Archive for November, 2009

درخواست سناتور جان کایل از وزیر دادگستری برای رسیدگی به تخلفات نایاک

November 25, 2009

روز 19 نوامبر، سناتور جان کایل از آریزونا که از بانفوذترین سناتورهای آمریکاست، نامه ای به اریک هولدر وزیر دادگستری آمریکا نوشت و رسما از او خواست که در مورد لابیگری نایاک تحقیق کند. طبق قانون، وزیر دادگستری بایستی هرچه زودتر به نامه سناتور کایل پاسخ داده و در اینمورد اقدام نماید.

نامه رسمی سناتور جان کایل از اریک هولدر وزیر دادگستری آمریکا در مورد نایاک:

“روز 13 نوامبر، روزنامه واشنگتن تایمز گزارشی تحت عنوان “یک گروه ایرانی احتمالا قوانین لابی را نقض کرده است” به چاپ رساند و در آن مدعی شده است که شورای ملی آمریکائیان ایرانی تبار (نایاک) بطور غیر قانونی مشغول لابی است و چه بسا قوانین مالیانی، قانون ثبت نمایندگان دولتهای خارجی و همچنین قانون گزارش در مورد لابیگری را زیر پا گذاشته است.

آیا وزارت دادگستری در مورد مطالبی که در این مقاله ذکر شده تحقیقاتی را شروع کرده است؟ اگر نه، چرا؟

آیا وزرات دادگستری ادعاهای طرح شده در این مقاله را تایید می کند؟

روند بررسی دقیق در برابر سازمانی غیر انتفاعی که مشغول لابیگری برای یک دولت خارجی است و جواز مناسب را برای لابیگری از وزارت دادگستری دریافت نکرده است چیست؟ این بدان معنی است گروه محلی مامور یک دولت خارجی است.

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NIAC’s internal documents-Series two

November 25, 2009

Trita Parsi: 2001-2002

Director at American Iranian Council

Creation of NIAC

Discovery Documents: Part two

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2000: Trita Parsi is hired by Hooshang Amirahmadi to work at American Iranian Council

He moves from Sweden to US in early 2001

Document: AIC board re TP

Written by Amirahmadi:

Quote from the original document:

November 24, 2009

To:          AIC Board of Directors and Advisory Council

From:    Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi

President, AIC

It is my great pleasure to welcome Trita Parsi to our team at AIC. You may recall earlier conversations about his possible employment with AIC, and I am proud to inform you that the wait is over. Trita has received his work permit and will fly in from Stockholm, Sweden on Monday, February 5.

Trita has also been very active in the Iranian-American community, mostly through the organization Iranians for International Cooperation (IIC), which he founded in 1997. IIC’s main mission has been to advocate improved US-Iran relations and mobilize the Iranian-American community into an influential political force.

With the title Director of Development, Trita will concentrate on fund raising and membership development, as well as being responsible for congressional liaisons and our congressional roundtables. As with our other staffers, Trita will live within walking distance of our office.

Please join me in welcoming Trita to our team at AIC!

______________________________________________________________________________________

While working for AIC and continuing his work as tha chairman of IIC (Iranians for international cooperation), Trita started the creation of his new lobby organization.

Document: Conference Call June 18

“Conference Call June 18, 2000

Quote from the original document:

Attendees:         Fereydoun Taslimi (Afiliation)

Brian Oliner (Children of Perisa)

Esmail Ghorbani (Omeed)

Trita Parsi (IIC)

Meeting convened 07:58 PM, June 18, 2001

Topics:

  1. The issue of whether to lobby for an exemption for charitable NGOs or to lobby for the lifting of sanctions altogether was touched upon several times. Prior to the conference call, Mr. Parsi had submitted an email in which it was pointed out that the former strategy may prolong the sanctions policy in two different ways (June 17, 2001):
  • Proponents of sanctions may label the exemption for NGOs a great concession and argue that Iran deserves no further concessions until it reciprocates this “goodwill” gesture.
  • The exemption for NGOs may make the sanctions look smarter and give the impression that the sanctions, through the NGO exemption, only target the Iranian regime and not the people.

