How a Shadowy, Hawkish New Group Tied to Iranian Monarchists Is Gaining Influence in Congress | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

How a Shadowy, Hawkish New Group Tied to Iranian Monarchists Is Gaining Influence in Congress

A new organization with ties to Iranian monarchists is cultivating relationships with the Republican Party, holding a series of online events with newer GOP House members, strongly advocating against diplomacy with Iran, and pushing for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate so-called “Islamic Republic agents and lobbyists” in the United States.

Iranian Americans for Liberty was established last year alongside two related entities: a political action committee called Iranian Americans for the Constitution, and a super PAC called Iranian Americans for Peace. The group’s public-facing activities –– which include tweets, press releases, and a series of webinars hosted with Republican House candidates and incumbents –– take aim at both the Iranian government and Iranian Americans who favor engaging with the country, while echoing traditional hawkish talking points.

Most significantly, the organization is closely aligned with Iranian monarchists, who advocate for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic and the return of Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi to the country as the leader of a constitutional monarchy. In particular, the group has ties to the Farashgard movement –– known as “Iran Revival” in English –– as well as the Constitutionalist Party of Iran, an organization based in the Iranian diaspora community in Southern California.

Members of the Farashgard, including Amir Etemadi and Saeed Ghassminejad, previously participated in the Iran Disinformation Project, a State Department-funded project founded in 2018 that worked closely with the hawkish Foundation for the Defense of Democracies purportedly to counter Iranian propaganda. But the State Department later suspended funding for the project after complaints that the group spent an inordinate amount of time attacking domestic critics of former President Trump’s Iran policies.