Anti-Iran advocacy group FDD registers to lobby in US: report

TEHRAN, Nov. 18 (MNA) – The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, hawkish Washington think tank that advocates for a hard line on Iran, formally registered to lobby US policymakers today, the al-Monitor has reported.

According to Al-Monitor, FDD experts, including its CEO Mark Dubowitz, who also heads its Iran team, are fixtures on Capitol Hill and in Washington media, advocating against the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and later for its replacement. According to its website, FDD experts testified before Congress 28 times in 2017.

Tehran blacklisted FDD and Dubowitz in August, accusing them of “economic terrorism” for its hawkish advocacy role and constant criticism of Iran for its “nefarious activities” in the region and human rights abuses. Top US officials have acknowledged the influential role of the group, which was formed shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, after originally being envisioned as a pro-Israel advocacy group.

“We have drawn heavily on the scholarship and analysis of FDD,” then-national security adviser H.R. McMaster said at an FDD event in October 2017 (McMaster currently serves as the chairman of the board of advisers of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power).

The group is close to Israel and Persian Gulf Arab states. Last year, FDD spent nearly $6,000 to take a congressional staffer on a trip to Israel that included a meeting with Hagai Tzuriel, the head of Israel’s intelligence ministry. And in 2017, The Intercept reported that Dubowitz coordinated with the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba, to target Emirati companies thinking about investing in Iran.

MNA

News Code 152421

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