March 17, 2017
News Press Release

ZOA: Promoter, Coordinator and Manager of Obama’s Disastrous Iran Policy/Iran Deal Now Heads US State Dep’t Iran and Persian Gulf Region Policy – – She Must be Replaced

Pres. Obama and Sahar Nowrouzzadeh

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

It is deeply troubling, even shocking, that Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who promoted, coordinated and managed former President Obama’s and former Secretary Kerry’s Iran policy and the catastrophic Iran deal – and recently still praised the Obama administration for the Iran deal, while ignoring Iran’s violations – now heads the U.S. State Department’s Iran and Gulf Region policy planning staff.  ZOA strongly urges that she be replaced.

National security journalist Jordan Schachtel recently wrote:

Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, the Iran director for former President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC), has burrowed into the government under President Trump. She’s now in charge of Iran and the Persian Gulf region on the policy planning staff at the State Department. To make matters worse, Nowrouzzadeh is a former employee of the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), a non-profit that is accused of being a lobbying group for the Iranian regime. NIAC’s current president, Trita Parsi, has long held close relationships with top officials in the Tehran dictatorship. In February, a group of over 100 prominent Iranian dissidents called for Congress to investigate NIAC’s ties to the Iranian regime. One of Nowrouzzadeh’s primary duties under President Obama was to promote initiatives that pushed the Iran deal. As President Obama’s NSC director for Iran, Nowrouzzadeh sat in on high-level briefings along with President Obama, former VP Joe Biden, and former Secretary of State John Kerry, as top White House staff crafted false narratives on the Iran deal to sell to the American public. According to the head of a state-run Iranian newspaper, Nowrouzzadeh was an essential element to pushing through the Iran deal. Editor-in-Chief Emad Abshenass said that she opened up a direct line of communication with the Iranian president’s brother. “She helped clear a number of contradictions and allowed the entire endeavor to succeed,” Abshenass said of her efforts. …”  Iran Deal Architect is Now Running Tehran Policy at the State Department,” by Jordan Schachtel, Conservative Review, Mar. 14, 2017.

Ms. Nowrouzzadeh’s January 2017 tweets and retweets are full of praise for the Obama administration – and never congratulate Trump or wish him well for becoming president.

In an interview on October 17, 2016 conducted by the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), Ms. Nowrouzzadeh confirmed her key role in promoting and coordinating the Obama administration’s promotion of the Iran deal and Iran appeasement policy, stating: 

I was detailed from the State Department to the NSC at the [Obama] White House from 2014 to 2016, where I served as a Director for Iran and Iran Nuclear Implementation. The NSC is the President’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with senior national security advisors and cabinet officials. The NSC is also responsible for coordinating these policies among various government agencies. I was part of the team that assisted in coordinating various aspects of our Iran policy among government agencies, producing research, briefings, and memos related to Iran for our senior leadership and conducting the day-to-day management of our Iran policy. . . . .

Upon returning to the State Department earlier this year, I joined the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff and am currently in charge of the Iran portfolio. . . . I took on the responsibilities of the Persian Language Spokesperson during the UN General Assembly this year and may also take on the responsibilities from time to time in the future. However, my primary role at the State Department is covering the Iran portfolio on Secretary Kerry’s Policy Planning Staff.”

Similarly, an announcement of a “White House Initiative for an evening with Sahar Nowrouzzadeh – Director for Iran at the NSC [National Security Council],” on March 7, 2016 explained that “As a Director for Iran at the NSC, Sahar was part of President Obama’s team responsible for supporting the P5+1 nuclear negotiations with Iran.”

In addition, White House visitor logs reveal that alleged pro-Iran regime lobbying group NIAC’s head Tritta Parsi visited Ms. Nowrouzzadeh at the White House on December 8, 2015 – during the critical period between the IAEA’s “Final Assessment on Past and Present Outstanding Issues regarding Iran’s Nuclear Programme” (on Dec. 2, 2015) which described serious possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, and the Obama administration’s dangerous and inappropriate decision to still lift the sanctions on Iran in January 2016 despite the IAEA report’s findings.  (See Obama Lifts Iran Sanctions Despite IAEA Report Noting Possible Military Dimensions of Nuclear Program,” ZOA, Jan. 20, 2016.)

An examination of Ms. Nowrouzzadeh’s twitter account (handle: @saharnow) indicates her apparent continuing devotion to the Obama administration and its policies and “legacy” including the Iran deal.  For instance:

  • On the very last day, and week of the Obama administration in January 2017, Ms. Nowrouzzadeh repeatedly tweeted and retweeted praises of the Iran deal, the deal’s implementation day anniversary, and her co-architects of the deal, including former President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and UN Envoy Samantha Power, including the following:

◊ “Sahar Nowrouzzadeh Retweeted Nicholas Burns‏ @RNicholasBurns  Jan 20 [2017]

Thanks @JohnKerry for extraordinary dedication as Secretary of State.  You made a difference on Iran, Climate Change, Ukraine, Cuba.”

