I just received this from Aryo.
It is a transcript of their press conference. I thought this was important enough for our readers to have this immediately.
Please lets get the word out on this. Please send this transcript to bloggers, reporters, anyone that might be interested telling the world the truth about John Kerry. Thanks.
Transcript of the Press Conference
"ISLAMIC REGIME INFLUENCE IN THE U.S."
9:30 11:30 A.M.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2004
NATIONAL PRESS CLUB
ARYO PIROUZNIA: Thanks for coming. My name is Aryo Pirouznia. Im the coordinator of a political entity focused on freedom in my homeland, Iran, which its name is Student Movement Coordination Committee in Iran for Democracy in Iran. I moved to the United States ten years ago in order to carry a mission that I think is the duty of any Iranian to carry at this time, and Im sure that any all of you knows about what the Islamic Republic of Iran is meaning (?).
In my combat for freedom, I have been sued, and Im here to defend myself in America, the land of democracy, freedom, freedom of speech. I will introduce you my counsel teams: my head counsel, which is Judge Bob Jenevein; my co-counsel and my personal attorney, Michael Payma; and of course, people who have raised up to help us: Jerry Corsi, Denem Sormelier (ph) and surely Kenneth Timmerman.
I will be available during later the debate for any question you might have. Thank you for coming.
BOB JENEVEIN: Good morning. My name is Bob Jenevein. Let me give you some spellings because we dont have a list that tells you all these names. Its Bob Jenevein with a J J-E-N-E-V-E-I-N. Im a lawyer in Dallas. Aryos name is spelled A-R-Y-O. Pirouznia is P-I-R-O-U-Z-N-I-A. And again, his committee is the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran. I may refer to that as the committee. Michael Payma P-A-Y-M-A is to Mr. Pirouznias left. Hes a lawyer in Dallas, and then theres Mr. Jerry Corsi C-O-R-S-I and Kenneth Timmerman with two Ms.
As you all know, Senator John Kerry has recently suggested that the United States should give uranium to the Islamic regime in Iran to test the truth of their claims to want it only for peaceful purposes. That is relevant to me as an attorney because it has complicated my job. Let me try to give you some context to the litigation that brings Aryo and his lawyers to Washington, D.C. this morning.
Federal Election Commission and Kerry campaign records reveal that a handful of Iranian Americans have steered hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Kerry campaign. Thats public record, no secret. What the public does not know and what the Kerry campaign would apparently prefer not to discuss is that at least two of those fundraisers are among the chief advocates in America for the agenda of the Iranian regime, promoting the normalization, for example, of diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran. I dont have to remind you that the State Department has classified the Islamic regime in Tehran and the most avid state-sponsor of terrorism in the world today.
These Kerry fundraisers and their names are Susan Akbarpour and thats A-K-B-A-R-P-O-U-R and Hassan Nemazee have each taken a bold step to silence the political speech of their freedom-fighting critics in America. They have each filed defamation lawsuits against those critics. It is in that context that I represent Aryo and the committee.
Hassan Nemazee sued Aryo in Texas for $10 million based on Aryos claim that Mr. Nemazee was linked or promoting the agenda of the Islamic regime. The lawsuit was filed in March of this year, but Mr. Nemazee has refused to give a deposition in that case until after the election, and would have succeeded but for the order of a Texas judge. And now Mr. Nemazee will answer questions regarding his claim in New York City at a Midtown Marriott Hotel on Monday.
At the same time, the Kerry campaign has now tried to distance itself from Nemazee and any connection to the Iranian regime, at least publicly as well as privately, since September. As a lawyer defending a lawsuit that Mr. Nemazee filed, I have been trying to get the campaign to authenticate, in admissible form, an e-mail that they authenticated on the record, actually to Mr. Timmerman in late February or early March of this year. I have sent Fed-Exes, I have made phone calls, Ive sent faxes, Ive sent letters, and they refuse to even sign a very short affidavit that merely says the affidavit is authentic and Mr. Nemazee has advised the campaign on foreign policy issues. I know these things to be true because theyve already said them on the record, but they wont say them under oath.
So to me it appears that the Kerry campaign the disturbing aspect to me is that my ability to defend my client has been impeded by the Kerry campaigns apparent preference for its ties to the friends of the Iranian regime at the expense of the Students for Democracy in Iran. To me thats a matter of public concern.
Let me say one thing to the millions of Iranians watching and listening around the world right now. On behalf of Aryo Pirouznia, the committee, Mr. Payna and myself, we hear those silenced voices, we know you yearn for freedom, and we are fighting for you. We will continue to fight against the powerful forces in this country who are willing to legitimize the Iranian regime, and we will not stop.