Furthermore, prior to the telephone conference, Sussan Tahmasebi had in an email dated June 18, 2001 argued for a “shooting small”, i.e. a lobbying effort aimed at getting an NGO exemption.

Mr. Parsi pointed out that focusing only on an NGO exemption might alienate allies within and outside of Capitol Hill, and that “shooting big” leaves us with the option of “shooting small” at a later stage if necessary.

Decision: Mr. Parsi agreed to do research and report back to the group. Although the majority tended to favor “shooting small”, the question was left open pending further research. [Is my impression correct?]

  1. All parties expressed concerns regarding the legality of 501 C3s getting involved in lobbying. Mr. Oliner pointed out that 501 C3 are not allowed to influence legislation, whether it be a complete lifting of sanctions or getting an exemption to NGOs through law. Mr. Parsi had in the email dated June 17, 2001 pointed out that one solution was to incorporate a new and legally and financially separate organization.

Sussan Tahmasebi had in an email dated June 18, 2001 mentioned the possibility of registration a 501 C4. She also pointed that 501 C3s can lobby granted that less than 10-20% of their resources are devoted to influencing legislation.

Decision: The question was left open and the general feeling was that expert advice should be sought.

Decision: Mr. Parsi will consult with Kenneth Katzman of the Congressional Research Service, Amb. Miller of Search for Common Ground and Congressional Staffers and report back to the group.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Preparing the creation of NIAC

First board meeting: November 5, 2001

Dcocument: Minutes, 20011105

Quote from the original document:

By: Babak Talebi

In Attendance:

Silke, Alex, Farzin, Babak, Gabe, Banafshe, Trita

Ø      4th leg – linkage with Iran?  Discussing yielded that as a strategy, it is wiser not to take on this issue at this point. In the long-term, consensus exist that focus shall shift towards Iran, but at this stage such a principle in the mission statement could be polarizing unless very cleverly formulated. Banafsheh and Trita will present proposal at next meeting.

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Darius Baghai, a CA based lawyer comes back from Tehran, meets Roy Coffee, a Washington lobbyist, close to George Bush. Baghaei meets Bob Ney.

Trita Parsi, Baghai, Coffee and Diestefano work together to create a lobby group to assist NIAC

Public document: Roy Coffee’s letter to Front Burner:

http://frontburner.dmagazine.com/archives/013069.html

Quotes from Coffee’s letter:

Back in the spring or summer of 2002, a good friend of mine from law school, Darius Baghai, had just returned from visiting relatives in Iran for the first time since his family left before the revolution. He spoke with me about how the economy of Iran was humming and that the US was missing out because we were the only country imposing sanctions on Iran since 1979. In addition, he said the Iranian people love everything about America, would like to normalize relations with America and that the Mullah’s were using the sanctions as a way to keep hammering us as the great Satan. He felt strongly that the Iranian people knew better. In any of President Bush’s comments on Iran, he always makes a point to speak directly to the Iranian people about his hopes that they will someday enjoy greater freedom – as he did tonight in the State of the Union. From this, I took Darius into visit with Mr. Ney. What was to be a 15 minute meeting became a 1 1/2 hour meeting as they spoke passionately about their hopes for the Iranian people. They also spoke in Farsi a great deal – I’m sure talking smack about me. From that meeting, Darius, Dave and I began to work with Trita Parsi, another Iranian-American to try to form a political action committee of Iranian-Americans to pursue a strategy of normalization of relations between the two countries. …  The 4 of us worked very hard for about 9 months to form this committee, but we found that most Iranians do not want to get involved in politics because of their experiences in Iran during and after the revolution.”

