Nov. 17: FDI joins
Larry Klayman and Freedom Watch to examine policy options for the
incoming 112th Congress toward Iran.
From left to right: FDMI President Kenneth R. Timmerman,
FDI Advisory board member Reza Kahlili, Larry Klayman (speaking), FDI
advisory board member R. James Woolsey
FDI briefs incoming House intelligence
committee member Rep. Michele Bachmann on Iran.
(l-to-r: FDI president Kenneth R.
Timmerman, FDI Sec/Treasury Bill Nojay, Rep. Bachmann, FDI Advisory
board member R. James Woolsey)
Sept. 11, 2014: Westwood Neighborhood
Council passes resolutions banning IRI business in Los Angeles. In
a historic move, the Westwood Neighborhood Council, an elected body in
a heavily Iranian-American neighborhood of Los Angeles, voted 17-1 last
night to approve two resolutions banning local businesses from
deceptive activities in violation of U.S. sanctions on Iran.
resolutions were the result of an
investigation by Council member Roozbeh Farahanipour, a pro-freedom
activist involved in organizing the 1999 student protests in Iran, who
found that local businesses were advertising visa, passport, and
notarial services on behalf of the Iranian regime. (Click images).
Farahanipour presented photographs of storefront signs advertising Iran
Air, which is banned from doing business in the United States because
of its ties to terrorism. He also showed photographs of signs that
appeared innocuous in English, but which in Farsi advertised services
in violation of U.S. sanctions.
is a great victory for the pro-freedom movement," Farahanipour told
FDI. "Westwood is the heart of the Iranian community in the United
States, and in recent years the opposition has not been very active.
This shows that the opposition is still alive and well in Westwood."
In the first resolution, aimed at enforcing U.S. sanctions on Iran,
noted that Iranian "service" bureaux in Westwood used same word
"Khatamaat" as al Qaeda used in the 1980s and 1990s when it was
recruiting jihadis to its cause in Afghanistan. It also called on Los
Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz to review Farahanipourís evidence
and to presaent a plan within 30 days "to safeguard the neighborhood
against possible terrorist infiltration and illegal economic
activities." (Read the full
The second resolution gave Westwood neighborhood businesses three weeks
notice to remove "illegal signs, street
banners, symbols and advertisements" promoting relations or business
with the Islamic Republic of Iran "and its related institutions
Most significantly, the resolution also banned the display of the flag
of the Islamic Republic, as well as advertisements for Iran Air, and
accused some local businesses of "benefiting financially by conducting
illegal business with the IRI, facilitating its presence in Westwood
and establishing an atmosphere of fear among Iranian Americans in our
area." (Read the full
California State Senator Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) flew in from
Sacramento to speak in support of the resolutions at Wednesdayís
"Roozbeh is right to be outraged that in a post 9/11 America, any local
business would advertise themselves as agents of the Islamic Republic
of Iran, we all should be outraged, too," Anderson said. "The Islamic
Republic of Iran is a well-recognized sponsor of terrorism around the
world." In his presentation to the Council,
Farahanipour cited recent statements by David Cohen, Undersecretary of
Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, warning businesses
that selective sanctions relief under the Joint Program of Action with
the Iranian regime is not an invitation by the U.S. government
suggesting that Iran is "open for business."
He also presented a broad selection of photos of local shopfronts
advertizing travel, shipping, and other services with Iran.
(Farahanipourís Powerpoint is available here).
April 9, 2014: Extraordinary admissions
from former director of Iran's nuclear agency: we hid information from
IAEA. Fereydoon Abbasi headed Iran's Atomic Energy
Agency under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In an
astonishing interview with the Iranian daily Khorassan, he revealed
that Iran hid design information it was required to provide to the IAEA
on the Arak heavy water reactor because Western intelligence agencies
were using that information to sabotage Iran's nuclear programs.
For example, he explained, if Iran reported that a certain pump had not
yet reached Iran, Western intelligence agencies would "search the globe
for companies that make the pump, and pressure them.They would pressure that
country or company not to transfer the parts or equipment to Iran, or
would allow them to do so [only] after sabotaging [the parts]... For
instance, if it was an electronic system, they would infect it with a
virus, or plant explosives in it, or even alter the type of components,
in order to paralyze [Iran's] system. Question: All
these events [actually] happened? Abbasi: Everything
I said happened..." Read the
full interview at MEMRI.
March 31, 2014: Former hostage says U.S. should deny visa to hostage-taker 'ambassador.' Barry
Rosen, one of the 54 U.S. embassy personnel held hostage for 444 days
in Tehran by Iranian "students" from 1979-1981, urged the State
Department to deny a visa to President Rouhani's pick to become the
Islamic Republic's top diplomat in the U.S. Allowing Hamid Aboutalebi to become the
regime's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York
would be "an outrage" and a "disgrace," Rosen
Update April 7: State Department
spokesperson Marie Harf, after dodging questions on Aboutalebi, said
the State Department found his nomination "extremely troubling" and had
our concerns" with Tehran.
March 15, 2014: UN human
says little change under Rouhani. Ahmed Shadeed releases
his annual report, blasting Rouhani for taking only "baby
steps" to improve the human rights in Iran, while regime forces
continue are actively "working to suppress the rights of the people."
Predictably, the regime still won't allow Shadeed or any of his staff
Shadeed admirably lists the names and alleged "offenses" of hundreds of
political prisoners in Iranian jails, including Baha'is and Christians
persecuted for their faith, human rights advocates, political
activists, and Ethnic minorities. Download the full report.
March 14, 2014: Former U.S. intelligence
officer says Kerry may be compromised. A former Iran
analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency is asking tough questions
about Secretary of State John Kerry's relationship to his Iranian
counter-part, Javad Sharif, as rumors fly that Sharif's son was the
best man at the wedding of Kerry's daughter to an Iranian national.
Larry Franklin also questions why Kerry did not disclose his daughter's
recent marriage to an Iranian until after he was confirmed by the
Senate as Sec/State.Read
the full story.
Jan. 14, 2014: Hassan Rouhani, nuclear
cheat. Now itís official: for Iranian president Hassan
Rouhani, the nuclear deal struck with the West in Geneva in November
was just an excuse to get sanctions relief, and Iran has no intention
of scaling back its nuclear ambitions. îOur relationship w/the world is
based on Iranian nationís interests,î Rouhani tweeted on Jan. 14. ìIn
Geneva agreement world powers surrendered to Iranian nationís will.î
The Islamic Republicís ìmoderateî clerical president expanded on what
he meant by the Westís ìsurrenderî in a speech in the oil-rich province
of Khuzestan today. ìThe Geneva agreement means the wall of sanctions
has broken. The unfair sanctions were imposed on the revered and
peace-loving Iranian nation,' he said (with
translation by the Associated Press). 'It means an admission by the
world of Iran's peaceful nuclear program.'"
The Iranian side has a very different view on what they agreed to in
Geneva than does Secretary of State John Kerry. Iranian negotiator
Abbas Araqchi revealed that the two sides would be bound by a 30-page
ìnon-paper,î which bore all the hallmarks of a secret side agreement ñ
something the State Department was quick to deny.
Araqchi was crystal clear that Iran believes the deal means the
continuation of all Iranian nuclear research programs and facilities.
ìNo facility will be closed; enrichment will continue, and qualitative
and nuclear research will be expanded,î he told
the Iranian Students News Agency on Monday. ìAll research into a
new generation of centrifuges will continue."
gloated over fooling the West in his last nuclear negotiation when he
ran for president last year. In
a televised interview, he
explained in detail how he tricked the EU-3 negotiators in talks from
2003 to 2005. Instead of shutting down or even slowing its nuclear
development, Rouhani boasted that centrifuge production actually
increased, and Iran managed to finalize its Uranium Conversion Facility
in Isfahan, all the while pretending it has "suspended" its enrichment
program. without the conversion plant (often known as the "hex" plant,
since that's where Iran transforms uranium yellowcake into Uranium
hexafluoride for gaseous enrichment), there could be no enrichment. Permalink.
Jan. 5, 2014: Heshmatollah Tabarzadi sent back to prison. Former
student leader and human rights activist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi has
been ordered to return to prison, effective Jan. 6, after a year-long
"furlough." In a letter explaining his reason for returning to jail,
Tabarzadi said his temporary release was continent upon his silence,
but that "the situation of the people and my country is such that I
could no longer keep quiet." He blasted so-called pro-freedom activists
who have embraced the new government of mullah Hassan Rouhani. With his
forced return to prison, "These hypocrites can no
longer claim to the international community that after the
emergence of President Hassan Rouhani, Iran's human rights situation
has improved," he wrote.
h/t Banafhsheh Zand.
Jan. 2, 2014: Assyrian church in Iran
pressured to close doors to Farsi-speaking Christians. The
Iranian regime, working through Quislings in the Assyrian community,
has forced St. Peter's Church in Tehran to ban Farsi-speaking
Christians from attending worship services, Mohabat
News reports. As happens regularly where Christians are a tiny
minority in Muslm lands, the Iranian regime appears to have used its
"pet Christian," Assyrian Majles member Yonatan Betkolia, to enforce
this ban, aimed at identifying and persecuting former Muslims who have
come to Jesus. Betkolia has family members living in the United States,
and is well known within the Assyrian community as the Secretary
General of Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA). "He will do whatever the
Iranian regime orders him to do," a prominent Assyrian activist told
While this is a meretricious argument on its face (the U.S. Congress
decides questions of war and peace, when it decides to assert its
Constitutional authority), it reveals the panic that has gripped the
pro-Tehran lobby over the new sanctions legislation.
The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 is significant because this is
the first time prominent Democrats have bucked a veto threat from the
Obama White House. It also is significant because it closes a major loophole in the petroleum
sanctions that has allowed countries such as China to continue
importing Iranian oil in the form of fuel oil, while cracking down on
the oil-mixing trade sponsored by sanctions-busters such as Babak Zanjani, who has been running
cargoes of Iranian oil to Labuan, Malaysia where he blends the Iranian
oil with oil from other countries and then sells it as non-Iranian oil.
The new bill amends previous sanctions legislation by replacing the ban
on ìcrude oil purchases from Iranî with an ban on ìpurchases of
petroleum from Iran or of Iranian origin,î a new definition aimed to
capture blended oil as well as fuel oil, condensates, and other forms
of petroleum exported by Iran. It also expands sanctions beyond the
current energy, shipping and shipbuilding to include certain ports and
free economic zones, as well as any economic sector the President deems
to be ìstrategic.î
The new bill also prevents the President from cutting staff or
appropriations to the Treasury Departmentís Office of Foreign Assets
Control, the primary U.S. government agency involved in sanctions
enforcement, as happened during the brief government shutdown last
the latest draft here).
The authors of the bill clearly see the measure as a means of
ìputting teethî into the ongoing diplomatic negotiations with the
Iranian regime over its nuclear program, not as a means of impeding or
prohibiting those negotiations. But Iranian foreign Minister Javad Sharif warned that if the bill
passed, the negotiations were over and Iran would back out of the
Joint Plan of Action.
Dec. 27, 2013: Zarrab family granted
Turkish citizenship. In the deepening corruption
scandal enveloping the government of Turkish Prime Minister
Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab has reportedly
succeeded in acquiring Turkish citizenship "on exceptional grounds" for
his immediate family. "Applicants can acquire Turkish citizenship on
exceptional grounds after getting a nomination from the Interior
Ministry and a decree from the Cabinet," according
to Today's Zaman, a Turkish news site.
Dec. 25, 2013: Turkey Corruption Scandal Hits Iran. The corruption
scandal that has caused three government ministers to resign and
threatens to ensnare Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan began when
police investigators alleged that Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab had
bribed public figures in Turkey. ìZarrab exports gold and I know he is
involved in charity activities as well,î Erdogan told a rally in
Istanbul, in an attempt to dismiss the growing scandal.
prosecutors"his chief" in Iran was "B.Z," widely believed to be Babak Zanjani, the Iranian
billionaire sanctions-buster who has been blacklisted
for sanctions violations by the U.S. Treasury department. (In
the photo at right, Zanjani
can be seen in his private jet (wearing
a white shirt) along with Hassan
Mir-Kazemi, a bassiji "businessman" better known for getting
photographed on a motorbike with his pistol during the repression of
the 2009 post-election protests).
