Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Kerry's Iranian Sugar Daddies ^ | 3/02/04 | Kenneth R. Timmerman

Posted on 03/02/2004 12:54:13 AM PST by kattracks

Among Sen. John Kerry's top fund-raisers are three Iranian-Americans who have been pushing for dramatic changes in U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Most prominent among them is Hassan Nemazee, 54, an investment banker based in New York. Nominated to become U.S. ambassador to Argentina by President Bill Clinton in 1999, Nemazee eventually withdrew his nomination after a former partner raised allegations of business improprieties.

Nemazee was a major Clinton donor, giving $80,000 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the 1996 election cycle and attending at least one of the famous White House fund-raising coffees.

In 2001, at the invitation of Mobil Oil Chairman Lucio Noto, whom he counts as a "personal friend," Nemazee joined the board of the American-Iranian Council (AIC), a U.S. lobbying group that consistently has supported lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran and accommodating the Tehran regime. Nemazee tells Insight he "now regrets" having joined the AIC board and resigned his position after 12 months when he was vilified by Iranian exile groups.

"I've never, ever given a speech suggesting rapprochement with the regime," Nemazee tells Insight. "Kerry is not calling for a resumption of relations with Iran, nor is he ignoring the regime's human-rights abuses, its ties to terror, or downplaying the nuclear issues. I haven't seen that he's said anything to date that warrants all the concern."

But Nemazee also acknowledged that he was rethinking his position in the wake of the recent parliamentary elections in Iran. "There is a legitimate argument to be made that the regime has crossed a line and shown they are undemocratic and incapable of reforming," he says, "and so there is no benefit to relations or to trading with them."

The Kerry camp has identified Nemazee as having raised more than $100,000 for the senator's campaign.

A Nemazee friend in Silicon Valley, Faraj Aalaei, has raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the Kerry campaign. Aalaei has worked in the telecommunications industry for 22 years and is the chief executive officer of Centillium Communications, a publicly traded company.

Last year, Aalaei married a 35-year-old recent immigrant from Iran named Susan Akbarpour, whom the Kerry campaign also lists as having raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the campaign.

In just six years since coming to the United States on a tourist visa from Iran, Akbarpour has started a newspaper, a magazine and, most recently, a trade association whose goal, she tells Insight, is to get sanctions lifted and promote U.S. business and investment in Iran.

"Susan Akbarpour was a journalist in Iran, where she was close to Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of [former president Ali Akbar] Rafsanjani," says student activist Aryo Pirouznia. "She has done programs on Iranian television praising Faezeh Hashemi, and demonstrated against pro-freedom groups in California when Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi came to Los Angeles in September 2000." Rafsanjani's daughter was a member of the Iranian Parliament until recently. Her faction, while hailed as "reformists" by pro-regime activists, has never pressed for an end to clerical rule and is widely believed to have served as a foil for hard-liners such as Hashemi's own father.

Kharrazi's trip to California was part of a failed Clinton administration effort to renew ties with the Islamic republic. Iranian-American Jewish organizations were outraged by his visit, which followed on the heels of the show trial of 13 Iranian Jews in Shiraz. Akbarpour was filmed by several Los Angeles-based Iranian TV networks insulting the protesters and supporting Kharrazi. In the Persian-language edition of her monthly newspaper, Iran Today, she printed numerous anti-Semitic articles, Iranian Jewish activists tell Insight.

Akbarpour's latest trade effort, SiliconIran, was planning to host a gala at the Ritz Carlton's Laguna Niguel resort in Orange County, Calif., on March 3 as Insight went to press. Among the guests will be fellow Kerry fund-raiser Nemazee.

"I am an actor in U.S. politics," Akbarpour boasted to Insight in an interview. "I am a fund-raiser for all candidates who listen to us and our concerns."

The two candidates Akbarpour said she would "never help" are President George W. Bush and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), because both have taken a no-nonsense approach to the Iranian regime. Federal Election Commission records show that Akbarpour contributed $1,000 to the Kerry committee in June 2002 and another $2,000 in June 2003.

Akbarpour tells Insight she is not a U.S. citizen. "I came here in 1997 as a tourist and changed my status several times. At one point, I had an H-1 visa. Then I got married last year and got my green card." Under federal election laws, permanent residents are allowed to make political campaign contributions. But her June 2002 contribution to the Kerry campaign appears to have been made before she acquired status as a permanent resident.

One immigration lawyer Insight consulted in Los Angeles doubted that Akbarpour could have obtained an H-1 visa, which is reserved for foreign workers sponsored by U.S. companies that need their specialized skills. "At the time, the INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service] was applying a very strict interpretation of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act and was not allowing any hiring of Iranian nationals. And you couldn't convert from a tourist visa to an H-1 visa, especially if the tourist visa had already expired."

