Maziar Bahari’s collaboration with Iran’s intelligence agency

January 13, 2013

Maziar2Maziar Bahari, an Iranian film maker and journalist living in Canada made a documentary in 2007 called “Cult of Chameleon” in which the Iranian opposition group MEK was harshly criticized for alleged abuses against its former members.  This documentary got a warmth reception by National Iranian American Council (NIAC) led by Trita Parsi, a Washington based advocacy group viewed by many Iranians to be the Mullahs’ lobby in US. The government press in Tehran calls NIAC the “Iran lobby in US.”

NIAC promoted the documentary and and Aljazeera English aired the documentary several times.

The film’s main characters were Masood Khodabandeh and his wife Ann Singleton who claimed that they were tortured mentally and physically and were tormented by the group in camp Ashraf, the organization’s main base in Iraq.

A few days ago, in early January, the Library of Congress has released a report prepared by Pentagon on Iranian intelligence ministry, their techniques in recruiting agents in Europe and the US and in infiltrating US academic institutions and Iranian-American organizations. The 64 page unclassified report published by Washington press and Farsi media names Khodabandeh and Anne Singleton as the agents of Iranian secret services.

In view of this new revelation and taking into account NIAC’s cooperation with Bahari to promote the film,  legitimate questions are raised about the nature and extent of Bahari’s relationship with Iranian intelligence ministry and its agents.

To make this movie, the Iranian authorities provided Bahari with a safe passage from Canada to Isfahan, a historic city in central Iran, to interview the parents of an active MEK member residing in Ashraf. Parents condemned their son in front of Bahari’s camera.

There are also questions about the nature of Bahari’s imprisonment in 2009 in Iran. Was Bahari’s 180 days detention a shenanigan planned by agency to give him recognition among opposition and dissidents? Was he part of the game unwittingly?

Bahari owes the Iranian community an apology for collaborating with Iranian agents and some explanations about the nature of his relationship with Iranian ministry of intelligence.

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