Some background info. on American Iranian Council
"Zahedi has served as the director of West Coast operations of American Iranian Council."
(No, this doesn't (IMO) justify his being tortured - if he is)
Mission for Establishment of Human Rights in Iran
AIC, Exposed and Withdrawn!
Due to the widespread protest by the Iranians residing in the US, the California State University, Northridge withdrew the American Iranian Council (AIC) as the CIRA conference co-sponsor. Overwhelmed by the magnitude of the protest and numerous phone calls and e-mails, a university representative met with the political and human rights activists in LA. The arguments made and the documents presented regarding the AIC lobbying activities for a terrorist regime were instrumental in removal of the AIC.
The following letter and documents regarding AIC were forwarded by MEHR to the University President .
Honorable Jolene Koester, President
Northridge, CA 91330-8230
Dear President Koester,
We are writing to you to express our concerns about the disturbing news that California State University, Northridge is hosting a conference sponsored by the Iranian American Council (AIC) on 3/28/03.
The AIC is a known lobby group for the Islamic Republic of Iran and has been an advocate of unconditional relations with that regime, a terrorist regime that has tormented the Iranian people and the whole world since its inception. The IRI has been recognized as the most active terrorist regime in the world and is on the top of the terrorist list of the US State Department. Although the US Anti terrorism Act prohibits any aid to and
association with terrorists, the AIC has made use of every possible outlet to promote its agenda.
The AIC has the full support and backing of many financial institutions who will profit from such ventures. The AIC's goals go beyond academic, social, or cultural interests. As a group of scholars and human rights activists, we at MEHR encourage and promote cultural, academic, political, and social exchange with scholars from diverse backgrounds and ideologies. However, we strongly believe that we should not allow such forum to be manipulated by a lobby group for advancing its' political and economical goals.
AICs agenda regarding the unconditional re-establishment of relation with Islamic Regime of Iran, is well known and documented. The 3/29/02 Editorial of Washington Times states partly that:
Mounting evidence that Tehran is shielding hundreds of fleeing al Qaeda terrorists and is working to destroy what's left of the Arab-Israeli peace process have made it increasingly difficult to push for "closer" U.S.-Iranian ties with a straight face. Nevertheless, a number of high-powered folks in Washington seem determined to try.
The designated vehicle for their campaign is an organization calling itself the American Iranian Council (AIC). The AIC's board of corporate "sponsors and collaborators" includes prominent oil and gas companies that have been effectively shut out of exploration in Iran as a result of U.S. economic sanctions.
In another article published by Daily Insight on 4/01/02, Kenneth Timmerman writes:
The American-Iranian Council is financed by major U.S. corporations seeking to remove U.S. trade sanctions on Iran. The group regularly calls for a "dialogue" between the U.S. and clerical regime in Tehran, with the clear suggestion that the roadblocks to dialogue are in Washington.
. Biden was strongly criticized by Iranian-Americans for attending a fund-raiser held by members of the AIC and another pro-Tehran lobbying group in California last month, as Insight recently reported.
AIC itself is not shy in demonstrating its delight to appease the Islamic Regime. AICs brochure titled Identity, Track Record & Growth Plan 2001-2005 contains eight photos of AICs members and directors that are happily socializing with the representatives of the Islamic Regime. Some of these photos may be viewed at: http://mehr.org/photos.htm
Economical interests drive the AIC and as such, these are the organization's motives in pursuing the re-establishment of US relations with a terrorist regime. Majorities of the people in charge of the coordination of this conference are known to be in favor of friendly relations with IRI. Many renowned scholars will take part in this conference as a result of their academic pursuits, not realizing how the forum will be manipulated by the
AIC; many others have deliberately stayed away as they did not wish to promote AIC's non-academic goals.
We believe that the academic community should be at the forefront of promoting the human rights values and exposing the human rights violation whenever possible. Unfortunately, the role of the AIC so far, has been to conceal such violations and to rationalize the clerics' actions by falsely portraying a possible change in the behavior of terrorists through making deals with them.
Please do not help them to reach this inhumane goal by misusing the prestige of the California State University and do not allow this conference to be held under AICs sponsorship. We would welcome the possibility of any other organization, independent of the Islamic Regime, to sponsor this conference. Several thousands of freedoms loving Iranians/Americans expect you to kindly address their concerns regarding this sensitive issue.