Friday, September 21, 2007

Gary Sick, Ahmadinejad's Best Pal

Why Does Columbia host Ahmadinejad?

Mohammad Parvin and Hassan Daioleslam

Iran's President Mahmood Ahmadinejad is scheduled to speak at Columbia University on Monday September 24th. This arrangement is not accidental. The event would have not been possible without the tireless and focused efforts of the well known Tehran advocate Dr. Gary Sick, an influential figure in Columbia.

As it has already been examined in a recent article "Pro-Ayatollahs Disinformation and Manipulation Campaign by Washington Think Tankers"1, the Iranian lobby in US could not exist without generous assistance of some American interest groups and proxies such as Dr Gary Sick, the American Iranian Council in which Sick is a board member of, and his circle of cohorts.

In the past two decades Dr. Sick has been a tenacious activist in advancing the interests of Iranian Ayatollahs. His dossier of friendship with Tehran includes positions such as the directorship of The Gulf/2000 Project established in 1993 in the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University . This project is mainly financed by the oil industry and is focused in engaging Tehran.

When Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, the former Iranian deputy foreign minister and ambassador to the UN, was terminated from his official positions to commence his duties in "unofficial diplomacy", Dr. Sick's active influence secured him a position in Columbia from 1991 to 1997. The list of Gary Sick's collaborations with Mahallati is long. 2

In 1997, Dr. Gary Sick worked intensely with Hossein Alikhani, an Iranian closely related to the Iran's ruling mullahs, to found the "Center for World Dialogue". Gary Sick is a founding board member in this organization.3 Alikhani is a felon who in 1992, pled guilty to the charges of violating anti-terrorist sanctions 4 and spent some time in US federal prisons. Recently Iran's Ayatollahs awarded him the deed for the US embassy complex in Tehran5 for his pain and suffering in American prisons. The collaboration between Sick and Alikhani has been long and multifaceted and has been well received by the mullahs in Iran.

Dr. Sick has shown a distinct quality. He, under all circumstances, has been able to discover a reason to support the Iranian theocratic regime. For example, under the "moderate" president Rafsanjani, the wave of Iranian international terrorism reached new summits and the bombing of the Jewish center in Argentina was accompanied by hundreds of assassinations against the Iranian dissidents abroad. Dr. Sick however cleverly discovered a creative explanation6:

"The pattern of actions suggests that these practices originated in the early 1980s, when the Islamic leadership faced a massive domestic terrorist threat. The Iranian response to this threat was apparently to establish one or more covert units, possibly buried deep within the intelligence agencies, to hunt down and destroy perceived threats to the revolution. This kind of shadow warfare is hardly unique to Iran. But the evidence suggests that these units in Iran have acquired a life of their own, launching operations on an opportunistic basis with little interference by the central authorities and no apparent coordination with Iran's foreign policy agenda."

For Dr. Sick, the sophisticated machine of Iranian terror is the same as the Japanese soldiers lost in Pacific's remote islands during the World War II. Similarly, Dr. Sick's view of the Iranian sponsored terrorism in the Middle East is very imaginative: 7

"Iran's support for terrorist activities carried out by Hamas is a matter of dispute. Iran claims that its support for Hamas is no different than the Saudi's support. They give money for clinics and medical needs, but that money is used for terrorism. Iran has a different view on this. So it's a matter of dispute. As for the peace process, at this point Iran feels vindicated. They have been saying all along that the Israeli-Palestinian deals are a sham and that Israel will not keep its promises. With what Netanyahou has done so far, Iran's position is getting more support from the Arab states."
In a very interesting article in 1996, Sick advised the US administration to lower its expectations from the Iranian government especially concerning the human rights because according to him: 8
“The revolution is over, and the fiery slogans have a hollow ring. Khomeini said the revolution was not about the price of melons, but it turns out that it is! The demonstrations in Iran are not about clerical rule or a return to the monarchy or even about democracy and human rights. “
Dr. Sick’s support to the Iranian regime does naturally include the ultra-fascist president Ahmadinejad. After his first appearance before the UN assembly in 2005 and his shocking declarations, Sick found new qualities in the president and told the CFR interviewer Gwertzman: 9
"I was taken with the fact that Ahmadinejad is an engineer with no foreign experience at all, who has only been president for about a month. I think he learned his brief pretty well. He handled himself well not only in the speech but also in his discussions with CNN and Time magazine and others who had interviews with him. I think he came through with some constructive ideas. … He's a very prideful man, and I think that sense of Iranian pride is one that may be very difficult for the West—and the United States in particular—to deal with."
On September 24th, that "prideful man", responsible for the daily torture of his people, will talk in Columbia. He needs public relations support for his nuclear and regional domination ambitions. Count on Dr. Sick and his usual circle of friends to be there and extend a supportive hand. All the same, Columbia University's tacit acceptance of this advocacy can not be justified under the disguise of academic freedom.

Mohammad Parvin is the Founding Director of the Mission for Establishment of Human Rights in Iran (MEHR) -

Hassan Daioleslam is an independent Iran Analyst and writer

6. The Washington Post, April 4, 1993, Sunday, Final Edition


Anonymous said...

Muslims Against Sharia condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the decision of Columbia University to provide a speaking venue for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Apparently letting Akbar Rafsanjani speak at the National Cathedral was not the height of American Dhimmitude, because providing a venue for the world's foremost anti-Semite, whose proclaimed goal is the destruction of the USA and Israel, definitely takes the cake. What is surprising is that we don't hear any complaints from Columbia alumni who should be ashamed of their silence.

Anonymous said...

Mr Daioleslam should check his facts carefully before choosing to lambast Hossein Alikhani at every irrelevant opportunity. Furthermore Gary Sick is an academic seeking to promote dialogue with what is otherwise, to many, a misunderstood nation. Should we not seek dialogue with Iran until this regime is overthrown by outside forces in the US? Is this the alternative the authors propose? As a student at Columbia I can positively say most of the students of international affairs felt that listening to Ahmadinejad or any other controversial figure by no means meant that we agree with his stance. This is the simple
beauty of freedom of speech that we are entitled in this country. For the most part your blog contains sweeping statements with

SERENDIP said...

anonymous: Gary sick should stay out of Iraniana affairs. He has blood on his hands and I for one wish him a miserable death.

You're free to not to visit my blog ever. Thanks. I don't have time for political hacks.