In 2006, when AN started a confrontational policy over Iran’s nuclear program, a new lobbying group was launched in Europe and the US. “Campaign Against Sanction and Military Intervention in Iran” (CASMII) was founded by Abbas Edalat , a computer professor connected to the inner circle of the Iranian regime. Half of CASMII’s founding board members came from Trita Parsi’s circle and NIAC. The other half came from the so-called Iranian left with anti-Imperialist tendencies who interpreted AN’s howls as progressive. CASMII is the Iranian connection to the American left. Through CASMII, segments of the Left and the anti-war movement in the US have channeled their critique of the war and the US administration to support the Iranian regime. These American personalities and groups have clearly become ardent advocates of the Islamic regime CASMII ( http://www.casmii.org), that is a lover of Khamenei’s TV (the state pressTV) and Noam Chomsky, among other PR activities, regularly organizes trips for such groups in the U.S. to visit Iran. Their trip diaries are so laughable and ridiculous.
The lead figure in organizing these trips is CASMII’s president Rostam Pourzal. He is a pro-mullah individual, living in the US. In an article, Pourzal invites the Americans to visit Iran: ” It is past midnight and the news is keeping me awake with joy. After a quarter century my country of birth, Iran, is easing (undeclared) travel restrictions this week for the citizens of my adopted home, the United States. The Iranian government has announced even a $20 incentive for any travel agent who books a tour to Iran for a U.S. citizen. He added: “Equal rights for women are actually not as popular in Iran as we wish … I was stunned during a recent visit to Iran to find that President AN is quite popular among women !!!! from all walks of life.!!!! ” Ardeshir Ommani, one of the CASMII’s main collaborators write: “Each family in the smaller rural farming village of Saman has a refrigerator. Some have clothes washers and dryers. Almost all have televisions. The living space per person seemed greater than in some New York apartments. Healthcare is provided to all children, pre-natal care to pregnant women and care to senior citizens, all at no cost. Teams of nurses and doctors and primary healthcare personnel regularly visit the rural clinics, ensuring that the local municipalities properly provide services.”
Another visitor write: “..by the time of my departure back home I was in love with the culture (both public and private worlds I witnessed) that I wept on the plane. The Japanese woman sitting next to me rolled her eyes and assumed that I was leaving behind a sexily spicy hot Iranian man. Perhaps this is true. I was dragged apart from a realm so attractive, unique! Iran was hotter than Casanova for me!” Another visitor write: “We were treated to the best lamb briyani dinner by the mayor of Isfahan !!! who reminded us that public relations begins and ends with people !!!!” Recently, when the mullahs’ wave of public mass hangings was condemned by international community, Phil Wilayto, who led the latest “People’s Peace Delegation to Iran” responded to “ these fallacious allegations against the Iranian regime ”: “Yes, Iran has the death penalty, and uses it. But not nearly so often as the US government, which also now has the largest prison population in the world, both in terms of absolute numbers and as a percentage of the population. Neither did we see any evidence of deep, mass anger with the Iranian government. We talked with Iranians from a wide range of occupations and social classes. Not everyone is happy with the religious and social restrictions, but that discontent seems to be mainly among the middle class, a distinct minority in Iran !!!! Unlike in the U.S., health care is free !!!!, as is education !!!! Most women we saw chose to wear the more conservative chador !!!! the tent-like black veil, as opposed to the more secular manteau and head scarf !!!!”
This is the ninth article of The Invisible Hands series.