This Week in NIAC: No News! is No News!


This Week in NIAC: No News! is No News!
by bahmani

This week NIAC hosted another potentially important hearing in DC, entitled, "Answering the Iranian People's Call for Human Rights", a series of speeches by a low tier barely visible State Department staffer, the one from that far end of the office that never seems to get any heat, the Swedish Ambassador???, a Moslem- I mean Muslim Democrat Congressman from Minnesota????, and just one Iranian, a "former" NY Times correspondent, which I think means she either quit, or was laid off due to no one in New York actually wanting to read any articles about Iran.

If anyone was not clinically comatose, a panel of 2 Iranians and a drum machine was supposed to talk about the real topic we all want to discuss, Iran's Democracy Movement, and more specifically, how on earth we will ever get another one. Now that Iran has shown that while you can certainly use Twitter and Facebook to start a revolution, it turns out to be real handy in quashing them too.


Here's the Panel digest, watch it for yourself here: (NIAC YT Channel)

Trita Parsi, my poor reluctant personal pocket-sized hero, once again in a suit 2 sizes too big, at a podium one size too tall, and a microphone 12 inches too far, introduced (and I'm serious) "…some of the foremost experts, practitioners and thinkers", almost all of whom you have never heard of before.

Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch, who apparently like to get paid to watch, and do little else. Her advice? Document the situation, and force the UN to do something. And that we need to look at the Egyptian (Islamic) revolution and the other (Islamic) revolutions in the region (that Iran is supporting) as prime examples of how to pressure Iran to change. She then correctly stated that another way could be to pressure Brazil and South Africa, two of Iran's biggest trading partners, to pressure Iran as well. Which of course is impossible, but a surprisingly actual idea from the Human Rights Watch organization, nonetheless.


Nader Hashemi, who co-edited (co-edited, did not write) "The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran's Future.", which if it coincidentally sounds like "The Matrix Reloaded" the film about a world in which the people are used as batteries to power the robots that govern them, is actually a fantastic title, if unimaginative. And don't forget, Nader co-edited it. His idea? "Shine a Global Spotlight on Iran's Human Rights violations". Assuming of course that Iran's Spectacular Show hasn't been playing to "sell out" audiences from the UN to the entire Iranian diaspora in a "Broad way" for the past 32 years. He then went on to suggest that we need to go beyond talking about human rights in Iran "in a general abstract fashion", and have the head of the UN and President Obama or Hillary Clinton talk about human rights in Iran "in a general abstract fashion", and that we should all try to make Emaedin Baghi a mis-pronounceable household name in America.

You see? This is exactly the kind of educated ideas we need, from educators perched high in their mountain lairs at the University of Denver.

Alireza Nader: Represented the Rand corporation, which is one of those think tank private companies that will tell you and governments what they would do if it was them. For a fee or grant. That's it. That's all he did. And that his poll suggests that a large number of Iranians in Iran actually support weaponizing Iran's nuclear program for patriotic reasons. Which was of course completely useless to the conversation. He then added that there have been some popular uprisings in Egypt and Libya, and that while Ahmadinejad was stealing his last election, the Obama administration did not know what to do. Which is always nice to know.

The speeches that followed, were supposed to be about Iran's Human Rights record as well. Here's that digest, watch them for yourself here: (NIAC YT Channel)

Suzanne Nossel: Tried to sell that in spite of 100 years of proof otherwise, the US really cares about Human Rights in the Gulf, and suggested that Iran apparently does not have freedom of speech. She then went on to recommend that someone needed to fill out the UN forms necessary to put Iran on notice. Wow! I'm sure that will work, just like it has with all those resolutions against Israel.

Hmmm. Really!

Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstrom: "Human Rights is a mainstay of Swedish foreign policy!" He then departed from Human Rights and went right to supporting sanctions against Iran for it's Nuclear program. Then bounced back to report that Iran apparently has lots of executions, including stoning. Which is bad too. And that Iran's record of Human Rights is "profoundly disturbing" and that the Swedish answer to this was to "voice concern" and that it is "dangerous to isolate regimes". Probably because you can't sell them stuff like Volvo trucks if you isolate them.


