Clockwise from top left: Richard Bulliet, Rashid Khalidi, Reza Aslan, Juan Cole, Fawaz Gerges, and John Esposito.
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) has produced a letter promoting the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) signed by "73 prominent International Relations and Middle East scholars." Among the latter are Richard Bulliet, John Esposito, Fawaz Gerges, Rashid Khalidi, Hamid Dabashi, William O. Beeman, Juan Cole, and Reza Aslan.
A recent Campus Watch article on Middle East studies academics toeing Teheran's line in support of this deal includes the last four and clearly, they have company.
The fact that NIAC is an Iran lobby group whose advisory board includes both Aslan and Cole demonstrates the willingness of these academics to further state-sponsored propaganda. It's also proof of the Iranian regime's ability—as with other Islamist lobbies—to infiltrate American university life. NIAC received funds from the Alavi Foundation (which funneled $345,000 to Harvard's Center for Middle East Studies) until Alavi was closed for being a front-group for Tehran's mullahs.
The letter draws a moral equivalence between theocratic Iran and democratic America.
The letter draws a moral equivalence between theocratic Iran and democratic America by holding both equally responsible for the tension between them, and for creating "instability" in the region. It's filled with inane jargon, such as "peace dividends," "win-win negotiations," "conflict resolution," and "creative diplomacy," designed to obscure the ideological conflict underlying the divide. It concludes by promoting the myth that the only alternative to this ridiculously lopsided deal is all-out "military confrontation."
Meanwhile, the Iranian regime continues its genocidal calls for "Death to America" and for Israel to be "annihilated," even as it holds American hostages and pledges to maintain its support for the "resistance groups" Hamas and Hezbollah. This is what the professors who signed this letter call a peace partner.
Cinnamon Stillwell is the West Coast representative for Campus Watch.