· Were the experts told by Trita Parsi that the lion's share of the report was already published by Trita Parsi as the sole author?
· As the report was widely distributed to the media, were they told that the material in it is not that timely and has already been published a year earlier?
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is hosting an event in the U.S. Senate tomorrow (Nov. 18th). The event is designed to give President-Elect Obama advice on how to deal with Iran. In the process of preparing for the meeting tomorrow a group of 21 Iran experts have issued a report titled “Joint Experts' Statement on Iran". In addition to Senator Carper and Representative Tierney, the rest of the announced speakers, including the moderator Trita Parsi are among the experts whose signature is on the joint statement. A copy of the report has already appeared on http://americanforeignpolicy.org/ as well as the pro-Iranian regime site http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/6891 .
So far so good. However, what is disturbing is that the lion's share of this report was published one year ago by Trita Parsi as the sole author. Trita Parsi's paper in 2007 was called "SEVEN MYTHS ABOUT IRAN." http://www.niacouncil.org/images/PDF_files/seven%20myths%20about%20iran.pdf
Trita Parsi's 2007 paper was based on describing seven myths on Iran, followed by advice on how to engage and develop relations with Iran. The Joint Experts' Statement on Iran, claims that "a group of top scholars, experts and diplomats - with years of experience studying and dealing with Iran - have come together to clear away some of the myths that have driven the failed policies of the past and to outline a factually-grounded, five-step strategy for dealing successfully with Iran in the future."
So is it only the arrangement of the two papers that is so amazingly similar? Let's look at the list of "myths" that is the foundation and the bulk of both reports. The experts' statement has listed 8 "myths" that according to the claims of the experts is "the product of a large group of experts with diverse knowledge, experience and affiliations." Trita Parsi's 2007 report has listed seven "myths". Here is a closer look at 5 of the "myths":
Parsi: "Iran is ripe for regime change."
21 experts: "The political system of the Islamic Republic is frail and ripe for regime change."
Parsi: "Iran is irrational and cannot be deterred."
21 experts: "The Iranian leadership's religious beliefs render them undeterrable."
Parsi: "Iran seeks Israel's destruction."
21 experts: "Iran has declared its intention to attack Israel in order to "wipe Israel off the map."
Parsi: "Enrichment equals a nuclear bomb."
21 experts: "Iran is clearly and firmly committed to developing nuclear weapons."
Parsi: "Iran is inherently anti-American."
21 experts: "Iran's current leadership is implacably opposed to the United States."
The additional "myth" listed in Parsi's paper shows up in the experts' paper under recommendation and vice versa. Let's have a look:
21 experts: "Allow Iran a place at the table – alongside other key states – in shaping the future of Iraq, Afghanistan and the region"
Parsi: "Only Washington can offer Tehran what it really seeks: decontainment and reintegration in the Middle East. Iran wants a seat at the table and a say as a legitimate player in all regional decision-making."
21 experts Address the nuclear issue within the context of a broader U.S. – Iran opening
Parsi: "These negotiations cannot be limited to Iraq or to the nuclear issue alone."
21 experts "Re-energize the Arab-Israeli peace process and act as an honest broker in that process"
Parsi: "The weakest link in the American strategy was the Israeli-Palestinian peace process… Without successful peacemaking between the Israelis and Palestinians, America's new regional order could not be achieved and Iran would evade prolonged isolation, Tehran calculated."
The explanation under each one of these topics is strikingly similar as well. The recommendations in the statement of the 21 experts are not that novel either, and are either verbatim or identical in concept, to that of Trita Parsi in his 2007 paper or other writings and speeches.
Surely the prominent experts, many of them respected university professors, understand the disgrace of selling an old report as a new statement. Is it possible that they had no idea the draft suggested to them was already published a year ago under a sole authorship? Is it truthful to dispatch this statement through the news wires as a hot out of the oven statement of scholars on national policy?