PHILADELPHIA – September 29, 2022 – The Middle East Forum's exclusive reporting about the ties of Oberlin College's Professor Mohammad Jafar Mahallati with the Islamic Republic of Iran has prompted a congressional inquiry into "Mahallati's current association with and open loyalty to the Iranian regime."
U.S. Representatives Jim Banks (R-IN) and Virginia Foxx (R-NC) sent a letter to Oberlin President Carmen Twillie Ambar raising "serious national security concerns," questioning "whether federal taxpayer dollars should be provided to a college that goes to such great lengths to protect and defend an Iranian regime affiliate," and demanding answers to a series of questions.
In May, Ms. Johnston uncovered Mahallati's presence on the editorial board of an Iranian-based journal, Sepehr-e-Siasat, that praised Hezbollah as an integral tool for spreading Iranian Shi'ism in the West. Curiously, Mahallati's name disappeared from the masthead of the journal within a day of the FWI publication.
In June, Ms. Johnston exposed Mahallati's ongoing communications with the Tehran regime. In 2018, he sent a letter to the Iranian parliament describing his importance to the regime as a teacher in the West spreading Iranian Shi'ism.
The Banks and Foxx letter cited both these incidents and went on to ask Oberlin College to reveal any funding it has from Iranian sources.
Mahallati served as Iran's ambassador to the United Nations from 1987 to 1989 and stands accused of covering up the mass killing of political prisoners in Iranian jails in 1988, a charge he denies.
"As the Tehran regime violently suppresses protestors across Iran, its apologists and affiliates in the United States shill for the mullahs," noted Ms. Johnston. "The Middle East Forum will hold them to account."
The Middle East Forum promotes American interests in the region and protects Western civilization from Islamism. It does so through a combination of original ideas, focused activism, and the funding of allies.