This is the second part of The Invisible Hands series of article. As we said before, the pro-regime lobby groups are active inside the US. One of these groups are The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) founded by Trita Parsi , who was an advisor to the convicted Congressman Bob Ney. On December 28, 2006 the governmental website Aftab in Iran published an interview with Trita Parsi. In his introduction, the editor underlined the role of Iranian American lobby on the behalf of the Iranian regime and described it as the regime’s “unofficial diplomacy.”
Robert William (Bob) Ney is a current federal prisoner and a former Ohio Congressman from 1995 until November 2006. On October 2006 Ney pled guilty to charges of conspiracy and making false statements in relation to the Jack Abramoff lobbying and bribery scandal. Ney reportedly received bribes from Abramoff, other lobbyists, and two foreign businessmen – a felon and an arms dealer – in exchange for using his position to advance their interests. Ney is the architect of the Washington-based lobbying enterprise for the Iranian theocratic regime, The National Iranian-American Council (NIAC). The main actors behind the creation of NIAC were four non Iranian-Americans: Roy Coffee, Dave DiStefano, Bob Ney and Trita Parsi. Coffee and DiStefano, both Washington lobbyists, apparently were investigated by the Justice Department for arranging a trip for Bob Ney to meet a known felon and a Syrian arms dealer in an effort to circumvent sanctions to sell US-made airplane parts to Tehran. Trita Parsi at the time was a Swedish-Iranian graduate student in his early twenties with ties to Iran’s ambassador in Sweden. He was working part-time as a Congressional aid in Ney’s office in Washington on a temporary visa. Parsi was subsequently appointed president of NIAC.
In 1999, Trita Parsi who was living in Sweden, together with Siamak Namazi an Iranian-American living in US who went back to Iran and became a partner and the managing director of Atieh Bahar Company in Tehran, elaborated a seminal paper and discussed the way to create an “Iranian American lobby in U.S.” Siamak Namazi has been Parsi’s friend and partner for over a decade. Namazi’s family, together with Bijan Khajehpour and Albrecht Frischenschlager, control the Atieh Bahar firm in Tehran. This web of companies is in direct partnership with the Iranian regime. Khajehpour ‘s Qheshm Energy is a joint venture with the Qheshm authorities (Government). Frischenschlager is in partnership with 3 free zone authorities. He is also partner with Hatami Yazdi, a famous figure in the Iranian oil Mafia and the former head of three important Iranian Banks, all under US sanctions. Atieh and Iranian oil ministry co-organize oil related events. For example, two of Atieh’s prominent clients, French Total Oil Company and the Norwegian Statoil, had to pay tens of millions of dollars in bribes, to penetrate the Iranian market. To materialize the “Iranian American Lobby,” a series of conferences were held to attract young Iranians. One of the conferences was held on Jan. 26, 2006 in Tehran and Namazi’s father, Bagher was the host.
Baquer Namazi is Siamak’s father. A governor under the previous regime in Iran, he has been a high official in the United Nations after the revolution in Iran. In mid 1990’s Baquer went back to Iran to work with Tehran’s regime. . Understanding the NIAC’s activities in the US necessitates more familiarity with Trita Parsi’s main partner in Iran, the Namazi family and especially Siamak Namazi , one of the most important figures of this new lobbying enterprise, a prominent member of the Iranian oil Mafia, and a partner and the managing director of Atieh Bahar Company in Tehran. The Atieh Bahar Company was founded in 1993 by Pari Namazi (Siamak’s sister) and her husband Bijan Khajehpour. Babak Namazi (Siamak’s brother) leads the legal division of Atieh Bahar. After the June 2009 election and the purge of Rafsanjani faction, Bijan Khajehpour, the chairman of Atieh was arrested upon his return from London. He was released later. But Rafsanjani’s son did not return to Tehran and stayed in London Atieh’s Iranian customer list includes high level Iranian institutions like Banks and the parliament. Atieh’s subsidiaries have unmatched access to sensitive electronic data from government banks and institutions.
In late 1990’s, Baquer Namazi (the father) founded an Iranian false flag NGO called Hamyaran and his son, Siamak Namazi, co-founded a new organization in Tehran called I-AIM (International Association of Iranian Managers). This organization is designed to identify and recruit Iranian elites. In June 2007, I-AIM held a major workshop in Tehran. Abbas Maleki , the Iranian deputy foreign minister under Rafsanjani, and a chief advisor to Khamenei, that currently live in Boston and work at Harvard University! , was one of the key speakers. Siamak Namazi co-founded i-aim with one of his major partners, Ali Mostashari . Mostashari‘s own resume introduces him as a strategic advisor to the Assistant Secretary General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) at the United Nations Development Program. Some reporters say that Mostashari was responsible for sending the UN’s aid to Iran, i.e. Mullahs pocket, and has embezzled a lot of that. Trita Parsi, the young president of NIAC has been the recipient of close to $200,000 congressionally appropriated funds through National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to spend it in Iran on organizations under Baquer Namazi’s control. Of course this state fund has a long story and we would write about it later
The Namazi Family are the owners of the Atieh enterprise and its three sister companies Atieh Roshan, Atieh Bahar and Atieh Associates, as well as numerous other direct and indirect partnerships, including Azar Energy , Menas companies in England, Atieh Dadeh Pardaz (Atieh Data Processor), FTZ Corporate services and MES Middle East Strategies. Atieh claims to be a “fully private strategic consulting firm that assists companies to better understand the Iranian market, develop business and stay ahead of competition.” But People familiar with the oil industry in Iran know what this description is code for. In reality, Atieh is notorious for being a conduit for racketeering, bribery and money laundering, mainly for corrupt Iranian rulers. Atieh’s customers include the foreign corporations who wish to do business in Iran and find no choice but to bribe officials. One of their fiascos involved Norway’s Statoil, a customer of Atieh Bahar. Their bribery of Iranian officials ( Rafsanjani’s sons and others) through consultants was exposed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice (this scandal are very notorious in Iran, too) A number of high officials in the company were fired and the company had to pay tens of millions of dollars in penalties to the US and Norwegian governments for “payments to an Iranian official in 2002 and 2003 in order to induce him to use his influence to obtain the award to Statoil of a contract to develop phases 6, 7 and 8 of the Iranian South Pars gas field.”