WWW Opinion Times

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

CNSNews: Kerry Donor Alleged Agent for Iran

If CNS News is correct about this, it could be a dramatic blow for Kerry. We'll keep watching this one.

Here's the Link

'A pro-democracy Iranian group based in the United States accuses a top fund-raiser for Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry of aiding radical Iranian clerics.

The Kerry fund-raiser is scheduled to be deposed in a civil lawsuit next week involving accusations that he has served as an agent for the Islamic government of Iran.

A group of Iranian expatriates, the Student Movement Coordinating Committee for Democracy in Iran (SMCCDI), and two American authors plan to hold a press conference this week to discuss the Iranian regime's influence on Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign. The event will take place Thursday at the National Press Club.

SMCCDI has alleged that Kerry presidential campaign fund-raiser Hassan Nemazee, a New York-based investment banker, has used his position to advance the agenda of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

That agenda includes normalizing relations between Iran and the United States and opening trade and investment, according to SMCCDI. The group has called Nemazee one of 'Iran's American propagandists.'

Nemazee has denied charges that he served as an agent for Iran's government, and he has filed a $10-million civil lawsuit in Texas against SMCCDDI's coordinator, Aryo Pirouznia, alleging defamation of character. Pirouznia has counter-sued Nemazee, and Nemazee is scheduled to give a deposition next week.

'Perhaps because [Nemazee] knows the suit would embarrass the Democrat nominee, Nemazee has sought to postpone if not avoid answering questions about his suit in a deposition. Thanks to [SMCCDI's] counter-suit, faith in democracy, and a clear-headed judge in Texas who refused [Nemazee's] delay, SMCCDI is going public with the evidence,' read SMCCDI's press release for Thursday's press conference.

Kerry called for normalizing relations with Iran in December 2003 in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations: "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," Kerry said.

The U.S. State Department consistently has labeled Iran as a leading state sponsor of terrorism, and human rights groups have accused the Iranian government of human rights abuses. The Bush administration opposes normalizing relations with Iran and also has denied nuclear fuel to the country.

In the first presidential debate in Miami on September 30, Kerry said, "I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide [Iran] nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes."

Corsi said Kerry's policy could prove very dangerous to the U.S.

"Trusting the Iranians not to make bombs when they have been funding Hezbollah and Hamas for a quarter century is like thinking [Japan's former Emperor] Tojo was not going to attack the United States when he had a chance," Corsi said.

Ken Timmerman, author of several books on the Middle East, believes that Kerry "has adopted many of the positions that Tehran's lobbyists in America are trying to champion."

"Mr. Kerry has not only adopted the policies that the Islamic government in Tehran would like to see pursued by the U.S., he has accepted money by their lobbyists and has been the featured speaker at prominent fund-raising events," Timmerman told CNSNews.com. '