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)
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 “election”
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
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 Friday’s 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. Tuesday’s
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. “If you encounter any problems with security”
in reaching the polls, the statement said, “you should contact the
local Police Department.”
"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. “Canada had deprived many Iranians
of exercising their legal right,” 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.”
“This suggests that the United States government has given its approval
to the regime to set up polling stations here in the United States,”
said Roozbeh Farahanipour, a
pro-freedom activist in Los Angeles.
According to a listing published at the regime’s 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.
“Joseph Stalin had elections. That didn’t make the Soviet
Union a democracy,” said FDI
President and CEO Kenneth R. Timmerman. “The 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.
“Iranians know what free and fair elections look like. And they know
they won’t be seeing them this Friday in Iran.” 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
At 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 ever since.(Watch the video here)
note: The regime has desperately tried to play down the
election “show” 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 “show.’
• 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."“You don’t 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.
• 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. “The United States must do its part and
provide active support to pro-freedom groups inside Iran,” 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 “new”
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. “To say the Islamic Republic is reformable
suggests that Islam can be reformed,” Kian said. “While I am not an
expert in islam, I doubt this is possible….”
update: FDI president Timmerman’s oped on the upcoming Iranian
“election show” is here.
While Rafsanjani was rejected by the Guardian Council, former Foreign
Minister Ali Akbar Velayati would now appear to be Washington’s 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. (Kahlili’s 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 Khamenei’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, are being
touted as the “front-runners” by pro-regime media. Given that the
Guardians will deliberate in secret to determine the “winner” of the
June 14 election show, right now the only votes that count are
Ayatollah Khamenei’s and those of the Guardians.
May 12, 2013: Rafsanjani
joins the [S]election show. In a much awaited
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:
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. “That really helped,
and it embarrassed the regime. Outside pressure forced them to release
us,” 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 (below). In this interview, FDI
president Ken Timmerman talks about the Mohammadi torture case; the
section on Marziyeh and Maryam begins at 15:45
. 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
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,
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sachau, Director: email@example.com
"Evangelische Akademie Loccum":
Schaper, Organizer of the conference: firstname.lastname@example.org
Schaede, Director: email@example.com
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.
Timmerman’s testimony, which will include a narrative of his own
interaction with Mohammadi’s 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 summer’s 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. “The 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. According
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.
FDI invites analysts and government officials to use the coordinates
posted near the end of the video (above) 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
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 People’s 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 Hagel’s 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 Israel’s
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 – Join Ken Timmerman on
MardomTV today at 2 PM Eastern. FDI president Ken
Timmerman will join Parsa Sorbi to talk about Sunday’s protest against
auto-makers such as Mercedes and Nissan who refuse to leave Iran, and
the Obama administration’s new national security and foreign policy
team and the prospects for US-Iran talks. Join him online today at 2 Eastern
Feb. 10, 2013 – Baltimore Jewish Times covers auto-show protest. Click
here for a preview of Sunday’s 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
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
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 “[w]e honor and
appreciate Mr. Hagel’s service to our nation… we are deeply concerned
by Mr. Hagel’s 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 America’s willingness to
do what is necessary to defend ourselves and our allies,” 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.
Hagel’s record when it comes to Iran. We are disturbed by Hagel’s
confirmation day “conversion” 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
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
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 “behavior”
by the current leadership. This is not just bad policy; given the
nature of the clerical leadership, it’s a call to genocide...
FDI has never called – and is not calling today – 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 Hagel’s 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 Hagel’s
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 or
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 diplomats
reported on the NIAC effort with the title, "Did the Iran Lobby
Dec. 19, 2012 – 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 “house” 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. “Christianity saved his life,” 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.”
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 – and it
Leader” of the Islamic Republic today boasted about opening a Facebook
page, the BBC reported. Many outraged Facebook users have already
“liked” the page, hoping in that way to post negative comments.
FDI urges supporters to take a different approach, and to use Facebook’s 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 regime’s “cyber police” for “actions
against national security on social networks and Facebook.”
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: FDI’s Director
Strategic Information reveals Tehran’s latest terror plot. In
Daily, FDI’s 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 “hot words” (such as “separatist”) 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.
2012: FDI discloses 2nd new nuclear site
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 “Fateh-1,” 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 FDI’s Stategic Information Projects and our other
programs by making a tax deductible contribution. Email us for further
2012: What of Obama's "October Surprise?" Michael Ledeen calls
nothingburger” - 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 “have agreed in principle for the first time to one-on-one
negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.”
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 “progress” 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
statement on this latest development.
2012: Hundreds of Christian House Church members rounded up. As
the Iranian regime faces economic collapse because of its mismanagement
of the nation’s 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 ‘Church of Iran’ house church
movement, told reporters earlier this week that “ at least 100, but
perhaps as many as 400 people, have been detained over the last 10
days” 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,” he
When Ahmadinejad first took office in 2005, he announced that one of
his priorities would be to “crush” 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 – 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 “it would
be counterproductive to the efforts being made to isolate Iran.” Also
on Thursday, the EU Parliament’s Vice President, Alejo vidal-Quadras,
called for the trip to be cancelled. “Such 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,” he
said in Brussels.
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
Department’s 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,
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 Iran’s
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
2012: Judge vindicates Hassan Dai. The Free Beacon newspaper in
Washington, DC wrote a
detailed account of NIAC’s 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
NIAC’s alleged ties to the Iranian regime and for potential violations
of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, FARA.
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 “lobbyist” 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 NIAC–
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 “red
lines” when it comes to dealing with a nuclear-armed Iran: “Let's
to attack Iran until Iran actually builds a nuclear bomb, and then
we can't attack Iran because Iran has the nuclear bomb. “ Drawing on
the unclassified annual “721 report” the CIA presents annually to
Congress on the WMD capabilities of rogue states, Langfan argues that
the overwhelming majority of Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium was
produced since 2009, “so 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 Timmerman’s
testimony in the case). Judge Bates noted on p 14 that “Timmerman
pushed [DAI] to muster more factual support for his allegations…In
other words, Timmerman asked precisely the sorts of questions that an
editor should, and defendant apparently responded to them
Timmerman commented: “I 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
2012: Why NIAC and IRI apologists are mobilizing against Ken Timmerman.
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 activists in
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 Iran’s people to be heard during next year’s 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
his allegations on Mardom 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 regime’s English language network, Press
TV, Gen. Hajizadeh threatened nuclear retaliation. “If 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,” Hajizadeh said.
Aug. 16, 2012: MOIS Defector releases document on Fakhravar. A
defector from the Islamic Republic’s Ministry of Intelligence,
Hamid Reza Zakeri, has released a series of documents revealing alleged
operational ties between a self-styled “student” leader, Amir Abbas
Fakhravar, and MOIS.
The third of five documents, released today, purports
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
Fakhravar’s prison sentence “in exchange for pending service to the
ministry in a classified operation” 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 “to cut” Zakeri’s wife and child, an MOIS
euphemism for “murder.”
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 “escaping” 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. “The
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,” 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 “off-the-record policy and messaging webinar” 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 “reach out” 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
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 – 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 – 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. In
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
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-Americans
signed 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
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
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
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
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 otherwise in
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
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 it’s not the
behavior of the regime that poses a threat to world security; it’s the
very existence of this regime," Timmerman writes.
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
here, and more complete information is available
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
murdered in Houston
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.
2012: "War or regime change," financial analyst says. In
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.
• 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
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.
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