Police also arrested the general manager of the state-owned Halkbank,
Suleyman Aslan, on allegations of illegal gold trading with Iran. ìI
have no doubt that he [Aslan] is innocent,î Erdogan
Halkbank was at the center of a murky deal to transfer hard currency
payments for Iranian oil, blocked by international sanctions, by Indian
oil refiners. Also known as Turkiye Halk Bankasi SA, Halkbank is
controlled by Erdoganís AKP party. Union Bank of India, the Indian bank
that had been remitting payments for Iranian oil, contracted with
Halkbank in August 2011 to serve as an intermediary for the payments,
using a complex currency transfer mechanism designed to get around the
U.S. financial sanctions.
Suspicious gold and currency transfers involving Iran and Turkey first
came to light in October 2008, when the Turkish authorities seized a
container said to contain $18.5 billion worth of U.S. dollars and gold
The suspicious shipments continued into at least January 2013, when a
mysterious cargo plane originating in Ghana made an emergency landing
at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul and was discovered to be carrying 1.5
tons of gold, worth
an estimated $1 billion.
Dec. 12, 2013: IRGC commander says "no red lines have been crossed" in
nuclear negotiations. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali
Jaffari said that Iran has already "given the maximum" in nuclear talks
with the West and "received the minimum," but noted that so far "no red
lines have been crossed." This is
a clear reference to IRGC demands that Iran never give up uranium
enrichment. Jaffari also acknowledged once again the IRGC presence in
Syria. "We have announced before that we have specialized forces in
Syria to transfer experience and training who undertake advisory roles,
and this is obvious.î Jaffari's comments initially came as a challenge
to Foreign Minister Javad Sharif, who claimed Iran could be destroyed
with two [atomic] bombs, something Jaffari disputed. ìToday, Iran is a
completely secure country from a security issues view. The enemies
knows our capabilities in several dimensions of materiel and software.
Since  we have been in an asymmetric battle with the enemy. They
saw Iranís abilities in the 33-Day and 22-Day Wars against an Zionist
army armed to the teeth," he added. English translation
Iran Tracker. Persian from FarsNews.
advisor adds: Nuclear agreement is the "Treaty of Huddabiya in Geneva."
If any doubts remain as to how the Iranians see the Geneva agreement,
this statement from political commentator (and former Khatami
advisor) Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini should set the record
straight. Iran's missiles can now reach Tel Aviv; Obama was desperate
for a handshake from Rouhani in New York, and the nuclear agreement was
like Mohammad's temporary treaty of Huddabiya, made to be broken once
the Muslim side was strong enough for military victory. Read a
translation of his Syrian TV interview thanks to Memri.org.
Dec. 7, 2013: Basijis infiltrate student protest. Basijis
posing as students infiltrated a student gathering at Tehran
Polytechnic University on National Students Day today, "intending to
undermine the gathering," according to Ghanoon Online (via the
AEI Iran Tracker). "The Basijis led chants
of 'Allahu Akbar' [God is great], and 'Down with America.' The resident
studentsí chants included 'Political prisoners must be freed,' Ghanoon
reported. "A student who attended the rally said that 'At 11 oíclock,
non-student individuals were dispatched to the university by bus.
Extremist members of the Basij from Amir Kabir University arrived by
the hundreds and led chants saying that political prisoners must be
executed and that Rouhani must let go of student life.'" FDI
Comment: this is just the latest example of the regime's robust
counter-intelligence operation to infiltrate, mislead, misdirect, and
confuse opposition elements inside Iran. But it also
demonstrates the regime's ongoing fears of
Dec. 6, 2013: Khatami brother shows Iran's escape
clause from nuclear deal. Speaking at Friday prayers in
Tehran, Hojjat-ol eslam Ahmad Khatami, the brother of the former
president, praised the regime's team of nuclear negotiators for
sticking to the Supreme Leader's script. Then he described Iran's
escape clause. ìAfter the negotiations, Obama
again noted that all options are on the table. He lied and said that we
have an atomic bomb. What manners are these? We know that Obama is
among the rudest leaders in the world. However, if there is the
smallest indicator of a lack of adherence, the Quran says that you
cancel the contract, and that if the enemy wants to betray you, there
is no contract.î This
reference to the famous "huddabiyah" contract Mohammad signed with
Jewish tribes in Mecca served Arafat in signing the Oslo "peace"
agreement with Israel, which he consistently violated, and is
now being invoked by Iran.
Nov. 24, 2013: FDI calls the P5+1 nuclear
agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran "a sham" FDI has carefully examined
the public data on the nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and the
Islamic Republic of Iran. While we applaud the efforts of French
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who held the line on a much worse deal
at the previous round of negotiations, the deal announced today will
imperil the security of the Iranian people, the region, and will inevitably lead to war.
Why? Because it allows the Iranian regime to maintain its nuclear
breakout capability, imposes little in the way of serious verification,
and thus serves as an encouragement to continued cheating. In exchange for immediate
sanctions relief offered by the United States
and Europe, Tehran offered promises to limit centrifuge
production, to delay construction of the Arak plutonium production
reactor, and to suspend 20% enriched uranium for six months. Some deal.
In addition, FDI sources indicate that the Iranian regime continues to
work on ICBM capability, including a MIRV'd delivery vehicle capable of
carrying five warheads (three nuclear, two decoys). While fissures in
the production of the missile casing have delayed the program, the
agreement imposes no limits on this program.
We also note that Ayatollah Khamenei views these negotiations as a
subterfuge to attain the Islamic Republic's true goal of acquiring a
militarily-significant nuclear arsenal for a first strike on Israel
(see Nov. 20, below).
Nov. 21, 2013: "Moderate" Rouhani's defense minister helped murder U.S.
Marines in Beirut. Hossein Dehghan, Rouhani's new defense
minister, cut his teeth in Lebanon, where he helped forge Hezbollah
into an operational arm of the IRGC. In the early , according to
Israeli researcher Shimon Shapira, he helped recruit Imad
Mugniyeh and devised the plan Mugniyeh carried out to blow up the U.S.
Marine barracks at the Beirut airport on Oct. 23, 1983, killing 241
Americans, and simultaneously attack the French Marine barracks several
kilometers away, killing 63 Frenchmen. The AP photo at right shows
Dehghan in the Majlis recently. Read
the full story from Tony Badran at the Weekly Standard.
Nov. 20, 2013: Khamenei says nuclear talks are a
sham. In an address to Bassiji commanders, the Supreme Leader
of the Islamic Republic warned that any interpretion of Iran's
"flexibility" in the current nuclear talks with the great powers was "a
"Heroic flexibility" is a term many in Iran have used to suggest that
President Hassan Rouhani was behind the nuclear deal with the West.
Khamenei set them right: "'Heroic flexibility' means an artistic
maneuver and the use of different tactics to reach different goals and
ideals of the Islamic regime,î he told the Bassiji commanders.
Khamenei reminded them that Iran's "right" to enrich uranium was a "red
line" that Rouhani's negotiations would not cross, according to an
account of Khamenei's speech by FDI Strategic Information Program
director, Reza Kahlili.
Nov. 12, 2013: Kharroubi, Moussavi and Zahra Rahnavard
spend 1000th day under house arrest. Today marked the 1000th
day that the three green movement leaders spent under house arrest,
without the government filing any charges against them. Read more from HRW
Oct. 23, 2013: Iranian regime Announces International "Down with
America" award. Now that the U.S. and Iran are
everythings going to be okay, right? After all, didn't Khatami and
Javad Sharif, the smiling mullahs, say there would be no more
"death to America?" So now it's just "down with U.S.A."
regime's hacking squad, "Cyber Hezbollah,"
has claimed responsibility for attacks on U.S. government
websites. Now they are holding the "Great Conference of Down with
U.S.A." in Tehran on Nov. 2 and sponsoring a "Down with U.S. Great
To plug the contest, they registered a new website
using a Queensland, Australia proxy, PrivacyProtect.org. Sanctions
anyone? For more, read
today's column for FDI Strategic Information director, Reza Kahlili.
Oct. 19, 2013: AI
Monitor carrying water for Iranian regime. Our
friend Hassan Dai presents an illuminating analysis of AI Monitor's
Barbara Slavin and her role in helping Rouhani and Javad Sherif trick the West into believing that
hard-line comments from the regime leadership on the nuclear
negotiations should not be taken seriously. In 2003, when serving as
Iranian ambassador to the UN, Zarif played a similar game using Swiss
Ambassador to Iran Tim Guldimann, Congressman Bob Ney, and Trita
Parsi... Now the conduit for these authorized (and completely
misleading) leaks is AI
Monitor's Barbara Slavin.
Oct. 18, 2013: Listen to Iran's dissidents before believing the nuclear
lies. As negotiations resumed this week in Geneva over
Iranís nuclear weapons programs, Iranian regime officials have taken an
increasingly hard line, making it unlikely any progress will be made
absent significant U.S. concessions.
Before Secretary of State John F. Kerry is tempted to give away the
store in order to achieve a Pyrrhic victory, he would do well to listen
to the voices of those the regime in Tehran has tried so hard to
silence: its political prisoners. Among the most prominent is a
dissident Shiite ayatollah, Seyyed
Hossein Kazemeini Borujerdi, who has been imprisoned and treated
with ruthless brutality for the past seven years.
What was his crime? Refusing to aocknowledge the role of Islam in
politics, and rejecting the doctrine of absolute clerical rule, the
founding belief of the Islamic regime in Iran. Read
more in today's Washington Times.
Oct. 17, 2013: Rep. Trent Franks
offers new legislation to enforce "responsible" nuclear agreement.
Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks is a staunch advocate of human
rights and religious freedom. Today he has offered
new legislation, the U.S.-Iran Nuclear Negotiations Act, H.R. 3292, to require the Obama
administration to negotiate verifiable benchmarks with the Iranian
regime. The Act requires that any nuclear deal include an end to Iran's
uranium enrichment activities, the dismantling of Fordo, and an end to
the plutonium-production reactor in Arak. Here is
the text of the bill.
Shades of the Godfather: Quds Force
chief appears with top regime leaders at his mother's funeral. They all turned out for the funeral of
Qassem Suleymani's mother: Mojtaba Khamenei, IRGC PID (intel) chief
Hossein Taeb, IRGC commander Jaafari. Pictured at right: Jihad Mugniyeh
(son of the late and unlamented terror chief, Imad Mugniyeh) and
Palestinian Islamic Jihad chieftains Ramadan 'Abdallah Shallah and
Ziyad Nakhala. MEMRI has
the full report.
H/t Banafsheh Zand
Oct. 13, 2013: Rouhani
brother is former top security official. Unlike the
Fereydoun kept his birth name. In Feb. 1979, he was one of Khomeini's
security guard druing his fabled journey
from the Tehran airport to Behesht Zahra Cemetary. Right after the
revolution, he became a jailor/interrogator of former SAVAK
intelligence agents. For 8 years after the Iran-Iraq war he was
ambassador to Malaysia, building up the IRI's extensive financial and
intelligence structures there. Rumored to have close ties to MOIS and
to the Rafsanjani family, Hossein Fereydoun will undoubtedly be a
player in the new administration. ht/ Banafshe Zand. Read more
Sept 29, 2013: Obama talks hostages with Rouhani. A
"senior administration official" told
reporters over the weekend that President Obama asked Rouhani
about the fate of three Americans currently held hostage by Iran:
Robert Levinson, Saeed Abedini, and Amir Hekmati. Michael Ledeen has
more about the administration's desperate
outreach to the (latest) smiling mullah of Tehran; Newsmax analyst Fred
Fleitz asks if Obama is "repeating past mistakes" on Iran.
Sept. 26, 2013: When Rouhani met Ollie North. The
original account in the Tower Commission report of the 1986 meeting in
Tehran (with the Bible and the cake) referred to him only as "a senior
foreign affairs advisor." Nowa
more complete picture of Rouhani's role in Iran-contra is
Sept. 24, 2013: Quds Force chief said to be
directing Assad's war in Syria. New
Yorker magazine profiles Qassem Suleimani, (photo, left) the
elusive chief of the IRGC's foreign expeditionary and terrorist Quds
force, said to be providing strategic advice as well as manpower to the
Sept. 23, 2013: Jailed dissident cleric smuggles out letter for UN
General Assembly. Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Kazemeini
Borujerdi, who was arrested in 2006 and has been jailed ever since, has
a letter out of Evin Prison addressed to members of the UN
General Assembly. Ayatollah Borujerdi describes his plight as a hostage
ìwithin a prison cell which is surrounded by a cruelty and brutality
called religion and faith.î
He calls the regime in Tehran and the latest smiling mullah serving as
a front man for the reign of the
ayatollahs ìbrutal totalitarians [who] have plundered and stolen the
wealth and national income of every Iranian," and ends his letter with
a plea to ìfocus your gaze on that which goes on inside Iran and
scrutinize the actions and blatant human and civil rights violations of
Our take: Ayatollah
Borujerdi represents a body of senior traditionalist clerics who reject
political Islam, which the U.S. administration of Barack Obama has
embraced from Tunisia to Afghanistan. That perhaps explains why the
U.S. administration has ignored his plight, preferring the foolís
errand of negotiating with a self-avowed liar, President Hassan
Rouhani, who boasts of how he tricked the West as Iranís nuclear
negotiator from 2003-2005. FDI began writing about his plight
not long after his arrest.
His supporters are worried that long years of brutal detention, and the
refusal by the regime to allow him to take heart medecine brought to
him by his family, is contributing to his rapidly-deteriorating health.
Sept. 22, 2013: The "containment" trial balloon. Former
Clinton administration national security official Kenneth M. Pollock is
the containment trial balloon: don't worry about the Islamic
Republic getting the bomb, just be prepared to prevent them from using
it. As always, such analysis misses the point as to why the regime is
seeking nuclear weapons capability, and the end times ideology driving
Ayatollah Khamenei and his top advisors.
Sept. 4, 2013: JINSA task force
report on Iran. Without a doubt, this
is the best and most authoritative analysis and set of policy
recommendations we've seen. The list of participants include
hard-liners on Iran as well as advocates of accomodation; and yet the
report comes down squarely on the side of a more rigorous policy toward
the Tehran regime with verifiable benchmarks. Our main regret: human
rights, political and religious freedom get short shrift - indeed, no
mention at all. Of especial interest for scholars and columnists is the
list of nuclear offers made by the U.S. and the EU to Iran since 2005 -
no fewer than seven complete package deals, several of which would have
allowed Tehran to continue enrichment, a very bad idea in our view.
August 9, 2013: Prominent political prisoners refuse to sign
anti-sanctions letter. Despite heavy pressure from the
regime and from more "compliant" prisoners, human rights lawyer Nasrin
Sotoudeh and other prominent political prisoners pointed refused to
sign a Quisling letter to President Obama, complaining about the
effects of U.S. sanctions. If nothing else, the anti-sanctions letter, which
appeared in London's Guardian newspaper, shows again the extent to
which the regime has infiltrated and manipulated the opposition. Other
prominent political prisoners who refused to sign the regime's letter
including Majid Tavakoli, Ahmad Zeidabadiand Heshmat Tabarzadi. Read
July 18, 2013: Pro-Tehran lobby
finds more "useful idiots" in Congress. The pro-Tehran
lobby is salivating at the possibility that the election of a smiling
mullah in bed with the Islamic Republic oil lobby will pave the way to
back door deals with Iran that will make them rich. Key to that
strategy is convincing their supporters in Tehran that they can deliver
support for rapprochement and an end to sanctions in Washington.
Our take: This
latest letter, co-sponsored by Republican Charlie Dent of
Pennsylvania and Democrat David Price of North Carolina,demonstrates
why voters need to elect responsible adults to Congress.
The U.S. has "engaged" the Iranian regime in dozens of meetings over
the past decade, and the Iranian side has successfully delayed, denied,
and deceived as they continued to spin the centrifuges and, through
their lobby, Congress and the U.S. media.
July 1, 2013: State Department
negotiating Iran sanction waiver. As the U.S.
Senate was engrossed in the immigration debate last week and the House
was preparing for the 4th of July recess, the State Department quietly
negotiated a deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran to establish direct
flights between Tehran and New York, FDI has learned.
The deal involves a government to government Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU), and flights between the two countries operated by
Iran Air, which is on the Treasury Departmentís list of Specially
Designated Nationals and banned from all commerce with U.S. persons
because of its involvement in terrorism and the proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction.
In a special advisory delivered this morning, FDI urged the appropriate
committee chairmen and ranking members in Congress to immediately
clarify with the State Department whether they have indeed negotiated
an MoU with Iran, as the Iranian Foreign Minister announced last week (see our complete statement,
here); and if so, to withhold funds from the State Department for
the implementation of this MoU or further negotiations.
ìWaiving sanctions on Iran Air so it can operate direct
flights to the United States would jeopardize most of the sanctions
legislation currently on the books, and would expose the Treasury
Departmentís designation process to charges of being arbitrary and
political,î said FDI President and CEO, Kenneth R. Timmerman. Download
PDF version of the FDI statement
June 13, 2013 - Election update: Wealthy
Los Angeles landlord pulls out from regime elections.
FDI has learned that Frank Rahban, a wealth
real estate investor in Los Angeles, is the owner of the building the
regime planned to use tomorrow in Santa Monica to hold its ìelectionî
show, located at 401 San Vincente Blvd.
Mr. Rahban encountered
public notoriety in 2009 when anti-billboard activists protested in
front of his Brentwood home because he had used one of his properties
to host a 6-storey billboard. He owns the Santa Monica property through
a family trust with his wife and son.
California commercial records show that he operates Overland Investment
Company on W. Pico Blvd, and is a partner or investor in at least five
other real estate partnerships.
After receiving a torrent of calls from angry Iranian-Americans on
Thursday, Mr. Rahban apparently canceled the rental agreement for his
property and the Iranian Interests Section has removed the address from
the list of active polling stations on its website.
June 13, 2013: Iranians chant anti-regime slogans at football match. A
brief video has surfaced of football (soccer) fans chanting anti-regime
slogans at Tuesday night's Iran-Lebanon World Cup qualifiying match at
Azadi stadium in Tehran. (Iran beat Lebanon 4-1). "Nah Ghazzeh, Nah
Loobnan, Janam Fedaayeh Iran" - literally, No Gaza, No Lebanon, My life
is dedicated to Iran" - was first chanted during the 2009 post-election
uprising and shocked the regime more than outright calls for the death
of the Supreme Leader. Why? because this regime spends more time and
money to support Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon than it
does to provide clean water to the residents of south Tehran. The
slogan is a direct repudiation of that policy. Sources
tell FDI that large crowds chanted anti-regime slogans inside the
stadium itself during the June 11 match as well. We will post more
video as it becomes available. Watch
the video here (Permalink).
Regime posts election show polling places: At around 3 PM on Thursday,
the regime posted official polling places in the United States for
have been very careful in the PDF tables not to include any identifying
markers tying the list of venues back to the regime. One reason may be
because two of the 19 locations are Islamic Centers owned and
controlled by the Alavi Foundation, which since 2008 has had its assets
frozen by federal prosecutors in New York on allegations that it is
under the daily control of the Iranian regime. FDI has contacted the
prosecutor to flag him of this potentially illegal misuse of assets
that are currently under U.S. court-supervised receivership.
June 12, 2013: Iranian regime flouts U.S.
law, announces 19 election sites across U.S.
The Islamic Republic yesterday put up a rudimentary website with
similar to graphics to the election website it used in 2009, to inform
Iranian-Americans where they could vote in this Fridayís election show.
Under U.S. law, it is illegal for the
regime to engage in operations outside of a 25 mile radius of
its permanent mission to the United Nations in New York, and the
Interests Section in the Pakistani embassy in Washington, DC. Tuesdayís
announcement that the regime would open 19 official polling stations
around the United States was in open defiance of the law.
Today, the regime went further and issued a 4 page statement from the
Interests Section, telling Iranian-Americans that the polling
places were being set up in coordination with the local police
departments in each city. ìIf you encounter any problems with securityî
in reaching the polls, the statement said, ìyou should contact the
local Police Department.î
"Staff will have
the number of the local police department and will post it" in the
polling places in case of incidents," the statement said.
The statement also said that staff
operating the polling places "will
have the official stamp of the Council of Guardians" and will
stamp both the individual ballots and the voter's Iranian passport (on
"Keep the official flag of the islamic Republic at the voting table and
at the location," it added.
Canada is not allowing the regime to operate polling stations, a
decision hotly criticized by Tehran. ìCanada had deprived many Iranians
of exercising their legal right,î a Foreign Ministry spokesman, Seyyed
Abbas Araqchi, said
Araqchi noted that even when Canada and the Islamic Republic maintained
diplomatic relations, the Canadian government never allowed polling
stations to be set up outside Ottawa.î
ìThis suggests that the United States government has given its approval
to the regime to set up polling stations here in the United States,î
said Roozbeh Farahanipour, a
pro-freedom activist in Los Angeles.
According to a listing published at the regimeís election-show website,
six polling stations will operate in California; two in Texas; two in
the Washington, DC area; two in the New York city area; and others in
Tampa, Philadelphia, Nashville, Chicago, Oklahoma city, Minneapolis,
FDI urges Iranian-Americans to
report these sites to the local FBI and encourage them to shut them
down because they are being operated in violation of U.S. law.
ìJoseph Stalin had elections. That didnít make the Soviet
Union a democracy,î said FDI
President and CEO Kenneth R. Timmerman. ìThe election show of
the Islamic Republic of Iran is no different from the sham elections of
the old Soviet Union. No one should be fooled.
ìIranians know what free and fair elections look like. And they know
they wonít be seeing them this Friday in Iran.î Permalink
June 7, 2013:
Erdogan's troubles in Turkey bode ill for Islamic Republic. As
protests in Turkey spread to over 60 cities, Prime Minister Ergodan dug
in his heels, blaming "foreign actors" behind the unrest. In fact, it
would appear that the Islamist regime's heavy-handed response to a
local protest over a an Istanbul park, contributed heavily to helping
the demonstrations morph into widespread protests against the regime.
For those who claim the Green movement in Iran is dead, former Al Gore
Hass reminds us that you can never predict what will spark a
popular uprising, once the underlying unrest is present....
June 5, 2013: Canadian Minister condemns human rights abuses in Iran. In
statement, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Honourable
Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and
Multiculturalism, today commended those who document human rights
absues in Iran in an extraordinary statement blasting the "hollow
regime" in Tehran for "systematic stifling of democratic freedoms."
June 4, 2013: Protestors in Isfahan chant
"Death to the Dictator." Protestors at a funeral
procession for dissident Ayatollah Taheri Esfahani, who died yesterday
at the age of 91, chanted anti-regime slogans through the streets of
Isfahan, apparently unchallenged. Ayatollah Taheri, a member of the
Assembly of Experts, broke with the regime on June 30, 2009, when he
published an open letter calling Ahmadinejad's presidency
another point during the funeral procession, protestors chant,
"Moussavi, Karroubi, must be freed," a reference to Ahmadinejad's main
opponents in the 2009 election show who have been under house arrest
the videos here and here)
note: The regime has desperately tried to play down the
election ìshowî to prevent any outbreak of demonstrations as happened
in 2009. But they may have been too cynical by half: this time, the
protests are starting before
the election ìshow.í
ï Pastor Saeed Abedini's wife to address UN.
Neghmeh Abedini traveled to Geneva, Switzerland where today
she will address the UN Human Rights Council, a body on which the
Islamic Republic sits. Because her husband is being held in Evin
"without a voice," she said, "I must, therefore, be his voice."Just two
weeks ago, the jailed 33-year old pastor, who holds dual U.S. and
Iranian citizenship, managed to smuggle out a letter to his wife,
expressing his joy that his persecution has helped to unite people from
different denominations and different countries."ìYou donít know how
happy I was in the Lord and rejoiced knowing that in my chains the body
of Christ has chained together and is brought to action and prayer," he
June 3, 2013: White House issues new
sanctions but ignores Iran unrest. President
Obama today issued yet
another executive order imposing new sanctions on the automotive
sector in Iran and tightening currency sanctions, while ignoring
reports of protests in Isfahan apparently sparked by widening protests
in neighboring Turkey.
