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Trita Parsi’s collaboration with his mentor, associate and lobby partner: Siamak Namazi

Posted by Zand-Bon on Dec 4th, 2009 and filed under Feature Articles, Regime Lobbies & Promoters Outside Iran, Sections. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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December 3, 2009


Introduction: Who is Siamak Namazi?

Siamak Namazi, was an Iranian-American living in US who went back to Iran in 1999 and became a partner and the managing director of Atieh Bahar Company in Tehran. The company was founded in 1993 by Pari Namazi and her husband Bijan Khajehpour. Babak Namazi (Siamak’s brother) leads the legal division of Atieh Bahar.

In a separate document, I have explained in details the relation between Atieh Bahar and the inner circle of the regime’s economic mafia. Please go to the following links to see the document:

Power presentation one:

Power presentation two:

Atieh Bahar, the leading Iranian consulting firm, helps the foreign companies, especially in oil corporations to work in Iran. The portfolio of this company entails a potpourri of engagements and partnerships with the Iranian regime, including joint ventures, consulting, organizing policy conferences for the regime, facilitating convergence of foreign and Iranian oil enterprises, representing and handholding of the multinational foreign companies in their dealings with the Iranian regime.  Atieh’s Iranian customer list includes high level Iranian institutions like Banks and the parliament. Atieh’s subsidiaries have unmatched access to sensitive electronic data from government banks and institutions.

Siamak Namazi, an owner and one of the active directors of this enterprise is inseparable from the Iranian regime and its mafia web that controls the wealth of the country.

Note: After the June 2009 election and the purge of Rafsanjani faction, Bijan Khajehpour, the chairman of Atieh was arrested upon his return from London. He was released later. Rafsanjani’s son did not return to Tehran and stayed in London.


1999: Parsi and Siamak Namazi present their project for creation of an Iranian-American lobby in US

In 1999, Siamak Namazi and Trita Parsi participated at a Conference in Cyprus and presented their proposal to create an Iranian American lobby to influence US policy toward Iran, especially Congressional decisions.

The authors suggest three recommendations. Interestingly, they demonstrate an astonishing knowledge about how the Israeli lobby (AIPAC) works and propose the same kind of activities:

Public document: :

Excerps from document:

1. Seminars in lobbying for Iranian-American youth and intern opportunities in Washington DC.

“While the new generation of Iranian-Americans has a greater understanding of the American political culture, they still have much to learn. It is import to further this group’s understanding of the American political system and the concept of lobbying.

Every year, thousands of college and university students flock to Washington DC to intern at different policy institutions, from the White House, to Capitol Hill, to lobby groups, to CSIS and other actors in the political field.

Established communities such as that of the Jewish-Americans have taken advantage of these floods of future American leaders and politicians. The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), one of the most powerful lobbies in the US 10, does not only provide Jewish-American youth with numerous intern opportunities, it also facilitates internships for members at other institutions and uses the influx of young political talents to export its pro-Israeli views and values…

Most impressive and educational is AIPAC’s “Youth Leadership Seminars,” which are held annually and offered at highly subsidized rates. They train AIPAC members not only in essential public policy skills such as lobbying, monitoring and responding to the media, etc., but also use the forum to guide members in how to succeed in the American society at large.

Creating similar types of seminars and intern opportunities to Iranian-American youth may not improve Iran-US relations in the short run, but it will help integrate the Iranian-American community into the political life of America. In the long run, a strong and active Iranian- American lobby, partly established through these seminars and by the participants of these programs, may serve to ensure that the US and Iran never find themselves in violent opposition to each other again. Arguably an Iranian-American lobby (which is different from a lobby group purely pursuing the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran) is needed in order to create a balance between the competing Middle Eastern lobbies. Without it, Iran-bashing may become popular in Congress again.”

2. Increased awareness amongst Iranian-Americans and Americans about the effects of sanctions, both at home and in Iran.

3. The taboo of working for a new approach on Iran must be further legitimized.


2000: parsi and Namazi meet in Iran and travel together:

Parsi and Namzi in a temple in Yazd, 2000


Court Documents


2002: Creation of NIAC

Parsi is hired by Namazi ’s company  Atieh Bahar. He prepares newsletters for Atieh and is paid in return.

