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)
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
Jan. 2, 2011: Get a full suite of Internet Freedom Tools. The
cooperative Internet freedom group, Floss Manuals, has produced a
full-scope manual on how to circumvent Internet Censorship which is
available in English, Farsi, and other languages. Produced at a "book
sprint" in Berlin last year, it is now available along with other
online resources through our special Internet
Freedom page. Dec. 28, 2011: Sakineh could be hanged. In
out of the sentence an Islamic court handed down to stone Sakineh
Mohammadi Ashtiani to death on allegations of adultery, the IRI is now
weighing whether it can execute her by hanging instead, a
the regime's Judiciary told the Guardian in London.
Women who have been raped are often accused of adultery under Islamic
law. Sakineh Ashtiani is accused of having murdered her husband, based
on a forced confession televized on the regime's overseas propaganda
Dec. 23, 2011: Israeli firm
accused of sending Internet monitoring gear to Iran. Israeli
lawmaker Nachman Shai called for a parliamentary investigation into the
sale of Internet monitoring gear by Israeli firm Allot Communications
Ltd. that made its way to Iran, Bloomberg
reported. The company sold its NetEnforcer
systems to a RanTek A/S, a distributor in Denmark, which in turn
shipped the systems on to a client in Iran. Allot says it was not aware
of the onward sale to Iran, and could face stiff penalties under
Israeli law for "trading with the enemy" if the investigation
determines it was complicy. The Israeli systems allegedly would allow
Iran to monitor network traffic to determine, intercept emails and text
messages, and track individual Internet users, even those using VPN or
other security firewalls such as TOR.
Dec. 16, 2011: New York Court
Finds Iran Shared Responsibility for 9/11 attacks. In a
landmark decision, Judge George Daniels in Federal District Court in
New York told 9/11 families in court on Thursday that he accepted "as
true" the evidence they presented documenting Iran's material and
direct involvement in the 9/11 plot. FDI president Kenneth R. Timmerman
testified on behalf of the plaintiffs and served as lead investigator (read his
Dec. 15, 2011: Amnesty International
regime of "killing spree." In
a damning report released shortly before Christmas, Amnesty
International said the Iranian regime has dramatically escalated
capital punishment over the past 12 months into a "killing spree of
staggering propertions." By its calculation, the Iranian regime
executed some 600 people during the first 11 months of 2011, 81% of
them - at least 488 people - for alleged drug offences. "To try to
contain their immense drug problem, the Iranian authorities have
carried out a killing spree of staggering proportions," said
Interim Middle East and North Africa Deputy
Director Ann Harrison. Download the 44-page report here.
2011: Mohsen Rezai buries his son. A massive funeral
cortege in Tehran followed former IRGC commander Maj. Gen. Mohsen
Rezai, as he buried his son, 35 -year old Ahmad Rezai, who appears to
have been murdered in Dubai (see below).
The Dubai police have yet to elucidate the circumstances of Rezai's
death in room 1823 of the Gloria Hotel. His body was found on Saturday,
Nov. 11, after cleaning personnel had found the door locked for two
days. The hotel, located near Dubai's famed Jumeira beaches and the Jumeira Palm
resort, is frequented by Russian and
The elder Rezai appears to be looking over his shoulder as rumors
continue to circulate that his son was murdered, perhaps by thugs hired
by a rival gang within the IRGC.
Photos from Ahmad's latest trip to Mecca with his
father earlier this year are here.
Nov. 16, 2011: Iran's Thugocracy strikes
again. Read the inside story of Ahmad Rezai's murder in Dubai,
the truth behind the allegations made against him by the regime and by
misinformed news accounts, from FDI president Kenneth Timmerman in
Nov. 13, 2011: Son of former IRGC commander
murdered in Dubai. Police in Dubai and the Associated
Press are trying to claim that Ahmad Rezai's death was
suicide, but even the office of the Supreme Leader today
acknowledged that Ahmad Rezai, 35, was
murdered in the Gloria Hotel in Dubai today. The initial police report
quoted by the AP claims he was found with a slit wrist, but Iranian websites and Rezai's father's Tabnak
website say that he was found dead under
circumstances," apparently electrocuted.
The regime had good cause to murder the younger Rezai, who initially
fled to the United States in 1998 and denounced
regime and its ongoing assassination campaign against Iranian
dissidents. An American citizen, Ahmad
daughter in the United States, and has tried repeatedly to
travel to Iran to visit his family, but has been turned back several
times and threatened with arrest. According to an unconfirmed report,
he was escorted back to Dubai earlier today by two Quds force officers,
shortly before he was murdered.
FDI salutes the courage of Ahmad Rezai and will investigate those
responsible for his murder and expose them as more information becomes
Nov. 7, 2011: Hillary's Iran advisors on
"meddling" in Iran politics. In an interview with BBC
Persian Service last week, Sec/State Hillary Clinton advanced an astonishing new claim: the Obama
administration failed to respond to the massive demonstrations in June
2009 because Green movement representatives asked the
administration to stay quiet.
"At the time, the most insistent voices we were within the Green
Movement and the supporters from outside of Iran were that we,
the United States, had to be ery careful not to look like what was
happening inside Iran and directed by... the United States," Mrs.
Clinton said. "So we were torn. ... [W]e kept being cautioned that we
would put people's lives in danger, we would discredit the movement, we
would undermine their aspirations."
Who were Hillary Clinton's
advisors at that point? Trita Parsi, Vali Nasr, Hooman Majd,
and Ray Takehy, all of whom she welcomed to "private" dinners at the
State Department to advise her on Iran policy.
In a biting on-line video
response to Mrs. Clinton's staements, Mojtaba Vahidi [photo], the representative
Mehdi Karrubi in the United States. chastized
Mrs. Clinton for falsely concluding that the Green Movement wanted the United States to stay silent in response
to the demonstrations.
"At the absolute height of the Iranian protest movement’s oppression by
the Coup d’Etat regime of Iran, Mr. Obama made a statement about the
U.S. government being prepared to dialogue with that regime and by
doing such a thing he encouraged
regime and gave it the fodder it was looking for. A regime
that at that point was startled and clearly paralyzed (from fear) due
to the events both inside and outside; and this one statement of Mr.
Obama’s - for which he has been criticized by both friends and
opponents recently- psychologically energized that regime. As a result
of this, the U.S. government, headed by Mr. Obama, owes the Iranian
people and the Green movement." [Translation thanks to Banafsheh
Instead of encouraging the regime, the United Staates should hold a
dialogue with the Iranian opposition as with a
"government in exile." Such a dialogue, which Karubbi called for in
June 2009, would not be "meddling," Vahidi said.
Oct. 18, 2011: Five Azeris executed in
Urimieh. Five Azerbaijanis were executed on Oct. 10 in Urimieh on allegations of drug trafficking, in northwestern Iran, and three more are awaiting execution, according
for Defense of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners in
Iran, ADAPP. "No proper trial was held," said Gurban Ahmadpurazer,
the brother of one of the executed men. At least three of the executed
men confessed to crimes only after "severe psychological and physical
torture," ADAPP said in a written statement.
