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The Rockefellers and Iran: Jay Rockefeller’s Reversal and the Iranian-American Lobby
Original FReeper research | 01/24/2007 | Fedora

Posted on 01/24/2007 2:21:05 PM PST by Fedora

The Rockefellers and Iran: Jay Rockefeller’s Reversal and the Iranian-American Lobby

By Fedora

In 1979, Rockefeller representatives launched an unsuccessful operation to lobby the Carter administration in support of the Shah of Iran, who was seeking safe haven in the wake of a coup by Islamic revolutionaries. Codenamed Project Alpha, the operation was spearheaded by Chase Manhattan Bank Chairman David Rockefeller and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, with support from oil lobby lawyer John McCloy. Although Project Alpha won the support of National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, it met opposition from Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and failed to win over Carter. Following a visit from Rockefeller, Carter wrote, “The main purpose of this visit, apparently, is to try to induce me to let the Shah come into our country. Rockefeller, Kissinger, and Brzezinski seem to be adopting this as a joint project.”

Three decades later, David Rockefeller’s nephew Jay Rockefeller has signalled the reverse of his family’s opposition to the Ayatollah by attacking the Bush administration’s Iran policy. Last week Senator Rockefeller said in an interview with The New York Times, “This whole concept of moving against Iran is bizarre.”

What happened between 1979 and 2007 to change the Rockefellers’ Iranian policy? The answer is undoubtedly as complex as the Rockefellers’ tangled Machiavellian web, but a clue may lie with the Asia Society, a group founded by Jay Rockefeller’s father, John D. Rockefeller III, to expand the Rockefeller sphere of influence into Asia after World War II.

Among the supporters of the Asia Society is Iranian-American businessman Hassan Nemazee. Nemazee was a member of the board of trustees of the Asia Society in 2003. An Asia Society annual report for 2003-2004 lists Hassan and Sheila Nemazee among supporters who contributed between $50,000 and $99,000 to the Asia Society’s Asia 21 Campaign. Sheila Nemazee was a co-chair of the steering committee of a January 2006 Asia Society anniversary dinner honoring David Rockefeller and Jay Rockefeller.

Nemazee became a controversial figure among Iranian-American exiles after 2001, when he accepted Mobil Oil Chairman Lucio Noto’s invitation to join the board of the American Iranian Council (AIC), a nonprofit group “dedicated to improving US-Iran relations through dialogue, better understanding, and constructive engagement”. AIC members and advisors have included numerous oil company figures and former diplomats. At one time these included the late Cyrus Vance. Since the Carter administration Vance had evidently reconciled his differences with the Rockefellers over Iran: on January 13, 1999, the Asia Society, the AIC, and the Asian-American Center of Queens College cosponsored a speech in which Vance called upon President Clinton to restore diplomatic relations with Iran. The wording of Vance’s appeal included explicit reference to the oil interests underlying it: “The Iranian government has indicated that it would welcome American business involvement in Iran, especially in the oil sector. American businessmen, on their part, urge Washington to be allowed to do so.”

Resigning from the AIC in the face of criticism from Iranian-American exiles at the end of 2002, the next year Nemazee founded the Iranian American Political Action Committee (aka Iranian American PAC or IAPAC), a group which promotes the election of officials “attuned to the domestic needs and issues of the Iranian American community”. IAPAC endorses candidates it perceives as friendly to its interests, with recent endorsements including Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Arlen Specter, Chuck Hagel, and Nancy Pelosi. IAPAC also donates generously to its preferred candidates, as does the Nemazee family. Federal Election Commission and IRS records document that members of the Nemazee family and IAPAC have contributed to, among others:

--Bill Clinton: $60,000 from Hassan Nemazee to Clinton’s legal defense fund, prior to Clinton nominating Nemazee to be ambassador to Argentina

--Hillary Clinton: $5,000 from IAPAC to Friends of Hillary on 03/14/2005

--Al Gore: $50,000 from Hassan Nemazee to the Gore-Lieberman Recount Fund in 2000

--John Kerry: $187,000 from Hassan Nemazee to Kerry from 1999 to 2003 and over $500,000 to Kerry’s 2004 campaign

