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How Trita Parsi and NIAC Used the White House to Advance Iran's Agenda.

In 2005, Jack Abramoff's corruption and lobbying scandal became public. One of Abramoff's main accomplices was Bob Ney, a former congressman from Ohio who was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Part of the corruption charges against Ney, exposed in DOJ documents, were related to the bribes that he had received from two businessmen in London who tried to buy an airplane for the leadership of the Iranian regimean export prohibited by sanctions. Ney had been hired to resolve the legal issues prohibiting the export of the place.

Ney's foreign-policy adviser during the time Ney was advocating the removal of sanctions against Iran was a young Iranian-Swedish student named Trita Parsi (according to Parsi's resumes), now better known as the founder and president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a Washington-based, pro-Tehran advocacy and lobbying organization founded in 2002. Back then, it was hard to explain why a Congressman with no official role in US foreign policy had a foreign policy adviser on Iran. Parsi began his pro-Tehran activities in 1997 in Sweden as he founded a small lobby organization called "Iranians for International Cooperation" (IIC) that used its few Washington members to send petitions and letters to Congress members. In an IIC document released during a subsequent lawsuit, Parsi explained IIC's activities and goals as follows: "IIC was founded in August 1997 by Trita Parsi, the present President. Our agenda is topped by the removal of US economic and political sanctions against Iran. IIC is capable of organizing the grassroots and pressure US lawmakers to pose a more Iran friendly position."

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Author:Dai, Hassan
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Jun 29, 2017
Words:279
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