Harman expresses Regret

Congresswoman retracts statement on dividing Iran

Washington, DC (NIAC) – The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) welcomes Rep. Jane Harman’s retraction and clarification of her statement regarding the “separation” of Iran’s ethnic groups and regret for the concern it caused. [See video of her talk at AIPAC meeting]

“I was not and am not calling for the creation of ethnic tensions or separation in Iran – nothing would be less productive,” said Harman in a statement to NIAC. “Although my comments on Iran were taken out of context, I regret any concern they might have caused.”

“My point was that the diversity of views in Iran should be better understood in order for the United States to formulate the best strategy for persuading the Iranian government not to pursue nuclear weapons development,” Harman added.

The controversy arose from statements Harman made during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual conference. While answering a question about how to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, Harman said “The Persian population in Iran is not a majority, it is a plurality. There are many different, diverse, and disagreeing populations inside Iran and an obvious strategy, which I believe is a very good strategy, is to separate those populations.”

NIAC initiated a campaign Tuesday seeking a retraction from the California Congresswoman. Discussions were held yesterday between NIAC and Harman’s office.

“This is an important statement from Rep. Harman,” said NIAC Chairman Reza Firouzbakht. “It makes clear that while there are many opinions about how to address the Iranian nuclear challenge, some options are simply not acceptable.”

NIAC President Trita Parsi welcomed the retraction and the Congresswoman’s expression of regret. “Though we take exception to the idea that the statement was taken out of context, the important thing is that Congresswoman Harman responded quickly to retract it and stated clearly that she opposes creating ethnic tensions in Iran. This is a testament both to the Congresswoman’s openness and to the increasing political engagement of the Iranian-American community.”


more from Javad Yassari

She is an AIPAC lackey

by Joe Banna (not verified) on

I cant believe this lady is a congresswoman from California. She has the Gall to call for Iran to be torn apart? I just wish that our representatives could think for themselves, rather than trying to appease the Israelis. She is a disgrace and an embarassment to all Californians.


BBC's Mullah

by Dariush (not verified) on

You said, Zionists, AIPAC, west, Jane Harman and ...... are not enemy and it is IRI who is responsible for all the problems.
Then, how do you explain all the crimes committed by these countries and groups in Iran and around the world in decades prior to IRI. They silenced everyone that wanted independence and democrocy for his/her country.

When you dismiss the reason above as you do and say IRI is OUR real enemy, it just shows where you are coming from.
Yes, "YOUR" real enemy is "ISLAMIC REPUBLIC".

As they say, what goes around comes around. You cannot terrorize the world and expect not to be terrorized.


Forces of Deception

by BBC's Mullahs (not verified) on

There are those jokers amongst us, con-artists really, who continue to deride this twit of a congresswoman -- as if the plight of the Iranian nation belongs at the door-step of this ignoramus in the US congress. Others with a more deceptive agenda cry for more NIAC support.

And then, there are those who fly on manufactured emotion and condemn her as a "zionist" or AIPAC stooge (a charge leveled at me several times by Arabized fascists, i.e., our homegrown Hezbollahis on this site).

And then, there are those, most of us actually, who just go along with the pack (herd mentality afflicts many of us) to the point that we exhaust our efforts in a short-sighted goal: the removal of this congressional twit from her 39h district.

What a joke!

I say, and with all due respect to those who merit respect, why don't we instead foucus our energies at removing a much bigger threat to the Iranian nation: the turbaned terrorists raping our tortured homeland. Why don't we try NOT to fall prey to the hezbollahi parasites and their propaganda machine, the NIAC, and instead focus our energies at freeing the Iranian people who have been held hostage for 30 years by the basijis and their masters, the mullahs, and their arbobs in London, Moscow and Bejing.

Please, mihan-parasts, do not be fooled by these con-artists who try very very hard to make "outsiders" our mortal enemies! Our REAL enemy is the regime INSIDE Iran, the barbaric theocracy created by the Indian mullah Khomeini, aka, Ayatollah BBC!