Another 70 Iranian Azeris have been held since April after
protesting the ecological degradation of Lake Urumieh, ADAPP also said.
The head of the judiciary for West Azeribajan province, Seyed Mohammad
Ali Mousavi, said that environmental protests against the drying up of
Iran’s Lake Urmia were a form of "protest
God... rooted in political' opposition to the Islamic
Republic" and were being "steered by the country’s enemies."
ADAPP is seeking to bring a wider awareness to cultural, linguistic,
religious, and political discrimination against Sunni Azerbaijanis by
the Iranian government.
Oct. 17, 2011: Regime secretly executing
hundreds of political prisoners: UN. A new report from the
United Nations alleges that Iran carried out 300 secret executions in
Vakilabad prison in Mashad in Eastern Iran last year. "Vakilabad
officials, in violation of Iranian law, allegedly carried out the
executions without the knowledge or presence of the inmates' lawyers or
families and without prior notification to those executed," the
said. The report is the first from the pen of Ahmed Shaheed, a former foreign minister from the Maldives, who took over
as the UN human rights rapporteur for Iran on
August 1. Human rights activists have been critical of UN monitoring of
Iran in the past.
Shaheed noted that "more than 200 officially announced executions have
taken place in 2011," with another allegations of "at least 146 secret
executions" since the beginning of this year. More than 100 juveniles
have been sentenced to death and are awaiting execution, Shaheed
execution of minors, defined as an individual under the age of 18 years
at the time they committed their offence, is prohibited by the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention
on the Rights of the Child, to both of which the Islamic Republic of
Iran is a State party," he added. Shaheed was barred by Iran from
visiting the country to prepare his report. Viewers can download a PDF of the
complete report here.
Oct. 14, 2011: Iranian-Canadians protest safe haven for Islamic
regime officials. A group of Iranian-Canadian activists have
written to Immigration minister Jason Kenney, to protest the recent influx of Iranian regime
officials to Canada, Macleans
reported. The most high-profile recent exile is Mahmoud Reza
Khavari, former CEO of Bank Melli, who fled to the comfort of his $3 million home in the upscale
Bridle Path neighborhood of Toronto. The activists have gathered over
1800 signatures for the petition to the Canadian government in favor of
opening an official inquiry into whether Khavari came legally to
Canada. "For years members of the Iranian-Canadian community have been
concerned that high ranking members of the Islamic Republic of Iran and
their relatives are securing residency status in Canada and funnelling
their investments to this country," they write. You can sign the
Oct. 11, 2011: No-show for NIAC show. After
two months of large-scale
campaign of emails, advertisements, phone calls, and personal
invitations, fewer than 20
show on Capitol Hill last week. So much for an
organization that falsely claims to be the largest Iranian-American
organization with more than 4000 members and 43000 active supporters!
The pathetic showing came despite a boost from a Department of State
popular pro-Tehran website run by a NIAC sycophant, and from Rep.
Jim Moran. Read
update from our advisory board member Dr. Arash Irandoost.
[Photo: NIAC founder Trita Parsi with Hooman Majd, who boasts in his
own memoire that he has worked as "an unpaid advisor to two Iranian
presidents," Khatami and Ahmadinejad.]
2011: Friday Night Massacre at
VOA. The Voice of America's Persian service has eliminated four
top broadcasters known for their anti-regime positions, in what
appears to have been a Friday Night Massacre orchestrated by NIAC
protegé Ramin Asgard, now the director of VOA Persian. When he
was still at the U.S. consultate in Dubai, Asgard worked closely with
NIAC founder Trita Parsi, offering to allow Parsi to "handpick
Iranian-Americans to staff the State Department’s primary field office
on Iran," according
aide to Sen. Tom Coburn (R, OK). The broadcasters fired
included Jamshid Chaharlangi, Ahmad Batebi, Kianoush Sanjari, and
sources say that Asgard is hoping to fire more anti-regime journalists,
while adding to the five young NIAC members recently brought on board
from southern California, to complete the VOA's transformation into the
Voice of the
Mullahs. A recent evaluation of VOA broadcasting that appears to have
given support to Asgard's makeover was authored by Hooman Majd, an
Iranian-American "scholar" who has worked as Ahmadinejad's "voice"
during his vistis to New York.
Iranian regime intelligence planted a story with
Press TV several months ago alleging a sexual harassment investigation
against Chaharlangi, when in fact no such investigation was under way
allegations made. Press TV is widely believed to be controlled by
Iran's ministry of information and security, MOIS.
Oct. 3, 2011: Republican presidential
hopeful Rick Perry slams Obama for weakness on Iran. Gov. Rick
Perry today blasted President Obama for his failure to respond to the
June 2009 protests in Iran, and for failing to add his voice to those
calling for the Iranian regime to release Pastor Yousef Naderkhani.
“We can only hope
that President Obama, along with the United Nations, will work toward
securing the release of Pastor Nadarkhani. Becoming a martyr for
religious freedom should not be the only path out of Iran,” Perry
said. “President Obama has insisted that Iran’s leadership was
about to unclench its fist so it could hold our hand. But Iran only
unclenches its fists to strangle freedom and the dissidents who dare to
Sept 30, 2011: FDI's Timmerman honored by the Hope
Foundation with its International Humanitarian award. Timmerman's
passionate plea to help the people of Iran."We’re
still looking for what former Defense Secretary Robert Gates once
called 'the elusive Iranian moderate.' Every time we find one – such as
Rafsanjani or Khatami – he goes out and commits some atrocity,"
Timmerman said. "After 32 years of trying to change the way this regime
behaves, I believe there’s a better way. I believe it is time to help
the Iranian people change the regime." FDI will be posting text and
hopefully video of the speech soon.
Sept 29, 2011: Updates on Pastor Yousef
Naderkhani impending execution. Even the left-wing British
daily the Guardian has condemned the proposed execution of Pastor
Yousef on "blasphemy" charges, in an editorial titled "Live
Die." The New Statesman's David Green provides new
details of Pastor Yousef's trial, including lengthy excerpts of
the charging documents from the regime that have been translated from
Persian by Christian
In the US, only conservative members of Congress and conservative
publications have done as much (see below).
Left-wing organizations such as Human Rights Watch, always quick to
condemn the United States, have been slow to respond. Now we see
that HRW has issued
dated tomorrow, on Pastor Yousef.
Better late than never!
White House Spokesman Jay Carney had to "look into the box"
to find a canned statement condemning Pastor Yousef's planned
execution, which he read this afternoon for willing news organizations.
"Okay, regarding Mike’s question about Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, the
United States condemns the conviction of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani,"
Carney read. The full written statement comes at the very end of today's
Sept 28, 2011: Iran to
execute pastor on
"apostasy" charge. Christian pastor Yousef Naderkhani was hauled into court in northern Gilan province yesterdeay morning
and today and again asked to renounce his faith in Christ, or face
execution on apostasy charges as a former Muslim. According to Mohabat
News, a source of news on the underground church in Iran, Pastor Yousef
has again refused to denounce his faith. Now Iranian Christians fear he
could be the
case" for executing members and leaders of the underground
church. (For more, see our July 15, 2011 entry, below).
