Happy 10th Birthday NIAC! (Please...)


by bahmani

This month, this week, or possibly tomorrow night, NIAC celebrates just 10 short years of shorter service to Iranian-Americans. Exactly when the celebration is, depends on who you know, if you're on the list (I would like to be), and if you happen to be in DC or not (I am).

Telling of the way in which NIAC has conducted it's activities these past 10 years.

A ten year anniversary is a milestone of sorts, and whether we agree with NIAC or not (I don't), as such, it nonetheless deserves a look back to see what NIAC has listed as its accomplishments and give it as fair a shake as is possible to give an unauthorized self appointed members-only politics advocacy club.

NIAC's own list of Accomplishments:

Preventing War

NIAC: Defeated a Congressional resolution that would have paved the way for a US-Iran war.

B: I'm not so sure NIAC single-handedly prevented a US war with Iran. Because I doubt very much the US had any reason or interest in going to war with Iran. especially given that today is also the daily anniversary of 18 US servicemen who have committed suicide and commit suicide every day, as a result of Iraq and Afghanistan. 39 of them will try to kill themselves today. SO, I'm not so sure NIAC was instrumental. Additionally, I don't remember being asked if I would like NIAC to do this on my behalf.

NIAC: Blocked a Congressional resolution green-lighting Israeli strikes on Iran.

B: The last time I checked, Israel was not the 51st State (yet!), and did not need the US Congress to OK them to attack any country. The last time I checked, the IA in NIAC stood for Iranian-American, not Iranian-Israeli, so stopping Israel is not IA advocacy, and not NIAC's self appointed job. Israel attacking Iran is bad. If we were asked, and if we cared to, I am sure we would have all decided to ask Israel directly, not Congress to red-light it.

Supporting Human Rights

NIAC Championed the establishment of a United Nations human rights monitor on Iran to investigate human rights abuses.

B: What this says is the UN was already looking into it. And NIAC merely agreed that it was a good idea. Me too. But the IA were not consulted. So deciding to agree on a good idea by the UN that we already all agree on, is pretty worthless.

NIAC: Advanced the first targeted measures against Iranian government officials responsible for human rights abuses.

B: First "Championed and now "Advanced". I am not sure what this means, I'm guessing it means "agreed" to efforts already underway by people more important. I too Advance this and even Champion it as well. Although I had absolutely nothing to do with it.

NIAC: Ensured human rights were on the agenda when the U.S. began talks with Iran.

B: This suggests it was not on the agenda. SO I'm kind of calling Bullshit on that one. Again, if I could have seen even a faked copy of an agenda with "Human Rights" missing from it, I'm there.

NIAC: Spurred President Obama to condemn the Iranian government's brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators after Iran's disputed election, while refraining from endorsing any political faction.

B: "Spurred"? You Spur a horse, or a beast of burden. Never mind that during the height of it, Obama called the election, "...I have deep concerns about the elections, and I think the world has deep concern about the election,". Not much of a spur, and not what I would call a condemnation. More of a condomnation really. And I thought Moousavi won? So why not an endorsement? Why not call for the real winner of the election to be put in place and freed from detention? If I recall, this was pretty much the predominant IA feeling at the time. So do you work for us or what?

NIAC: Helped remove sanctions on vital online communication tools like MSN Messenger, Facebook, and YouTube to ensure the free flow of information in Iran.

B: "Helped"? How? Does anyone really think that MSN Messenger, Facebook are not monitorable? How do they ensure the Free flow of information? Again, had we been asked, I am pretty sure we would discuss the idea of Iran's Monitoring of these media, not so much if they are allowed in or not. Also China does not allow Facebook, and the US loves China. Just ask Chen Guangcheng.

Opposing Discrimination

NIAC: Led the campaign to fix the U.S.’s single-entry visa policy and to allow Iranian students to receive multiple entry visas.

B: This is not an important issue to the majority of IA who are already here. Some IA would like their cousins and nephews and nieces to be able to get out of Iran to come to the US and study, but that is what Sponsorship is for. But it is an important Iranian issue.

NIAC: Removed offensive and inaccurate portrayals of Iranian Americans in the film Crossing Over.

B: Me and apparently everyone in the US did not see this film. Yet "Shah's of Sunset" was picked up for a second season. I think we all want that dealt with more. So...