Rep Keith Ellison (D-MN): Leave it to the only Black person in Minnesota to criticize the US historical relationship with Israel and Oil, as a major cause of the problem, and US apathy and silence, as a cause of decades of oppression in the Mid-East. He then labeled the 1953 coup as "[Undermined] the democratic initiatives of the Iranian people… and we've been dealing with the aftermath ever since." He then went on to use "vis-vis" and stated "vis-a-vis Iran, the US must do no harm". He then went on to describe the details of his "Stand With (on?) the Iranian People Act". This act allowed money to bypass the embargo on Iran, and go from the US to NGOs inside Iran. So that the Iranian government could identify and shut them down more easily.

Bravo! Too bad you're a democrat. Too bad you won't matter in less than 2 years when the republicans take over. Again.

The longest speech of course went to the Iranian. Nazila Fathi: who actually opened with "It seems that the Human Rights situation in Iran is deteriorating dramatically". And she emphasized the word "dramatically" and raised her eyebrows as she said it. That's how you know it's serious. Then, since all Iranians are engineers and love statistics, went on to project that at the current rate of executions in Iran, on or about the year 72011, Iran will have executed everyone in the country. She then mentioned that in Iran, 1 out of 7 people are drug addicts. Which when once again, applied statistically, actually explains a lot of the decisions that have come down from the Guardian Council. The rest of the speech was yet more recording of what has been merely Iran's standard operating procedure in place since 1979. Actually this week I think, Iran is celebrating the retirement of the second generation of prison guards, torturers, and executioners who are still implementing these same procedures today. Right now. There goes another one. And another. And Another.

That's right Nazila! Everytime an Akhoond sings azan, a couple hundred political prisoners get their wings!

Then a bunch of CIA junior officers doing "fieldwork" asked some really illiterate questions.

As I hope you can see, all this posturing, selling, and self promotion is an utter crock, and none of this will EVER work.

As an organized organization goes, whether they will admit it, or know it, NIAC is about the closest thing we've got to an actual Opposition. Which is not as sad as it reads, than it sounds when you actually say it out loud. And NIAC does it's darnedest best to raise the stakes and actually step into the huge pile of shit we have now amassed and must cross, because frankly, as much as we pretend it isn't, it is always directly, squarely, right in front of our fucking faces.

But to give NIAC the full credit, as an actual downright state-of-the-art Opposition, NIAC still has a long way to go.

As the only de facto representatives of anything remotely close to what one would call "Free-Iran", and the only group that has any kind of mildly coherent ability to make a mildly compelling argument and pull in DC to listen, thanks mostly to the aroma of Persian hors d'oeuvres, and Trita Parsi's flawless Swedish accent, and many internships on Capitol Hill, NIAC is pretty much all we've got to stand up to Iran's Saddamocracy (def. "Here, choose a candidate from this list I pulled out of my ass, then go vote, then I'll say you agreed with me, my philosophy, and my entire ploy, because you voted freely.).

Looking at the safe haven from which NIAC always seems to operate, carefully choosing and mixing words and lawsuits to avoid any kind of risk of alienating any side, except for the monarchists that continually nip and bite at it's heels out of rabid habit, it is a wonder that any coherent statements or declarations could ever leak out of 1411 K St. NW, Suite 600 in Washington, DC 20005, at all.

And it's not for lack of trying. For the barely brain dead 500 NIAC members that even bother to ever respond to opinion polling that NIAC tries to use to make it's Franknstein-like ideas come to life, somehow, they seem to think that Human Rights in Iran can actually and magically improve before Iran's Constitution does.

Which is of course, utter nonsense. If you tried to find a single coherent reference from the Mooing Mollah Mollification we must suffer, sheer udder nonsense. (Side Note: Sheer read as Milk, combined with udder, makes this the world's first bilingual double-pun).

Contrary to some who have many many more than me, it seems, I only have 2 minor objections to NIAC and the less than satisfying events it seems to continually deliver:

First, they never give me enough time to actually buy that $700 plane ticket, and reserve the $300 a night hotel room to actually go to one of these "Shows" so I can ask the embarrassing questions you now know I am more than capable of asking. But, it seems the N in NIAC stands for something other than National.

Second, this whole apprehension about jumping in and becoming the voice of an honest to Gav opposition in diaspora. (Side Note: the use of Gav and not God makes this a bilingual single-pun)

I mean whatever are you waiting for NIAC? Things in Iran to get really bad?