ï Federal judge tosses out Mohammadi case. In an opinion issued
late on Friday, U.S District Court judge Beryl Howell found that her
court lacked juristiction to act against the Islamic Republic at the
request of torture victims who were not U.S. citizens. In
a statement issued today, Attorney Larry Klayman said he intended
to take the torture and wrongful death case of Manouchehr and Akbar
Mohammadi to Spain, where courts have handed down judgments against
foreign sovereigns in similar cases. Read the full Opinion here.
May 27, 2013:
FDI to Obama: support the pro-freedom movement.
FDI president and CEO Ken Timmerman told the Voice of America
that the United States government needs to support the pro-freedom
movement in Iran. In comments recorded Friday during a conference
sponsored by U.S. Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va), Timmerman told VOA
that the Iranian people showed in June 2009 that they were ready for
change, but the United States government did not respond. ìThe United States must do its part and
provide active support to pro-freedom groups inside Iran,î Timmerman
The VOA was reporting on a meeting hosted by the Iranian Solidarity Front,
one of an increasing number of political groupings outside Iran aimed
at generating support for the pro-freedom movement. (Watch the video).
Addressing that event, former ExIm Bank director Bijan Kian argued that the ìnewî
political balance inside the regime between Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
and the IRGC has swung in favor of the Rev. Guards, and that this in
turn decreases the likelihood the regime will accept any deal over its
nuclear weapons program. ìTo say the Islamic Republic is reformable
suggests that Islam can be reformed,î Kian said. ìWhile I am not an
expert in islam, I doubt this is possibleÖ.î
update: FDI president Timmermanís oped on the upcoming Iranian
ìelection showî is here.
While Rafsanjani was rejected by the Guardian Council, former Foreign
Minister Ali Akbar Velayati would now appear to be Washingtonís top
choice. Velayati has met on multiple occasions in Qatar and in
Switzerland for secret negotiations with U.S. presidential envoy
Valerie Jarrett, as first revealed by FDI Strategic Information
director Reza Kahlili last
October. (Kahliliís story was picked
up by the New York Times and has subsequently been confirmed by
senior U.S. and Israeli officials).
Former Tehran mayor (and IRGC general) Mohammad Baqr
Qalibaf and Khameneiís top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, are being
touted as the ìfront-runnersî by pro-regime media. Given that the
Guardians will deliberate in secret to determine the ìwinnerî of the
June 14 election show, right now the only votes that count are
Ayatollah Khameneiís and those of the Guardians.
May 12, 2013: Rafsanjani joins the [S]election
show. In a much awaited move, former
president Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani announced today he would be a
candidate in the June 14 presidential [S]election, saying that he was
only running because Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had approved his
candidacy. His announcement was prominently covered by the BBC
Persian radio and TV services, and undoubtedly provoked a
collective sigh of relief inside the U.S. State Department.
The Obama administration has intensified the on-again, off-again
back-door negotiations with the Islamic regime that every U.S.
president has conducted since Jimmy Carter.
According to FDI Director of Strategic Information programs Reza
Kahlili, U.S. emissaries have met with Khamenei's top foreign policy
advisor, Ali Akbar Velayati, more
than 10 times over the past few years. Velayati is widely believed
to have been Khamenei's hand-picked choice to succeed Ahmadinejad as
Also in the running are former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian and former
Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezai. All four have
international arrest warrants outstanding against them with Interpol
for their alleged role in the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that
killed 86 people. The Islamic Republic has engaged in intense diplomacy
in recent months to get those arrest warrants removed and pledged to
take part in a phony "joint investigation" into the AMIA bombings it
claims to be conducting with the Argentine government of President
Our take: Rafsanjani
undoubtedly waited to announce his candidacy until he had gotten all
his ducks in a row, from the Supreme Leader to prominent reformist
leaders who hope he can help ease tensions with the United States and
the international community. But make no mistake: this man is no
reformer, nor is he likely to make any significant changes to the
structure or behavior of the Islamic regime.
Rafsanjani is the father of the Islamic Republic's nuclear weapons
program, having lobbied hard with Ayatollah Khomeini for its resumption
when he was Majlis speaker in 1985. As president starting in 1989, he
directed the intelligence services to track down dissidents and
assassinate them overseas. As head of the Expediency Council he backed
the crackdown against the student rebellion in 1999, and remained
silent during the crackdown after the 2009 elections. He has never
lifted a finger to help political prisoners, ethnic minorities or
women, nor has he ever promoted a pluralistic democracy for Iran. And
he has made public statements welcoming a "nuclear exchange" [ie, war[
between the Islamic Republic and Israel.
And yet, diplomats and leaders in many Western nations seem prepared to
delude themselves once again that a smiley face on the Islamic
Revolution will remove the threat that this regime poses to the world. Now more than ever, FDI believes
it is time to help the Iranian people to raise their voice against
dictatorship by demanding that Iran conduct free and fair elections
according to the standards the Islamic regime agreed to as set forth by the
May 10, 2013: Sec. Kerry picks wrong man as AfPak negotiator. U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry announced last week he was appointing
James Dobbins as the administration's point man on Afghanistan and
Pakistan. Dobbins, who is a pro-Tehran apologist and lobbyist, is the
wrong person for the job. His appointment sends a clear signal to
Tehran that the Obama administration favors accomodation with a
nuclear-armed Iran and will do nothing to compel the regime in Tehran
to respect internationally-recognized standards of human rights or the
political rights of Iranians. Read a profile of Dobbins at
May 1, 2013:
Update on Ahmadinejad detention. The Director of
FDI Strategic Projects, Reza Kahlili, revealed this morning more
details about Ahmadinejad's surprise detention on Monday afternoon and
his interrogation by the head of Revolutionary Guards Protection and
Intelligence Department, Hossein Taeb, and other top intelligence
officers loyal to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. In his report, featured
on WorldNetDaily, Kahlili said Ahmadinejad was warned not to make
good on his threats to expose secret information that would embarrass
the regime, in particiular a tape he reportedly was threatening to
release that documented the regime's vote-rigging on his behalf in the
2009 presidential election.
April 30, 2013: Ahmadinejad temporarily detained in Tehran. FDI
has learned from intelligence sources in Iran that Ahmadinejad was
temporarily detained in Tehran yesterday after traveling to two African
countries last week on a mission to convert some $2 billion of U.S.
dollar assets into gold. Ahmadinejad's main mission these days is to
buy the upcoming presidential [S]election for his son-in-law and
protege, Rahim Mashaie. More details as they develop....
April 28, 2013: Fakhravar pulls a no-show in Paris. Iranian
man of all seasons Amir Abbas Fakhravar, who has billed himself as the
star attraction in the latest effort to pull together an opposition
to turn up at the conference held in Paris this week. The National Council of Iran
meetings began on April 27 after an on-line "election" showed that
Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi was the most popular Iranian political figure
among opposition activists.
April 20, 2013: NIAC condemned to pay damages. A
U.S. District Court judge has fined NIAC close to $200,000 and
dismissed its defamation suit against Hassan Daioleslam, who called the
group the "Iranian lobby" in the United States. NIAC and its president,
Trita Parsi, repeatedly failed to comply with discovery motions ordered
by the court and were found to have altered evidence in an attempt to
hide their lobbying activities. The Court's final order
was issued on April 9, after its earlier finding against NIAC last
April 17, 2013: Adopt an Iranian political prisoner. Marziyeh
Amirzadeh and Maryam Rostampour have just published Captive
in Iran, a gripping memoir of their
time in Evin prison, where they were jailed because of their Christian
faith. They argue that outsiders can help prisoners in Iran through the
simple gesture of writing them letters, a practice long advocated by
Amnesty International. Although the regime doesn't actually deliver the
letters to the prisoners, they read them - and the more letters that
arrive, the more uneasy the authorities become. ìThat really helped,
and it embarrassed the regime. Outside pressure forced them to release
us,î Maryam told FDI recently at an event organized by Nina Shea and
the Hudson institute's Center
for Religious Freedom. The two authors provide the name and
address of several prisoners of conscience as well as specific
instructions for what to write - and what not to write - in these
- Update: Read Ken Timmerman's Washington Times
on Tehran, One prisoner at a time."
- Update 2: Video now available.
In this interview, FDI president Ken Timmerman talks about
the Mohammadi torture case; the section on Marziyeh and Maryam begins
. April 16, 2013: Read
the record of the regime's use of torture. Manouchehr
Mohammadi provides gripping testimony of the torture he was subjected
to in the jails of the Islamic Republic in a federal court hearing in
Washington, DC earlier this month. FDI president Kenneth R. Timmerman
also testified on the regime's efforts to surveil and intimidate
the transcript from the hearing.
April 8, 2013: FDI joins Stop the Bomb! in calling for protests of
Germany's Evangelical Academy for welcoming Iranian regime official. The
Lutheran Church's Evangelical Academy in Hannover, Germany, has
announced it will host regime ambassador Ali Reza Sheikattar on April
18, to talk about "strenthening Iranian civil society." While FDI
opposes granting any Iranian
regime official the legitimacy of appearing in public fora in the West,
for a church organization to host a regime official is an insult to
Christian believers everywhere. Calling
evil, good, will not make the evil go away: just ask the Mohammadi's,
who suffered the scourge the Tehran regime meets out to those who dare
raise their voice in support of freedom (see April 4, below).
Not surprisingly, this event is being co-sponsored by the German Ministry of Foreign and Development
Aid as a means to promote German exports to Iran, in cynical
defiance of international sanctions. German companies such as Siemens
have sold surveillance gear to the IRI that has helped them to track
dissidents; Mercedes has sold trucks used as missile launchers; scores
more have provided nuclear, chemical, and missile technologies.
Please join us in sending
protest emails to the following persons in charge of this event. (click here
to read the FDI email, which you are free to adapt as your own).
Evangelical academies Germany:
Holz, General Secretary: email@example.com
Sachau, Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Evangelische Akademie Loccum":
Schaper, Organizer of the conference: email@example.com
Schaede, Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the "Konvent" of the
"Evangelische Akademie Loccum":
April 5, 2013: Iranian FM threatens Iranian dissidents and activists in
Foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi responded with scarcely veiled threats
to a small protest during his trip to Austria earlier this year,
reminding Iranian Kurds of the regime's assassination of Abdelrahman
Qassemlou and threatening Austria with terrorist attacks if it
permitted dissidents and European citizens to highlight the regime's
terror record. FDI applauds the courage of activist Simone Dinah
Hartman and Stop the Bomb! and is happy to partner with them in the U.S.
April 4, 2013: Iranian
regime continues to harrass Iranian exiles in the United States.
In testimony before U.S. District Court today, FDI president Timmerman
ongoing harrassment by Iranian regime agents in the United States of
exiles and political dissidents, as well as the regime's illegal
actions in organizing election bureaux around the U.S. for presidential
and Majlis elections. "These bureaux operate as offices of the Iranian
regime, which is prohibited by law from having a presence outside its
two declared representative offices at the UN in New York and the
Interests Section in Washington, DC," Timmerman told the court. The
goal of these offices is to "harrass and intimidate Iranian-Americans,
who depend on the regime for passport, notarial, and other legal
services," he added. (Photo: Timmerman and attorney Klayman with the
Mohammadis outside the courthouse).
April 3, 2013: FDI President to testify in landmark human rights
case. Kenneth R. Timmerman, President of the
Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI), will testify on Thursday, April
4, in a historic lawsuit against the Islamic Republic of Iran for its
systematic torture of political prisoners.
The case, brought by the family of slain
Iranian political prisoner Akbar Mohammadi, will be heard before Judge
Beryl A. Howell in United States District Court for the District of
Columbia. Attorney Larry Klayman is lead counsel for the plaintiffs.
Read the complaint here.
Timmermanís testimony, which will include a narrative of his own
interaction with Mohammadiís brother Manouchehr before the two were
arrested in 1999, is scheduled to start at 3 PM in Courtroom 15.