NIAC: Effectively opposed and stopped legislation that would bar every Iranian from entering the United States.

B: Effective indeed! If you are Iranian and not an IA, this would most certainly be important. Unfortunately this legislation did not apply to IA. Again, who are you working for? IA or I? Should you change your name to NIC?

NIAC: Halted an offensive ad campaign that equated all Iranians with Ahmadinejad.

B: Here is the ad, you judge if this suggested IA or I are equal to Ahmadinejad. Teh ad said, "Iran makes a KILLING every day we wait" The word "KILLING" was next to a barrel of oil and a pile of Dollars. The ad was in support of clean energy legislation calling for an end to U.S. dependence on oil imported from countries, like Iran.

NIAC: Obtained an apology from Fox sportscasters for racially discriminatory remarks against NBA player Hamed Haddadi.

B: While the tone of the Fox sportscasters was definitely racist. "...you sure it's not Borat's older brother?" Borat was from Kazakhstan. Hamed is from Ahvaz. The suggestion that being from Kazakhstan is necessarily a bad thing, is the racism. By suggesting IA would be upset for being associated with Kazakhstan, NIAC put using jeopardy with the people of Kazakhstan. The point is, you have to be careful. Had IA been consulted, the issue of insulting Kazakhstan would have come up.

NIAC: Compelled a retraction from Rep. Jane Harman for her statement regarding the "separation" of Iran's ethnic groups.

B: Again, not an IA issue. It is a big issue in Iran though. Suggestion that Iran be broken up into smaller sates is a big issue. NIAC seems to continually mistake Iranian domestic issues of importance, and assume IA want something done about it. This is not necessarily the case. More reason why consulting IA beforehand is important.

NIAC: Ended Monster.com's discrimination against Iranian Americans.

B: This was a good one.

NIAC: Elicited an apology from MSNBC's Don Imus for a derogatory comment about an Iranian airliner crash that killed 43 passengers.

B: This was another good one. It was the right thing to do.

Promoting Our Heritage and Community

NIAC: Corrected the National Geographic Society's 8th edition maps to read "Persian Gulf" instead of "Arabian Gulf."

B: As long as Iran is not free, and a burden to the region, this will be an ongoing issue. Any stay of this, is temporary. Traditionally the gulf has been called the Persian Gulf. The basis of who gets to call it what they want, is usually based on the total amount of border on the Gulf. Whoever has the most border, gets to name it. Of course you have to also agree that Iran is Persia, in order for the Gulf to be called Persian.

NIAC: Published the first-ever Census of the Iranian-American community.

B: No really. They published the US Census. The same one you can download for free, or just read it online. I am hoping some dumb millionaire paid for that one.

NIAC: Registered thousands of Iranian-American voters.

B: ...that did not end up voting. Most Iranians don't vote. So job well done in that area.

Ongoing Work:

NIAC leads the largest coalition of advocacy groups in Washington DC on US-Iran related issues.

B: What is the name of that coalition, and how do we get involved?

NIAC regularly hosts briefings on Capitol Hill for congressional staffers on areas of interest to the Iranian-American community. Some of our past briefings have focused on Iran's parliamentary elections, Iran's nuclear program, Iran's role in Iraq, and more.

B: While important that the staff f politicians know this stuff, it is more important for the politicians to know this stuff. These sound like it was a mixer for college interns. I could be wrong, but as a concerned IA, I simply don't know what was said or done on my behalf. Because I'm not told before. Also telling US politicians stuff about Iran's internal machinations, foreign policy, and such isn't an IA advocacy issue. We are here. We know about American issues of importance to IA. We are not in Iran. Most of us don't know anything about Iran. We moved to the US. Advocate for us here. Not Iranians in Iran. Unless we tell you to. It's not an automatic.

NIAC defends Iranian-American interests against corporate and media bias and governmental neglect.

B: if we had rampant examples of this, this would be good. Since we own or invest in a lot of US business, it isn't.

NIAC monitors, influences, and shapes national legislation affecting Iranian Americans.

B: Not sure that NIAC does this from the track record.

NIAC trains Iranian Americans through civic participation at dozens of workshops across the United Sates, strengthening future generations.

B: Mostly NIAC trains folks to represent NIAC locally and to raise funds for NIAC.

