A senior official with a Washington, D.C., think tank that has promoted anti-Semitic voices parroted pro-Iran talking points earlier this week, just minutes after a senior leader of the Islamic Republic blasted the Trump administration’s stance on violent protests across America.
Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute, an isolationist think tank funded by billionaires George Soros and Charles Koch, copied criticisms of Trump's response to Portland protests first spread by Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, an architect of the Iran nuclear deal.
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"Another sign of America's endless wars coming home. The phrase ‘all options on the table’ has been used for decades to hint at the use of force against other countries," Parsi tweeted Sunday. "Now it's used against the American people. This was inevitable."
Parsi's tweet echoed Zarif’s tweet stating: "’All options on the table’ has long been a staple of U.S. foreign policy. It simply means the law of the jungle: disregard for a fundamental principle of [international] law: Non-Use of Force. Now, the Trump regime is using the same threat against Americans. A wake-up call? God willing."
Parsi’s apparent effort to boost Zarif’s message raises questions about the Quincy Institute’s relationship with Iran and its senior leaders. Quincy has been at the forefront of a push among isolationist foreign policy voices to lessen economic pressure on Iran and convince the Trump administration to back down from a confrontation with the globe’s foremost sponsor of terrorism. Parsi is a longtime supporter of these views and formerly headed the National Iranian American Council, which allegedly served as an unregistered lobbying shop for Tehran in D.C.
Iran and its allies in America have seized on the Black Lives Matter protests to sow further division in America. While Iran’s government has long been the subject of protests demanding regime change in the country, its leaders view the American protest movement as an opportunity to undermine President Donald Trump on the international stage. Iran’s judiciary chief this week said that "U.S. leaders should stand trial before the international courts on a charge of deliberate homicide and racial discrimination."
In addition to promoting Iranian regime talking points, the Quincy Institute has championed anti-Israel causes that are a hallmark of the isolationist movement. Among the think tank's experts is Stephen Walt, coauthor of a 2007 book that accused Israel of manipulating American foreign policy.
Kaveh Shahrooz, an Iranian dissident and Toronto-based senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, said Parsi’s tweet is part and parcel of an effort by Tehran’s American allies to elevate the regime’s propaganda.
"For years, many of us who follow Iran closely and who fight for human rights and democracy there have been concerned about the existence of a network of individuals and institutions that serve to amplify the narrative of the Iranian regime and whitewash the crimes of that regime for the D.C. crowd," Shahrooz said. "Parsi's tweet lays bare what we have long been concerned about."