Ahmadinejad's trap

Will the focus at the UN be on Ahmadinejad's human rights abuses?


Ahmadinejad's trap
by Trita Parsi

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comes to the UN his biggest fear will be that the visit will be marred by international condemnations over election fraud and the massive human rights abuses taking place in Iran under his watch. If he has his way, however, the international media may forget about the killings in Iran and focus on his provocative Holocaust comments instead.

Mindful of the horrific human rights abuses that have taken place in Iran in the aftermath of the stolen elections, and the continuing protests and resistance by ordinary Iranians, one would think that Ahmadinejad's lack of internal legitimacy would be the natural topic of conversation. But Ahmadinejad is not a man of limited resources.

He knows how to deflect the attention of the media and he is a master of changing the subject. And he knows all too well how to push the buttons of Western audiences.

So it is not a surprise that after having been relatively quiet about the Holocaust for almost two years, Ahmadinejad suddenly decided to question it once again just a few days before landing in New York. At the Friday prayer sermons on September 18, Ahmadinejad called that the Holocaust "lie."

His calculation seems to be as follows: Just as before, Western journalists will focus on the controversy around his Holocaust denial, while neglecting about the abuses and violations that are taking place in Iran on a continuous basis. The controversial Holocaust comments will overshadow everything else and will be the focus of not only Western media, but also the protests in New York as well as the statements and comments by European officials. At a minimum, it may help Ahmadinejad portray the situation as such to his audience in Iran.

Ahmadinejad can handle the scorn of world leaders and the Western media with his questioning of the Holocaust, partly because his own constituency of hardliners in Iran sees eye to eye with him on this issue. And partly because ordinary Iranians may be displeased and embarrassed by his comments, but in the midst of the repression they face in Iran, are preoccupied with more immediate concerns. Indeed, when European diplomats walked out on Ahmadinejad in Geneva during the racism summit earlier this year, many ordinary Iranians felt insulted by the act even if they rejected with Ahmadinejad's comments.

What Ahmadinejad cannot handle, however, is extensive and relentless focus on Iran's human rights record. Criticism against Ahmadinejad on these grounds by world leaders could do irreparable damage to Ahmadinejad's standing inside Iran, particularly as Iranian of all walks of life continue to defy his rule. It would show that the world is not indifferent to the systematic and lethal abuses taking place in Iranian prisons. It would show that the world cares not only about Ahmadinejad's provocative rhetoric, but actually also about the well being of the Iranian people.

Ahmadinejad cannot handle a walkout at the UN over his election robbery and human rights abuses.

So if delegates at the UN General Assembly walk out on Ahmadinejad on Wednesday, the decisive issue will be on what grounds they did so. Will it be over his Holocaust denial or over his stealing of an election and torture of his own people?

Ahmadinejad's preference is clear. He has used the tragedy of the Holocaust for political gain before. The question is if the world will walk into his trap again.

Trita Parsi is the author of Treacherous Alliance - The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States (Yale University Press, 2007) and President of the National Iranian American Council, the largest Iranian American grassroots organization in the US. This commentary was first published in Huffington Post.


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

Molla o kharesh!

by choghok on

NIAC used to be impartial in the things happening in Iran and only be interested to increase and improve Irans connections to outside world, so people in iranian.com screamd out that NIAC is mullahs agent and so on. Now that they have decided to speak out and support the peoples democratic choice, the same people come with the same accusations. For these people being inactive is a virtue rather than try to break a deadlock. So what should the mollah do with his donkey? Should he sit on it or should he walk?

I am myself am amazed that NIAC has chosen side here. I think they are smart enough to have tried all other options, and I think they have come to conclusion that Khamenei, Ahmaghi and above all Sepah is not interested in Iran having contacts to outside world but is intrested in isolating and dominating Iran and region, just like Saddam did to Iraq and like the military junta does in North Korea and Burma.

Now I think Ahmaghi would have ranted about Holocaust nomatter what would have happened in Iran. What else does he has to talk about? Of course he could have talked about his halo or his Jewish background or other stuff that has got attention but he has already a card that is sure.

