A shot at the Iran Lobby before it makes it to the White House.
Kaveh Afrasiabi was on the advisory board of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) where he was responsible for despicable pieces such as, “Neda’s death: 80 percent propaganda-sold-as-investigative reporting”. He was a consultant to the UN Program on Dialogue Among Civilizations, a contributor to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and the author of multple books, including his latest one, Trump and Iran: From Containment to Confrontation which was published by Lexington Books.
Also he’s being charged with being an unregistered foreign agent. You can guess the government in question.
A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi, also known as Lotfolah Kaveh Afrasiabi, with acting and conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Afrasiabi was arrested yesterday at his home in Watertown, Massachusetts, and will make his initial appearance this morning in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal.
“For over a decade, Kaveh Afrasiabi pitched himself to Congress, journalists, and the American public as a neutral and objective expert on Iran,” said John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. “However, all the while, Afrasiabi was actually a secret employee of the Government of Iran and the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations (IMUN) who was being paid to spread their propaganda. In doing so, he intentionally avoided registering with the Department of Justice as the Foreign Agents Registration Act required. He likewise evaded his obligation to disclose who was sponsoring his views. We now begin to hold him responsible for those deeds.”
While Kaveh was opposing American action against Iran, for the sake of peace, he was advising Iran on how to retaliate against the enemy.
For example, in January 2020, Afrasiabi emailed Iran’s Foreign Minister and Permanent Representative to the United Nations with advice for “retaliation” for the U.S. military airstrike that killed Major General Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force, the external operations arm of the Iranian government’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, proposing that the Iranian government “end all inspections and end all information on Iran’s nuclear activities pending a [United Nations Security Council] condemnation of [the United States’] illegal crime.” Afrasiabi claimed that such a move would, among other things, “strike fear in the heart of [the] enemy.”
We’re the enemy.
The health insurance part is the real chutzpah. Afrasiabi was literally on Iran’s diplomatic health plan.
Since at least 2007 to the present, Afrasiabi has also been secretly employed by the Iranian government and paid by Iranian diplomats assigned to the Permanent Mission of the IMUN. Afrasiabi has been paid approximately $265,000 in checks drawn on the IMUN’s official bank accounts since 2007, and has received health insurance through the IMUN’s employee health benefit plans since at least 2011.
In the course of his employment by the Iranian government, Afrasiabi has lobbied a U.S. congressman and the U.S. Department of State to advocate for policies favorable to Iran
Which Congressman would that be? The complaint only lists him or her as Congressman-1.
In or about December 2009, AFRASIABI assisted a U.S. Congressman (“Congressman-1”) with the drafting of a December 18, 2009 letter that Congressman-1 sent to the President of the United States with a proposal related to the U.S.-GOI nuclear negotiations. The letter contained a proposal centered, in part, on the acceptance of a nuclear fuel swap agreement that had been proposed by the GOI. The letter from Congressman-1 to the President stated, in part, that AFRASIABI had advised Congressman-1 on the proposal. AFRASIABI was identified in the letter as “a former professor at Tehran University and a former advisor to the Iranian nuclear negotiation team.” At no point was AFRASIABI identified as an employee of the IMUN or an agent of the GOI
Approximately two years later, on or about May 25, 2012, AFRASIABI exchanged multiple emails with a staff member from Congressman-1’s office (“Staff Member1”), concerning a copy of the December 18, 2009 letter that Congressman-1 had sent to the President of the United States with a proposal related to the U.S.-GOI nuclear negotiations. Later that day, Staff Member-1 informed AFRASIABI that Congressman-1 wished to speak with AFRASIABI on the telephone regarding the letter and requested AFRASIABI’s phone number.
On or about May 30, 2012, AFRASIABI was advised by Staff Member1 that AFRASIABI’s telephone number had been passed to Congressman-1. Later that day, AFRASIABI emailed Staff Member-1 and offered to brief Congressman-1 on the state of the U.S.-GOI nuclear negotiations. AFRASIABI also attached a hyperlink to an article that he had recently co-authored in the New York Times titled, “Critical Threshold in the Iran Crisis.” In that article, AFRASIABI argued that the U.S. sanctions on Iran acted as a major stumbling block in nuclear negotiations “since Iranian negotiators need[ed] to produce a tangible tradeoff between any concessions and a recognition of Iran’s right to legitimate [nuclear] enrichment.”
On or about June 6, 2012, AFRASIABI emailed Staff Member-2 and thanked her for the copy of the letter. AFRASIABI stated, in sum and substance, that Congressman-1 had instructed AFRASIABI to speak to Staff Member-2 about the possibility of AFRASIABI organizing a panel of experts regarding U.S.-GOI relations in July 2012. Staff Member-2 replied, in sum and substance, that she would need to secure a room for such a panel. AFRASIABI responded, “Great.” Correspondence between AFRASIABI and Congressman-1’s staff indicate that the proposed panel did not ultimately take place
There’s a lot more of this stuff. The question is who is Congressman-1?
But we know the New York Times and the Washington Post provided a platform for the alleged foreign agent. As the Post did for Qatari agent Jamal Khashoggi.
Here the Washington Post offers its readers an interview about the anti-government protests in Iran with one of the regime’s foreign agents.
Democracy truly dies in darkness.