Im going to turn the podium again over to Aryo, and then my plan is to let Mr. Timmerman make any statements that hed like to make, and the same with Mr. Corsi, and then at that point well take any questions that you all have. Having said that, I hope that you all will respect my job as an attorney with a pending litigation to be careful about what I and my client say. Obviously thats very important.
MR. PIROUZNIA: I thank Mr. Jenevein. I would like now to introduce my personal attorney, a very (integral ?) man, Michael Payma of Payma & Kuhnel. So he can have also what how it was a struggle even to abort a file that is intending to (unintelligible) in our mission.
Q: Can you spell your name again, please?
MICHAEL PAYMA: Yes, Michael Payma P-A-Y-M-A.
Let me also thank each and every one of you for being here today. I will not say a whole lot because I think Judge Jenevein and the other speakers will be able to give you as much information as you need.
Basically Im the co-counsel with Judge Jenevein on this matter, and as Aryo said it very clearly, basically what this is about is that Aryo is being sued and were just doing our job to defend him in a lawsuit. And its our intention to let the truth come out and then let the American and the Iranian public make the decision for themselves. So with that I will pass the podium to Judge Jenevein. Thank you.
MR. JENEVEIN: I dont have anything else to add. Mr. Corsi, are you ready to say a few words?
JERRY CORSI: Good morning. Im Jerry Corsi, and Im the co-author with John ONeill of Unfit for Command. My next book is going to be titled, Atomic Islam, and its going to focus on the mullahs in Iran and their desire to get nuclear weapons.
Now I was introduced to Aryo and his case in the process of writing Unfit for Command, when Aryo called in to John ONeill and was asking for assistance. John asked me if Id look into it. I began to look into it and began to find merit in Aryos determination to fight for freedom in Iran. As I began to examine the situation, I decided that this would be my next book. Ive signed the book with WorldNet Daily, and I will have a column tomorrow on WorldNetDaily.com dealing with Iran and nuclear weapons.
Now this issue got put on to the agenda by Senator Kerry himself, just as Senator Kerry put on to the agenda the issue of Vietnam when he stood up and saluted at the Democratic National Convention and said, reporting for duty, and then the Vietnam and his entire short service in Vietnam became a topic of consideration and examination. So in the first debate, in a little-noticed part of the debate, John Kerry said that he was in favor of giving nuclear fuel to Iran. Now that was a puzzling statement; many Americans didnt even catch it. And he said he was going to do that in the context of testing whether the mullahs would keep their word and use this nuclear fuel only for electricity and not convert it into nuclear weapons. He said somehow and I guess this was part of his nuanced logic that wed only know their intentions were really bad if they did take this fuel and make it into weapons.
Well, to me, several analogies came to mind immediately. One would be giving dynamite to children to see what they do with it. Another that weve learned in America and should have contemplated now for well over 50 years is that perhaps selling scrap metal to Japan wasnt such a good idea. It might just turn around and come back at us in the form of aircraft carriers and battleships.
So when you examine this whole idea that were going to give nuclear weapons nuclear fuel to the Iranians, it puts it in a context, well, who are these Iranians, and then we examine the public record. In the last week there have been articles that Iran has been funding insurgents going into Iraq to cause instability and to fight against our good troops. That doesnt sound very stable to me.
Then in the press the mullahs have announced that theyve put out a determination that within five or six months they say if youre a believer in Islam, well have nuclear weapons. Well, that doesnt sound very responsible to me. And then you look at the issue of, well, where is Iran, where are these mullahs on the question of Israel, and everything I read its death to Israel.
Now a nuclear-armed Iran means several things to Americans. Atomic Israel we are seeing oil now at $50 a barrel and higher. Do we want to be hijacked for oil? How about $200 a barrel? Where would those excess profits go?
Our current administration says we have a war on terrorism and Iran is part of the axis of evil. We have sanctions on Iran, and Senator Edwards, in his vice presidential debate, made it sound like he was all in support of those sanctions. Well, maybe John Kerry and John Edwards ought to get together because everything that Im reading, including on John Kerrys website go to the little search engine and type in Nemazee N-E-M-A-Z-E-E and up come two articles where Mr. Nemazee is in the top tier of John Kerrys fundraisers, that same Mr. Nemazee that is locked in a suit with Aryo, who countersued him, producing this deposition that we will have in New York City on Monday.
Then look at John Kerrys other statements where John Kerry says he is in favor of normalizing relationships with Iran. You begin to see a pattern of John Kerrys statements supporting the pro-mullah lobby position in the United States. Theyre kind of congruent; same thing. And John Kerry is saying we should give nuclear fuel to Iran. Well, the pictures that Im worried about, that scare me on terrorism are the ones coming out of Russia with the school children being terrorized, and then we find in Iraq a computer in the hands of a terrorist that has plans of our schools in the United States in that computer. Now what are those plans doing there? Are they going into an architecture lesson? I dont think so. And the greatest fear, were told, is nuclear and biological weapons in the hands of terrorists.