Niloufar Parsi

this article

by Niloufar Parsi on

reads like a prophecy! i only came across it after the UN charade was over, and it has to be said that Titra was bang on the money with his analysis of how things would turn out. Best article by him i have seen so far.


Support real Iranian Patriotic

Terita,hay dallal

by Support real Iranian Patriotic on

you and your master's time is up,shut up pimp (in political terms).

yoy & your organization member of NIAC are a bunch of middle men(dallal) buying selling any commodity(military hardware,drug,poor girls and so on) you better preach in ghom which has the least IQ citizen.they belive you like Imam zaman(velayate vagheeh).

Iranian has so many enemy from west to east,but we will united and bring down this regime with his servents and suppoters.


Truth Seeker


by Truth Seeker on

Get over it He won fair and clean


RP2 is Kootooleh... His brain dead dad was a ineffective blood sucker who people of Iran kicked his ass rightfully

So get over it


Our Supplement To Mendeleev(Mendeleyev) Table

by میرزاقشمشم on

While RP2 is waiting for RR; IRI is F...ing the GM and its associates with the help of AN who is against  AK,MT, and ML.

I am sure you can figure it out.

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

While he has been able to create momentary distractions, the effectiveness is a fraction of what they once might have been.

People walk out on his speeches because they simply don't want to hear his BS anymore. He fools no one.

And as for you American Dream.....time to wake up.

Darius Kadivar

میرزاقشمشم The Chemist I hope You have Bubble Gum Otherwise

Darius Kadivar

"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass...and I'm all out of bubblegum."


You Should Know Better That Newton's Law : "For Each Action There is an Equal and Opposite Reaction" ...
  RP 2 is the Catalyst for That Upcoming Reaction: THE ROYAL REVOLUTION !
Ahmadinejad may not be Your President ...

That Said, Trita PArsi can Always Apply for the Job of Prime Minister in the Future if he is wise enough to MAKE A CHOICE !
  Reza Pahlavi New Book (A TIME OF CHOICE) Q&A With French Media



DK's Abbreviations

by میرزاقشمشم on

RP2 ?. Sounds like a chemical element. I bet it's neither acidic nor alkaline; so neutral and useless.


دو کلمه هم از مادر عروس بشنوید


و امّا راجع به رضا پهلوی و راه حل هائی که او برای فاجعه ای که در تحلیل نهائی دستاورد پدر تاجدارش است ارائه میکند: ایشان باید ابتدا میزان و منبع ثروت خانواده «پهلوی» را اعلام کند تا حسن نیّت خود را آشکارا نمایش دهد. مصیبت حاکم بر ایران، نتیجه ندانم کاری ها و فساد خانواده «پهلوی» ست. استیلای مشتی روضه خوان سر قبر آقا پی آمد تاریخی و نگون بختانه مظالمیست که دیکتاتوری شاه و اشرف پهلوی بر ایران روا داشت. رضا پهلوی باید از این فرصت طلائی تاریخی برای تطهیر خود، وبالاتر از آن، برای رهائی خود از زنجیر تعلّقات خاندانی و گروهی هوشمندانه بهره گیری کند.
و اما راجع به دوستان مجاهدین خلقی حاضر در صحنه‌ : یادتان باشد که پدر رضا پهلوی، چه بر سر سازمانتان آورد. از فرا خوان های تلویحی و استراژیکی او زیاد ذوق زده نشوید. بحث ما درباره «کالت رجوی» بماند برای فرصت دیگری.

تریتا پارسی از بطن رژیم جنایتکار و کثیف آخوندی سربرآورده و مأمور بازی گری در نقش به اصطلاح مخالف است، که شیوه ایست قدیمی. دوستان «ساواکی» متوجّه عرائضم هستند.

Truth Seeker

Who Cares?

by Truth Seeker on

American Dream


by American Dream on


You are absolutely right.  Iranian President Ahmadinejad is confusing the world.  No one is interested in what is going on in Iran anymore.

