By the Apadana Chronicle Editorial Board
In mid-2018, Trita Parsi, a reputed agent of influence for Iran’s Islamofascist regime stepped down as the president of the National Iranian American Council. The reasons behind his resignation were never disclosed. It may have been because he was getting too close for comfort with the mullahs regime or the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. It may also have been because he was becoming too radical for the organization, so much that all conduits to the US government, including access to Democratic legislators were slowly closing. His resignation followed the decommissioning of the Iran Deal (or the JCPOA) by the Trump Administration. Perhaps he was no longer useful to the cause and nearing his expiration date.
Yet, Parsi never actually went away. He continued his collaboration with NIAC, primarily in the areas of propaganda and promulgating disinformation meant to undermine the Trump Administration’s policies vis-à-vis the Iranian regime. Indeed, Parsi embarked on a hysterical campaign of sabotage and ad hominem against President Trump and his National Security Advisors, in addition to the State of Israel, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. He became noticeably hyperactive on social media (primarily Twitter) and developed a tendency to make radical, divisive, and exaggerated statements.
With the Iran Deal virtually extinct and having exhausted virtually every mechanism to disparage and indiscriminately oppose every single action the President takes, Parsi has found a new niche: human rights in Iran. This is quite peculiar since in 2008, when asked at a Middle East Policy Council forum in 2008 about the organization’s reluctance to address human rights issues, Parsi who was then the president of NIAC replied: “NIAC is not a human rights organization. That’s not our expertise.”
Now, so much Parsi has become the expert in human rights that he actually made the decision to appear and testify before the Canadian Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights. Knowing that Parsi’s plan was to regurgitate Javad Zarif’s rhetoric before the Subcommittee, Iranian dissidents in Canada and the US – perhaps in an unprecedented move – united to prevent his testimony. Social media campaigns were launched and concerned Iranian-Canadians reached out to their people provincial and municipal representatives. A coordinated effort was made to sojourn the prospect of the Iranian regime’s propaganda and disinformation to be fed to the Canadian Parliament. As a result of these tireless efforts and determination, MP Anita Vandenbelt, the Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights rescinded her invitation to Parsi and cancelled his testimony.
Not surprisingly, media platforms in Canada who frequently speak in favor of the Iranian regime were outraged and suggested that this was a smear campaign against Parsi. For instance, the Iranian Canadian Journal, which often publishes articles lenient towards the Islamist regime stated: “the MEK was not the only group involved in the smear campaign against Dr. Parsi. Other pro-sanctions groups including monarchists and regime change advocates were involved in the campaign as well and pressured the subcommittee to cancel this appearance.” Of course, this was not a smear campaign, it was an expression and unveiling of the truth. There is ample evidence that Parsi has had a history of meeting and interacting with the Iranian regime officials, including Javad Zarif and President Rouhani’s brother, Hossein Fereydoun.
It is not clear where Parsi will go from here, having faced humiliation before the Iranian-Canadian and Iranian-American communities, as well as the Canadian Parliament. His credibility has always been dubious and is now even more questionable. On the bright side, the Iranian opposition groups showed that they have the potential to unite against a common enemy that is the Islamofascist regime. It further solidified the notion that the regime’s propaganda apparatus is crumbling and being replaced by a formidable dissident force.