Iran Policy Committee

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The Iran Policy Committee (IPC), formed in February 2005 by Raymond Tanter, is a pressure group focused on influencing US government policy towards Iran. It is made up of former White House, State Department, Pentagon and CIA officials. [1] IPC has been compared to the Iraqi National Congress and has even shared an address, accountants, and some staff with multiple organizations that either fronted for or had direct ties to the INC "even sharing staff members with those groups.[2] IPC openly endorses what it refers to "third alternative" for US policy towards Iran: "Keep open diplomatic and military options, while providing a central role for the Iranian opposition to facilitate democratic change."[1].

Contents

Views and activities

On the grounds that Iran poses a threat to US National Security, the IPC advocates that the US should favor "regime change" through a process of "destabilization" and "coercive diplomacy", while keeping the full military option open. Suggested policies include economic blockades, military support of the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) or the MEK, and precision strikes of selected targets within Iran. They describe this as "providing a central role for the Iranian opposition to facilitate regime change". [3] In a speech to a rally on 19 January 2006 organized by Council for Democratic Change in Iran, an MeK front group, Tanter said the revolution in Iran will not be one of the nonviolent “color revolutions” likes those in central Europe. “To say that the only route in Iran is the non-violent route of Gandhi and King is to misunderstand the nature of the theocratic regime in Tehran.[4].”

According to Rightweb:

Launched in 2005, IPC's main modus operandi is to hold a press conference, typically at the National Press Club, at which it releases the findings of its latest “white paper.” On January 11, 2007, a day after President George W. Bush announced his “surge” strategy for Iraq, IPC held a press conference at the National Press Club to announce the release of its latest paper, “How to Make the Surge Work: A Complementary Political-Military Plan for Iraq.” ...Less than a week earlier, on January 5, 2007, IPC held a press conference at the National Press Club at which it claimed to provide convincing evidence of Tehran's role in fomenting violence in Iraq. Under the headline “New Intelligence Points to Iran Destabilizing Iraq,” the conference showcased the work of Alireza Jafarzadeh...IPC's Tanter followed up Jafarzadeh's remarks to push for the involvement of the MEK in U.S. operations in the region.
Earlier IPC white papers on Iran have included: “U.S. Policy Options for Iran and Iranian Political Opposition,” September 13 2005; “U.S. Policy Options for Iran: Sham Elections, Disinformation Campaign, Human Rights Abuses, and Regime Change,” June 30, 2005; “U.S. Policy Options for Iran,” February 10, 2005; and “What Makes Iran Tick,” May 10, 2006.[5]

When the IPC held a press conference in Washington in September with MEK representatives to reveal what it called a previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear site near the Iranian city of Qazvin, US officials expressed caution considering the groups unreliable record:

But the source of the information — the MEK is listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department — and the group’s affiliation and promotion by U.S. neoconservatives pushing hard-line policies towards Iran are reasons for skepticism. Both the State Department and independent experts have raised several alarms about the reliability of the MEK’s claims.
While in the past, official U.S. sources have been willing to confirm information made public by the MEK, the State Department today told Fox News it would “study” the information, which included satellite images, and noted the MEK’s mixed record. “The MEK has made pronouncements about Iranian facilities in the past — some accurate, some not,” State spokesman P.J. Crowley told Fox.[6]

A Neocon Dissent

While the organization does not shy away from endorsing violence to achieve regime change in Iran, they have been criticized by neocons for not being hardline enough. The neocon hawk Michael Rubin has criticized them for working with the “Monsters of the Left: The Mujahedin al-Khalq.” He was rebutted by the IPC's Clare Lopez for vilifying MEK: “While the MEK's wartime actions [attacking Iran during the Iran-Iraq war] undeniably alienated some Iranians, the group's survival and ability to organize itself, and collect and disseminate key intelligence about Iran's top-secret nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction programs clearly attest to an extensive base of support inside the country today. The MEK's broad level of support among the Iranian Diaspora is obvious in regular and large-scale demonstrations, for instance, in New York City to protest the September 2005 appearance of Iran's terrorist president [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad at the United Nations and on January 19 in Washington, DC to urge referral of Iran to the UN Security Council, where seas of hundreds of waving placards with photos of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi are always prominent features..[7]

Beating the war drums: Iran Policy Committee advocating regime change in Iran

In 2005, AIPAC and related zionist organisations in the United States stepped up their lobbying efforts to obtain "regime change" in Iran and the dismantlement of the Iranian nuclear programme. As part of this effort, the Iran Policy Committee was created, and Raymond Tanter is listed as the organization's founder and co-chair. He is often the public face of IPC and has stated in public that:

  1. the United States should pursue a policy of "regime change" in Iran;
  2. the United States should remove select Iranian armed groups from its "terrorist organization list";
  3. the United States should neutralize or eliminate the Iranian nuclear program.

