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Repeat CNN Guest Charged With Acting As Secret Iranian Regime Propagandist

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The Justice Department charged an Iranian professor residing in the U.S. with serving as an “unregistered agent of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” including spreading Iranian propaganda in American media and “lobbying U.S. Congressman and the U.S. Department of State” since 2007.

According to the Department of Justice:

A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi, also known as Lotfolah Kaveh Afrasiabi, with acting and conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). 

The report continues, revealing Afrasiabi “has lobbied a U.S. congressman and the U.S. Department of State to advocate for policies favorable to Iran, counseled Iranian diplomats concerning U.S. foreign policy, made television appearances to advocate for the Iranian government’s views on world events, and authored articles and opinion pieces espousing the Iranian government’s position on various matters of foreign policy.”:

Afrasiabi is a citizen of the Islamic Republic of Iran and a lawful permanent resident of the United States.  Afrasiabi holds a PhD, and frequently publishes books and articles, and appears on English-language television programs discussing foreign relations matters, particularly Iran’s relations with the United States.  Afrasiabi has identified or portrayed himself as a political scientist, a former political science professor or as an expert on foreign affairs.

Since at least 2007 to the present, Afrasiabi has also been secretly employed by the Iranian government and paid by Iranian diplomats assigned to the Permanent Mission of the IMUN.  Afrasiabi has been paid approximately $265,000 in checks drawn on the IMUN’s official bank accounts since 2007, and has received health insurance through the IMUN’s employee health benefit plans since at least 2011. 

In the course of his employment by the Iranian government, Afrasiabi has lobbied a U.S. congressman and the U.S. Department of State to advocate for policies favorable to Iran, counseled Iranian diplomats concerning U.S. foreign policy, made television appearances to advocate for the Iranian government’s views on world events, and authored articles and opinion pieces espousing the Iranian government’s position on various matters of foreign policy.  Afrasiabi has long known that FARA requires agents of foreign principals to register with the U.S. Department of Justice and has discussed information obtained from FARA disclosures with others.  Nevertheless, Afrasiabi did not register as an agent of the Government of Iran.

Afrasiabi penned a book “Trump and Iran: From Containment to Confrontation,” which back cover reveals the work’s disapproveal for President Trump’s approach to Iran.

“They provide the necessary historical and regional context, and then proceed to explain, in a balanced and rigorous way, why Trump’s shift from a policy of containment to one of confrontation can only fail,” the review notes.

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BACK COVER.

Show transcripts also reveal Afrasiabi has repeatedly appeared on CNN, including on September 7, 2006, June 16, 2009, June 19, 2009, and June 14, 2009.

Afrasiabi’s insights were also promoted on Chinese Communist Party-run media outlet China Global Television Network (CGTN), which described the alleged foreign agent as a mere “author and Iranian affairs analyst”:

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Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is an Investigative Reporter at the National Pulse and contributor to The National Pulse podcast.