Iran-based New Horizon NGO appeals Treasury Department sanctions—Treasury foresees “lengthy process”

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Sheldon Adelson owns Trump’s Iran policy. Adelson’s henchmen Pompeo and Bolton are mandating maximum USG pressure on Iran. So the Treasury Department has cooked up a flimsy case against the Iranian NGO New Horizon, which has sponsored annual conferences in which I’ve been a regular participant since 2013.

It’s obvious that New Horizon conferences are not designed for recruiting spies. The invitees are intellectuals and public figures, not the kind of people who would have classified information.

It’s equally obvious that Adelson/Netanyahu’s real gripe against New Horizon is the conference’s willingness to provide a forum for anti-Zionist intellectuals. All of our leading Western institutions—governments, universities, think tanks, media—are under lockdown by the Zionist thought police. The one place on earth where honest and informed critics of Zionism can express themselves freely is in Tehran, at the New Horizon conferences. For that reason Dr. Michael Jones, a leading Catholic thinker, has called Tehran “the capital of the free world.”

So Adelson/Netanyahu’s war on New Horizon is part of the ongoing crackdown on Western dissidents who refuse to toe the Likud line. Like Zuckerberg/Netanyahu’s ban of VT on Facebook, the purges and mass censorship of anti-Zionist YouTube channels, Google’s shadow-banning of anti-Zionism, and Amazon’s escalating book-burning campaign, the Treasury Department’s sanctions on New Horizon are part of a desperate attempt to quash the growing movement of Western anti-Zionist thinkers and activists. It seems that our current rulers are willing to jettison the entire American and Western traditions of free speech and free thought in a misguided and doomed attempt to preserve the genocidal entity occupying Palestine.

The last New Horizon conference, held one year ago, produced a 9/11 truth initiative—the 9/11 Truth Leaders’ Letter to Iran—that the Zionists apparently found profoundly threatening.

Below is New Horizon’s petition for removal from Treasury’s sanctioned entities list, and Treasury’s response.

-Kevin Barrett, Veterans Today Editor

From: zeina mehanna <z…@gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2019 7:13 AM
To: OFAC.Reconsideration <[email protected]>
Subject: Filing a Petition for Removal from an OFAC List

Date: 24/03/19

Subject: Filing a Petition for Removal from an OFAC List


The listed person’s name and Iran- Based entity:

a-     Mr. Nader Talebzadeh Ordoubadi

b-    Mrs. Zeinab Mehanna- Talebzadeh

c-    New Horizon Conference ( NHC) Organization

Accusations:

a-    Recruit and collect intelligence from foreign attendees

b-    Hold anti-Western conferences propagating anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, including Holocaust denial.

To whom it may concern,

This letter is to appeal the US Treasury’s decision to sanction us and our organization. The US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control ( OFAC)  issued a press release on the 13th of February , 2019 listing  four  individuals : Mr. Nader Talebzadeh Ordoubadi ( New Horizon Organization’s Chairman ),  his wife Mrs. Zeinab Mehanna- Talebzadeh ( Chairman’s special assistant ), two other colleagues at NHC and an Iranian Organization : New Horizon Conference Organization , on sanctions .

OFAC has made allegations which have no basis in fact including creating a forum for anti-Semitism; using the conference to act as a cover for intelligence recruitment of certain NHC participants, especially former US government officials; and falsely accusing us of involving a US citizen who is wanted on US spying charges when we not only had no relationship with that individual but were not running the NHC when OFAC claims she was present.

In addition to being factually incorrect, OFAC made public allegations which were not backed by any factual evidence. If OFAC had bothered beforehand to inquire with us directly, we would have been happy to cooperate and provide documentation which refutes every allegation. The consequence of your highly inaccurate and inflammatory allegations have had the result of seriously damaging our reputation, costing us a major loss of business and longtime friendships. And for what? Because we dared to bridge years of serious misunderstandings between the US and Iran? In effect, OFAC erroneously slapped sanctions on us personally more as a political statement because of serious policy differences between our two countries and used us and the NHC as an example of your policy differences. That is not right, and it is unjust.

The accusations made against us, Nader Talebzadeh and Zeinab Mehanna and the new Horizon Conference are false. The NHC is a forum for free thought and expression of these thoughts. It is held in Iran because Iran has been the focus of mass demonization since 1979, when Iran announced its sovereignty and freedom from US control. We thought that physical presence of our guests from the US and Europe would enhance communication and transparency. The negative image portrayed of Iran can only be broken by communication and bridges.  If the caliber and intellectual angle of our guests contrasts those of the mainstream US media, that is a reality. The NHC has always had Jewish scholars, Rabbis, and activists. Therefore, it could not be anti- Semitic. We never held a Holocaust Denial conference. That was something that happened in 2006 before we started our forum. We never discussed the Holocaust, it was not our subject matter.

