The Corner

Farideh Farhi Redux

Farideh Farhi, an advisor to the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a group that lobbies for better relations with the Islamic Republic, challenged me a couple weeks ago both for a column questioning Iranian sincerity in diplomacy and for criticizing New York Times columnist Roger Cohen’s failure to mention his interlocator Mohsen Rezai’s statements of enmity to the United States (or, for that matter, Rezai’s involvement in the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires). She cherrypicked and characterized falsely the substance of Rezai’s statement by saying he sought rapprochement with the United States.

Farhi has refused a challenge to debate the issue publicly, even though I will be five miles away from her campus all next week.

Well, today Tabnak (Rezai’s website) suggests why: In the course of discussing the controversy, it mentions that Farhi worked some years for the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Indeed, her work at the Foreign Ministry coincided with Holocaust revisionist conferences.

Farideh Farhi’s case reminds of Hamid Mowlana, the former American University professor who last year announced he would return to the Islamic Republic to work full time for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (here he is stepping on the American flag). Certainly Farhi and the good folks at NIAC have some explaining to do. Farhi, will you debate? Will NIAC explain why it omitted Farhi’s government service in the Islamic Republic from the biography it posted?

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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