Now, this has to be one of the strangest round-ups of organizations I have seen in a long time — organizations considered by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence to be trouble-makers inside Iran and thus “blacklisted.” Here is the Iranian source — as well as a comprised list of translated organizations from Laura Rozen and Neo-Resistance. (hat tip to Enduring America)
My shop, the New America Foundation, where I run the foreign policy/national security group, has the dubious distinction of being listed TWICE.
What’s strange about this is that in my own writing and commentary, I have continued to be a proponent of engagement with Iran, despite its electoral convulsions, though I have also stated strongly that the people in the streets deserve our respect and the support of American civil society, if not explicit support from the US government — which I think would be a mistake.
My colleague, Flynt Leverett, who publishes the Race for Iran blog, has been a stronger proponent than I have of serious US-Iran engagement and was among a number of Americans who had dinner with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he was in New York at the UN General Assembly in the fall of 2009.
Others who comment on Iran within the shop I run are Parag Khanna, Afshin Molavi, and occasionally Steve Coll. Molavi generally disputed Leverett’s assertion that Ahmadinejad clearly won the election fairly, and both he and Khanna described the summer protests as more than just a fleeting moment that will pass quietly — and Steve Coll is extremely judicious and balanced, hearing all sides of the debate about Iran’s electoral mess and the significant US national security priority of working to get Iran off a nuclear weapons track.
Here is the roster of the top 60 blacklisted organizations. I want to thank the Iranian Intelligence Ministry for making sure that the New America Foundation was in good company on this roster. It’s probably a good list to be on — but it won’t affect my shop’s view that we must still configure a serious, new strategic approach with Iran, something the Obama team has as of yet failed to do.
Here is the roster:
1. Soros Foundation — Open Society
2. Woodrow Wilson Center
3. Freedom House
4. National Endowment for Democracy (NED)
5. National Democratic Institute (NDI)
6. International Republican Institute (IRI)
7. Institute for Democracy in East Europe (EEDI)
8. Democracy Center in East Europe (CDEE)
9. Ford Foundation
10. Rockefeller Brothers Foundation
11. Hoover Institute at Stanford University
12. Hivos Foundation, Netherlands
13. Menas, U.K.
14. United Nations Association (USA)
15. Carnegie Foundation
16. Wilton Park, U.K.
17. Search for Common Ground (SFCG)
18. Population Council
19. Washington Institute for Near East Policy
20. Aspen Institute
21. American Enterprise Institute
22. New America Foundation
23. Smith Richardson Foundation
24. German Marshall Fund (US, Germany and Belgium)
25. International Center on Nonviolent Conflict
26. Abdolrahman Boroumand Foundation
27. Yale University
28. Meridian Center
29. Foundation for Democracy in Iran
30. International Republican Institute [again — see 6]
31. National Democratic Institute [again — see 5]
32. American Initiative Institute (?)
33. Institute of Democracy in Eastern Europe
34. American Aid Center (?)
35. International Trade Center
36. American Center for International Labor Solidarity
37. International Center for Democracy Transfer
38. Community of Democracies (?)
39. Albert Einstein Institute
40. Global Movement for Democracy
41. The Democratic Youth Network
42. Democracy Information and Communication Technology Group
43. International Movement of Parliamentarians for Democracy
45. RIGA Institute
46. The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School
47. Council on Foreign Relations
48. Foreign Policy Committee, Germany
49. Middle East Media Research Institute (described as an Israeli institute)
50. Centre for Democracy Studies, U.K.
51. Meridian Institute [again — see 28]
52. Yale University and all its affiliates [again — see 27]
53. National Defense University, U.S.
54. Iran Human Rights Documentation Center
55. American Center FLENA (active in Central Asia)
56. Committee on the Present Danger
57. Brookings Institution
58. Saban Center, Brookings Institution
59. Human Rights Watch
60. New America Foundation [again — see 22]
Note to Iran’s list-makers. You forgot the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Hudson Institute, and CSIS — which I figure all probably want to be added to the list.
You can give New America’s extra slot, well, to CSIS.
Seriously, this kind of roster is an idiotic gesture by Iran’s not so intelligent intelligence establishment as it is implied that Iranians in contact with these organizations will be committing criminal offenses. Let’s remember that President Ahmadinejad himself spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations two years ago.
— Steve Clemons