Our REAL enemy is the "Islamic Republic!"

Our REAL enemy is the BIGGEST THIEF in the long history of Iran, the categorically corrupt mullah Rafsanjani! Our REAL enemy is that pathetic taryaki, mullah Khamenei! Our REAL enemy is the system of Velayat-e-Faghigh!

Ultimately, our REAL enemy is Islam and the Arabian Trojan Horse, the Quran! Our enemy is NOT this jackass in the US congress, but rather, our homegrown Islamic fascists holding us hostage!!!


Niloufar Parsi

Payam jaan

by Niloufar Parsi on

yes, i understood where you were coming from, though i am only superficially familiar with works of the likes of Bakunin. Anarchism is totally misunderstood, and it does not help that many of its young, black-clad proponents spend their time on disruption rather than promotion or engagement. We need to move the discourse to mainstream, and the time is ripe.

My emphasis on 'direct democracy' (of the Rousseau school of thought) is that it keeps the focus on democracy and participation rather than 'revolution'. we all have a natural affinity for democracy, but it is under attack from corruption. not that corruption only affects democracy, but it is damaging it. and the result can be a rash rejection of the idea of democracy, while we should be looking at why and how the system starts to rot. we should understand that there are many different types of democracy, and that as technology improves, our options and possibilities for participation also improve.

i do not understand why in this day and age we still need to leave so much important decision-making in the hands of 'representatives'. at some level in fact, the very idea of 'representative democracy' is an abrogation of personal responsibility. surely, we can vote on issues that affect us from within our own homes on the internet. surely, the decision to go to war or raise/lower taxes or what to do with public funds should be made by the people themselves. if the web is secure enough for carrying out financial transactions, why can't we use it for voting too?



Let's Thank NIAC

by asefati on

Fellow Iranian Americans. Please support NIAC. They are the one that sent an official letter demanding the congresswoman to retract from her statement and that happend. NIAC also has worked hard to help Iranain Americans here in US from all legal prospectives and also has worked hard to prevent a war between US and Iran that would kill many of our friends and relatives back home.


39th distritct

by shirazie (not verified) on

she is rotten to the core.

My guess, her district has the largest Iranian concentration in USA - Santa Monica down to Long beach.

even writing off Jewish Iranian voters in west LA, Iranians should still be able to get ride of her next year.

Lets pull together and effect LA and USA politics - since we are stuck with Politicians for now


Thank you Niloufar Jaan!

by Payam S (not verified) on

Sure it is direct democracy. The reason I call it Anarchism is because of my familiarity with anarchist writings of Mikhail Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin. The definition of Anarchism is not the mainstream conception of chaos and disorder. In fact, an anarchist society is a highly-organized society in which the necessity for the state is diminished to null and the structures of authority are dismantled for the democratization of decision-making and, as you said, responsibility.

Another fact is that thousands of years ago when Plato and Aristotle were philosophizing about the Republic and the "philosopher kings", a philosopher named Zeno was in a polemic argument with plato and he criticized the idea of representative democracy and he proposed another idea which was An-archy (No State/Authority). Today in academia it is called "direct democracy". But most radical philosophers still refer to it as Anarchism.

You might be interested in the writings of Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Murray Bookchin, and David Graeber.




by Anonymous-zedeh censor (not verified) on

Why you guys wonder that she as an American or Israelis does not say a word of regret or apology? When one of us (A******d) did not regret and apologize for his outrageous statement and ignores his fellow Iranian's demand then we should not expect an apology from Herman either.
I hope JJ is nice enough to post my comment.



by BBC's Mullahs (not verified) on

Where exactly is the so-called "retraction?" The congresswoman seems to say that her statement was taken "out of context," so there is no REAL retraction here whatsoever!!!

But of course, that sham organization, the front pet project of the Mullahs -- the NIAC -- trips over its own inept and corrupt feet and claims victory!

What else do you expect from a de facto front organization for the most evil regime on the face of the planet?


Niloufar Parsi


by Niloufar Parsi on

forgive my assumption, but i would describe your comment there as superb rational for the merits of direct democracy as pitted against representative democracy. not much anarchy in that.

but whatever you call it, it sounds great. representative democracy is clearly corrupt. we should take charge. hold each other to account. it is actually more a responsibility than anything else. it is good and fair to criticise corrupt politicians. but what are we actually going to do about it? the system needs changing.



who is Ledeen

by Dariush (not verified) on

Truth seeker mentioned Michael Ledeen, I thought it would be helpful to know more about him.



We should not vote for her

by XerXes (not verified) on

We should not vote for her the next time she is running. She should get out. I don't accept her apology.

Fred, get a grip dude. NIAC stood with the rest of us. They did not do it alone but they sent our voice to them. Don't be a jerk and be happy that our voice was heard. That's more important than the hate everyone know you got. Look, we have heard you over and over and over, you really don't need to keep repeating yourself. Frankly, if you have noticed, not many people care for fanatic voices such as yours.


I doubt she herself knows what she was saying

by Anonymous77 (not verified) on

it all sounded like a recipe for leftover ash



by iyzad (not verified) on

your are a fool
I am not even part of NIAC
the video description has quotes from their people.

admin can check my IP, i am from Canada.

you are rather arrogant to make conclusions like that.

Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez

Sure she regrets it.....

by Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez on

She regrets saying it in public, where she was recorded. She still believes it and now we all know how twisted her thought process is.

She never apologized!

How did she get elected?!




truth seeker

by Dariush (not verified) on

You just spelled Jane Harman's statement in detail and gave it some possibility and even justification. You started with acting as if you are introducing AIPAC's agents and plans, but you actually propagated the same rhetoric to divide in a sneaky way.

Toppling the government as you advised at the end, will only make Iran vulnerable and help the enemy in dividing Iran due to lack of a central government and by giving false promises to different ethnic groups, just as they gave to other countries and ethnic groups. False promises that you portrayed as good.

Now it is clear for Iranians how their statements on sites like this can be used against Iran. Even using simple words such as Persian vs Iranian. This also shows that not everyone in Iran is fighting for freedom. Some are in fact agents and trying to create problems. That is why, I think giving freedom and human rights will fill the gap and unite all Iranians and the spies will stand out. Otherwise, government cannot separate them and a human rights activist will be punished as a spy, creating more unhappy citizens and division, which is AIPAC's original goal. I also mentioned before, those who demonstrate for human rights should at the same time use slogans showing they are not for west or Israel, in order to separate themselves from spies and traitors. This will only help their cause and Iran.

I think Jane Harman has a big mouth for such a small head and I smell rat in your writing.



by Anonymous-Aria (not verified) on

I don't see any word like apology or regret. She is accusing us of not understanding her and it is again insulting to us Iranians. shame on her again.


On congress men......

by Souri on

Mark Twain's quotations:

"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress." 

"A jay hasn’t got any more principle than a Congressman. A jay will lie, a jay
will steal, a jay will deceive, a jay will betray; and four times out
of five, a jay will go back on his solemnest promise."



by hamidbak on

I want to build a new country, where in it, the congress men and women won't be able to speak.  If they have anything to say, they have to put it on paper and submit it.

That way mouths won't be opened and shit won't just fly out so easily.



Retraction? Hardly! Just politics! KHARAMOON MIKHAD BEKONEH!

by gol-dust on

ARVAYEH NANASH! But she was caught on tape that she didn't know there were Iranians around! Next time she'll make sure there are no tapes to be wached by us! She is only DELETOONO KHOSH KARDEH! Devil! She is a politician after all! F...her!


For those who cry about NIAC not supporting Iran human rights

by Anonymous2323 (not verified) on

Just do yourselves a favour by educating yourselves of what NIAC is about and stop listening to propaganda for godsake.

go to their website and see their released statements on human rights violations in Iran.