NIAC gives our youth a helping hand through office internships and the NIAC Public Service and Journalism Fellowship and has supported youth-related efforts such as Iranian Alliances Across Borders' Camp Ayandeh leadership program.

B: I am against anything with the word "Camp" in it. Other than that, this is a good thing to do. If the training was juts to help NIAC, it isn't. Again, I don't know. Can't easily find out.


NIAC is weak at best at advocating for Iranian Americans. Or finding out what the average temperature of Iranian Americans across the NATION (of America) want done in civic life, and then getting authorization and money from us, to go off and do it.

At worst, NIAC is not entirely misguidedly advocating for ALL IRANIANS. Not a bad thing. so maybe all of this confusion is as simple as re-arranging 2 letters.

Maybe NIAC is really NAIC! Not a bad thing if you think about it. But don't think about it too much.

It can make you crazy, like me.

Happy Birthday NIAC! Hoping your next 10 years will better than the first!


more from bahmani

Reply to MM: Yes, No, and we don't have to pay...

by bahmani on

Yes you are right we all have to be concerned about the importance of the tablets.

No, you don't have to worry about them being returned to Iran in the short term, there is a very well established efforts by Iranian archaeologists (not all Iranian archaeologists are apologists) to protect and preserve ancient Iranian heritage in Iran. For gods sake they have preserved Saadabad palace!

IF this government FALLS (it might not fall, it might slowly crumble and then as it hits the horizon, flash green one last time and turn into a democracy without a single shot being fired), all you need to do is ask for the tablets back. They are on LOAN.

If you want them, pay off the Jewish families who sued and won, and they are yours. I mean ours.

To read more bahmani posts visit: //brucebahmani.blogspot.com/


Reply to Hamsade: Hope for Change

by bahmani on

Optimism comes from my other Ragg (mom's side). The belief in salvation and the chance that anyone can turn from the dark side is a combination of the Christian charity side of my maternal input, combined with a teenhood spent studying the rich cultish traditions and rituals of Jedi-ism!

Add to that the impact of Star Trek and you get someone who is forgiving, believes in the power of mind-tricks, and no longer has any use for money. (mostly because I never have any)

Give Great Weekend.

To read more bahmani posts visit: //brucebahmani.blogspot.com/

hamsade ghadimi

bahmani, there's an iranian

by hamsade ghadimi on

bahmani, there's an iranian proverb "baar kaj be manzel nemiresad" which i think of as a proper retort to your "we will fix niac yet."

dealings (and denials) of niac management and skeletons in their associates' closets point to the fact that "their load is crooked."  whether it's the relationship with bob ney, atieh bahari, iri foreign ministry, children of unscrupulus rug dealers (see below) acting as board members/interns while their families stand to profit from normalization of trade with iri, or direct participation of their closely aligned partners, casmii, in hamayesh bozorg point out to the fact that this organization is a trade group (i left out the american actors who want to have oil contracts and are cozy with niac).  a trade group that its stakeholders have a chance for big payoff if their endeavor is fruitful.  a trade group which shamelessly uses iranian americans as its raison d'etre.

your belief that niac can be fixed may be because you're an eternal optimist.  but at least, from your latest criticism, i'm more convinced that you're not on the take.


hamsade ghadimi

mm, from the information

by hamsade ghadimi on

mm, from the information that you provided, it is evident that niac advocated iri and "ruben et al took the case all the way to the supreme court." and you accuse others of wanting to have a working relationship with iri (while niac is actually doing it) and wrongfully claim "niac took the case all the way up the supreme court."  tell me, does niac have workshops for its members on how to be a congenital liar or is there a screening process to have members with those qualities? 

can i also ask you whether you ever got or getting paid/compensated with money/funds/grants (or other instruments) by niac or any persons/organizations affiliated with niac?


Rubin v. Iran Cases Move Forward

by MM on

Rubin v. Iran Cases Move Forward in First Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court

Others:Court of Appeals Decides Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran Massachusetts Court Dismisses Rubin v. Government of Iran v. Boston MFA and Harvard  If you have further questions, raise money for the defense, or for heaven’s sake if you want to contribute, see, CONTACT: www.culturalheritagelawyer.com   


Oh yes, the tablets are not mine, but after this bloody government falls, we have to pay up our nose to recover the tablets.  Have you met Professor Stopler, telling you that this is the only direct evidence we have on the daily life of the old Persian?  Do you really want to leave them in the hands of the plaintiffs to do as they please?  As you say in your blog title - please!!!!!


Reply to: Hamsade: Thank You!

by bahmani on

I can't (and should not) do all the work! Thanks for following the threads! Yes, as you can see the claim isn't one really, it is called PR to make it look like there was some sort of accomplishment, mostly to fill aline on the website in case anyone looks.

As you have learned, with lobbying the court (let's face it that is what they did) NIAC helped Iran protect the Tablets. NIAC did not ask IA if this is what they wanted. Once everyone understood the legal issues, I am sure IA would have asked NIAC to back out of it, because that is what the IA did!

Congratulations, you are now a qualified Journalist (no bias just facts)! Keep up the Investigative Journalism!

We will fix NIAC yet!

To read more bahmani posts visit: //brucebahmani.blogspot.com/


Reply to MM: Tablest are Iran's not yours!

by bahmani on

If you want to save the Tablets, you have to save Iran first. The Tablets are Iran's property which is why nothing has happened. The Chicago U wants money to continue research on them so is hyping their fears Iran will take them back.

Iran contrary to what many believe and assume, has top facilities to preserve and continue the research on these tablets within Iran, probably better facilities than ChicU.

What many of us discovered working on saving them, that has not been reported, is that the effort died for 2 reasons, we as IA would not muster the money needed to buy them out from Iran and ChicU and put hem into a US museum for posterity and safe keeping (shame on us IA once again), and second, that these tablets like it or not, are the legal undisputable property of the government of Iran.

Like it or not, hate it or love it, IA would not raise the funds to buy them, and chickened out of going up against Iran to take them away.

And I am no Monday (morning) Quarterback. I have told all of this directly to Trita 5 years ago! When I stooped being a supporter for 5 years before that.

I have been a champion and super fan of NIAC for longer than you might know, there at its fucking birth, so please, do your homework, I know you're used to mediocrity and lack of integrity, and ethics, and the usual Iranianitis diseases we tend to exhibit.

But I have been innoculated from all that by being raised by a mother who wanted me to always try to be honest and fair and passionate and excellent, so quit you're rabbit hunting, there is no skeleton in my closet. Well, none that you can find anyway!

(Hint: I write certain kinds of poetry)

Come back, I'm liking the color of your new tone, it shows what may be your true intellectual hot-blood-vein.


To read more bahmani posts visit: //brucebahmani.blogspot.com/

hamsade ghadimi


hamsade ghadimi

m.m.: "NIAC took the case all the way up to the US Supreme Court."

m.m., i looked and looked for the supreme court case of niac against zionists regarding the persian tablets and couldnt' find it.  the persian tablet defendant in the "u.s. district court," from what i gather, is the islamic republic of iran which got help from niac and iranian american bar association (iaba).  i'm sure that parsi and mottaki (ex iri foreign minister) worked closely on this matter as they have on other issues. now why would bahmani try to to influence niac (as you put it) to lobby iri while niac is already working (lobbying?) closely with iri?

if i'm mistaken, please cite the supreme court docket number. if you can't back up your statement, then i just have to chalk it up to another attempt at resume-padding a la championing, spurring, advancing, laaf zadan,...



by MM on

I do not mind when you have a different opinion and express it as such. This is a free country, and say it as you please. And i will respect it. I also did not like the latest support of negociations since the human rights were not included as part of NiAC suppprt. And, i wrote them about it too.
But, when you start calling us names (bitch/mice......) and expect me to not to say something, then you are wrong.
When, like a Monday quarter back, Bruce tells me that the Persepolis tablets were never in danger, it insults my intelligence and I did not even answer him. You know why? I was in the gathering when Professor Mathew Stolper, the curator of the Persepolis tablets at the University of Chicago, along with others told us about the court case and asked us for assistance. Who the heck is he now to tell us that the tablets were never in danger. NIAC took the case all the way up to the US Supreme Court. Now, Mr Bruce tells me that he knew better and we did not have to do that? I did not even read the rest of his comments. If you start out by insulting, I usually seem to ignore it since I am of here 24/7, but when I do answer condescending remarks, I may not be as polite.
Bahmani tried to take NIAC in a certain direction, by lobbying IRI, and when did not give him satisfaction, he has become vindictive. It almost sounds like he wants to form his own NiAC? I wish him luck, and let's see what he's got


What a Tangled Web We Weave!

by Faramarz on


Excuse me Bruce, since MM’s comments are directed at me, I would like to respond.

