

I don't get it !!

by David ET on


They are called: "National Iranian American Council"!

Secondly Its called HUMAN rights and both Iranians and Americans are human!

So what is your insistance on where National Iranian American Council "MUST begin" ?!

What is this begin and end all about except to manipulate the direction of NIAC in favor of Islamic Republic?


Dear Mr Pourkesali

by IRANdokht on

For as long as I remember, each time NIAC published an article (at least) on this site, there have been many members criticizing them for not speaking out against the Human Rights violations in Iran to a point that some even accused Dr Parsi of being on the IRI side.

As I am sure you do too, I believe that Human Rights violations should stop everywhere and all violators should be exposed.

I also don't think that those IRI actions are any secret to anyone who is paying attention to the news that come out of the country. 

Would you please confirm if the statement you're referring to is the one issued about Esha Momeni's arrest?

Thank you