The Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), an influential Washington, D.C. think tank, has chosen to host the Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, while he is in New York City for the United Nations’ General Assembly. According to The Washington Free Beacon, the Council has opted to host Iran’s president at an invitation-only event in what is seen by many as an inconceivable action since Raisi is said to have engaged in plots to assassinate American leaders. News of the think tank’s event was posted on X by a CFR fellow who declined the invite via a message, and CFR themselves have yet to announce the event on their social media feeds or respond to the Free Beacon for comment.
The Free Beacon reports that “Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo—whom Raisi’s government is plotting to assassinate along with other American officials, such as former White House national security adviser John Bolton—called the CFR event ‘immoral and indecent.’ Pompeo explained that Raisi is responsible for the murder of thousands of Iranian innocents. Pompeo continued, “Not only has he, personally, terrorized his own citizens, he will, from New York City, espouse his continuing efforts to destroy Israel and kill Americans including former government officials.”
Pompeo said that debate on foreign policy is necessary, but “providing a platform for an unrepentant, anti-Semitic terrorist murderer does not further that goal.”
Roya Hakakian, the CFR fellow who declined the invitation, wrote on X “I see the presence of Ebrahim Raisi at the Council on Foreign Relations as a political baptism for a man who has been implicated in countless crimes, including, most recently, of crimes against humanity by a Swedish court,” suggesting that the only appropriate venue for a criminal like Raisi would be “a court of law.”
Hakakian, who is a senior fellow and Iranian dissident, pointed out that not only is Raisi’s invitation unwanted, it directly contradicts American values. Hakakian wrote, “As a proud naturalized American citizen, I cannot help but think that providing such a storied platform to such a man will be legitimizing him, and it is, therefore, an insult to the memory of the protesters who were, and are, fighting for democracy, and it is, therefore, profoundly unamerican.”