Where: Courtroom 15
U.S. District Court for the District of Washington, DC
333 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC. 20001
When: 3 PM, Thursday, April 4,
FDI began using the Internet as a tool for bringing out timely
information to document human rights abuses by Iranian regime in the
mid-1990s, and was one of the first human rights organizations to
publish photographs of the assault by regime thugs on students at the
University of Tehran dormitories in July 1999, when the Mohammadis were
arrested. Click here to view some of the chronology
of that summerís events. Click here for a
PDF version of this press release.
March 26, 2013: UN Rapporteur for Human Rights says elections "not free
and fair." In an oped appearing on the BBC
Persian website, United Nations Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran
blasts the Tehran regime for violating the fundamental rights of
Iranian citizens. "[T]he 2009 presidential election and violent
post-election events demonstrate that rather than offering an
opportunity for people to assert their basic civil and political
rights, elections in Iran have seemingly become a time when rights are
subdued and choices imposed," writes Dr.
Ahmed Shaheed. He blasted the regime for imposing restriction on
the choice of candidates for public office, and concluded: "the
conditions for free and fair elections are sadly not present in Iran."
In a separate statement, Dr. Shaheed said that the regime was
intensifying the persecution of Christians, Bahai's, and other
religious minorities in Iran, even jailing young Christian women
nursing newborn children. ìThe persecution of Christians has increased.
It seems to target new converts and those who run house churches," Dr.
March 24, 2013: FDI reveals 3rd new nuclear
site, surrounded by giant ballistic missile field. Stunning
satellite imagery, obtained by the director of FDI Strategic
Information programs Reza Kahlili, reveals the existence of a
previously undisclosed buried nuclear site 15 miles northwest of the
Fordow enrichment plant. The new facility, known as "Qods" (Jerusalem),
is surrounded by giant missile fields, with more than 380 half buried
"garages" for mobile missile launchers that will give the IRGC the
ability to "shoot and scoot" with mobile Shahab-3 missiles, just as
Hezbollah did during the 2006 war against Israel with smaller missiles.
to FDI sources, the buried facility has the capacity to house 8,000
uranium enrichment centrifuges, although it's not known at present how
many - if any - have been installed.
invites analysts and government officials to use the coordinates posted
near the end of the video (click on the image at left) to corroborate
this information using Google Earth and classified imagery. The
enhanced video clearly shows that the dedicated high tension lines
bringing power to the underground Qods facility as well as the
extensivve perimeter fence and the vast missile fields.
March 22, 2013: Kerry exposes
Iranian family tie. In a stunning admission right up front in
what has become a pro-forma Nowruz greeting to the Iranian people,
Secretary of State John Kerry exposed a secret journalists and
academics have been agonizing over for the past month: the fact that
his daughter has married an Iranian-American who has extensive family
ties to Iran. "I am
proud of the Iranian-Americans in my own family, and grateful for how
they have enriched my life," Kerry said in his NowRuz greeting,
Kerry also said he was "strongly committed to resolving" the
differences between the United State and the Islamic Republic of Iran,
"to the mutual benefit of both of our people."
Politicians like to keep their family's off limits to the press, a
decorum enforced vigorously when it comes politicians in favor with the
national media but ruthlessly discarded for others. But in Kerry's
case, there could be larger ramifications.
Since its inception, the FBI has vetted U.S. government officials
involved in national security issues, and generally rejects granting
clearances for individuals who are married to nationals of an enemy
nation, or who have family members living in that country, for fear of
divided loyalties or more simply, blackmail.
Behrouz (Brian) Nahed and Vanessa Kerry Nahed are both residents as
Mass General in Boston. An Iranian government website first
published pictures of the married couple in February, just as Kerry
was up for confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee. Dr. Nahed's family lives in Los Angeles, but he has
relatives still in Iran. The Iranian website reported that shortly
after their marriage the young couple visited those relatives in Iran.
Was the Iranian publication itself a subtle form of blackmail, aimed at
letting Kerry know that the regime is fully aware of his son-in-law's
extended family in Iran? The Islamic Republic systematically puts
pressure on family members of prominent Iranian-Americans (for example,
individuals who work at the Persian service of Voice of America), to
make sure that they do not engage in hostile statements or activities
against the Tehran regime.
Certainly, Secretary Kerry has long favored a U.S. rapprochement with
the Islamic Republic. He has repeatedly appeared with groups such as
the American Iranian Council (AIC), and has taken money from
Iranian-Americans for his political campaigns, including
at least one illegal donation from an Iranian woman in 2002 who did
not have a green card. So he didn't need to have an Iranian-American
family member to believe that the United States should forge direct
relations with the Islamic Republic or ease U.S. pressure on the regime.
Kerry may have figured that by revealing the family tie himself he
could diffuse the situation, and make it more difficult for the regime
to put pressure on his son-in-law's family - of course, assuming that
as Secretary of State, Kerry in fact plans to do anything that angers
But what if the regime simply decides to round up Nahed's family
members and torture them? Or sends its goons to visit them at home? Or
exerts some form of more subtle pressure on them that gets no
publicity, and then makes it known they want the United States to
release Iranians jailed in the United States on terrorism charges or
for attempting to procure weapons technology or military spare parts?
Should Congress be asking Senator Kerry how he would respond in such a
March 1, 2013: Regime
ayatollah issues fatwah against opposition figure in exile. Senior
Iranian cleric Ayatullah Nasir
Makarem Shirazi has issued
a fatwa against Roozbeh Farahanipour, the founder of Marzepor Gohar,
a nationalist opposition grouop active in Iran. Farahanipour was jailed
in 1999 for his role in heloping to organize the July 1999 student
revolt. Ayatollah Shirazi is infamous in Iran for his fatwas against
dogs, his calls for death by stoning for adulterers, harsh punishment
of homosexuals, and repeated anti-Semitic statements.
Feb. 26, 2013: London conference bringsBalouchis together.
Leaders of Balouchi groups in Pakistan and Iran joined together at a
one-day conference in London at the Royal Society put together by the
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). The main focus
was on Balouchis in Pakistan, with Mir Soleiman Daud, the Khan of
Kalat, calling for Pakistani Balouchis to form a united front to
pressure the Islamabad government for their rights. Also presenting
were Nasser Boladai, President of the Baluchistan Peopleís Party, and
Hammal Haider Baloch, spokesperson of the Baloch National Movement.
U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher
(R, CA), called for the Pakistan government to allow a
referendum on Balouchi independence, adding to his previous calls for
separatist movements in Iranian Kurdistan and Azerbaijan. For more
details, go to the Baloch
Human Rights Council Facebook page.
Feb. 24, 2013: Media starts to pick up Hagel's pro-Tehran ties. Some
Senators may not be aware of the information first revealed here
on Hagelís ties to the pro-Tehran lobby, or of Hagel's disastrous 2009
report calling for the deployment of US troops between Israel and the
Palestinian territories. If so, here's the latest:
- A separate story from
Breitbart.com about a 2009 report Hagel co-authored calling for
U.S. Troops to deploy as part of a multinational force on Israelís
borders to impose peace on Israel and the Palestinians.
Feb. 18, 2013: Steady drip-drip exposes Hagel's ties to Tehran. Bit
by bit, it's all coming out. The DailyCaller
today reveals that Hagel's speech at Rutgers in 2007 was at
Tehran-funded Middle East studies unit headed by prof who boasts on his CV
of getting funding from the Alavi Foundation, the
Iranian regime's biggest U.S. front organization. The
feds busted Alavi in 2008 after uncovering a treasure trove of
documents in a series of court-ordered search warrants that showed
Tehran was directly managing its day-to-day affairs. (FDI first disclosed the photo at the
top of this website, taken during yet another Hagel speech with
Amirahmadi in 2007, on a deep dive of Internet archives).
The Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens piles
on, with this juicy detail about Amirahmadi:
Though he portrays himself as a reformist, Iranian-Americans who follow
him describe him as a "Rafsanjanist" eager to make the regime's case in
Washington. In 2009, the New York Post quoted Mr. Amirahmadi as saying
that "Iran has not been involved in any terrorist organization," and
that "neither Hezbollah nor Hamas are terrorist organizations."
Stephens notes that Amirahmadi "makes no secret of his political
leanings and ambitions. Did nobody on Mr. Hagel's or the [Senate
Intelligence] Committee's staff vet his speaking gigs before he gave
Feb. 11. 2013 ñ Join Ken Timmerman on MardomTV today at 2 PM Eastern.
FDI president Ken Timmerman will join Parsa Sorbi to talk about
Sundayís protest against auto-makers such as Mercedes and Nissan who
refuse to leave Iran, and the Obama administrationís new national
security and foreign policy team and the prospects for US-Iran talks. Join him online today at 2 Eastern
Feb. 10, 2013 ñ Baltimore Jewish Times covers auto-show protest. Click
here for a preview of Sundayís rally in front of the Baltimore
Feb. 8, 2013:
Join FDI this Sunday in Baltimore to protest rogue auto companies still
dealing with the Tehran regime. FDI
is joining UANI, the Baltimore Zionist District, the Endowment for
Middle East Truth and a host of others to call on major auto makers
(Nissan, Daimler Benz, BMW) to get out of Iran. Download
the complete flyer with meeting info.
- New satellite photos show
possible emergency activity at Fordow nuclear site after alleged
explosion. The Digital Globe satellite photo at
by WorldNetDaily, shows what appears to be a mini-van entering through
one of the security gates
to the underground Fordow nuclear complex on Jan. 21, the day of the
alleged explosion. More photographs with a detailed explanation by FDI
Strategic Information coordinator Reza Kahlili can
be found here.
Michael Ledeen wrote
today that his own sources in Iran are confirming the explosion.
Even more intriguing is a Jan. 27 report from a UPI correspondent embedded
in this account that says the explosion was so powerful it was felt
in a three mile radius, while local sources complained about the
"imposition of a 15-mile no-traffic zone, and hours-long closure of the
Feb. 6, 2013: New video details the problems with Hagel. Jan. 30, 2013: FDI President makes the case
against Hagel. In a column published
today's Washington Times, Ken Timmerman argues that Hagel's
policies toward the Islamic Republic regime in Iran should disqualify
him to become Secretary of Defense.
Jan. 28, 2013: Letter against Hagel. FDI
and prominent national leaders issued a joint letter, calling on
members of the U.S. Senate to reject the nomination of former Sen.
Chuck Hagel to become secretary of defense. While ì[w]e honor and
appreciate Mr. Hagelís service to our nationÖ we are deeply concerned
by Mr. Hagelís record and views on a broad range of national security
issues, and we fear that his confirmation as defense secretary would
send a dangerous signal to our enemies about Americaís willingness to
do what is necessary to defend ourselves and our allies,î the letter
Joining FDI on the letter are Frank Gaffney, president of the Center
for Security Policy, Morton Klein, president of the Zionist
Organization of America, and Sarah Stern, president of the Endowment
for Middle East Truth. The full letter is available here.
FDI has made available to Senate offices a detailed Fact Sheet on Sen.
Hagelís record when it comes to Iran. We are disturbed by Hagelís
confirmation day ìconversionî when it comes to a wide range of serious
issues related to Iran, since it contradicts a consistent track record
over the past dozen years where Hagel has repeatedly rejected any U.S.
pressure on the Islamic regime in Tehran, whether over its nuclear
program, its support for terrorism, or its human rights abuses. Jan. 21, 2013:Attorney who won Iran-9/11
case dies. FDI president Ken Timmerman joined the
family and friends of Thomas E. Mellon, Jr. over the weekend in
Doylestown, Pa, to celebrate the life of the man who won a historic
judgment against the Islamic Republic of Iran for its involvement in
the 9/11 attacks (Havlish et al v.
Osama bin Laden et al). Timmerman was the lead outside
investigator in the case that Mellon and his team of attorneys argued
successfully before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York in December 2011. Read an official obituary here.
In the photo at right, Mellon (2nd from
left, with the orange tie) celebrates his victory in the Iran-9/11
links case in front of U.S. District court in lower Manhattan on Dec.
15, 2011. From left to right:
Thomas E. Mellon, Jr., plaintiff Grace Godshalk, plaintiff Ellen
Saracini; 2nd row: lead
plaintiff, Fiona Havlish; attorney
Ed Rubenstone, plaintiff Tara Bane, attorney Mary Beth Haley, attorney
Richard Haley, FDI
,attorney Jack Corr; back row: attorney Donald Winder,
attorney Evan Yegelwel.
Jan. 17, 2013 - FDI President takes Hagel
objections to Congress. FDI shared its objections
with the nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel to become Secretary of Defense
with Senators and Congressional staffers on Capitol ill this week.
Here, at a forum hosted by the Endowment
for Middle East Truth (EMET), Timmerman pointed out that Hagel's
nomination has been welcomed by the Islamic Republic's official media. Video
- Read the facts about Chuck Hagel and his long-standing
ties to the pro-Tehran lobby.
From that page, you can also download FDI's background briefing on the
Hagel nomination and what it signifies for U.S. deterrence, Iran, and
U.S. national interests.
Jan. 16, 2013: IRI confirms death sentences against 5 Ahwazi Arabs. The
Iranian supreme court this week confirmed the death sentences of five
Ahwazi Arab political activists. Read more from Sharif
Behruz and the Ahwaz Human
Jan. 12, 2013: What's behind the triple Murder of Kurds in Paris? Amir
Taheri dives into this Parisian
murder mystery. His prime suspects? A Syrian government hit team,
an Iranian-backed Hezbollah hit team, or PKK dissidents unhappy with
ongoing negotiations between PKK leader Abdallah Ocalan and the Turkish
Jan. 11, 2013: Join FDI President & CEO Ken Timmerman on Mardom TV.
Ken will be talking about FDI's opposition to the
Hagel nomination, about the Pentagon's
latest report on Iranian regime intelligence operations in the United
States, and much more. Update:complete
video is now available.
Jan. 10, 2013: FDI Announces its Opposition to the Hagel nomination. The
Board of Directors of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran today
released a detailed memo in opposition to Sen. Chuck Hagel's nomination
to become U.S. Secretary of Defense. The FDI memo includes excerpts from
Hagel's own statements on Iran, and new details of
his relationships to the pro-Tehran lobby in Washington, DC. It
also includes new information on Hagel's efforts as a private citizen
in 2009 to lobby the Russian government against joining a State
Department-led effort to step up pressure on Iran.
"Over the past four years, Congress has helped steer the U.S.
administration toward policies that have increased the pressure on the
Islamic regime in Tehran, while expanding on work done by the two
previous administrations to build an international coalition to slow
down the emergence of a nuclear-armed Iranian regime," FDI wrote.
"Chuck Hagel actively opposed these polices of confronting the Islamic
Republic when he was in the U.S. Senate, and has continued to do so
"At no point has Hagel shown the slightest concern for human rights
abuses, religious liberty, the lack of political freedom, or the
threats made by Islamic Republic leaders to Israel, to Jews worldwide,
or to Americans. Instead, he has publicly stated that the United States
should not seek or promote regime change, merely a change of ìbehaviorî
by the current leadership. This is not just bad policy; given the
nature of the clerical leadership, itís a call to genocide...
" FDI has never called ñ and is not calling today ñ for U.S. military
strikes on Iran. However, for U.S. military power to have any impact on
decision-making in Tehran, the Islamic Republic leadership must believe
in U.S. resolve.
Senator Hagelís confirmation as Secretary of Defense would send a
message of weakened U.S. resolve to the leaders of the Islamic
Republic, which could serve as an inducement for aggressive behavior.
For these reasons we urge the Senate to reject Senator Hagelís
Download a 2-page PDF version.
- Protests planned across Europe, Canada against bloggers' execution. Human
rights activists have planned a series of demonstrations in Europe,
starting tomorrow, to protest the impending execution of bloggers
Loghman and Zanyar Moradi, who have been in jail for the past three
years. For people living in the U.S. and Canada, you can sign
an on-line petition to Catherine Ashton, the European Union's top
diplomat, asking for the EU to add its voice to those calling on the
Islamic Republic to release the Moradi's and other political prisoners.
here for the list of demonstrations. Read
Zanyar Moradi's letter from prison.
Jan. 9, 2013: FDI joins call to investigate al Jazeera. FDI
is proud to join forces with pro-freedom advocates, journalists, and
national security experts in calling for a Congressional investigation
of al Jazeera, in the wake of the pro-jihadi media group's growing
investments in the United States. Read
the announcement. Read the
Jan. 8, 2013: FDI Salutes New York State Assemblyman Bill Nojay.
FDI is proud to salute our board member Bill Nojay as he is sworn in
today to his new duties as a newly-elected State Assemblyman for the
133rd district of New York. In addition to his popular radio show, his
thriving international law practice, and his extensive volunteer work
(that includes long years of democracy promotion around the world, in
addition to working with his local fire department as an EMT and
ambulance driver), Bill has been working with FDI for the past five
years to help the pro-freedom movement in Iran. We invite you to read more about Bill's
action-packed career, and join us in saluting him as he sworn in
today. Send Bill a message
Jan. 7 , 2013: Support FDI while enjoying
the spectacular Shen Yun music and danse performance at the Kennedy
Center. Visit our
special page to learn more about this amazing dance troop
your tickets directly. After choosing your seats, make sure you apply the Promo code "KTKC"
so FDI will get credit for your purchase. We thank the Shen Yun
Performing Arts company for their willingness to support our cause with
a percentage of the ticket sales for the Jan. 31 performance.
Jan. 6, 2013: More Complaints about VOA
Persian Service. The Wall
Street Journal today published a stinging criticism of VOA's
Persian service for continuing to give voice to pro-regime "experts,"
while frustrating the pro-freedom movement. This waste of U.S. taxpayer
dollars must be reformed - or shut down.
Dec. 26, 2012 - Pastor Yousef back in jail.Iranian media sources
are reporting that Pastor Yousef Naderkhani, who was released in
September after nearly two years in jail, was rearrested on Christmas
Day by the authorities in Rasht. Pastor Yousef's attorney has also been
jailed and has been in Evin Prison for the past three months.
Dec. 20, 2012 - Pro-Tehran group seeks an end to sanctions.
The National Iranian-American Council, NIAC, which has consistently
lobbied the U.S. government to end sanctions and engage in direct
negotiations with the Tehran regime,has
sent a letter to President Obama signed by 24 U.S. and European
"experts," arguing that sanctions will not compel the regime to halt
its nuclear weapons program. NIAC's goal, once again, is to get U.S.
sanctions lifted and to provide "cover" to the Obama administration for
its efforts to craft a "grand bargain" that would guarantee U.S.
recognition for the Islamist regime in exchange for window-dressing
concessions by Tehran. According to Hassan Daioleslam, who won a
landmark defamation suit against NIAC earlier this year (see our Sept
20, 2012 entry, below), this latest NIAC letter received a "warm
reception in Tehran," where a group of former regime diplomatsreported
on the NIAC effort with the title, "Did the Iran Lobby Speak Out?"
Dec. 19, 2012 ñ American Pastor Arrested, Held in Evin Prison. An
Iranian-born American pastor, Saeed Abedini, has been arrested in Iran
and is being held in Evin Prison on unknown charges. Abedini fled Iran
with his Iranian-born wife in 2005 after threats of persecution because
of his work with the underground ìhouseî church movement in Iran.
Abedini converted to Islam at the age of 20 after falling into
depressing during forced recruitment by the regime to become a suicide
bomber. ìChristianity saved his life,î his wife said. "When he became a
Christian, he became a criminal in his own country. His passion was to
reach the people of Iran.î
Department needs to instruct all US diplomats to name Pastor Saeed and
other prisoners of conscience in Iran in ALL encounters with Iranian
officials, and demand their release. This is what Reagan did ñ and it
Leaderî of the Islamic Republic today boasted about opening a Facebook
page, the BBC reported. Many outraged Facebook users have already
ìlikedî the page, hoping in that way to post negative comments.
FDI urges supporters to take a different approach, and to use Facebookís own reporting feature
to demand that the page be taken down. We've posted the steps you can
take right here. It's as simple as 1-2-3-4!
Just last month, the regime jailed and then murdered Sattar Behesti for
blogging and and posting to Facebook comments that were critical to the
regime. He was arrested by the regimeís ìcyber policeî for ìactions
against national security on social networks and Facebook.î
Khamenei should not be given the courtesy of exploiting Facebook for
cynical purposes when his regime mercilessly murders activists who use
it as a vehicle of political expression. "Democracy is a two-way
street," says former student leader Roozbeh Farahanipour, founder of
Marzeporgohar. "They can't have it both ways."
report the Khamenei page to Facebook NOW and demand that it be taken
down. Not only is it offensive to all freedom-loving
individuals, it is in clear violations of U.S. sanctions.
Dec. 12, 2012: FDIís Director
of Strategic Information reveals Tehranís latest terror plot. In
collaboration with World
Net Daily, FDIís Director of Stategic Information, Reza Kahlili,
today revealed the latest plot by the Islamic Republic of Iran to
conduct terror attacks on U.S. soil. The plot involves highly-trained
Iranian regime agents, most of whom are already in the U.S., who have
recruited local assets and are being funded by an Iranian-American
businessman who travels frequently to Tehran. All logistics are being
handled directly by the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Qods
Force, General Qassem Soulemani. Targets are being cleared with Supreme
Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. U.S. law enforcement and intelligence
officials have been made aware of the plot and are working to thwart it.
While FDI does not take a position on domestic Iranian political
issues, we feel strongly that Iranians need to have these debates, and
we will continue to use our good offices as honest broker to generate
this type of honest and forthright discussion. From our many years of
experience in these debates, however, one word of caution: little is to
be gained by using ìhot wordsî (such as ìseparatistî) to condemn
the parties who feel passionately about these issues. Kurds, Azeris,
Balouchis, Lurs, Bakhtiaris and others are just as Iranian as those
Iranians who identify themselves as Persians.
Nov. 29, 2012: FDI discloses 2nd new
As part of its Strategic Information Project (SIP), FDI works with
sources inside Iran, former intelligence officers, defectors and other
expose the secrets of the Iranian regime. The Strategic
Information Project is led by Reza Kahlili, the pseudonym for a former
CIA officer who worked under cover for more than a decade inside the
Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards Corps on behalf of the CIA.
The new site, code-named ìFateh-1,î appears to include extensive
underground laboratories hidden beneath above ground facilities, and is
located outside the small city of Shahrokhabad in Kerman Province in
southeastern Iran. The plant is engaged in transforming uranium ore
into yellowcake. Kahlili hints at the possibility that the underground
part of the facility could be a secret centrifuge enrichment plant.
You can support FDIís Stategic Information Projects and our other
programs by making a tax deductible contribution. Email us for further
Oct. 21, 2012: What of Obama's "October Surprise?" Michael
Ledeen calls it, ìa
big nothingburgerî - talks about more talks with Iran. But in what
bore all the hallmarks of an orchestrated White House leak, the
Times on Saturday revealed that the senior Obama administration
officials ìhave agreed in principle for the first time to one-on-one
negotiations over Iranís nuclear program.î
FDI has consistently argued that only regime change can resolve the
nuclear standoff between the West and the Islamic Republic of Iran. As
the latest roundup of Christians shows (see below), the regime will
cynically dangle sketchy ìprogressî on the nuclear issue in front of
the United States, while arresting, torturing, and murdering its own
people with impunity. FDI President Kenneth R. Timmerman, now a
candidate for Congress, has issued a separate
political statement on this latest development.
Oct. 19, 2012: Hundreds of Christian House Church members rounded up. As
the Iranian regime faces economic collapse because of its mismanagement
of the nationís vast economic and natural resources, it once again is
attempting to find scapegoats for its failures. This week, it sent the
secret police to found up hundreds of members of Christian house
churches, apparently in an effort to intimidate former Muslims who have
Firouz Khandjani, a council member of the ëChurch of Iraní house church
movement, told reporters earlier this week that ì at least 100, but
perhaps as many as 400 people, have been detained over the last 10
daysî in Tehran and at least three other cities.
"We know that many have been forced to say they will no longer attend
church services in exchange for freedom,î he
When Ahmadinejad first took office in 2005, he announced that one of
his priorities would be to ìcrushî the house church movement in Iran.
FDI calls on supporters of freedom in Iran to pray for imprisoned
Christians and to lobby their governments to demand that the Iranian
regime release these and other prisoners of conscience.