The principal way IPC propagates its views is by:

  1. appearing in endless US Congressional hearings;
  2. generating a stream editorials that are placed in the Op-ed pages of mainstream newspapers;
  3. giving interviews to news organizations that are sympathetic to IPC's objectives; and
  4. endorsing Iranian groups opposed to the Iranian theocracy.

Target Iran

The majority of the content on IPC's website is written by founder Raymond Tanter. In March 2010 Tanter issued a "briefing" which reiterated IPC's standard "recommendations" for the US government with regard to Iran. According to Tanter, the US should support opposition groups in Iran along with continuing "tough" sanctions and providing "covert support" in order to aid the "Iranian people" in deposing the Iranian government:

Research indicates that it would be in the U.S.'s interest for Washington to remove restrictions on the Iranian opposition (e.g., by removing the MEK and NCRI from the list of terrorist organizations), while imposing tough, comprehensive, and targeted sanctions. As for America's part, Mr. Tanter affirmed that Washington can play a vital role in helping the Iranian people to depose the regime by providing rhetorical and covert support to the Iranian opposition movement without having to resort to external regime change as in the takedown on Saddam Hussein in Iraq.[8]

Ties to Iraqi National Congress

In September 2010, a LobeLog investigation revealed that IPC has shared an address, accountants, and some staff with multiple organizations that either fronted for or had direct ties to Iraqi conman Ahmad Chalabi's[9] INC which furnished much of the bogus intelligence that neoconservatives used to garner support for the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

It appears that many of the same people who misled the U.S. into a disastrous war with Iraq are now attempting to do the same in Iran. And they’re doing it with very much the same game plan, and even doing it from the same little town house at 911 Duke St. in Arlington, Virginia.[2]

Principals

[12] [13]

US Congressmen/Senators promoting IPC

European Parliamentarians promoting IPC

Featured Iranians

Affiliations

Other resources

External Links

Contact

Web: www.iranpolicy.org
Address:
3700 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Suite L-34
Washington, DC 20016
Office: (202)249-1142
Fax: (202)249-1143
Email: info@iranpolicy.org

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Iran Policy Committee, Mission Statement, Accessed 21-March-2009
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton, "Neocon Iran Policy Committee Tied To Disgraced Iraqi National Congress", LobeLog, 10 September 2010
  3. Iran Focus News Iran policy group outlines new approach in dealing with Tehran, Iran Focus, 14-February-2005, Accessed 23-March-2009
  4. Iran Policy CommitteeProfile, Rightweb, Accessed 23-March-2009
  5. Iran Policy CommitteeProfile, Rightweb, Accessed 23-March-2009
  6. Ali Gharib, "Skepticism about MEK’s alleged Iranian nuke revelation", Lobe Log, 9 September 2010
  7. Iran Policy CommitteeProfile, Rightweb, Accessed 23-March-2009
  8. Raymond Tanter, "Can People-Power Defuse Iran's Nuclear Threat", MEFORUM Website, 10 March 2010, accessed on 17 September 2010
  9. Jane Mayer, "THE MANIPULATOR", New Yorker, 7 June 2004
  10. Claire M. Lopez, IAN biography, International Analyst Network, (Accessed: 9 December 2007)
  11. Ali Gharib, "Skepticism about MEK’s alleged Iranian nuke revelation", Lobe Log, 9 September 2010
  12. U.S. Policy Options for Iran Document, Iran Policy Committee, New York Times, 10-February-2005, Accessed 23-March-2009
  13. Iran Policy Committee, IPC Scholars and Fellows, Accessed 23-March-2009
  14. Iran Policy CommitteeProfile, Rightweb, Accessed 23-March-2009
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