What should we talk about?

Tying improved relations to Iranian respect for human rights


What should we talk about?
by Trita Parsi

The human rights situation in Iran is getting drastically worse. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch report that executions in Iran - including instances of stoning - have sharply increased under in the last few years. In addition, using the Bush administration's Iran Democracy Fund as a pretext, Iranian authorities have clamped down on Iran's civil society with thousands of arrests.

As Washington’s foreign policy elite is concluding that negotiations with Tehran lie in America’s strategic interest, it is also important to recognize that it lies in the US’s long-term interest to make any improvements in relations with Iran contingent upon Tehran’s adherence to the UN human rights deceleration.

This approach will enable Washington to develop a stake in Iran's future and ultimate stability, but not a stake in the survival of the Iranian theocracy.

This argument was developed in greater detail in my op:ed in the

Philadelphia Inquirer earlier this week:

Bush administration has fueled the human-rights abuses in Iran

The Bush administration's apparent disregard for the expressed wishes of Iranian human-rights defenders has made a bad situation worse. When it comes to human rights in the Middle East, the Bush administration has claimed to walk the walk. But that walk clearly has a limp.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch report that executions in Iran - including instances of stoning - have sharply increased under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In addition, using the Bush administration's Iran Democracy Fund as a pretext, Iranian authorities have clamped down on Iran's civil society with thousands of arrests.

The $75 million Iran Democracy Fund, first appropriated in 2006, was reappropriated in December despite loud protests by human rights and democracy champions. Human rights workers argue that this "regime change slush fund" has facilitated the Ahmadinejad government's latest wave of abuses.

Washington has dismissed these protests, putting Iranian human-rights defenders in a double bind. While they recognize that the absence of diplomacy between Washington and Tehran - and the ensuing tensions - enable the Iranian government to intensify human-rights abuses, activists also fear that U.S.-Iran talks might result in a relationship that mirrors America's relationship with Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Iran under the shah. That is, one in which geopolitical objectives trump concerns about human rights and democracy.

There is a solution to this dilemma.

Washington must restore its own standing on human rights, and put the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran on the table in its discussions with Tehran.

A foreign policy contingent on human rights will create a balance between America's relationship with the people of Iran and its relationship with Iran's unpopular government.

The value of this relationship will yield great strategic objectives for the United States. Namely, any resulting improvements in the U.S. relationship with Iran will be sustainable, rather than tied to the survival of the current regime.

By tying improved relations to Iranian respect for human rights, Washington will develop a stake in Iran's future and ultimate stability, but not a stake in the survival of the Iranian theocracy.

Past foreign policy efforts in the Middle East - namely with America's Arab allies - have failed in this regard. While Arab governments support the American order, Arab streets blame the United States for prolonging the reigns of the dictators who rule them. Unsurprisingly, this creates a dangerous breeding ground for anti-American sentiments and terrorism.

Making Iran's human rights record a condition of gradual improvement of U.S.-Iran relations would help reduce tensions between the two countries without alienating the Iranian people and undermining America's soft power in Iran.

The next president of the United States must recognize the necessity of reducing tensions with Tehran through diplomacy. Fortunately, this strategic goal can be achieved without getting stuck with the theocracy.

Trita Parsi is president of the National Iranian American Council in Washington, D.C. and author of Treacherous Alliance - The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the United States.


Recently by Trita ParsiCommentsDate
Bibi’s Three Steps Forward, One Back
Oct 13, 2012
Mistaken Path
Jun 22, 2012
Give Obama Elbow Room on Iran
Jun 15, 2012
more from Trita Parsi

Re: I like to know

by Mehdi on

You can find out a lot about him by following the links at the bottom of this article.


I like to know

by mrclass on

who is this guy trita parsi? what is his background? what does he do to make a living? what makes him an expert on Iran? is he like kinzer now, over night expert on Iran?


"What we don't want is the

by Bird flu (not verified) on

"What we don't want is the Mullah's carpet Bagger lobbyists to be among us trying to pull wool over our eyes!"

very true!

