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July 23, 2007
Irony Piled On Top Of Absurdity
The abuse of human rights by the Iranian regime is well documented and has been accepted as fact by most people.
But at an informal hearing today in the Rayburn House office building where Iranian human rights figures will gather to give testimony about the horrible rights record of the mullahs, the moderator of the event turns out to be an apologist for the theocrats in Tehran:
Trita Parsi has been very active in creating a pro-regime lobby to oppose U.S. sanctions on Iran. He has also criticized the Bush administration for its half-hearted attempt to provide funding for pro-democracy activists inside Iran. In short, the regime's mouthpiece here in America wants us to believe that putting pressure on the Iranian government to improve their human rights record only leads to more repression. Ease up on the rhetoric, they say, and things will get better.
But he has never joined the front lines of the struggle on behalf of human rights in Iran. On the contrary, by arguing that the United States and the West should cut a deal with the Tehran regime, he has been denounced by pro-democracy activist Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi – the daughter of long-time jailed journalist Siamak Pourzand - as “un-Iranian.”
Independent Iranian writer Hassan Dailoleslam, who exposed Trita Parsi’s ties to key figures in the Iran oil mafia in April, believes that this latest venture is an attempt by the regime to use human rights as a bargaining chip with the West.
The goal of the Iranian lobby is “to present human rights as a negotiating item on the engagement table in hopes of getting human rights organizations to argue for Tehran-friendly rapprochement, easing of sanctions and tolerance of a nuclear Iran,” he told me.
And if you believe that, you probably believe that Santa Claus is coming to town.
Parsi is President of the National Iranian American Council which has consistently opposed any strong action taken against the regime including pro-democracy initatives. To have him as moderator on a panel dealing with human rights on Iran is irony so rich you can bathe in it.