Oct 18 ñ Pressure mounts against
EU parliament trip to Tehran. Pressure mounted this week to
cancel the five-member EU Parliamentary delegation planning to visit
Tehran on Oct. 27. On Oct 17, Bnai
called on the EU to cancel the trip, noting that ìit would be
counterproductive to the efforts being made to isolate Iran.î Also on
Thursday, the EU Parliamentís Vice President, Alejo vidal-Quadras,
called for the trip to be cancelled. ìSuch visits would give credit to
the mullahs and is [sic] completely for the benefit of the Iranian
regime to justify the repression, violation of human rights and export
of fundamentalism and terrorism,î he
said in Brussels.
Sept. 26, 2012: Statement from
FDI President Kenneth R. Timmerman on the de-listing of the MEK
(Mujahedin-e Khalq) by the State Department:
FDI has long advocated for keeping the MEK on the State
Departmentís list of international terrorist organizations because of
its proven involvement in the murder of U.S. military officers and
defense industry officials in Iran in the late 1970s. We also believe
that the MEK operates as a cult, and that its brand of Islamic Marxism
offers little real change from the Islamic Republic.
That battle is now over. The State Department and the Obama
administration have decided to impose a statute of limitations on
murdering Americans overseas. This sets a very dangerous precedent and
endangers all Americans, not just our diplomats and military.
Delisting the MEK does not mean, however,
that the group should get a free pass or that the FBI should abandon
ongoing investigations into alleged money-laundering and racketeering
charges against MEK members here in the United States.
Going forward, FDI believes that the
Treasury Department should also remove the Free Life Party of Iranian
Kurdistan, PJAK, from its list of international terrorist
Unlike the MEK, PJAK has never murdered Americans, has never advocated
murdering Americans, and has strongly supported the United States. PJAK
is a strongly secular group that stands as a bulwark against Islamist
ideology. It also rejects separatism or any assault on Iranís
In addition, FDI believes Congress should investigate groups such as
the National Iranian American Council, NIAC, to determine whether it is
operating as an unregistered foreign agent in its advocacy for
Sept. 20, 2012: Judge vindicates Hassan Dai. The Free Beacon
newspaper in Washington, DC wrote a
detailed account of NIACís failed lawsuit against Iranian-American
human rights activist Hassan Daioleslam. FDI president Kenneth R.
Timmerman, now a candidate for Congress in Maryland, who is quoted in
the article, pledged to conduct a Congressional investigation into
NIACís alleged ties to the Iranian regime and for potential violations
of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, FARA.
Sept 14, 2012: The End of NIAC as we know it. A federal judge in
Washington, DC on Thursday dismissed the long-standing NIAC lawsuit
against Iranian-American activist Hassan Daioleslam, who has claimed in
numerous news articles and opinion pieces that NIAC founder Trita Parsi
acts as a ìlobbyistî for the the Islamic Republic of Iran. You can download the
judgment here. Judge Bates also ruled that
NIAC was liable to pay Dai seventy percent of his expenses, which could
amount to several million dollars. This will effectively bankrupt NIACñ
unless, of course, his masters decide to foot the bill. Parsi has
become the darling of the George Soros Left. Since President Obama took
office, Parsi has been invited to the White House and to private
dinners with Sec/State Hillary Clinton.
It may be no
coincidence that, as
Langfan argues in this compelling analysis, the Obama
administration seems to have developed a tragic new concept of ìred
linesî when it comes to dealing with a nuclear-armed Iran: ìLet's
wait to attack Iran until Iran actually builds a nuclear bomb, and then
we can't attack Iran because Iran has the nuclear bomb. ì Drawing on
the unclassified annual ì721 reportî the CIA presents annually to
Congress on the WMD capabilities of rogue states, Langfan argues that
the overwhelming majority of Iranís stockpile of enriched uranium was
produced since 2009, ìso Obama can't blame Iran's U235 enrichment on
Bush. The 721 reports prove Iranian
enrichment happened on Obama's "watch."
In his opinion, Judge Bates cites email exchanges between
Hassan Dai and FDI founder and CEO Kenneth R. Timmerman (NIAC tried
unsuccessfully as part of its harassment campaign to compel Timmermanís
testimony in the case). Judge Bates noted on p 14 that ìTimmerman
pushed [DAI] to muster more factual support for his allegationsÖIn
other words, Timmerman asked precisely the sorts of questions that an
editor should, and defendant apparently responded to them
Timmerman commented: ìI am pleased that I
was able to assist Hassan Dai in firming up his important research into
the lobbying activities of Trita Parsi and NIAC, which always seemed to
correspond to the letter to the policy goals of the Islamic Republic of
Sept 2, 2012: Why NIAC and IRI apologists are mobilizing against Ken
this important post by FDI advisory board member, Dr. Arash
Irandoost, regarding malicious, defamatory emails being circulating by
NIAC sympathizers in Texas.
Aug 30, 2012: FDI joins letter to Rep. Rohrabacher. FDI CEO
Kenneth R. Timmerman has joined Iranian-Americans and other
letter to Rep. Rohrabacher that sets out the history of
Azeribaijan's ties to Iran. The letter ends with an exhortation to Mr.
Rohrabacher to avoid the mistakes made by Obama, who ignored the cries
of the Iranian people in June 2009 and turned a deaf ear to the murder
- Ban Ki Moon: UN supports freedom in
Iran. After being roundly criticized for lending legitimacy to
the regime by traveling to Tehran for the Non-Aligned Movement summit,
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon gave
brilliant speech to Iranian academics calling for greater freedom
and respect for human rights by the regime. We have our serious
concerns on the human rights abuses and violations in this country," he
told the group. Ban also warned the regime to loosen its stranglehold
on political dissent. "Restricting freedom of expression and
suppressing social activism will only set back development and plant
the seeds of instability," he said. It is especially important for the
voices of Iranís people to be heard during next yearís presidential
election. That is why I have urged the authorities during my visit this
time to release opposition leaders,
human rights defenders, journalists and social activists to create the
conditions for free expression and open debate." Surely not the music
the regime had been expecting!
Aug. 29, 2012: Iranians join on-line petition against Rohrbacher
letter. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's July 26 letter to Sec/State
Hillary Clinton (see below) has ignited a firestorm within the
Iranian-American community. FDI invites our supporters to sign
on-line petition calling on Mr. Rohrabacher to retract his letter.
"Any calls for separatism, such as the statement from Rep. Rohrabacher,
are dangerous, ill-informed, and contrary to the expressed desires of
the overwhelming majority of the people of Iran," said FDI founder and
president Kenneth R. Timmerman, who has signed the petition.
Aug. 27, 2012: Iranian defector blasts Fakhravar. Former
Iranian intelligence officer Hamid Reza Zakeri released a second document
purporting to be an MOIS letter granting a passport to self-styled
"student" leader, Amir Abbas Fakhravar, for use in overseas operations.Zakeri explains his allegations on
TV (starting at 1h:15min in the program.
Aug. 24, 2012:
No Political Prisoners? Iran has "no political prisoners,"
according to Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary to the
judiciary's so-called "human-rights committee." Read Washington
Institute analyst Mehdi Khalaji's excellent
Street Journal oped about the "human rights opening" in Iran."
Meanwhile, this week Supreme Leader freed 130 "political prisoners"
from jail as part of an annual amnesty to coincide with the Eid el-Fitr
celebrations. So which is it?
Aug. 23, 2012: Women barred from science, industry. Nobel peace
prize laureate Shirin Ebadi sent a letter to the United Nationsl
today complaining that the regime has decided to bar women from
studying dozens of subjects, including nuclear physics and materials
engineering, both key for the oil industry. Also closed to women
starting this year are computer science, civil engineering, English
translation, and chemistry. "For the coming academic year, 36
universities have closed 77 academic fields to women," she
Aug. 22, 2012: Christian pastor
faces new charges. In their ongoing persecution of Christian
pastor Youcef Naderkhani, the regime appears to have dropped apostasy
charges, but now plans to try him for "banditry
extortion." This is yet another outrage from a regime that has
vowed to "break" the effervescent house church movement inside Iran.
Naderkhani's lawyer, who was disbarred by the regime earlier this year,
will apparently be allowed to attend his trial in the coming days,
although he was told international human rights groups that he is "not
aware" of the new charges against his client.
In comments broadcast by the regimeís English language network, Press
TV, Gen. Hajizadeh threatened nuclear retaliation. ìIf the loud cries
of the leaders of the Zionist regime are materialized, it would be the
best opportunity for obliterating this fake regime from the face of the
earth and dumping it into the dustbin of history,î Hajizadeh said.
Aug. 16, 2012: MOIS Defector releases document on Fakhravar. A
defector from the Islamic Republicís Ministry of Intelligence, Hamid
Reza Zakeri, has released a series of documents revealing alleged
operational ties between a self-styled ìstudentî leader, Amir Abbas
Fakhravar, and MOIS.
The third of five documents, released today, purports
to be a letter from September 2004, signed by an MOIS official named
Heshmatollah Mahdavi, giving instructions to a judge to release Fakhravar from prison, where the letter states he was
serving time for illegally excavating and selling antiquities. In the
letter, stamped TOP SECRET, Mahdavi asks the court to waive the rest of
Fakhravarís prison sentence ìin exchange for pending service to the
ministry in a classified operationî that Mahdavi will describe to the
chief of the Revolutionary court in person.
After Zakeri began releasing earlier documents in this series,
Fakhravar allegedly sent him a number of Facebook messages, including
these,where he threatened ìto cutî Zakeriís wife and child, an MOIS
euphemism for ìmurder.î
Fakhravar has denied the authenticity of these documents, and FDI is
not in a position without seeing the originals to determine their
Fakhravar is a divisive figure who burst on the scene in the United
States in 2006, miraculously ìescapingî from Iran on a fresh Iranian
passport by flying to Dubai, where he was met by supporters who
arranged for him to come to the United States.He has claimed to be a leader of
the student uprising of 1999, although he has told FDI that he was then
serving as a medic in a local police hospital where he helped treated
student casualties, or (in another version) as a law student.
Several people who later got to know Fakhravar when he was transferred
from the criminal Qasr prison to the political wing in Evin prison have
provided testimony shedding doubt on his claims to be a political
dissident. Interviewed in different countries over a period of several
years, they all pointed to his close ties to the prison warden, his
ability to acquire street clothes, a cellphone, and other amenities
forbidden political prisoners.
Fakhravar's supporters have swept aside this testimony as rumor and
hearsay from his political enemies and have provided an
extensive account of his counter-claims. For additional background,
Nov. 2011 article in the New English Review.
Last September, a group of 102 former student activists and leaders
wrote a confidential letter to the Library of Congress, claiming that
the student organization Fakhravar claims to head is a fake. ìThe
student confederation you refer to is a small group in [the]
Washington, DC area that has no base among the Iranian students within
the country or other locations in the world,î they wrote.
Aug 15, 2012: NIAC lobbies candidates and incumbents. In a
brazen lobbying email sent to Members of Congress and candidates, the
National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and its left-wing allies
offered an ìoff-the-record policy and messaging webinarî on Iran
policy, featuring NIAC president Trita Parsi, to be conducted on Sept
12 at 2 PM Eastern time.
NIAC and its associates have consistently sought to lobby Congress and
the executive branch to remove sanctions on Iran and negotiate with the
Iranian regime. During the 2008 election campaign, NIAC blasted
the outgoing Bush administration for failing to ìreach outî to Tehran,
despite the fact that the U.S. held no fewer than 28 high-level
negotiating sessions with Iranian regime officials from 2001-2008, to
Aug. 13, 2012: War by Oct. 1? The next IAEA report is expected
to detail new progress by the Iranian regime in uranium enrichment. According
to Debkafile, the report will show that Iran will have 250
kilograms of 20-percent enriched uranium by October 1. This is enough
to make a 1945-generation nuclear device ñ and enough for several more
sophisticated weapons. Debkafile believes Israel will be compelled to
launch military strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities after the U.S.
national political conventions at the end of this month ñ and at the
latest by October 1.