There is a broad campaign by Israeli hawks and some Iranian exiles to discredit NIAC. STOP FALLING FOR IT PPL!!

Mola Nasredeen

Factsheet about Jane Harman

by Mola Nasredeen on

She has served as US congress woman for 36th district in California from 1993 to present. 

1. She voted for war with Iraq.

2. She voted for Bush administration's Warrantless Wiretap.

3. Israel Lobby, AIPAC pressured Nancy Pelosi to appoint Harman as chair of the The House Intelligence Committee but Pelosi did not.

4. She was investigated by FBI. //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Harman


hamsade ghadimi

that was no retraction

by hamsade ghadimi on

that's work of an unconscientious politician at work.  i listened to her talk and there was no ambiguity to what she said.  she wanted to exploit the ethnic differences of the iranian people so that they fight among themselves and eventually split up our beloved nation.  no one took her words out of context.  she plays to her audience whether it's AIPAC or NIAC.  this woman could court the KKK one day and court the NAACP the next without blinking an eye.  i believe she meant what she said in her speech to the AIPAC, and her apology to be insincere.

Nader Vanaki

این دفعه ضایع تر از قبل

Nader Vanaki

این حرفش از قبلی هم بی معنا تر



by AnonymousX (not verified) on

It is unethical and unfair for your organization to take full credit for Harman's retaraction.

There were many other organizations and individual Iranians with no affiliation to NIAC who contributed to this campaign.

Your effort was one drop among many others. Please refrain from taking credit for something you have not done alone.


Good Idea Shirazie! How bout this one!

by Payam S (not verified) on

Imagine if there were no STATES. No centralized governments, which would mean no military, no judges, lawyers, bored-ass harassing police, bureaucrats, technocrats, secret agents, heavy weapons, etc. Imagine if communities were organized locally and integrated through cooperative networks to completely by-pass the politicians and state officials. Imagine it was the people, not some super structure such as the state, who ran their own affairs and communities. Imagine if corporations did not have the backing of the state, its subsidies and its private property guards (police, military) and laws. Imagine, without it people could engage in voluntary association and free agreement rather than laws and obeying authority out of fear.

This way we wouldn't have politicians like this witch to propose fascist political and military ideas.

Modern states are a creation of the modern world system (global capitalism) to facilitate the safe and unrestricted accumulation of capital and exploitation of the world. It is a purely man made institution which is prone to alteration and, better yet, elimination.

Sure, I might sound like an Anarchist. But that's because I am.

Just a thought (though somewhat off-topic).

No Gods, No Masters.



by Iyzad (not verified) on

I am very pleased with this
I even wrote a letter to her when I saw the video.

Overall, had it not been for NIAC this person would have never understood the negative aura around her words.

Well done NIAC


Israel's Long Standing Plans for Iran

by truth seeker (not verified) on

4 years ago I warned that Israel was secretly planning Iran's break up. Iran is the only power in the region that is a viable "existential" threat to Israel. Harman was only spouting out information she was given in an AIPAC briefing ..of their real intentions for Iran... look at Michael Ledeen has said and other Israeli operators in the US.

See the article below:

Dividing Iran Israel’s response to Ahmadinejad

November 10 , 2005

Recently, there was a panel discussion held by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC, titled “The Unknown Iran” led by Mr. Michael Ledeen. These types of discussions occur routinely, but this was reminiscent of ‘pre-Iraq’ invasion panel discussion groups that focused on federalism and the role of various ethnic groups …in preparation for a post-invasion plan for Iraq. Also the very presence of Michael Ledeen provided an overall cloud of suspicion over the meeting’s topic and timing.
Michael Ledeen was the person who approached Shimon Perez (in Israel) to help Oliver North with arms sales to Iran through Israel. Remember the Iran-Contra Scandal or what is now better termed “the October Surprise”? Remember Reagan’s presidential campaign arranging for the US Embassy hostages to be held during the Presidential campaign (to humiliate Carter) in exchange for arm sales and security assurances to the Mullahs? Yes, he was the point man with Israel.