Here is an interesting piece on futility of trade and normalization with tyrannical governments:

..."Trade can be used to build and support democracy, but not in a 'free trade' without any strings attached concept. Trade for the sake of trade ends up supporting tyrannies and democracies *both* and gives no incentive to move towards democracy as it showers its benefits equally. What can be done is to deny trade to authoritarian or tyrannical governments and deny them the benefits of trade with us. Some will point out that this allows other Nations to step in and gain benefits of such trade. That is correct, they gain monetary benefit. Our benefit is holding that self-government from consent of the governed via Liberty and Freedom gives valid income, while that garnered from tyrannical systems is a form of mollification of populations with goods so that we may profit and that government have no reason to wish to change to something more representative. Profit garnered from those under repressive regimes ensures that those regimes have no incentive to ever become less repressive. We gain by the suffering of others when we give such support and we lessen our Universal message of Liberty and Freedom via representative democracy with republican government.

That system has worked so well in the Middle East and China that they remain just about where they were when we started trading with them! And such profit was garnered for ourselves... and so much repression and suffering caused to give us such funds that we should be ashamed to even think of ourselves as supporting Freedom and Liberty as a concept. This has had bi-partisan support for decades, and has yielded the ugly thing that is transnationalism that seeks to destroy Nations and end Freedom and Liberty for all of mankind in its various, noxious forms. Of course we also hear that capitalism is the beneficent creation of mankind that will instantly bring about liberty and freedom, just don't mind the fact that capitalism is an economic system that has found itself at home in such places as Germany under the Kaiser and, later, the National Socialists, and even in such places as Argentina under Carlos Menem who, while being 'pro-US' helped Hezbollah to get a nice foothold in South America that spreads to this very day. China's crony capitalism of today has created horrific working conditions, low standards of quality for industrial output and, by having a banking system that will not hold anyone accountable for bad debts if it suits the political power structure, now bases most of its production on unsupported debt. If capitalism were so benign we would not need things like anti-monopoly laws and child labor laws now would we? Or is it that capitalism held under a representative democracy in a republic can aid liberty and freedom, so long as its abuses are kept in check by the laws made by the People?...



NIAC is doing a great job

by Mehdi on

Resolving the aparent issues between IRI and US is the most valuable purpose any Iranian activist could have. This apparent fight between the two governments is costing us and also the American people a lot and it has no benefit. This apparent fight actually enforces an environment of oppression in Iran, as well as in the US! Iranian people have no fight with American people. Iranians love America and American people love Iranian culture. But there are those who see profit in starting and maintaining a fighet between the two nations, through the governmemt who don't even truly represent either people! If this fake fight was to be resolved, the condition in both countries would improve significantly. If you can envision it, many problems will disappear with an improved relationship between the two governments.


To All those NIAC & Trita Lovers

by Yari (not verified) on

Please ask him if he and NIAC is willing to denounce the Mullah's regime. Look! Mullah hands are up to their elbow soiled with innocent Iranian blood. There is no way Iranian people will compromise with these killers.

Let him and NIAC state their stand and then we will talk. By the way not all people who oppose these people are Shaholahi, Neo con, Israel Lobby, MKO or anything. Most Iranians are for Freedom, Democracy and secular government, based on Iranian peoples vote under the watch of International community and United Nations.

If some of you bother to read the ORIGINAL 1906 IRANIAN CONSTITUTION you will note there is no mention of Monarchy ruling Iran! Our forefathers were truly after Democracy. How it was derailed, look at the Mullah's to answer you this question!

Even Reza Shah had sworn to the original constitution and was willing to be the first President of Iran. But, Mullah's changed all of that with the advise from their bosses, HER MAJESTYS GOVERNMENT.

What we don't want is the Mullah's carpet Bagger lobbyists to be among us trying to pull wool over our eyes!


Let's see what the Shahollahis were doing at the Columbia visit

by Anonymous8 (not verified) on

This is what was "advised" by the neocon "Foundation for Democracy for Iran" to do during the visit: //www.iran.org/

STUDENTS ATTENDING THE AHMADINEJAD SPEECH: HERE are a few suggestions of "how to behave" with Ahmadinejad from the Yari National Group:

1. If you know of a streaker....

2. Female students who are attending, please dress as little as it is possible to dress, expose much of your body.

3. Have pages of "Satanic Verses" by author, Salman Rushdie re-printed and give it as handout/gift to his entourage attending his speech.

