Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran formed in 1997 to oppose the radical Islamic regime.

Aryo B. Pirouznia is SMCCDI's coordinator and he is based in Dallas, Texas. [1]

Kerry controversy

In 2003, Pirouznia sent a letter to Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) calling on him "to disassociate himself with the then-newly-formed Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), which they described as a "lobby group for a terrorist regime."" [2]

"Frivolous lawsuits have long been used as weapons of the powerful against the weak; a particularly egregious example is now playing out in Texas, courtesy of one of John Kerry’s most controversial supporters: the Iranian Hassan Nemazee. Nemazee is pursuing a ten-million-dollar damage claim against the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran (SMCCDI) and its coordinator, Aryo B. Pirouznia. A Nemazee victory in this suit would almost certainly muzzle or destroy altogether the SMCCDI, one of the most energetic and courageous opponents of Iran’s entrenched but uneasy mullahocracy. But now that Nemazee’s lawsuit has been filed, it has become increasingly clear that it could embarrass the entire Democratic Party — and severely damage the already flagging candidacy of John Kerry.

"Nemazee is an influential figure with many friends in high places in groups such as the American Iranian Council (AIC), the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), and the Iranian-American Bar Association (IABA). Nemazee’s name is also well known in Democratic Party circles. He was a prominent contributor to Bob Torricelli’s New Jersey Senate campaign. The multimillionaire entrepreneur also contributed $50,000 to his friend Al Gore’s Recount Fund (and $250,000 to the Gore campaign), $60,000 to Bill Clinton’s legal defense fund, and over $150,000 to the Democratic National Committee. Clinton attempted to reward him by naming him U.S. Ambassador to Argentina — but the Senate declined to confirm him after Forbes magazine published, in May 1999, an extremely damaging expose of his shady financial dealings. ...

"According to documents that Pirouznia/SMCCDI defense attorney Bob Jenevein made available to me, the prosecution has been playing several such games. On August 20, 2004, Jenevein wrote a letter to Rob Wiley of Locke Lidell & Sapp, the elite Texas law firm representing Nemazee. ...

"The SMCCDI and Aryo Pirouznia are evidently not the only ones in Nemazee’s sights. According to an informed source, Nemazee’s lawyer asked in official documents used by the plaintiff to build the case about the relationship between Pirouznia and another pair of stalwart Iran democracy activists: Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi and Elio Bonazzi. Said the source: “Aryo’s lawyer objected that this is not relevant, but basically this means that even if Nemazee didn’t sue the Bonazzis directly, they are among his targets.” This despite the fact that the Bonazzis have never advanced any political agenda for Iran beyond promoting the idea of a genuine (not UN- or Jimmy Carter-led) internationally monitored referendum to decide on Iran’s form of government after the complete ousting of any form of theocracy. Zand-Bonazzi’s father, Siamak Pourzand, is a well-known Iranian journalist, intellectual, freedom fighter – and political prisoner of the Islamic regime." [3]



External links