Traditionally, or at least ever since say, Cuba, an opposition to tyranny that is being foisted inside a country in the 20th century, has often survived outside of the homeland, and is operated by volunteers that look a lot like Trita and even more like the young NIAC staff, but not Javad Abdi (he's far too good looking to Oppose anything other than the abuse of hair gel) fresh from this year's crop, replacing last years' burnt out crop, by pointing out the flaws, fouls, and foibles of the ruling tyrants in Iran.

I mean, come on, how hard is this?

With the more than ample ammunition available by just counting on what Ahmadinejad can provide on his own, this seems easy-peasy, and to now make this article topical, and yet another Google search result, Japanesey.

Certainly for example, one can easily point out that Iran's Constitution is technically invalid and broken, even if it was surreptitiously recoded and recorded as an infallible and perfect document in 1989 after Khomeini died, and therefore blessedly needless of the usual amendment rules that other far less perfect Constitutions widely used by the many foolishly free people in the world seem to need.

I mean you could spend a year of speech-filled meetings in the Dirksen Senate Building just analyzing how Iran isn't technically even a real republic.

On a bet, and after a night of especially hard drinking at one of those raunchy piano bars in Georgetown, and thinking totally batshit crazy out of the box, Trita and his cast of "Friends", could file an awesome objection with the UN that Iran's president isn't technically an elected representative of the people of Iran, but more or less an appointed, and merely validated fake, complete with fake election, whose results are then falsified or faked, just to make sure the fake "chosen one", wins.

You could then argue, that since the UN is where world leaders are supposed to gather and talk, that allowing Ahmadinejad to speak on behalf of Iranians, makes about as much sense as letting Snooky speak on behalf of Governor Christie of New Jersey. Actually, I've been to New jersey ("Really? Which exit?") and that's not a half bad idea! You could then call on the UN to require Iran's actual leader to come/waddle up to the UN podium and speak nonsense, and not the idiot full-eared halfwitted checkbox on the meaningless interior ministry employee counted, Presidential ballot.

So, if you were so inclined, or cared to step up and actually realize your destiny instead of putting it off for an Aslan-worthy book deal that never seems to come, you could do a lot of far cooler stuff than host already fat American congressmen, and cater cold Iranian food decorated as cuisine, combined with cheap red wine (always red!), and sit and watch them merely get fatter. And like Hamid Biglari after an 18 hour day covering up all those bad loans at Chase, try and stay awake.

Disappointed and the least bit bitter? You bet we are! To butcher/paraphrase my favorite Madonna song, we are after all, "Material Iranian Girls, living in a Material Iranian World."


more from bahmani

NIAC Thinks it knows what to do.

by bahmani on

I disagree with NIAC's idea that the way to the IRI's heart is through Human Rights objections.

I want to make sure I am clear that we can disagree on this detail without calling anyone names.

I totally respect TP and the gang at NIAC and what they do and have done. I would not call ANYTHING they have done a mistake.

However, I am allowed to simply disagree and critique the approach (with sarcasm) they are taking, and so far, since Iran has not changed one iota from it's current destructive paths, I am sort of right.

No one is following my advice, so that makes me, not wrong until someone tries my suggestion and fails. Then I will immediately say Ooops! and come up with another idea.

But until that day, and as long as NIAC isn't getting the positive reaction they are striving for, I get to criticize them (as politely as I can) but hopefully with some level of wit.

Otherwise I wouldn't be Iranian, would I?


Bahmani and Hamsade

by Rostam on

Bahmani: Awesome blog. You used the perfect language to describe NIAC.

Hamsade: Your comment is worthy of blog of its own.

To all NIAC supporters: Admit it, deep inside, you are pro-reformists, just as NIAC is.

In my opinion, NIAC is nothing but a middle man for the IRI and the US government. I give Trita credit for taking side with the reformists though. That's where the new "human right" shows are coming from.

Can't wait for the fall of this regime and for all the evidences against the paid sellouts to surface. If, and that's just an "if", if it is found that Trita "worked" for the IRI, in any capacity, he should be brought back to Iran for a trial and a long prison term. Are you reading this Trita?