Nina Shea, at National
Online, adds that the U.S. Commission on International
Religious Freedom denounced the Iranian court proceedings against
Pastor Yousef as"not only a sham, but contrary to Iranian law and
international human rights standards." She called on Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton to break her silence and to join with British Foreign
Secretary William Hague in demanding
regime set Pastor Yousef free. Rep.
Franks (R, AZ), a
co-chair of the Congressional Religious Freedom Caucus, issued a blistering
statement condemning the Iranian regime. "I appeal to whatever
semblance of humanity may remain in the hearts of Iran's leaders and
urge the Obama Administration to make it clear, through every channel
possible, that such grievous human rights abuses will not stand."
backs down from "joint operation with Iran" against Kurds. After
meetings last Saturday with Iraqi president Jalal Talabani in Baghdad,
Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened back in Ankara
on Sunday, Sept 25, to launch a "joint
Iran" against Kurdish rebel camps in
northern Iraq. The joint Turkish-Iranian offensive - not the first, by
any means - was intended to target Turkish PKK guerillas in the
northern Iraqi mountains bordering Turkey, and Iranian PJAK guerillas
in the northwestern Qandil mountains bordering Iran.
But just yesterday, the Iranian
regime's Consul General in Erbil, Azim
Husseini (left), announced that
Nichervan Barzani had brokered a
between PJAK and the Iranian regime,
taking Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps out of the mix.
The IRGC has been severely bloodied in its assault agains PJAK forces
inside Iran and in northern Iraq, and was not eager for a renewed
offensive, Kurdish sources said.
Shortly before the reported ceasefire,
a PJAK guerilla leader, Rewar Abdanan
(below), warned the IRGC that his forces had withdrawn
from northern Iraq and were now positioned "deep inside East Kuridstan"
[Iran], where they could respond at any moment to IRGC provocation.
"[O]ur actions have been conducted within the
context of legitimate
self-defence and in order to preserve the achievement of the Kurdish
Sept. 9, 2011: 9/11 Case against Iran
broadens. Plaintiffs representing families of 9/11 victims have
filed their second lawsuit against Iran, asserting that Iran played a
key role in planning and facilitating the 9/11 attacks.The new case, Bingham, et al. v. Islamic Republic of
Iran, et al., is being filed in federal court by the same
attorneys who have been litigating Havlish, et al. v. Islamic Republic
of Iran, et al., now pending in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Alice Hoagland, lead plaintiff in the new Bingham case, is the mother
of 9/11 hero Mark Bingham, one of the passengers on United Flight 93
who stormed the cockpit to try to re-take control of the aircraft from
the terrorist hijackers. “Mark Bingham and other passengers on Flight
93 gave their lives for their country, without any knowledge on that
morning they would have to do it, yet they proceeded without
hesitation. We, their survivors, deserve to know why they had to
give their lives and who was supporting, aiding and abetting al
Qaeda. Our whole country deserves to know,” she said.
In a column at Frontpage
magazine today, FDI president Kenneth R. Timmerman recalls "Iran's
Dirty 9/11 Secrets" and recounts not only the evidence the Havlish and Bingham attorneys are presenting
against the Islamic Republic of Iran, but also the efforts by the CIA
to block the lawsuits..
• Heritage Foundation, Tony Blair, call for regime
change in Iran. In a report from its Counter-terrorism task
force, the Heritage Foundation calls for regime change in Iran and
covert U.S. government support for Iranian opposition group. The report
argues that the only way to break the "iron triangle" of the Iranian
regime, Hamaz and Hezbollah is "by
bringing freedom to the people under the tyranny of the leadership in
Tehran - change that has to come from within the country."
Among the measures the Heritage report urges the U.S. to take:
- Use public diplomacy to expose the regime's human rights abuses;
- Facilitate secure communication among dissidents by providing
- Provide covert financial and material assistance to democratic
opposition groups inside Iran
- Engage in targeted covert actions to discredit the regime, such as
distributing "printouts of Iranian officials' foreign bank accounts and
FDI has long supported a similar agenda, and applauds the
Heritage Foundation for its report. (The section
on Iran is called, "What Else Must Be Done."
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has also come out in
favor of regime change in Iran and Syria in an interview published
today by the
Guardian. "Regime change in Tehran would immediately make me
significantly more optimistic about the whole of the region," he said.
Sept 8, 2011: Iran rejects PJAK
ceasefire offer, kills deputy military commander. Iran resumed
attacks on PJAK bases in northern Iraq on Sept 2, attacking repeatedly
across the border into Iraq. PJAK claimed they repulsed the night-time
attacks and inflicted
losses on the IRGC troops. ghrejected an offer by PJAK
On Sept. 4, PJAK announced
ceasefire, and the next day they released
statement saying that thanks to mediation by "friendly
individuals and circles," perhaps a reference to Nichervan Barzani (see
Aug. 28, 2011 entry, below), PJAK was calling on the regime to resolve
its conflict with the Kurds through dialogue and not violence.
The response from the IRGC was almost immediate. Instead of a
ceasefire, they launched repeated the shelling of PJAK bases inside
Iraq, killing three fighters, including the deputy commander of all
PJAK forces. PJAK announced
death of Majid Kawian, known as Comrade Samkou, on Tuesday, and
claimed that its forces had killed 107 IRGC fighters, and destroyed two
tanks, 5 vehicles, and 1 bulldozer, some of whom were killed when PJAK
base near Sardasht. On
PJAK's Nowruz TV, they showed off NATO-issue weapons they claimed they
had taken from dead Iranian troops, including Western-made night
vision goggles, GPS systems, anti-tank missiles, and BKC guns. PJAK has
claimed for some time that Iran's ally Turkey has provided NATO
weaponry to Iran that has been turned against the Kurds.
Aug. 31, 2011: Facebook blocks anti-NIAC
"cause. Internet giant Facebook has taken down a prominent
"cause" that had attracted close to 3,000 supporters, ostensibly
because its title, "NIAC is a Lobbyist for the Islamic Republic of
Iran," might be considered defamatory. Despite a spate of email
requests from members to re-instate the page, Facebook "Causes"
executive Sydney Fleischer
refused, suggesting instead that the activists choose a different name
for their action. According to one of the
activists, FDI advisory board
member Arash Irandoost, NIAC has boasted of having "taken down" the
anti-NIAC page from Facebook's Causes website. "Unlike Trita [Parsi -
NIAC's president] we are not driven by money. We are doing what we
believe to be morally right. I, much like you, am driven by conviction
and values," Dr. Irandoost said in an email.