Because the United States has no embassy in Tehran, Iranians seeking to visit the United States must travel to Turkey or the United Arab Emirates to apply for a tourist or student visa, then wait several months while a background check is performed.

That experience still rankles Akbarpour, who has put loosening visa requirements for Iranians on the top of her political agenda, along with lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran and getting the U.S. government to open a dialogue with the regime in Tehran. Just by coincidence, those are the top three priorities of the Tehran regime, as well.

"I do believe in getting rid of the clerics," she tells Insight, "but not overnight. That would not lead to stability in Iran. I see this as an evolutionary process."

The FBI opposes loosening visa requirements because the Iranian intelligence ministry (MOIS) has a proven track record of sending intelligence operatives - and even assassins - overseas posing as refugees or legal immigrants. MOIS operatives have murdered Iranian dissidents living overseas, and helped plan and carry out the July 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 86 persons.

But Akbarpour did not think security was a legitimate concern. "I don't think the MOIS is very good. You give too much credit to these people. They're not that intelligent," she says.

Nor does Kerry worry about loosening visa restrictions. "We have to support the idea that someone who is an American citizen has a right to have their family visit them from anywhere in the world," he told Akbarpour at a Jan. 14, 2004, fund-raiser in San Francisco.

TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2004; donors; iran; iranianamericans; iraniansanctions; irankerry; kennethrtimmerman; kerry; mrus; sellingoutamerica
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021 next last

1 posted on 03/02/2004 12:54:13 AM PST by kattracks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: kattracks
That explains this
2 posted on 03/02/2004 1:10:00 AM PST by SC DOC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
I'd like to say Iranian immigrants are a different can of worms, but after these three I'm not so sure.

The Iranian I know are assimilated, conservative, ditto-heads who make sure you understand that they are not Arabs but Aryians. Christians before they were conquered.
They went through what most of our ancestors went through. Severe opression and the hope for real freedom in America. They want to make it work here as much as we do (or did).

They also talk about how many of the mosque in the U.S. are lead by extremist. Sounds like this triad is hanging out with the wrong crowd of mullahs. Not good.

3 posted on 03/02/2004 1:32:59 AM PST by lizma
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
The Middle East under a Kerry administration would be a far worse place all around for Muslims as well as for America.
4 posted on 03/02/2004 2:53:14 AM PST by tkathy (The Vietnam War is OVER!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
These communists ties run deep.

No wonder Hillry said women were better off under Saddam.
5 posted on 03/02/2004 2:57:33 AM PST by Just mythoughts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lizma
Don't let the few color your picture of the many.

The Iranians you've met are representative of the majority; not these pro-regimers.
6 posted on 03/02/2004 4:17:40 AM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled :"an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

"The Kerry campaign released no statement on the widely discredited Iranian elections, reinforcing allegations from pro-democracy Iranian exiles in America that the junior senator from Massachusetts is working hand-in-glove with pro-regime advocates in the United States."

He would destroy the democratic movement in Iran and condemn the people to more years of tyranny.
7 posted on 03/02/2004 4:26:19 AM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled :"an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: nuconvert
Kerry's got a lock on the Islamist vote.
8 posted on 03/02/2004 4:28:04 AM PST by mewzilla
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: mewzilla
He doesn't have the vote of (most) Iranian Americans.
9 posted on 03/02/2004 4:44:24 AM PST by nuconvert (CAUTION: I'm an acquaintance of someone labelled :"an obstinate supporter of dangerous fantasies")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
This sort of report should be on page one-above the fold-of every major newspaper,and the topic of tv newscasts.......but,of course,it won't be.
10 posted on 03/02/2004 5:03:39 AM PST by genefromjersey (So little time - so many FLAMES to light !!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

I thought the article you linked to was a Onion type joke. I can't believe he would say these things. He is a real danger.

It makes me think that Kerry has help from around the world - specifically the UN appeasers - to try to take GW down.

I need to pay better attention; we all do.
11 posted on 03/02/2004 5:20:31 AM PST by baseballmom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
"I am an actor in U.S. politics," Akbarpour boasted to Insight in an interview. "I am a fund-raiser for all candidates who listen to us and our concerns."
Why is everyone missing this... Akbarpour tells Insight she is not a U.S. citizen.
Is this not the same thing as Johnnie Chung and his dollars to Clinton?

12 posted on 03/02/2004 6:12:21 AM PST by Wolverine (A Concerned Citizen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kcvl; BigSkyFreeper
13 posted on 03/04/2004 7:24:43 PM PST by Mo1 (Do you want a president who injects poison into his skull for vanity?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Mo1
Mr. Hassan Nemazee

Mr. Hassan Nemazee was born in Washington, D.C. on January 27, 1950 and attended Landon School, graduating in 1968. He received his AB degree with Honors from Harvard University in 1972.