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Parallel to the creation of NIAC Trita Parsi and Bob Ney, accompanied by 2 Washington lobbyists; plan to use NIAC in a lobby enterprise called NAIA

Parsi’s plan

Create a new organization (NAIA) to undertake NIAC’s lobby activities

NIAC will recruit and organize the Iranian-Americans

NAIA will use them to lobby the Congress

In this important document, Parsi explains the goals of his lobby and his strategy to materialize it:

•  The lobby’s goal is to remove sanctions and open up trade with Iran but:

•  This goal is a controversial issue among Iranians and therefore should be avoided in the beginning

•  The initial focus should be on less controversial issues like visa and discrimination

•  Working on these issues will  serve to establish credibility within the community

•  lobby should target business with positive images that have a strategic interest in trade with Iran

•  Give a human appearance to this lobby

Document: “Towards the creation of an Iranian-American lobby”

Quote from the original document:

Written by Parsi, 10.4.2002

To:                 Roy Coffee / Dave di Stefano

By:                  Trita Parsi, trita.parsi@mail.house.gov

Subject:     Towards the creation of an Iranian-American lobby

Date:            11/24/2009

Summary

This memo presents a preliminary strategy towards the creation of an Iranian-American lobby. It first explains the necessity of promoting a mature political culture within the Iranian-American community in order for successful grassroots lobbying to be able to take place. It highlights a few strategy issues that the proposed lobby should take into consideration: a strategic partnership with the National Iranian American Council (www.niacouncil.org), initial focus on non-controversial issues such as visas and discrimination, the importance of a “human element” in the lobby campaigns, and targeting of positive-image business with a strategic interest in Iran for financial support. The memo proceeds to describe the potential competition the lobby may face. It also presents a list of potential Board members from the academic and business communities. The memo concludes with a discussion regarding the lobby’s staffing needs, with Trita Parsi as the proposed Executive Director of the organization.

Some quotes from the document:

“Although the mission of the proposed lobby should be to improve relations between the US and Iran and open up opportunities for trade, the initial targets should be less controversial issues such as visas and racial profiling/discrimination. Since the lobby will be spared from creating a grassroots network of its own, the initial focus on non-controversial issues will only serve to establish credibility within the community, and not massive support (which would necessitate the complete avoidance of issues such as US-Iran relations).”

“Despite its predominantly business oriented constituency, it is essential that the lobby creates a “human face” for its aims and goals. AIPAC successfully painted the opponents of the Iran Libya Sanctions Act as “greedy businessmen who had no scruples when it came to doing business with terrorist regimes.” The oil companies failed to characterize their campaign with “human concern for the well-being of innocent Iranians stuck with a dictatorial regime” or “support for the poor mid-Western family father who lost his job due the sanctions.”  The human element is essential both when it comes to attracting support among Iranian-Americans and when it comes to winning the debate and the votes on the Hill.”

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Roy Coffee humanizes and reformulates Trita Parsi’s project

Document: NAIA sell document, 20021222

Written by Roy Coffee, 112.19.2002

Quote from the original document:

Mission Statement

The mission of the National Association of Iranian Americans (NAIA) is:

  • To promote the interests of the Iranian-American community by actively participating in the daily affairs of Congress and the Administration;
  • To strengthen the Iranian-American community by educating policy-makers and the general public about the achievements and contributions of Iranian-Americans;
  • To ensure that members of Congress and the Administration take the interests and concerns of the Iranian-American community into consideration in their day-to-day decision-making and,
  • To promote cultural, commercial, and educational ties between the Iranian-American community and their ancestral home by addressing existing barriers to such exchanges;

To this end, NAIA is, amongst other goals:

  • Encouraging members of Congress and the Administration to rectify the negative consequences of recent visa restrictions for Iranian-Americans and Iranian nationals,
  • Promoting investments in Iran’s IT-sector in order to put the youth in Iran in contact with the globalized world,
  • Working with the White House as it prepares an interim report on the consequences of the Iran Libya Sanctions Act due to Congress by December 2003 and,
  • Preparing the groundwork for potential changes in restrictions on commercial, cultural and educational exchanges between Iran and the United States.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Roy Coffee and Distefano teach lobby techniques to NIAC members

Document: NIAC newsletter

Quote from the original document:

10.17.2002

TOP LOBBYISTS TO GIVE PRESENTATION ON LOBBYING AT NIAC POWER DINNER IN WASHINGTON
NIAC is proud to present two of Washington’s most experienced lobbyists at the NIAC Power Dinner on October 30 in Washington DC.Roy Coffee, former Chief of Staff for Governor George W. Bush, and David DiStefano, former Chief of Staff for Congressman Bob Ney (the only Persian-speaking member of Congress), will discuss the tricks of the trade of lobbying and advise Iranian-Americans on how they can start making their voices heard. As lobbyists with several years of experience in Washington, Coffee and DiStefano are excellent guides for Iranian-Americans who want to start participating in American political life.

