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Highlights from 2010:

Nov. 17: FDI joins Larry Klayman and Freedom Watch to examine policy options for the incoming 112th Congress toward Iran.

From left to right: FDMI President Kenneth R. Timmerman, FDI Advisory board member Reza Kahlili, Larry Klayman (speaking), FDI advisory board member R. James Woolsey

FDI briefs incoming House intelligence committee member Rep. Michele Bachmann on Iran.

(l-to-r: FDI president Kenneth R. Timmerman, FDI Sec/Treasury Bill Nojay, Rep. Bachmann, FDI Advisory board member R. James Woolsey)


April 4, 2015:"Historic" nuclear deal looks different from Washington and Tehran. After a last minute play by Iranian negotiators to buy more time, the P5+1 and Iran reached a "historic" agreement in Iran that will lift international sanctions on Iran in exchange for some limits on the nuclear program. But just how solid are the achievements that the U.S. and its partners are claiming? According to Amir Taheri, in its Persian description of the deal, the Iranian regime is claiming that it has accept few if any limits on its program, while the U.S. State Department issued a lengthy statement, spelling out detail after detail of the commitments it claimed Iran had made.

Meanwhile, a former top aide to Islamic Republic president Hassan Rouhani, who defected to Switzerland during the talks, revealed that the U.S. negotiating team was carrying Tehran's water, rather than fighting to defend and promote American interests. "
The US negotiating team are mainly [in Lausanne] to speak on Iranís behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal," Amir Hossein Motaghi told an opposition TV network in London. Essentially, as FDI president Kenneth R. Timmerman wrote in Frontpage magazine, "what Motaghi said is that Secretary Kerry is working as an agent of Iran and has been arm-twisting reluctant allies, such as the French, into accepting what they know is a bad deal."

March 16, 2015: Hassan Rouhani, executioner-in-chief.
Every day, another hanging - or rather, at least two, according to a new report released by Iran Human Rights and Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (Together Against the Death Penalty). In the 18 months since Rouhani took over as president, the Islamic Republic authorities have executed at least 1193 people, or two per day - higher than at any time in the past eighteen years. As FDI found when we started to monitor executions in Iran 20 years ago, only a portion of the executions are carried out publicly; today, less than 10%. Most of the "secret" executions were carried out inside prisons. Those executed included juvenile offenders, women, former Muslim believers, and large numbers of Kurds and other ethnic minorities. Download the full report here.

As Secretary of State John Kerry was meeting his Iranian counter-part (and long-time personal friend) Javad Sharif in Switzerland, the United Nations Rapporteur for Human Rights, Dr. Ahmad Shaheed, in Iran released his annual report on widespread human rights abuses in Iran. Once again, the Iranian regime swept aside Dr. Shaheed's requests to visit Iran to investigate human rights cases. Thirty-six human rights organizations urged the UN Human Rights Council to renew Dr. Shaheed's mandate.

Meanwhile, a Kurdish human rights group released its report on the indiscriminate murder of porters at Iran's borders, hunted down by Iranian border guards and IRGC units and not reported in any statistics. When the Iranian regime reports at all on such incidents, they refer to them as "skirmishes" with "smugglers."

In Tehran, as activist Banafsheh Zand reports, an Iranian Foreign Ministry official warned that Iranians living abroad "would face serious problems should they enter into Iran."

March 15, 2015:
Prominent Iranian Dissident Blasts Obama From Jail

Heshmat Tabarzadi, a prominent Iranian prisoner of conscience jailed for leading protests against the regime, has smuggled a letter for President Obama to human rights activist Manda Ervin of the Alliance of Iranian Women, who made it available to FDI.

In the letter, he revealed that he is being held in a cell with American pastor Saeed Abedini in Rajai-Shahr prison outside Karaj, in the Tehran suburbs.

Chastising the American president about his failure to intercede on Abedini's behalf, Tabarzadi writes: "I heard that you met with his wife and children, and that his son, little Jacob, asked you to help release his father for his birthday. But we have not heard you demand the release of the hostage Abedini from the tyrant Khamenei."

The Iranian regime accused Tabarzadi of being one of the ring-leaders behind the student uprising of July 1999, and initially sentenced him to nine years in prison. Tabarzadi was released before the end of his sentence, after spending two years in solitary confinement in Evin Prison in Tehran, on condition he refrain from public statements. He broke his silence after the mass demonstrations against the regime in 2009, and was arrested again on December 27, 2009 and sentenced to another eight years in jail.