Mr. Nemazee is the Chairman and CEO of Nemazee Capital Corporation. Nemazee Capital Corporation is a holdings company, which invests in both public and private companies.

From 1979 to 1987, he served as Chairman and CEO of HN Properties, which developed real estate in Houston, Texas and Suburban Washington, D.C.

From 1972 to 1979, Mr. Nemazee served as Chairman and CEO of Nemazee Holdings. Nemazee Holdings was joint venture partner of American International Group, Morgan Bank and Linbeck Construction in Iran.

- Member of Board of Trustees Asia Society March 2003
- Nominated by President Clinton to be the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina 1999
- Member of the Visiting Committee of the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. 1998 - present
- Member of the Visiting Committee on University Resources, Harvard University 1986 - 2002
- Member of the Board of Directors, American Iranian Council 2001 - 2002
- Member of the Middle East Center Advisory Council at Harvard University 1990 - 1994
- Member of International Affairs Planning Committee, Harvard University 1990 - 1995
- Named a John Harvard Fellow 1996
- Vice Chairman of Encyclopedia Iranica affiliated with Columbia University 1990 - 1998
- Member of the Board of Trustees of the Spence School 1993 - 1997
- Member of the Board of Trustees of the Brian Trauma Foundation 1996 - present
14 posted on 03/04/2004 9:30:57 PM PST by kcvl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 30, 1998


The President today announced his intent to nominate Hassan Nemazee to be U.S. Ambassador to Argentina.

Mr. Hassan Nemazee, of New York, New York, currently serves as Chair and CEO of Nemazee Capital Corporation. He has been an investor in public and private equity markets since 1972 and also has experience in real estate development. From 1979 to 1987, Mr. Nemazee was involved in developing properties in Houston, Texas and suburban Washington, DC, including a 300,000 square foot office building designed by I.M. Pei. Mr. Nemazee is also very active in the academic community and in 1996 was honored as a John Harvard Fellow. He currently serves on the Harvard University Visiting Committee for the Center for International Affairs and is a former member of the Harvard University Middle East Advisory Committee. Also in conjunction with Harvard University, Mr. Nemazee is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Aitkin Neuroscience Institute, was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Spence School and is a member of the Board of Directors of Columbia University's affiliated Encyclopedia Iranica.

Mr. Nemazee was born in Washington, DC, and received his A.B. degree with honors from Harvard University in 1972. He and his wife, Sheila, reside in New York City with their three children, Yasmine, Kamyar and Layla.

15 posted on 03/04/2004 9:32:43 PM PST by kcvl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Kerry's Fund-Raiser Worries Advocates Of Iran Democracy
NY Sun ^ | Tue, 27 Jan 2004 | ELI LAKE

Posted on 01/27/2004 9:52:39 PM PST by F14 Pilot

WASHINGTON -- Iranian American supporters of the effort to bring democracy to Iran are raising concerns about the resurgence of Senator Kerry's campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, questioning the role of a Kerry fund-raiser who wants to normalize ties with Tehran.

Hassan Nemazee, an Iranian American financier based in New York, was on the board of the American Iranian Council when that organization arranged for President Clinton's secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, to apologize for America's role in the 1953 coup that brought the Shah to power in Iran.

Kerry’s campaign seemed in disarray after he fired his campaign chief, with last week’s first-place finish in the Iowa caucus, Mr. Kerry has emerged as the front runner in his party’s race to field a challenge to President Bush this November.

In a December 3 address to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry said that if he was president, he “will be prepared early on to explore areas of mutual interest with Iran.”In that same speech he chastised the Bush administration for failing to hand over Iraqi-based insurgents to Tehran in exchange for members of Al Qaeda. “It is incomprehensible and unacceptable that this administration refuses to broker an arrangement with Iran for a mutual crackdown on both terrorist groups,” he told the council.

Mr. Kerry and his fund-raiser have drawn the criticism of many Iranians pushing for America to support Iranian democrats. “Unfortunately Mr. Nemazee is still advising Mr. Kerry,” a spokesman for the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran,Aryo Pirooznia, told The New York Sun yesterday. “Everyone remembers in the last of year of the Clinton administration when Mr. Nemazee gave a speech at the AIC calling for the removal of all sanctions against the Islamic Republic. We will be asking any Iranian-American of principle to vote for President Bush knowing that Mr. Kerry has recently said that Iran is moving toward democracy.”

Mr. Pirooznia has in the past organized protests against the American Iranian Council, whose board Mr. Nemazee used to sit on. Iran’s hard-line council of guardians yesterday vetoed a proposal from the Parliament that would curb the council’s power to screen candidates for the legislature. Earlier this month, the council barred thousands of “reformer” candidates from running in next month’s elections for that body.

