Seyyed Hossein Mousavian is an interesting character. A former Iranian regime official with a long and dubious record serving the Iranian regime loyally, he has migrated to the U.S. and ensconced himself in the warm embrace of academia at Princeton University and refashioned himself as a staunch advocate for peace and diplomacy.
It’s a nifty trick. It would be comparable to Joseph Goebbels, the notorious propaganda chief for Hitler’s Nazi Germany, fleeing to the U.S. after World War II and landing a gig as a commentator for CBS as a political analyst.
The comparison to Goebbels is appropriate since Mousavian got his start with the Tehran Times as editor-in-chief after the Islamic revolution where he become a chief trumpeter of the brutal revolution’s achievements.
His prolific writing ability led him to steadily rise in the ranks of the theocracy including stints in the Islamic Propagation Organization and Foreign Ministry. He even took time to boast about his work in getting Western hostages released in Lebanon from Hezbollah.
He neglected to mention though that Hezbollah only acts on instructions from Tehran anyway. Yes, the Goebbels comparison fits him well.
His dalliance with hostage-taking and foreign affairs merged during his time as ambassador to Germany when four Iranian dissidents were murdered, and a German court fingered the Iranian regime’s supreme leader, president, foreign minister and intelligence minister all as culprits.
Mousavian got booted out of Germany whereupon he went on a rant against Germany and European nations in general as being lackeys of the U.S. and warned that Germans abroad should not feel safe.
His most inglorious career stopover was his post as spokesman for the Iranian nuclear negotiating team where he made the pitch that Iran had a right to a nuclear future.
His present gig at Princeton is all the more puzzling given his past and begs the questions as to why any media outlet would consider his statements “impartial” in regards to anything having to do with Iran.
This may explain why he has been giving interviews to Farsi language publications in order to rip the Trump administration and U.S. policy towards Iran, especially as it concerns the regime’s ballistic missile program.
In an interview with Shargh, a daily newspaper, Mousavian went on to coin the phrase “Iranophobia” in discussing Iran regime critics. The use of that phrase is interesting since Mousavian is obviously trying to latch onto something topical and culturally relevant, but while he tries to stir up images of bigotry with his “phobia” claims, the simple truth is that Mousavian has struggled mightily to stay relevant at a time when U.S. and global sentiment has shifted sharply against the regime.
He even goes so far as to take Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to task as having “key role in making decisions with no political and diplomatic experience.”
It might be worthwhile to remind him of the similar accusations leveled at Robert Kennedy when President John F. Kennedy opted to install his little brother as U.S. Attorney General.
Of course, Mousavian forgets that Iran is rife with patronage and familial ties that run deep within the regime’s government and economy making it one of the most corrupt and least transparent governments on the planet.
He takes an even bigger leap of fantasy when he claims that Saudi Arabia and Israel have joined forces to sway U.S. policy against Tehran in a sinister plot to force a war against Iran through the use of proxies.
It’s an intriguing claim to make since Iran is arguably the world champion when it comes to using proxies to wage war. The regime’s history runs deep and bloody with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, Shiite militias in Iraq and Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Not to mention Iran’s own Quds Force operators who conduct operations around the world, including supplying explosive devices to be used against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In another article published in the Persian-language Donya-ye Eqtesad daily, Mousavian goes deeper with his conspiracy claims by pointing out an alliance between the U.S., Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates aimed at countering Iran in the region.
Like this is a bad thing?
What Mousavian plainly misses is that political and geopolitical counterweights are an integral part of diplomacy and historically have done more to keep the peace.
Take for example the greatest alliances formed to counter each other: NATO and the Warsaw Pact.
But Mousavian, the Princeton academic, seems to conveniently this historical facts and instead rests his entire absurd theories on the idea that because of President Trump’s poor approval ratings, forcing a direct confrontation with Iran is somehow a magic elixir to revive his sagging poll numbers.
If he had half a brain, he would know that Americans are tired of war and conflict. They are weary of security screenings, road barriers during parades and clear bags at football stadiums, but they also understand that when a nation foments terrorism abroad and uses terrorist proxies to strike at innocents, the responsibility and burden—however reluctantly—has always been taken up by the American people.
It is that aspect of American society that Mousavian and the rest of the Iran lobby are most afraid of because it is the one aspect their messages, editorials and interviews can never change.
Dr. Khalil Khani, a resident of Phoenix, is the President of the Iranian American Community of Arizona, a member of the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIACUS)