Big Government, November 12, 2009
On November 12 2009, the federal government moved to seize four mosques and a New York City skyscraper owned by the Alavi Foundation, a group allegedly under the direct control of the Iranian government. The following day, the Washington Times exposed the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) for allegedly lobbying on behalf of the Iranian government in violation of the Lobbying Disclosure Act and the Foreign Agents Registration Act. We believe that a third U.S.-based group may be guilty of illegal ties to Iran under the Iranian Assets Control Regulations: the Council On American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
On November 18, 2006 and November 23, 2008, CAIR held their gala annual fundraisers at the Marriott hotel in Arlington, Virginia. We’ve posted previously that the Interests Section of Iran attended both events. Because the U.S. and Iran do not have diplomatic relations, the Interests Section of Iran, sponsored by the Embassy of Pakistan, functions as the defacto embassy representing Iran’s government.
At the 2008 event, we recorded video of Master of Ceremonies and then CAIR-Tampa Executive Director Ahmed Bedier giving personal thanks to “the Interests Section of Iran” for their support:
Here’s more evidence that the “Interests Section of Iran” supported the CAIR fundraiser: the “Thanks to” pages of the 2006 and 2008 printed programs list the “Interests Section of Iran.”
And in this 2009 registration form for embassies to purchase tables and ad space in the program at the annual fundraiser, embassies purchasing tables this year were charged $2,500-$3,000. It appears that an exchange of money or at least a transaction of a thing of value did occur between CAIR and the Interests Section of Iran.
And that may have been a violation of the Iranian Assets Control Regulations.
Therefore, on November 6, 2009, the Center for Security Policy sent a letter to Mr. Adam J. Szubin, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of the Treasury in which we suggested there is reasonable cause to believe the Council on American Islamic Relations violated the Iranian Assets Control Regulations in 2006 and 2008.
In the letter, we state:
“Our assessment of these documents is that they make a strong case that the Interests Section of Iran – the representative Iranian government entity and de facto embassy for Iran – may have purchased a table or provided a gift or donation of some kind at the 2006 and 2008 CAIR annual fundraisers, and therefore CAIR may have conducted a transaction with an Iranian government entity. That transaction may have involved their receiving a donation of financial value, in violation of 31 CFR Part 535, the Iranian Assets Control Regulations.”
And here’s the Iranian Assets Control Regulations law.
CAIR has a history of openly advocating for the Iranian regime.
On September 8, 2006 – just two months before the annual fundraiser on November 18, 2006 – national CAIR leaders including Executive Director Nihad Awad and Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper welcomed Former Iranian President Mohamed Khatami to a gala private dinner attended by 400 invited guests. As the Khomeini regime’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Propagation in 1984, Khatami presided over the creation of Iran’s terrorist proxy Hezbollah, and just one year into his term as president in 1998 his intelligence service brutally murdered opposition reform leaders Darioush and Parvaneh Forouhar of the Iran Nation’s Party.
At that same 2006 CAIR banquet, Khatami was served papers for a legal suit by several Persian-Jewish families for the arrest and disappearance of twelve Persian Jews during his administration. In a similar incident in 2008, Executive Director Nihad Awad and his staff were served papers in a more recent lawsuit for fraud filed against CAIR by Muslim, African American, and Hispanic families.
We have requested the Office of Foreign Assets Control to investigate CAIR’s possible violations of the Iranian Assets Control Regulations, and have sent copies of the letter to members of Congress.
On November 16, we called Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR National Communications Director, for comment on the specific questions raised in the letter to OFAC. Mr. Hooper stated “He’s already published on that, what are you talking about,” and then hung up without further comment.
To be continued…..