4. Female students, remember 1970's women's liberation Movement? Please do burn your bra's front of Mr. Ahmadi Nejad! This action will be in support for your bonded sisters in Iran who are constantly being beaten, tortured and imprisoned for requesting equal rights with men.

5. All of you try your best to shake hands with Ahmadi Nejad. Specially the female students. This action will also break his fasting and will bring major protest from his Mullah Bosses in Iran.

Please try to do your best to make it very uncomfortable while he is among you. Show him what true democracy is all about.



Who attended Ahmadinejad Eftariyeh (Lunch) in NYC?

by Any one else (not verified) on

Wonder who was present when there was an Eftariyeh (Late Lunch) that was present with Ahmadinejad in New York City when he was there?

What for? He is the Champion of Human Rights? Why would any Iranian-American Organization be there?

We just want to know who was attending that Efftariyeh with Ahmadi Jan!

Will you do us the honores to tell us?


Dear Anonymouse: I don't

by bird flu (not verified) on

Dear Anonymouse:

I don't have a monopoly on truth. As I said before, I'm trying to understand NIAC's political point of view, which Mr. Trita Paris represents. Mr. Parsi claims that a "grand bargain" is the panacea to resolve the outstanding issues between the US/West and Islamic Republic. So far, Mr. Parsi has not elaborated convincingly on accompolishing such a feet through giving the IR the security guarantees they need. Let's open the discussion the grand bargain strategy from all angles (political perspectives) with analyzing different scenarios backed by facts not opinions and also the positive and negative consequences; both for Islamic Republic and the US. Is it even feasible now that the reformists are emasculated by the hardliners? And if at the end, the grand bargain is the most reasonable action, then, great!!! What do we have to lose by discussing this topic???


Ok bird flu.

by Anonymouse on

Tow dorost migi. You got me.


RE: Anonymouse The False

by bird flu (not verified) on

RE: Anonymouse

The False Analogy is one of the most common propaganda techniques used. It is especially useful in the field of statistics, politics and advertising.

In a false analogy, two concepts or events are associated with each other without any specific evidence indicating an interactive relationship.

Fox News is one of the great perpetrators of false analogies.

The reformists cannot win based on the facts, so they resort to inflammatory rhetoric and illogical/conflationary analogies which twist the facts (propaganda) in an attempt to wear down the resolve of those defending other visions for future IRan.

Trita Parsi and his cohorts are prescribing "correct foreign policy" solutions and they are influencing the Democratic Left and some other naive Senators and Congressman including human rights activists. How could they claim that they are not a Political entity?

What makes their prescription the right solution? (see grand bargain strategy)

What gives them the right and based on what kind of authority or refernadum or free election they posit "correct solutions" to Iran and US problems in the US political arena? Who has determined this "correctness of their "solution"???

Trita Parsi's interview with Democracy Now, Feb. 26, 2007: //www.democracynow.org/2007/2/26/ex_congressi...

The Grand Bargain, American Iranian Council: //www.american-iranian.org/pubs/articles/The_...

The Council on Foreign Relations Task Force Report on Iran 2004, (p. 29) //www.cfr.org/content/publications/attachment...


Do we support the national football team in World Cup?

by Anonymouse on

When Iran goes to World Cup, do we not support the team because supporting them means supporting reformists in Iran?

When Hossein Rezazadeh from Iran becomes 2-time Olympic gold medal winner for heavy weight division, do we not support him because supporting him means supporting IRI?

When Children Of Heaven gets nominated for Oscar do we not support them because supporting them means supporting IRI?

When Shirin Ebadi wins the Nobel peace prize, do we not support her because supporting her means supporting IRI?

 I guess the answer to these questions is yes for some and no for others.  Mind you this is just one test.  How many answer yes and how many answer no.


Is NIAC an authentic grass

by bird flu1 (not verified) on

Is NIAC an authentic grass roots organization, as Parsi claims? It’s hard to know. Or is NIAC the pet project of a handful of wealthy Iranian donors, who may be promoting their own business interest in resumed trade with Iran? We will never know.

