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)
Dec. 27, 2013: Zarrab family granted
Turkish citizenship. In the deepening corruption
scandal enveloping the government of Turkish Prime Minister
Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab has reportedly
succeeded in acquiring Turkish citizenship "on exceptional grounds" for
his immediate family. "Applicants can acquire Turkish citizenship on
exceptional grounds after getting a nomination from the Interior
Ministry and a decree from the Cabinet," according
to Today's Zaman, a Turkish news site.
Dec. 25, 2013: Turkey Corruption Scandal Hits Iran. The corruption
scandal that has caused three government ministers to resign and
threatens to ensnare Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan began when
police investigators alleged that Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab had
bribed public figures in Turkey. “Zarrab exports gold and I know he is
involved in charity activities as well,” Erdogan told a rally in
Istanbul, in an attempt to dismiss the growing scandal.
prosecutors"his chief" in Iran was "B.Z," widely believed to be Babak Zanjani, the Iranian
billionaire sanctions-buster who has been blacklisted
for sanctions violations by the U.S. Treasury department. (In
the photo at right, Zanjani
can be seen in his private jet (wearing
a white shirt) along with Hassan
Mir-Kazemi, a bassiji "businessman" better known for getting
photographed on a motorbike with his pistol during the repression of
the 2009 post-election protests).
Police also arrested the general manager of the state-owned Halkbank,
Suleyman Aslan, on allegations of illegal gold trading with Iran. “I
have no doubt that he [Aslan] is innocent,” Erdogan
Halkbank was at the center of a murky deal to transfer hard currency
payments for Iranian oil, blocked by international sanctions, by Indian
oil refiners. Also known as Turkiye Halk Bankasi SA, Halkbank is
controlled by Erdogan’s AKP party. Union Bank of India, the Indian bank
that had been remitting payments for Iranian oil, contracted with
Halkbank in August 2011 to serve as an intermediary for the payments,
using a complex currency transfer mechanism designed to get around the
U.S. financial sanctions.
Suspicious gold and currency transfers involving Iran and Turkey first
came to light in October 2008, when the Turkish authorities seized a
container said to contain $18.5 billion worth of U.S. dollars and gold
The suspicious shipments continued into at least January 2013, when a
mysterious cargo plane originating in Ghana made an emergency landing
at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul and was discovered to be carrying 1.5
tons of gold, worth
an estimated $1 billion.
Dec. 12, 2013: IRGC commander says "no red lines have been crossed" in
nuclear negotiations. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali
Jaffari said that Iran has already "given the maximum" in nuclear talks
with the West and "received the minimum," but noted that so far "no red
lines have been crossed." This is
a clear reference to IRGC demands that Iran never give up uranium
enrichment. Jaffari also acknowledged once again the IRGC presence in
Syria. "We have announced before that we have specialized forces in
Syria to transfer experience and training who undertake advisory roles,
and this is obvious.” Jaffari's comments initially came as a challenge
to Foreign Minister Javad Sharif, who claimed Iran could be destroyed
with two [atomic] bombs, something Jaffari disputed. “Today, Iran is a
completely secure country from a security issues view. The enemies
knows our capabilities in several dimensions of materiel and software.
Since  we have been in an asymmetric battle with the enemy. They
saw Iran’s abilities in the 33-Day and 22-Day Wars against an Zionist
army armed to the teeth," he added. English translation
Iran Tracker. Persian from FarsNews.
advisor adds: Nuclear agreement is the "Treaty of Huddabiya in Geneva."
If any doubts remain as to how the Iranians see the Geneva agreement,
this statement from political commentator (and former Khatami
advisor) Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini should set the record
straight. Iran's missiles can now reach Tel Aviv; Obama was desperate
for a handshake from Rouhani in New York, and the nuclear agreement was
like Mohammad's temporary treaty of Huddabiya, made to be broken once
the Muslim side was strong enough for military victory. Read a
translation of his Syrian TV interview thanks to Memri.org.
Dec. 7, 2013: Basijis infiltrate student protest. Basijis
posing as students infiltrated a student gathering at Tehran
Polytechnic University on National Students Day today, "intending to
undermine the gathering," according to Ghanoon Online (via the
AEI Iran Tracker). "The Basijis led chants
of 'Allahu Akbar' [God is great], and 'Down with America.' The resident
students’ chants included 'Political prisoners must be freed,' Ghanoon
reported. "A student who attended the rally said that 'At 11 o’clock,
non-student individuals were dispatched to the university by bus.
Extremist members of the Basij from Amir Kabir University arrived by
the hundreds and led chants saying that political prisoners must be
executed and that Rouhani must let go of student life.'" FDI
Comment: this is just the latest example of the regime's robust
counter-intelligence operation to infiltrate, mislead, misdirect, and
confuse opposition elements inside Iran. But it also
demonstrates the regime's ongoing fears of
Dec. 6, 2013: Khatami brother shows Iran's escape
clause from nuclear deal. Speaking at Friday prayers in
Tehran, Hojjat-ol eslam Ahmad Khatami, the brother of the former
president, praised the regime's team of nuclear negotiators for
sticking to the Supreme Leader's script. Then he described Iran's
escape clause. “After the negotiations, Obama
again noted that all options are on the table. He lied and said that we
have an atomic bomb. What manners are these? We know that Obama is
among the rudest leaders in the world. However, if there is the
smallest indicator of a lack of adherence, the Quran says that you
cancel the contract, and that if the enemy wants to betray you, there
is no contract.” This
reference to the famous "huddabiyah" contract Mohammad signed with
Jewish tribes in Mecca served Arafat in signing the Oslo "peace"
agreement with Israel, which he consistently violated, and is
now being invoked by Iran.
Nov. 24, 2013: FDI calls the P5+1 nuclear
agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran "a sham" FDI has carefully examined
the public data on the nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and the
Islamic Republic of Iran. While we applaud the efforts of French
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who held the line on a much worse deal
at the previous round of negotiations, the deal announced today will
imperil the security of the Iranian people, the region, and will inevitably lead to war.
Why? Because it allows the Iranian regime to maintain its nuclear
breakout capability, imposes little in the way of serious verification,
and thus serves as an encouragement to continued cheating. In exchange for immediate
sanctions relief offered by the United States
and Europe, Tehran offered promises to limit centrifuge
production, to delay construction of the Arak plutonium production
reactor, and to suspend 20% enriched uranium for six months. Some deal.
In addition, FDI sources indicate that the Iranian regime continues to
work on ICBM capability, including a MIRV'd delivery vehicle capable of
carrying five warheads (three nuclear, two decoys). While fissures in
the production of the missile casing have delayed the program, the
agreement imposes no limits on this program.
We also note that Ayatollah Khamenei views these negotiations as a
subterfuge to attain the Islamic Republic's true goal of acquiring a
militarily-significant nuclear arsenal for a first strike on Israel
(see Nov. 20, below).
Nov. 21, 2013: "Moderate" Rouhani's defense minister helped murder U.S.