The letter, which Mrs. Ervin translated and sent by registered mail to the White House, called on President Obama to maintain sanctions on Iran and to help the pro-freedom movement. "A large majority of the Iranian people are opposed to the Islamic regime," said Ervin, who has testified before Congressional committees on human rights issues and the oppression of women in Iran.

So far, the White House has not responded to the letter.

"You claim that the only choice that you have is either to make a deal with Khamenei -- which I believe means surrender -- or war… Mr. President; we Iranian people submit to you and the people of the world that there is another way.  Please sanction and weaken the illegal regime of Khamenei, and empower the people to overthrow this tyranny," Tabarzadi wrote.

FDI President Kenneth R. Timmerman said the letter shows that the pro-freedom movement in Iran is "alive and well, and is not fooled by the sham nuclear negotiations underway with the West."

The full next of the letter is available here.

Permalink with additional resources.

March 14, 2015: White House replies to Sen. Corker.
After Javad Sharif revealed that Iran expects the U.S. to press the UN Security Council to revoke sanctions, Sen. Corker sent a letter to the White House asking for clarification (see below). White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough sent a detailed reply, confirming the need for UN action, and further revealing that the White House intended to lift sanctions on Iran by using "waivers" built into existing U.S. legislation, rather than asking Congress to act. McDonough sent the letter on Saturday night - guaranteeing that the story wouldn't hit the Sunday talk shows and would be "old news" by Monday. (Full text of the letter here).

Full text of Sen. Corker's Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (S.615).

March 13, 2015: Nuclear deal appears closer.
Despite all the hubbub about the letter signed by 47 Republican Senators,  schooling Iran's leaders on the U.S. constitution and the separation of powers, the U.S. and Iran danced closer to a nuclear deal this week.

In Tehran, Foreign Minister Javad Sharif expressed victory in the talks, saying Tehran had come out "the winner."

At the United Nations in New York, the United States and other Security Council members states began discussing a resolution that would lift all UN sanctions on Iran.

While Secretary of State Kerry still refuses to reveal details of a prospective deal to Congress, FDI President Kenneth R. Timmerman points out in a column this morning that his Iranian counterpart, Javad Sharif, happily disclosed secrets in Tehran -- in English, to boot.

Iran's goals in the negotiations remain clear: 1) relief from U.S. and international sanctions on oil exports and financial transactions, 2) maintaining its nuclear infrastructure, and 3) acceptance by the international community of its "right" to enrich uranium, despite five UN Security Council resolutions acknowledging that Iran has violated its commitments under the Nonproliferation Treaty, acts which automatically exclude Iran from any of the rights of non-nuclear states under the Treaty. As Timmerman concluded in his column, whether such a deal will prevent or even delay a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East "is anyone's guess."

March 3, 2015: After historic speech by PM Netanyahu to Congress, US Senate to demand oversight of Iran negotiations.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY) said after today's speech by Netanyahu to a Joint Meeting of Congress that the Senate would take up the bi-partisan Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (S-615) next week. The bill to review the P5+1 negotiations with Iran was introduced jointly by Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his Democrat counterpart (and predecessor as SFRC chair), Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey. President Obama has said he would veto the bill. View FDI President's tweets on the Netanyahu speech @kentimmerman

• Even the Washington Post thinks the Obama administration "needs to provide real answers to Netanyahu's arguments." In a lead editorial, the Post blasts the administration for essentially just trying to shout Netabyahu down, rather than seriously confront his case against a nuclear deal that in his words would "pave the way" to an Iranian bomb.

Jan. 22, 2015: State Department #2 says U.S. has no intention of stopping Iran nuclear program.
The former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Robert Menendez (D, NJ), blasted Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken yesterday over the administration's positions on Iran's nuclear program. In a blistering exchange, Mendenez accused Blinken and the administration for failing to take any steps to eliminate Iran's nuclear program and using "talking points that come straight out of Tehran."

“[I]sn’t it true that even the deal that you are striving towards is not to eliminate any Iranian [nuclear] breakout capability, but to constrain the time in which you’ll get the notice of such breakout capability?” Menendez asked Blinken. “Is that a fair statement, yes or no?”

