U.S. Senators: NIAC Must Be Investigated
On January 14, 2020, three U.S senators, Mike Braun, Ted Cruz, and Tom Cotton called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a lobby organization close to the Intelligent Service of the Iranian regime and Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif.
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) January 14, 2020
Calling for the investigation of the NIAC and its sister organization, NIAC Action, for potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), the US senators sent a letter to the Attorney General William Barr.
Senators statement reads:
“NIAC’s innocuous public branding masks troubling behavior. For example, on December 31, NIAC circulated an email memorandum blaming the United States government for Iranian-backed militias’ repeated attacks against U.S. forces in IRAQ and brazen attempt to storm the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. On January 9, NIAC and NIAC Action staffers tweeted and retweeted conspiracy theories deflecting blame from the Iranian regime for shooting down a Ukrainian civilian airliner, killing 176 individuals.”
Mentioning the actions of NIAC and its relationship with the ayatollahs in Iran, senators added:
“These disturbing actions are only the latest developments of this nature. NIAC’s relationship with the Iranian regime and its role amplifying regime propaganda in the United States have been the subject of discussion in Washington D.C. for years.”
During the discovery process of a 2008 defamation lawsuit filed by NIAC, it came to light that NIAC’s Swedish-Iranian founder, Trita Parsi, had arranged meetings between Javad Zarif, Iran’s former ambassador to the United Nations and current foreign minister, and members of Congress.
What is NIAC?
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is a Washington-based lobbying organization that was founded by its president Trita Parsi in 2002. NIAC lobbies for a favorable policy toward the fascist dictatorial regime ruling Iran and opposes economic sanctions against this regime. NIAC maintains an active presence in Washington D.C., particularly working to influence members of Congress and the White House on their opinions about Iran. While even state-run media in Tehran call NIAC the “Iran lobby in the US”, this organization, despite its extensive activities, which certainly constitute lobbying for Tehran, has not registered as a foreign agent. This is a clear violation of federal law, Foreign Agents Registration Act and lobbying disclosure laws.
The fact that NIAC has an active and supportive relationship with top Iranian officials, in particular, Javad Zarif, indicates that the Washington, D.C. lobbying group is quite deliberately aligning with the policies of the Iranian regime and representing Tehran’s core interests in Washington. Therefore, this Iranian regime lobbying group must be investigated and registered as a foreign agent, the necessity that the US senators are emphasizing on it today.