• NIAC efforts to compel testimony
from FDI fail in court. A U.S. District Court judge in
Washington, DC yesterday rejected long-standing efforts by NIAC to
compel testimony and documents from FDI in relation to NIAC's lawsuit against Hassan
Daioleslam. In an early subpoena, served on FDI president Kenneth
R. Timmerman at his residence in January 2010, NIAC demanded that he
produce “any email, article, letter or work, published or unpublished,
public or private that you (or anyone under your (direct or indirect)
direction, supervision or control) has produced or has in your
possession regarding....the Islamic Republic of Iran.” The court
quickly rejected that demand as an open-ended
expedition, but NIAC took 18 months to serve a new
subpoena, claiming in court documents it couldn't locate Mr.
Timmerman's residence, even though they had already served him at that
location! Yesterday's court order vindicates FDI's efforts to quash the
"Plaintiffs had ample opportunity to depose Timmerman prior to the
February 4, 2011 discovery deadline," the Court order reads. "The Court
then provided plaintiffs with additional time to depose Timmerman,
allowing, them up until May 13, 2011 to take the deposition. Although
plaintiffs maintain that their failure to depose Timmerman is
attrributable to Timmerman's attempts to evade service of process, the court finds this explanation
unpersuasive, given that (1) plaints appear to have known
Timmerman's home address throughout this litigation..."
In fact, the court documents allege some troubling connections
involving NIAC's attorney, Afshin Pishevar, of Rockville, MD.
"Plaintiffs’ have conveniently neglected to advise the court in regard
to the service issue, that Abraham Pishevar, the father of plaintiffs’
present counsel, Afshin Pishevar, worked on the U.S. Senate campaign of
Timmerman, has been to Timmerman’s home on numerous occasions in
conjunction with campaign conferences, and has taken photographs of
Timmerman and the inside of Timmerman’s home which, (Timmerman was
subsequently informed) Pishevar provided to the Iranian government,"
the court documents revealed.
Perhaps encouraged by the successful efforts to get inside Timmerman's
house, NIAC attorneys now wanted to get inside Timmerman's computer.
Wisely, the US District court said no.
Aug. 30, 2011: Regime Intercepts Gmail
accounts. The Dutch government warned a provider of Internet
security codes known as SSL certificates that it had been penetrated by
the Iranian regime and on July 19 had issued a number of fake SSL
certificates that were used to intercept Gmail and other Google
accounts belonging to users inside Iran, in what computer security
analysts call a "man-in-the-middle" attacks. Google
announced the intrusion on Monday, and the
on Tuesday that the Dutch company, DigiNotar, had acknowledged it had
been the target of what appears to be an Iranian government hacking
job, aimed at eavesdroppingon Iranian dissidents. Google says that the
latest edition of its Chrome browser has been programmed not to accept
the fake SSL certificates, but it was issued nearly a month after
DigiNotar had issued them, leaving a gap that could have put thousands
of Iranian users at risk. The Iranian regime has made clear it intends
to crack down on dissidents using the Internet as an organizing device
- the contemporary equivalent to the cassette tapes distributed by
Ayatollah Khomeini from his exile in France in the months leading up to
the 1979 revolution.
Aug. 28, 2011: Former KRG prime
minister calls on PJAK to lay down arms. After talks in Tehran
with Ahmadinejad and other regime officials, the former prime minister of the Kurdistan
Regional Government, Nechervan Barzani, told a prominent Kurdish media
outlet in Erbil that PJAK should lay down its arms. In an interview
with Rudaw ["The Happening'], translated by AFP, Barzani
said, “I believe
that PJAK must take the crucial decision to abandon its armed struggle
and lay down its weapons.”
However, in the English version posted on the
Rudaw website, Barzani made no such statement, although he remained
highly critical of PJAK. “In their fight they (PJAK) never take into
account the interests of the Kurdistan region and they give excuses to
those countries (Iran and Turkey) to attack the territories of the
Kurdistan region,” Barzani said.
Regarding PJAK and PKK armed activities along the border, Barzani said,
“It is unacceptable and based on the international standards the
Kurdistan region cannot tolerate it.”
Following Barzani's trip to Tehran to find a solution to Iran's
continued bombardment of the Kurdish border region, Michael McClellan, a US Embassy
spokesman in Baghdad called the PKK "a common enemy of Turkey,
Iraq, and the United States," but remained curiously silent on PJAK.
It's unclear from the statement whether McClellan was simply lumping
PJAK in with the PKK, as the Treasury Department has done, or whether
his comments implied a more careful nuance.
Meanwhile, the PUK representative in Britain, Shanaz Ibrahim Ahmad, sent
letter to British prime minister David Cameron protesting
Britain's silence over the ongoing attacks against Iraqi Kurdistan by
Turkey and Iran, while a group of Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers lodged
protest with the UN office in Baghdad over the Turkish and
Aug. 6 , 2011: Clashes continue inside
Iran. PJAK is claiming to have killed 25 IRGC soldiers and
wounded 7 more in an attack on Friday against an IRGC base near
Hawraman. Among the dead were 8 intelligence officers. In separate
fighting, PJAK is claiming responsibility for shutting down the main
gas pipeline between Turkey and Iran, but denies any of its members
have been killed or taken captive, as the regime claims. In separate
action on Friday, an oil pipeline was hit near Ahwaz but unknown
- Is PJAK a Separatist Group? What is the group's actual agenda for the
Iran, as opposed to the hidden agendas
and allegiances ascribed to them?
FDI asked Rahman Haj Ahmadi this
interest the average
American news reader, but that we know will be of vital importance to
all Iranians who seek a democratic future for their country. Read his comments here.
Aug. 4, 2011: PJAK
declares victory in running battles with the IRGC. After
two weeks of running battles with IRGC forces in the
Qandil mountains and throughout Iranian Kurdistan, the Free Life Party
of Kurdistan (PJAK) has shown its strength. PJAK Secretary-General
Rahman Haj Ahmadi told FDI president Kenneth R. Timmerman he expected
more attacks, since the IRGC could not back down after suffering over
300 casualties. For Ahmadi's detailed commentary on the two weeks
battle between PJAK
forces and the IRGC, see
this article from Newsmax.
July 27, 2011:
Turkish troops join fight
with IRGC in northern Iraq. While the Iranian and Turkish
regimes continue to allege falsely that PJAK is "controlled
Turkey that are cooperating militarily
against their Kurdish populations. Last night, 20 Turkish tanks crossed into Iranian
Kurdistan at the invitation of the Iranian regime, along with 300 Turkish special forces troops, who
came to fly intelligence missions into the Qandil mountains using
drones. The Turkish assistance came after yet another IRGC thrust into
Iraq on Tuesday morning was repulsed
fighters, who destroyed a T-55 tank during the skirmish. On
Wednesday, Iran continued shelling Iraqi border villages, PUK
Elsewhere inside Iran, PJAK guerillas attacked an IRGC position and
destroyed it, killing 13 IRGC soldiers. Newrouz TV, based in Sweden,
broadcast video images of the attack today.