Marines in Beirut. Hossein Dehghan, Rouhani's new defense
minister, cut his teeth in Lebanon, where he helped forge Hezbollah
into an operational arm of the IRGC. In the early , according to
Israeli researcher Shimon Shapira, he helped recruit Imad
Mugniyeh and devised the plan Mugniyeh carried out to blow up the U.S.
Marine barracks at the Beirut airport on Oct. 23, 1983, killing 241
Americans, and simultaneously attack the French Marine barracks several
kilometers away, killing 63 Frenchmen. The AP photo at right shows
Dehghan in the Majlis recently. Read
the full story from Tony Badran at the Weekly Standard.
Nov. 20, 2013: Khamenei says nuclear talks are a
sham. In an address to Bassiji commanders, the Supreme Leader
of the Islamic Republic warned that any interpretion of Iran's
"flexibility" in the current nuclear talks with the great powers was "a
"Heroic flexibility" is a term many in Iran have used to suggest that
President Hassan Rouhani was behind the nuclear deal with the West.
Khamenei set them right: "'Heroic flexibility' means an artistic
maneuver and the use of different tactics to reach different goals and
ideals of the Islamic regime,” he told the Bassiji commanders.
Khamenei reminded them that Iran's "right" to enrich uranium was a "red
line" that Rouhani's negotiations would not cross, according to an
account of Khamenei's speech by FDI Strategic Information Program
director, Reza Kahlili.
Nov. 12, 2013: Kharroubi, Moussavi and Zahra Rahnavard
spend 1000th day under house arrest. Today marked the 1000th
day that the three green movement leaders spent under house arrest,
without the government filing any charges against them. Read more from HRW
Oct. 23, 2013: Iranian regime Announces International "Down with
America" award. Now that the U.S. and Iran are
everythings going to be okay, right? After all, didn't Khatami and
Javad Sharif, the smiling mullahs, say there would be no more
"death to America?" So now it's just "down with U.S.A."
regime's hacking squad, "Cyber Hezbollah,"
has claimed responsibility for attacks on U.S. government
websites. Now they are holding the "Great Conference of Down with
U.S.A." in Tehran on Nov. 2 and sponsoring a "Down with U.S. Great
To plug the contest, they registered a new website
using a Queensland, Australia proxy, PrivacyProtect.org. Sanctions
anyone? For more, read
today's column for FDI Strategic Information director, Reza Kahlili.
Oct. 19, 2013: AI
Monitor carrying water for Iranian regime. Our
friend Hassan Dai presents an illuminating analysis of AI Monitor's
Barbara Slavin and her role in helping Rouhani and Javad Sherif trick the West into believing that
hard-line comments from the regime leadership on the nuclear
negotiations should not be taken seriously. In 2003, when serving as
Iranian ambassador to the UN, Zarif played a similar game using Swiss
Ambassador to Iran Tim Guldimann, Congressman Bob Ney, and Trita
Parsi... Now the conduit for these authorized (and completely
misleading) leaks is AI
Monitor's Barbara Slavin.
Oct. 18, 2013: Listen to Iran's dissidents before believing the nuclear
lies. As negotiations resumed this week in Geneva over
Iran’s nuclear weapons programs, Iranian regime officials have taken an
increasingly hard line, making it unlikely any progress will be made
absent significant U.S. concessions.
Before Secretary of State John F. Kerry is tempted to give away the
store in order to achieve a Pyrrhic victory, he would do well to listen
to the voices of those the regime in Tehran has tried so hard to
silence: its political prisoners. Among the most prominent is a
dissident Shiite ayatollah, Seyyed
Hossein Kazemeini Borujerdi, who has been imprisoned and treated
with ruthless brutality for the past seven years.
What was his crime? Refusing to aocknowledge the role of Islam in
politics, and rejecting the doctrine of absolute clerical rule, the
founding belief of the Islamic regime in Iran. Read
more in today's Washington Times.
Oct. 17, 2013: Rep. Trent Franks
offers new legislation to enforce "responsible" nuclear agreement.
Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks is a staunch advocate of human
rights and religious freedom. Today he has offered
new legislation, the U.S.-Iran Nuclear Negotiations Act, H.R. 3292, to require the Obama
administration to negotiate verifiable benchmarks with the Iranian
regime. The Act requires that any nuclear deal include an end to Iran's
uranium enrichment activities, the dismantling of Fordo, and an end to
the plutonium-production reactor in Arak. Here is
the text of the bill.
Shades of the Godfather: Quds Force
chief appears with top regime leaders at his mother's funeral. They all turned out for the funeral of
Qassem Suleymani's mother: Mojtaba Khamenei, IRGC PID (intel) chief
Hossein Taeb, IRGC commander Jaafari. Pictured at right: Jihad Mugniyeh
(son of the late and unlamented terror chief, Imad Mugniyeh) and
Palestinian Islamic Jihad chieftains Ramadan 'Abdallah Shallah and
Ziyad Nakhala. MEMRI has
the full report.
H/t Banafsheh Zand
Oct. 13, 2013: Rouhani
brother is former top security official. Unlike the
Fereydoun kept his birth name. In Feb. 1979, he was one of Khomeini's
security guard druing his fabled journey
from the Tehran airport to Behesht Zahra Cemetary. Right after the
revolution, he became a jailor/interrogator of former SAVAK
intelligence agents. For 8 years after the Iran-Iraq war he was
ambassador to Malaysia, building up the IRI's extensive financial and
intelligence structures there. Rumored to have close ties to MOIS and
to the Rafsanjani family, Hossein Fereydoun will undoubtedly be a
player in the new administration. ht/ Banafshe Zand. Read more
Sept 29, 2013: Obama talks hostages with Rouhani. A
"senior administration official" told
reporters over the weekend that President Obama asked Rouhani
about the fate of three Americans currently held hostage by Iran:
Robert Levinson, Saeed Abedini, and Amir Hekmati. Michael Ledeen has
more about the administration's desperate
outreach to the (latest) smiling mullah of Tehran; Newsmax analyst Fred
Fleitz asks if Obama is "repeating past mistakes" on Iran.
Sept. 26, 2013: When Rouhani met Ollie North. The
original account in the Tower Commission report of the 1986 meeting in
Tehran (with the Bible and the cake) referred to him only as "a senior
foreign affairs advisor." Nowa
more complete picture of Rouhani's role in Iran-contra is
Sept. 24, 2013: Quds Force chief said to be
directing Assad's war in Syria. New
Yorker magazine profiles Qassem Suleimani, (photo, left) the
elusive chief of the IRGC's foreign expeditionary and terrorist Quds
force, said to be providing strategic advice as well as manpower to the
Sept. 23, 2013: Jailed dissident cleric smuggles out letter for UN
General Assembly. Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Kazemeini
Borujerdi, who was arrested in 2006 and has been jailed ever since, has
a letter out of Evin Prison addressed to members of the UN
General Assembly. Ayatollah Borujerdi describes his plight as a hostage
“within a prison cell which is surrounded by a cruelty and brutality
called religion and faith.”