“Yes, it is,” Blinken responded.

Blinken was confirmed in party line vote on Dec. 16, 2014, after Senator John McCain had vowed to block his nomination over statements Blinken had made praising Iraq as stable and secure as the U.S. prepared to end its military presence.

Meanwhile, more details emerge of the U.S. concessions to Iran, including unilateral lifting of economic sanctions, without any Iranian counter-part. This comes after President Obama vowed to veto new Iran sanctions legislation, and called on British Prime Minister David Cameron to directly lobby U.S. Senators last week to vote block a sanctions vote.

Jan. 21, 2015: More on Nisman death:
Claudia Rossett reports in Forbes that Nisman had been warning for years that Iran's terrorist penetration of Latin America wasn't limited to Argentina, and that his superiorsbanned him in 2013 from testifying befor the U.S. Congress on Iranian terror networks in the Western hemisphere. (h/t Banafsheh Zand)

- FDI Director Kenneth Timmerman's recollection of Nisman in FrontPage magazine.

Jan. 20, 2015: Jan. 20, 2015: FDI, Public Enemy #1.
It’s not the first tim
e, but today's article in the IRGC-controlled Mashregh News website, FDI once again makes the hit parade of IRGC enemies in the West.

The article repeats oft-cited claims that FDI is spearheading a U.S. government effort to overthrow the Islamic regime in Iran, and was reproduced verbatim in more than a dozen regime-controlled websites, most of them controlled by the IRGC or MOIS.

But in a break with previous such attacks, this one contained a special twist, blasting FDI for opposing (and exposing) the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), and its founder, Swedish-Iranian national, Trita Parsi. The author praised NIAC and Parsi for opposing regime change in Iran, supporting negotiations between the U.S. and Iran, and more generally for defending the Islamic Republic in the United States.

The author claimed that a recent poll showed that 96% of Iranian-Americans saw Parsi as a "lobbyist" for the Islamic Republic.

The timing of this latest broadside against FDI is worth noting. On Sunday morning, helicopters Israeli reportedly killed a Hezbollah operational team in Syria that included Jihad Mugniyeh, son of the former Hezbollah military commander.

The elder Mugniyeh was identified by Argentinean prosecutor Alberto Nisman as the logistics coordinator of the 1992 attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, and the July 1994 truck bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center that killed 86 people.

Half a world away, Nisman himself was found dead in his apartment that same night, an alleged suicide.

FDI CEO and president Kenneth R. Timmerman had been an expert witness in the AMIA case and was cited by Nisman in his 2006 i
ndictment more than a dozen times. Timmerman was also instrumental in laying out the elder Mugniyeh's involvement in recruiting the al Qaeda terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks on America.

A side note on the picture of Timmerman that appears in the Mashregh News broadside: it was grabbed from a video taken at a campaign event at the B'nai Israel synagogue in Maryland in October 2012—but from a portion of the video that the campaign never posted online!

Stay tuned for more as this story develops. Permalink

Jan. 17, 2015: Standing up for press freedom... in Iran.
Blogger Banafsheh Zand reminds us that journalists in Iran continue to face persecution, arrest, and torture from the regime. Where is the outrage from the West?

Jan. 16, 2015: Kerry-Zarif meet in Paris.
After talks in Geneva on Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart take their traveling circus to Paris for the second time this week on Friday, as the pro-Tehran lobby once again peddled the fanciful notion that the regime is divided over making concessions to the West - so therefore Washington should be making all the concessions!

Jan. 15, 2015: White House calls nuclear deal separate from hostage negotiations.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that the U.S. could conclude a nuclear agreement with Islamic Republic, even as the regime continues to hold American citizens hostage.

Jan. 14, 2016: U.S. negotiating goals shrink.
Former Asst Secretary of State Robert Einhorn argues in an insider's account of the nuclear negotiations that the U.S. goal has shrunk so very small that the best we can hope for is an agreement that delays the time Iran would need to produce weapons-grade uranium from 4-6 weeks to 10-12 months.

January 6, 2015: FDI Director in Frontpage mag:
What do Iranian defectors, the Iranian opposition, and the underground house church all have in common? The CIA has mishandled or misunderstood them all. Read Ken Timmerman's column, Carrying His Cross to Elam.

Jan. 3, 2015: Iranian American pastor begins 3rd year of prison sentence.
Pastor Saeed Abedini, arrested during a visit to Iran in September 2012 was sentenced in January 2013 to eight years in jail because of his faith. American supporters have called on believers to join in a vigil of prayer and fasting to call for his release.

Nov. 22, 2014: A bad nuclear deal in the offing.
Secretary of State Kerry and others continue to say that no deal is better than a bad deal with Iran, but do they really mean it?

Criticism is mounting among Democrats as well as Republicans of the entire negotiation process, let alone any potential “deal” with the Islamic Republic. 17 Democrats signed onto the bi-partisan Mendendez-Kirk “Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Bill” last December, before the White House came down on them like a ton of bricks. Among other things, the bill would have held the White House and the State Department to their repeated pledges to “dismantle” Iran’s nuclear program by explicitly denying Iran’s “right” to enrichment (a “right” the Islamic Republic forefeited when the United Nations Security Council condemned them in 2005 and 2006 for cheating on the Non-Proliferation Treaty).

Last Wednesday, 43 of the 45 Republicans in the U.S. Senate wrote to President Obama, demanding that the President bring any agreement before the Senate for approval.

And at a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on Thursday, Nov. 20, Democrat Ted Deutch of Florida led the charge, saying that any deal “must cut off all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon,” including the dismantling of its centrifuge program and the Arak heavy water reactor, and full transparency on Iran’s Past Military activities.

Iranian regime negotiators, parliamentarians and other commentators have explicitly rejected all of these restrictions, claiming that the only issue on the table is lifting U.S. and international economic sanctions.

It is our view that the regime’s nuclear program will spark a regional nuclear arms race and endangers the security of ordinary Iranians and should be entirely dismantled.

Nov. 19, 2014: Mobile billboard campaign in Washington, DC.

A coalition of Iranian human rights groups and Justice Through Music launched a mobile billboard campaign in the U.S. capitol on Wednesday, to bring attention to stepped up repression of women inside Iran. The execution last month of Reyhaneh Jabbari, a 26-year old woman accused of stabbing to death a former intelligence ministry official who was raping her, has generated worldwide indignation, as have a spate of acid-throwing attacks against unveiled women in Iranian streets.

Click here for more photos from the billboard campaign:

Nov. 13, 2014: Voice of America TV now promoted by Iranian state media!
Members of Congress might think that taxpayer funding for th
e Voice of America's Persian language service is aimed at providing Iranians an alternative to the propaganda they receive daily from the state run media. But some VOA shows have become favorites of the Iranian regime itself.

Such is the case of "Ofogh" (Horizon), a news show hosted by Siamak Dehghanpour. In this photo, taken at the booth of the official Fars News booth at this week's Media fair in Tehran, Dehghanpour can be seen on the set of "Ofogh" with the VOA logo in both Farsi and English behind him. Dehghanpour apparently was so proud of being accepted by the state-run media in Iran that he posted the photo on Ofogh's Facebook page.

In the comments section below, a viewer using the screen name Al Noori called him, "Voice of Ayatollah in VOA." Sara Safiri commented that it was "no surprise" to see Dehghanpour featured at the Tehran media fair since he already boasted of taking part in a closed door dinner in New York this September during the United Nations General Assembly hosted by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif that gathered regime supporters in the United States.

Nov. 7, 2014: Ira
nian activist honored as "hero" by California Senate. California State Senator Joel Anderson (R, El Cajon) took the unprecedented step of honoring Iranian activist Roozbeh Farahanipour as a "California Hero" in a ceremony in his district office today. California Senate Concurrent Resolution 97, authored by Sen. Anderson, officially declares September as "California Heroes Month," and Farahanipour was one of the first nominees. "You have set yourself apart by showing concern for others in need, and take action to help others without expectation of reward," Sen. Anderson said. Farahanipour, a leader of the 1999 student uprising in Tehran who came to the United States in 2002 after he was released from an Iranian prison, has become a local watchdog in Los Angeles in exposing Islamic Republic agents. (For a larger photo of the certificate, click here).

Oct. 10, 2014: New satellite photos confirm Parchin explosion.
An analysis of before and after satellite photographs by the Institute for Science and International Security concludes that two buildings were destroyed and four others damaged in the events that reportedly occurred on October 5. The photographs also showed trucks present at the site of the damage that appeared to be either fire trucks or debris haulers. Some sources are claiming that a “foreign power” sabotaged the site, and that Iran may have ordered Hezbollah to make a reprisal attack against Israeli positions in the disputed Shebaa farms area near the Golan.
Hat-tip to Jerry Gordon at The Iconoclast.

