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Published on November 21st, 2009 | by Daniel Luban

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Sahimi: the extremist roots of the anti-NIAC campaign

By Daniel Luban

Iranian-American academic and human rights activist Muhammad Sahimi has written an excellent piece that fleshes out the background to the campaign against NIAC, describing the tactical alliance between neoconservatives and Iranian-American hardliners that aims to marginalize the views of the moderate majority of the Iranian diaspora. Sahimi notes that there are two main groups of Iranian-Americans that have joined the push for war against Tehran: monarchists who hope to bring back Reza Pahlavi as shah, and supporters of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK, or MKO) terrorist group. He argues that despite being greatly outnumbered within the Iranian-American community, these two groups of hawks have managed to exercise a disproportionate influence — due both to their media and economic clout and to their willingness to tell American hawks what they want to hear. “The rise of the NIAC as a moderate voice of reason,” he writes, “has naturally worried the Israel lobby and the neocons, and their allies in the Iranian community, namely, the monarchists and the MKO” — hence the attacks.

Sahimi also provides still more evidence that Hassan Daioleslam, who has served as the public face of the anti-NIAC campaign while coordinating his activities with leading Washington neoconservatives, has ties to the MEK. Particularly interesting is the question of where Daioleslam, whose professional activities are mostly limited to writing occasional pieces for obscure right-wing websites, is getting the money to devote himself full-time to research — not to mention how he can afford the likes of Sidley Austin LLP, the white-shoe law firm that is defending him in his lawsuit with NIAC. Sahimi’s piece adds to the already-extensive collection of evidence of Daioleslam’s MEK ties, and raises once again the question of what Iran hawks — who like to portray themselves as champions of democracy and human rights — are doing in bed with associates of a brutal terrorist group like the MEK.

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3 Responses to Sahimi: the extremist roots of the anti-NIAC campaign

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  1. avatar Jon Harrison says:

    Many Iran hawks are hypocrites, agreed. I still say these machinations will not move public opinion polls on the issue of war, nor will they have any effect on the Obama administration. Kudos to you for exposing this, but it’s not on the public’s radar screen.

  2. I find it interesting that the prime critics of NIAC are either disgruntled Iranian-Americans who couldn’t hack it in their efforts to start their own Iranian-American advocacy (note I didn’t write ‘lobbying’) organizations, as well as members of terrorist group Mojahedin-e Khalq, supporters of the irresponsible spendthrift Junior Shah Pahlavi, and Tudeh, the Iranian Communist Party.
    These same insidious Chalabi wannabe types were also in the forefront of the criticisms of Iran’s June presidential elections. What hypocrisy, to see these most undemocratic ne’er-do-wells criticizing democracy in Iran, while we heard barely a peep of protest about the much worse fraud in Afghanistan’s recent presidential elections (or for that matter the U.S. presidential elections in Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004.)
    One more thing about the Pahlavis, the website iranian.com has gone on record to note that the Pahlavis have never contributed in a meaningful way to any charity – whether Iranian-related or other.

  3. Dear Mr. Lobe,
    Two remarks:
    Does your ardent defense of Parsi and NIAC have other motivations than peace and progress? For instance, this email of Parsi to Tehran on March 22, 2006 trying to hire someone from the Atieh Bahar Company:
    “Does any of your staffers in AB have time to write a weekly columns for IPS and get $150 or so a piece? They are looking for good English writers that can write for IPS on a range of issues. tp”
    Is Atieh with its multiple business partnership with the Iranian regime and its business with international oil companies considered as part of the peace movement?

    Secondly,
    Why don’t you bother to report from both sides? At least, try to learn from the Neocon journalist Eli Lake who dedicated long paragraphs to Parsi’s declaration?
    You smeared me several times and do not mind to repeat what the Iranian regime’s friends tell you.


About the Author

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Daniel Luban is a postdoctoral associate at Yale University. He holds a PhD in politics from the University of Chicago and was formerly a correspondent in the Washington bureau of Inter Press Service.



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