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Lawdan Bazargan on Tehran’s Infiltration of American Academia

Marilyn Stern
Middle East Forum Webinar, Apr. 10, 2023

Iran uses charities, Islamic centers, and think tanks to influence academia and further its “propaganda and anti-American agenda.”
Lawdan Bazargan, a former political prisoner, human rights activist, and member of the Alliance Against Islamic Regime of Iran Apologists (, spoke to an April 10th Middle East Forum Webinar (video) about the infiltration of American academia by Islamic Regime of Iran (IRI) proxies. The following is a summary of her comments:

The Islamist ayatollahs who came to power after Iran’s 1979 revolution wasted no time arresting thousands of the country’s young men and women on trumped-up charges as a means of crushing any protest against the theocratic regime and its “barbaric ideology.” A decade later, the incarcerated thousands, who were subjected to torture, still languished in prison without due process. In 1988, IRI authorities decided to resolve the political prisoner problem. Tasked with the goal of “eliminat[ing] as many prisoners as possible,” abrupt and abbreviated “inquisitional sessions” sentenced thousands to the gallows. Hanged in groups of six at a time by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), they were buried in unmarked mass graves.

Bijan Bazargan, Lawdan’s 23-year-old brother and a college student, was arrested by the regime in 1982 for his membership in a leftist party and endured torture and uncertainty in prison over the next two years, only to receive a sentence of ten more years. Six years into his sentence, the IRI regime executed Bijan, along with the others in the 1988 prison massacre. An Amnesty International report named former IRI ambassador to the UN, Mohammed Jafar Mahallati, as one of the key officials involved in a cover-up of the massacre. Mahallati, who dismissed the accusations as “mere propaganda,” is currently a professor of religion at Oberlin College in Ohio.
… [To read the full article, click here]

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