Since the fighting began on July 16, PJAK
claims to have killed 255 IRGC troops and lost 8 of its own
July 24, 2011: Iranian nuclear scientist
gunned down in Tehran.An Iranian nuclear scientist,
Dariush Rezaei-Nejad, was gunned down at 4:30 pm local time on Saturday
as he was entering the garage of his home in Tehran, al
reported. Two gunmen on motorbikes approached and called
him by name. When he responded, they shot him in the neck. Rezaie-Nejad
is the fourth nuclear scientist to have been assassinated in the past
two years. At his funeral in Tehran today, Teheran governor Morteza
Tamaddon linked the murder to the assassination last year of two top
physicts also working on Iran's nuclear program, and said that this
latest assassination ‘was without a doubt part of a project to
discourage the Iranian nation from the path of (progress) it was
pursuing.’Iranian lawmakers predictably
blamed the US and Israel for the assassination.
July 23: Regime confirms deaths
of 6 IRGC commanders in clashes with PJAK.Lenziran
televized portions of a funeral in Qom of six IRGC commanders
killed during clashes with PJAK guerillas in Sardasht on Friday. Among
those whose deaths was confirmed in Iranian
media were Abbas Assemi, a senior Sepah intelligence officer from
Qom; Abdulmohammed KhoramRoz, deputy of Imam Hussien Battalion; and
Colonel Habibullah Aramzade. In separate clashes today, PJAK claims to
have killed another 11 IRGC troops. The regime vowed to
continue its attacks against PJAK until the group stopped all
Meanwhile, PJAK sources claim to have killed three Kurdish "anti-PJAK"
agents, hired by the regime to carry out attacks against civilians and
blame them on PJAK. Among them was Hasela Shet. The anti-PJAK squads
have been responsible for
killing 368 civilians over the past few years, according to PJAK
July 21, 2011: PJAK fights back. After
fighting last weekend, PJAK spokesman say they forced all IRGC
troops to withdraw back to their bases inside Iran by Monday, where
fighting has continued all week. Yesterday, Iran again tried to
bring IRGC troops into Iraq, but was again repulsed by PJAK fighters.
PJAK claims it killed 15 IRGC troops in Mariwan (Iranian Kurdistan),
and that it controls most of the main highway in the Oraman region
(Howraman). PJAK reported a total of 150 IRGC troops killed, and 8 PJAK
fighters. Clashes were also reported in the city of Khoy in West
Azerbayjan province. Also on Wednesday, the Iraqi parliament decided to
dispatch members of the Security and Defense committee and the Foreign
Affairs committee on a
fact-finding mission to visit Kurdish villages still being
bombarded by Iranian artillery.
According to one unconfirmed report from inside Iranian Kurdistan, the
IRGC has executed 4 Colonels and 6 soldiers of Bakhtiari origin for
refusing to fight Kurdish dissidents.
So far, there has been little media coverage of these events, except
Post. The Iranian regime's Press TV has put
together a lengthy "documentary" to renew its false allegations that
PJAK is controlled by the PKK, and trotted out Paul Sheldon Foote of
California State University at Irvine, a frequent shill for the regime
who sees "communists" under every opposition rug. (There are plenty of
Marxist groups among the Iranian opposition, but PJAK isn't one of
July 17, 2011: Casualties mount in Iranian
incursion. PJAK sources claim they have killed 108 IRGC troops
in fighting along the Iran-Iraq border and wounded another 200,
following Iran's incursion into
Iraqi Kurdistan on Saturday. In one clash, 40 IRGC troops surrendered
to PJAK guerillas, PJAK sources say. Meanwhile, official
Iranian media claim that the IRGC has dismantled PJAK's "biggest
compound" inside Iran near the Kurdish city of Sardasht. A PJAK
spokesman, Sherzad Kamangar, told
AFP in Erbil that two PJAK guerillas had been killed and several
wounded, in Qandil. So far, the official Iraqi media has had little to
say on the
Iranian incursion. PJAK sources also said that two PJAK guerillas were
killed on Sunday in an attack on the IRGC base in city (Oshnaviyeh)near Lake Urimiyeh near the Iraq
and Turkish border.
July 15, 2011: Iran invades northern Iraq. An estimated 10,000
Iranian Revolutionary Guards troops crossed the international border
into northern Iraq today as part of an offensive aimed at smashing
Iranian Kurdish bases inside the Kurdistan Regional Government areas.
The IRGC troops launched their attack from Sardasht, Piranshahr and
Mariwan in Iranian Kurdistan, and flowed across the border into Iraq at
Omran, the main border crossing controlled by the KRG, FDI
has learned from Kurdish
sources in the region. Until now, neither the Iraqi government nor
the KRG has protested the Iranian invasion, nor have they attempted to
resist the Iranian troops. IRGC troops have given Kurdish villagers in
Iraq 72 hours to evacaute their homes, or face the Iranian onslaught,
which appears to be targeting secret bases run by Free Life Party of
PJAK sources claim that high-ranking Turkish officers and Special
forces teams are playing an active role in the Iranian army thrust into
Iraq, which at this point seems to have penetrated 1 km into Iraqi
territory through areas controlled by the KRG. The IRGC has been
deploying heavy weaponry in their assault including tanks, katyusha
rocket launchers, artillery, mortars, and U.S.-built Huey Cobra attack
helicopters against PJAK guerillas.
claims to have killed 21 IRGC troops so far, including one Colonel.
• Iran upholds
death sentence of Iranian pastor. The Iranian Supreme
Court has upheld the death sentence for "apostasy" against Pastor
Yousef Naderkhani, an evangelical pastor from Rasht, unless he recants
his faith. Pastor Yousef is a former Muslim believer who came to Jesus
who has been bringing the Gospel to Muslims. He has been under arrest
Ahmadinejad has frequently said he will "destroy" the underground
church in Iran. The Iranian regime has long dominated the traditional
churches in Iran, but faces a special challenge from evangelical
pastors from a Muslim background, since their very existence threatens
the legitimacy of the Muslim dogma on which the regime is based. The
said that if Iran carries out the death
sentence, Naderkhani will be the first former Muslim executed for
apostasy in Iran since 1990.
July 13, 2011: Iran continues to shell
Kurdish villages in Iraq. Iranian Revolutionary Guards units
have been shelling villages inside Iraqi Kurdistan for the past two
days, according to PUK
Media, the official news agency of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
party of KRG prime
minister Barham Salih. The shelling is part of a larger offensive
directed against positions of the Free Life Party of Iranian Kurdistan
in the Qandil mountains bordering the two countries.
The Iranian regime is accusing the KRG of providing facilities to PJAK,
an allegation hotly
PJAK and clearly absurd to any observer who has visited
the area on the ground, where KRG and PUK checkpoints prevent access to
the Qandil region.
A photograph released by regime-owned PRESS TV shows alleged PJAK
guerilla fighters allegedly training in areas controlled by the Kurdish
Democratic Party of KRG president, Mustapha Barzani. In the
photographs, the guerilla fighters have disguished their faces
with head scarves, something PJAK fighters do not do. Besides that,
PJAK camps are in areas under PUK control.