On the Subject of Monica Witt, we never invited her. Our list of guests are only those who are well established activists, writers or academic intellectuals. She never fit those categories. She was already in Iran at the time of the “Hollywoodism Conference” February 2012, in which we did not preside, organize, or chair. She was a walk-in participant as we have many guests as walk-in participants. The people who communicated and handled her had nothing to with our conference. Using her as a pretext for claiming to recruit her is an absolute fabrication. A pretext that can easily be proven fake. We never deal with clandestine subjects in our conference. We were aware of the dangers of these risks. It is not our realm and there is no record of us ever inviting her. We never applied for a visa for her through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Besides publicly making false allegations against me, my wife and the NHC, you took the word of an individual who acted as a spotter and was instrumental in the recruitment of the person whom you say is now wanted in the US. And then OFAC attempts to link us to that individual when we had nothing to do with her or getting her to Iran. All of that was orchestrated by the very individual whom US authorities detained for ten days on a witness warrant to get an indictment against Witt. How then can you find that individual to be a credible witness when she allegedly was involved in Witt’s original recruitment as spelled out not only in sanctioning us but in subsequent news stories, including the New York Times?! Clearly, that individual was placed in an untenable position and lied about us and the NHC to avoid any prosecution herself.

The content of what we discussed in every NHC is readily available online onhttps://hyperlink.services.treasury.gov/agency.do?origin=www.youtube.com and on our website (https://hyperlink.services.treasury.gov/agency.do?origin=www.newhorizon.ir) and can be proven in any court with the guests standing as witnesses.

We appeal for justice and the clearance of our names. Our record of activity is clear and transparent.

I, Nader Talebzadeh, the Chairman of the conference have in my past made the longest movie and television series about the life of Jesus (2007) in the world. It occupied ten years of my life and was shown inside the Vatican and received an award for best film for interfaith dialogue at the Religion Today Film Festival in Italy (2007). I have made hundreds of talk shows for our national television with our guests of NHC and other patriotic Americans and it continues to this day. This is how the Iranian audience became acquainted with many details of the status quo in the world.   My wife , Zeinab Mehanna , has been my assistant and in charge of the communication with the guests. She has established a very mutually respectable relationship with all our guests . She has been a university lecturer for more that twenty years teaching EFL/ESL and is a researcher in the field of Human Rights  and Islamic Studies. Nothing about our work is clandestine, and we take pride in that.

The Treasury Department’s unjust claim against us are false and we strongly appeal against it. It has opened a new door for confrontation only. We will not remain quiet and it gives us just another reason to battle the false dissemination of information that has proved upon us for the past four decades.Iranian persons and critics have been sanctioned by the US and they have chosen to be silent for the most part. We will stand up against this misinformation and will not do it alone and quietly. Our accusers have barked off the wrong tree or the right tree, depending on how you may look at it.

A short glance at the past will clarify everything.  We fought against Saddam which was supported by the US for all those years. We are fighting ISIS today that according to our experts have deep root with the super powers. The only conference that allowed a free forum of expression is stigmatized today. The only possibility to bring scholars and activists to the Iranian soil to meet with the Iranian students and scholars is stifled today. This will be in the long run damaging for both the USA and Iran.

We appeal to the better judgment of any jury who sits to judge against this conference. We know that we have many vigilant witnesses in the US who would stand up strong to confront this bewildered accusation. So, we formally appeal the spurious charges levied against us and ask that these sanctions be lifted immediately. We stand ready to respond to any questions you may have.

Respectfully yours,

Nader Talebzadeh Ordoubadi and Zeinab Mehanna- Talebzadeh

March 25, 2019

 *

Mr. Nader Talebzadeh Ordoubadi

Re: Nader Talebzadeh Ordoubadi, Zeinab Mehanna- Talebzadeh, New Horizon Conference ( NHC) Organization

Case ID: SDGT-15825

Dear Mr. Nader Talebzadeh Ordoubadi:

This letter acknowledges receipt of your correspondence dated March 19, 2019 to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), requesting reconsideration of  your designation as a Specially Designated National (SDN) pursuant to Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 594​ and Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 561.

Your request is under review.  However, the review process can be lengthy, and it is likely that OFAC will seek additional information from you before a final determination is made concerning your  designation as an SDN.

For information concerning procedures for removal from the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, please refer to Title 31, Code of Federal Regulations Part 501.807.

For the most expedient communications, please direct all questions and correspondence regarding your request to[email protected]. You may also communicate by mailing OFAC at the following address:

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Office of Foreign Assets Control

ATTN: Office of Global Targeting

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. (Freedman’s Bank Building)

Washington, DC  20220

Please refer to SDGT-15825 cited above in all future correspondence.  Also, please provide an English translation of any documents or correspondence that are prepared in a language other than English.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

OFAC Reconsideration


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1 COMMENT

  1. Even though the charges against New Horizon are completely empty, the “lengthy process” will likely succeed in its objective of obstructing conferences. This is yet another example of deplatforming.

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