He calls the regime in Tehran and the latest smiling mullah serving as
a front man for the reign of the
ayatollahs “brutal totalitarians [who] have plundered and stolen the
wealth and national income of every Iranian," and ends his letter with
a plea to “focus your gaze on that which goes on inside Iran and
scrutinize the actions and blatant human and civil rights violations of
Our take: Ayatollah
Borujerdi represents a body of senior traditionalist clerics who reject
political Islam, which the U.S. administration of Barack Obama has
embraced from Tunisia to Afghanistan. That perhaps explains why the
U.S. administration has ignored his plight, preferring the fool’s
errand of negotiating with a self-avowed liar, President Hassan
Rouhani, who boasts of how he tricked the West as Iran’s nuclear
negotiator from 2003-2005. FDI began writing about his plight
not long after his arrest.
His supporters are worried that long years of brutal detention, and the
refusal by the regime to allow him to take heart medecine brought to
him by his family, is contributing to his rapidly-deteriorating health.
Sept. 22, 2013: The "containment" trial balloon. Former
Clinton administration national security official Kenneth M. Pollock is
the containment trial balloon: don't worry about the Islamic
Republic getting the bomb, just be prepared to prevent them from using
it. As always, such analysis misses the point as to why the regime is
seeking nuclear weapons capability, and the end times ideology driving
Ayatollah Khamenei and his top advisors.
Sept. 4, 2013: JINSA task force
report on Iran. Without a doubt, this
is the best and most authoritative analysis and set of policy
recommendations we've seen. The list of participants include
hard-liners on Iran as well as advocates of accomodation; and yet the
report comes down squarely on the side of a more rigorous policy toward
the Tehran regime with verifiable benchmarks. Our main regret: human
rights, political and religious freedom get short shrift - indeed, no
mention at all. Of especial interest for scholars and columnists is the
list of nuclear offers made by the U.S. and the EU to Iran since 2005 -
no fewer than seven complete package deals, several of which would have
allowed Tehran to continue enrichment, a very bad idea in our view.
August 9, 2013: Prominent political prisoners refuse to sign
anti-sanctions letter. Despite heavy pressure from the
regime and from more "compliant" prisoners, human rights lawyer Nasrin
Sotoudeh and other prominent political prisoners pointed refused to
sign a Quisling letter to President Obama, complaining about the
effects of U.S. sanctions. If nothing else, the anti-sanctions letter, which
appeared in London's Guardian newspaper, shows again the extent to
which the regime has infiltrated and manipulated the opposition. Other
prominent political prisoners who refused to sign the regime's letter
including Majid Tavakoli, Ahmad Zeidabadiand Heshmat Tabarzadi. Read
July 18, 2013: Pro-Tehran lobby
finds more "useful idiots" in Congress. The pro-Tehran
lobby is salivating at the possibility that the election of a smiling
mullah in bed with the Islamic Republic oil lobby will pave the way to
back door deals with Iran that will make them rich. Key to that
strategy is convincing their supporters in Tehran that they can deliver
support for rapprochement and an end to sanctions in Washington.
Our take: This
latest letter, co-sponsored by Republican Charlie Dent of
Pennsylvania and Democrat David Price of North Carolina,demonstrates
why voters need to elect responsible adults to Congress.
The U.S. has "engaged" the Iranian regime in dozens of meetings over
the past decade, and the Iranian side has successfully delayed, denied,
and deceived as they continued to spin the centrifuges and, through
their lobby, Congress and the U.S. media.
July 1, 2013: State Department
negotiating Iran sanction waiver. As the U.S.
Senate was engrossed in the immigration debate last week and the House
was preparing for the 4th of July recess, the State Department quietly
negotiated a deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran to establish direct
flights between Tehran and New York, FDI has learned.
The deal involves a government to government Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU), and flights between the two countries operated by
Iran Air, which is on the Treasury Department’s list of Specially
Designated Nationals and banned from all commerce with U.S. persons
because of its involvement in terrorism and the proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction.
In a special advisory delivered this morning, FDI urged the appropriate
committee chairmen and ranking members in Congress to immediately
clarify with the State Department whether they have indeed negotiated
an MoU with Iran, as the Iranian Foreign Minister announced last week (see our complete statement,
here); and if so, to withhold funds from the State Department for
the implementation of this MoU or further negotiations.
“Waiving sanctions on Iran Air so it can operate direct
flights to the United States would jeopardize most of the sanctions
legislation currently on the books, and would expose the Treasury
Department’s designation process to charges of being arbitrary and
political,” said FDI President and CEO, Kenneth R. Timmerman. Download
PDF version of the FDI statement
June 13, 2013 - Election update: Wealthy
Los Angeles landlord pulls out from regime elections.
FDI has learned that Frank Rahban, a wealth
real estate investor in Los Angeles, is the owner of the building the
regime planned to use tomorrow in Santa Monica to hold its “election”
show, located at 401 San Vincente Blvd.
Mr. Rahban encountered
public notoriety in 2009 when anti-billboard activists protested in
front of his Brentwood home because he had used one of his properties
to host a 6-storey billboard. He owns the Santa Monica property through
a family trust with his wife and son.
California commercial records show that he operates Overland Investment
Company on W. Pico Blvd, and is a partner or investor in at least five
other real estate partnerships.
After receiving a torrent of calls from angry Iranian-Americans on
Thursday, Mr. Rahban apparently canceled the rental agreement for his
property and the Iranian Interests Section has removed the address from
the list of active polling stations on its website.
June 13, 2013: Iranians chant anti-regime slogans at football match. A
brief video has surfaced of football (soccer) fans chanting anti-regime
slogans at Tuesday night's Iran-Lebanon World Cup qualifiying match at
Azadi stadium in Tehran. (Iran beat Lebanon 4-1). "Nah Ghazzeh, Nah
Loobnan, Janam Fedaayeh Iran" - literally, No Gaza, No Lebanon, My life
is dedicated to Iran" - was first chanted during the 2009 post-election
uprising and shocked the regime more than outright calls for the death
of the Supreme Leader. Why? because this regime spends more time and
money to support Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon than it
does to provide clean water to the residents of south Tehran. The
slogan is a direct repudiation of that policy. Sources
tell FDI that large crowds chanted anti-regime slogans inside the
stadium itself during the June 11 match as well. We will post more
video as it becomes available. Watch
the video here (Permalink).
Regime posts election show polling places: At around 3 PM on Thursday,
the regime posted official polling places in the United States for
have been very careful in the PDF tables not to include any identifying
markers tying the list of venues back to the regime. One reason may be
because two of the 19 locations are Islamic Centers owned and
controlled by the Alavi Foundation, which since 2008 has had its assets
frozen by federal prosecutors in New York on allegations that it is
under the daily control of the Iranian regime. FDI has contacted the
prosecutor to flag him of this potentially illegal misuse of assets
that are currently under U.S. court-supervised receivership.
June 12, 2013: Iranian regime flouts U.S.
law, announces 19 election sites across U.S.