And Before NIAC supporters jump at me, remember, I said "if", so don't get nervous. 


excellent comment by MM (both comments)

by Bavafa on

I couldn't have said it better.


hamsade ghadimi

i enjoyed reading your

by hamsade ghadimi on

i enjoyed reading your blog.  you should have a collection of essays called “diaries of an angry iranian american.” your description of niac’s “conference” which is hyped heavily on on different pieces and video sounds like a typical government-style meeting/seminar.  just holding these meetings count as accomplishments for some of the attendees so that they can claim something lofty on their resumes and cover letters such as “championing human rights in iran.”  you dispelled the myth that the n in niac stands for national and we’ve long known that its president for life is swedish american which by the way explains the swedish diplomat at the meeting. it’s also amazing that an organization that did not ‘dabble’ in human rights a few years ago because “they don’t specialize in that field” (trita’s exact words in a personal conversation) to becoming a champion of human rights. i can hear rocky’s theme song playing before little napoleon takes the stage.

it’s curious that almost all of the pro-regime supporters (if not all) on this site are also rabid niac supporters. don’t you think? those userids who ridicule the opposition such as mola, jaleho, q, niloofar khanoom, kharmagas/bot shekan,…. the list is too long, just cannot for the life of them stand criticism of niac.  if these are unique ids (which is a big if), then i’m worried about the demographics of niac membership.  but the broader question is about what an organization such as niac is supposed to mean or represent.  despite your criticisms, you claim they’re the most viable “opposition group” to the Iranian regime in the u.s.  now, how important is an opposition group working from the u.s.?  even if they’re legit.  did the egyptians overthrow mubarak (i know the military has ruled since the pharaohs and still rules) with the help of an opposition group outside the country.  actually, their ex pats had a chance to come out and protest just for one weekend! and that was it.  we’ve gone to protest iran for a decade (speaking for myself and my like-minded friends).  are we shouting the wrong slogans on wisconsin avenue?  so what is the importance of this so-called “opposition group”?  the overthrow of tyrants is organic and is done by what my friends who live in iran and actually participate in demonstrations call: lashkar bi-sarlashkar.

what an opposition group outside of the home country means to me is the reflection of opinions of the majority (hopefully) of the ex-pats living in that country.  i may be in the minority but from day one human rights has been my top priority as opposed to niac.  i believe that sanctions against the irgc and mullahs is the minimum action that other countries with conscious can do to put pressure on iran as opposed to niac.  niac’s great accomplishments as articulated by its president on parazit is to convince facebook not to filter its product in iran.  as if iran is not filtering facebook itself.  i need not to remind anyone how facebook can be used as an effective tool to crush an opposition activist and his “friends.”  islamic republic routinely hands out facebook punishments. ask maziar bahari. maybe niac should concentrate on exempting export of pork products to iran! and then there’s the hypothetical war with iran….the crowning achievement of niac…they’ve stopped it in its tracks. so they say.  meanwhile, niac is holding conferences and fact-finding commissions with low-level bureaucrats, patting themselves on the back, and padding their resumes. 

niac’s president had a hard time to admit he stands for regime change in iran. i bet he feels the same way about its constitution.  i wonder what the people iran think if they listened to one of these conferences.  yeah, i’m going to document the shit out of this regime and take my complaints to the united nation.  that’ll do it.


I have emailed NIAC on

by MM on

I have emailed NIAC on becoming just that: becoming more prominent as an opposition group, or at least mediating a conference of all opposition groups.  Unfortunately, several factors work against that goal:

* Most opposition groups have even built moats around their castles.  Yes - they talk about unification, but they love to unite as long as you knock on their castle-gate.

* As soon as we talk about regime change, opposition groups start pissing contests (your way is bad) and spitting contests (my way is better). Therefore, it may be best to set a goal that is a common denominator to all freedom-lovers.

* NIAC's role as an advocacy group (20% of their time) started in 2006 by a vote of the membership, but I also hope Trita can take on a more prominent/aggressive position in opposing IRI's atrocities. 

So, instead, NIAC has set a goal of "freedom for Iran" (private emails) and the first step towards that freedom starts with observing human rights in Iran; case in point: look at all the people who come into a blog poo-pooing whatever is not in their flavour.  Bottom line: I am all for NIAC's more aggressive role in this struggle, but they are a small group and need our help too, and maybe some convincing too.  Here is a sampling of NIAC's activities on human rights in Iran:

2010: Congressional Testimony of Trita Parsi on Human Rights in Iran.

2010: NIAC Conference Highlights Demand for Human Rights of Iranian People.

2009: Ensured human rights were on the agenda when the U.S. began talks with Iran.  This has, hopefully, led to the recent 2010 boycott of the 8 Iranian officials with the worst human rights record.

2007:  Even the real rats got envious: Why has Amnesty International invited a stooge of the Iranian regime to a Congressional hearing on Iranian human rights abuses?  By a jealous Kenneth Timmerman.

2007-2011: Twice a year, NIAC holds a major policy conference on Capitol Hill to examine the most significant and timely issues facing the US and Iran & NIAC and Amnesty International held a joint conference on Capitol Hill titled "Human Rights in Iran and U.S. Policy Options.

But, really my friend, tell me what all the other opposition groups have done besides speeches, hate-blogs and playing the blame-game!

Darius Kadivar

Wrong The Problem is Not Iran's current Constitution

by Darius Kadivar on

Given that it is Illegitimate to begin with:


pictory: Bakhtiar Denounces Bazargan's Provisionary Government in exile (1979)


37 days: A cautionary tale that must not be forgotten by Cyrus KADIVAR


But the Regime in it's entirety:


RESTORATION: Shapour Bakhtiar advocates Restoring the Monarchy 


Otherwise how different is that from advocating Reform as these Losers have been advocating for the past 30 years ?


Mehdi Bazargan and the controversial legacy of Iran's Islamic intellectual movement


KhatamiDemocracy, & Islamic Republic


Besides if the key is to advocate a Secular Republic which in any case is not the role of a community oriented organization which does not represent anything but Iranian Americans, and their concerns ... In that case personally I would openly Attack NIAC on ALL FRONTS !


PRIMARY COLORS: Reza Pahlavi and Trita Parsi Take a Stroll Down The Political Lane ;0) 


And that would leave me with no other choice but to Fight ANYTHING and ANYONE who would stand between me and My Knighthood :


Franco Nero - C'est Moi


Rebirth of Rostam - Shahnameh of Ferdosi clip


Hee Hee ! 


Be it in a "Treacherous Alliance" with the "Devil" Himself:


Rostam: The DARK AGES by DK 


Rostam Strikes Back! By Darius Kadivar


Rostam Super Hero: Popularizing A Persian Myth...  by Darius KADIVAR 




NIAC needs to become a US based Iranian Opposition group.

by bahmani on

Whining about Human Rights, or correction, inviting others to whine for us, isn't going to get anything done. It never has. NIAC needs bag this advocacy crap, retool, and gear up, and become a head on Opposition group.

They need to consistently point out Iran's administrative/Constitutional flaws that are precisely the cause of Iran's Human Rights record.

Because Iran's messed up Constitution and administrative flaws allow and prescribe the oppressive harsh treatment and punishment of opponents inside Iran, and the resulting Human Rights record.

Objecting to Human Rights is like trying to stop the bullet after it has been shot from the gun. You need to take the gun out of the hands of the idiots shooting it. That will stop the bullet.

Iran's Constitution and the many problems it has, is the gun.


Well.....  This is not new

by MM on

Well.....  This is not new to NIAC, which has hosted several conferences on Iran since 2007 (See below *).  But, how about if we ask NIAC to invite folks like blood sucking, MKO-supporting John Bolton to promote nuking Iran - again?  Or, ask our own MahmoodX to lecture about bombarding Iranian sites by foriegn forces (Israel and the US)?  Would that satisfy the armchair cyber-generals on this site?

* 2007-2011: Twice a year, NIAC holds a major policy conference on Capitol Hill to examine the most significant and timely issues facing the US and Iran & NIAC and Amnesty International held a joint conference on Capitol Hill titled "Human Rights in Iran and U.S. Policy Options.


How many folks have been liberated by Human Rights Pow Wows ?

by bushtheliberator on

While Iranians wait for the UN to liberate them, they should stock pile ammo,clean their weapons, and prepare the only agent of their liberation :themselves.

James D.

Iranian Americans would be a lot stronger

by James D. on

If we spent half as long building up the community as we do tearing each other down.

Between the jokes and bitter comments in this very long blog, that becomes pretty clear. I for one thought it was a very good conference and was glad to see the Obama administration presenting a human rights initiative to an Iranian American organization.

Darius Kadivar

No Comment ... ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on