Trita Parsi in the Lion's Den


Trita Parsi in the Lion's Den
by Faramarz

On February 22, 2012 Trita Parsi of NIAC participated in a panel discussion at Woodrow Wilson Center about Iran, Israel and the Arabs. This was the first time that I had seen him in a not-so-friendly environment and I heard him say things that I have not heard him say before, like the Regime is repressive and will be toppled by the Iranians or the Regime’s influence in the Region has diminished. I thought that it would be interesting to share some of his comments here.

To set the stage, the 1:30 hour panel discussion was opened by Woodrow Wilson President, the ex-Congresswoman Jane Harman of Venice Beach, CA who is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor and back in 2009 talked about dividing Iran along ethnic lines to reduce its threats!

The discussions were moderated by Aaron David Miller a veteran State Department Middle East expert and participated by Ephraim Sneh, the former Israeli Deputy Defense Minister, Ghaith al-Omari, the Director of American Task Force on Palestine and Trita Parsi of NIAC.

The opening statements starting at 0:15 minutes immediately made it quite clear that the Israeli and the Arab panelists clearly understood the threats posed by the Regime. The Israeli panelist argued that a nuclear-armed Iran will result in nuclear arms in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt which by the Islamist “Pakistani” tendencies of these countries will place the future Israeli generations under the nuclear threat by one Iran and three Pakistans! A prospect that is completely unacceptable to Israeli leaders.

The Arab panelist was quite blunt about the Arab-Persian, Sunni-Shia divide and the fact that Arabs and Iranians are not natural allies and how the “Arab Spring” has taken the wind out of the Regime’s claims about “Arab Street” leadership and the Regional dominance.

Trita (starting at 37:30) acknowledged the significant hit that the Regime’s influence has taken in the Arab world following the Arab Spring and the current situation in Syria. But he overplayed the current divergence between the US and the Israeli perspectives regarding Iran, and in general stuck to his talking points.

The best part of the discussions was the Q/A segment starting at 51:00. Trita stated that he does not foresee an Israeli attack on Iran in 2012. It is noteworthy that his opinion about the topic is in sharp contrast to the war-talk and hysteria that we have been seeing from NIAC/CASMII and other like-minded contributors on

In the last ten minutes (starting at 1:19:00) the Israeli panelist put Trita on the spot and asked him point-blank about the Regime in Iran and what should be done about it, Trita replied by saying that the Regime is repressive and the Iranian people will at some point get rid of it. But he quickly went back to his talking points of targeted sanctions and negotiations.

In my opinion, Trita and NIAC, given the realities of the time are beginning to see the light and the end of the Regime, but they are still struggling with their long standing stated policies and have not been able to articulate a clear message on how to go forward. That will ultimately make them irrelevant.



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Ramin J

Parsi kicks the Israeli guys ass!!!!

by Ramin J on

I saw this panel on Cspan and all i can say is two things. First, my blood boiled when the Palestinian guy said Arabian Gulf. Second, Trita is the calmest coolest debater ever and he completely kicked the Israeli general's ass!

Parsi came at him with facts and numbers, "empirical data" as he said. The Israeli general relied on fear and threats only. I wonder what the audience in the room thought. Best moment is when Parsi calls out the General's crocodile tears for the Iranian people, mindful of the fact that he is arguing for war and sanctions. Makes you proud.

Take note of another thing - the people attacking NIAC are right-wing Israelis. Same phenomenon as we have here on, where people praise AIPAC and attack NIAC. Tells you something about who is behind the NIAC smears. The cats out the bag!


Faramarz, this caught my attention

by Cost-of-Progress on

"The Arab panelist was quite blunt about the Arab-Persian, Sunni-Shia divide and the fact that Arabs and Iranians are not natural allies.............."

I hope that the crowd beating their chests for the Pals gets it through their thick heads that WE ARE NOT NOW, NOR HAVE WE EVER BEEN ALLIES WITH ARABS IN ANYWAY, SHAPE OR FORM. It is this hated regime that has put the Pals and murderous Syrians on the pedestal priamrily for their own interests.

Having spent a lot of time in Saudi Arabia in the past year, I have interacted not only with Saudis but Arabs from different arab countries and have come to realize that most do not know much about Iran and definitely DO NOT regard Iran as an ally.

These folks (the apologists and chest beaters) need to get this through their thick head that for 14 centuries we have embraced an entity which does not recognize shiasim (Iranaian style islamism) as a legitmate branch of Islam.  To them, Irnaians are nothting but a bunch of infidels! 

As for Trita, may be he has come to the realization that he should abandon ship while he can!