The Iran Lobby consists of numerous groups and individuals who seek to influence western policies toward Iran and often advocate positions indistinguishable from those of the Iranian regime.
Some groups are funded by western companies wanting to change US law to gain access to Iran’s oil and gas reserves. Others have close ties to the regime and operate in lock step with the mullahs. Still others are members of an anti-war coalition working with pro-Iran groups and are used, wittingly or not, to support policies advantageous to the regime.
The Iran Lobby whitewashes the Iranian regime’s military expansionist ambitions, its deplorable human rights record, its misogynist and repressive laws, intolerance, political persecutions, sponsorship of terrorism, and its development of long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.
The Iran Lobby is aware of the regime’s many failings and acts accordingly, adopting the following strategies:
- To the extent possible, the groups and individuals avoid openly supporting the regime to prevent being directly identified with the mullahs and thus undercutting their credibility.
- They indirectly provide support to the regime by focusing on issues, such as opposing economic sanctions and opposing any military operations.
- They claim Iran’s rulers are divided into two camps, moderates and hardliners. Western leaders, they maintain, must engage in dialogue with the moderates and offer concessions to prevent the hardliners from gaining more power at the expense of the non-existent moderates.
- The groups and individuals hide behind the Iranian people, falsely ascribing to them broad opinions, in order to justify the regime’s behavior. For example, they claim the Iranian people have legitimate grievances with the US, given its earlier support for the Shah, and thus America should show restraint in advocating its political positions toward the mullahs.
- The regime’s lobbyists and apologists viciously attack the democratic opposition in Iran and seek its demise. They say Iran is too important to be ignored and claim there is no prospect for regime change. Thus, in the absence of a democratic alternative, it is necessary to fully accept and engage in dialogue with the mullahs.
- The lobbyists and apologists say the opposition movement is divided and has no chance for success. They falsely state the principle opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), has minimal public support when, in fact, the opposite is true. And supporting the opposition group, they erroneously assert, would be counterproductive and harm the pro-democracy movement in Iran.
- The lobbyists and apologists on occasion mildly criticize the regime’s record on human rights and other less important issues to give evidence to their impartiality and maintain credibility.
Iran Lobby Website
Step-by-step, the Iran Lobby has grown in size and its ability to influence policies in Washington, DC and other western capitals. This website provides details on some of the key pro-Iran organizations, including:
- National Iranian-American Council (NIAC)
- Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII)
- American-Iranian Council (IAC)
Some groups are closely linked to the Iranian regime. According to Hossein Abdol-Hossein, a reporter for the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Tehran “has been working since the mid-90s to form lobby groups in Washington with financial backing of Iran and with the direct supervision of the Iranian Mission to the United Nations.”
Iran’s lobbying efforts in the US are openly acknowledged by the regime. Former Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Sadegh Kharazzi said “The government should support it [lobbying], promote it, and then can rely on it.”
This website profiles some of the key appeasers of Iran. It describes how the Iranian regime provides financial support to the pro-Iran groups and individuals. And it chronicles the strategy of pro-Iran groups to broaden their coalition by aligning with – and manipulating – anti-war groups.
The intrigue begins with Trita Parsi, a Swedish-Iranian citizen who moved the US to establish a lobbying organization to ostensibly represent the views of Iranian-Americans, but in reality echoes policies supportive of the Iranian regime.
There can be no doubt that NIAC is closely associated with the Iranian regime and mirrors its foreign policy goals. And there is abundant evidence Trita Parsi has collaborated with the regime’s leadership to support its agenda.
Lobbyists must register with the Justice Department if they work for a foreign government. The Justice Department’s database lists nearly 500 people and organizations. Countries big and small utilize lobbyists to represent their views in Washington.
But no lobbyists are listed for Iran. It is naïve to believe the Iranian regime remains on the sidelines and has not sought to influence US policy from inside America. The Soviet Union spent hundreds of millions of dollars seeking to manipulate American views and policies and it must be assumed that Iran’s mullahs are no different.
This website merely sketches the surface of the Iran lobby. More resources and attention are warranted to determine the full scale of the Iranian regime’s efforts to secretly influence decisions in Washington.
 A defector of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) said, as a strategy, secret agents were allowed to criticize the regime if at least 20 percent of the time they directed their attacks at the PMOI/MEK. The MOIS then reproduced in its propaganda the negative comments directed against the opposition group.
 “Tehran’s Men in Washington and the ‘Grand Bargain,’” by HosseinAbdol-Hossein, Asharq al-Awsat, May 6,2014.
 “Iran’s Lobby in the US,” by Jamie Glazov, FrontPageMagazine.com, May 8, 2008.