Most recently Michael Ledeen was at the center of the AIPAC Spy Scandal. That’s the scandal that involved direct Israeli influence of congressional policy.

In fact there has been speculation that he is one of the top Mossad agents in the US. As far back as the early 80’s it was alleged that the CIA listed Ledeen as an agent of influence of Israel. He has been long associated with Richard Perle who was one of the significant proponents of the Iraq invasion. He is currently Karl Rove’s foreign policy advisor. Ledeen’s wife worked at the Pentagon office of Stephen Bryen who was investigated by the FBI for allegedly passing secrets to the government of Israel. Ledeen also founded the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a lobby group working for the defense interests of Israel.

One of the opening comments in the discussion was along these lines: “With 50% of the population are the “Persians” dominating all these other ethnic groups? So maybe Iran should be partitioned or possibly have a federal system of government”. Thankfully there were many panelists and even audience members that reinforced the essential unity of Iran and helped reject the notion of “Persian Domination”.

Time and time again, in our checkered history foreign powers have tried to splinter Iran, and exploit ethnic tensions.
During the days of the British presence in South Asia, they tried but failed to achieve this goal. Although it could be argued that they succeeded in helping Afghanistan splinter off.

In the past, the Russians had also pushed separatism from the North. And even though they had absorbed some parts of Iran – such as Azerbaijan into their fold – in the end, the cold war splintered Russia itself. Also, it should be noted that while they occupied Afghanistan, the Russians did try to organize the Baluchis and spark off their independence (so they could get a direct access to the warm waters in the Arabian Sea from Afghanistan). But, this plan failed miserably after the Russians got bogged down or distracted battling the Taliban fighters.

We’re now in a new age of Israeli-American dominance in the region. It’s their turn to adopt a partition strategy for Iran. Iran’s current government represents a large threat to both Israel and US forces now stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. With long range missiles, an active nuclear program, financial assistance to Hamas and Hezbollah, tacit assistance to insurgents in Iraq …Iran’s mullahs are the source of a lot of headaches. To add insult to injury, Iran’s current President, Ahmadinejad’s recent comments about ‘wiping Israel off the map’ has created a hostile atmosphere that is forcing everyone to draw swords.

There have been several attempts to reform the regime (using internal and external pressure). They have all failed. The mullahs have in fact become stronger than ever – with a very firm grip on power.
Since invading Iran is not an option any more (after America’s debacle in Iraq), perhaps the next best strategy is to get Iran’s ethnic groups to fight the battle for them. Several, simultaneous ‘battles for liberation’ from different directions (Kurdistan, Baluchestan, Azerbaijan, etc) would topple Iran’s central government, and create a number of weak client states which would pose no threat to anyone.
If you think this is a remote possibility, think again. All the seeds have been planted to implement this strategy.

- Azerbaijan: Since splintering off from the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan has now become a Western oriented nation – with substantial revenue from Caspian Sea Oil – driven by major investments by BP etc. Azerbaijan’s government has been broadcasting TV and Radio programs into the heart of Iran’s Azeri communities. With broadcast images of new found oil wealth, a secular government (that appears to be democratizing), and a European outlook (Azerbaijan considers itself to be European nation). It is an attractive alternative to Iran’s backward, religious central government.

- Kurdistan: With a federal structure in Iraq, and a well equipped local militia, the Kurds in Iran have developed new confidence in what they might achieve too. Their cultural identity has remained strong and has been reinforced with international TV and Radio broadcasts directed at the region. Again the appeal of statehood for the Kurds is attractive given their circumstances… of having a very weak voice in Iran’s current governance.
- One could go on and on about developments in every region …Baluchestan, Khuzestan, etc. There have been reports of bombings in Khuzestan and demonstrations in front of government buildings – just this past week.

