Islam Online is reporting that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is planning to send a delegation to Iran to try and secure the release of jailed American journalist Roxana Saberi. According to the report:
America’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group is preparing to send a delegation to Iran in a mediation effort seeking the release of jailed American journalist Roxana Saberi. “We are hoping to secure Ms. Saberi’s release and to remove a roadblock to better relations between our two nations,” Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told IslamOnline.net. Saberi, 32, was sentenced to eight years in jail by an Iranian court in a closed-door trial on charges of spying for the US, in the harshest sentence meted out to a dual national on security charges in the Islamic Republic. The Muslim delegation groups Awad, CAIR Board Chairman Senator Laryy Shaw, Board Member Sarwat Husain and Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. They are preparing to leave for Iran during the next few days once their visas are issued and approved. In an April 17 letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, CAIR requested that a delegation be allowed to travel to Tehran to discuss Saberi’s case with Iranian officials. “This initiative is based on CAIR’s request for a ‘gesture of reconciliation’ from the Iranian government and does not deal with the merits of the case one way or another,” Awad clarified. …During the visit to Iran, CAIR arranged to deliver a letter to President Ahmadinejad from the family of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who has been missing in Iran since 2007. The delegation is additionally prepared to discuss the case of Esha Momeni, an Iranian-American graduate student currently prevented from leaving Iran. But the Muslim organization insists that its mediation efforts are a “private initiative.” “But we are in touch with the State Department and have informed the Obama administration of our planned trip,” Awad said. CAIR sent a letter on April 22 to Obama and Secretary of State Clinton about their endeavors. “White House and State Department officials will be offered briefings on the results of the trip,” Awad added. He stressed that undertaking such initiative is part of the CAIR’s core mission. “As a major American Muslim organization that has the respect of Muslims around the world, we hope that our call for reconciliation will be seen as an effort to reduce growing tensions between the United States and the Muslim world.”
CAIR has been under pressure lately in connection with the public decision by the FBI to suspend formal partnerships with the group. It is likely that the proposed delegation is an attempt to repair at least some of the damage resulting from that decision.
A report recently issued by the Hudson Institute discusses the origins of CAIR and its founders/leaders in both the Palestine Committee of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and the U.S. Hamas support infrastructure. A previous post discussed an interview with the Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in which he confirms a relationship between his organization and CAIR. Investigative research posted on GMBDW had determined that CAIR has a long history of support for fundamentalism, anti-Semitism, and terrorism.