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February 10, 2015

NIAC Statement on Lawsuit against Daioleslam

Washington, DC – Today, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion regarding aspects of cost sharing in NIAC’s defamation lawsuit against Seyyed Hassan Daioleslam.  In the appeal, NIAC won on several issues, overturning aspects of the lower court’s previous rulings, and resulting in a more favorable outcome for NIAC.  

While NIAC objected to the decision of the court that it should pay a fraction of the discovery costs, it is Mr. Daioleslam who must pay the large majority of the costs for his legal fishing expedition.  This further accentuates the larger outcome of the case, in which Mr. Daioleslam backtracked from his accusations against NIAC and instead hid behind the argument that NIAC could not prove that he knew his allegations against NIAC were false.

In short, Mr. Daioleslam further discredited his accusations against NIAC by backtracking from them once confronted in court.  As this legal process draws towards a close, it is also clear that Mr. Daioleslam’s self-avowed efforts to “destroy NIAC” have patently failed. Over this period, NIAC has grown rapidly in terms of budget, membership and political influence. The Iranian-American community’s political participation is at its height,  and the US and Iran are closer than ever to resolving their disputes peacefully, much thanks to the efforts of NIAC and its membership.  


Further background on the case:

NIAC brought the lawsuit against Daioleslam in response to his false accusations that the organization was a lobbyist for the Iranian Government. Once in front of the court, Daioleslam had the opportunity to make his case for the truth. Instead, he changed his tune and did not seek to argue that his accusations were correct and truthful. He essentially abandoned the truth and instead argued that NIAC could not prove that he knew what he was saying was false, i.e. malicious. While we believe the evidence clearly showed that Daioleslam knew he was lying, based on his systematic disregard for the truth, neglect of readily available information that contradicted his conspiracy theories, declaration that he aimed to “destroy NIAC” in order to “bring down Obama,” as well as his support for the Mujahedin-e Khalq terrorist organization, the judge felt this didn’t meet his standard and denied us the opportunity to take Daioleslam in front of a jury.

Judge Bates provided Defendant with unfettered access to all of NIAC’s computer systems, and yet Defendant was unable to produce a single shred of evidence to substantiate his false allegations. Daioleslam retreated from his outrageous claims when challenged to back them up in court and instead hired a million-dollar defense team backed by pro-war neo-cons and engaged in creating false and nonexistent discovery issues to facilitate exorbitant costs for NIAC. Ultimately Defendant filed a motion for cost sharing, seeking to shift Defendant’s wasted efforts in discovery to NIAC. Judge Bates found no evidence that NIAC intentionally destroyed electronic documents or manipulated electronic documents improperly despite Defendant’s misrepresentations to the Court of the contrary.

How did Daioleslam–a self-described independent journalist–put together a million-dollar legal defense team?

He didn’t.

It has been revealed that the Middle East Forum–a neoconservative group at the center of the push for broad sanctions and war–financed Daioleslam’s legal efforts as part of a campaign to prevent anti-war Iranian-Americans from having a voice in Washington DC.

That group’s reactionary founder, Daniel Pipes, is one of the most outspoken advocates for war with Iran and an aggressive critic of efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear challenge peacefully. Pipes has called for the U.S. to “empower Iranians” by working with the Mujahedin-e Khalq. In 2009 he famously said Iranians should vote for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and reject the Green Movement to make war more likely. Pipes’ most recent work, in addition to his legal campaign on behalf of Daioleslam against NIAC, has focused on trying to prove that President Obama is a “closet Muslim.”

The legal team financed by Pipes’ organization attempted to bury NIAC in a long and cumbersome discovery process. As part of that process, they leaked NIAC emails and documents to neoconservative reporters ideologically opposed to NIAC’s anti-war agenda. Yet, even after combing through all of NIAC’s emails and documents in the discovery process, they could not produce a single shred of evidence to support any of Daioleslam’s false accusations.

The fact that a multimillion-dollar legal team could not find a single piece of evidence that NIAC has lobbied for the Iranian government is a public vindication against this outrageous accusation. This should discredit once and for all the politically motivated attacks against NIAC and expose the true aim behind these smears: to silence Iranian Americans who oppose war and crippling sanctions.

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