Monday, November 17, 2008


By: Kenneth R. Timmerman

A panel of former diplomats, pro-Tehran advocates, and an advisor to the Obama transition team will issue a five point “plan” on Tuesday, urging the incoming administration to end U.S. pressure on Iran.

Echoing Sen. Obama’s frequent calls during the campaign for “talks without preconditions” with the Tehran regime, the panel is urging his administration to “open the door to direct, unconditional and comprehensive negotiations” with Tehran.

Among those who will present the proposals on Tuesday is Joseph Cirincirone, an arms control advocate identified as an “advisor to the Obama transition team,” and Trita Parsi, a pro-Tehran activist who has been lobbying Congress for several years to lift sanctions against Tehran and end U.S. support for the pro-democracy movement.

But the accuracy and validity of the group’s six-page position paper, a copy of which has been obtained by Newsmax, is being challenged by Iran experts, foreign diplomats, Iranian-Americans, and even the CIA.

It’s wisdom has been challenged by none other than Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who is being touted as the only Republican with a chance of keeping his job in the Obama administration.[...]

Iranian-American groups told Newsmax over the weekend they planned to protest the unveiling of the report on Tuesday, and have been calling the offices of Congressional sponsors Sen. Thomas Carper, D- Del., and Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., asking them to cancel the event.

“It is deeply concerning that a discredited group within the Iranian-American community, with blatantly obvious connections with the Islamic Republic, should be allowed to freely influence Washington's political circles to the detriment of the American peoples' and ultimately, the world community's interests,” the Progressive American-Iranian Committee said in an editorial published on Saturday.

“It is also shocking and difficult to explain that a group labeled by the Iranian regime as the 'Iranian lobby' could so easily penetrate the U.S. Congress,” they added, referring to Parsi’s National Iranian American Council, which is sponsoring Tuesday’s event.

-- Kenneth R. Timmerman
President, Middle East Data Project, Inc.
Author: Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran
Contributing editor:

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