Iran Lobby: What You Should Know About Reza Marashi

ICBPS- Iran Lobby: Reza Marashi is one of the Iranian lobbyists in the West. He is not known by many Iranians inside, and not many U.S. officials are aware of his connections with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Who exactly is he?

Reza Marashi is an Iranian-American dual national, grandson to the Ayatollah Shahab-u-Din Mar’ashi Najafi, who was a friend, student, and advisor of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini.

In 2010, Reza Marashi joined the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). According to his biography at Huffington Post, Reza Marashi is the NIAC’s first Research Director. “He came to NIAC after serving in the Office of Iranian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to his tenure at the State Department, he was an analyst at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) covering China-Middle East issues, and a Tehran-based private strategic consultant on Iranian political and economic risk. Marashi has frequently consulted Western governments on Iran-related matters. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, and The National Interest, among other publications. He has been a guest contributor to CNN, NPR, the BBC, TIME Magazine, The Washington Post, and the Financial Times, among other broadcast outlets.”

Reza’s linkage to NIAC started after having served in the Office of Iranian Affairs in the U.S. Department of State for almost 4 years under George Walker Bush and Hussein Obama’s administrations. He also served in the Institute for National Strategic Studies covering China-Middle East issues.

Iranian American academic and political analyst, Hooshang Amirahmadi previously mentioned that Zarif created NIAC. He (Zarif) supported them (NIAC) politically and non-politically! “Trita Parsi was working for the Congressman Bob Ney”, then a couple of years later he (Bob Ney) was involved in a financial scandal – a huge corruption- which was related to this group (NIAC). Then he was jailed, lost his job, and finally retired.

Reza worked for Atieh Bahar (a small management consulting company in Tehran) until 2006, when he landed a job at the U.S. government’s Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University which acts as a research center for the Pentagon. This is how Marashi came to start working for the Office of Iranian Affairs at the U.S. State Department as a desk officer overseeing Iran democracy and human-rights programs.

Marashi’s biography also states that he was previously a Tehran-based strategic risk consultant, although it doesn’t specify his employer, which The Daily Beast notes was Ateih Bahar.

When questioned by the reporters from The Daily Beast about connections between Atieh Bahar and NIAC, the NIAC research director and a former team member of Atieh Bahar— Reza Marash simply ignored the question. Marashi also omitted mention of his connection to the above company in his official NIAC biography.

Iran Lobby: What You Should Know About Reza Marashi ICBPS Iran News
Reza Marashi (marked with an arrow in the image) along with other NIAC members next to the founder of Maziar Bahari.

In their quest for wealth and power, the “New York Boys” [Iran Lobby] aligned themselves with American financial interests, including those of George Soros’.

In 2007-2008 when the international sanctions on the Islamic republic intensified, Atieh Group had to relocate to Vienna to be able to still work with many European companies which left Iran. This is how Atieh International was created and offered Iran-related strategic consulting services to European companies. In fact, Atieh serves as a money-laundering system between the Islamic Republic and the West. Atieh Bahar Consulting was founded in 1994, moved to Vienna in 2010 as Atieh International, and has recently been renamed to EUNEPA.

On their website, it is mentioned that EUNEPA is the continuation of Atieh International, which is taking the principals of Atieh to a whole new level by covering Eurasia as a region and beyond Iran’s borders as the main market of interest. Their new region has expanded to Iran, Turkey, Central Asia, and the Caucasus and how these markets relate to European and international companies. So EUNEPA; continues as an Austrian consulting firm looking to act as a Nexus between European and Eurasian business communities.

Marashi is very outspoken on social media against any critics of NIAC’s agenda. Along with the rest of his organization’s staff, he has accused Jewish opponents of the Iran deal of being dual loyalists: “Shame on Chuck Schumer for putting #Israel’s interests ahead of America’s interests,” he tweeted after the New York senator decided to come out as the senior-most Democrat against the deal.

Reza Marashi, along with Trita Parsi, were among the companions and advisers of the Islamic Republic delegation, specifically  Zarif, during the U.S.-led nuclear negotiations. Iran Lobby

He was also an analyst at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) covering China-Middle East issues, and a Tehran-based private strategic consultant on Iranian political and economic risks. Iran Lobby

On July 2014, NIAC released a report entitled “Losing Billions: The Cost of Iran Sanctions”. Parsi, NIAC Research Director Reza Marashi, and Jonathan Leslie argued that sanctions against Iran were costing U.S. jobs. Iran Lobby

Credit: Daniel

The Institute of Capacity Building for Political Studies (ICBPS) is a non-governmental research institute focusing on political studies, international security, and international relations.

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