The Republican and the Iranians

I wrote about former Republican Congressman Jim Leach (Iowa) last year. He was a Republican for Barack Obama.  . He was rewarded by being named Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

He also has cool views towards Israel. His name has surfaced in relation to the National Iranian American Council's efforts to influence US policy regarding Iran. Specifically, an email was released that was between Trita Parsi, the controversial founder of the NIAC,  and the Iranian Ambassador at the time, Javad Zarif.
E-mail correspondence between Mr. Parsi and Mr. Zarif show Mr. Parsi suggesting that the Iranian diplomat meet with members of Congress.

"Happy to hear that you will meet with [Rep. Wayne] Gilchrest and potentially [Rep. James] Leach. There are many more that are interested in a meeting, including many respectable Democrats," Mr. Parsi wrote in an Oct. 25, 2006, e-mail.

Mr. Gilchrest, a Maryland Republican who left office in 2009, said he remembered meeting with Mr. Parsi but did not consider him a major player in his efforts to meet Iranian officials.

"Trita was one person that we would use as a source of information. But I would not say we viewed Trita as a lobbyist," Mr. Gilchrest said. "He was a small part of our circle who wanted to meet with Iranians."

A spokeswoman for Mr. Leach, an Iowa Republican who left office in 2007 and now serves as chairman of the National Endowment for Humanities, said, "Hundreds of people attempt to make appointments with members of Congress every week. Chairman Leach has no memory of Trita Parsi or the National Iranian American Council."

(Mr. Leach's statement is the functional equivalent of " I have no recollection"-a statement now so clichéd as an evasion that it has lost its currency).

So the NIAC seems to have arranged a meeting between Congressman Leach and the Iranian Ambassador. Was Leach amenable to Iranian views? Why else arrange ameeting?

Leach has noticeable cool attitudes towards the America-Israel relationship. He came out for Barack Obama-not a common occurrence for a Republican.

Why? What did he see?
I wrote about former Republican Congressman Jim Leach (Iowa) last year. He was a Republican for Barack Obama.  . He was rewarded by being named Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

He also has cool views towards Israel. His name has surfaced in relation to the National Iranian American Council's efforts to influence US policy regarding Iran. Specifically, an email was released that was between Trita Parsi, the controversial founder of the NIAC,  and the Iranian Ambassador at the time, Javad Zarif.
E-mail correspondence between Mr. Parsi and Mr. Zarif show Mr. Parsi suggesting that the Iranian diplomat meet with members of Congress.

"Happy to hear that you will meet with [Rep. Wayne] Gilchrest and potentially [Rep. James] Leach. There are many more that are interested in a meeting, including many respectable Democrats," Mr. Parsi wrote in an Oct. 25, 2006, e-mail.

Mr. Gilchrest, a Maryland Republican who left office in 2009, said he remembered meeting with Mr. Parsi but did not consider him a major player in his efforts to meet Iranian officials.

"Trita was one person that we would use as a source of information. But I would not say we viewed Trita as a lobbyist," Mr. Gilchrest said. "He was a small part of our circle who wanted to meet with Iranians."

A spokeswoman for Mr. Leach, an Iowa Republican who left office in 2007 and now serves as chairman of the National Endowment for Humanities, said, "Hundreds of people attempt to make appointments with members of Congress every week. Chairman Leach has no memory of Trita Parsi or the National Iranian American Council."

(Mr. Leach's statement is the functional equivalent of " I have no recollection"-a statement now so clichéd as an evasion that it has lost its currency).

So the NIAC seems to have arranged a meeting between Congressman Leach and the Iranian Ambassador. Was Leach amenable to Iranian views? Why else arrange ameeting?

Leach has noticeable cool attitudes towards the America-Israel relationship. He came out for Barack Obama-not a common occurrence for a Republican.

Why? What did he see?