The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is called by the Iranian regime's press as “Iranian lobby in US” ". However, NIAC's reaction to two American hikers sentence in Tehran, suggests that it acts like a PR firm for the Iranian regime, formulating and marketing the Mullahs' hostage taking in a way that the public opinion and US politicians respond positively to the their blackmail.
In an article posted by NIAC, Reza Marashi, a NIAC employee and Parsi’s assistant reacted to the hikers' plight in Tehran and tried to nail down the issue in three points:
Point one: Despite the regime's hard-liners , moderates (i.e. Ahmadinejad) try to engage the US:
"Their sentence is the latest installment in a series of political football matches between the various factions inside of Iran. Recall that it was last September when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attempting to score points for himself just weeks before coming to New York to address the UN General Assembly, announced an imminent release for the third hiker, Sara Shourd. But Ahmadinejad’s political opponents in the Judiciary attempted to block the initiative and prevent any corresponding political capital Ahmadinejad hoped to gain"
Point Two: raise the hope that the Supreme Leader could pardon the hikers:
"there remains a glimmer of hope that the Supreme Leader would issue an edict releasing the hikers.
Trita Parsi of course chipped in the con game as well:
"There have been cases in the past where the courts issue a shockingly high verdict in the beginning. Then, by pardoning, they try to come across as showing leniency…… It is possible that this is what is happening."
Point Three: The regime's action is a result of tension between the two countries. Therefore, a more friendly policy toward Iran would resolve the impasse:
“If (US-Iran) relations had been halfway normal this would have been resolved far earlier.”
Obviously, there is no mention that the "hostage taking" has been an integral part of the regime's behavior in the past three decades. Each and every time a ransom was requested. For NIAC and Parsi, the world's only response should be a more friendly policy toward the Mullahs. A shocking example of Parsi's role in formulating the regime's blackmail could be seen in another hostage taking case against the Iranian Jews.
Trita parsi and the Iranian Jews
In 2000, the Iranian regime jailed and sentenced 13 Iranian Jews to long prison terms, who allegedly were Israeli spies. At that time, Parsi had started his first lobby organization called "IIC" and released a statement in which he vehemently attacked Senator Schumer, Congressmen Sherman and several others for being Machiavellian, opportunist and power hungry simply because they urged a firm US response to the Mullahs blackmail. Parsi's remarks need no commentary from me:
" Some Congressmen are willing to go to any lengths to get reelected. Even if that means fabricating lies, making racists remarks on the House floor and jeopardizing the lives and well being of their co-religionists in other countries. Congressman Brad Sherman, Congressman Peter Deutsch and Senator Charles Schumer are the latest addition to this sad list of power hungry Machiavellians. Interpreting the import of judicial decisions and other development in Iran may have much to do with "the eye of the beholder". The trial of the Iranian Muslims and Jews accused of spying for Israel ended with relatively lenient sentences considering the seriousness of the charges. But on the other hand, the sentences can also be seen as extremely harsh mindful of the unreliability of the Iranian judiciary system.
Nonetheless, the activities undertaken by opportunists such as Congressman Sherman have not helped the accused. On the contrary, the more he uses this sad incident to get reelected, the worse the fate of these individuals becomes.
Sherman, Deutsch and Schumer have separately introduced new amendments that would reverse President Clinton’s decision to lift sanctions on food, medicine and Iranian carpets. Again, a combination of opportunistic tendencies and lack of creativity has caused these politicians to resort to economic sanctions as a campaign and foreign policy tool.
The biggest losers in this cynical campaign are American taxpayers, the Iranian people and not the least, the Iranians charged with spying. Let us not forget that the trial is continuing, since the accused have appealed. Further politicizing the trial at this sensitive stage only serves to entrench the position of all parties, rendering a solution more difficult.
If Congressman Sherman truly were concerned about the well being of Iranian Jews, he would not have resorted to sanctions. More than twenty years of sanctions on Iran have only benefited the anti-democratic and anti-American elements within the Iranian power establishment; the very same people who staunchly oppose the state of Israel. But imposing sanctions has also benefited Congressmen up for reelection, of which Congressman Sherman is all too aware."
Obviously, the hostage takers could have not written a better script to defend their action and explain the ransom they seek to obtain.