By the Apadana Chronicle Editorial Board
In an exclusive interview with Kayhan London, Hooshang Amirahmadi made some revelations about the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and its founder and former president, Trita Parsi. Amirahmadi has a long history of relations with the Iranian regime and was one of the masterminds behind the formation of the incipient Washington lobby for the Islamic Republic. He is the president of the American Iranian Council (AIC), an organization that supports the interests of the Iranian regime in the US.
According to Amirahmadi, Parsi was a young man living in Sweden who had just finished his master’s degree and wanted to come to the US. He did not have a US work permit and AIC helped him obtain one. Amirahmadi hired Parsi at AIC and subsequently helped him apply for a work visa. After less than a year working at AIC, Parsi expressed desire to return to the university and continue his studies. He continued his education in parallel with his efforts to form NIAC.
Amirahmadi denied having knowledge of whether or not NIAC receives any funds from the Iranian regime. However, he did confirm that NIAC and Javad Zarif worked together and their actions, in his view, were against Iran’s national interest. Amirahmadi further argued that Zarif was often persuaded by NIAC to act in the regime’s interest, rather than for the good of the country. Of course, Amirahmadi claimed that he was always against the JCPOA, but NIAC and Zarif felt that the deal was beneficial to Iran.
NIAC’s rhetoric, which is regurgitation of Zarif’s talking points, has no effect on the US government’s policy and decision-making with respect to Iran, Amirahmadi believes. “The US government knows more about NIAC than I,” he asserted. “I believe they [the US government] know more about the relationship between NIAC and the Islamic Republic than I do. There’s no doubt about that.” According to Amirahmadi, the US has accurate information about NIAC, which they may have obtained by seizing the organization’s computers. He said that law enforcement, including the FBI, have raided NIAC’s office in Washington and taken the computers.
What does Amirahmadi think of his former mentee, Trita Parsi? “Parsi is a double dipper,” he believes. “He received money from the US government, as well as from organizations such as National Endowment for Democracy.” Amirahmadi claims that NIAC’s activities during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency were more aligned with the US government – that is, to sanction Ahmadinejad and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. “NIAC was the darling of the Americans. Trita Parsi was everywhere, at conferences, meetings, on television. He typically made the same talking points as the Americans. He worked with both the Americans and the Islamic Republic.”
Amirahmadi who is considered a longtime regime insider claimed that he has lost hope in the regime’s potential for reform. When asked why he has turned against his former pupil, he stated, “I was under a lot of pressure about my relationship with NIAC. I was constantly accused of being a founder of NIAC and a collaborator of Trita Parsi.” He told Kayhan London that he wanted to set the record straight and elucidate his position and relationship with respect to NIAC and Parsi. Interestingly, Amirahmadi claimed in another interview that when Parsi left AIC, he stole a large amount of information from the office computer and used that data to create NIAC (video).
Hooshang Amirahmadi (right) claims Trita Parsi stole data from his personal computer when the two men parted ways.
Finally, asked why NIAC denies its relationship with the regime, Amirahmadi replied, “because they lie and are charlatans. They certainly have something to hide. Otherwise, they would be candid about it.”