The Corner

When Iran Advocates Just Make It Up . . .

The National Iranian American Council has never been a particularly honest organization. It describes itself as a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community, but tends both to be hyper-partisan and to advocate for foreign policy issues that have more to do with the negotiating position of the Islamic Republic and do not involve Iranian American life. Some of their fundraising borders on the fraudulent, and has become the subject of Congressional questioning. In one case, they omitted an advisor’s employment in the Islamic Republic’s foreign ministry from her bio

They have sought to whitewash Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s statement declaring his intention to wipe Israel from the map, even though both the state-media and the Iranian presidency’s own website used English translations saying just that.  (Here is a billboard photo, courtesy LGF)

Now, it seems NIAC has decided to simply make things up. Artin Afkhami, who writes for NIAC’s blog, summarized a recent AEI event here. The actual AEI event, which does not much resemble the summary, is here. Afkhami tries to paint me as an advocate of military action on Iran — an action I have long opposed except as a last resort — when he says, “Rubin had argued as recently as 2007 that the US needed to ‘take on Iran’ to achieve victory in Iraq.” Actually, no, Artin, I did not say either in actuality nor did I imply military action against the Islamic Republic. If NIAC is going to quote someone, it is best you don’t simply make it up and if you’re going to be effective in the policy debate, it’s important you simply don’t make straw man arguments. I hope this is not what you learned when you worked for Dianne Feinstein

So, now I challenge you to source your work and show that the strategy of the National Iranian American Council is not simply to imagine conversations and make things up. Where did you find the quote? Or, does NIAC simply make things up?

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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