I used to think that MM was a cool guy when he was commenting on my blogs and telling jokes. I noticed a slight change of tone when I first discovered NIAC and started talking about it. But still, he was pointing out how NIAC was also against human rights violations in Iran and other major and relevant issues.

So I thought that he was another one of those Iranian-Americans who were trying to find a middle ground between the reality of the Regime and the fear of going to a war.

But I have to tell you, as I read his comments these days, the NIACies are circling the wagons and are declaring war on anybody who disagrees with them. I never thought that it would come down to this. But they don't have a leg to stand on.

I thought that we were smarter than this.


Reply to MM: Exacty as I thought!

by bahmani on

Hypocrisy (learn how to spell, or stop ignoring your Spellchecker). If you know anything about me, you know I'm no hypocrite, or someone who talks one way and does another.

I don;t claim to right all the time, when I am wrong I admit it and thank you for pointing out my mistake.

Your fear that I won;t in your case, is unwarranted. Come, point out I am wrong on NIAC and let's argue, but don't wimp out like this.

Or, like I do, admit when you are wrong and thank me for pointing out your mistake. :)

At least live up to the "civilization" your tablets portend you to have. Real Persians never run from a fight.

To read more bahmani posts visit: //brucebahmani.blogspot.com/



by MM on

Your hypocracy showed when you tell me to grow up, but kept silent when someone else made a comment on mice and NIAC.
Good luck, and keep writing blog after blog 24/7.


Reply to MM: Roar, Mice? Grow up!

by bahmani on

Suggesting I am a mouse or I am trying to roar is childish. This is a critique. Nota zoo. Take it and offer a counter point. Starting the usual, "I don't have an answer so I'll sink into name calling and subtly veil it with a clever fable reference" is moronic and a classic case of denial.

Back to my point and on offer for you to redeem your mistaken ways:

You brought NIAC articles, posted, written and believed by NIAC about the Tablets. I worked on the FIRST campaign to save them Ali, so don't quote me NIAC PR and try and make it sound as if NIAC spearheaded the effort. They didn't. They came in later.

The main problem with the effort to save the tablets, is that they actually belong to Iran. Not you, not me, not NIAC.

So what is the point? To return them to Iran? To display them as our proof of civilization? Or is it to keep it hidden in Chicago, so the 3 PHds a year bored enough, can do a thesis on them?

The tablets came from Iran on loan in 1937. They belong to Iran. Not you or me. It is not an IA issue. So why brag that it is an accomplishment?

See my point and puzzlement?

Thanks for your comment, looking forward to your improved reply.

To read more bahmani posts visit: //brucebahmani.blogspot.com/


Mickey Mouse!

by Faramarz on



I go from blog to blog like a Social-network Butterfly to point out the hypocrisy and the lies of public figures like the NIACies.

For example Trita has made two major points recently that have proved to be completely wrong.

First, he said that the way to bring the Regime to the negotiation table and force them to compromise was to give them incentives like what Nixon did with China. In reality, what has led to the current negotiations have been sanctions and lots of pressure; completely the opposite of Trita's stated strategy.

Second, he said that the oil sanctions on the Regime will push the price of a barrel of oil from $100 to $250 resulting in major economic hardship for the US and the west. In reality, the OPEC has stepped up the production and the price of oil today is around $92.

As a public figure and a self-proclaimed representative of the Iranian-American community, one has to have credibility. NIAC and its leadership don't have that.

Maybe the interns can step up and improve the image!




Great blog Bruce. Enjoyed

by Simorgh5555 on

Great blog Bruce. Enjoyed reading it.

hamsade ghadimi

don't you just pity those

by hamsade ghadimi on

don't you just pity those who make high-sounding names out of their shabby professions?


calling U of Chicago and Washington Post NIAC sites?

by MM on

good luck, buddy! 

Some mice, at least, try to roar like a lion.  Others, just go from blog to blog 24/7 and chirp like mice.


