The internal operations of NIAC were exposed publicly following its defamation lawsuit against Hassan Daioleslam, a human rights activist who fled Iran in 1981. Daioleslam relocated to the US and in 2005 set up a website, IranLobby.com, to expose the mullahs’ activities to influence US policy.
Based on his analysis of NIAC activities, Daioleslam concluded that Parsi and NIAC:
- “Are key players in the lobby enterprise of Tehran’s ayatollahs in the United States.”
- “NIAC and its major figures, such as [former Congressman] Bob Ney and Trita Parsi are effective nodes of Tehran’s efforts to manipulate US policy toward self-serving ends.”
- “This organization [NIAC], with strong connections to the inner circles of power in Tehran, and interest groups outside Iran has the specific role of lobbying the US Congress by utilizing unwary ordinary Iranian Americans concerned about their inborn land.”
Parsi and NIAC filed a defamation lawsuit against Daioleslam in May 2008, hoping to stop his further investigations and release of information about the organization. Discovery lasted for more than two years. The court had to compel Parsi and NIAC to produce information on NIAC’s computers, calendar entries, emails, and other documents.
At one point, Parsi and NIAC filed an emergency motion to prohibit the public distribution of information uncovered in the discovery process. The court denied the motion, stating NIAC had also made public statements about the litigation and it would not restrain debate on the lawsuit, which it described as “an issue of substantial public importance.”
During discovery, Parsi and NIAC failed to produce thousands of discoverable records. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) was hired to conduct a forensic investigation of NIAC’s computers. It located 4,159 unreproduced records. Other elements of the case include:
- NIAC claimed it had searched its office backup server and found no relevant documents or calendar files. PWC discovered it contained 72 files and hundreds of calendar entries.
- Patrick Disney, NIAC’s Assistant Legislative Director, kept tract of his time and events by allocating them to different categories. On February 23, 2010, he altered 130 files, changing their reference from “lobbying” to “legislative direct,” in violation of a court order to not modify any files.
- On May 6, 2010, Parsi claimed his laptop was stolen in Norway and said its files had never been backed up.
- Parsi declared he used his office desktop computer until November 2010 and that there were no PST files on the laptop he purchased to place the stolen laptop. (PST is a file format developed by Microsoft for messages, calendar events, and other items on its Outlook software.) According to forensic evidence, Parsi stopped working on his office desktop on June 5, 2010, and did not continue to use it until November 2010. It’s believed Parsi provided the false information to prevent a forensic scan of his new laptop. About Parsi’s false statement, Daioleslam’s lawyers said it “should be enough to warrant the most serious of discovery sanctions.”
In September 2012, the court dismissed the lawsuit and Daioleslam’s motion for summary judgment was granted. The judge sanctioned Parsi and NIAC for their discovery abuses and ordered them to pay most of the legal expenses.
To demonstrate his independence with the mullahs, Parsi recounted hee had criticized the Iranian regime’s human rights record. The court was unimpressed. “That Parsi occasionally made statements reflecting a balanced, sharedblame approach,” the judge said, “is not inconsistent with the idea that he was first and foremost an advocate for the regime.”
Additionally, the court noted Parsi’s criticism of the regime did “not come close to specifically condemning – or even mentioning – the ‘torture, mass executions, rapes of women in prison, and stoning’ that defendant [Daioleslam] accuses him of ignoring.”
The court chastised Parsi and NIAC for filing the frivolous lawsuit and repeatedly trying “to evade their discovery obligations,” and directed they pay a penalty of $183,480.09.
 Trita Parsi and National Iranian American Council v. Hassan Daioleslam, United States District Court for the District of Colombia, Civil Action No. 08-705 (JDB), May 23, 2008.
 Trita Parsi and National Iranian American Council v. Hassan Daioleslam, United States District Court for the District of Colombia, Civil Action No. 08-705 (JDB), Order, November 16, 2009.
 Trita Parsi and NIAC vs. Daioleslam Seid Hassan, US District Court for the District of Columbia, November 14, 2011.
 Memorandum Opinion, Trita Parsi and National Iranian American Council v. Hassan Daioleslam, United States District Court for the District of Colombia, Civil Action No. 08-705 (JDB), September 13, 2012.
Read more about NIAC:
Bogus Memberships & Supporters
Iranians for International Cooperation
Trita Parsi Biography
Parsi/Namazi Lobbying Plan
Parsi Links to Namazi & Iranian Regime
Namazi, NIAC Ringleader
Collaborating with Iran’s Ambassador