Sanders, Warren criticized for joining conference call with pro-Iran lobby group
Democratic US presidential hopefuls Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are being criticized for taking part in a recorded conference call with an Iranian-American advocacy group that has been accused of actively lobbying on behalf of the Iranian regime.
The conference call hosted by MoveOn.org, another advocacy group, took place last Wednesday and included Jamal Abdi, the president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).
NIAC is an advocacy group that claims to be a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization but has faced accusations of lobbying on behalf of the Iranian regime and against the interests of the Iranian diaspora in the US.
The group has a history of attempting to raise unsuccessful lawsuits against its critics. The council and its founder, Trita Parsi, have previously sued Iranian-American bloggers and intellectuals who published pieces that challenged its status as an independent nonprofit organization.
In 2015, two circuit judges and a senior circuit judge from the US Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia forced NIAC to pay $183,480.09 in monetary sanctions to a blogger named Hassan Daioleslam. The court decided NIAC had to reimburse the blogger for the money he had spent fighting a defamation lawsuit NIAC brought against him in 2008, which was decided in his favor and dismissed in 2012.