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Iran's Web of Influence in the U.S. By: Hassan Daioleslam
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, August 04, 2008

In a recent article, Joseph Klein discussed1 in details the hundreds of millions of dollars in United Nations’ aid to Iran. These funds are mostly financed by U.S. contributions.  In Tehran's corrupt system, it is hard to imagine that even a small portion of these resources reach the intended target population.

How is it possible for the terror state to confront the U.S. and the U.N. and at the same time be the recipient of West’s generous support?  The credit for that goes to Tehran’s effective web of influence in the U.S. Here is a glimpse at this web:

  • Siamak Namazi is the managing director of Atieh enterprise in Iran. This company is owned by Namzi family, an influential player in Iran's oil and financial Mafia. 
  • Baquer Namazi is Siamak's father and a former UN high level officer. Namazi and an active Iranian deputy minister, founded a false flag NGO (Hamyaran) to monitor and control other Iranian NGOs.
  • Baquer Namazi arranged for Siamak Namazi and Trita Parsi to present the roadmap for establishing the Iranian Lobby in the US. 
  • Trita Parsi, the president of the Iranian lobby organization NIAC, has been the recipient of close to $200,000 congressionally appropriated funds through National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and spends these funds through organizations under Baquer Namazi's control. 
  • NED has also provided funding for Tehran based Siamak Namazi (himself an affluent executive in Iran) for a fellowship in the US.
  • Siamak Namazi elaborated on why and how the Iranian regime should implant Tehran friendly experts in key positions in the US and inside the UN to influence policy. 
  • Siamak Namazi co-founded an organization (I-AIM) to recruit influential Iranian-Americans. 
  • Iranian regime (which is in control of close to $100 billion in oil income) has been the recipient of hundreds of millions of dollars of UN aid. 
  • Baquer Namazi is a major player in many of the associated organizations that benefit from UN aid.  

Atieh Bahar is an influential enterprise in Iran which along with some of the notorious factions of the regime is a partner and/or contractor in major oil, industrial or financial projects of the country.  Siamak Namazi is the managing director of this company which his family owns.2 

Siamak’s father is Baquer Namazi.  A governor under the previous regime in Iran, he has been a high official in the United Nations after the revolution in Iran.  In the mid-90’s, Baquer went back to Iran to work with Tehran’s regime.  In the late 90’s, along with an Iranian deputy minister and other government officials, Baquer founded an Iranian false flag NGO called Hamyaran.  The motive behind creating Hamyaran was multifold.  It allowed Tehran’s a means of controlling Iranian NGO’s by organizing them under one umbrella.  Hamyaran was also used as a false flag NGO to attract and control international help.  Yet another motive for creating Hamyaran was to reach out to unsuspecting Iranians aboard (especially in the US) to use them for Tehran friendly purposes.3

Parallel to Baquer’s efforts in Iran, Siamak along with friend and associate Trita Parsi undertook the effort to setup the Iranian web of influence and lobby machinery in the US.  Parsi founded the Iranian lobby organization IIC (Iranians for International Cooperation). Namazi and Parsi jointly co-authored the Iranian lobby roadmap paper “Iran-Americans: The bridge between two nations” in 1999.  This paper was presented in DAPIA conference co-organized by Baquer Namazi’s Hamyaran organization. Then, Parsi and other founders of IIC later founded the Iranian lobby organization NIAC (National Iranian American Council).  While Parsi’s work was focused on lobbying for Tehran friendly causes in the US Congress, Siamak Namazi’s efforts were more focused on creating relations between influential Iranian Americans and Tehran’s regime. In this arena, his father’s extensive experience in the United Nations certainly came in handy.4

One year before his infamous roadmap paper with Trita Parsi, Siamak Namazi wrote an article entitled Hyphenated Iranians: Misguided Policies toward Expatriates", published in April 1998. The article advocated the use of the Iranian Diaspora to influence the UN and US decision making system for Iranian regime’s benefit:5

" Hyphenated Iranians are a potential wealth to the country that no lobby can ever achieve. But, in order to realize their true value, Tehran must augment its current policy by establishing a positive relationship with this new population.

To better explain the point, we need not look any further than another country in the region that has understood the potential of its expatriates much better, Egypt. The Nile is of vital importance to Egypt. By extension, international laws affecting the water rights are of serious concern for that country. Fortunately for Egypt, many of the current regulations are largely favorable to that country. It is particularly interesting that many influential persons holding strategic decision-making positions who can change these laws are of Egyptian decent, holding the passport of a Western country. It is well known that the Yousef Boutros Ghali, the Minister of Finance and nephew of the former UN Secretary General, benefited tremendously by his six years working as a denizen of the IMF. As a result of his personal clout, Egypt's long drawn-out negotiations with the fund culminated in a favorable deal that concluded a major debt-restructuring program.

No doubt successful expatriates can play an extremely important role for their home country.

Picture the mood in the U.S. Congress with Senators of Iranian origin. Could France have sold the sophisticated technology it did to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war if the French foreign ministry housed influential French-Iranians? Clearly Iran stands to gain substantially should its expatriate population hold decision-making power in foreign lands. Then, the Iranian government should be cognizant that the inevitable assimilation and naturalization of its expatriate population is in accordance with the long-term interests of Iran."

Towards this goal, Siamak Namazi, co-founded a new organization in Tehran called I-AIM (International Association of Iranian Managers).6 This organization is designed to identify and recruit Iranian elites.  In June 2007, I-AIM held a major workshop in Tehran. Abbas Maleki, the Iranian deputy foreign minister under Rafsanjani, and advisor to the Supreme Leader and one of the chief organizers of Iranian lobby in the US, was one of the key speakers.7

Are the relations between the Namazi family, and those who control hundreds of millions of dollars incidental? Is the fact that the NGOs under Baquer Namazi are a beneficiary of UN funds completely accidental? Is the fact that Trita Parsi’s NIAC has been the recipient of hundreds of thousands of congressionally appropriated NED funds to be spent with the same NGOs under Namazi’s Hamyaran accidental?  NED's unexplained generosity to NIAC is further amended by another grant to Siamak Namazi to study "the role of the private sector in promoting good governance." 8

Understanding just how Tehran continues to receive 'aid' is a matter of urgency.  Iran threatens democracy both in the West and Middle East and will continue to do so unless it is effectively countered on all levels. 


1- Joseph Klein, "The UN's gravy train to Iran", FrontpageMag.com, June 17, 2008.

2- See the Iran's oil Mafia.   

3- See "The fraud of NIAC."   

4- See Baquer Namazi's interview.

5- http://www.iranian.com/Opinion/April98/Expat/index.html 

6-  http://www.i-aim.org/content/en/default.aspx

7- to view video, click here

8- http://www.ned.org/forum/past.html

Hassan Daioleslam is an independent Iran analyst and writer. He is well published in Farsi and English. He has appeared as an expert guest on the Voice of America-TV as well as in other Persian media. Daioleslam has three decades of history of political activism and political scholarly analysis.

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