Leaked letters from the KRG representative
in Tehran, Nazim Debagh, shows Iran repeatedly pressing the KRG
government to crack down on PJAK fighters. In one letter, sent to PM Barham
Salih on May 9, 2010, Debagh complains that “we
have had no response from you about the promises you made to the
Iranians” about taking strong steps against Iranian Kurds in the Qandil
mountains [PJAK]. The letter says that the Iranians are pressing for a
response by May 13th, and urges him “not to delay because in just one
month, PJAK targeted four key areas inside Iran.” (On the
same day the letter was sent, Iran executed five Kurdish activists,
including several PJAK sympathizers).
A second letter, undated put apparently from the same time period, is
from Nazim Debagh to the Commander of the Sepah Qods, informing him
that “the KRG agrees to your request to deploy 46 IRGC members inside
Clearly, the KRG can't be helping Iran to crack down on PJAK while
providing assistance to PJAK at the same time. But Tehran's
spin-meisters have never let facts get in the way of propaganda.
May 31, 2011: FDI calls on Rep. Lamar Smith
to reauthorize Lautenberg Amendment. Along with ten NGOs that
deal with Iranian refugee issues, FDI has written to Rep. Lamar Smith,
chairman of the House Judiciary committee, urging him to reauthorize
this special provision that allows members of persecuted religious
minorities in Iran to make refugee applications while still in Iran.
The Lautenberg amendment has been a lifeline for Iranian Jews and
Bahai's. Without its immediate authorization, 800 people currently
awaiting visas could suffer reprisals by the Iranian regime. Read the
FDI letter here.
The Hudson Institute's Paul Marshall and Tina Ramirez odf the Becket
Fund have written about the implications of failing to reauthorize this
measure at National
• State Department Documents Expose Iranian
Terror Group. A series of documents released by State to the MEK
under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal the MEK’s
involvement in the 1979 takeover of the US embassy in Tehran, their
ties to Saddam Hussein, and death threats made by the group to any
member who tries to leave Camp Ashraf in Iraq, where they have been
based since 1986. FDI comments that the new documents “dealt a body blow”
to the MEK’s effort to get off the terrorism list. Read the full story
at the New
2011: Congress of Minorities Explains Why No Cooperation with Greens. A
the Congress of
Nationalities for a Federal Iran, Karim Abdian, briefed
Congressional staff members today on why many Iranian minority groups
have not rushed to embrace the Green movement. "We believe that the
failure of the leaders of the so-called "Green Movement" to articulate
or reflect the demands and needs of the non-Perisan ethnic groups were
the reasons why the Movement did not garner the needed enthusiastic
support in outlying ethnic provinces," Abdian said. "Iranian National
groups hve been extremely suspicious of any changes that do not
guarantee their place in a future Iran. They have clearly demonstrated
that they will not risk another change in the country wtihout clear
assurances that the future government in Iran will be theirs as well."
The Congress includes representatives of the Azeri, Ahwaz, Bakhtari,
Turkomen, and Balouchi communities, and is being spear-headed by the
Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI).
KDPI Secretary General Mustapha Hijri told the Congressional briefing
today that "the only solution to liberate the poeple of Iran is the
removal of this regime and the establishment of a democratic
government." The KDPI long-ago abandoned its armed struggle against the
Iranian regime and is now focusing on political action inside Iran.
Like many secular groups, the KDPI rejects the vision of former Prime
Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi of a reformed Islamic regime that would
return to the "glory days" of the early Revoluiton. "We think the
segment of the Green movement promoting democratic regime change is
stronger than the reformists led by Moussavi and Karrubi," Hijri
• DACOR rejections calls to cancel Trita Parsi. Diplomatic and
Consular Officers, Retired (DACOR) has rejected calls by
Iranian-Americans to cancel Trita Parsi's presentation on May 24. The group will host Parsi at a
Forum on Iran at noon at its historic mansion, known as Bacon House, at
1801 F street, NW in Washington, DC, despite protests by
Iranian-Americans that Parsi represents the positions of the Iranian
regime. FDI joined other Iranian-Americans in a letter urging DACOR to
cancel Parsi's presentation. "The Iranian-American community considers
the "self-appointed" Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American
Council (NIAC) an intellectually
dishonest regime apologist and an unofficial and unregistered
lobby for the Iranian regime. He contributes to the regime’s agenda and
serves the interests of those in power in the Islamic Republic of Iran,
not the Iranians, nor the Iranian-Americans. In a recent survey, 96% of
the Iranian-Americans expressed that Trita is a lobbyist for the
Iranian regime," the letter states.
separate letter, sent by Walton Martin of the Iran Information
Project and and Dr. Gill Gillespie of the
Iranian Refugees Action network, notes that internal NIAC documents
show NIAC's "intent to outright deceive Congress, the NED,
Iranian-Americans and Americans as a whole under the guise of
pretending to pursue human rights issues."
• More Bahai's arrested in Iran. The regime coordinated raids
over the weekend on the Bahai Institute of Higher Education (BIHE) and
the homes of professors, according to Iran
Watch. More than thirty faculty members were arrested by
intelligence ministry operatives in Tehran, Karaj, Isfahan and Shiraz
during raids on Saturday. BIHE was established in 1987 as a community
initiative to meet the educational needs of young Baha’is who have been
systematically denied access to higher education by the Iranian
government. “The Iranian authorities – not content with debarring
Baha’is from university solely on account of their religious beliefs –
are now cruelly seeking to shut down the community’s efforts to provide
its youth with higher education through alternative means. The
government’s actions are utterly unjustifiable,” said Diane Ala’i,
representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United
Nations in Geneva.
• Report on Karoon prison in Ahvaz. IranBriefing presents a
detailed report on the inner workings of the IRGC prison holding
the largest numbers of Arab-Iranians (Ahwazis) of any prison in Iran.
The prison even has a "non-smoking" section for non-smoking that the
authorities show to visitors as a model. Political prisoners are
detained next to those convicted of armed roberry or drug charges and
share toilets with them. "In order to terrorise and put pressure on
political prisoners, prison officials actively provoke non-political
convicts held in section 6 to attack political prisoners," the report
written a series open letters over the past few weeks to protest
the misrepresentations of NIAC and its founder, Trita Parsi. The latest
installment, released today, was addressed to General Wesley Clark,
took part in a recent forum with Paris. "Dr. Trita Parsi and NIAC are
shunned by the Iranian American community. We overwhelmingly believe
that he is a lobbyist for the Islamic Republic. In a survey conducted
of NIAC by the Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran, over 95% of the Iranians
believe that NIAC does not represent their interests or their views,"
writes Sheri Alavandian of the Pro-Democracy
Iran. She added that documents and emails that have
come to light in NIAC's lawsuit against Hassan Dai "clearly shows NIAC
has been advocating for policies favorable to the Islamic (non)Republic
government in Iran." The documents also indicate that NIAC may have
misused funds obtained from the National Endowment for Democracy, Ms.
today, FDI President Kenneth R. Timmerman
reveals information from Iranian dissidents that reinforces claims that
Iran was behind the coordinated
storming of Israel's borders this past Sunday.