What's indisputable is that according to Mr. Parsi’s voluminous public statements and essays, NIAC’s agenda dovetails with the reformers in Iran.

If you support reformers in Iran then you should support NIAC.

Bear in mind, If you support reformers in Iran then you're also supporting the Islamic Republic's Constitution.

Those who don't support the reformers or the Islamic Republic need to establish and organize their own Iranian-American advocacy group. There are thousands of wealthy Iranians who can get this project off the ground...Mayor of Beverly Hills in Los Angeles is an Iranian who is also a philantropist and can help you in this endeavor. Until then, you can't really fight the damaging political influence that this organization has had in deceiving and confusing U.S. politicians and apolitical Iranian-Americans.

Get organized or die!!!


dear WOW: you don't understand the fascist mindset

by Q on

It goes like this:

You say X, the IRI says X, therefore, you = IRI. See? No thinking required.

Which logically leads to a couple of simple equatios:
1) anyone here advocating AGAINST dialogue with Iran = MEK.

2) anyone criticizing Ahmadinejad = Pro Bombing Iran.

But the most fanatical among them go one step further. It's :

The IRI says X. If you don't specifically denounce X, that means you = IRI.

which should easily lead to:

Everyone here is a communist and Nazi because they spend ALL their time talking about IRI but NEVER against Hitler or Stalin.


If you DON'T hate trains that means you are a Nazi because Hitler loved trains.

You must be new to the game. I'm helping to teach you! ;)


Trita: don't change a thing, we love you

by Q on

Dr. Parsi, honestly, what you are witnessing is the last breaths of overweight dinasaurs of Iranians history.

Is your organization which has its own membership, board and fundraising supposed to even honor any random coward who shows up and says "you must do X or Y or else you are IRI"? I don't think so.

My response would be F#$ U! This is the kind of "loyalty test" that any fanatical regime puts in place, including the IRI. It's just as absurd. These idiots don't see the fanatics within themselves. The only thing that makes them different than an angry religious mob is that they don't even have the numbers.

The hypocrisy and selfishness of some people around here is mind-boggling. They accuse NIAC or CASMII of not representing the Iranian community. How are they sure of this? Because they are under the idiotic delusion that they themselves represent the community, know what's best for "Iran" and have the audacity to draw up some bullshit "litmus test" for Iranian organizations. That's what they think, they are not even aware of it. It's sub-conscious, they see themselves as representing the people of Iran.

They do not represent anyone but their own rugstores and restaurants and crappy TV stations. Mr. Parsi, for years and years I witnessed group after group try to "represent" the Iranian community. None succeeded because of a tiny insignificant, but vocal minority whose "might makes right" and "black and white" conception of politics relegates them to the exact replica of the worst Islamic fanatics. They are a joke of history.

You and NIAC have really done it the right way. The only way it's going to work is if you do your own thing, go after the young people and let others come to you if they like your activities. In the process you have to ignore this corrupt element that has hurt this community for over 30 years, keeping it frozen in time in the late 70's. These people are not interested in peace. This near-war situation is exactly what they crave. It's what gives them their significance in life. You can't reason with them. They don't tolerate any decent.

They are a dying breed. We should let them die quietly so the rest of us can move on.


Jamshid Jan

by WOW (not verified) on

This is what I know about NIAC, and I got this information by doing basic research. It took all of two hours to get this information:

1 - NIAC asks their membership to vote (primaries, whatever). They try to educate the membership and the greater Iranian American community about the American political system and process.

2 - Fight for the image of Iranian Americans. Here is an example that I found: //kamangir.net/2007/09/06/do-not-panic-you-ar...
Here is another example: //www.newsbusters.org/blogs/lynn-davidson/200...

The second link was sent to me by my mom. She actually made me aware of NIAC. She is still pissed off about Not Without My Daughter, and not because of the wife beating doctor, but because of the goosfand right outside the airport. :)

3 - Working to save our grandmothers from those bombs that we were talking about before. A huge undertaking for an 8 person crew I think. But, Titra is making inroads on Capital Hill because of the book he wrote, which in the end helps us out. A good book by the way. Worth a read.