July 26, 2012: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher calls for U.S. to back Azeri
separatist movement. In a bizaare move, California Republican
Dana Rohrabacher has written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
urging the United States to support the "reunification" of Iranian
Azeris with Azerbaijan. This is precisely what the Soviet Union tried
to do in 1947 when it backed a breakaway Azeri Republic in Iran - a
move that led President Truman to threaten the use of nuclear weapons
against the Soviets at the very start of the Cold War. "The people of
Azerbaijan are geographically divided and many are calling for the
reunification of their homeland after nearly two centuries of foreign
rule," Rohrabacher wrote. "Aiding the legitimate aspirations of the
Azeri people for independence is a worthy cause in and of itself," he
FDI has consistently supported the rights of ethnic minorities in Iran
in their quest for political freedom and human rights, and we have
moderated a number of workshops and conferences where various forms of
federalism or confederation within the confines of a united Iran were discussed. In his understandable desire to make life
more difficult for the ruling Islamic Republic, however, Rep.
Rohrabacher is openly advocating separatism, a stance that only plays
into the hands of the Tehran regime.
2012: Iranian-Americans urge California legislature to adopt sanctions.
a letter to California state Senator Samuel Blankesless, a group of
Iranian-Americans urged the adoption of S.R. 29, which would require
the St.ate of California to impose tough new sanctions against the
Islamic Republic of Iran.
May 25, 2012: FDI CEO Kenneth Timmerman column on Iran negotiations. In
a column with the Daily Caller, Timmerman warned of the dangers of
phony negotiations with the Islamic Republic leadership over their
nuclear program. In the lead-up to yet another round of negotiations
with U.S. and Western government representatives in Baghdad, Timmerman
warned that the regime's goal was to keep on "talking
talks, not about substance," all the while buying more time so the
uranium enrichment centrifuges could keep spinning.
May 5, 2012: Iranian-Americans protest appearance by pro-Tehran
lobbyists Trita Parsi in Sweden. More than 1,400 Iranian-Americanssigned
a letter to the Swedish Foreign Ministry to protest their hosting
an event with Parsi in Stockholm, one month after a U.S. court rejected
defamation experts in their harrassment lawsuit against Hassan Dai.
April 17, 2012: Iranian regime says it "will not tolerate" fall of
Assad. Syria's Assad has been a staunch ally of the Tehran
regime since the earliest days of the revolution, and Tehran is backing
him to the hilt as he brutally suppresses protestors. Now the Islamic
Republic claims to have established a "joint
war room" with the Syrian leadership, while ordering Hezbollah into
action to defend Assad.
March 8, 2012: Ten minutes to midnight on the Iran War clock. FDI
is happy to to take part in the Iran
Clock project of the Atlantic Monthly, even though it includes
many "experts" we don't consider experts on Iran, as well as some
people we normally wouldn't exchange greetings with. The conclusions
are a mathematical averaging of our views, not a consensus. For
example, FDI's view is that there is an 85% chance of war - why? Mainly
because of the appeasement policies of Obama and the pro-mullah regime
lobby, which is also represented on this panel, and their acolytes in
Feb. 28, 2012: Your letters count. Regime appears to back down on
Pastor Youcef death sentence. The international outcry against
the death sentence handed down last week against pastor Youcef
Nadarkhani for "apostasy" - that is, for becoming a Christian and
refusing to recant his faith - appears to be having an impact. FoxNews
reported yesterday that despite official statements from the regime
that Pastor Youcef's was "immanent," as of Sunday he was still alive
and in good spirits. FDI President and CEO Ken Timmerman will talk
about what you can do to help Pastor Youcef tonight on the Michael Savage show at around 8:30
PM Eastern. The American Center for Law and Justice has set up a special website with activists' tools
- twitter, facebook, on-line petitions - so you can add your voice to
the outcry to set free this prisoner of faith. In addiiton,
Representatives Trent Franks, Frank Wolf, Joe Pitts and Keit Ellison
are sponsoring H.Res. 556 that
condemns the Iranian regime for its ongoing oppression of religious
minorities. Ahmadinejad pledge when he took office in 2005 to "break"
the underground church in Iran, and has relentlessly persecuted house
churches and Muslim converts to Christianity. On Monday, a court in
Kermanshah, in Western Iran, condemned
schoolteacher Masoud Delijani to three years in prison, solely
because of his Christian faith. Arrests of Christians in Kermanshah has
intensified following an
the intelligence services on November, calling on the police to
monitor the activities of foreigners, Christians and other minorities.
Feb. 19, 2012: Former Mossad operative: Thailand hit team fit Iranian
government M.O. Apologists for the Iranian regime say
Iran couldn't possilby have been behind the recent spate of
anti-Israeli attacks around the world because of the amateur-ishness of
the would-be bombers. But former Mossad operative Michael Ross says
from Canada's National Post.
Face of an
alleged terrorist?: One alleged member of the Bangkok hit squad
escaped and fled back to Tehran, a woman named Leila Rohani. FDI sources have provided us with a copy of
what purports to be her oficial passport.
Feb. 17, 2012: Iranian regime bombers in Thailand. Authorities
in Thailand yesterday released
this photographof three Iranian-born
bomb suspects partying with local Thai women in Pattaya, during a stay
in the resort town shortly before an aborted terror spree in Bankok.
Israeli officials believe was the Bangkok hit team was part of a
worldwide series of Iranian-government attacks on Israeli diplomats.
Masoud Sedaghat Zadeh, left, was arrested in Malaysia, Mohammad
Khazaei, center, was detained at Suvarnabhumi Airport, and Saied Moradi
was lost a leg when a grenade he tossed at police bounced back at him.
The day before their arrest, other terrorist cells believed
tied to Tehran attacked Israeli embassy personnel and their
families in India and Georgia.
Feb. 12, 2012: Day of Infamy in Iran. For some two million
Iranians who fled tyranny in their country and came to America to
embrace our freedoms, February 12 will forever remain a day of infamy. FDI has been dedicated to helping the
pro-freedom movement in Iran. Read executive director Kenneth
R. Timmerman's commemoration of this day of infamy, and his message to the
Iranian people. "We must finally understand that itís not the
behavior of the regime that poses a threat to world security; itís the
very existence of this regime," Timmerman writes.Watch the video here
Feb. 11, 2012: Internet going down in Iran. How you can help. The
Tor Project, a non-profit venture that provides anti-censorship proxy
tools free of charge to users in countries such as Iran, just announced
a crash effort to circumvent newly-erected cyber-walls around local
ISPs, as the regime attempts to erect a CyberCurtain around Iran in the
approach to next month's parliamentary elections. TOR is asking users
with spare computer capacity in the West to set up "obfuscated bridge"
servers. "This kind of help is not for the technically faint of heart
but it's absolutely needed for people in Iran, right now. It's likely
that more than ~50,000 - ~60,000 Tor users may drop offline," Tor
Project's Jacob Appelbaum said. Technical
instructions are here, and more complete information is available
CNET is reporting that Internet-savvy users in Iran also are
circumventing the blackout using VPN - virtual private networks - in
addition to TOR and similar tools, CNET is
Jan. 16, 2012: Iranian-American
researcher murdered in Houston
- the intel wars begin? According to initial police reports,
someone walked up to Gelareh Bagherzadeh's car as she was about to park
by her parents home in Houston, and shot her three times in the head
through the window. They excluded robbery as a motive, since the
assassin made no attempt to steal her purse, which was sitting on the
Gelareh had been photographed taking part in anti-regime
demonstrations organized by Sabz
Iran, a pro-green movement group in Texas, but so far the FBI has not
opened an investigation - just as they have never opened an
investigation into the alleged "suicide" of Ahmed Rezai, son of former
Rev. Guards commander Gen. Mohsen Rezai, in Dubai on Nov. 12.
13, 2012: "War or regime change," financial analyst says. In a
Bloomberg television, financial analyst and author James Rickards
examined recent talks between U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner
and the Chinese authorities and said they were all aimed at warning the
Chinese that U.S. sanctions would be imposed on Chinese companies if
they continued trading with Iran, and reassuring China that it would
get the oil it needs to drive its economy. "It's about making sure they
get replacement oil," Rickards said.
War with Iran "began two years ago," he said. "2010 was the year of
cyber warfare. 2011 was the year of special operations," with the
assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists and sabotage of facilities.
"2012, it's a full scale financial war." How Iran responds to the
mounting pressures against it will determine the outcome. "Either
there's going to be a regime change in Iran, or the Iranians will steer
away from their nuclear program, or there's going to be a shooting war
in Iran. It will be one of those three options."
Rickards didn't hold out much hope that Iran would back off its nuclear
ambitions, and at the end of the program shortened his short list: The
"divide and conquer game has been going on for three years. It's
over... It's going to be war or regime change."
Jan. 4, 2012: Grover Norquist, Mullah's Ally. Anti-tax
campaigner Grover Norquist has
used the resources of his Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) organization
to help hard-left and pro-Tehran groups lobby against U.S.
sanctions on Iran, a new report reveals. Norquist ally, Michael Ostrolenk (see photo),
offered the ATR office suite to host a meeting to establish an
anti-sanctions lobbying coalition in November 2007 that was spearheaded
by Trita Parsi and his
National Iranian-American Council (NIAC). Ostrolenk's group, the
American Conservative Defense Alliance (ACDA) was "a founder and
leader" of the anti-sanctions effort, known as Campaign for a New
American Policy for Iran (CNAPI), the report
Norquist appears to have understood he was skating on thin ice, and
never publicly signed on to CNAPI's pro-Tehran lobbying campaign, even
though he allowed them to use the ATR office for organizational
meetings. As Parsi himself pointed out in an email to other
members of the anti-Bush administration alliance, Norquist was a big
get. "He exemplifies not just a powerful voice in the Republican Party,
but also an important figure that can provide transpartisan legitimacy
to our efforts," Parsi wrote.
CNAPI's efforts against U.S. sanctions on Iran were supported in part
by George Soros through his Open Society Institute, which paid the
salary of a CNAPI staffer. The coalition included the hard-left
Institute for Policy Studies; the Council on American Islamic Relations
(CAIR), J Street, and the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military
Intervention in Iran (CASMII) .
"The founder of NIAC, Trita Parsi is an unpopular figure within the
Iranian-American community, as can be seen from his high disapproval
ratings in a July 2011 poll of over 1800 Iranian Americans taken by the
Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran," writes
Manda Zand Ervin. "If Mr. Norquist is supporting these apparently
unabashed lobbyists out of a humanitarian concern for the people of
Iran, he should know that a large majority of Iranian people have no
problem with economic sanctions if they result in the removal of this
illegitimate, dictatorial regime," she added.
ï Iran again asks Germany to expel German
citizen...! During a meeting with German parliamentarians in
Tehran on Wednesday, the head of the Iranian majles Human rights
commnission asked Germany to expel PJAK leader Abdulrahman Haj Ahmadi,
on allegations of terrorism, Fars
News agency reported. Zohreh Elahian demanded that extradite Ahmadi
to Iran, neglecting to mention that he has been a German citizen for
The Iranian regime
has repeatedly demanded that the EU arrest and deport Ahmadi, and at
one point managed to get Interpol to issue a Red notice for his arrest,
as we reported last year. This latest Iranian demand comes less than
one week after PJAK forces kileld 8 IRGC members and local Kurdish
militiamen working for the IRGC during a clash near the Iranian Kurdish
city of Baneh on Dec. 28. In its version of events, PJAK claims the
regime is trying to violate the 5-month old ceasefire in Kurdistan and
pin the blame on PJAK. If the regime continues these attacks, "we will
use the right of self defence and respond to them as we did in July
last year," a PJAK spokesman in Europe told FDI.
Jan. 3, 2012: Tabarzadi's Video
from Prison. A former student leader who has been in and out of
jail for years managed to send an unusual 15-minute cellphone video
message to the outside world and get it posted on YouTube.
Heshmatollah Tabarzadi apparently filmed the message from Rajayishahr
prison, where he predicted that the regime's attempts to silence
dissent would fail. "I believe freedom is the essence of being human,"
he said. "Without freedom, choice has no meaning." The Tabarazadi
video and an earlier one of prominent political prisoners taken inside
Gohardasht prison are "example[s] of social media providing Iranian
activists a platform on which they can express themselves more freely
than through other, frequently heavily censored media," Radio