The threat of separatism has never been more real.
The irony of course, is that we live in an age of ‘Unified’ States. After centuries of bitter and bloody wars, Europe is uniting. African nations, with all their backwardness are also uniting…
And above all Iran’s ethnic tensions fly in the face of cultural, historical and economic realities. In fact all of Iran’s current ethnic groups, as well as some of Iran’s neighbors (that were once part of Iran) share a common heritage that would imply that there is in fact a basis for a ‘unified’ nation.
One of the questions raised at Ledeen’s meeting was “what does Persian mean”? And no one could or would answer the question.

To me, Persian implies the sharing of a very specific set of common identities and interests. You have a Persian identity if you celebrate Now Ruz, follow a solar calendar, love Chelo-kebab (and other “Persian Foods”), enjoy poems by Saadi, Ferdowsi, Hafez, Bahar, etc. , listen to Googoosh…or Persian Classical Music (using scales involving quartertones, played on very specific instruments) or support Iran’s soccer or wrestling team. Religion is really not part of it. Regardless of ethnicity…Azeri, or Kurd or Baluchi or Lori … there is and can be cultural engagement and appreciation.
You have Persian interests, if you believe as I do, that being part of a larger economic framework i.e. sharing a market with 70 Million other people, with a multi-hundred billion dollar GNP is better than and more efficient (in the long run) than establishing a weak, dependent, locked in state (that would have to import everything at a higher cost to simply survive … cars, food, etc.). Having greater “Interests” then implies a requirement for a ‘lingua franca’ which is what “Farsi” is. It is the basis for currency denominations, bond/stock/commodity referencing, a central banking system, invoicing, industrial and engineering standards, a legal framework, etc. Even if you do not speak Farsi as a first language, it can serve a useful purpose as a second language to conduct commerce.

This is not “Persian Dominance” its simply commercial efficiency in play. It’s sort of like Red Indians pursuing their own culture and ethnicity on their reservations, but using English when they interact with the rest of the United States. Interestingly, while “Red Indian” cultures are devoid of any Anglo-Saxon basis, ALL of Iran’s ethnic languages (Kurdish, Azeri Turkish, Pashtu, etc.) have a great deal in common with Farsi…lettering, specific word derivations, etc. It really is not a far stretch for Farsi to be a second language for any of Iran’s ethnic groups…and for Farsi to be an economic and political lingua franca.
I was amazed to see Tadjiks and Afghans at the Googoosh concert in Washington several years ago. Clearly, there is more bonding us together than separating us.

In the end, we have to recognize the fact that Iran’s mullahs are conducting a dangerous foreign policy providing incentives for foreign powers to exploit ethnic tensions in Iran and carve the country up. Instead of ‘wiping Israel of the map’, Ahmadinejad may actually witness himself and Iran being wiped off the map.

The mullah’s are also conducting a repressive domestic policy that is suppressing democracy and ethnic participation in government which in turn is providing incentives for ethnic groups to consider other options to voice their political interests…fanned by foreign powers.

Separatism in fact, does not have a cultural, economic or a historic basis, but it is now finding renewed political footholds. Iranians everywhere must unite and topple the regime in Iran, if only to keep the country together. We must also in the long-run pursue a policy of unification with our neighbors and establish a larger economic and political community (like the European Union) and recreate the bonds we all share with our neighbors. This is the road to Iran’s prosperity.


Hey guys, my english is not so good

by Bavafa on

Does it mean, she said "goh khordam, ghalat kardam, bebakhshid"

If not, she should have



what if there were no politicians

by shirazie (not verified) on

ever thought of that?

there would not be any re hashing of past and making stupid decisions.

As I recall from my first grade social book from Iran - It began with a picture of a cave man, then domestication of animals and farming

People traded what they made or raised.. I did not see a picture of politician or a lawyer (my son is a lawyer, so I would not say it too loud)