14 Puppets Plus 1

TEHRAN – During the 2022 wave of unrest, the U.S. State Department worked closely with “experts” of Iranian descent to prepare a roadmap for toppling the Iranian government, the Tehran Times can reveal.

In its Monday edition, the Tehran Times revealed a not-previously-reported American plot to up the ante against the Islamic Republic of Iran during the Mahsa Amini commotion. The plot, formally called “Stop Talking to Them,” outlines the steps the U.S. was expected to do during the unrest. It included five steps that were intended to topple the Iranian government in the way the U.S. did against President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela: Touting a group of Western-based “Iranians” as a potential alternative for the Iranian diplomats abroad.

And the apparatchik who was tasked with offering the names of these persons was Ali Vaez, Crisis Group's Iran Project Director, according to sources close to Vaez and the U.S. State Department.

In the midst of the 2022 unrest, Vaez prepared a list of 14 persons, including eight women. The Vaez list included the following names:

1- Hamed Esmaeilion, the head of the heavily politicized association of the families who lost their loved ones in the Ukrainian airline Flight PS752 crash in Iran.

2- Shahin Milani, the Executive Director of the so-called Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC).

3- Omid Memarian, journalist and Communications Director at Dawn MENA.

4- Iman Rahmatizadeh, engineering manager at Google.

5- Mohammad Mossaed, a journalist who recently left Iran.

6- Sherry Hakimi, a lobbyist close to the NIAC folks.

7- Yeganeh Rezaian, the wife of Jason Rezaian.

8- Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali, an expert in the Persian language.

9- Bita Daryabari, a computer scientist.

10- Fatemeh Shams, contemporary Persian poet.

11- Narges Bajoghli, a professor of Middle East Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.

12- Sussan Tahmasebi, a self-proclaimed feminist.

13- Nahid Siamdoust, an ex-journalist, and lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin.

14- Hossein Ghazian, a sociologist.

The majority of those on the list are not known to the public. Aside from their marginal impact on the course of events, the names on the list are also remarkable in terms of the fissures in the Iranian opposition groups.

The list does not include big opposition names who worked their butts off to prove their functionality to Western governments. Instead, it included cherry-picked names who are close to the NIAC and its complex web of lobbyists. The list totally ignored the proponents of the Pahlavi regime and separatists, who are closer to another “expert” on Iran – Karim Sadjadpour- than Vaez.

Aside from the internecine battles among Iranian opposition and expert factions, the list is another indication of the destructive role of some biased experts of Iranian origin.

In October 2022, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, pointed to the treacherous Iranian elements abroad who helped stage the unrest. He the riots and insecurity of 2022 were staged by Israel and the U.S. and some treacherous Iranians living abroad.

By Faramarz Kuhpayeh

Source: Tehran Times

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