By the Apadana Chronicle Editorial Board
Trita Parsi’s former mentor, Hooshang Amirahmadi, admitted once again that the National Iranian American Council was created by Javad Zarif, the Islamic Republic’s Foreign Minister. Amirahmadi, himself a veteran lobbyist for the Iranian regime, made this assertion in an interview with the “Glass Room” program. He alleged that Parsi who once worked for him, was determined to start his own lobby group. This is when Zarif took him under his wing and supported his ambitions “politically and financially.”
Hooshang Amirahmadi explains that NIAC was created by Javad Zarif
Amirahmadi was (and probably still is) an Iranian regime insider and a close associate of former Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In 1997, with backing from multinational oil companies, he founded the American Iranian Council. The motivation behind creating AIC, as Amirahmadi himself publicly claimed, was to establish a “prominent lobby in the US that strives to defend the interests of Iran and oppose the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC.” Amirahmadi was also the director of the Alavi Foundation, an Iranian regime front group masquerading as a non-profit, philanthropic organization. In 2017, the US government seized the Foundation’s building in Manhattan (and its source of income) having found it culpable in a federal court of serving the interests of the Iranian regime. During the peak of its operations and Amirahmadi’s tenure as its director, the Alavi Foundation provided grants to multiple US and Canadian Universities allegedly to help fund pro-Tehran and anti-Israel professors.
AIC was the progenitor and the inspiration for NIAC. Parsi was hired by AIC to serve as its “Director of Development.” Soon however, he broke away and embarked on his mission to create NIAC. Initially, NIAC presented itself as an ethnic grassroots organization. Soon however, a sister organization called NIAC Action was established to serve as its lobbying arm. According to its website, NIAC Action “works to maximize the political influence of Iranian Americans” and utilizes “direct lobbying efforts in Washington.”
In that NIAC is a lobby for the Iranian regime, there is little doubt. However, as NIAC publicly affirms that it pursues its goals through “direct lobbying in Washington,” a source familiar with the organization’s history alleges that it was created by Zarif. That being said, shouldn’t NIAC disclose its activities and relationship with a foreign government – which happens to be an adversary of the US – under the Foreign Agents Registration Act?