Kaveh Nouraee:  You don't know what you are talking about. 



by Yaasi on

Once again AN distracted everyone's attention from his atrocities to Holocaust.  He knows exactly what he is doing, this is his game, "Talk about Holocaust so everyone will walk out angry and NOT ONE leader in this world would question him or make any comments about the 73 people who were killed during the election in Iran.  No One walks out when he says Iran has a democtratic government.  Give me a break, AN is much smarter than all ...He plays with everyone's mind.  I think it's time for all of us to write a letter to Obama and tell him to stop getting fool by this AN...

Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

You appear very confident in exposing Ahmadinejad's "fears" while he is at the U.N. However, the question must be asked: What is it that leads you to believe that he is actually afraid of anything?

At least since the time he rose to international recognition, he has consistently demonstrated a total disregard for anyone else's opinions and beliefs, and in the case of the Holocaust, documented historical fact.

What we are dealing with, as the greater global community, is an individual who lacks any morality, any depth of feeling for others, any values whatsoever. Six million people were slaughtered because of their religion and he wants to look into possible roles the victims may have played in facilitating their own destruction. The circumstances surrounding the election come under question (to put it mildly) and he wants to analyze if people have the right to question the process or express their doubts over the outcome.

Seriously, how many more examples of this clown's behavior must we be exposed to in order for everyone, including the militant cyber contingent auxiilary of IR supporters and apologists on this site to see this individual for what he is?

You don't have to have any psychological or psychiatric training to see that this guy is nowhere near what can be considered normal.

Let's stop kidding ourselves.

Darius Kadivar


by Darius Kadivar on


Contrary to Rumors Spread by President Ahmadinejad regarding an eventual exchange of Clotild Reiss with the Shah's Last Prime Minister Chapour Bakhtiar, The French President reiterated Today his admiration for the Iranian People's Struggle and said that if the Iranian Regime thinks he would exchange the  Assassin of Chapour Bakhtiar for an Innocent women whose Only crime was to love Iranian culture and the great Persian civilization, then they are Truly Out of their Minds.

  Clotilde Reiss : Sarkozy refuse le «chantage» de l'Iran ( Le Figaro)


Remington ...

by Harpi-Eagle on

Neither Ahmadinejad, nor any of the thugs working for him and Seyed Ali give a damn about world opinions of their actions inside Iran or the world opinion on his idiotic ranting on holocaust.  The only thing that worry these bastards, is if 40,000-50,000 Sawed Off Remington 12 Gauage shotguns were to be distributed among the Green Youth.  Then they would fear the fight.  The Greens need an equalizer, that equalizer is called Remington, the best weapon for close range engagement.  Shad zee.


Doomed IRI

by Ahura on

 Mr. Trita Parsi under the banner of NIAC has in effect lobbied for Islamic Republic of Iran for many years in spite of the documented crimes against Iranians and assistance to the international terrorist groups by IRI.  But lately in reaction to the political opposition movement in Iran Mr. Parsi has changed tactics and is voicing objection to the overt human rights violations of IRI that the world community got a glimpse of as the murders, beatings, rapes,  and imprisonments recorded and no longer deniable. But his bottom line advocacy is to negotiate with IRI and avoid sanctions and surgical military missions in preventing the development of nuclear weapons by the mullahs. The outcome is to buy legitimacy in world community for the IRI theocracy and prolong their stranglehold over Iran and Iranians.

How can USA, Germany, England, France and other major democracies of the world trust any negotiation with IRI that rapes and murders its own citizens, and lies and cheats without impunity or the slightest reservations in domestic and international arenas?  The only feasible and certainly the eventual outcome, hopefully sooner than later, is the removal of IRI by popular uprising in Iran. Iranians abroad should help support the opposition movement in Iran, and simply oppose any international policies that IRI pursues to prolong that religious dictatorship.

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

این آقا شدید مشکوک میزنه ! خدا میدونه داستانش چیه ! حرفاش به جای ۲ پهلو،هفت هشت پهلو هست ! ایشان هم جزو اعضای محترم حزب نی‌ ناش ناش هستند.


خدا پدر این کریستفر کلمب رو بیامرزه که راه این آمریکا را برای برخی‌ از ` هم وطنان `  باز کرد !



تریتا خان خر خودتی!