--Ted Kennedy: $7,000 from various members of the Nemazee family to Kennedy for Senate in 1995 and $2,000 from IAPAC to Kennedy for Senate since 2004

--Joseph Biden: $2,100 from Hassan Nemazee to Citizens for Biden on 09/30/2005

--Charles Schumer: $1,000 from IAPAC to Friends of Charles Schumer on 01/16/2004

--Arlen Specter: $1,000 from IAPAC to Citizens for Arlen Specter on 1/16/2004 and $1,000 from IAPAC in 2006

--Chuck Hagel: $1,000 from IAPAC to the Hagel for Senate Committee on 10/02/2006

--Robert Torricelli: $4,000 from Hassan and Sheila Nemazee to Torricelli for US Senate, Inc. from 1996 to 2002

--Richard Gephardt: $2,000 from Hassan Nemazee to Gephardt in Congress Committee from 1996 to 2002

--Harold Ford, Jr.: $1,000 from Hassan Nemazee to Harold Ford Jr. for Tennessee on 09/21/2006

--Nancy Pelosi: $1,000 from IAPAC to Nancy Pelosi for Congress on 10/02/2006

And, last but not least, over $50,000 in 2003-2004 from Hassan and Sheila Nemazee to the Asia Society founded by John D. Rockefeller III.

Select Bibliography

”Al Gore: Presidential Recount Donors”.

American Iranian Council.

”Asia Society Gala 50th Anniversary Dinner”. Asia Society. February 23, 2006.

Bird, Kai. The Chairman: John J. McCloy and the Making of the American Establishment. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.

Button, Graham and Kerry A. Dolan. “Warning Flags”. Forbes. Volume 163, Issue 9, May 3, 1999, p142-144, 2p, 2c.

Carter, Jimmy. Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President. New York: Bantam, 1982.

”Contributions From Kerry’s Top Fund-Raisers, 1999-2003”. Capital Eye.

Federal Election Commission data on “Nemazee, Hassan”, “Nemazee, Hessan”, “Nemazee,Kamyar”, “Nemazee, Layla”, “Nemazee, Sheila”, “Nemazee, Yasmine”, and “Iranian American Political Action Committee”. Available online at and

Fred, Cheryl. “Deep Pockets, Part II: How Kerry’s top fund-raisers spend their own money at election time.”. Capital Eye.

Harr, John Ensor and Peter J. Johnson. The Rockefeller Century. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988.

----------------------------------------------. The Rockefeller Conscience: An American Family in Public and Private Life. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1991.

Iranian American Political Action Committee: IAPAC.

Mazzetti, Mark. ”Leading Senator Assails Bush Over Iraq Stance”. The New York Times. January 20, 2007, A1.

Marc Morano, Marc. “Top Kerry Donor Faces Iranian Propaganda Allegations”. October 12, 2004.

Ponte, Lowell. “Cash-and-Kerry”. January 27, 2004.

Ponte, Lowell. “Kerry’s Secret Muslim Connections”. October 5, 2004.

Spencer, John. “Hillary Clinton’s pro-Iran ties a real concern”. The Journal News. April 19, 2006.

”Supporters: Asia 21 Campaign”. Asia Society.

Timmerman, Kenneth R. Timmerman. “John Kerry's Iranian-American Fundraisers". Insight on the News. March 1, 2004.

---------------------------------------------. “Kerry’s Iranian Sugar Daddies”. March 2, 2004.

Vance, Cyrus. ”US-Iran Relations: Has the Time Come?” Asia Society. January 13, 1999.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aic; algore; argentina; arlen; arlenspecter; asia21; asiasociety; biden; chuckhagel; chuckschumer; clinton; cyrusvance; gephardt; gore; hagel; haroldford; hassannemazee; hillaryclinton; iapac; iran; jayrockefeller; johnkerry; josephbiden; kennedy; kerry; lucionoto; mobil; mobiloil; nancypelosi; nemazee; noto; pelosi; richardgephardt; roberttorricelli; rockefeller; schumer; sheilanemazee; specter; tedkennedy; torricelli; vance

1 posted on 01/24/2007 2:21:09 PM PST by Fedora
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To: Interesting Times; the Real fifi; Eva


2 posted on 01/24/2007 2:22:25 PM PST by Fedora
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To: Fedora
Nice research on an interesting topic.