Oct. 8, 2014: Pro-regime activists try to sway Westwood Council.
In a display of force that shocked the Americans present, Hezbollah-style thugs invaded the hearing chambers of the Westwood Neighborhood Council tonight, in an effort to get the Council to rescind its resolutions banning Islamic regime signs in Westwood. Local attorney Guita Tahmesseb had emailed and phoned Council chairman Jerry Brown and other members, claiming that the resolutions were “discriminatory against the Iranian community,” despite the fact that the resolutions were introduced by the Council’s only Iranian-American member. Despite pressure in the room from bearded pro-regime activists, Council members reaffirmed the resolutions when it came time to vote.

Oct. 6, 2014: Explosion at Parchin.
A powerful explosion rocked Iran's oldest military production plant at Parchin on Sunday night, killing at least two workers, Reuters reported, citing Iranian government media sources. The ensuing fire could be seen nine miles away.

Parchin is a sprawling military facility that includes the oldest gunpowder plant in the Middle East and today is suspected by the IAEA of havin
g been used for secret nuclear weapons tests. Built initially by Nazi Germany, it was expanded and modernized in the 1970s by SNPE of France to make a wide variety of explosives and solid missile propellants. Israel's minister of intelligence, Yuval Steinitz, recently reiterated longstanding claims by the IAEA that Iran had tested internal neutron initiators at Parchin in 2000-2001. These polonium-beryllium devices have no other purpose than to trigger a nuclear weapon.

The Washington,DC-based Institute for Science and International Security, ISIS, has been tracking construction and concealment activities at Parchin for many years using commercial satellite imagery.

Oct. 5, 2014: Three Christian converts arrested in Iran.  Security officers raided the home of a Christian actor in Esfahan on Sept. 27, arresting him and two other recent converts to Christianity. Shahran Gaedi, 27, was arrested and released already earlier this year, reportedly because of his involvement in the “Iranian Jesus Film Project.”

Oct. 1, 2014: Former Deputy CIA Director turns blind eye to Iranian involvement in Benghazi attacks.
In a recent speech in Florida, former deputy CIA director Mike Morell denied that Iranian government operatives or Hezbollah operatives were on the ground in Benghazi during the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks that cost the lives of four Americans. FDI director Kenneth R. Timmerman's latest book, Dark Forces: the Truth About What Happened in Benghazi, details Iran's on-the-ground involvement in the uprising against Qaddafi and in the attacks.

On his website, Timmerman offers additional information on the Iranian involvement, including photographs of the Iranian Red Crescent team allegedly "kidnapped" in Benghazi on July 31, 2012 as part of an elaborate intelligence ruse by the Quds Force aimed at tricking the CIA into thinking the threat to the U.S. compounds in Benghazi were over. According to Timmerman's account, the Iranian regime was seeking to drive the Americans out of Libya and thrust that nation into chaos, two goals that have been met.

Timmerman reports on Morell's recent speech, his Iran denial, and Senator Lindsay Graham's own accusations against Morell in the October edition of the New English Review.

Since leaving government, Morell has gone to work for Beacon Global Strategies, a recently established consulting firm jointly owned by several Hillary Clinton confidants, including her "enforcer," Philippe Reines.

Timmerman was interviewed on the book, Morell, and the U.S.-sanctioned arms smuggling operation being run out of Benghazi on the John Bates "Middle East Round Up" on Sept. 16, which the New English Review has transcribed.

Also today:
Read Ryan Mauro's excellent article on sanctioned Iranian businesses that continue to operate in Los Angeles.
Former DIA analyst Dr. Lawrence Franklin writes on the efforts of "Iranian-American patriot" Roozbeh Farahanipour to drive the IRI out of Westwood.

And from Roozbeh, FDI has learned that at least one Westwood business, worried by the possibility of law enforcement action against him for sanctions violations, has changed his Farsi-language sign so it no longer offers his services on behalf of the non-existent Iranian "embassy" in Washington, DC.

Sept. 29, 2014: "New Iran" opposition group reveals that IRI killed nuclear scientist.
The sister of Iranian nuclear scientist Dr. Ardeshire Hosseinpour, who was murdered in 2007, now claims he was murdered by the regime for refusing to cooperate with the nuclear weapons program. In video conference calls with the California-based opposition group, The New Iran, Mahboobeh Hosseinpour said her brother was contacted by three special agents of the regime's Defense ministry "with a direct message" from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who was seeking Dr. Hosseinpour's help. When Dr. Hosseinpour turned down repeated offers, including a senior rank in the IRGC and part ownership of several factories as perks, regime thugs assassinated him, Mahboobeh told the Media Line, in a call arranged by Dr. Iman Foroutan of New Iran.

Sept. 26, 2014: "Moderate" Rouhani says jailing American pastor for his faith shows Iran's "fairness and justice."
Regime president Hassan Rouhani once again showed his spots in an interview with CNN's Christian Amanpour on the 2nd anniversary of the jailing of visiting American pastor, Saeed Abedini. In a rambling response to her question on prisoners of faith and political prisoners, Rouhani said they had all received a fair trial and received adequate legal representation. But as Jordan Sekulow points out, Pastor Saeed "wasn’t made aware of the charges brought against him until a week before trial.  He was not allowed to meet with his attorney until 24 hours before trial.  He and his attorney were barred from attending the second day of his trial as evidence was brought against him with no opportunity to defend himself.  That's not Justice.  That's not fairness," Sekulow wrote.

Sept. 25, 2014: Westwood Neighborhood Council vs. the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In an interview with FrontPage magazine, Roozbeh Farahanipour explains the significance of the recent motions passed by the Westwood Neighborhood Council to limit the IRI presence in Los Angeles. "Westwood was once the safe-haven of Iranian refugees fleeing the Islamic Republic…Sadly, however, drizzled in-between those seeking safety and a better life, are businesspeople and other individuals closely-tied to the ruling regime back in Tehran, sent here with an agenda, a goal and a mission." Breaking their strangle hold on the community was his goal in passing resolutions to enforce U.S. sanctions in Westwood, Farahanipour said.

In a separate article with the Jewish Journal, reporter Karmel Melamed interviewed local businesses and activists about the Council resolutions.

Sept. 11, 2014: Westwood Neighborhood Council passes resolutions banning IRI business in Los Angeles. In a historic move, the Westwood Neighborhood Council, an elected body in a heavily Iranian-American neighborhood of Los Angeles, voted 17-1 last night to approve two resolutions banning local businesses from deceptive activities in violation of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The resolutions were the result of an investigation by Council member Roozbeh Farahanipour, a pro-freedom activist involved in organizing the 1999 student protests in Iran, who found that local businesses were advertising visa, passport, and notarial services on behalf of the Iranian regime. (Click images).

Farahanipour presented photographs of storefront signs advertising Iran Air, which is banned from doing business in the United States because of its ties to terrorism. He also showed photographs of signs that appeared innocuous in English, but which in Farsi advertised services in violation of U.S. sanctions.

"This is a great victory for the pro-freedom movement," Farahanipour told FDI. "Westwood is the heart of the Iranian community in the United States, and in recent years the opposition has not been very active. This shows that the opposition is still alive and well in Westwood."

In the first resolution, aimed at enforcing U.S. sanctions on Iran, noted that Iranian "service" bureaux in Westwood used same word "Khatamaat" as al Qaeda used in the 1980s and 1990s when it was recruiting jihadis to its cause in Afghanistan. It also called on Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz to review Farahanipour’s evidence and to presaent a plan within 30 days "to safeguard the neighborhood against possible terrorist infiltration and illegal economic activities." (Read the full motion here).

The second resolution gave Westwood neighborhood businesses three weeks notice to remove "illeg
al signs, street banners, symbols and advertisements" promoting relations or business with the Islamic Republic of Iran "and its related institutions and companies."

Most significantly, the resolution also banned the display of the flag of the Islamic Republic, as well as advertisements for Iran Air, and accused some local businesses of "benefiting financially by conducting illegal business with the IRI, facilitating its presence in Westwood and establishing an atmosphere of fear among Iranian Americans in our area." (Read the full motion here).

California State Senator Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) flew in from Sacramento to speak in support of the resolutions at Wednesday’s hearing.

"Roozbeh is right to be outraged that in a post 9/11 America, any local business would advertise themselves as agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran, we all should be outraged, too," Anderson said. "The Islamic Republic of Iran is a well-recognized sponsor of terrorism around the world."

In his presentation to the Council, Farahanipour cited recent statements by David Cohen, Undersecretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, warning businesses that selective sanctions relief under the Joint Program of Action with the Iranian regime is not an invitation by the U.S. government suggesting that Iran is "open for business."

He also presented a broad selection of photos of local shopfronts advertizing travel, shipping, and other services with Iran. (Farahanipour’s Powerpoint is available here).

April 9, 2014: Extraordinary admissions from former director of Iran's nuclear agency: we hid information from IAEA.
Fereydoon Abbasi headed Iran's Atomic Energy Agency under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In an astonishing interview with the Iranian daily Khorassan, he revealed that Iran hid design information it was required to provide to the IAEA on the Arak heavy water reactor because Western intelligence agencies were using that information to sabotage Iran's nuclear programs.

For example, he explained, if Iran reported that a certain pump had not yet reached Iran, Western intelligence agencies would "search the globe for companies that make the pump, and pressure them.
They would pressure that country or company not to transfer the parts or equipment to Iran, or would allow them to do so [only] after sabotaging [the parts]... For instance, if it was an electronic system, they would infect it with a virus, or plant explosives in it, or even alter the type of components, in order to paralyze [Iran's] system.
    Question: All these events [actually] happened?
    Abbasi: Everything I said happened..." Read the full intervi
ew at MEMRI.

March 31, 2014: Former hostage says U.S. should deny visa to hostage-taker 'ambassador.' Barry Rosen, one of the 54 U.S. embassy personnel held hostage for 444 days in Tehran by Iranian "students" from 1979-1981, urged the State Department to deny a visa to President Rouhani's pick to become the Islamic Republic's top diplomat in the U.S. Allowing Hamid Aboutalebi to become the regime's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York would be "an outrage" and a "disgrace," Rosen told FoxNews.

Update April 7: State Department spokesperson Marie Harf, after dodging questions on Aboutalebi, said the State Department found his nomination "extremely troubling" and had "raised our concerns" with Tehran.

March 15, 2014: UN human rights rapporteur says little change under Rouhani. Ahmed Shadeed releases his annual report, blasting Rouhani for taking only "baby steps" to improve the human rights in Iran, while regime forces continue are actively "working to suppress the rights of the people." Predictably, the regime still won't allow Shadeed or any of his staff visit Iran.

Shadeed admirably lists the names and alleged "offenses" of hundreds of political prisoners in Iranian jails, including Baha'is and Christians persecuted for their faith, human rights advocates, political activists, and Ethnic minorities. Download the full report.

March 14, 2014: Former U.S. intelligence officer says Kerry may be compromised.
A former Iran analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency is asking tough questions about Secretary of State John Kerry's relationship to his Iranian counter-part, Javad Sharif, as rumors fly that Sharif's son was the best man at the wedding of Kerry's daughter to an Iranian national. Larry Franklin also questions why Kerry did not disclose his daughter's recent  marriage to an Iranian until after he was confirmed by the Senate as Sec/State. Read the full story.

Jan. 14, 2014: Hassan Rouhani, nuclear cheat.
Now it’s official: for Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, the nuclear deal struck with the West in Geneva in November was just an excuse to get sanctions relief, and Iran has no intention of scaling back its nuclear ambitions. ”Our relationship w/the world is based on Iranian nation’s interests,” Rouhani tweeted on Jan. 14. “In Geneva agreement world powers surrendered to Iranian nation’s will.”

The Islamic Republic’s “moderate” clerical president expanded on what he meant by the West’s “surrender” in a speech in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan today. “The Geneva agreement means the wall of sanctions has broken. The unfair sanctions were imposed on the revered and peace-loving Iranian nation,' he said (with translation by the Associated Press). 'It means an admission by the world of Iran's peaceful nuclear program.'"

The Iranian side has a very different view on what they agreed to in Geneva than does Secretary of State John Kerry. Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi revealed that the two sides would be bound by a 30-page “non-paper,” which bore all the hallmarks of a secret side agreement – something the State Department was quick to deny.

Araqchi was crystal clear that Iran believes the deal means the continuation of all Iranian nuclear research programs and facilities. “No facility will be closed; enrichment will continue, and qualitative and nuclear research will be expanded,” he told the Iranian Students News Agency on Monday. “All research into a new generation of centrifuges will continue."

Rouhani publicly gloated over fooling the West in his last nuclear negotiation when he ran for president last year. In a televised interview, he explained in detail how he tricked the EU-3 negotiators in talks from 2003 to 2005. Instead of shutting down or even slowing its nuclear development, Rouhani boasted that centrifuge production actually increased, and Iran managed to finalize its Uranium Conversion Facility in Isfahan, all the while pretending it has "suspended" its enrichment program. without the conversion plant (often known as the "hex" plant, since that's where Iran transforms uranium yellowcake into Uranium hexafluoride for gaseous enrichment), there could be no enrichment. Permalink.

Jan. 5, 2014: Heshmatollah Tabarzadi
sent back to prison. Former student leader and human rights activist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi has been ordered to return to prison, effective Jan. 6, after a year-long "furlough." In a letter explaining his reason for returning to jail, Tabarzadi said his temporary release was continent upon his silence, but that "the situation of the people and my country is such that I could no longer keep quiet." He blasted so-called pro-freedom activists who have embraced the new government of mullah Hassan Rouhani. With his forced return to prison, "These hypocrites can no longer claim to the international community that after the emergence of President Hassan Rouhani, Iran's human rights situation has improved," he wrote. h/t Banafhsheh Zand.

Jan. 2, 2014: Assyrian church in Iran pressured to close doors to Farsi-speaking Christians.
The Iranian regime, working through Quislings in the Assyrian community, has forced St. Peter's Church in Tehran to ban Farsi-speaking Christians from attending worship services, Mohabat News reports. As happens regularly where Christians are a tiny minority in Muslm lands, the Iranian regime appears to have used its "pet Christian," Assyrian Majles member Yonatan Betkolia, to enforce this ban, aimed at identifying and persecuting former Muslims who have come to Jesus. Betkolia has family members living in the United States, and is well known within the Assyrian community as the Secretary General of Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA). "He will do whatever the Iranian regime orders him to do," a prominent Assyrian activist told FDI. 

Jan. 1, 2014:Anti-Israel Lobby Teams up with NIAC to oppose Iran sanctions.
Anti-Israel conservatives, including the National Interest, are making common cause with NIAC and the Obama White House to oppose the latest Iran sanctions legislation being pitched by a bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators led by Democrats Menendez (NJ) and Chuck Schummer (NY), and Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois. They argue that the latest sanctions are being driven by the pro-Israel lobby and have essentially “out-sourced” America’s decisions of war or peace to Israel.

While this is a meretricious argument on its face (the U.S. Congress decides questions of war and peace, when it decides to assert its Constitutional authority), it reveals the panic that has gripped the pro-Tehran lobby over the new sanctions legislation.

The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 is significant because this is the first time prominent Democrats have bucked a veto threat from the Obama White House. It also is significant because it closes a major loophole in the petroleum sanctions that has allowed countries such as China to continue importing Iranian oil in the form of fuel oil, while cracking down on the oil-mixing trade sponsored by sanctions-busters such as Babak Zanjani, who has been running cargoes of Iranian oil to Labuan, Malaysia where he blends the Iranian oil with oil from other countries and then sells it as non-Iranian oil.

The new bill amends previous sanctions legislation by replacing the ban on “crude oil purchases from Iran” with an ban on “purchases of petroleum from Iran or of Iranian origin,” a new definition aimed to capture blended oil as well as fuel oil, condensates, and other forms of petroleum exported by Iran. It also expands sanctions beyond the current energy, shipping and shipbuilding to include certain ports and free economic zones, as well as any economic sector the President deems to be “strategic.”

The new bill also prevents the President from cutting staff or appropriations to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the primary U.S. government agency involved in sanctions enforcement, as happened during the brief government shutdown last year. (
Download the latest draft here).

The authors of the bill  clearly see the measure as a means of “putting teeth” into the ongoing diplomatic negotiations with the Iranian regime over its nuclear program, not as a means of impeding or prohibiting those negotiations. But Iranian foreign Minister Javad Sharif warned that if the bill passed, the negotiations were over and Iran would back out of the Joint Plan of Action.

2013 entries





Earlier Postings

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