MITSOTAKIS: Iran Apologists, Left And Right, Have A New Think Tank

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Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has been doing some impressive bipartisan lobbying. Politicians from across the spectrum, from Former Secretary of State John Kerry to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), are all taking their turns to meet with him. Their common goal: Get President Donald Trump to end his “maximum pressure” campaign against the hostile Tehran regime.

Last year, this leftist-libertarian alliance was codified into a new “non-interventionist” think tank, the Quincy Institute. On its board is Trita Parsi, a man who has for decades worked behind the scenes — often in tandem with Iranian officials, including Javad Zarif — to weaken America’s resistance to Iranian aggression and nuclear ambitions.

In the weeks since the killing of terrorist mastermind Qassem Soleimani, agitation by the Iranian regime’s apologists has reached a crescendo. In response, I asked Adelle Nazarian, senior media fellow at the Gold Institute for International Strategy in Washington, D.C. and fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, India, to tell us more.

What follows is a question-and-answer interview with Nazarian.

Who is Trita Parsi?

Nazarian: Trita Parsi is the Iranian-born founder of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying group that is allegedly the lobbying extension and arm of the Iranian regime. That would be the same Iranian regime rife with corruption, terrorism, and the murder of its own people. Parsi and NIAC’s support for the Iranian regime is in violation of FARA [Foreign Agents Registration Act ] law and they were instrumental in helping pass the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal. Parsi is an activist who has maintained a close relationship with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and was a lead advisor to the Obama administration throughout the process of executing the JCPOA. NIAC falsely claims it supports the full spectrum of Iranian interests, but it actually only cares about pushing the regime’s interests. NIAC is at odds with Iran’s Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, his supporters, and any Iranians who do not share the dictatorial vision of the Iranian regime. If Iran’s regime falls, it will be seen as the failure of Trita Parsi.

What is the Quincy Institute?

Nazarian: Trita Parsi is the executive vice president and co-founder of the Quincy Institute, which is funded by both Charles Koch and George Soros. It is also co-founded by Iran deal advocates. This think tank aims to compel American politicians to adopt a non-interventionist foreign policy by actively funneling misinformation and propaganda to the media and, by extension, the American people. The think tank’s board is anti-Israel, with fellows having written books very critical of America’s close alliance with Israel. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt — both co-authors of “The Israel Lobby” and fellows at the Quincy Institute — have an issue with the so-called “Israel lobby,” but have no issue working with the Iran lobby. While on the surface, the organization presents itself with the noble aim of ending endless wars in the pursuit of international peace, its co-founders — namely Andrew Bacevich, Stephen Wertheim, Eli Clifton, and Suzanne DiMaggio — are Iran deal advocates. The group also boasts Gary Sick as a “distinguished fellow.” In 1980, Mr. Sick infamously and falsely accused officials in Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign of making a secret deal with Iran to delay the release of the American hostages until after the election.

What are Iranians and Iranian-Americans saying? 

Nazarian: Iranians and Iranian-Americans know the Quincy Institute pushes misinformation. Parsi’s move from NIAC to the Quincy Institute is an attempt to further his lobbying and propagandizing efforts. Due to funding from Soros and Koch, Parsi has been able to shield his anti-American and pro-Iranian views and actions. Iranians do not want war with America and President Donald Trump’s neutralization of IRGC-Quds Forces Commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani pushed Iran to stop its antagonistic and provocative behavior that was swiftly deteriorating U.S.-Iran relations and leading us to war.

Though Parsi claims to speak on behalf of the full spectrum of Iranian-Americans, a poll conducted in June shows an overwhelming 85% of participants see NIAC and its affiliates as the “enemy.” Due to President Trump’s decisive actions, the machinations and manipulations of Trita Parsi have been undone. Regardless of the future, it is clear that Trita Parsi is a menace.