◊ “Sahar Nowrouzzadeh‏ @saharnow  Jan 19  #ThankYouObama

◊ “Sahar Nowrouzzadeh Retweeted Samantha Power‏ @AmbPower44  Jan 18

We pursue diplomacy not b/c naïve belief it will always succeed, but b/c we’ve seen its results: #Iran, #Ebola response & Paris climate agt.”

◊ “Sahar Nowrouzzadeh Retweeted Sec. Ernest Moniz @EnergySecMoniz  Jan 16

Sec. Ernest Moniz Retweeted IAEA   One year later, the #IranDeal is producing results.”

◊ “Sahar Nowrouzzadeh Retweeted Department of State‏ @StateDept  Jan 16

@JohnKerry marks 1-year anniversary of Implementation Day under Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. #JCPOA #Iran http://go.usa.gov/x9EMn

Notably, although she praised the Iran deal’s supposed positive results, Ms. Nowrouzzadeh said nothing that we’ve been able to locate condemning Iran’s violations, including Iran’s repeated intercontinental ballistic missile launches.

  • In the last days of the Obama administration, Ms. Nowrouzzadeh also apparently wanted to make sure that her 1300 plus twitter followers would stay in touch with the Obama shadow government.  On January 17, 2017, Ms. Nowrouzzadeh tweeted Obama’s and VP Biden’s post-January 20 twitter addresses, along with an article containing the “latest information on how you can continue to follow and engage with President Obama, the First Lady, and other Obama White House officials moving forward.”
  • On approximately January 12, 2017, Ms. Nowrouzzadeh appears to have signed up to follow on Twitter various leaders of the “protect Obama’s legacy post-presidency team” – including Iran deal “narrative seller” Ben Rhodes; Paulette Aniskoff (a former director of Obama’s Office of Public Engagement who, according to Politco Playbook, “ran point” on some of the Obama administration’s most important fights, and co-founded the newly launched “Citizens44 LLC” which will “oversee President Obama’s engagement with political and progressive organizations and major supporters around the country to defend his legacy” and will also run Obama’s alumni network; Valerie Jarrett (Obama’s confidante and former pro-Iran senior advisor who reportedly moved into Obama’s new Washington DC residence “which is now the nerve center for their plan to mastermind the insurgency against President Trump”); Susan Rice and Samantha Power.
  • Ms. Nowrouzzadeh’s January 2017 tweets and retweets are full of praise for the Obama administration – and never congratulate Trump or wish him well for becoming president. One month after President Trump took office, Ms. Nowrouzzadeh’s Presidents’ Day twitter retweet on February 20, 2017 praised former Presidents Obama and Carter (and two other past presidents) for receiving Nobel prizes – and again never mentioned any congratulations to President Trump. 
  • Journalist Jordan Schachtel also previously revealed that, prior to listing her name on her Twitter account, Ms. Nowrouzzadeh followed a variety of radical pro-Iranian regime sites, individuals (including the heads of NIAC), and academics, and an academic that Breitbart identified as an apologist for Palestinian Arab terror groups.  (SeeObama’s Iran Adviser Followed Pro-Regime Sites Prior to Publicizing Social Media Account,” by Jordan Schachtel, Breitbart News, May 1, 2015.)
  • On December 28, 2016, Nowrouzzadeh retweeted then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s horrendous speech lambasting Israel on that date, and inappropriately labeled the speech “remarks on Middle East peace.”  Nowrouzzadeh urged her followers: “Read Secretary of State @JohnKerry’s remarks on Middle East peace: [prior link to the speech]”
  • Ms. Nowrouzzadeh has also been tweeting or retweeting pro-immigration tweets while ostensibly serving in the Trump administration, despite the fact that her tweets run counter to the new administration’s policies of protecting Americans from inadequately vetted immigrants. In a particularly offensive retweet on Holocaust Memorial Day (Jan. 27, 2017), Ms. Nowrouzzadeh posted an article analogizing harmless Holocaust victim Anne Frank to ISIS-infiltrated Syrian refugees.  How can the State Department continue to employ someone in a major policy position who posts propaganda tweets that contradict the current administration’s policies?

The ZOA calls on the U.S. State Department to immediately replace Ms. Nowrouzzadeh with someone who sincerely and wholeheartedly supports President Trump’s policies and agenda on Iran – not Obama’s dangerous policies and agenda.