Real Reply to MM;

by bahmani on

RE: Persian Tablets: The tablets have never been in jeopardy. If they are used to repay the families, who then auction them off, who do you think will buy them? A collector? or a Museum? A collector might not have any use for them, so likely a museum will buy them. IN which case they are safe. Ideally IA should decide if they want NIAC worrying about this. Not NIC. I said NIC because NIAC is no longer acting for the benefit and advocacy of IA, it is acting for I.

RE: Anti discrimination Center? First show me ONE good example of Discrimination against IA. Then I will say, "yeah but create a center just for one example?". Again, discrimination is not a big problem for IA. So why the advocacy for it?

RE: Camp Ayandeh: I would rather the kids spent real 4 shanbeh souris and Norouz and Yaldas at their specified times instead of pretend time. In real IA communities, not fake camps. Also we don't need SAT prep, that is already available in the market, Suggesting Ayandeh have sufficient expertise in SAT prep is a a stretch and you know it is unnecessary.

RE: voting registration: Apparently NIAC wants you to vote, just not in a NIAC election!

RE: Civic workshops sponsored by PARSA. First off there were maybe 30 people in the report you cited, from Kentucky and New York. Half of all Iranians in the US live in LA area. Does 30 people amount to anything? were they taught how to organize the IA, or were they taught how to be a lobbyist in their home towns. Which do you think we need more? An organized IA community that is active in US civic life, or more people pretending they represent an entire community Nationally, when they don't really?

Thanks for your reponse. But if you are going to only cite NIAC's website for the reports as proof, you need to know that part of the problem is that NIAC writes almost all of it's own own press, and then reads it and worse, believes it.

NIAC is a well intentioned but sadly unauthorized self appointed undemocratic members only politics club. Nothing more.

To read more bahmani posts visit: //brucebahmani.blogspot.com/


Bahmani – nice blog, but you forgot a few

by MM on

And, if you don’t mind, in the spirit of your blog, I will answer for you, as you did above.

Persepolis Fortification Tablets – NIAC formed a coalition, raised lots of money ($110K here in NY) to save the Persepolis tablets (Persepolis Fortification Archive - The Oriental Institute of the ...), in loan to the University of Chicago since before the revolution, from a sure fate of auction houses, in a law suit brought by the victims of a suicide bomber in Israel.

Bahmani – Damn NIAC!  I was hoping to bet on a few of them 2500 year old tablets as door-stops for my flat.  Now, I cannot wait until the Supreme Court of the US votes in favor of the plaintiffs to get my wish. viva ebay.

Anti-Discrimination Center – NIAC encourages Iranian-American to use NIAC’s site as a resource to fight discriminations in jobs, …………etc.

Bahmani – Anti-defamation / anti-defecation!  Who cares, man?  All Iranian-Americans should deal with their own kind; Like me.

National Iranian American Council (NIAC): Camp Ayandeh - From Building Trust to Becoming a Team LeaderWith boys and girls in the camp, throughout the week, three Iranian holidays were celebrated including Shabe Yalda, Chahar-shanbe Soori and Norouz. During the day, campers participated in a various cultural booths, including Iranian cinema, literature, games, music, life in Iran and public speaking; college workshops focusing on high school academics, SATs, the college application process, and college life and majors; and daily culture discussions among counselor groups.

Bahmani – Don’t tell me about those little buggers and their freaking activities?  Just give me a hookah, a few chatvals of aragh and some kebab….Oh, don’t forget the chelo.

NIAC Registered thousands of Iranian-American voters.

Bahmani – Why are we voting here?  We should save our vote for back home.

NIAC trains Iranian Americans through civic participation at dozens of workshops across the United Sates, strengthening future generations, See, e.g., From the Big Apple to the Bluegrass State, Iranian Americans Get Involved.

Bahmani – Doooh!

NIAC monitors, influences, and shapes national legislation affecting Iranian Americans, See, e.g., The Mid-term Elections and Iranian American Interests: Analysis of the Senate.

Bahmani – Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!


NIAC, the Mouse that Roared like a Lion!

by Faramarz on


Until it Saw the Persian Cat!

Thanks Bruce.

Sometimes you are right on the mark and the other times you are way off! But overall, there is quality in your work.