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Trita Parsi: I Was Targeted by Black Cube in Dirty Ops Effort Attacking Supporters of Iran Deal

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Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council, says he was targeted by an Israeli private intelligence agency over his support for the Iran nuclear deal. The agency, Black Cube, was hired to orchestrate a “dirty ops” campaign against members of the Obama administration who negotiated the nuclear agreement. The Guardian reports Trump’s aides hired Black Cube; The New York Times says it’s not yet clear who hired the intelligence firm. Among those Black Cube was hired to investigate and discredit were Obama’s top national security aide Benjamin Rhodes and Vice President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Colin Kahl. Black Cube is made up of former officials from the Mossad and other Israeli agencies. It is the same firm hired by disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein to stop publication of articles that exposed him as a sexual predator.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Trita Parsi, I’m wondering if you could talk about Black Cube, the private intelligence—Israeli intelligence firm that the Trump administration reportedly hired to target former U.S. officials who support the Iran agreement.

TRITA PARSI: Yes. So, we have this—in addition to what’s been going on here, we have the situation in which, apparently, the Trump administration has been using a foreign intelligence firm, filled with former Mossad agents, to spy and try to entrap American individuals and organizations. And apparently I was a target of this, as well, with one person contacting me, pretending to be a journalist and then trying to goad me into saying things that would be problematic for the Obama administration, in order to put the Iran nuclear deal in a bad light and use this later on to discredit the people who were behind the nuclear deal and the people who were supporting it. I think it shows the desperation that some of these elements have gone to, to try to create this crisis and to try to then drive it towards a military confrontation.

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, the significance of this, Black Cube, made up of former Mossad agents, targeting you—and I want to ask how you know that—and also targeting Obama’s top national security aide Ben Rhodes and Vice President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Colin Kahl? How did you find out you were among those targeted?

TRITA PARSI: I was first informed late last week by a journalist that had come across the list of targets, and told—and he told me that I was one of the primary targets. And then, I think it was a day later that I got a call from another journalist, who read to me the transcript of one of my conversations with one of these Black Cube pretending to be a journalist. And that’s how I realized that, I mean, they’re not tapping my phone, but they’re calling me and taping those conversations through their end.

AMY GOODMAN: We should say that The Guardian and The Observer say it was Trump aides who hired Black Cube; The New York Times says it’s not clear who hired them.

TRITA PARSI: My understanding, based on conversations with some of these journalists, who have not been able to put everything in writing, is that it was very clear to the people who were working at Black Cube and who were outsourcing this to some people that the actual client was the Trump administration, whether it was Trump himself or some of his aides or people around him. That may not be as clear, but that the real client, that the people they were trying to help, was the Trump administration.

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