2011: Why has the U.S. Invited an Iranian Trade Delegation to Visit? Despite
to visit a trade fair in Kansas City opening
tomorrow; it has given the delegates three months visas, so they can
stay in the U.S. and travel at will, FDI Advisory board member Reza
today. This will allow the Iranians to make contacts
with U.S. companies and others that are usually off-limits to Iranian
diplomats, who are restricted to a 25-mile radius of their post
(Washington, DC and New York).
2011: FDI unveils its MEK Resource
page. Learn the truth about the MEK's origins, its
assassination campaign against American military advisors to the Shah,
and about the groups fraudulent activities in the United States and
Europe, based on original documents, many of which are rare or have
never been seen.
2011: Wall Street Journal highlights MEK publicity campaign. Noting
Journal highlights the reticence of U.S. and
European officials to embrace the Marxist-Islamist group. "Obama
administration and European officials, however, fear the campaign could
undermine Washington's policy of reaching out to opposition forces in
Iran. They say that's because the U.S. would appear to be aligned with a group that is widely unpopular due to its
military alliance with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein during the
1980s and '90s and a string of terrorist attacks the U.S. says it
launched inside Iran." Read the article here.
negative information about the group is fabricated
by the Tehran regime. As FDI has reported many times, the MEK's track
record of murdering Americans in Iran, and its willingness to serve as
Saddam Hussein's strike force to attack opposition Kurds and
Shiites in Iraq, is a matter of the historical record.
May 11, 2011: Iranian sends assassins after PJAK leader. Rahman
Haj Ahmadi was recently warned by German police that the Iranian regime
had sent three Kurdish assassins to stake out his residence. The three
would-be assassins were traveling on Turkish passports. As part of its
campaign against PJAK, the regime has trained agents provacateurs to
carry out terror attacks inside Iranian Kurdistan and blame them on
PJAK. Read the full article here.
2011: Free the Iranian Hostages. In an opinion column in
today's print edition of the Washington Times, FDI president and CEO
Kenneth R. Timmerman urges the Obama administration to remove PJAK from
the Treasury Department's list of terrorist organizations. "Simply put,
there is no factual basis for the Obama administration’s decision to
designate PJAK as a terrorist group," Timmerman writes. "The only
justification was a desire by the Obama White House to placate the
Tehran regime, which saw the group as a threat." Read the article here,
May 8, 2011: FDI Joins Iranian-American Activists Calling on UCLA to
disinvite Iran-regime apologist Trita Parsi. In a letter to the
chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a
group of Iranian-American activists, joined by FDI, called on UCLA to
cancel its invitation to Trita Parsi to address an upcoming forum on
Iran. As the letter states, "the
Iranian- American community considers Trita Parsi of the National
Iranian American Council (NIAC) an intellectually dishonest regime
apologist. He contributes to the regime’s agenda and serves the
interests of those in power in the Islamic Republic of Iran." Read
2011: U.S. Congress calls for stepped up support to Iranian dissidents
. A bipartisan group of U.S.
lawmakers introduced the Iran Human Rights and Democracy Promotion Act
yesterday to increase U.S. support for Iranian dissidents. The bill,
co-sponsored by Sens Mark Kirk (R, Ill), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D,
NY), and Reps Robert Dold (R-10th/Ill) and Ted Deutch (D-19th-Fla)would make it U.S. policy to support Iranian
dissidents and would sanction companies that sell law enforcement
products to the regime, including water cannons, sniper rifles, and
surveillance gear. "In our view, the United States should make
the issue of human rights a fundamental pillar of our international
diplomacy with regard to Iran," Sen. Kirk said
at a press conference with his co-sponsors.
FDI salutes these lawmakers and urges their
colleagues in Congress to join them in large numbers to send an
unmistakeable message to the regime in Tehran that their repression of
the Iranian people has costs.
FDI further urges members of
Congress to rectify the tragic error of the Obama administration in
designating the Free Life Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PJAK) as a
terrorist organization, an action taken on Feb. 4, 2009 as part
of the White House "outreach" to the terrorist regime in Tehran.
May 4, 2011: State Department gets Iran wrong. While there is
much to praise in the State Department's latest human rights report on
Iran, one glaring error stands out that clearly shows that even U.S.
government human rights monitors are being influenced by Tehran. In the very first section (page 4) the report states that
Kurdish activist "Farrad Kamangar" received a death sentence in 2008
"for 'endangering national security' based on his alleged involvement
with the Turkey-based Kurdish Workers Party." In fact, Farhad Kamangar, who was a middle
school teacher in Iranian Kurdistan, was a sympathizer of PJAK, the
Free Life Party of Iranian Kurdistan. But the State Department
appears to have accepted at face value Iranian regime claims that PJAK
is a "branch" of the PKK.
During a recent trip to PJAK bases in northern Iraq, FDI president
and CEO Kenneth R. Timmerman met with Kamangar's brother Sherzad
(right), who is a member of PJAK's political leadership. "My
brother was a PJAK sympathizer, but not an actual member," Sherzad
said. "The regime used that pretext for hanging him. They called him a
“terrorist” because he was close to PJAK, which they call a “terrorist”
The U.S. Treasury Department's designation of PJAK as a terrorist
organization has only encouraged the Iranian regime, Kamagar believes,
and may in fact have prompted them to hang his brother. Furthermore,
other elements of the pro-democracy movement now shun PJAK because of
the designation. "Most of the groups involved in the freedom struggle
in Iran know that the world sees the Islamic Republic is a terrorist
regime. But at the same time, they see that the United States
designates PJAK as a terrorist group. They know that PJAK is leading a
freedom struggle, a democratic struggle against this terrorist regime,
and so they wonder: how can the United States take such a decision?
What does this mean? It’s a paradox – and it’s injust," Kamagar said."Some democratic opposition groups
won’t deal with us because of this."
Read the State Department report on-line
or download it here as a PDF.
2011: Poorzand leapt to his death. According to a
news report this morning, Siamak Pourzand leapt to his death in
Tehran, in a final act of defiance against the regime.
29, 2011: Dissident journalist dies in Tehran. Siamak Poorzand,
81, a well-known journalist who has been repeatedly jailed by the
regime, was found dead today at his Tehran appartment by the doorman,
after failing to respond to phone calls.
He appeared to have died of natural causes. Poorzand was in ill health
and has been under house arrest for years and unable to leave Iran,
even though Canada had approved a request for political asylum and was
ready to welcome him, his family told FDI. This picture, from 2005, was
taken when his younger daughter, Azadeh, secretly visited him in
Tehran. Amnesty International featured him as a prisoner
conscience in 2004.
He was abducted by the regime in November 2001 and subsequently put on
trial for "subversive activities, propaganda, and plotting against the
Islamic Republic," and accused of distributing
million to Iranian dissidents
and of working with Reza Pahlavi, son of the former Shah. The sheer
exageration of the claims was a back-handed compliment to his
credibility among Iranian dissidents, He was
ultimately sentenced to 11
jail, but spent the later years at
his home in Tehran under house arrest after suffering his third heart
attack in Evin prison in 2007. His second wife, noted human rights
attorney Mehrangiz Kar, was forced to flee Iran shortly after his trial
28, 2011: Iranians Spooked by Stuxnet.The Stuxnet story just
keeps getting better and better. While Western computer security
analysts who have examined the code have found that Stuxnet exclusively
targets the controllers that spin uranium enrichment centrifuges, the
possibility that it could also affect the Bushehr nuclear power plant
has got the Iranians absolutely spooked – so much so, that the
Parliament is considering closing the plant permanently and starting
all over again. Read the latest at Newsmax.com.
