On July 14, 2009, CounterPunch published on this site an article by me titled “Protest U.S. Aggression” that concerned international protests scheduled for July 25, called to express solidarity with the Iranian people who are protesting the election results and police repression in that country. In my article, I cited questions being raised as to whether the sponsoring group, which calls itself United4Iran, has connections to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) or other US organizations engaged in propaganda operations like those of the NED. I did not make this claim myself, but some readers mistakenly jumped to the conclusion that I had.
What I did write was that one of the organizers of United4Iran, Hadi Ghaemi, had once sat on the advisory board of the National Iranian-American Council, a lobbying group that did accept over $250,000 in NED funding. In a phone conversation I had with Ghaemi on July 23,, he wanted to make it absolutely clear that he had never received any funding from any US government agency or NED. He also stated that his organization, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, has never received any funding from these types of organizations. Furthermore, according to Ghaemi and other sources, United4Iran receives all of its funding from the people involved or through their own public fundraising. Ghaemi stressed that on its website United4Iran states it is “opposed to any foreign interference or military attack on Iran.”
RON JACOBS is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs’ essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch’s collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. His first novel, Short Order Frame Up, is published by Mainstay Press. He can be reached at: email@example.com