Documents 1:

Documents 2:

Document: sent to Parsi

Khajehpour pays back Parsi

Document: :

“Dear Trita,

Thanks for your message.  Unfortunately, my visa authorization has not come through and I will certainly postpone my planned trip until some time in November.  I hope this is not too much of an inconvenience for you.

As soon as I get my visa I will plan a new date and let you know.

On a different note, I wanted to transfer some funds to your account on Thursday, but realized that I have not kept the account information.  Can you please email your account info to me?

Best wishes,



2005: Start of NIAC’s lobby, Namazi’s role

Namazi is in Washington and starts a study group with Parsi, Karim Sadjadpour and Afshin Molavi to coordinate policy:



Namazi lays down the agenda for the group:


I would think that these meetings have 3 main purposes:

1-       To get this group to bring to the table their various pieces of the puzzle so that we all see a clearer picture of what is happening in/about Iran;

2-       To develop a common list of policy recommendation to enhance our ability to influence decision-makers;

3-       To help “train” people like Haghighatjoo who will get a lot of attention but don’t nec have a good understanding of how things work in the USA


Game plan: Namazi and Parsi are privately planning to meet with US under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns.

At the start of NIAC’s lobby in late 2005, Siamak Namazi and Parsi planned to meet Burns and advise him on US policy toward Iran. They coordinated a “game plan” to influence Nicholas Burns.

Document:  between Parsi and Namazi:

Parsi: “Btw, for the Burns meeting, I need your date of birth, city, country and ssn” (12.18.2005)

Namazi: “We need to meet up and coordinate.”

At the same time that they were planning to meet with Burns, Namazi and Parsi were also getting ready to hold their regular private policy discussions with Karim Sadjadpour and Afshin Molavi.


Subject: RE: what do you think of this?

Let’s try to get the group together again before we meet with Burns.  That way, we will have fresh ideas. That was the 18th, huh?

It’s not a bad plan for us to sit and try to come up with some policy recs.  Actually, if you like, let’s have our Burns meeting (the private one) and come up with some policy ideas, then pitch them without mention of why to the group to see what sort of critiques we need to consider. I understand that we will have to focus the meeting with Burns on expat issues, but (1) most of our group is comprised of Iranian-Americans and (2) Burns is likely to ask us about generally what up in Iran too.  Good to be prepared.”

Parsi back to Siamak and talked about their “game plan” with Burns:

“I guess the plan you list below is for us to first come up with some rec’s, try them on our group, then take the modified version to Burns? That sounds good.

I think Burns is interested in hearing our views across the board. My responsibility as the NIAC president is to also present the majority view per our statistics and mention the minority view. Other than that, we should stick to the game plan.”


“Agha, we need to carve out time to work on our discussion with Burns. If you have any policy papers I can look at, I could also start working on one for Hadley’s office. Once a draft is available, we can get input from our network and make it stronger.”


2007: Parsi reports his lobby to Namazi in Tehran

In 2007, Siamak Namzi from Tehran asked Trita Parsi to report to him about what was happening inside the Congress with respect to Iran. Upon Siamak Namazi’s request, Trita Parsi, sent two reports to him in Tehran.

On March 1, 2007, Parsi sent the first report about US Congress to Tehran and by email asked Siamak:


“Any comments on teh congress piece? Was it in line with what you wanted? So sorry about the delay, will have the other one for you tonight.”

A day later, Siamak responds:

“Thanks. Looking forward to reading what you have to say about AIPAC. And please send it soon!”

Trita responds:

“So terribly sorry. You this is not my style, but things have really been hectic lately. I cant wait till the baby comes because I am sure that is paradise compared to the current situation… 50% of the AIPAC piece is written. Will finish it tonight.”

On March 3, Parsi sent him the second report by and wrote:

“Let me know your thoughts.”

Through the discovery process, we have received the second report titled “Lobby Groups” that you can read here:



Namazi writes a talking point for Parsi


From: Trita Parsi [mailto:]
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 1:19 AM
To: ‘Siamak Namazi’
Subject: dude

Where’s the report J

“Seriously, try to send it to me as quickly as possible. If I cant use it, I have to write a report for Friday and time is short L”

A day later, Namazi sent a talking point for Parsi



Namazi from Tehran asks Parsi about what happens in Washington



“I am not sure if it’s less risky or more. The main risk sits on your side of the fence. But the social/civil soc atmosphere is definitely getting more restricted. Let’s try to skype later this week.  Btw, what’s happening with ILSA? How can I find out?”


“Yes, skypt this weekend would be good.

Ilsa is standing still at this stage. Burns today opposed 282 in the senate, and most likely there will be a one year extension of ILSA. It won’t be permitted to elapse, but neither is it likely to be extended for five years. in the short term, do not expect any positive developments in it. “

Parsi reports NIAC’s lobby to Namazi in Tehran


From: Trita Parsi [mailto:]
Sent: Saturday, January 13, 2007 5:53 PM
To: ‘Siamak Namazi’
Subject: RE: nytimes read your article!

“I spoke to about 20 journalists yesterday, including NY Times, trying to get them ask questions about that angle. I spend almost 50% of my time at niac on this now, almost all the legislative work is left to Shervin and Bahram”


Parsi needs some briefing from Tehran


From: Trita Parsi [mailto:]
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 2:16 AM
To: ‘Siamak Namazi’
Subject: RE: nytimes read your article!

“What are you hearing in Tehran? What is the thinking. They are reacting very cautiously. Is the strategy to sacrifice Ahmadinejad and reach out to Saudi? Will that work? I doubt it. what are people saying?”

Namazi responds:

“We have a briefing on thurs. I will write you some notes then. Meanwhile, read through the daily press summaries.  I don’t have insight beyond that, but will share with you anything interesting that I trip on.”


Parsi asks 2 things from Namazi in Tehran. We don’t have Parsi’s email and do not know what he wanted. But we have Namazi’s response:

Document: :

“Trita, this is what I have so far. If he was also in 6th Majles, Hadi should know him.  Imam Sadegh University is headed by Mahdavy Kani and a hot bed of training conservatives. Believe it or not, I think Hadi might have taught a course or two there.

1. Sure. I’m ready whenever you have time.

2. Regarding Kazem Jalali:

He is an MP of Shahroud, Semnan province in the 7th Majles and is believed to be close to the modern conservative camp. He was born in Gorgan in 1967 and holds a PhD in political sciences from Imam Sadegh University. Some sources believe that he has reasonable positions. He was also an MP in the 6th Majels.”


Namazi reports about a meeting with a British diplomat:


Ray was recently in a series of meetings where our Brit friend was also present. He too was angered about the duplicitous comments and policy recommendations that were being made. More reason to be careful of what we tell him. He is apparently considerably more hawkish than other diplomats from that country and apparently very malicious.

I have decided to ignore any future communications with this person, including on a social basis.   We have much more reliable, honest and professional channels to deal with the Brits if needed.”


May 2007, Parsi & Namazi participate in Middle East Forum in Jordan

Atieh Bahar is managing Parsi’s hotel reservation:





Please check something for me: call this hotel, pretend to be Trita’s secretary, and say:

1) Dr. Parsi is very picky about his room, please make sure it is a nice one

2) Check if the room has one or two beds in it. Say you prefer a room with two beds…

3) Tell them he would really like an Xbox game to be placed in the room for his convenience. Or at least a Playstation 3.

Siamak Namazi
Managing Director

Atieh Bahar Consulting
No. 14 Fifth Street, Unit 7

Ahmad Ghasir (Bokharest) Ave

Tehran 15137, Iran


Dear Trita,

As of the email below I’ve checked with the hotel as Siamak had asked me but they explained that they have no reservation under Parsi name! they asked also for a confirmation number and said that if you have reserved a room you should have the confirmation number.

Could you please helping me in this case?

Alenoosh Shahnazarian

Executive Assistant – Atieh Bahar Consulting


Parsi arranges an interview for Namazi with the Congressional Quarterly journal


Sia – Charles Hoskinson from Cong quarterly to discuss the idea of funding Iranian opposition groups. I spoke to him on the record. I think you should talk to him too, you can do so on background and they won’t mention your name. i told him that I will try to get you to contact him, without mentioning your name or who you are (except that you are usually based in Iran)  he is at 202-419-8337. . I will send this to Karim as well


Namazi complains about Hassan Dai’s appearance on VOA TV


From: Siamak Namazi [mailto:]
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 6:04 AM
To: ‘Trita Parsi’
Subject: VOA

Agha, did you see Hassan D on VOA again?  He mentions Bijan and my father, in a cursory fashion, but not you and I. Can’t believe VOA has this guy on again!”