4 - Human rights. They just started going down this track. A letter was sent out to NIAC's membership asking them if NIAC should get into the human rights debate and at what level. For example, should they just condemn human rights abuses, or should they lobby capital hill on Iran's human rights abuses? By the way, I think Titra is using this site as a venue to test the waters for #4.

I'd say they're on their way given the definitions that you posted earlier. And their financial information is posted right on the NIAC website. Check it out.

Given the above information, the arguments that are being posted on this thread don't make sense to me. Just because dialog is being advocated, it doesn't mean NIAC is getting its marching orders from Tehran. At this juncture, NIAC is saying that if there is going to be "dialog", then let's set human rights as a condition for bettering our relationship with Iran. We don't want our country, the United States, to back another dictatorship. We saw the results of it the last time around.

So, can you please help me understand why so many people are ranting? NIAC is doing or is starting to do (once again, with only 8 people) everything that you want. What am I missing here?


Re: W.O.W: it won't work

by jamshid on

You are using a common fallacy, perhaps unintentionally, when you say "I wonder if Dr. Parsi would have gotten a better reception on this site had he advocated confrontation with Iran..."

The answer is NO, he would not have gotten a better reception. The fallacy is in implying that any voice against the IRI is automatically a voice in favor of war and sanctions. The IRI is using this deception to confuse, deceive and ultimately persecute Iranians who oppose the IRI.

It won't work.

NIAC could have gotten a better reception if it did, not one, but both of the following:

1. Oppose wars and sanctions, AND,

2. Oppose IRI's violation of human rights in Iran, as well as IRI's economical sanctions against the population of Iran.

This is what the majority of Iranians want.

Those who cheer one and not the other are suspicious. Both are required to gain Iranians' trust who are rightfully very suspicious when it comes to politics.


you are disqualified ! (to masoudA)

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

masoudA says: "just another couple of young Iranians forcefuly assuming positions they don't qualify for !! "

Masoud, you don't qualify to disqualify Trita. You may have forgotten your articles such as:

but we haven't. Do you remember how strongly you were advocating the war with Iran?
You are up to no good for Iranians, Americans and particularly Iranian-Americans.


Let's bomb our grandmothers! Yeah!

by WOW (not verified) on

I wonder if Dr. Parsi would have gotten a better reception on this site had he advocated confrontation with Iran. Would you all be cheering him on while bombs fell on your grandmothers? Comon now, admit it, you didn't like that old $!&@! anyway. Unbelievable!



by Nadias on

NIAC is trying to make a difference within the Iranian community and they are being torn to shreds on this thread.

Solh va Doosti (paz a vosotros)



Funny !!

by masoudA on

This particular thread further shows the incompedency and lack of experience of a couple of young NBIAC members - only one of whom may/could have good intentions towards Iran.  

This very thread - has been a propaganda effort on the part of fake-lived Trita Parsi - whose last intention is to finaly reach out and communicate with Iranian Americans.  

Are you kidding with your sudden interest in human rights ?  what do you trhink you are dealing with here - the Omat in Iran ?   The very constitution of the SIlamic Republic is gainst the 30 articles of huan rights, based on which the post WW2 world order was established - yet you and NIAC have never had a simple comment on that.  No my daring young hamvatans - you are in  fact victims yourselves - just another couple of young Iranians forcefuly assuming positions they don't qualify for !!  Just like all other Islamic managers - you take the unwarranted jobs and study for it later while on the job !!!

 If You boyz wish to know what it is that you can do to help Iran - then just ask so - and follow - you certainly are too raw to lead.     


Funny !!

by masoudA on

This particular thread further shows the incompedency and lack of experience of a couple of young NBIAC members - only one of whom may/could have good intentions towards Iran.  

This very thread - has been a propaganda effort on the part of fake-lived Trita Parsi - whose last intention is to finaly reach out and communicate with Iranian Americans.  

Are you kidding with your sudden interest in human rights ?  what do you trhink you are dealing with here - the Omat in Iran ?   The very constitution of the SIlamic Republic is gainst the 30 articles of huan rights, based on which the post WW2 world order was established - yet you and NIAC have never had a simple comment on that.  No my daring young hamvatans - you are in  fact victims yourselves - just another couple of young Iranians forcefuly assuming positions they don't qualify for !!  Just like all other Islamic managers - you take the unwarranted jobs and study for it later while on the job !!!

