According to The Washington Free Beacon, Trita Parsi, an alleged pro-Iran lobbyist, visited the White House 33 times:
Seyed Mousavian, a former Iranian diplomat and head of its national security council, was hosted at the White House at least three times, while Trita Parsi, a pro-Iran advocate long accused of hiding his ties to the Iranian government, met with Obama administration officials some 33 times, according to recently updated visitor logs.
Sources familiar with the nature of the meetings told the Washington Free Beacon that both Parsi and Mousavian helped the White House craft its pro-Iran messaging and talking points that helped lead to the nuclear agreement with Iran. These efforts were part of a larger pro-Iran deal “echo chamber” led by senior Obama administration officials who were tasked with misleading Congress about the nature of the deal.
The Daily Wire spoke with Saeed Ghasseminejad of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), as well as Hassan Dai of the Iranian American Forum (IAF), to better understand the significance of Parsi’s and Mousavian’s visits to the White House.
Saeed Ghasseminejad offered some insight into Trita Parsi, his organization, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), and his possible motivations.
Regarding the seeming imbalance of the Iranian deal:
“It’s clear that when they invite Trita Parsi 33 times to the White House, and they are not asking the other side’s opinion as frequently, a pro-Tehran policy is going to be their policy,” Ghasseminejad said.
He also noted that during a legal dispute between Parsi and Hassan Dai, whom this piece will later mention, Parsi was forced to disclose some of his emails. These emails showed a close relationship between Parsi and Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s minister of foreign affairs, who was, at the time of the emails, Iran’s representative at the UN.
Ghasseminejad warned that “if pro-Tehran groups have been drafting Obama’s Iran-policy, that’s a very problematic situation,” likely because NIAC appears to apply pressure the the United States, but not to Iran in regard to policy change:
“NIAC says it wants Iran and the US to have a close relationship, or a better relationship. That’s a very good idea, if Iran changes its policy in the region, and the way it treats the Iranian people. However, it doesn’t seem that his organization (NIAC) is very interested in putting pressure on the Islamic regime to change its behavior. His organization, on the other hand, is very active in trying to change the US policy toward Iran.
Iran is not changing its policy–its support for terrorism, its calls for the destruction of Israel, and its abysmal human rights record–and NIAC does not show much interest in initiatives that would put pressure on the regime to change its behavior. They are putting pressure on the US government.”
Hassan Dai of the Iranian American Forum (IAF) suggests that the Obama administration and NIAC appeared to have shared ideals:
“During the Obama administration, NIAC evolved from a pressure group to a White House partner because President Obama’s Iran policy had been largely based on the views and recommendations put forward by NIAC and the pro-Iran lobby.
Obama believed the false assumption promoted by NIAC that if the United States adopted a less belligerent attitude toward Iran, and gained the trust of Iranian leaders, then, Iran would reciprocate, the moderate factions would be empowered, the Iranian regime would gradually reform itself and its foreign policy would change. He was convinced that making concessions and reaching a nuclear deal with Iran would transform the regime.”
Dai says that this belief “was the basis of the partnership between the White House and NIAC.”
“Rouhani’s victory in the Presidential election gave new momentum to Obama’s conciliatory approach toward Iran. After 2013, Obama used NIAC and its partners to lobby Congress, and to influence public opinion in order to make the nuclear deal with Iran acceptable.”
However, Dai believes Iran had a very different motive. According to Dai, NIAC’s goal pertaining to the Iranian negotiation was to obtain the maximum number of concessions from the U.S. in order to allow Iran to have nuclear material and a shorter sunset clause:
“Iran had two goals. The first was to maintain enrichment activity in Iran, and the second was to get the shortest sunset clause, after which there will be no limit for enrichment activities. What can you do with 5,000 centrifuges in Iran? For one civil nuclear plant, similar to the plant in Bushehr, you would need 64,000 or so centrifuges of the P1 and P2 modes that Iran possess. The enrichment is only used to have the material to make a bomb. All the negotiations were for that.”
Considering what Ghasseminejad and Dai said, it looks like the White House got played by a man, and, more broadly, an organization with ties to Iranian leadership. The nuclear deal has, from day one, been heavily criticized by numerous Republicans, and even some Democrats.
What comes next is anyone’s guess, as a man with a very different operational style takes the reins. One thing seems certain–Iran wants a bomb. What they want to do with it, and what the United States can do to stop it, is uncertain.