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March 23, 2018 12:21 pm

US Pro-Iran Lobby’s Attack on NSA Pick John Bolton Highlighted by Tehran Regime’s Official Media

avatar by Ben Cohen

Trita Parsi, president of the pro-Iran lobbying group NIAC. Photo: Screenshot.

An Iranian official news agency on Friday highlighted the furious response of a Washington, DC-based pro-Tehran lobbying organization to the announcement that John Bolton will replace Gen. H.R. McMaster as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser.

Describing the former US ambassador to the UN as an “intervention hawk,” Iran’s IRNA news agency quoted extensively from a statement attacking Bolton issued by Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) — a group with “some 5,000 dues-paying members … and around 45,000 Iranian-Americans signed up for its emails and events,” according to a Politico report in June 2015. One million Iranian Americans are estimated to make up the community across the US.

Demeaning Bolton as “an unhinged advocate for waging World War III,” Parsi claimed that the incoming national security adviser’s “first order of business will be to convince Trump to exit the Iran nuclear deal and lay the groundwork for the war he has urged over the past decade.”

NIAC energetically lobbied in favor of the JCPOA, as the 2015 nuclear deal is known, boasting of its access to national security officials during the Obama administration. In 2009, Parsi warmly praised President Barack Obama’s passive response to the pro-democracy demonstrations that followed fraudulent elections in Iran, declaring that the White House’s position was “on the mark” and insisting that Iranians wanted the US “to stay out of the fight.”

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Parsi claimed that “Bolton now represents the greatest threat to the United States,” adding that his appointment was “a slap in the face even to Trump’s supporters who thought he would break from waging disastrous foreign wars and military occupations.”

Parsi’s specific allegation that Bolton “routinely meets with and accepts payments from” the MEK — an Iranian opposition group described by NIAC as “cultish” — was echoed by at least one senior Iranian official on Friday.

Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei — the spokesman for Iran’s powerful Guardians’ Council — similarly asked why Bolton had been appointed to his new post, given that he “is a stubborn supporter of anti-Iran terrorist group, MEK,” the Mehr news agency reported.

Saeed Ghasseminejad — an Iran Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) – told The Algemeiner on Friday that “in many cases, the policies supported by  NIAC and its lobbying arm, NIAC Action, benefit the Islamic Republic of Iran, its president, and its foreign minister.”

“In my view, NIAC does not represent the Iranian-American community or Iranians who want liberal democracy and human rights for Iran,” Ghasseminejad said.

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