Now if we have a rogue regime in Iran, the question has got to be put to senator Kerry, why, in everything thats holy, would we ever give these mullahs nuclear fuel? And thats a question Senator Kerry put on the table, its one that Im going to continue to speak on the radio, well work with the television shows that will have us. This book, Atomic Islam, will be out in the beginning of next year, and as its being developed, I think youre going to see a movement come forward. Were going to call for those people who believe around the world in freedom for Iran to come forward. Well be creating a website and petitions that the world can sign on freedom for Iran. Were going to work to see if we cant reverse this tide and encourage Islam to support its better side, to come forward responsibly and to renounce terrorism. Were going to call on the responsible leaders of Islam around the world to join us in a free Iran. And for that movement, Ill dedicate that thats the next project Im going to work on full time, and Ill write on it and carry it forward with the same diligence that I applied to the Swift Boat vets, whose cause I solidly endorse and continue to support.
And Senator Kerry has given us the opportunity to do two things: one, redeem the honor of the Vietnam veteran who is not a war criminal, renounce that lie which has for over 35 years been a disgrace, an unwarranted disgrace on the 2-1/2 million Americans, including across a little way over here the 58,000 on the wall who died for freedom and knew that they were not war criminals. Let this be their day to stand tall. And thank you, John Kerry, for putting it on the agenda.
And number two, lets look at Iran, lets look at nuclear terrorism, and lets put it on the agenda forefront because as a world we have an opportunity here to move forward in freedom or to retreat into the darkest days such as the Roman Empire went through. We do not need to proceed to the ash heap of history. We have freedom in our hearts; there are many Iranians who have freedom in their hearts, and I applaud Aryo in his brave lawsuit to put his name forward and to advance this agenda. And Senator Kerry, thank you for saying in your first debate with President Bush that you wanted to give nuclear fuel to Iran. In the last couple of weeks in this presidential campaign, please explain yourself, Senator Kerry. Why should we do this? Why does it make sense? Lets have a debate on the issue.
Id like to thank you all for being here, on WorldNetDaily.com, on the various shows including Joseph Farahs radio show, on RadioAmerica and others around the country that will have us. Were going to be bringing this message forth to the American public over the course of the next few months. I thank you very much for being here today.
MR. JENEVEIN: Thank you, Mr. Corsi.
For purposes of disseminating information to you all as quickly as possible, we have established a website that really pertains to the litigation that Ive mentioned. It is regimeinfluence.com. Its up now; youre welcome to and encouraged to visit there.
Id like to give a moment to Mr. Kenneth Timmerman, if hed like to say a few words.
KENNETH TIMMERMAN: Good morning. My name is Kenneth R. Timmerman T-I-double M-E-R-M-A-N. Im here to give you some resources and a bit of factual background, but not just on this case, but in particular on the influence operation by the Islam Republic here in the United States.
Ive been working as an investigative reporter on Iran for about 20 years. I began in Paris interviewing exiles in the early 1980s, came here in 93 to work on the Hill. In 1995 I launched a foundation called The Foundation for Democracy in Iran. One of our board members at that time is now serving at the Defense Department as an assistant secretary.
Its absolutely clear to me that there is a influence operation by the Islamic Republic here in the United States. The goal is to create a fifth column. The goal is to create a fifth column in America, to begin with, within the Iranian-American community. This is a very, very serious thing that is going on. It is similar to what the Soviets did during the Cold War.
Now Id like to give you a few resources. I have some documents which those of you who are interested I will hand out. The documents pertain to Susan Akbarpour and to Hassan Nemazee. I also have some pictures, which are available on the website as well as here, showing the relationships between Mr. Kerry and Mrs. Akbarpour and also Hassan Nemazee. They have been very closely tied, through an organization called The American-Iranian Council.
In the early 1990s the Iranian regime used one-man lobbying shops. Their influence operation was a bit rudimentary. They masqueraded as Iranian-Americans cultural associations. After that, they poured money into U.S.-based television operations aimed at flooding the Iranian community here with regime propaganda, but in the mid-1990s about the same time I set up the Foundation for Democracy in Iran they had a brainstorm. Why not use the lobbying power of large U.S. corporations to sway the public debate in this country to their benefit?
Now the organization that was then set up, called the American-Iranian Council you can find their website, its American-Iranian.org. is the brainchild of a pro-regime individual named Hooshang (sp) Amiramadi A-M-I-R-A-M-A-D-I Hooshang Amiramadi. He claims to teach urban studies at Princeton University, but in fact spends most of his time shilling for the Islamic Republic and their agenda here in the United States.
Mr. Nemazee, against good judgment and against counsel from his friends, including myself, joined the board of the American-Iranian Council. He served on that board for well over a year, and I believe that one of the reasons that he gets associated with the pro-regime agenda in this country is because of his own behavior in joining that board.
