Political events in Europe and the U.S. have pushed immigration issues to the forefront of talk shows and government agendas, but many of the most pressing immigration have their roots not in an escape from economic poverty, but rather the specter of terrorism and war, especially as a result of the Iranian regime’s involvement in the three largest wars going on right now in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
It was not an accident that in the wake of World Refugee Day, there was broad acknowledgement that the source of most of the world’s refugee problem comes from the instability sweeping across the Middle East.
While the political discussion of immigration in the U.S. presidential election and the controversial Brexit vote has revolved around the impact mass immigration is posing to countries, the real underlying discussion is only now starting to focus on the roots causes of these mass movements of people fleeing violence in their own lands.
Also, in the wake of numerous terrorist attacks ranging from San Bernardino, California to Sydney, Australia and Paris, France to Ottawa, Canada, the infectious and noxious influence of spreading Islamic extremism is being felt; much of it flowing from the mullahs in Tehran and through their agents in the Revolutionary Guards and Quds Forces who organize, recruit, train, arm and fund extremists.
Predictably though, the Iran lobby has sought to capitalize on the immigration debate by focusing the discussion not on the root causes of these mass displacements. It’s a necessary gambit and typical of the Iran lobby to deflect attention from the real core issue of bloody sectarian conflict fueled by the mullahs.
The National Iranian American Council took the lead with several editorials and statements it has issued attempting to blame everyone else but the Iranian regime for the misery being inflicted on the millions of refugees fleeing these conflict zones.
Sarah Sakha offered up the idea on NIAC’s website that Americans opposed any bans on Muslims and refugees based on a Brookings Institute poll, but failed to address the core concern these same Americans have which is how to stop the spread of Islamic-inspired terrorism washing across the U.S. through Boston, Fort Hood, Chattanooga, San Bernardino and now Orlando.
She also fails to discuss the increase in terrorism and the harshness of the treatment of men, women and children in Iran by the regime is disingenuous and ignores the root causes of these problems. Likewise it lays bare how transparent the Iran lobby is in defending the regime from any criticism of its policies.
Similarly, the NIAC gave space to cover a recent meeting by the Atlantic Council and Iran Project with national security staffer Ben Rhodes who was famously revealed to have crafted the “echo chamber” supporting the Iran nuclear deal on a foundation of lies. The symposium was designed to defend the faltering nuclear deal from blistering criticism that it has failed to moderate Iran and instead has led to the great instability and bloodshed we see now.
Rhodes even used the examples of the openings made to Cuba and Burma as templates for why Iran should be treated in of those countries agreed to renounce terrorism h of those countries agreed to renounce terrorism and in Burma’s case actually held free elections that installed long-time dissidents in control of the government for the first time.
The Iran regime has done none of those things.
The NIAC even took on the recently unveiled the House Republican’s policy paper listing its priorities in the upcoming election including the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran for continued violations of human rights and sponsorship of terrorism, as well as its deliberate efforts to violate the nuclear agreement with ballistic missile tests and the clandestine sanitizing of sites of any evidence of prior testing of nuclear materials.
Ironically, while the NIAC attacks the idea that imposing new sanctions for continued human rights violations, it never denies that severe human rights violations are taking place in Iran. Instead, it attributes the suffering and misery being inflicted on the Iranian people with mass arrests and executions not to the actions of the mullahs, but rather the lack of U.S. currency flowing to the regime as a result of the nuclear deal.
It is the height of stupidity to equate torture in Iran to a lack of cash.
That seems to be the mantra being repeated most often by the Iran lobby these days as it pushes to get cash into the hands of the regime as quickly as possible, but not for the benefit of ordinary Iranians it seems as the regime is being rocked by protests over disclosures that high-ranking executives at state-owned businesses are being paid obscene salaries while Iranians are being exhorted by the mullahs to continue a “resistance economy” of deprivation.
The Daily Beast also disclosed that a former Clinton administration official has been on the payroll of Boeing as it strived to close a deal with Iran to sell $25 billion worth of commercial airliners.
Thomas Pickering, one of the country’s most famous diplomats and a former ambassador to Israel and the United Nations, has been quietly taking money from Boeing while vocally supporting the Iran nuclear deal—testifying before Congress, writing letters to high-level officials, and penning op-eds for outlets like The Washington Post.
Pickering confirmed via email—from his Boeing corporate email address—that he was on staff at the company from 2001 to 2006 and has been a paid consultant for them ever since.
Neil Gordon—an investigator for the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington watchdog organization—said Pickering should have been upfront about his work for Boeing when testifying before Congress on the Iran nuclear deal and making the case for it in op-eds for major publications.
“In Pickering’s case, he has a direct connection to Boeing, which I think should be disclosed,” he said.
Over the past few years, Pickering has been one of the most vocal and visible advocates for the nuclear agreement with Iran. On June 19, 2014, he testified before the House Armed Services Committee about his views on the need for a comprehensive agreement with Iran. He did not mention Boeing in the disclosure form he provided to the committee prior to his testimony. Boeing also isn’t mentioned in his bio that the House kept on file.
The lack of disclosure of his work in support of the nuclear deal and his participation in Rhodes’ “echo chamber” is disturbing and shows the complicated and extraordinary efforts made by the Iran lobby to secure the nuclear deal for Iran.
Most disturbing, his bio on the NIAC website where he serves as an advisory board member, notes that he worked at Boeing until 2006 but does not note that he still consults for the company. Same for his bio at the anti-nuclear weapon group Global Zero. His bio at The Iran Project doesn’t mention Boeing at all.
The lack of disclosure and his active work with leading members of the Iran lobby while also collecting fees from Boeing which the Obama administration is doing all it can to facilitate business with the regime raises alarm bells everywhere of conflicts of interest and outright deception.
Trita Parsi of the NIAC also using the same scape goat, blamed the suffering of Iranians on the lack of business deals with Iran following the nuclear deal.
“If the Iranians end up de facto not getting sanctions relief, the deal will collapse,” he said. “That’s right now the biggest threat to the sustainability of the deal.”
He is right, but the threat isn’t coming from foreign companies, but rather the mullahs themselves as they pursue policies turning most of Europe into a massive refugee center.
By Michael Tomblinson