The Islamic Republic yesterday put up a rudimentary website with
similar to graphics to the election website it used in 2009, to inform
Iranian-Americans where they could vote in this Friday’s election show.
Under U.S. law, it is illegal for the
regime to engage in operations outside of a 25 mile radius of
its permanent mission to the United Nations in New York, and the
Interests Section in the Pakistani embassy in Washington, DC. Tuesday’s
announcement that the regime would open 19 official polling stations
around the United States was in open defiance of the law.
Today, the regime went further and issued a 4 page statement from the
Interests Section, telling Iranian-Americans that the polling
places were being set up in coordination with the local police
departments in each city. “If you encounter any problems with security”
in reaching the polls, the statement said, “you should contact the
local Police Department.”
"Staff will have
the number of the local police department and will post it" in the
polling places in case of incidents," the statement said.
The statement also said that staff
operating the polling places "will
have the official stamp of the Council of Guardians" and will
stamp both the individual ballots and the voter's Iranian passport (on
"Keep the official flag of the islamic Republic at the voting table and
at the location," it added.
Canada is not allowing the regime to operate polling stations, a
decision hotly criticized by Tehran. “Canada had deprived many Iranians
of exercising their legal right,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman, Seyyed
Abbas Araqchi, said
Araqchi noted that even when Canada and the Islamic Republic maintained
diplomatic relations, the Canadian government never allowed polling
stations to be set up outside Ottawa.”
“This suggests that the United States government has given its approval
to the regime to set up polling stations here in the United States,”
said Roozbeh Farahanipour, a
pro-freedom activist in Los Angeles.
According to a listing published at the regime’s election-show website,
six polling stations will operate in California; two in Texas; two in
the Washington, DC area; two in the New York city area; and others in
Tampa, Philadelphia, Nashville, Chicago, Oklahoma city, Minneapolis,
FDI urges Iranian-Americans to
report these sites to the local FBI and encourage them to shut them
down because they are being operated in violation of U.S. law.
“Joseph Stalin had elections. That didn’t make the Soviet
Union a democracy,” said FDI
President and CEO Kenneth R. Timmerman. “The election show of
the Islamic Republic of Iran is no different from the sham elections of
the old Soviet Union. No one should be fooled.
“Iranians know what free and fair elections look like. And they know
they won’t be seeing them this Friday in Iran.” Permalink
June 7, 2013:
Erdogan's troubles in Turkey bode ill for Islamic Republic. As
protests in Turkey spread to over 60 cities, Prime Minister Ergodan dug
in his heels, blaming "foreign actors" behind the unrest. In fact, it
would appear that the Islamist regime's heavy-handed response to a
local protest over a an Istanbul park, contributed heavily to helping
the demonstrations morph into widespread protests against the regime.
For those who claim the Green movement in Iran is dead, former Al Gore
Hass reminds us that you can never predict what will spark a
popular uprising, once the underlying unrest is present....
June 5, 2013: Canadian Minister condemns human rights abuses in Iran. In
statement, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Honourable
Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and
Multiculturalism, today commended those who document human rights
absues in Iran in an extraordinary statement blasting the "hollow
regime" in Tehran for "systematic stifling of democratic freedoms."
June 4, 2013: Protestors in Isfahan chant
"Death to the Dictator." Protestors at a funeral
procession for dissident Ayatollah Taheri Esfahani, who died yesterday
at the age of 91, chanted anti-regime slogans through the streets of
Isfahan, apparently unchallenged. Ayatollah Taheri, a member of the
Assembly of Experts, broke with the regime on June 30, 2009, when he
published an open letter calling Ahmadinejad's presidency
another point during the funeral procession, protestors chant,
"Moussavi, Karroubi, must be freed," a reference to Ahmadinejad's main
opponents in the 2009 election show who have been under house arrest
the videos here and here)
note: The regime has desperately tried to play down the
election “show” to prevent any outbreak of demonstrations as happened
in 2009. But they may have been too cynical by half: this time, the
protests are starting before
the election “show.’
• Pastor Saeed Abedini's wife to address UN.
Neghmeh Abedini traveled to Geneva, Switzerland where today
she will address the UN Human Rights Council, a body on which the
Islamic Republic sits. Because her husband is being held in Evin
"without a voice," she said, "I must, therefore, be his voice."Just two
weeks ago, the jailed 33-year old pastor, who holds dual U.S. and
Iranian citizenship, managed to smuggle out a letter to his wife,
expressing his joy that his persecution has helped to unite people from
different denominations and different countries."“You don’t know how
happy I was in the Lord and rejoiced knowing that in my chains the body
of Christ has chained together and is brought to action and prayer," he
June 3, 2013: White House issues new
sanctions but ignores Iran unrest. President
Obama today issued yet
another executive order imposing new sanctions on the automotive
sector in Iran and tightening currency sanctions, while ignoring
reports of protests in Isfahan apparently sparked by widening protests
in neighboring Turkey.
• Federal judge tosses out Mohammadi case. In an opinion issued
late on Friday, U.S District Court judge Beryl Howell found that her
court lacked juristiction to act against the Islamic Republic at the
request of torture victims who were not U.S. citizens. In
a statement issued today, Attorney Larry Klayman said he intended
to take the torture and wrongful death case of Manouchehr and Akbar
Mohammadi to Spain, where courts have handed down judgments against
foreign sovereigns in similar cases. Read the full Opinion here.
May 27, 2013:
FDI to Obama: support the pro-freedom movement.
FDI president and CEO Ken Timmerman told the Voice of America
that the United States government needs to support the pro-freedom
movement in Iran. In comments recorded Friday during a conference
sponsored by U.S. Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va), Timmerman told VOA
that the Iranian people showed in June 2009 that they were ready for
change, but the United States government did not respond. “The United States must do its part and
provide active support to pro-freedom groups inside Iran,” Timmerman
The VOA was reporting on a meeting hosted by the Iranian Solidarity Front,
one of an increasing number of political groupings outside Iran aimed
at generating support for the pro-freedom movement. (Watch the video).
Addressing that event, former ExIm Bank director Bijan Kian argued that the “new”
political balance inside the regime between Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
and the IRGC has swung in favor of the Rev. Guards, and that this in
turn decreases the likelihood the regime will accept any deal over its
nuclear weapons program. “To say the Islamic Republic is reformable
suggests that Islam can be reformed,” Kian said. “While I am not an
expert in islam, I doubt this is possible….”
update: FDI president Timmerman’s oped on the upcoming Iranian
“election show” is here.
While Rafsanjani was rejected by the Guardian Council, former Foreign
Minister Ali Akbar Velayati would now appear to be Washington’s top
choice. Velayati has met on multiple occasions in Qatar and in
Switzerland for secret negotiations with U.S. presidential envoy
Valerie Jarrett, as first revealed by FDI Strategic Information
director Reza Kahlili last
October. (Kahlili’s story was picked
up by the New York Times and has subsequently been confirmed by
senior U.S. and Israeli officials).
