Hey, you keep forgetting to talk about your practice of defecating on
Yo ma's willingness to eat fudge's the reason you had food on your
Show a little gratitude.
You also don't want to talk about the Social Security Administration.
Yo mamma's ready to hang it up?
Here. This is what a senior CIA counter-intelligence official who was
Frivolous lawsuits have long been used as weapons of the powerful
against the weak; a particularly egregious example is now playing out
in Texas, courtesy of one of John Kerrys most controversial
supporters: the Iranian Hassan Nemazee. Nemazee is pursuing a
ten-million-dollar damage claim against the Student Movement
Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran (SMCCDI) and its
coordinator, Aryo B. Pirouznia. A Nemazee victory in this suit would
almost certainly muzzle or destroy altogether the SMCCDI, one of the
most energetic and courageous opponents of Irans entrenched but
uneasy mullahocracy. But now that Nemazees lawsuit has been filed, it
has become increasingly clear that it could embarrass the entire
Democratic Party and severely damage the already flagging candidacy
of John Kerry.
Nemazee is an influential figure with many friends in high places in
groups such as the American-Iranian Council (AIC), the National
Iranian American Council (NIAC), and the Iranian-American Bar
Association (IABA). Nemazees name is also well known in Democratic
Party circles. He was a prominent contributor to Bob Torricellis New
Jersey Senate campaign. The multimillionaire entrepreneur also
contributed $50,000 to his friend Al Gores Recount Fund (and $250,000
to the Gore campaign), $60,000 to Bill Clintons legal defense fund,
and over $150,000 to the Democratic National Committee. Clinton
attempted to reward him by naming him U.S. Ambassador to Argentina
but the Senate declined to confirm him after Forbes magazine
published, in May 1999, an extremely damaging expose of his shady
Undaunted, Nemazee continued efforts to establish fruitful contacts
between Iranian groups advocating normalization of relations with Iran
and high-level members of the Democratic Party. He joined the Board of
Directors of the AIC, an organization whose president, Hooshang
Amirahmadi, is identified on the SMCCDI website as a well known
lobbyist for the Iranian Mullahocracy. Nemazee was involved in a
March 2002 fundraiser for Senate Foreign Affairs Committee heavyweight
Joe Biden (D-DE). This event was hosted by Sadegh Namazikhah, another
AIC member whom Aryo Pirouznia charges with trying to improve public
perception of one of the most despotic regimes in the world.
Three months later it was Kerrys turn: Nemazee invited the future
Democratic standard bearer to speak at an AIC dinner. Nemazee himself
also spoke, declaring that the AIC does not attempt to explain or
rationalize the position of the government of Iran, nor does it
attempt to do so for the government of the United States. Its mission
is to educate both sides and to attempt to establish the basis and the
vehicle for a dialogue which will ultimately lead to a resumption of
relations. If Kerry registered any protest against this assertion
that the United States should normalize relations with one of the
worlds bloodiest dictatorships, it was not recorded. Nemazee,
according to Iran experts Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi and Elio Bonazzi,
now seems to be denying that he ever made this speech at all
although it is still posted on the AICs website.
Outside San Franciscos Ritz-Carlton Hotel, where this grand event was
held, the SMCCDI organized a large protest rally. Nemazee, evidently,
would not forget this and other affronts. In his lawsuit, he charges
that the SMCCDI knowingly and repeatedly made false and defamatory
statements about his support for the Iranian regime. His complaint
states categorically that Nemazee does not support
Republic and the Revolution.
But his friend Kerry, meanwhile, seems to have absorbed the very
lessons that Nemazee now denies having tried to teach. Before the
Council on Foreign Relations in December 2003, Kerry announced that he
would be willing as President to pursue rapprochement with Iran: As
president, I will be prepared early on to explore areas of mutual
interest with Iran, just as I was prepared to normalize relations with
Vietnam a decade ago. And most notoriously, his staff sent out an
email that somehow made its way to the government-controlled Mehr News
Agency in Tehran, where it was trumpeted as evidence of his resolve to
patch things up with the mullahs. It is in the urgent interests of
the people of the United States, the message read, to restore our
countrys credibility in the eyes of the world. America needs the kind
of leadership that will repair alliances with countries on every
continent that have been so damaged in the past few years, as well as
build new friendships and overcome tensions with others.
Kerrys camp professed puzzlement over how this email made it to
Tehran. Initially, a Kerry aide dismissed the story as just a hoax.
