MEK: Iran’s ‘Foreign Agent’
Kaveh Afrasiabi, a political scientist accused of functioning as a “foreign agent” for Iran by the US, feels the case against him is simply political, having been initiated against him in the final hours of Trump’s presidency.
Consultant to Iran’s UN mission
According to Afrasiabi, the US was aware of his “completely legitimate” conduct as a consultant to Iran’s UN mission for over a decade, according to the US lawsuit.
In January, US federal prosecutors sought the political scientist, who has written two books and numerous pieces for major media publications such as The New York Times and The Huffington Post.
Afrasiabi got $260,000 from the Iranian government
In January, Afrasiabi was temporarily detained on suspicion of breaching the infamous Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Prosecutors claim Afrasiabi got $260,000 from the Iranian government through its UN mission and disseminated “propaganda” on its behalf.
A US attorney presented the court with a collection of 33,000 recordings of Afrasiabi’s private phone calls, revealing that the political scientist was the target of a major surveillance campaign.
He was a “foreign agent” for years
The author, on the other hand, believes he has been the victim of political maneuvering, and that the timing of the charges in the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency implies it was part of Washington’s “maximum pressure strategy” against Iran. According to Afrasiabi, the evidence against him “in many ways has to do with the hostility between the US and Iran.”
If his work was illegal, he claimed, the US Department of Justice could have required him to register as a “foreign agent” years ago, as it had done with other people and companies.
He was trying to bring the US and Iran closer together
Afrasiabi told RT that his “slew of publications” spoke for themselves and that his years of work have been completely focused on “trying to bring the US and Iran closer together and bridge the differences.”
In keeping with his Iranian-American identity, the dual citizen sees himself as an “agent of peace” who “never shied away from criticizing Iran” and is “nobody’s agent.”
He received orders from the Iranian government
Afrasiabi disputes the claims, claiming that he received no orders from the Iranian government and that he did not manufacture “propaganda” on its behalf.
“If the US is going to be fair about it, it needs to look objectively at my record of publications and see that there isn’t a single iota of propaganda,” he said.
The major Iranian expatriate opposition
According to the author, he has been targeted by various parties who have attempted to profit from the US prosecution against him. Afrasiabi claims that the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), the major Iranian expatriate opposition organization, has harassed him.
“I’m concerned about the political consequences of this case. Some opposition groups outside of Iran have taken advantage of this and falsely accused me of smearing them, for example, the MEK. In fact, I have never mentioned them in any of my articles or books,” he said.
The case’s evident political motivations
Despite the case’s evident political motivations, Afrasiabi believes he will be acquitted, based on his previous legal experience in the United States.
“I have faith in the American justice system because this is the fifth time in the last 25 years that I’ve been charged with a frivolous crime, and I believe that many of them were motivated by political goals. And I was able to prove my innocence in court in each episode,” he said.
Tags: Disinformation by MOIS, Disinformation Campaign, Iran Lobby, Iran Opposition, MEK, Mujahedin-e Khalq, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), People's Mojahedin organization of Iran, PMOI