Trita Parsi’s previous actions tells us that he is a broker (Dalaal) in the service of Ahmadinejad, in fact in this article he is not exposing Ahamadinejad's post election crimes and human rights abuses, he is sending a just-in-time message to Ahmadinejad, before his UN address, on how to divert the media attention from his criminal activities in Iran by talking about Holocaust! After Ahmadinejad's June 12 Coup, Trita Parsi's broker role became clear to many Iranian Americans, so to gain some legitimacy, he needs few fake opposition chatters such as "Mehdi" and Ardeshir Ommani (here on Iranian.com) to make him appear as pro US, or in this instance appear as pro human rights figure. Trita and his cohorts think Iranian Americans have the intelligence of algae! (Jolbak) If NIAC and Trita Parsi truly cared about Ahmadinejad's abuse of human rights and if NIAC were truly a voice for Iranian Americans NIAC would have been organizing in full force and be out there in New York City today and they would have started this a month ago. But we all know NIAC did NOTHING in the last four weeks in terms of organizing anti-Ahmadinejad protests in NYC. Actions speak louder than twits and blogs NIAC joon. Here is Trita Parsi's last effective lobby action to help save “President Ahamdinejad” from the US plan to impose Gasoline Embargo, an editorial article in New York Times, the article is obviously directed at President Obama:


Trita please don't insult our intelligence. If you wannabe the next Henry Kissinger or the next great Washington lobbyist please close NIAC and open another business under a new name, because NIAC as you have it today is NOT representing the political voice of majority of Iranian Americans.


Darius Kadivar

by Siavash31 on

Az aabe gelalood mahi nagir. Beyneh in hasan o oon hasan sad rasan. Trita Parsi has contributed a lot to the Iranian community, Reza Pahlavi is just a useless opporunist who's just waiting for the next wave to jump on.


I kind of agree with Mehdi

by XerXes on

There is some truth in that Parsi is now repeating some of the politically less educated people's ideas based on the fixed media.
Yet it's OK because as i understand it, most of the NIAC members wanted NIAC to stand on human rights issues and this is what Mr. Parsi is doing.


Reza Pahlavi is just

by Dariush on

Reza Pahlavi is just another criminal.  Therefore, his remarks are neutralized by his actions. His opinions have no value for Iranians.

Darius Kadivar

FYI/Food for Thought: Reza's Call by DK

by Darius Kadivar on

REZA's CALL: An Iranian Solidarnosc... BY Darius KADIVAR


Darius Kadivar

Glad to See Trita Finally Saying What RP2 has said All along ...

by Darius Kadivar on

Welcome to the Club Trita ...

What Took you So Long ? ... LOL

Reza Pahlavi about Violation of human right in iran - may 29th 1993


Frost Over The World - Reza Pahlavi - Nov 21






A Little More Effort on behalf of You Trita Jaan and NIAC then maybe then I will be able to convert you into a genuine Constitutional Monarchist ... LOL

Reza Pahlavi's message on the Anniversary of the 1906 Constitutional Revolution in Iran





Ahmadinejad's best offense

by Dariush on

Ahmadinejad's best offense has been his anti Zionist stands and helping defenceless countries with their struggle. But in just a few days he destroyed what took him years to build.  From this he can run, but he cannot hide.  One can simply not be against Zionism and imperialism and act like one, one cannot defend helpless and stand for justice, but oppress another and take his/her rights.  Unfortunately, Ahmadinejad's messages of peace and love for all humanity are flushed down by him and his comments will bounce back and will have very little effect, if any.

This is also true for the green movements. An opposition cannot claim to be standing for justice and freedom by bringing down the banners against criminal states or support or be supported by them.


Trita Parsi: RIP

by Mehdi on

This is the end of Trita parsi, as he joins the slew of "human rights activists" groups that are in effect tools of Israel and Imperialism. Trita used to bring frsh ideas to the table but now has turned NIAC into a "democracy" where people less intelligent than him make decisions for that organization. Rest In Peace Mr. Parsi, you are now dead, along with the rest of them. You did well while you were independant and stood for your beliefs. But now you are also trying to gain popularity. So go ahead and join the USELESS ranks of "human rights activists" and may Geroge Bush's "Democracy Fund" make your life a little more colorful. I am going to go morn for your loss now.