But this pose proved impossible to maintain. Kerrys senior foreign
affairs advisor, Rand Beers, later admitted that the message was
genuine, saying: I have no idea how they got hold of that letter,
which was prepared for Democrats Abroad. I scratched my head when I
saw that. The only way they could have gotten it was if someone in
Iran was with Democrats Abroad. In light of the ties between the AIC
and the Democratic Party, that possibility is at least open to
But Kerrys olive branches to the regime that carries on the legacy of
the Ayatollah Khomeini now embarrass him: his Council on Foreign
Relations remarks seem to have been removed from the Kerry-Edwards
website. Hence also the Nemazee lawsuit: to silence the SMCCDI and its
inconvenient protests. One way to do that is indirect, by using the
suit to put the SMCCDI out of action. According to documents that
Pirouznia/SMCCDI defense attorney Bob Jenevein made available to me,
the prosecution has been playing several such games. On August 20,
2004, Jenevein wrote a letter to Rob Wiley of Locke Lidell & Sapp, the
elite Texas law firm representing Nemazee. He proposed five
stipulations points that both sides could agree to, so that they
need not spend the courts time trying to establish or disprove them.
These included: 1. The Islamic regime in Iran is sympathetic to
terrorists. 2. The Islamic regime in Iran poses a threat to the
security of the United States and/or its citizens at home or abroad.
3. For the United States to normalize its diplomatic relations with
Iran at this time would lend credibility to the Islamic regime in
Iran. 4. For the United States to ease trade sanctions against Iran at
this time would lend credibility to the Islamic regime in Iran. 5.
Anything that would lend credibility to the Islamic regime in Iran at
this time would have value to that regime. Wiley answered on the same
day that his team had taken the stipulations under advisement; but
in the almost two weeks since then, gave no further answer. Thus
Nemazees attorneys effectively agreed to none of the stipulations,
raising the prospect that Jenevein would have to spend hours upon
hours in court establishing these points, thereby endangering the
SMCCDI by straining its financial resources.
Other documents furnished by Jenevein suggest that the prosecution is
trying to run up the costs of the litigation in other ways also
attempting to find out who is paying Pirouznias legal bills and to
drive SMCCDI into destitution. One example was a fax that Wiley sent
to Jenevein last Monday afternoon, informing him of a draft motion
that the prosecution was planning to file on certain matters regarding
the case unless the prosecution and defense reached an agreement by
5PM Tuesday. Jenevein immediately faxed a response, suggesting ways to
agree, but the prosecution ignored it and filed the motion the next
morning anyway. This multiplication of motions, of course, is a
classic tactic to drive up court costs.
Related to all this is the curious fact that, according to an inside
source close to the case, Nemazee has never made himself available for
a deposition. Pirouznias defense attorney contacted Nemazees lawyers
in early August, immediately after taking the case (five months after
it was filed), to request dates for this deposition; Nemazees team
responded that he would only be available on two dates in November and
two in December all four after the election, and all over seven
months after the case was filed. Hes saying we want his deposition
for political reasons, the insider exclaimed incredulously, but HE
filed the lawsuit! The Pirouznia/SMCCDI team has filed a motion
ordering Nemazee to appear for a deposition on September 20; no ruling
has been made on it yet.
Why file a lawsuit, and then play hide-and-seek with the defense? The
lobbyist and his team seem to be trying to keep the case under wraps
until after the presidential election. Nemazee is worried that his
candidate will be embarrassed if the facts of this litigation are made
public, observes Jenevein. Im afraid that this case would appear
typical of the frivolous lawsuits about which Republicans complain so
loudly. To the extent that Hassan Nemazee constitutes a link between a
presidential campaign and the Iranian regime, that link would be
considered a grave political liability for the campaign.
The lawsuit is designed to silence those who speak about this.
The Nemazee camp appears to be growing increasingly anxious lest
details of their suit leak out. That may be why, according to an
informed source, the founder of a public relations firm and
international speakers bureau that specializes in foreign policy and
terrorism-related issues recently contacted Pirouznia and invited him
to lunch ultimately, two lunches on consecutive days, all to argue
that he should drop the suit. Important figures of the Iranian
democracy movement, the PR wizard intimated to Pirouznia, really
wanted him to forget the whole thing. Dumbfounded, Pirouznia reminded
the PR maven that it was he who was the target of the suit, and that
he was only defending himself and his organization. Several other
people who figures connected to the defense team wryly term Nemazees
messengers also contacted Pirouznia to make the same appeal.
The SMCCDI and Aryo Pirouznia are evidently not the only ones in
Nemazees sights. According to an informed source, Nemazees lawyer
asked in official documents used by the plaintiff to build the case
about the relationship between Pirouznia and another pair of stalwart
Iran democracy activists: Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi and Elio Bonazzi.
Said the source: Aryos lawyer objected that this is not relevant,
but basically this means that even if Nemazee didnt sue the Bonazzis
directly, they are among his targets. This despite the fact that the
Bonazzis have never advanced any political agenda for Iran beyond
promoting the idea of a genuine (not UN- or Jimmy Carter-led)
internationally monitored referendum to decide on Irans form of
government after the complete ousting of any form of theocracy.
Zand-Bonazzis father, Siamak Pourzand, is a well-known Iranian
journalist, intellectual, freedom fighter and political prisoner of
the Islamic regime.
Thus the mullahs fight on for their survival in the courtrooms of