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Iran’s propagandist in the US

Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi, Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, Iranian, American

Oped

Iran’s propagandist in the US

In January 2021, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi, one of Iranian regime’s agents in the US, who was actively working for the Iranian spy agency, posing as an independent political scientist, although some of his patrons in the large media houses were already aware of his real identity, but they did not have any problem in promoting him as a columnist – possibly because – they too were compensated by this Iranian deep-covered agent or his handlers. Afrasiabi’s arrest once again showed how Iranian rogue regime’s agents operate under different covers to pursue and justify the regime’s malign goals. Afrasiabi was living a posh life at his Massachusetts home, wherefrom he not only was getting pro-Iran propaganda materials published in major newspapers in the US, he also was actively collecting sensitive information on US government, military and intelligence establishments. Furthermore, this Iranian deep-covered agent was running propaganda against Saudi Arabia, Israel and other “enemy nations” of the Iranian regime.

Following Afrasiabi’s arrest, John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security said: For over a decade, Kaveh Afrasiabi pitched himself to Congress, journalists, and the American public as a neutral and objective expert on Iran. However, all the while, Afrasiabi was actually a secret employee of the Government of Iran and the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations (IMUN) who was being paid to spread their propaganda.

Afrasiabi used his so-called journalistic cover to parrot Iranian regime’s talking points. While people in Iran in their protests identified the regime as the real source to all crises, Afrasiabi and his ilk tried to blame international sanctions. He praised Qassem Soleimani, the regime’s eliminated terror mastermind, and like Tehran called him a “national hero.”

One of the assignments of Afrasiabi was implementing the Iranian regime’s demonizing campaign against the Iranian Resistance movement, mainly the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran.

According to expert on Iranian affairs, Afrasiabi’s arrest in the US is only the tip of the iceberg. As there are dozens of such deep-covered agents of the mullah regime in the US and the Western nations.

Afrasiabi, along with other Iran’s lobbyists and apologists, such as the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), aim to portray the MEK as a fringe terrorist group; thus, legitimizing the appeasement policy vis-à-vis the clerical regime, by spreading this false notion that there is no viable alternative to this regime.

NIAC has been the Iranian regime’s primary lobby group in Washington. Its founder and former president Parsi is in direct contact with the regime’s senior officials such as Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

More about Parsi and NIAC

Parsi’s relations with Zarif date back to early 2000s when Zarif was Iranian regime’s ambassador to the United Nations. Parsi acted as Zarif’s point man in many places as well as his contact with the media and members of Congress.

On December 22, 2006, Parsi forwarded a new article he had published to Zarif, which Zarif described in a subsequent email as “excellent.” Such correspondence routinely occurred between the two.

On June 30, 2008, NIAC organized an event in Congress to discuss the Iranian regime’s exiled opposition, inviting two well-known agents of the Iranian regime’s Intelligence Ministry, and his wife Anne Singleton, whose main mandate was to demonize the MEK. Anyway, American law enforcement agency prevented the entrance of Khodabandeh on US soil because he was an agent of the Iranian regime’s Intelligence Ministry.

Parsi and NIAC’s goal, like other regime apologists, was to portray the moribund regime in Tehran as a “popular and stable” ruling system.

On January 14, 2020, three US senators, Mike Braun, Ted Cruz, and Tom Cotton called on the US Department of Justice to investigate NIAC.

“NIAC’s innocuous public branding masks troubling behavior. For example, on December 31, NIAC circulated an email memorandum blaming the United States government for Iranian-backed militias’ repeated attacks against US forces in IRAQ and brazen attempt to storm the US embassy in Baghdad.

On January 9, NIAC and NIAC Action staffers tweeted and retweeted conspiracy theories deflecting blame from the Iranian regime for shooting down a Ukrainian civilian airliner, killing 176 individuals,” read the US Senators’ letter in a part.

NIAC’s disgraceful comments alone about the nationwide and popular protests in Iran in 2018 and 2019, such as blaming it on international sanctions, not the regime’s 40 years of oppression and wrong economic policies, indicates NIAC is the regime’s lobby group. Afrasiabi’s arrest and the facts mentioned above also confirm the fact that those parroting the regime’s talking points are not doing it for the sake of the Iranian people; they are the Iranian regime’s apologists.

Iranian regime’s terrorist attempts

On November 27 and December 3, 2020 trial of Iran’s incarcerated diplomat-terrorist, Assadollah Assadi and his three accomplices, Amir Saadouni, Nasimeh Na’ami and Mehrdad Arefani began.

According to media reports, this terrorist cell attempted to bomb the opposition gathering in France in 2018.

Reports further said, Nasimeh Naami and her husband Amir Sadouni, and Mehrdad Arefani misused their refugee and citizenship status in Belgium to operate for the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). Arefani also used the pretext of being an atheist poet but was an MOIS agents for years.

On July 9, 2017, Iranian regime’s Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian said: The Ministry of Intelligence needs cover to collect intelligence, whether inside or outside [Iran]. We don’t send an intelligence agent to Germany or America to say I work with the Ministry of Intelligence. A commercial or journalistic cover is needed.

Afrasiabi’s arrest, the trial of Assadi and his accomplices evidently proved how Iranian regime’s agents are operating in the US and the European nations. It demands further investigation into the matter and identify other secret agents of Iran in the West. Moreover, these Iranian deep-covered agents-cum-terrorists should be deported forthwith. At the same time, western media outlets should refrain from patronizing Iranian agents by publishing their propaganda stuffs. Here again – we need to remind those sympathizers of Jamal Khashoggi – another dubious individual, who also had succeeded in finding a platform in the US, despite the fact – Khashoggi was a Muslim Brotherhood member and cohort of Osama bin Laden.

An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow his on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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