I'm one of the signatories and proud to have been asked.
For some background check the Weekly Standard from 2009. DACOR is an organization for Foreign Affairs professionals.
Letter to DACOR Regarding Trita Parsi Speech at Forum Lecture Series
Sherry Barndollar Rock, Executive Director
1801 F. Street, NW
Washington, DC 2006
Subject: Upcoming Forum Lecture Series with Trita Parsi of NIAC
The honorable members of the board and staff of DACOR,
We, the undersigned, express grave concern regarding your upcoming Forum Lecture Series with Trita Parsi scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2011. While we appreciate your attention to issues related to Iran and the U.S. foreign policy towards Iran, The Iranian-American community considers the "self-appointed" Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) an intellectually dishonest regime apologist and an unofficial and unregistered lobby for the Iranian regime. He contributes to the regime’s agenda and serves the interests of those in power in the Islamic Republic of Iran, not the Iranians, nor the Iranian-Americans. In a recent survey, 96% of the Iranian-Americans expressed that Trita is a lobbyist for the Iranian regime.
For over three decades, various governments have used dialogue and diplomacy with the regime in Iran to no avail, starting with the administration of President Jimmy Carter, who did everything possible to assure the new regime of American friendship and failed miserably. Since that time, the more world governments have tried to engage the regime’s leaders, the more belligerent, emboldened and abusive they have become. President Obama in his speech stated: "We support a set of universal rights. Those rights include free speech; the freedom of peaceful assembly; freedom of religion; equality for men and women under the rule of law; and the right to choose your own leaders – whether you live in Baghdad or Damascus; Sanaa or Tehran." Well, the regime in Iran has violated all of stated of universal rights and then some. Yet, the West continues to appease this regime. It is time for the United States to support the pro-democracy movements in the region with actions and just the empty rhetoric.
The Islamic regime’s apologists such as NIAC deceptively portray the Islamic government in Iran as a pragmatic and rational entity. They suggest that dialogue and diplomacy are the best way to deal with Iran. They falsely claim that sanctions are not effective and hurt ordinary Iranian people. Recently, primarily due to opposition leaders Mousavi's and Karoubi’s arrests, these apologists are attempting to shift the focus from Iran’s weapons program to what they have decided is more acceptable and palatable human rights issues. They have blamed the regime’s blatant human rights violations, which have recently overtaken China's as the worst in the world, on U.S. pressure and ridiculously claimed that recognition of the IRI would improve the human rights violations in Iran.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is a study in contrasts. The ruling theocracy is draconian and dangerous. It is a very real and imminent threat not just to our national security but also to world stability. Lobbyists such as Trita Parsi who use the pretext of easing the sanctions to help the ordinary Iranians, are deceitful, and are meant to intentionally misguide the American public, Iranians-Americans and the government officials. NIAC’s recent strategy of advocating human rights is merely a cover to hide its true intention which is carried out behind the scene to ease sanctions so that big corporations can sell nuclear technology, military gear, sophisticated surveillance technologies, electronic hardware and software applications to a criminal regime which uses them to spy on, arrest, torture, rape and kill its own citizens.
Trita Parsi is detested and shunned by the majority of the Iranian American community. Parsi claims to represent Iranian-Americans, but he is not an Iranian-American. Parsi is not a U.S. citizen; he holds passports from Iran and Sweden. Parsi's apologists and corroborators claim his critics have unfairly questioned Parsi's loyalty to this country--or accused Parsi of dual loyalties. If Parsi's loyalties are divided (and it's not clear that they are), then they are divided between Sweden and Iran and not the United States of America.
The Center for Security Policy cites NIAC as a lobby organization for the government of Iran. As a result of a lawsuit, numerous NIAC documents have surfaced that show NIAC lobbies for policies favorable to the regime in Iran. Law enforcement experts, who have reviewed some of NIAC’s emails, memos and board minutes, believe that NIAC has operated as an undeclared lobby and may be guilty of violating tax laws, the Foreign Agents Registration Act and lobbying disclosure laws. Trita Parsi falsely purports to represent Iranian-American interests in the United States. NIAC, as the Iranian-American's "self-appointed" representative in the U.S., has less than 2,000 members, yet Mr. Parsi asserts that it represents the majority of the nearly one million Iranian-Americans in the USA. We are convinced that NIAC and Parsi will eventually be subjected to criminal prosecution and organizations and individuals that collaborate with NIAC will come to regret their affiliations with them. In addition, NIAC has received millions of dollars in grants-including, outrageously, from the Congressionally-funded National Endowment for Democracy, because of its false claims, which could actually have been allocated to further the interests of real Iranian-American human rights and other important causes in the U.S. and around the world. Instead this money has effectively been redirected to furthering the aims of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Currently, the Middle East is in crisis. Pro-democracy forces are springing up daily to demand basic human rights and better living conditions. It is about time that countries such as the United States truthfully align themselves with the democracy seeking people who have suffered brutally at the hands of rapists, dictators and tyrants. It is time to give honor, dignity, moral imperatives and ethical values precedence over lucrative financial contracts that often occur, wrongly, at the expense of ordinary citizens' lives.
By supporting pro-democracy Iranian opposition groups, the world community not only can avert a regional and potentially global catastrophe, it will help establish a lasting democratic system of government in the region. If Iranians are successful in shaking off the yoke of theocracy, their success could herald the failure of a political and militant Islam. Helping Iran become a democracy is not only is a moral imperative, but should be considered an essential foreign policy priority that will bring a more sustainable and lasting peace to the Middle East.
It might help DACOR to remember that the Islamic government of Iran does not have any regard for the international laws and occupation of the American embassy was the first step to show their disregard for the international conventions, followed by the execution of top ranking Iranian military officers who had remained neutral based on Iran's constitution and their reign of terror, rape, torture, imprisonment, stoning of women and killings, continues to this day.
We respectfully request the cancellation of this event. We do not think you want to be associated with such an organization or a person. Additionally, we suggest that you include in your future Forums representative experts who can provide a more honest and accurate account of the current situation and opposition forces inside and outside Iran. Furthermore, DACOR must have an enduring commitment to encourage democracy and human rights throughout the world and cannot ignore the fact that the current regime in Iran is a major threat to world’s economic stability and world peace.
DACOR must encourage and support every group that truly advocates freedom and the rule of law and oppose any regime that denies such progress. At this time, Iran is dominated by a vicious dictator who has proven his lack of concern for his own people on countless occasions. There should be no question that DACOR must have every ethical, moral and strategic reason to encourage Iranian democratic movements. .
Dr. Arash Irandoost, Founder
Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran
The Honorable H. Hakimi, Retired Ambassador
Dr. Arash Irandoost, Pro-Democracy Movement of Iran (PDMI)
Kenneth R. Timmerman, President and CEO, Foundation for Democracy in Iran (iran.org)
Cina Dabestani, Chairman of Constitutionalist Party of Iran, Washington DC Chapter
Walton K. Martin III, Director, the Iran Information Project, USA
Dr. Gill Gillespie, Director, the Iran Information Project, UK
Sayeh Hassan, Barrister & Solicitor, pro-democracy activist, Canada
Parvin Irandoost, Human Rights Advocate
Dr. A. Samadani
Arman Nouri, Political Activist
Moteza Nouri, Journalist and Political Activist
Debora M. Andress
Dr. Mansur Rastani
Dr. Siavash Abghari, Professor of Finance
Jeff Baird, CEO, Right Side Publications
Yasamine Gaeini, Khashm, Toronto Branch
Saied Shemirani, Political Activist: United Persian Organization (Iranbozorg)
Shabnam Assadollahi, Radio Hamseda
Sheri Alvandin, Human Rights Activist and Publisher
Firouzeh Ghaffarpour, Political Activist
Dr. Bijan Eftekhari, Professor of Economics
Tony Kantering, Political Activist
Caspian Makan, Filk Maker-Human Rights Activist
Tarek Fatah, Founder, Muslim Canadian Congress
Zohre Mizrahi, Attorney, Human Rights Advocate
Frank Salvato, Executive Director, Director of Terrorism Research, www.BasicsProject.org
Yasamine Morteza Gaeini, Khashm, Toronto Branch
Morteza Gaeini, Khashm, Toronto Branch
Rabbi Dr. Daniel M. Zuckerman, D.D., Chairman, American for Democracy in the Middle-East
Jay Ewasiuk, Edmonton, AB
Behnaz Shariari, Member Stop Child Execution and Human Rights Activist
Roxanne Ganji, Human Rights Activist
cc: The Honorable Senator Mark Kirk
The Honorable Jon Kyl
General Wesley Clark