________________________________________________________________________________________

January 2003: Bob Ney helps NIAC’s fundraising

Document: NIAC newsletter

1.15.2003

NIAC TO HOLD EXCLUSIVE FUNDRAISER WITH CHAIRMAN BOB NEY AND AUTHOR AFSHIN MOLAVI

Quote from the original document:

Washington DC , January 15, 2002. NIAC will hold a fundraiser with Chairman Bob Ney (R-OH), the only Persian speaking Member of Congress, and Iranian-American author Afshin Molavi (Persian Pilgrimages) at the Washington City Club in Washington DC on January 29.

This is an exclusive event with limited seats available for a very private and frank discussion of the state and role of Iranian-Americans in America. Minimum donations are set at $1,000. The donations will go towards various NIAC projects.

For more information, please contact Shervin Pishevar, Co-Chair of Fundraising at 202 369 4673″

_____________________________________________________________________________________

2002: Parsi seeking  sensitiveinformation from Roy Coffee and gives the address and phone number of Javad Zarif, the Iranian regime’s ambassador at United Nation

Document: Parsi’s email title: Question

Quote from the original document:

From: Trita Parsi

To: Roy Coffee

Sent: 12/24/02 12:44 AM

Subject: Question

Dear Roy:

Is there a way we can find out who drafted Bush’s statement on Iran this past

Friday?

Below is the address to the Ambassador:

H. E. Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif

The Permanent Mission of the Islamic republic of Iran to the UN

622 Third Ave. New York, NY 10017

Tel: (212) 687-2020 / Fax: (212) 867-7086

tp

_______________________________________________________________________________________

February 2003: Bob Ney, Coffee and Distefano are hired by 2 London based felon to help the Iranian regime buy a VIP aircraft

•   For a quick review of this story, see: http://www.iranian-americans.com/docs/BobNeyCorruption.ppt

•   Coffee’s letter: http://frontburner.dmagazine.com/archives/013069.html

•   Bob Ney accepted bribes from Al-zayat: http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2007/January/07_crm_027.html

•   Roy Coffee was paid $220.000 by 2 London based dealers. DiStefano was paid about $20,000

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/012506dnmetlobbyists.122fa520.html

NIAC’s internal documents-Series one

November 25, 2009

Trita Parsi: from Sweden to US

Lobby organization: IIC

1997 – 2001

Discovery Documents: Part One

******

 

1991: Parsi came to US as a high school exchange student and was hosted by Bob Ney

Document: Letter for Bob

Written by Parsi to the judge in favor of Bob Ney – 1.16.2007

Quote from the original document:

“When I came to the US from Sweden in 1991 as a high-school exchange student, I was fortunate enough to get acquainted with Mr. Ney, who at the time served as a State Senator. I later ended up in a disagreement with my host-family and risked being sent back to Sweden without having completed my studies in the US. As the host-family and the organization who had arranged for my stay in the US were preparing to send me back to Sweden, Mr. Ney stepped in and took me in with his own family. It was nothing less than a random act of kindness.”

______________________________________________________________________________

Who is Bob Ney?

