Sorry… mind if I mop while you mope?


Sorry… mind if I mop while you mope?
by MM

I am a member of the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), and the following is her record of accomplishments through the ACTIONS taken by NIAC.  You are welcome to tell me about your Iranian-American Organization’s accomplishments?

In a different blog, a commenter boasted that there are numerous Iranian-American organizations hinting that there is nothing special about NIAC while another commenter compared NIAC supporters to rats coming out.  Well….  That made this rat to think about why I support NIAC versus another organization such as PDMI.  

You see, in an industrial setting, we look at record of accomplishments and not what someone is boasting to do, complain and especially playing the blame-game.  And frankly, if I want “speech therapy”, I will listen to a number of Farsi TV satellite channels or hundreds of YouTube videos.  I was interested to find tangible / measureable accomplishments through the ACTIONS taken by NIAC.  So, I categorized NIAC’s ACTIONS ending in real outcomes in 3 categories for your view; 1. Opposing the MKO’s rhetoric; 2. Acting on behalf of issues important to Iranian-Americans; and 3. Opposing the IRI’s (the IRI=IRI) injustices while countering the war-mongers.


1. What have Trita Parsi and NIAC done to bring the full fury of MKO, and now, the unholy alliance of MKO / neocons / AIPAC?  

NIAC, and Trita Pasi in particular, has accomplished the following result through ACTIONS to oppose the Rajavi cult.  What is your relationship with the rajavi cult? And, what have you done to oppose them?

In early 90’s, Trita Parsi, a young Zoroastrian Iranian-Swedish student applied for a high school exchange program and spent some time in the home of Rep. Bob Ney (R, PA), and later after college, as an intern in Ney’s office.  Representative Ney knows Farsi and since he wanted a niche in the US Congress, he chose to take up issues related to Iran/Iranians.  Soon, Ney was approached by the members of the MKO who pretended to be freedom fighters working against IRI, and they wanted Ney to support them and get them off the terrorist list.  While Ney initially agreed, and took $4,000 from MEK members in 1995, he shortly thereafter changed his mind after talking with Trita Parsi who described the MKO as an Islamic cult hated by ALL Iranian factions.  Under Trita Parsi’s influence, Bob Ney became an avid opponent of the MKO and he even identified the MKO contributor, Alireza Jafarzadeh, on Fox news and demanded his removal.  Needless to say, the MKO has remained on the US terrorist watch list, and they do not have a foothold in the US Congress. 

Meanwhile, Trita Parsi and NIAC have paid dearly by being the constant target of accusations / innuendos by the MKO members, See, e.g., Who Is Hassan Daioleslam?, OR Hassan Dai's interview with Andisheh TV (relationship with the MKO), OR Neocons, the MeK, and the Fight Against Iranian-Americans, OR BBC video report on the Hassan Dai/NIAC/Neo-con/AIPAC controversy………

An unholy alliance: AIPAC and/or neo-con members have had a longstanding relationship with the MKO.  For example, in 2004, Richard Perle spoke at a Mujahedin-e Khalq fundraiser disguised as a Bam benefit, and most recently John Bolton and company attended and gave speeches at an MKO rally in France.  It is said that they considered the MEK as a possible vanguard against the Iranian government.  Now, especially after NIAC’s stance against war with Iran (See point 3), we see the emergence of a neo-con / AIPAC / MKO unholy axis headed probably by John Bolton (based on his cozy speech in the MKO rally in Paris) and directed in the background by folks like Timmermans & lakes who fire a constant barrage of verbal assault on NIAC, See, e.g., Neocons, the MeK, and the Fight Against Iranian-Americans), OR Neocons Attack Iranian-American Progressive Organizations Setting the Record Straight On NIAC  , OR VOA response to the Washington Time article, OR NIAC response to the Washington Time article……….


After 9/11, when NIAC was formed, the original mission was to promote Iranian-American civic participation and then, by the vote of the membership in 2006, NIAC began taking stronger advocacy positions. These positions ARE on NIAC’s website.


2. NIAC has accomplished the following results, through her ACTIONS, to promote Iranian-American civic participation, to prevent smear campaigns against Iranian-Americans and to protect Iranian heritage.  What has your Iranian-American organization done towards that end?

* Ended's discrimination against the Iranian Americans.

* Effectively opposed and stopped legislation that would bar every Iranian from entering the United States.

* Corrected the National Geographic Society's 8th edition maps to read "Persian Gulf" instead of "Arabian Gulf." And, now, NIAC is correcting a State Department spokesman’s Arabian Gulf blunder that was probably said to please the Saudis who are about to buy $60 billion worth of military toys.

 * Protect the Persepolis Fortification Tablets: NIAC, in cooperation with the Iranian lawyers (IALA), moved swiftly to protect the Persepolis Tablets (on loan to the University of Chicago) from take-over by a law-suit brought by the families who lost loved ones as result of IRI’s support of terrorist bombings in Israel.  The NIAC activities have included fundraisers for the Persepolis Tablets Defense Fund, conversations with the Congressional policymakers and the White House…..  The case is on its way to the US Supreme Court now.

My comment: The thousands of Persepolis Tablets is a heritage handed down to us from the time of the Achaemenids. It is very important to prevent the disastrous outcome of these tablets ending up on the auction block.  The NY NIAC-chapter alone raised $110,000 for the Persepolis Defense Fund.  Please contribute to the Persepolis Defense Fund, if you can.

* Compelled a retraction from Rep. Jane Harman for her statement regarding the "separation" of Iran's ethnic groups. 

* Obtained an apology from Fox sportscasters for racially discriminatory remarks against NBA player Hamed Haddadi. 

* Elicited an apology from MSNBC's Don Imus for a derogatory comment about an Iranian airliner crash that killed 43 passengers.

* Removed offensive and inaccurate portrayals of Iranian Americans in the film Crossing Over.

My comment: One may say “so what that NIAC got apologies from ….”  But, the question you should ask is why the US media/politicians do not attack the African-Americans, the Jewish-Americans or the Cuban-Americans.  You see, after 9/11, the Iranian-Americans, one of the most educated & progressive segments of the US society were stacked up with a bunch of cave-dwelling Bedouins, and it seemed that it was OK to dump on us with impunity.  NIAC’s actions send a message that there is a price to pay if you make inflammatory remarks regarding the Iranian-American community.

* Registered thousands of Iranian-American voters.

* Published the first-ever Census of the Iranian-American community.

* NIAC Fundraiser for Bam in New York and many more activities/events like Norooz Resolution Gains Momentum in the Senate……… See, e.g., Heritage & Community Archive for numerous examples listed.

On-going work:

* NIAC trains Iranian Americans through civic participation at dozens of workshops across the United Sates, strengthening future generations, See, e.g., From the Big Apple to the Bluegrass State, Iranian Americans Get Involved.

* NIAC gives our youth a helping hand through office internships and the NIAC Public Service and Journalism Fellowship and has supported youth-related efforts such as Iranian Alliances Across Borders' Camp Ayandeh leadership program, See, e.g., Camp Ayandeh Featured in Washington Post .

* NIAC monitors, influences, and shapes national legislation affecting Iranian Americans, See, e.g., The Mid-term Elections and Iranian American Interests: Analysis of the Senate, and Now is our chance to save the Persepolis tablets!

* NIAC defends Iranian-American interests against corporate and media bias and governmental neglect, including battling for status under SBA 8(a).

* NIAC regularly hosts briefings on Capitol Hill for congressional staffers on areas of interest to the Iranian-American community. Some of NIAC’s past briefings have focused on Iran's parliamentary elections, Iran's nuclear program, Iran's role in Iraq, and more.

My comment: To me, the nuclear issue is a distraction to hide the atrocities committed by IRI.  Inflamed by derogatory remarks of “wiping this and that & death to this and that”, IRI has got the world uptight about the nuclear issue while scores of Iranians are being intimidated, tortured and murdered every day while her wealth is being plundered and stored in foreign banks.  Meanwhile, the world only focuses on the most heinous social acts of IRI such as stoning.  Furthermore, assuming that Iran is working on a nuclear bomb, does anyone think that they would load it on a home-made scud and send it to Israel?  Or, trust a Palestinian/Hamas to detonate it?  And finally, I do not think that IRI is that stupid to take a chance on the nuclear contamination of Jerusalem as well as the friendly allies, Hamas and Hezbollah, surrounding a thin strip of land called Israel.


3. NIAC has accomplished the following results, through her ACTIONS, to prevent war with Iran, to oppose the influence of war-mongers headed by AIPAC/neo-cons and to promote democracy / human rights in Iran.  What has your Iranian-American organization done towards that end?

You see, the thought of bombs flying into Tehran and other cities brings nightmares similar to Saddam’s scuds raining in the 80’s.  I personally am not happy to see my old neighborhoods in ruins and specially loss of lives towards my friends / families / Iranians.  I am not alone in this regard since 70% of Iranian-Americans do not want a war with Iran according to Berkeley University’s study.  While one may say that the smart bombs are accurate, the accuracy is only 85%, and the remaining 15% missiles stray around to find a target, and a stray bomb is blind and not so smart.  The head nut-job John Bolton has even advocated the use of Israeli nukes on Iran to push their agenda!  Scary crap, isn’t it?  I have my personal preferences on bringing democracy to Iran which were outlined in an IC blog, Practical path towards democracy, making it Iranian-made.

I have had numerous communications regarding the Iranian struggles with Trita Parsi.  He is in agreement that there needs to be democracy with full implementation of the human rights charter in Iran as a goal of any resistance.  Furthermore, Trita has said that it is impossible to have democracy while undemocratic institutions such as velayat-e faghih or the Guardian Council exist (video part #7, Trita Parsi on Andisheh TV).  But, unlike me who supports secularism, as an independent Iranian-American organization, NIAC is hesitant to support a particular faction since as soon as we talk about regime change, all the spitting contests (your way is bad) and pissing contests (my way is better) by various factions start.  As a result, NIAC supports democracy in Iran, with an emphasis on the implementation of human rights as the first step towards whatever the Iranian people choose as the form of government.  

So, the following is a partial list of ACTIONS taken by NIAC to prevent a war with Iran and to promote democracy / human rights within.

* NIAC has taken a stance with regards to the following bills and influenced them with voter awareness followed by electronic writing campaigns that were hand-delivered to the Congressional offices as well as talks with the Capitol staffers/Representatives:

Stand With the Iranian People: support The Stand With the Iranian People Act (H.R.4303), support Iranian Digital Empowerment Act (H.R.4301), oppose Iranian Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (H.R. 2194), oppose Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Divestment, and Accountability Act (S.2799), support Reduce Iranian Cyber-Suppression Act (H.R.3284 / S.1475), oppose Accountability for Business Choices in Iran Act (H.R.3922), support Iran Human Rights Sanctions Act (H.R.4647 / S.3022), support Travel Ban (H.CON.RES.256)

Defend Human Rights: support Religious Freedom Resolution (H.RES.33), support Granger Resolution (H.RES.888), support Baha'i Resolution (S.RES.71 / H.Res. 175), support U.S. Hikers Resolution (S.CON.RES.40 / H.Con.Res. 189), support Robert Levinson Resolution (H.Con.Res. 36 / S.CON.RES.4) .

* 2007-2010: Twice a year, NIAC holds a major policy conference on Capitol Hill to examine the most significant and timely issues facing the US and Iran & NIAC and Amnesty International held a joint conference on Capitol Hill titled "Human Rights in Iran and U.S. Policy Options.

* 2007:  Even the real rats got envious: Why has Amnesty International invited a stooge of the Iranian regime to a Congressional hearing on Iranian human rights abuses?  By a jealous Kenneth Timmerman.  

* 2008: Defeated a Congressional resolution that would have paved the way for a US-Iran war.

* 2009: Ensured human rights were on the agenda when the U.S. began talks with Iran.  This has, hopefully, led to the recent 2010 boycott of the 8 Iranian officials with the worst human rights record.

* 2009: Helped remove sanctions on vital online communication tools like MSN Messenger, FaceBook, and YouTube to ensure the free flow of information in Iran (Stand with the people of Iran Congressional Act).

* 2010: NIAC Conference Highlights Demand for Human Rights of Iranian People.

* 2010: Congressional Testimony of Trita Parsi on Human Rights in Iran.


My concluding remarks: All you have seen lately is hate-blogs such as NIAC talked to ... and Perry Mason type never-ending yes/no multiple questionnaires on NIAC.  I have tied to show you a different side of NIAC that totally gets smeared in the hate dust.  So, one of the rats has come out in support of NIAC illustrating her accomplishments (point 1-3) in concrete / measureable outcomes through the ACTIONS taken by NIAC.  Most of NIAC’s critics cannot even make up their minds if Trita Parsi is an IRI agent, a US agent or even a double agent (00TP???).  If NIAC, “as an IRI agent”, got grants from the Feds, well, shame on the Feds...Then, write to the Feds and complain.  If Trita Parsi lectured/consulted with the White House, the Congress, the FBI and even the CIA… So be it.  As an American institution representing a portion of the Iranian-Americans, it just goes to show that NIAC is well respected and called upon to give a perspective to the other American institutions.  So, whoever you are Trita Parsi, keep NIAC going, or as the cartoon that I chose depicts (w/ apologies to our resident psychiatrists): While ya’ll bitch, moan and play the blame-game, NIAC is actually succeeding in achieving tangible results.

PS, please tell me about the accomplishments of your Iranian-American organization.  I may even choose to support yours!



more from MM
Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

MM Jan

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


I appreciate what NIAC is doing. Of course I do not agree with everything they do. But I agree with enough to support them. NIAC is not the ONLY way it is ONE way. We need MANY ways. Through cooperation and understanding we are going to make progress. Not by demands but by give and take.


Thanks VPK

by MM on

In this blog, I was hoping that the nay-sayers would come out and give me critique or alternatives to NIAC.  NADA.

Many have already built their castles and scream unity, BUT as long as you knock on their castles.  As you said, they expect "my way or the highway"

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Thank you

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

MM Jan, We have way too many people who are frustrated. But they offer no hope. You get one who claims Iran is over. Another group attacks NIAC. In their anger they refuse to do anything. They just prefer to vent and live in the past. Their only plan seems to be that USA goes and kicks out the Mollahs. We must take responsibly for our own nation.


Mehrdad - ur absolutely right - nothing, heech, nada,

by MM on



MM: "still waiting for NaySayers' better alternative"

by Bavafa on

Looks like they have said it both here and else where... "NOTHING" .

"NOTHING" is the NaySayers alternative to a voice for Iranian-Americans.

A great observation and comment by Ari.


P.S. My suggestion is not to waste your time on them.  Frankly I thought Kazemzadh was an educated man and worthy of a discussion with.  Boy, I was wrong with that notion.


Thanks Ari - still waiting for NaySayers' better alternative

by MM on


Ari Siletz

Terrific cartoon!

by Ari Siletz on

MM, the American cartoon you have posted also seems familiar with the political archetypes of apathetic grumblers and do nothings vereses folks who roll up their sleeves to make things better for the community. As you are aware, where the analogy with NIAC's diaspora detractors breaks down is that the mopers in this cartoon actually do appreciate a clean floor--leaving the work to others--whereas NIAC's disapora adversaries would rather the room was made an ugly mess in Iran. In this regard they are quite busy with the war and sanctions tar bucket.    Very well explained and illustrated blog points.  


Thanks MOOSIRvaPIAZ - d absence of NaySayers is deafening

by MM on

None of the people who have been trashing NIAC have been able to refute the facts presented here.

Again, folks, if you got something better, I am all ears.


amazing post


thanks for this.


Thanks Anahid

by MM on

as R. Perot said in the 1992 presidential debates: "if ya'll got something better, I am all ears". 

And, Mehrdad is right, there is much more NIAC accomplishments, and I did not want to make the blog too long.

Anahid Hojjati

Thanks MM for a great blog

by Anahid Hojjati on

Dear MM, thanks for listing accomplishments of NIAC.As you wrote in your blog:" You see, in an industrial setting, we look at record of
accomplishments and not what someone is boasting to do, complain and
especially playing the blame-game..."

Yes, we do have many Iranian-American organizations but some are just concerned with hosting gatherings for Iranian Americans  not with what happens in Iran. So just because we have many Iranian American organizations, we can not say that they are all equal. Also, membership of many is very limited


YW Mehrdad - I only did a partially list, since der r 2 many!

by MM on

 So, I know what you mean, but, many of these actions and results needed to be said in the face of all the hate-blogs lately.


MM Jan, Thanks for listing a good catalog of NIAC accomplishment

by Bavafa on

I know of even more of their work but instead of listing those, I think it is more important to point out and emphasis that NIAC is a grass root organization and has been pushing an agenda that is based on its members participation and wishes. It has giving Iranian-Americans a voice that they did not have and that is probably the biggest accomplishment in my view. In my view, it has been very sad that despite much greater success by Iranian-Americans in education, business, art and you name it, we stood on the side line and had no influence regarding our own interest in the US and/or back home in vis a vis the mother land.

NIAC needs to remain true to its members in order to grow even bigger and stronger and hopefully our voice will be heard more often in Washington and else where.



more on Dai and the unholy alliance

by MM on


* "Massoud Khodabandeh, former MEK member who is now a leading expert on and critic of the group: “I can say without doubt that Hassan Daioleslam is a member of what I call for accuracy ‘the Rajavi cult’."

* "Taken from a 2007 article by Sobhani; read the whole thing for a fuller description of the Daioleslam family’s deep involvement with the MEK. Daioleslam’s brother Hossein and sister Fatemeh are both leading MEK members."

* "Mehdi Noorbaksh, professor of international affairs at Harrisburg University: “I know Daioleslam very closely and personally. He is not a journalist but a perfume merchant. He was a former member of MKO ...."

* "However, its militant anti-Iranian stance has made it a favorite of hawks in Washington. Several of them — most notably Tom Tancredo (R-CO) — participated in a 2005 Washington conference in support of the group. The same year also saw the founding of the pro-MEK Iran Policy Committee, headed by Raymond Tanter of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). The MEK’s neoconservative supporters continue to push for it to be taken off the State Department terror list, which it has been on since 1997. One of the many ironies about the MEK is that, for all the groundless allegations that hawks made about Saddam Hussein’s connections to terrorist groups during the runup to the Iraq war, the terrorist group with perhaps the closest links to Saddam was one that the hawks themselves supported."

* "So it seems that the neoconservatives who have gotten in bed with Daioleslam may have some explaining to do. If he is indeed an MEK operative, as the evidence strongly suggests, then he is, to say the least, a rather unlikely standard-bearer for the cause of democracy and human rights in Iran."



* "Perle, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, said he was contacted by the Premiere Speakers Bureau in mid-January about giving the keynote speech. He asked for more information about the sponsoring organizations and received a letter saying aid would be coordinated though the Red Cross and describing the event as "solidarity with earthquake victims in Iran and an evening for Iranian Resistance.""  The coordination with the Red Cross was a lie since "Jacki Flowers, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross, said the relief agency had been contacted by the sponsors about receiving funds raised at the event several weeks before it took place. But the Red Cross decided to reject the proceeds once it became aware that the event was "political in nature," specifically the promotion of regime change. She said accepting the funds would "compromise our fundamental principles of neutrality and impartiality.""

* "Nevertheless, some Pentagon officials considered the MEK as a possible vanguard against the Iranian government, which they viewed as a threat in the region."

* "The day before the function, Treasury sent a letter to the Convention Center warning that the "MEK may have an interest in this event or may attempt to use the event to raise funds."

* "The event, attended by more than 3,000 people Saturday at the Washington Convention Center, generated enough concerns within the administration that officials debated whether they had the legal authority to block the event, U.S. officials said yesterday. FBI agents attended it and, as part of a continuing investigation, the Treasury Department on Monday froze the assets of the event's prime organizer, the Iranian-American Community of Northern Virginia."