 If You boyz wish to know what it is that you can do to help Iran - then just ask so - and follow - you certainly are too raw to lead.     


Following some commenters'

by bird flu1 (not verified) on

Following some commenters' logic, Iranians are to submit and comply with the existing tyranny, incompetence, and ineptitude in the governance of their country because??? we are a powerless, easily bullied, and defeated people that have no choice but to endure their misfortune and torment???

The promise that is Iran has been stifled by political oppression and economic stagnation and incompetence/corruption of the IR leadership . For almost 3 decades, we have been ruled by a theocratical dictatorship. For the past 31/2 years, we have been challenged by a belligerent and warmongering hardliners on both sides of the equation. These are not ordinary times, and they require extraordinary solutions.

Any decent voice of Iranian community should want to present the future of Iran. It might want to also envision the future of a modern Iran, a future that has no place in it for ignorance, dangerous warmongering, false bravado, suicidal hubris, religious extremism, intolerance, eye-gouging, stoning, and terrorism.

Iranian expats should not acquiesce to tyrrany but lead the fight against it.


NIAC rules. All others loose.

by Anonymouse on

What is this? you are either with us or against us? that again?  Come on.  I am not a part of NIAC but have followed them and found them to be a credible lobby group for Iranians in US.  Those who can't see this basic idea are just jealous and good for nothing.

Denounce IRI or you are IRI agent?  Did US apologize for atrocities against blacks?  One or two politicians did, but so what?  Denouncing mullahs is not a big deal.  Criticizing mullahs is simple.  What is hard about it?  Again, you found masturbation and want to tell you daddy what you found?  This isn't new.

NIAC is about recognizing Iranians AND Iran as we know it today and denouncing war against Iran as we know it today.  We can't even handle a free lobby and then complain about Israeli lobby. Is Maz Jobrani an IRI agent? He was a speaker for NIAC and so are so many other Iranians.  Good Iranians.

Now go and tear your yagheh (collar).


Announce your position (NIAC) and set yourselves free

by aaj sr (not verified) on

Dear Trita, and Talebi:
The questions brought to your attention by JAMSHID, FARHAD, AND ANONYMOUSE4 NOW here, are very ligitimate and all Iranain regardless of their background, ethnicities want to know your answers and where you are standing in these very important issues. You do not have to be a "politician", "opposition" or "human rights activists", but denoucing 30 years of atrocities is duty of all human beings regardless of their nationalities, therefore once for all, come forward and support international cry for respect of human rights, human dignity or otherwise do not considered yourselves as representative of Iranian-American. As a matter of fact if you do not denouce IRI for their inhuman, injustice, inequality, you are considered enemy of Iran and Iranian people.
The choice is yours.

This statement and your response (even if you do not responde) will stay part of your portfolio among all Iranain forever.

p.s. Please be straight forward on your response, and do not play with words like politician.


Anonymous for now: Thank

by bird flu (not verified) on

Anonymous for now:

Thank you. All are compelling questions that need to be answered by not only NIAC but by those who support reformers in Iran, including the "realists" like Baker, Gary Sick, Abbas Milani, CFR, etc.

How is this grand bragain going to change the regime's habitual stealings of the national wealth and limited resources? How on earth normalization with the US change the Islamic Republic's ineptitude/incapacity in running a country the size of Iran?


NIAC's and CASMII's echoing

by bird flu (not verified) on

NIAC's and CASMII's echoing of the Islamic Republic's perspectives is indesputable. As though, they receive their talking points from the same source. Or is it Freudian slip kind of projection/channeling those whom you recognize as "legitimate".

P.S. If NIAC is not a political organization then why feverishly lobby for a "Grand Bargain" with the mullahs???


Good analysis Jamshid and Farhad

by Anonymous4now on

Mr. Parsi and Mr. Talebi:   You claim: “our community is in no shape to come to a monolithic opinion on things”   

So please, try and be that unifying force to make us “come to a monolithic opinion on things”. 

Try and convince us instead of calling us names:  

among the profanity-laden, victimization-mentality, and fantasy-based comments on this thread”   


Tell us how the U.S. normalization of relations with IRI will make the Iraninan economy better.  Currently about 40% of the oil revenue is distributed amongst 12 Bonyaads whose employees are the baaj girs of this regime (khodies), on whose shoulders the regime rides and oppresses the 85% naakhodies.  An untold amount of money is being spent on supporting Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations and on maintaining paasdar and basij security forces to suppress dissent.        How would this economy infrastructure, or lack thereof, improve in favor of Iranians?   


How would the human rights abuses, the torturing and the killing, public stoning and hangings, cutting limbs and gouging eyes, stop as a result of normalization?  What is the mechanism in your mind that would facilitate this change of character in the IRI monstrosity?   


How would the plight of Women and minorities (both religious and ethnic) change?     


How would the situation for students who, idealistically, want freedom of thought and expression change?    


How would the situation change for the young who get lashed for having parties in the privacy of their own homes?   

 If you can answer and argue these questions satisfactorily, then I think most people here and elsewhere in the Iranian communities will be convinced that you are right.   


I have one other question from you, and that is, after 30 years of breaking international law, taking hostages, aiding and abetting terrorism, humiliating the lone super power in the world, having U.S. flags on the grounds of schools so kids step over it, chanting death to America slogans, why is it not expected of the IRI to extend the olive branch, if indeed it wants to display a change of heart and express good intentions, to concede to normalization conditions, and incumbent on the U.S. to enter negotiations, unconditionally? Are you with the IA community or for the IRI welfare?


A founding father speaks

by Fred on

One of the self admitting founding fathers of NIAC has finally found time, albeit selectively, to engage the Iranian American community or as he puts it the” IA” in a sort of a dialog/ monologue in place of their normal dictating monologue. Just crosschecking the adjectives that he uses to describe the monarchists and MEK, as unpalatable as they might be, with those that the Islamist Republic routinely employs poses a fundamental question. Why it that NIAC/CASMII takes the same position even uses the same language in describing the opposition to the Islamist Republic?

Darius Kadivar

Food for Thought ... and Talk ...

by Darius Kadivar on


Iran / Death penalty 

New death sentences for political activists


Iran / Death penalty

New death sentences for political activists

FIDH and LDDHI express their utmost concern at the recent condemnation to death of three Kurdish activists by an Iranian revolutionary tribunal.

Farzad Kamangar, teacher and member of the Kamyaran teacher’s association (in the Kurdish province in North West of Iran), was also an active member of a local human rights organization banned by the government. Farhad Vakili was an employee in the Ministry of Agriculture in Sanandaj and Ali Heydarian was a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Farzad Kamangar was arrested in July 2006 in Tehran. Farzad Kamangar was held in a secret place, where he has reportedly been violently tortured; he was notably beaten - in particular on the sensitive parts -, insulted and subjected to electric chocks of which he still has after-effects today. He was then transferred to the Evin prison, in the infamous section 209, reserved to political prisoners, and then to the Sanandaj prison. He was held incommunicado for nearly eight months, without access to a lawyer, without any contact with his relatives, even by phone.

He has reportedly been subjected on several occasions to acts of torture during this period. He was then transferred to the Evin prison again and appeared before a revolutionary tribunal in May 2007. Since November 2007, he is held in Rajay Shahr high security prison, where dangerous criminals condemned for ordinary crimes are also being held.

The three men’s trial took place on January 31, 2008 behind closed doors; the defendants were assisted by lawyers. Accused of having collaborated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), they were sentenced to death. The sentence was notified to them on February 25. Their lawyers will appeal this sentence.

FIDH and LDDHI recall that the political activists belonging to ethnic minorities, notably Kurdish, are regularly accused of terrorism in Iran. They are condemned to heavy sentences after blatantly unfair trials.

FIDH and LDDHI call upon the Iranian authorities to conduct an independent and impartial inquiry into the allegations of torture against Farzad Kamangar, and to prosecute those responsible for such acts. They also call upon the Iranian courts to reject any confession obtained under torture, in accordance with international law, and in particular with Article 15 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Finally, they call upon the government to stop persecuting political activists under the guise of the fight against terrorism. The fight against terrorism can under no circumstance justify exceptions to the universally recognized principle of the absolute prohibition of torture.