I'm not entirely convinced you can purchase (or even rent) a Rockefeller so cheaply. There may well be more iceberg under this.

3 posted on 01/24/2007 2:30:31 PM PST by Interesting Times (ABCNNBCBS -- yesterday's news.)
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To: Fedora

Good work!

4 posted on 01/24/2007 2:32:39 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee (Anything a politician gives you he has first stolen from you)
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To: Fedora

This is great stuff ... The Rockefeller Asia Society vs. The Bush Carlyle Group. Alert Chris Carter! We have an X-File.

5 posted on 01/24/2007 2:32:45 PM PST by sono (There are only two exit strategies - One is victory, the other defeat - Joe Lieberman)
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To: Interesting Times
There may well be more iceberg under this.

I agree. This was just meant to scratch the surface.

6 posted on 01/24/2007 2:36:21 PM PST by Fedora
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To: sono

Didn't Cris Carter retire a year after leaving the Vikings? :-) Didn't think of a Rockefeller/Carlyle rivalry--interesting thought--will have to check with my source, Mr. X, on that one. . .

7 posted on 01/24/2007 2:42:13 PM PST by Fedora
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To: Fedora
Trust No One.
8 posted on 01/24/2007 2:45:26 PM PST by sono (There are only two exit strategies - One is victory, the other defeat - Joe Lieberman)
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To: Fedora

I thought the Rockefellers were wrong are just about everything. It's a matter of principle to them.

9 posted on 01/24/2007 2:54:11 PM PST by sine_nomine (The United States...shall protect each of them against invasion. Article IV, 4. US Constition)
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To: sono

LOL! Well, we can at least trust that the Bills will never win the Super Bowl as long as CGB is alive--which won't be for long at the rate he's puffing those Morleys. . .

10 posted on 01/24/2007 2:55:18 PM PST by Fedora
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To: Fedora

Who is CGB?...those initials don't ring a bell with me and I'm a football fan.

11 posted on 01/24/2007 3:01:01 PM PST by defenderSD (Listens to Dvorak on headphones but tells the kids it's U2.)
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To: sine_nomine
Very true! But according to Jay, it's everyone else who's wrong--more from his NYT interview on Bush:

I don’t think that policy makers in this administration particularly understand Iran. . .I don’t think he understands the world. . .

I have a feeling Rockefeller would say that no matter who was in office. . .

12 posted on 01/24/2007 3:02:07 PM PST by Fedora
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To: defenderSD

CGB Spender, the "X-Files" character pictured in #8, better known as Cigarette Smoking Man aka Cancerman aka Raul Bloodworth. Reference is to an episode where he's sitting around a table with a bunch of global conspirator types plotting various events. After mentioning various political plots he digresses into sports:
Smoking Man: "What I don't want to see is the Bills winning the Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen."

Third Man In Black: "Could be tough, sir. Buffalo wants it bad."

Smoking Man: "So did the Soviets in 80."

Third Man In Black: "What? You saying you rigged the Olympic hockey game?"

Smoking Man: "What's the matter? Don't you believe in miracles?"

13 posted on 01/24/2007 3:06:13 PM PST by Fedora
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To: Fedora

So then it was CGB who turned on that big fan on the sideline that pushed Norwood's kick to the right? I always thought that kick had a suspicious curve to it at the

14 posted on 01/24/2007 3:10:03 PM PST by defenderSD (Listens to Dvorak on headphones but tells the kids it's U2.)
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To: Fedora; All

FYI: Norwood was a kicker for the Buffalo Bills who missed a field goal to win the Super Bowl.

15 posted on 01/24/2007 3:20:29 PM PST by defenderSD (Listens to Dvorak on headphones but tells the kids it's U2.)
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To: defenderSD

LOL! Could well be! I believe that was called Operation Norwood :-)

16 posted on 01/24/2007 3:28:31 PM PST by Fedora
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To: Fedora

Great job.

This is the Rockefeller who politicized the Senate Intelligence Committee over Iraq and 9/11.

17 posted on 02/20/2007 3:23:53 PM PST by dervish (In the business world, two weeks spent on a nonbinding resolution would be considered nonproductive.)
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