News Release

Agenda-Building on Iran

ROSS POURZAL
A Washington-based political analyst who is active with the Alliance of Progressive Iranians, Pourzal said today: “A reduction in Iran’s adventurism, evidenced by closer ties to the European Union, has met with increased U.S. extremism, driven by the Pentagon. This is persuading Iran that it needs a nuclear deterrent. The White House is portraying Iran as having hostile intentions towards the United States. They said the same thing about Iraq, and there’s been no evidence of that in either case. Iran has regional interests, but it’s never been in an attack mode against the United States. It’s actually in a defensive posture against intensifying U.S. and Israeli manipulation of monarchist Iranian opposition in exile. Allegations that Iran is exporting Shi’ite zealotry to Iraq have been contradicted by the top British commander there….”

SIMIN ROYANIAN
An economist and co-founder of Women for Peace and Justice in Iran, Royanian said today: “Iran recently arrested alleged Al-Qaeda members. One might have thought that this would be greeted positively by the administration, but instead it cut off dialogue with Iran. It’s claiming that Iran is backing Al-Qaeda and developing nuclear weapons — without citing any evidence for either charge. In fact, it’s the Iranian government which has noted that the U.S. is now cooperating with Mujahedeen Khalq, a group that had worked with Saddam Hussein against the Iranian government. Mujahedeen Khalq is actually on the State Department terrorist list. The charges of nuclear possession stem largely from Israel, which wants to make sure no state in the region besides itself may have any possibility of ever developing nuclear weapons. According to the U.N., Iran is a member of, and in good standing with, the U.N. nuclear agency’s regulations. The U.S. Congress is moving to fund exiles, and operations have reportedly been staged in Iran. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) announced on May 19 that they are introducing a bill in Congress to fund Iranian exile groups. The administration might be moving toward destabilizing the regime in Iran for the third anniversary of the Iranian student uprising on July 9.”
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REESE ERLICH
Erlich is a longtime foreign correspondent who produced the public radio special “The Struggle for Iran” hosted by Walter Cronkite. Erlich is also co-author of the book Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You. Erlich said today: “Just as the U.S. invented the ties between Iraq and Al-Qaeda, it’s doing the same now with Iran. The Iranians have a long history of opposing the Taliban and Al-Qaeda; there are strong political and religious differences between them. The U.S. helped build up Osama bin Ladin and the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan specifically as an opposite pole within the Muslim world to the Iranian revolution.”

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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167