Trita Parsi worked closely with Bob Ney from 1997 till 2005 when his corruption was revealed to the public. Ney, a former Congressman from Ohio, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for corruption. Part of his indictment and plea agreement is related to the bribes he received from Fouad Al Zayat, an arm dealer in London who worked for the Iranian regime. For some information on Bob Ney: See this brief power presentation

_________________________________________________________________________________

1996: Parsi met Siamak Namazi from Iran. Since then, Namazi has been Parsi’s partner in lobbying

Parsi told the Washington Times on 11.13.2009

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/13/exclusive-did-iranian-advocacy-group-violate-laws/?page=3

Quote from the article:

“The genesis of NIAC goes back more than a decade to when Mr. Parsi was a student in Sweden. In 1996, he met another Iranian expatriate, Siamak Namazi. Mr. Namazi had a degree in urban planning but had recently joined a firm in Iran that sought to bring Western business standards to the Islamic Republic”

______________________________________________________________________________

Who is Siamak Namazi?

He has been managing director of Atieh Bahar Consulting. Atieh group works with the Iranian government.

For a complete review of Namazi and Atieh Bahar see the following exhibits at:

http://www.iranian-americans.com/AtiehBahar-3.pdf

http://www.iranian-americans.com/AtiehBahar-4.pdf

________________________________________________________________________

1997: Living in Swededn, Trita Parsi founded the US based organization called the “Iranians for International Cooperation (IIC), the first Iranian lobby group to remove US political and economic sanctions against Iran

Document : IIC CV

Date: June 1999 by Parsi

Quote from the original document:

History

IIC was founded in August 1997 by Trita Parsi, the present President. While conducting research on Iran for US Congressmen in Washington DC in 1997, he recognized the necessity of establishing a lobbying organization …

Objectives

IIC’s main objective is to safeguard Iran’s and Iranian’s interests. Currently, our agenda is topped by the removal of US economic and political sanctions against Iran, and the commencement of an Iran-US dialogue.

What we can achieve

IIC is capable of organising the grassroots and pressure US lawmakers to pose a more Iran friendly position. We are also capable of undertaking nation-wide fax and petition campaigns. Furthermore, we have extensive contacts with the US media and can have IIC representatives participate in TV and radio debates. Moreover, we have highly educated members whit excellent diplomatic skills who can play the role of mediators between Iran and the US. We are, however, not fully capable of raising substantial amounts of money as of yet. But bearing in mind the age of our organisation, we are confident that we will double our fund-raising capacity this year.

______________________________________________________________________

Parsi described the IIC as a lobby organization

Document: IIC FAQ to Congress

Date: June 1999 by Parsi

Quote from the original document:

Q: What is IIC, is it a political party or a lobby organization?

A: IIC is not a political party or even a political organization. We consider ourselves a lobby organization; we use our constitutional rights to influence our elected representatives. But we have no ambition to run for public office! We simply do not consider ourselves an alternative to the regime or to the opposition.

________________________________________________________________

In his personal CV, Parsi explains IIC’s activities

Document: Curriculum Vitae, till BOB

By Trita Parsi. date: June 1999

Extra Curricular Activities

Iranians for International Cooperation (www.iic.org)

Quote from the original document:

Founder and elected President (1997-99)

  • Established the first lobby group in the US to support the normalization of ties between Iran and the US.
  • Increased membership from 15 to 500 members worldwide in less than two years.
  • Interviewed by AP, Reuters, RFE and other news agencies.
  • Lobbied the US Congress, EU and Swedish Parliaments.

__________________________________________________________

In another personal CV, Parsi explains IIC’s activities

Document: CV, 20010830 ECON

Trita Parsi’s resume written by himself 2001

Extra Curricular Activities

Iranians for International Cooperation (www.iic.org)

Quote from the original document:

Founder and elected President (1997-99)

  • Increased membership from 15 to 1000 members worldwide
  • Lobbied the US Congress, EU and Swedish Parliaments.

__________________________________________________________

Parsi worked as a lobbyist a lobby firm in Sweden

Document: “Standard”

By Parsi, Auguste 2000

Quote from the original document:

“I am currently working as a strategy consultant and lobbyist at Kreab, Scandinavia’s largest PR and Communications firm. At Kreab, I have advised multinationals, Internet startups and interest organizations on political, communications and strategy issues. My experience in government affairs and communications consulting has provided me with a deep understanding of teamwork, coalition building and media relations.”

