- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 17, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The National Iranian American Council is proud of its work to advance U.S. national security through a smarter and more effective policy on Iran. NIAC rejects the insinuations made by The Washington Times that its activities are in violation of tax laws, the Foreign Agents Registration Act and lobbying-disclosure laws (“Iran advocacy group said to skirt lobby rules,” Page 1, Friday).

NIAC has provided tens of thousands of documents and all its financial records in order to prosecute a defamation case against Hassan Dai. Those documents demonstrate that the allegations made against NIAC are false. The judge denied Mr. Dai’s motion to dismiss the case on 18 out of 19 counts. Realizing this, the defendants decided to maliciously leak those documents to a reporter at The Washington Times, Eli Lake, in an attempt to litigate the case in the media rather than in a court of law.

NIAC is a 501(c)3 educational organization representing Americans of Iranian descent. It engages in educational, advocacy and limited lobbying activities in accordance with U.S. laws and regulations. NIAC does not lobby on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran. NIAC advocates on behalf of the Iranian-American community, who overwhelmingly oppose the policies of the government of Iran.

Mr. Lake’s article makes insinuations and engages in conspiratorial speculation, against all evidence. Why would John Limbert, a former hostage imprisoned for 444 days by the government in Iran, join the advisory board of an organization that supposedly represents the interests of the very same government that imprisoned him? This claim is illogical at best.

Mr. Lake has selectively focused on e-mails and documents that fit with his predetermined verdict against NIAC. Though the basis of Mr. Lake’s article is misinformation about NIAC provided by Mr. Dai, Mr. Lake did not ask a single question about our lawsuit, why it was filed, our understanding of Mr. Dai’s political motivations and Mr. Dai’s connections to an Iranian terrorist organization. NIAC encouraged Mr. Lake to take a closer look at Mr. Dai, but he declined to scrutinize his source.

NIAC has given the Iranian-American community a powerful voice in Washington that has effectively pushed for greater focus on human rights in Iran, opposed war between the United States and Iran, opposed broad-based sanctions that hurt the Iranian people while strengthening its hard-line government, and supported diplomacy between the two countries to resolve their differences in a peaceful manner. We proudly stand by our work.

TRITA PARSI

President

National Iranian American Council

Washington

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