For additional background, read FDI advisory board member Reza
25, 2011: Trita Parsi hits brick wall in Canada. Following an
oped by FDI president Kenneth Timmerman and Canadian human rights
activist and advocate Sayeh Hassan in the National Post on Friday,
lobbyist Trita Parsi appears to have backed out from participating in
the Ottowa Iran conference. (See April
22, below). More
to come as the details emerge...
Parsi and friends continue to
try to curry favor with the Obama White
House. A key Parsi sponsor and funder, Noosheen Hashemi, founder
chairman of the Hand Foundation and the PARSA Foundation, paid $35,800
to attend an
fund-raiser on April 20 at billionaire Marc
Benioff's San Francisco home.
The PARSA foundation has given grants worth more than
$400,000 recently to NIAC, according
website. Most of these grants came after NIAC reportedly
had advised the State Department and the White House not to openly
criticize the Iranian regime for its crackdown on protesters after the
June 2009 election fraud in Iran.
April 22, 2011: Conference on
Iran to feature Tehran apologist. In an opinion column in today's
Post, FDI president Kenneth Timmerman and Canadian human
rights activist and advocate Sayeh Hassan urged
the Canadian authorities to cancel a scheduled
speech by Trita Parsi at a conference on Iran to be held in Ottowa next
month.The conference will be sponsored in part by the Canadian
Department of National Defence and the Canadian Security and
Intelligence Service (CSIS), making the invitation of a known
pro-Tehran advocate all the more questionable. "Given the
leadership role the Canadian government has taken in condemning
Tehran’s human rights violations, pushing for smart sanctions and
showing support for the pro-democracy movement in Iran, it is therefore
surprising that the Ministry of National Defence and CSIS, two entities
responsible for the safety and security of Canadians, did not perform
due diligence on Trita, the founder of the Teheran-friendly NIAC," we
The Canadian Parliament calls Ahmadinejad's regime "a threat to peace,
human rights, and international law." Read their ground-breaking report
April 21, 2011: FDI joins The New Iran.
FDI has joined "The New Iran," a new paradigm for
democratic participation and grass-roots leadership that is the most
promising development we have seen in a long while. Based on audience
participation software developed by Dr. Iman Foroutan, The New Iran [NahadeMardomi] does
away with parti-bazi - the
top-down, personality-driven organizations of the past that have failed
to energize the Iranian people with a convincing vision of a better
The New Iran busts through the old paradigm by doing away with
back-room politics as usual, where hidden agendas and unspoken
compromises have generated mutual suspicion.
Individuals and organizations have been joining The New Iran at a
steady clip since the website went live just over one month ago. No
secret core of supporters runs the site or determines the agenda of the
group; everything, right down to the political program and transparent
structures for deploying money, is being determined out in the open, by
grass roots activists willing to donate their time.
Their most powerful tool is their ability to convince others of the
justice of their cause. They do this through on-line “meetings,” and a
wide variety of content members post.
Dr. Foroutan developed the
platform for The New Iran from proprietary software initially developed
for popular TV shows that require distant audiences to cast secure
ballots for the contest of the night. Security is a key element, to
prevent stacked voting; and at the New Iran, participants from Iran
worried about revealing their true identity can join using pseudonyms
but cannot vote for this reason, until a more secure on-line system can
be set up.
Dr. Foroutan is offering his platform to the Department of State to
help mobilize the grass roots democracy movement in places like Egypt
and Tunisia, where the better-organized Muslim Brotherhood appears to
be poised to divert the popular revolutions in those countries to
view: The New Iran offers the greatest promise for a revitalized
pro-freedom movement in Iran that we have seen in ages. But it is just
a tool. Now it’s up to Iranians to pick it up and use it.
28, 2011:A'Jad says
the time to attack Jerusalem is near. A feature-length
documentary film, produced by a top advisor to Iranian president
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, claims that the cataclysmic events that will usher
in an era of Muslim world domination are about to begin, triggered
actions launched by Iran and its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah. This film was discovered by
Reza Kahlali, author of the memoire A Time to Betray, and an
advisory board member of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran.
This is one of the most important revelations about the intentions of
the current Iranian regimes to have emerged in many years.
It combines Ajad’s messianic belief in the imminent return of the 12th
imam, with a real world military alliance between the Islamic Republic
of Iran, Hezbollah, and other terrorist groups to launch a region-wide
world against Israel and other American allies.The film is nothing
short than a declaration of war, an Iranian version of Hitler’s “Mein
Kampf,” which after all in German means “my struggle” or “my jihad.”
Watch the complete movie with English subtitles at Reza
blog. Or watch a brief presentation from CBN this
13, 2011: Regime attacks FDI... again. If you subscribe to the
old adage, 'you're known by you're enemies,' then FDI is honored by the
latest attack against us and our president, Kenneth Timmerman, that
appeared in today's lede editorial
of Keyhan daily, which is controlled by the Supreme Leader and run by
goons from the regime's intelligence ministry. As the Iranian economy
collapses under the burder of international sanctions brought about by
the stubbornness of Iran's unelected leaders, all Keyhan can think of
is to conjur up weird conspiracy theories and foreign plots.
Under the title, "The Dance of Terrorists on the Tip of the Sword," Keyhan writes, "While terrorism
against the Islamic Republic has had many faces, the most prominent one
today is the policy being promoted by foreign and especially Western
analysts such as Kenneth Timmerman,
terrorism under the name
of democracy and human rights." At least they spelled Timmerman's name
Why did they get FDI's name wrong? Perhaps because we have been banned
from the Internet in Iran by government censors in January 2010, along
with scores of other pro-freedom groups and foreign radio networks.
(See below). Perhaps Stuxnet has also attacked
Keyhan's electronic archives!
- FDI Advisory Board member addresses
World Affairs Council in Los Angeles. Reza Kahlili, a former CIA
spy inside the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) told the
World Affairs Council last night that the U.S. must support the
pro-freedom movement in Iran, or suffer the consequences as the
Islamic regime uses the nuclear weapons it is hell-bent on acquiring.
Video should soon be posted here.
For Reza's latest opeds and commentaries, go here.
Jan. 12, 2011: Iranian
regime escalates attacks on Christians. Regime agents began a massive
round-up of Christian evangelicals and converts from Islam on Dec. 26,
interrogating more than 600 people and arresting at least 25. On
January 4, the governor general of Tehran Province, Morteza Tamadon,
acknowledged that Christians had been arrested because of their
“corrupting” influence and warned that there would be further arrests.
The Hudson Institute's Paul Marshall has more.