FIDH and LDDHI ask the European Union, based on the Guidelines to EU policy towards third countries on torture on the one hand, and on the Guidelines to EU policy towards third countries on the death penalty on the other, to recall to the Islamic Republic of Iran its international obligations in these fields.

FIDH finally recalls that the UN Special Rapporteur against torture asked to visit Iran in 2005, request on which the Iranian authorities are yet to take action.




Re: NIAC's Babak Talebi

by jamshid on

With time, I have learnt that one way to peer into the honesty or dishonesty of an organization is to look for absence or presence of contradictions in its statements.

Mr. Talebi, you wrote, "I am not able to post on here more often because among the profanity-laden, victimization-mentality, and fantasy-based comments..."

Is NIAC so out of touch with the pessimistic American-Iranian community that it cannot recognize most of them fall in the category you just described in the above sentence? So is NIAC a grass root organization representing all American Iranians of all walks, or do you represent a few selected groups? If so, which groups?

You wrote, "NIAC is an American organization catering to the needs and interests of the Iranian-American community."

Fine. Then how does fighting against sanctions "caters to the needs of Iranian Americans" who are living here in the US? If it does in any ways, it is only because sanctions hurt our relatives living in Iran. Therefore, a more correct statement would be "NIAC caters to the needs of American-Iranian community by...  Fill in the blank with one of the following:

1. Protecting the interests of the Iranian people living in Iran, or

2. Protecting the interests of the IRI regime.

So which is it Mr. Talebi? 1 or 2? Let's analyze this.

If it is #1, then NIAC should also be speaking about the IRI's economical sanctions against the population of Iran, the human/women/minorities right abuses in Iran, the mismanagement of Iran's economy, and the rampant social problems that are hurting Iran. But NIAC is not talking about any of these.

If it is #2, then why don't you come out clean and just say it? This won't necessarily mean that NIAC will lose its reputation in the world, because you could always claim that NIAC members support a "reformed" version of the IRI.

You wrote, "(NIAC) is not an opposition Party. We have no interest in wading into the swampland that has been created by 30 years of MKO, monarchist, and leftist Iranian-based political entities..."

Why did you include all opposition entities while excluding the "IRI political entities" from the above sentence? Is it NIAC's opinion that the IRI has not contributed to this "swampland" more than any other entity?

You wrote, "NIAC as an organization is NOT an opposition political party. That's not our role, and that is not our mission..."

Then why is NIAC so much involved in the politics of Iran? Why is it not for example focusing on none-political issues facing the American Iranian community?

You wrote, "a vast voiceless majority, specially after having seen the devastation of Iraq and the lack of ANY progress with 30 years of sanctions and isolation, believes that we have to do something new."

Isn't this "something new" bound to be political? As an Iranian entity, once you exit the social service boundaries and you enter the political arena, which from the above statement it is clear that you already had, once you are politicized, then it is important to ALL Iranians to know if you are with the IRI or against it. Which one is it? For or against? If you want to say neutral AND be honest too, then stay out of politics. Don't get involved in politics and then say oh, but we are neutral about the IRI.

You wrote, "NIAC's ... advocacy is that in order to positively affect the lives of the people living in Iran and in order to create an atmosphere that will allow the country to reach democratic ideals, the US must engage Iran in direct unconditional dialogue "

Affect the lives of people living in Iran? Didn't you say that NIAC's mission is to "cater to the needs of the Iranian-American community"? It seems that your mission is to cater to the needs of Iranians living in Iran. So which one is it?

Mr. Talebi, there are simply too many contradictive and dishonest statements in your and in NIAC's statments. That is why many good Iranians are questioning NIAC's intentions and its position regarding the IRI regime.

But each time that NIAC is confronted with questions, it has failed to come out clean, and instead engaged in ambiguious arguments to justify NIAC's actions. If you exclude the pro-IRI individuals, the majority of the remaining American-Iranians have many legitimate suspicions about NIAC, its intentions and its relationship with the IRI.