National Iranian American Council


National Iranian American Council

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization "dedicated to advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community."[1] Trita Parsi is the organization's current president and founder.

Contents

Formation

In 2002, Parsi founded the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) "to enable Iranian Americans to condemn the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and that he has since run it as a grass-roots group aimed at strengthening their voice." The organization supports engagement between the US and Iran in belief that it "would enhance our [US] national security by helping to stabilize the Middle East and bolster the moderates in Iran."[2] On the group's formation, Parsi commented, "We realized that our primary thing that separates the Iranian-American community from the Jewish-American community, the Arab-American community, the Armenian-American community is that the Iranian-American community has shunned political participation."[3]

Lobbying controversy

In November 2009, the NIAC came under scrutiny when Washington Times national security correspondent Eli Lake alleged that the organization, registered as a 501(c)(3) educational organization, could be "operating as a foreign lobby in violation of federal law".[3] Lake writes, "Mr. Parsi's history suggests a continuing commitment to changing U.S. policy on Iran, and he has clearly become more influential in Washington since the change of administrations."[3] In response, NIAC published a point by point rebuttal of the article written by Eli Lake, stating that "NIAC is a 501 c3 educational organization with an H election. As a result, NIAC is permitted to engage in lobbying up to 20% of its budget. NIAC and its staff are in full compliance with all regulations and laws" elaborating further that "Educational activities and advocacy for general policies, such as opposition to war - as opposed to specific legislation - are not lobbying under the law."[4]

References

External links


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