_________________________________________________________________________________________

1997: Parsi became Bob Ney’s foreign policy advisor

Document: CV, 20020131

Trita Parsi’s resume written by himself January 2002

Quote from the original document:

Work Experience

Chairman Robert Ney (R-OH)

Foreign Policy Advisor, Middle East and South East Asia 1997, 2001

_______________________________________________________________________________

Trita Parsi explains his work for Bob Ney

Curriculum Vitae US version 0724

Trita Parsi’s resume written by himself, August 2000

Quote from the original document:

Qualification Summary

  • Strategy Consultant at Sweden’s largest communications/lobby firm

Congressman Robert Ney, Washington DC

Policy Advisor (June – August 1997)

  • Adviced on US foreign policy on Middle Eastern issues
  • Monitored the political and economic situation in the Mideast
  • Authored three reports on US-Iran relations which were used by Congressman Ney to alter his position vis-à-vis Iran

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Parsi influenced Bob Ney to become the most ardent US Congressman defending rapprochement policy with Iran

Document : IIC CV

Trita Parsi’s CV written by himself, June 1999

Quote from the original document:

Achievements

The first achievement of IIC can be traced back to the summer of 1997 when Trita Parsi worked as a political consultant for Congressman Robert Ney of Ohio. Congressman Ney was at the time a proponent of the US’s isolation policy of Iran and had contacts with the Mujahedine Khalq terrorist organisation. Mr. Parsi was hired to consult the Ohio Congressman on his policy vis-à-vis Iran, and persuade him to reconsider his position in favour of a pro-dialogue, pro-engagement policy.

_______________________________________________________________________

Parsi influenced Bob Ney to become the most ardent US Congressman defending rapprochement policy with Iran

Document: “Standard”

By Parsi, Auguste 2000

Quote from the original document:

Most of my work experience has pertained to politics, government affairs and communication. I have worked in the United States Congress as a political advisor to Congressman Robert Ney of Ohio, formulating and marketing his position vis-à-vis Iran. My job at his office was to point out to him the benefits of engagement with Iran and persuade him to change his position to favor such a policy. This task was successfully accomplished and Congressman Ney are today one of Capitol Hill’s most outspoken advocates of dialogue with Iran.”

______________________________________________________________

Another version of Parsi’s CV – This time he served Bob Ney after 2001

Document: WWC Coverletter

He writes:  (September 2005)

Quote from the original document:

“I believe that my background in policy making makes me particularly suitable for this project. I have served as a Foreign Policy Advisor to Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) on a part-time basis since 2001. My work on Capitol Hill has primarily been focused on US-Iran relations and nuclear non-proliferation.”

_______________________________________________________________________

Parsi describes his success to change Bob Ney’s position toward Iran

document: “Statement of purpos”

December 2000, written by Parsi

Quote from the original document:

“In 1997, I worked as policy advisor on MidEastern issues to Congressman Robert Ney of Ohio. My job was to reformulate Ney’s position vis-à-vis Iran. At the time, Ney was a supporter of the Clinton Administration’s isolation policy of Iran. By identifying the long-term strategic necessity of befriending Iran and showing how such a policy should be pursued, I was successful in convincing Ney to alter his position. In 1997, he became one of the first Congressmen to propagate dialogue with Tehran. Ever since, I have continued to act as his advisor and in early September 2000, I was invited to accompany him at the Conference on Dialogue Among Civilizations held at the UN.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Parsi’s lobby in the US congress was coordinated with Bob Ney

Document: Include Iran on FY 2001 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

Date: 5.29.2000

Parsi wrote to Bob Ney:

Quote from the original document:

“Thank you for the conversation we had on the phone just now. Below you will find a first draft of a letter we plan to send out to our members and Iranian-American webpages. We would appreciate if you gave comments on what else could be included in or excluded from the letter.

We are mostly interested in comments regarding the amendment itself, and perhaps arguments you wish to emphasize.

We would also appreciate if we could continue this communication so that we can adapt our activities to the developments in Congress.

At this stage, we believe that a fax/telephone/letter/email campaign will be more effective than a petition. But if you believe that a petition would be useful, we can launch one over the net.”