Siamak namazi writes to the VOA director:


From: Siamak Namazi [mailto:]
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 9:27 PM
To: Jeffrey Trimble ()
Subject: complaint about VOA
Importance: High

Dear Mr. Trimble,

Once again VOA has chosen to bring Mr. Hassan Daeoleslam at its guest and once again he makes a slanderous claim that my father and my business associate – Mssrs Baquer Namazi and Bijan Khajehpour – are fronts for the Iranian government.

I have brought the matter to your attention in the past, stressing that such comments not only hard the reputation of respectable democrats, but also put them in direct danger in Iran. I told you in detail how after Daeoleslam’s fictitious claims against me I was subjected to problems in Iran and also how it harmed my reputation in the Iranian community. We spoke at length about this issue when we met in August 2007 and you promised to look into it.

I am once again asking the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) to make it known to VOA, which falls under your umbrella of responsibility, that it cannot just air slanderous garbage at will. You have been served several notices about the harm that such acts have brought in the past and is likely to bring in the future.  BBG and VOA will be held responsible if any harm comes to my family and I due to such irresponsible behavior. I once again urge you to pay greater attention to the programming at VOA and to cease and desist from airing the views of a fabulist with malicious intent.

I expect immediate action to rectify this situation, specifically by barring VOA from bringing Mr. Daeoleslam on air.  Consider this a formal complaint which can be used as evidence of serving notice of harm in a court of law.  While my family and I do not desire to make a legal issue out of this matter, we reserve all right if you fail to take adequate measures and continue to allow Mr. Daeoleslam to air his malicious commentary.

Sincerely,  Siamak Namazi”

Parsi and NIAC lobby the Congress to “clean up” the VOA





Parsi & Namazi meet with Julia Nanay

is a Senior Director at PFC Energy’s Markets & Country Strategies Group. She heads the firm’s Russia and Caspian Service.

is one of the most important advisory groups for international oil companies


From: Julia Nanay [mailto:]
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 11:35 AM
To: Trita Parsi; Siamak Namazi; Andrew Parasiliti
Subject: Next week for drinks?

“Thought I would coordinate a possible get together for next week.  Trita suggested Thursday Jan. 26.  If 6:45 were possible maybe we could set a place?  Alternatively, Wednesday Jan. 25 at 6pm.  What might be easiest for all of you?  Julia”

Parsi tries to find someone from Atieh Bahar in Tehran to report for IPS in Washington


Parsi to Siamak Namazi in Tehran:

“Does any of your staffers in AB have time to write a weekly columns for IPS and get $150 or so a piece? They are looking for good English writers that can write for IPS on a range of issues. Tp”

Namazi introduces Parsi to Stefano Beltrame, Italy’s First Counselor in Washington


“Dear Stefano,

It was great to see you last week!

Following-up on our conversation, I would like to cyber introduce you to Trita Parsi, of NIAC fame. I think the two of you would have a lot of ideas to share.

I’m still in DC, but will be going to NYC and then San Francisco soon. I’ll keep you posted.

Warm regards, Siamak”


“Dear Stefano – I’ve heard great things about you and would be delighted to meet at your convenience. Tp”

Stefano Beltrame:

“Dear Trita, thank you for writing me.I know you name since quite some time.

Next friday I will have some Italian-iranian scholars plus some diplomats at my place for dinner. Possibly it will not be the best setting for a open discussions like the one I have in mind for you, but it van be a good way to break the ice and there will be people worth knowing (Prof Pedde, who has a review of Iranian studies in Rome and Karim Mezran) . Siamak is also invited


Parsi asks Namazi to brief the Congressional staffers


From: Trita Parsi [mailto:]

Sent: Monday, December 25, 2006 8:48 PM

To: siamak namazi

Subject: Re: coming to DC

“Awesome. Would you be available for a briefing with staffers (off-the-record)?

Niac is organizing monthly one-hour staff briefings during lunch hours on both the house and senate side.

Our first will be actually be a breakfast for freshmen members on jan 17?


“In principle, I’d love to. But I would ask you not to publicize it and would always have to check the weather before coming…”


More communications between Namazi and Parsi:

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