Former Tehran mayor (and IRGC general) Mohammad Baqr
Qalibaf and Khamenei’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, are being
touted as the “front-runners” by pro-regime media. Given that the
Guardians will deliberate in secret to determine the “winner” of the
June 14 election show, right now the only votes that count are
Ayatollah Khamenei’s and those of the Guardians.
May 12, 2013: Rafsanjani joins the [S]election
show. In a much awaited move, former
president Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani announced today he would be a
candidate in the June 14 presidential [S]election, saying that he was
only running because Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had approved his
candidacy. His announcement was prominently covered by the BBC
Persian radio and TV services, and undoubtedly provoked a
collective sigh of relief inside the U.S. State Department.
The Obama administration has intensified the on-again, off-again
back-door negotiations with the Islamic regime that every U.S.
president has conducted since Jimmy Carter.
According to FDI Director of Strategic Information programs Reza
Kahlili, U.S. emissaries have met with Khamenei's top foreign policy
advisor, Ali Akbar Velayati, more
than 10 times over the past few years. Velayati is widely believed
to have been Khamenei's hand-picked choice to succeed Ahmadinejad as
Also in the running are former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian and former
Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezai. All four have
international arrest warrants outstanding against them with Interpol
for their alleged role in the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that
killed 86 people. The Islamic Republic has engaged in intense diplomacy
in recent months to get those arrest warrants removed and pledged to
take part in a phony "joint investigation" into the AMIA bombings it
claims to be conducting with the Argentine government of President
Our take: Rafsanjani
undoubtedly waited to announce his candidacy until he had gotten all
his ducks in a row, from the Supreme Leader to prominent reformist
leaders who hope he can help ease tensions with the United States and
the international community. But make no mistake: this man is no
reformer, nor is he likely to make any significant changes to the
structure or behavior of the Islamic regime.
Rafsanjani is the father of the Islamic Republic's nuclear weapons
program, having lobbied hard with Ayatollah Khomeini for its resumption
when he was Majlis speaker in 1985. As president starting in 1989, he
directed the intelligence services to track down dissidents and
assassinate them overseas. As head of the Expediency Council he backed
the crackdown against the student rebellion in 1999, and remained
silent during the crackdown after the 2009 elections. He has never
lifted a finger to help political prisoners, ethnic minorities or
women, nor has he ever promoted a pluralistic democracy for Iran. And
he has made public statements welcoming a "nuclear exchange" [ie, war[
between the Islamic Republic and Israel.
And yet, diplomats and leaders in many Western nations seem prepared to
delude themselves once again that a smiley face on the Islamic
Revolution will remove the threat that this regime poses to the world. Now more than ever, FDI believes
it is time to help the Iranian people to raise their voice against
dictatorship by demanding that Iran conduct free and fair elections
according to the standards the Islamic regime agreed to as set forth by the
May 10, 2013: Sec. Kerry picks wrong man as AfPak negotiator. U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry announced last week he was appointing
James Dobbins as the administration's point man on Afghanistan and
Pakistan. Dobbins, who is a pro-Tehran apologist and lobbyist, is the
wrong person for the job. His appointment sends a clear signal to
Tehran that the Obama administration favors accomodation with a
nuclear-armed Iran and will do nothing to compel the regime in Tehran
to respect internationally-recognized standards of human rights or the
political rights of Iranians. Read a profile of Dobbins at
May 1, 2013:
Update on Ahmadinejad detention. The Director of
FDI Strategic Projects, Reza Kahlili, revealed this morning more
details about Ahmadinejad's surprise detention on Monday afternoon and
his interrogation by the head of Revolutionary Guards Protection and
Intelligence Department, Hossein Taeb, and other top intelligence
officers loyal to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. In his report, featured
on WorldNetDaily, Kahlili said Ahmadinejad was warned not to make
good on his threats to expose secret information that would embarrass
the regime, in particiular a tape he reportedly was threatening to
release that documented the regime's vote-rigging on his behalf in the
2009 presidential election.
April 30, 2013: Ahmadinejad temporarily detained in Tehran. FDI
has learned from intelligence sources in Iran that Ahmadinejad was
temporarily detained in Tehran yesterday after traveling to two African
countries last week on a mission to convert some $2 billion of U.S.
dollar assets into gold. Ahmadinejad's main mission these days is to
buy the upcoming presidential [S]election for his son-in-law and
protege, Rahim Mashaie. More details as they develop....
April 28, 2013: Fakhravar pulls a no-show in Paris. Iranian
man of all seasons Amir Abbas Fakhravar, who has billed himself as the
star attraction in the latest effort to pull together an opposition
to turn up at the conference held in Paris this week. The National Council of Iran
meetings began on April 27 after an on-line "election" showed that
Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi was the most popular Iranian political figure
among opposition activists.
April 20, 2013: NIAC condemned to pay damages. A
U.S. District Court judge has fined NIAC close to $200,000 and
dismissed its defamation suit against Hassan Daioleslam, who called the
group the "Iranian lobby" in the United States. NIAC and its president,
Trita Parsi, repeatedly failed to comply with discovery motions ordered
by the court and were found to have altered evidence in an attempt to
hide their lobbying activities. The Court's final order
was issued on April 9, after its earlier finding against NIAC last
April 17, 2013: Adopt an Iranian political prisoner. Marziyeh
Amirzadeh and Maryam Rostampour have just published Captive
in Iran, a gripping memoir of their
time in Evin prison, where they were jailed because of their Christian
faith. They argue that outsiders can help prisoners in Iran through the
simple gesture of writing them letters, a practice long advocated by
Amnesty International. Although the regime doesn't actually deliver the
letters to the prisoners, they read them - and the more letters that
arrive, the more uneasy the authorities become. “That really helped,
and it embarrassed the regime. Outside pressure forced them to release
us,” Maryam told FDI recently at an event organized by Nina Shea and
the Hudson institute's Center
for Religious Freedom. The two authors provide the name and
address of several prisoners of conscience as well as specific
instructions for what to write - and what not to write - in these
- Update: Read Ken Timmerman's Washington Times
on Tehran, One prisoner at a time."
- Update 2: Video now available.
In this interview, FDI president Ken Timmerman talks about
the Mohammadi torture case; the section on Marziyeh and Maryam begins
. April 16, 2013: Read
the record of the regime's use of torture. Manouchehr
Mohammadi provides gripping testimony of the torture he was subjected
to in the jails of the Islamic Republic in a federal court hearing in
Washington, DC earlier this month. FDI president Kenneth R. Timmerman
also testified on the regime's efforts to surveil and intimidate
the transcript from the hearing.
April 8, 2013: FDI joins Stop the Bomb! in calling for protests of
Germany's Evangelical Academy for welcoming Iranian regime official. The
Lutheran Church's Evangelical Academy in Hannover, Germany, has
announced it will host regime ambassador Ali Reza Sheikattar on April
18, to talk about "strenthening Iranian civil society." While FDI
opposes granting any Iranian
regime official the legitimacy of appearing in public fora in the West,
for a church organization to host a regime official is an insult to
Christian believers everywhere. Calling
evil, good, will not make the evil go away: just ask the Mohammadi's,
who suffered the scourge the Tehran regime meets out to those who dare
raise their voice in support of freedom (see April 4, below).
Not surprisingly, this event is being co-sponsored by the German Ministry of Foreign and Development
Aid as a means to promote German exports to Iran, in cynical
defiance of international sanctions. German companies such as Siemens
have sold surveillance gear to the IRI that has helped them to track
dissidents; Mercedes has sold trucks used as missile launchers; scores
more have provided nuclear, chemical, and missile technologies.
Please join us in sending
protest emails to the following persons in charge of this event. (click here
to read the FDI email, which you are free to adapt as your own).
Evangelical academies Germany:
Holz, General Secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sachau, Director: email@example.com
"Evangelische Akademie Loccum":
Schaper, Organizer of the conference: firstname.lastname@example.org
Schaede, Director: email@example.com
Members of the "Konvent" of the
"Evangelische Akademie Loccum":
April 5, 2013: Iranian FM threatens Iranian dissidents and activists in
Foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi responded with scarcely veiled threats
to a small protest during his trip to Austria earlier this year,
reminding Iranian Kurds of the regime's assassination of Abdelrahman
Qassemlou and threatening Austria with terrorist attacks if it
permitted dissidents and European citizens to highlight the regime's
terror record. FDI applauds the courage of activist Simone Dinah
Hartman and Stop the Bomb! and is happy to partner with them in the U.S.
April 4, 2013: Iranian
regime continues to harrass Iranian exiles in the United States.
In testimony before U.S. District Court today, FDI president Timmerman
ongoing harrassment by Iranian regime agents in the United States of
exiles and political dissidents, as well as the regime's illegal
actions in organizing election bureaux around the U.S. for presidential
and Majlis elections. "These bureaux operate as offices of the Iranian
regime, which is prohibited by law from having a presence outside its
two declared representative offices at the UN in New York and the
Interests Section in Washington, DC," Timmerman told the court. The
goal of these offices is to "harrass and intimidate Iranian-Americans,
who depend on the regime for passport, notarial, and other legal
services," he added. (Photo: Timmerman and attorney Klayman with the
Mohammadis outside the courthouse).
April 3, 2013: FDI President to testify in landmark human rights
case. Kenneth R. Timmerman, President of the
Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI), will testify on Thursday, April
4, in a historic lawsuit against the Islamic Republic of Iran for its
systematic torture of political prisoners.
The case, brought by the family of slain
Iranian political prisoner Akbar Mohammadi, will be heard before Judge
Beryl A. Howell in United States District Court for the District of
Columbia. Attorney Larry Klayman is lead counsel for the plaintiffs.
Read the complaint here.
Timmerman’s testimony, which will include a narrative of his own
interaction with Mohammadi’s brother Manouchehr before the two were
arrested in 1999, is scheduled to start at 3 PM in Courtroom 15.
Where: Courtroom 15
U.S. District Court for the District of Washington, DC
333 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC. 20001
When: 3 PM, Thursday, April 4,
FDI began using the Internet as a tool for bringing out timely
information to document human rights abuses by Iranian regime in the
mid-1990s, and was one of the first human rights organizations to
publish photographs of the assault by regime thugs on students at the
University of Tehran dormitories in July 1999, when the Mohammadis were
arrested. Click here to view some of the chronology
of that summer’s events. Click here for a
PDF version of this press release.
March 26, 2013: UN Rapporteur for Human Rights says elections "not free
and fair." In an oped appearing on the BBC
Persian website, United Nations Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran
blasts the Tehran regime for violating the fundamental rights of
Iranian citizens. "[T]he 2009 presidential election and violent
post-election events demonstrate that rather than offering an
opportunity for people to assert their basic civil and political
rights, elections in Iran have seemingly become a time when rights are
subdued and choices imposed," writes Dr.
Ahmed Shaheed. He blasted the regime for imposing restriction on
the choice of candidates for public office, and concluded: "the
conditions for free and fair elections are sadly not present in Iran."
In a separate statement, Dr. Shaheed said that the regime was
intensifying the persecution of Christians, Bahai's, and other
religious minorities in Iran, even jailing young Christian women
nursing newborn children. “The persecution of Christians has increased.
It seems to target new converts and those who run house churches," Dr.
March 24, 2013: FDI reveals 3rd new nuclear
site, surrounded by giant ballistic missile field. Stunning
satellite imagery, obtained by the director of FDI Strategic
Information programs Reza Kahlili, reveals the existence of a
previously undisclosed buried nuclear site 15 miles northwest of the
Fordow enrichment plant. The new facility, known as "Qods" (Jerusalem),
is surrounded by giant missile fields, with more than 380 half buried
"garages" for mobile missile launchers that will give the IRGC the
ability to "shoot and scoot" with mobile Shahab-3 missiles, just as
Hezbollah did during the 2006 war against Israel with smaller missiles.
to FDI sources, the buried facility has the capacity to house 8,000
uranium enrichment centrifuges, although it's not known at present how
many - if any - have been installed.
invites analysts and government officials to use the coordinates posted
near the end of the video (click on the image at left) to corroborate
this information using Google Earth and classified imagery. The
enhanced video clearly shows that the dedicated high tension lines
bringing power to the underground Qods facility as well as the
extensivve perimeter fence and the vast missile fields.
March 22, 2013: Kerry exposes
Iranian family tie. In a stunning admission right up front in
what has become a pro-forma Nowruz greeting to the Iranian people,
Secretary of State John Kerry exposed a secret journalists and
academics have been agonizing over for the past month: the fact that
his daughter has married an Iranian-American who has extensive family
ties to Iran. "I am
proud of the Iranian-Americans in my own family, and grateful for how
they have enriched my life," Kerry said in his NowRuz greeting,
Kerry also said he was "strongly committed to resolving" the
differences between the United State and the Islamic Republic of Iran,
"to the mutual benefit of both of our people."
Politicians like to keep their family's off limits to the press, a
decorum enforced vigorously when it comes politicians in favor with the
national media but ruthlessly discarded for others. But in Kerry's
case, there could be larger ramifications.
Since its inception, the FBI has vetted U.S. government officials
involved in national security issues, and generally rejects granting
clearances for individuals who are married to nationals of an enemy
nation, or who have family members living in that country, for fear of
divided loyalties or more simply, blackmail.
Behrouz (Brian) Nahed and Vanessa Kerry Nahed are both residents as
Mass General in Boston. An Iranian government website first
published pictures of the married couple in February, just as Kerry
was up for confirmation hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee. Dr. Nahed's family lives in Los Angeles, but he has
relatives still in Iran. The Iranian website reported that shortly
after their marriage the young couple visited those relatives in Iran.
Was the Iranian publication itself a subtle form of blackmail, aimed at
letting Kerry know that the regime is fully aware of his son-in-law's
extended family in Iran? The Islamic Republic systematically puts
pressure on family members of prominent Iranian-Americans (for example,
individuals who work at the Persian service of Voice of America), to
make sure that they do not engage in hostile statements or activities
against the Tehran regime.