AICs goal, from the very start, has been crystal clear: lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran and promoting the resumption of trade and diplomatic ties between the United States and Iran. That is the agenda of the Islamic Republic. Why is that their agenda? Because their economy has been crippled by U.S. sanctions. U.S. sanctions that often decried in this country have actually prevented foreign investment to rebuild the Iranian oil industry, which itself is rusting because of the mismanagement of the clerical regime.
U.S. sanctions, while unilateral and while they could be better if we could get our European partners to forego multibillion dollar contracts in Iran, are yet nevertheless, they are very effective, and they have had a powerful effect on the Iranian economy. And Mr. Nemazee, the American-Iranian Council have been instrumental in trying to convince major corporations and members of Congress to lift the sanctions on Iraq. They even have a project and you can find this on their website which they are trying to raise over half a million dollars for, to fund. Its called, quote, Building Better U.S.-Iranian Relations. Now just think about that for a second. The Islamic-Republic of Iran murders Americans around the globe. Theyve murdered Americans in Beirut, theyve murdered Americans in Jerusalem, in Gaza. Theyre murdering Americans today in Iraq. And yet the AIC, on whose board Hassan Nemazee served, is raising money to explore how we get closer to those same mullahs who are ordering those murders of Americans.
Now Ive got a number of resources, which you can find on my website, which is kentimmerman.com. There are articles that Ive written in the American Spectator, which is out this month, called Dirty Mullah, and in Insight Magazine, a weekly investigative magazine of the Washington Times, about the fundraising operations here in this country.
Let me just tell you a few highlights from those articles. I want to give you some background about a woman named Susan Akbarpour A-K-B-A-R-P-O-U-R. Now Susan was in that picture I showed you earlier with John Kerry. Here she is, okay? This is at a fundraiser where she and Hassan Nemazee were on the organizing committee inviting John Kerry as the top speaker in June of 2002 in San Francisco.
Susan came to this country in 1997 claiming to be a political refugee. She claimed that if she went back to Iran, she would be subject to persecution. In fact and this is one of the documents I have for those of you who are interested Susan Akbarpour was an employee of the Islamic Republic of Iran before she came to this country, and this is the document that will prove it.
These are the kind of people who are working with John Kerrys campaign. Mr. Nemazee has raised over $500,000 for the campaign. Susan Akbarpour and her husband, Feraj Alaie (ph), have raised close to $100,000 each, according to the campaign.
I understand that it is illegal in the United States to make campaign contributions if you are not a U.S. citizen or if you are not a green card holder. Well, Ms. Akbarpour contributed to Mr. Kerrys campaign on June 17th, 2002 and you can pull this down from the FEC website when she was not a U.S. citizen or a green card holder. How do I know this? Ms. Akbarpour told me so. She told me so, and you can see that again in the article from Insight Magazine, she acknowledged that she did not have a green card until after she married Feraj Alaie last year 2003 and other sources tell me she does not have a green card yet.
Now its illegal it is frankly illegal, clearly illegal to make campaign contributions when you are not a U.S. citizen or a green card holder. Susan Akbarpour has broken the law, Mr. Kerrys campaign has broken the law, and they should know that because I have made this public I made this public first in March of this year. There is no excuse. The Kerry campaign has not distanced themselves from this illegal fundraiser.
Now I am also told by immigration attorneys that it is illegal for a foreign individual to come to this country pretending political persecution, and in fact, to be a former employee in good standing with that regime. Susan Akbarpour has been filmed at pro-democracy demonstrations in California haranguing the demonstrators, supporting the regime, and she claims to be a political refugee from this regime. This is the type of person who is supporting Mr. Kerry. This is the type of person who Mr. Kerry has been willing to associate himself with at fundraisers, and I call on Mr. Kerry to distance himself from Susan Akbarpour, from Hassan Nemazee and all of those people that they are working with to raise money who are here to shill for the Islamic Republic.
MR. JENEVEIN: Before we take any questions, I want to make sure you all understand there is no formal affiliation of any kind between our litigation and these distinguished writers who have volunteered to be here and speak their thoughts. We are very grateful for any contributions they can make. Were not paying them and theyre not paying us. I think we just maybe see things the same way.
So with those statements, are there any questions that I can entertain? Yes, sir?
Q: I was wondering, could you clarify the status of Mr. Pirouznias citizenship? (Off mike.)
MR. JENEVEIN: Since theres not a microphone there, I will restate the question. You want to know if Mr. Pirouznia is a citizen of the United States, maybe registered to vote, et cetera.
Aryo, do you want to
(Cross talk, off mike.)
