A new report highlights ties between Republican activist Grover Norquist and the Campaign for a New American Policy on Iran (CNAPI), an organization that opposes tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic and lobbies against U.S. backing for opposition forces.
The report, written by Clare M. Lopez and David Reaboi of the Center for Security Policy, examines how Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform has supported CNAPI's efforts to achieve a softer U.S. policy approach toward Tehran.
CNAPI pushed successfully for the "do-nothing" policies adopted by President Obama's 2008 campaign and his administration, Lopez and Reaboi write. That includes unconditional negotiations with, and loophole-ridden sanctions against, the Islamist regime. Washington has also been reluctant to provide aid to Iranian pro-democracy forces.
The authors see U.S. policy toward Iran "in shambles," with the administration appearing "more concerned with limiting Israeli self-defense than halting the Iranian nuclear program."
Norquist has played a behind-the-scenes role "through support for a second organization, the American Conservative Defense Alliance (ACDA), a founder and leader of the CNAPI campaign."
ACDA hosted the November 2007 CNAPI formation meeting, which involved representatives of "approximately 30 largely left-wing and Islamic organizations" including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Lopez and Reaboi write. The meeting took place at the Washington headquarters of ATR, where Norquist serves as president.
ACDA's friends in Congress included Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., a close ally of CAIR, along with representatives Barbara Lee, D-Cal., and Ron Paul, R-Tex. Its partners included George Soros' Open Society Policy Center, the left-wing Jewish group J Street, and the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran.
CNAPI members held a January 2009 meeting at Norquist's ATR headquarters in which they pushed for an end to U.S. support for Iranian resistance groups, Lopez and Reaboi write. While Norquist never joined CNAPI, his wife Samah served as both an officer and a director of the ACDA.
Read the full report here.