Certainly, Secretary Kerry has long favored a U.S. rapprochement with
the Islamic Republic. He has repeatedly appeared with groups such as
the American Iranian Council (AIC), and has taken money from
Iranian-Americans for his political campaigns, including
at least one illegal donation from an Iranian woman in 2002 who did
not have a green card. So he didn't need to have an Iranian-American
family member to believe that the United States should forge direct
relations with the Islamic Republic or ease U.S. pressure on the regime.
Kerry may have figured that by revealing the family tie himself he
could diffuse the situation, and make it more difficult for the regime
to put pressure on his son-in-law's family - of course, assuming that
as Secretary of State, Kerry in fact plans to do anything that angers
But what if the regime simply decides to round up Nahed's family
members and torture them? Or sends its goons to visit them at home? Or
exerts some form of more subtle pressure on them that gets no
publicity, and then makes it known they want the United States to
release Iranians jailed in the United States on terrorism charges or
for attempting to procure weapons technology or military spare parts?
Should Congress be asking Senator Kerry how he would respond in such a
March 1, 2013: Regime
ayatollah issues fatwah against opposition figure in exile. Senior
Iranian cleric Ayatullah Nasir
Makarem Shirazi has issued
a fatwa against Roozbeh Farahanipour, the founder of Marzepor Gohar,
a nationalist opposition grouop active in Iran. Farahanipour was jailed
in 1999 for his role in heloping to organize the July 1999 student
revolt. Ayatollah Shirazi is infamous in Iran for his fatwas against
dogs, his calls for death by stoning for adulterers, harsh punishment
of homosexuals, and repeated anti-Semitic statements.
Feb. 26, 2013: London conference bringsBalouchis together.
Leaders of Balouchi groups in Pakistan and Iran joined together at a
one-day conference in London at the Royal Society put together by the
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). The main focus
was on Balouchis in Pakistan, with Mir Soleiman Daud, the Khan of
Kalat, calling for Pakistani Balouchis to form a united front to
pressure the Islamabad government for their rights. Also presenting
were Nasser Boladai, President of the Baluchistan People’s Party, and
Hammal Haider Baloch, spokesperson of the Baloch National Movement.
U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher
(R, CA), called for the Pakistan government to allow a
referendum on Balouchi independence, adding to his previous calls for
separatist movements in Iranian Kurdistan and Azerbaijan. For more
details, go to the Baloch
Human Rights Council Facebook page.
Feb. 24, 2013: Media starts to pick up Hagel's pro-Tehran ties. Some
Senators may not be aware of the information first revealed here
on Hagel’s ties to the pro-Tehran lobby, or of Hagel's disastrous 2009
report calling for the deployment of US troops between Israel and the
Palestinian territories. If so, here's the latest:
- A separate story from
Breitbart.com about a 2009 report Hagel co-authored calling for
U.S. Troops to deploy as part of a multinational force on Israel’s
borders to impose peace on Israel and the Palestinians.
Feb. 18, 2013: Steady drip-drip exposes Hagel's ties to Tehran. Bit
by bit, it's all coming out. The DailyCaller
today reveals that Hagel's speech at Rutgers in 2007 was at
Tehran-funded Middle East studies unit headed by prof who boasts on his CV
of getting funding from the Alavi Foundation, the
Iranian regime's biggest U.S. front organization. The
feds busted Alavi in 2008 after uncovering a treasure trove of
documents in a series of court-ordered search warrants that showed
Tehran was directly managing its day-to-day affairs. (FDI first disclosed the photo at the
top of this website, taken during yet another Hagel speech with
Amirahmadi in 2007, on a deep dive of Internet archives).
The Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens piles
on, with this juicy detail about Amirahmadi:
Though he portrays himself as a reformist, Iranian-Americans who follow
him describe him as a "Rafsanjanist" eager to make the regime's case in
Washington. In 2009, the New York Post quoted Mr. Amirahmadi as saying
that "Iran has not been involved in any terrorist organization," and
that "neither Hezbollah nor Hamas are terrorist organizations."
Stephens notes that Amirahmadi "makes no secret of his political
leanings and ambitions. Did nobody on Mr. Hagel's or the [Senate
Intelligence] Committee's staff vet his speaking gigs before he gave
Feb. 11. 2013 – Join Ken Timmerman on MardomTV today at 2 PM Eastern.
FDI president Ken Timmerman will join Parsa Sorbi to talk about
Sunday’s protest against auto-makers such as Mercedes and Nissan who
refuse to leave Iran, and the Obama administration’s new national
security and foreign policy team and the prospects for US-Iran talks. Join him online today at 2 Eastern
Feb. 10, 2013 – Baltimore Jewish Times covers auto-show protest. Click
here for a preview of Sunday’s rally in front of the Baltimore
Feb. 8, 2013:
Join FDI this Sunday in Baltimore to protest rogue auto companies still
dealing with the Tehran regime. FDI
is joining UANI, the Baltimore Zionist District, the Endowment for
Middle East Truth and a host of others to call on major auto makers
(Nissan, Daimler Benz, BMW) to get out of Iran. Download
the complete flyer with meeting info.
- New satellite photos show
possible emergency activity at Fordow nuclear site after alleged
explosion. The Digital Globe satellite photo at
by WorldNetDaily, shows what appears to be a mini-van entering through
one of the security gates
to the underground Fordow nuclear complex on Jan. 21, the day of the
alleged explosion. More photographs with a detailed explanation by FDI
Strategic Information coordinator Reza Kahlili can
be found here.
Michael Ledeen wrote
today that his own sources in Iran are confirming the explosion.
Even more intriguing is a Jan. 27 report from a UPI correspondent embedded
in this account that says the explosion was so powerful it was felt
in a three mile radius, while local sources complained about the
"imposition of a 15-mile no-traffic zone, and hours-long closure of the
Feb. 6, 2013: New video details the problems with Hagel. Jan. 30, 2013: FDI President makes the case
against Hagel. In a column published
today's Washington Times, Ken Timmerman argues that Hagel's
policies toward the Islamic Republic regime in Iran should disqualify
him to become Secretary of Defense.
Jan. 28, 2013: Letter against Hagel. FDI
and prominent national leaders issued a joint letter, calling on
members of the U.S. Senate to reject the nomination of former Sen.
Chuck Hagel to become secretary of defense. While “[w]e honor and
appreciate Mr. Hagel’s service to our nation… we are deeply concerned
by Mr. Hagel’s record and views on a broad range of national security
issues, and we fear that his confirmation as defense secretary would
send a dangerous signal to our enemies about America’s willingness to
do what is necessary to defend ourselves and our allies,” the letter
Joining FDI on the letter are Frank Gaffney, president of the Center
for Security Policy, Morton Klein, president of the Zionist
Organization of America, and Sarah Stern, president of the Endowment
for Middle East Truth. The full letter is available here.
FDI has made available to Senate offices a detailed Fact Sheet on Sen.
Hagel’s record when it comes to Iran. We are disturbed by Hagel’s
confirmation day “conversion” when it comes to a wide range of serious
issues related to Iran, since it contradicts a consistent track record
over the past dozen years where Hagel has repeatedly rejected any U.S.
pressure on the Islamic regime in Tehran, whether over its nuclear
program, its support for terrorism, or its human rights abuses. Jan. 21, 2013:Attorney who won Iran-9/11
case dies. FDI president Ken Timmerman joined the
family and friends of Thomas E. Mellon, Jr. over the weekend in
Doylestown, Pa, to celebrate the life of the man who won a historic
judgment against the Islamic Republic of Iran for its involvement in
the 9/11 attacks (Havlish et al v.
Osama bin Laden et al). Timmerman was the lead outside
investigator in the case that Mellon and his team of attorneys argued
successfully before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York in December 2011. Read an official obituary here.
In the photo at right, Mellon (2nd from
left, with the orange tie) celebrates his victory in the Iran-9/11
links case in front of U.S. District court in lower Manhattan on Dec.
15, 2011. From left to right:
Thomas E. Mellon, Jr., plaintiff Grace Godshalk, plaintiff Ellen
Saracini; 2nd row: lead
plaintiff, Fiona Havlish; attorney
Ed Rubenstone, plaintiff Tara Bane, attorney Mary Beth Haley, attorney
Richard Haley, FDI
,attorney Jack Corr; back row: attorney Donald Winder,
attorney Evan Yegelwel.
Jan. 17, 2013 - FDI President takes Hagel
objections to Congress. FDI shared its objections
with the nomination of Sen. Chuck Hagel to become Secretary of Defense
with Senators and Congressional staffers on Capitol ill this week.
Here, at a forum hosted by the Endowment
for Middle East Truth (EMET), Timmerman pointed out that Hagel's
nomination has been welcomed by the Islamic Republic's official media. Video
- Read the facts about Chuck Hagel and his long-standing
ties to the pro-Tehran lobby.
From that page, you can also download FDI's background briefing on the
Hagel nomination and what it signifies for U.S. deterrence, Iran, and
U.S. national interests.
Jan. 16, 2013: IRI confirms death sentences against 5 Ahwazi Arabs. The
Iranian supreme court this week confirmed the death sentences of five
Ahwazi Arab political activists. Read more from Sharif
Behruz and the Ahwaz Human
Jan. 12, 2013: What's behind the triple Murder of Kurds in Paris? Amir
Taheri dives into this Parisian
murder mystery. His prime suspects? A Syrian government hit team,
an Iranian-backed Hezbollah hit team, or PKK dissidents unhappy with
ongoing negotiations between PKK leader Abdallah Ocalan and the Turkish
Jan. 11, 2013: Join FDI President & CEO Ken Timmerman on Mardom TV.
Ken will be talking about FDI's opposition to the
Hagel nomination, about the Pentagon's
latest report on Iranian regime intelligence operations in the United
States, and much more. Update:complete
video is now available.
Jan. 10, 2013: FDI Announces its Opposition to the Hagel nomination. The
Board of Directors of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran today
released a detailed memo in opposition to Sen. Chuck Hagel's nomination
to become U.S. Secretary of Defense. The FDI memo includes excerpts from
Hagel's own statements on Iran, and new details of
his relationships to the pro-Tehran lobby in Washington, DC. It
also includes new information on Hagel's efforts as a private citizen
in 2009 to lobby the Russian government against joining a State
Department-led effort to step up pressure on Iran.
"Over the past four years, Congress has helped steer the U.S.
administration toward policies that have increased the pressure on the
Islamic regime in Tehran, while expanding on work done by the two
previous administrations to build an international coalition to slow
down the emergence of a nuclear-armed Iranian regime," FDI wrote.
"Chuck Hagel actively opposed these polices of confronting the Islamic
Republic when he was in the U.S. Senate, and has continued to do so
"At no point has Hagel shown the slightest concern for human rights
abuses, religious liberty, the lack of political freedom, or the
threats made by Islamic Republic leaders to Israel, to Jews worldwide,
or to Americans. Instead, he has publicly stated that the United States
should not seek or promote regime change, merely a change of “behavior”
by the current leadership. This is not just bad policy; given the
nature of the clerical leadership, it’s a call to genocide...
" FDI has never called – and is not calling today – for U.S. military
strikes on Iran. However, for U.S. military power to have any impact on
decision-making in Tehran, the Islamic Republic leadership must believe
in U.S. resolve.
Senator Hagel’s confirmation as Secretary of Defense would send a
message of weakened U.S. resolve to the leaders of the Islamic
Republic, which could serve as an inducement for aggressive behavior.
For these reasons we urge the Senate to reject Senator Hagel’s
Download a 2-page PDF version.
- Protests planned across Europe, Canada against bloggers' execution. Human
rights activists have planned a series of demonstrations in Europe,
starting tomorrow, to protest the impending execution of bloggers
Loghman and Zanyar Moradi, who have been in jail for the past three
years. For people living in the U.S. and Canada, you can sign
an on-line petition to Catherine Ashton, the European Union's top
diplomat, asking for the EU to add its voice to those calling on the
Islamic Republic to release the Moradi's and other political prisoners.
here for the list of demonstrations. Read
Zanyar Moradi's letter from prison.
Jan. 9, 2013: FDI joins call to investigate al Jazeera. FDI
is proud to join forces with pro-freedom advocates, journalists, and
national security experts in calling for a Congressional investigation
of al Jazeera, in the wake of the pro-jihadi media group's growing
investments in the United States. Read
the announcement. Read the
Jan. 8, 2013: FDI Salutes New York State Assemblyman Bill Nojay.
FDI is proud to salute our board member Bill Nojay as he is sworn in
today to his new duties as a newly-elected State Assemblyman for the
133rd district of New York. In addition to his popular radio show, his
thriving international law practice, and his extensive volunteer work
(that includes long years of democracy promotion around the world, in
addition to working with his local fire department as an EMT and
ambulance driver), Bill has been working with FDI for the past five
years to help the pro-freedom movement in Iran. We invite you to read more about Bill's
action-packed career, and join us in saluting him as he sworn in
today. Send Bill a message
Jan. 7 , 2013: Support FDI while enjoying
the spectacular Shen Yun music and danse performance at the Kennedy
Center. Visit our
special page to learn more about this amazing dance troop
your tickets directly. After choosing your seats, make sure you apply the Promo code "KTKC"
so FDI will get credit for your purchase. We thank the Shen Yun
Performing Arts company for their willingness to support our cause with
a percentage of the ticket sales for the Jan. 31 performance.
Jan. 6, 2013: More Complaints about VOA
Persian Service. The Wall
Street Journal today published a stinging criticism of VOA's
Persian service for continuing to give voice to pro-regime "experts,"
while frustrating the pro-freedom movement. This waste of U.S. taxpayer
dollars must be reformed - or shut down.