MR. PIROUZNIA: While being grateful to America, I am not a citizen of America. My wife is American citizen. I could have opted for obtaining my immigration status through her. I refused to do so until about two years ago because then I had to travel for political purposes, but Im grateful that I am here on a temporary residentship with authorization of work and employment.
MR. JENEVEIN: Yes, sir?
MR. : One moment, please. Weve got to get this for the audio feed, so Ill hand the microphone to everybody.
Q: Im Jim Lobe from the InterPress Service. I wanted to ask exactly could you explain, first of all, what the basis of both the defamations the specific basis of the defamation suit was, and then the counterclaim. And also, does is the Student Movement Coordinating Committee for Democracy in Iran is that incorporated in the United States? And if so, whats its status as a non-profit or whatever? And does it have a board of directors? Because Ive looked at the site and I cant find any board -- if you could clarify those issues.
MR. JENEVEIN: Let me start Jerry, you might want to grab the microphone let me start with the litigation, and to the extent that I give an incomplete response, the pleadings in that case are actually posted on that website at regimeinfluence.com. The defamation claim, which thats the $10 million claim filed by Hassan Nemazee in March in Houston, Texas, actually claims that he was defamed because Mr. Pirouznias website, the SNCCDI website made a statement to the effect that he was an agent for the regime. I dont know if theyre trying to literally interpret the word agent literally is not the right word, but maybe over interpret the word to mean that there was an accusation that he was on the payroll or that he was an agent in the sense of an agent for change. I shouldnt speak to that; thats really a question more appropriately suited to Mr. Nemazee and his attorneys.
I will tell you that we are defending that lawsuit in part on the basis of truth. We believe there is a link between Mr. Nemazee and the regime. Unfortunately, weve been thwarted in our ability to conduct discovery by Mr. Nemazees refusal to appear for deposition until ordered to do so and by the Kerry campaigns stonewalling and refusal to even call us back.
Now as to the
Q: Can I have a follow-up question?
MR. : (Off mike) follow-up question.
Q: The existence of a link is one thing. The question of an agent, which does have certain connotations, is another, and one of the and so I want you to be as specific as possible about the nature of that link. And perhaps to expand the question to the other panelists Mr. Timmerman and so on if they are saying that Mr. Nemazee is an agent of the Islamic Republic because I know you talked about Susan and so on, but you didnt talk about Mr. Nemazee. And I want the presenters to be as specific as possible about their allegations with respect to Mr. Nemazee in particular.
MR. JENEVEIN: I appreciate your need for specifics, and I wish that I could give more. For two reasons I cannot. Number one, Im happy to talk freely about Ms. Akbarpours links because Im not the lawyer in that case. Discovery has been thwarted and is ongoing in the Nemazee case, so theres a lot that I cant say. In other words, I have meaningful suspicions that I believe are well-grounded about exactly the nature of the link between the regime and Hassan Nemazee, but I havent been able to prove them. And so Im very reluctant and really must kind of refuse, regretfully, to extend on that very much.
But I also want to say that I do not accept the premise of your question that there must be a link. Look up agent in Websters. Its not a legal term when a non-lawyer uses it on a political op-ed website. Mr. Nemazee is an agent for the Iranian government to the extent that he is promoting the Iranian regimes agenda. Period.
Now with respect to your question about the structure of SMCCDI, it is incorporated correct, Mr. Pirouznia.
MR. PIROUZNIA: (Off mike.)
MR. JENEVEIN: Is it non-profit?
MR. PIROUZNIA: (Off mike.)
MR. JENEVEIN: No, just real quick is it incorporated?
MR. PIROUZNIA: No.
MR. JENEVEIN: Its not yet incorporated?
MR. PIROUZNIA: Yes, it is incorporated.
MR. JENEVEIN: It is incorporated, it is not a non-profit. Does it have a board of directors?
MR. PIROUZNIA: (Off mike.)
MR. JENEVEIN: I am not going to provide that right now, sir, and the reason is I dont want those people to be, you know, called in to give depositions in this case. Now if its a matter of public record, its a matter of public record, but Im not going to disclose those identities.
Q: Do the other panelists want to respond on the question of agency and whether thats the allegation -- that Mr. Nemazee is a presumably knowing agent of the Islamic Republic?
MR. CORSI: I dont know if theres enough information to make a legitimate claim that Mr. Nemazee is an agent in the sense of paid by, working for the Islamic regime, and I wont make that claim. I think it may be a type of claim that hopefully can be investigated and the deposition may be an opportunity to get more information addressing that issue.
Ultimately it may be the type of issue that would require the powers of the Homeland Security Department or the FBI to answer fully because you are raising issues of conditions of employment, transfer or passage of money, and I dont know whether well be able to address those with the limited investigative powers that we have. That question may not ever be resolved unless it were an investigation with more authoritative law enforcement powers.
Now I want to second what Bob Jenevein just said, and that is what we are noticing and what we are seeing is that the pro-Iranian lobby in the United States, according to the Federal Election Commission records and Senator Kerrys own website include individuals like Hassan Nemazee, who have contributed significant money to John Kerrys campaign. And we notice in John Kerrys campaign that he has adopted positions that would be favorable to the mullahs in Iran. And those positions include his statement in the first debate with President Bush when he said he would give nuclear fuel to Iran to see if they would misuse it.
So its the basis of that type of support by Senator Kerry that were pressing for answers on, and were taking the position Im taking the position that politically -- regardless of whether Mr. Nemazee is or is not an agent of the Islamic regime in any formal sense politically, however, Im objecting to the issue that we should ever allow Iran, with its current mullah leadership, to become nuclear. Im objecting politically to the lack of freedom in Iran with the same mullahs that for 444 days kept American diplomats hostage in our embassy. And it took President Reagan coming into office to get them free. President Carter could not get them out of captivity. I dont want to see us return as a nation to a situation where an atomic Iran could hold us hostage for oil, or could hold a nuclear threat over the head of Israel. And those questions are not dependent on whether Mr. Nemazee or anyone else is or is not an agent of the Islamic regime.
So were going to investigate this, were going to look very carefully at the political positions being taken here, and try to raise the issue on the agenda of the American people, saying first, while this election yet lasts, ask the question of Senator Kerry to explain why we would give nuclear fuel to Iran; and secondly, lets continue pressing this argument politically so that we can have the American people evaluate clearly the risks that could be faced should any rogue regime, in Iran specifically, with terrorist objectives that are clearly documented, including the documentation that came forward from the 9/11 Commission, have nuclear weapons and put the world at risk with those nuclear weapons. I think its a severe threat and one we need to raise. So thats what Atomic Islam, my book, is going to focus on.
MR. : Thank you, Dr. Corsi. We have a question here from Jeff Gannon, White House correspondent for Talon News.
Q: Thank you. Have you looked into whether John Kerry or his close associates might profit from normalizing relations with Iran? I say this because I know when he pressed for normalization of relations with Vietnam, his close family members did profit as a result of that.
MR. JENEVEIN: Yes, as much as possible. It was John Kerry who said, quote, I will be prepared early on to explore areas of mutual interest with Iran, just as I was prepared to normalize relations with Vietnam a decade ago.
The AIC the American-Iranian Council that Mr. Timmerman spoke about was funded in large part by major American oil companies. I think theres an obvious, unmistakable economic opportunity if diplomatic relations with Iran are normalized and those markets are opened up for American businesses. I think anyone who has positioned themselves in the doorway to that new market stands to make a lot of money.
Now Ive told you everything I know about it, and to the extent this is something we are eager to talk about with Mr. Nemazee on Monday. Until now we havent been able to investigate it.
Lastly, I did not answer the second part of your question, sir, which went to the counterclaim. The counterclaim is simply this: that the lawsuit is frivolous. This is a defamation claim and you may or may not know that Mr. Hassan Nemazee was nominated by President Bill Clinton to be an ambassador for Argentina, but that nomination collapsed after Forbes Magazine wrote an expose on Mr. Nemazee that detailed some of his business dealings. That article is posted at the regimeinfluence.com website, and heres the relevance to our litigation: You cant defame someone who already has a very poor reputation. Defamation is a relative term. I think its a frivolous lawsuit.
Does anybody else need to respond to the question regarding the markets or the economic opportunities? Okay.
MR. : We have a question here from the back.
Q: Hi, Im Laura Rosen (sp), Im a freelance journalist.
Mr. Corsi, you said in the course of researching your book you were put in touch with Mr. Pirouznia. Can you say who gave the introduction?
MR. CORSI: Thats very easy. Mr. Pirouznia called John ONeill and said, John, I need a lawyer. And he evidently from the prominence John was getting with the swift boats, thought maybe John ONeill could direct him to someone or would take the case on himself.
John was too busy with the swift boat veterans. John called me, said maybe youd have an interest. I did. I in my background Ive done extension work on anti-war movement, political protest in the United States, and terrorism. So Ive had a deep interest in Iran for a long time. It was over the Iranian hostage event and the aftermath I published a major article on predicting the outcomes in terrorism. I developed a computer model to do it, published it at Yale. And the Reagan administration, while the hostages were being released and that situation was unfolding, I had a top-secret clearance with the Agency of International Development at the State Department, and I counseled on hostage survival techniques.
So Ive had a deep interest for a long time in Iran on this issue. And I called Aryo and said, tell me about your case. And in the process of that I decided that I would, first, consult with Aryo, and second, write a book on it. So thats how that all happened.
MR. : Right here, sir. We have a question coming from the front row here. Go ahead.
Q: Wes Vernon, NewsMax.com. Im wondering if you could give a little more detail on your efforts to try to get some comment from the Kerry campaign. Who are the people youve contacted? Who told you that there would be no comment or that they declined to comment and so on?
MR. JENEVEIN: Ill be happy to do that. My first initiative was on September 9th, 2004. I sent by Federal Express a letter to Rand Beers. Rand is one of the senior foreign policy staff members of the Kerry campaign, and Mr. Beers is the person at the campaign who spoke with Kenneth Timmerman earlier this year and authenticated the e-mail that the Kerry campaign sent out that ended up in the hands of the Iranian regime the very conciliatory you know, we need to make friends with old enemies and that kind of thing e-mail. That FedEx went out on September 9th. I got no response.
One of the senior in fact, I he may be the director of the Kerry campaign finance. I know he was the finance chairman for John Edwards is a former lawyer in Dallas who I know personally. And so I called him at the campaign to ask him if he could help. He
Q: Whats his name?
MR. JENEVEIN: -- his name is Fred Barron. He was as helpful as I think he could be from his department. He did return my call, told me that I would need to talk to Rand Beers. I said, okay, can you give me a telephone number and maybe a fax number? So that was on September 16th.
Immediately I sent another fax to Mr. Beers and got no response. I even included with that fax a proposed one-page, two-paragraph affidavit that would have served my purposes in this litigation. It would have simply authenticated the e-mail and acknowledged that Mr. Nemazee was an advisor to the campaign. No response.
When I called again I spoke with Greta Lundeberg L-U-N-D-E-B-E-R-G, and Ms. Lundeberg encouraged me to make an appointment. Thats why I was originally going to be in Washington today because I was going to be here when Mr. Beers was back in town after traveling with the candidate. But they never called me back.
I sent them another fax as recently as October 8th, saying Ive heard nothing from you. Can you at least talk to me or call me back? And they of course will not.
I understand its a sticky wicket for them, but from where I stand, they leave the impression that they would rather side with their friends, who are friends of the mullahs, than with forces for democracy in Iran. Thats a political issue and thats not my game.
Q: But you believe that theyre running out the clock to November 2nd trying to run out the clock?
MR. JENEVEIN: It the question is do I believe theyre trying to run out the clock until the election I absolutely do. Yes.
The only dates that Mr. Nemazees lawyers gave us for a deposition remember, this case was filed in March. The only the first date that he would be available for deposition when we requested it back in July was November 10th.
MR. : We have a question from the midsection back here. One moment, let me get the mike over there.
Q: Has there been any discussion of a settlement between Mr. Nemazee and Mr. Pirouznia?
MR. JENEVEIN: The question is has there been any discussion of a settlement between Mr. Nemazee and Mr. Pirouznia. As I understand it I was not a party to those discussions, but I understand that Mr. Nemazee offered to pay Mr. Pirouznia money to make the case go away. Mr. Pirouznia
Q: (Off mike) any comment on that because a representative for Mr. Nemazee says something very different.
MR. JENEVEIN: I will be happy to open up the panel to that.
Let me make sure that it is very clear what my clients position is with regard to settling this litigation. This is not about money. Were not going to take money and were not going to pay money. This is about exposing a man who has tried to remain dormant, but who filed a frivolous lawsuit and found himself in the eye of the public storm.
Aryo, do you have anything you need to add to these settlement discussions?
Mr. Timmerman, can you speak to these?
MR. TIMMERMAN: Yes, I think youre referring to an individual who is close to Hassan Nemazee who has been calling reporters off the record to spread slander and lies. That person is sitting here in this room. I would ask you that you identify your source for this kind of story, which is completely scurrilous and without foundation. I received one of those calls, as well.
MR. : We have another question here from the second row or did you want to respond to that first?
MR. TIMMERMAN: Ive responded.
MR. : Okay, here we go.
Q: Good morning. My question has to do with the Iranian people, the majority of whom have been trying to eliminate this brutal regime of Iran and establish democracy. Now if you offer fuel or any other relationship with Iran, doesnt it mean prolonging this regimes life and suppressing the Iranian people, who are fighting for democracy?
MR. JENEVEIN: Absolutely it does. And theres a litigation-relevant comment that I response that I need to make to that, and then if any of the panel members want to respond I would welcome it.
It goes without saying that if you ease trade sanctions or normalize diplomatic relations, or promote the admission of the Iranian regime into the World Trade Organization, you legitimize that government. And if you legitimize it, thats something of value to that government right now. But sir, as a lawyer, I recognize that those were facts that might be difficult to prove, and I invited Hassam Nemazee to stipulate to those very facts, and he has declined even to those very facts.
I mean, if anybody is interested, I can show you the letter that I sent where I proposed those very stipulations, and he responded to me saying, we will take those under advisement.
I appreciate the question. Anything anybody need to add?
MR : We have a question from the left section here. Go ahead.
Q: Youve identified Susan Akbarpour as having made illegal contributions to the Kerry campaign. Has there been any communication with the FEC or any regulatory agency to pursue this matter?
MR. JENEVEIN: We have not done that. My mission is to defend my client against a frivolous lawsuit, not to prosecute FEC violations.
MR. : In the middle here, one moment. Go ahead, sir.
Q: Hi. I Mr. Timmerman passed up the opportunity to comment on the question that I raised about the precise nature of the relationship between Mr. Nemazee and the Islamic Republic, and I wonder if he could characterize it in a specific way.
MR. TIMMERMAN: Yeah, youre talking about the word that was used by Mr. Pirouznia agent, I believe. And look, I think as the lawyers have described here very clearly, this is Mr. Nemazee who is filing the lawsuit. Its up to him, frankly, to define how he understands the use of the word agent.
What I can tell you is this. Hassan Nemazee was warned by me what it would mean to join the board of the American-Iranian Council. It was absolutely clear that this was an organization established in the United States to pursue and promote the agenda of the Islamic Republic of Iran and specifically the agenda of getting U.S. sanctions on Iran lifted and to restore economic, diplomatic and trade relations between the United States and Iran.
Mr. Nemazee knew exactly that thats what the AIC was all about. I personally informed him of this before he joined the board. I said you do not want to join the board of this organization as an Iranian-American. Your fellow Iranian-Americans will consider you a traitor to their cause of freedom, and yet, knowing that consciously knowing that, aware of that, warned of that, he took the effort, he made the conscious decision to join that board and to stay on that board, and to attend several fundraisers for the American-Iranian Council that supported the agenda of a rapprochement between the United States and Iran. So this was a conscious decision that Mr. Nemazee made against the best advice that he could have gotten.
MR. : We have a question on the right here. Go ahead.
Q: Mr. Timmerman, my question is that Mr. Nemazee has a family wealth in Iran. Is it true that his family wealth in Iran has been confiscated like everybody elses wealth by the mullahs in Iran after the revolution? And Mr. Nemazee has been managed to make deals with the Islamic regime to get his family wealth back. He doesnt need being paid by the regime in Iran, but as long as he gets his family wealth back he can make deals with the mullahs.
MR. TIMMERMAN: Thank you for the question. As you know, a lot of Iranian-Americans have gone back to Iran, they have made peace with the regime specifically to get their assets that were stolen by this regime in 1979, 1980 back.
Now whether Mr. Nemazee has actually gone back to Tehran, I dont think so. I have no information to suggest that he has actually traveled to Iran. Whether he has made a deal for his assets that I think is going to come out in the lawsuit.
MR. : Are any of the panelists want to make any comments on this or any other issues here?
MR. JENEVEIN (?): No, I need to not comment on that.
MR. : Are there any other questions?
MR. : Any further questions or further comments from any panelists?
MR. PIROUZNIA: Indeed, people came to Dallas to see me. There are records of it, payment by credit card, proposing despite having sued me some money to drop, saying to me that he will be destroying you, and hearing that, if I have to go to the ground, I will reveal the true nature of those blackmailing my people and my fellow comrades.
So in that and regarding what is the role of Mr. Nemazee, Im quoting here the Ettalaat (sp) Daily published in Tehran May 3rd, 2004, knowing that the issue of Great Satan meaning America in the vocabulary or jargon used by the clerical regime in Iran, meaning America, and its very taboo, especially under one of the few press allowed in Iran under extreme sensorship. The last paragraph that this document is saying, Mr Nemazee and his friends have been able to neutralize the activities of those this newspaper is calling as anti-Iranian lobbies meaning anti-Islamic Republic lobbies.
This is also an affidavit that I get you do have the translation and its going to be available. Other thing is if I had been defaming someone, why it should be on the question trying to intimidate us requesting for the names of students affiliated in Iraq? Unless for giving them to the hand of the mullah regime to share the fate of Bottabi (ph), Mohamedis (ph) and thousands of others who are languishing in prison, looking for the free world and especially the American leadership, which all of you Im sure remember how, when September 11 happened, my comrades and thousands of our countrymen get into the streets of Tehran to offer the condolence to the great people of America. They are looking to your country.
I hope whomever in November we do not have any agenda against Mr. Kerry. I dont know Mr. Kerry or I dont exactly Mr. Bush, but what I know one thing is that Mr. Kerry has qualified the Islamic regime as becoming a kind of democracy. I know one thing: that he has proposed to repair ties and repair damages with the mullah regime. This means a green light go ahead, do what you are doing. If I am elected, I will consider thats, I think, the bottom, bottom line.
MR. JENEVEIN: Any other questions? Thank you all very much for your attendance.