Wed Apr 14th, 2021 at 09:14:09 AM EST
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a think tank that has promoted U.S. military strikes on Iran and is funded by one of President Donald Trump's biggest campaign megadonors, served as a messaging hub for a controversial taxpayer-funded project, the Iran Disinformation Project, that engaged in harassment of American critics of the Trump administration's foreign policy in the Middle East.
Two congressional sources who attended a briefing with State Department officials from the Global Engagement Center confirmed that Saeed Ghasseminejad, an FDD senior adviser, was a contractor on the project.
Documents acquired via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit* with help from Protect Democracy details FDD staff scheduling multiple meetings with State Department officials to discuss "communications," and an FDD executive introducing Ghasseminejad to officials at the State Department's Iran Action Group that was created by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to coordinate U.S. policy toward Iran following Washington's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a nuclear accord with Iran brokered under the Barack Obama administration.
In May 2019, the State Department terminated the $1.5 million Iran Disinformation Project -- which was purportedly intended to combat misinformation emanating from Iranian officials -- in the wake of a scandal generated by the project's attacks on domestic critics of the Trump administration's policy.
Protect Democracy formed to prevent our democracy from declining into a more authoritarian form of government
Pompeo, Bolton, and Iran's "Fake Opposition"
As Iranian people struggle for democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law, as well as preserving the national security and territorial integrity of their country, two main groups have emerged among the opposition to Iran's hardliners, both within Iran and in the diaspora.
Masih Alinejad meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
One group, the true opposition that includes the reformists, religious-nationalists, secular leftists, various labor groups, human rights activists, and others, believes that it is up to the Iranian people living in Iran how to change the political system in their country. This group is opposed to foreign intervention, particularly by the United States and its allies, the illegal economic sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran, and the constant threats of military confrontation espoused by John Bolton, President Trump's national security advisor, and other Iran hawks.
Many Iranians refer to the second group as the "fake" opposition. It consists mostly of the monarchists, some ethnic groups, and the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the exiled group that is universally despised in Iran and was on the State Department's list of "Foreign Terrorist Organizations" from 1997 until 2011. It is called the "fake" opposition because it supports the economic sanctions and the threat of military attacks, and has completely aligned itself not only with the Trump administration, but also with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Israel, and endorses their propaganda against Iran. This group, whose followers are based mostly in the diaspora, acts more like a lobby for convincing the Iranian people to support the Trump-Mohammed bin Salman(MbS)-Benjamin Netanyahu triangle in their confrontation with Iran, rather than as a group supporting the true opposition within Iran for lasting, irreversible, and positive changes in the political system.
The harsh economic sanctions imposed on the Iranian people have contributed significantly to the terrible state of Iran's economy, increasing inflation and unemployment, making vital drugs and medications scarce, and hurting the middle class greatly [NYT]. These groups' support for the hostility of Saudi Arabia, Israel, and UAE toward Iran is particularly galling at a time when Saudi Arabia [Crown Prince Salman] has threatened "to take the war to inside Iran," Israel came close numerous times to attacking Iran from 2010-2011 and is still threatening it, and the UAE welcomed the terrorist attacks in Ahvaz in southern Iran last September.
OUTLAW REGIME: A CHRONICLE OF IRAN'S DESTRUCTIVE ACTIVITIES
The Islamic Republic of Iran waited 30 years to avenge terror act in 1979 after locating terrorist assimilated in Dutch society.
From the diaries ...
JCPOA Talks in Vienna postponed by a day
Not an easy path to rejoin the JCPOA deal … the Biden team adding conditions and delaying lifting any of the Trump sanctions. This gives Israel and PM Netanyahu the opportunity to sabotage the preliminary talks in Vienna. Europe is present, but has never shown any backbone on its own.
Recent provocations by Israel to undermine the JCPOA talks in Vienna and tempting Iran to defend its sovereignty …
Who Leaked the Israeli Attack on the Iranian Spy Ship to New York Times
Jen Psaki mum on Israel’s sabotage of Vienna talks by Natanz strike …
Attack on Iran’s Natanz plant muddies US-Iran nuclear talks | AP News |
Iran has blamed Israel for the destruction at an important underground facility, and Israeli media has been filled with claims from unnamed officials claiming responsibility.
The Biden administration, meanwhile, has taken a hand’s-off approach, neither praising nor condemning the attack. The White House said the U.S. “had no involvement” and had “nothing to add to speculation about the causes.”
The attack adds a fresh complication to discussions in Vienna and also to President Joe Biden’s efforts to smooth ties with Israel.
Mossad Bombed Natanz Nuclear Facility in Campaign to Sabotage US Iran Policy and JCPOA Deal
In the meantime, business takes priority over human rights … what a chutzpah …
From the diaries …