Mr. Nemazee, who did not return three phone calls yesterday from the Sun, helped form the Iranian American Political Action Committee in 2002. That organization says it does not take a position on Iran’s relations with America. Its Web site says, “We have seen time and again that as soon as foreign policy issues are raised, great divisions appear within the community.” The PAC focuses primarily on civil liberties issues affecting Iranian-Americans and on loosening barriers for Iranian citizens who want to get visas to visit America.

In 1999, President Clinton nominated Mr. Nemazee to be his ambassador to Argentina.The Senate Foreign Relations Committee blocked his confirmation after Forbes magazine ran a story critical of many of his business relationships. Inside the Iranian-American community, Mr. Nemazee has a reputation for supporting the opening of trade relations with Iran.

“This is not personal, just a political difference of opinion, but Mr. Nemazee is in favor of dialogue with moderates, as far as I have observed,” a friend of the Nemazee family and an Iranian democracy activist, Shahla Samii, told the Sun. “I have been in contact with many in the younger generation. Many of the people I have contacted and most of them within Iran and outside the country do not want America to normalize ties with the Islamic Republic.”

Another activist in New York, Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi,told the Sun Mr.Nemazee “is promoting a certain kind of relationship between the American government and the Islamic Republic that is completely inappropriate. He seems to put his money in places where he supports candidates who basically are not interested in confronting a government that is becoming armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons and that has admitted to holding major members of Al Qaeda.”

Mr. Kerry voted in July of 2001 in favor of renewing the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, which authorizes American sanctions on foreign companies investing in Iran’s oil and gas sectors.
16 posted on 03/04/2004 9:35:13 PM PST by kcvl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

giovedì, marzo 04, 2004

S. California's Iranian diaspora intervenes in US electoral campaign

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Mar 3, 2004

The south Californian Iranian diaspora started, today, its official intervention in the US electoral process.

While several hundreds of Iranians rushed to show their support of President Bush at the occasion of his speech in Los Angeles, tens of other rushed to Orange County in order to protest against John Kerry and its immoral Iranian fund raisers who are pushing for the removal of sanctions against the Islamic republic regime. It's to note that President Bush speech was made at Shrin Auditorium and the Kerry's controversial fund raisers were holding their "gala" at the Ritz Carlton in Dana Point.

Slogans in favor of President Bush and the continuation of pressures on the Oppressive and Terrorist Islamic regime, along with Condemnation of John Kerry's intention to establish relations with the Mullahs and Denouncing the pro-regime lobbyists were shouted during the two demos.

The main Iranian organizers and guests of this evening's controversial "gala" at Ritz Carlton were the very same Faraj-Alai, Susan Akbarpoor and Hassan Namazee who have tried for the last seven years to show a "better" face of the Islamic regime and to use their access to Democrat circles for trying to establish relations between the US and a repressive regime rejected by most Iranians.

Ritz Carlton at Dana Point has often been used by these controversial Iranians who are rejected by most Iranian-Americans for pushing their immoral agenda. The resort was the scene, in year 2000, of a noisy demo when the Islamic regime's FM made his speech.

Speaking to the Los Angeles based "Voice of Iran" (KRSI), Aryo Pirouznia of SMCCDI, condemned, this afternoon, the "immoral actions of the few well known Iranians who are closing eyes on the plight of their countrymen and are using their position to gain support of a blood thristy regime".

"It's the duty of any respectable Iranian to rush showing support of President Bush and to reject the pro-regime's lobbyist's shameful actions" he added.
17 posted on 03/04/2004 9:40:30 PM PST by kcvl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: kattracks; Trollstomper; Pelham; philman_36; Torie
Among Sen. John Kerry's top fund-raisers are three Iranian-Americans who have been pushing for dramatic changes in U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Looks like Timmerman's working a theme, given his earlier articles exposing Wahabbist ties in the Bush Administration, particularly those established through Grover Norquist.

Wonder how many of those who ignored the Norquist story will suddenly perk up at the possibility of radical Shiite attempts to gain favor with John Kerry?

18 posted on 03/04/2004 9:40:40 PM PST by Sabertooth (Malcontent for Bush - 2004!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sabertooth
The Dems are going to try to paint Bush as a Sunni symp?
19 posted on 03/04/2004 9:53:30 PM PST by Torie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Torie

No, my guess at this early statge is that the Kerry/Shia vs. Bush/Wahabbi stories will nullify each other.

Neither is going to want to "go there."

20 posted on 03/04/2004 9:56:58 PM PST by Sabertooth (Malcontent for Bush - 2004!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson