Andrew's mad at me because I didn't post this on my blog. Obviously, as I told Mother Jones, I wasn't meaning to imply that Trita Parsi is a paid agent of the Iranian regime, or somesuch. I was implying that he has made himself the AIPAC of Iran in Washington. My bad. On the larger question of whether Trita Parsi functions as a lobbyist for the Iranian regime, based on what I know, I'd have to say yes: He has argued consistently against any sanctions against Iran, and an end to sanctions is obviously what the Iranian regime wants. So he is working on behalf of a stated interest of the Iranian government. Yes, he also criticizes Iran's human rights abuses, but it's been suggested recently that it is possible to lobby for a country while criticizing it at the same time. The reason I'm for sanctions is that they represent one of the only possible ways to stop an Israeli (or American, for that matter) attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. An end to sanctions means either a potentially-catastrophic attack or a nuclear-armed Iran, neither which is acceptable to me, and, I presume, to Andrew.
One more thing -- a thank you to Mother Jones's Nick Baumann for this clarifcation: "I don't think Goldberg's a neocon, and I hope this post doesn't imply that he is." I would like to add, nevertheless, that some of my best friends are neocons.
And one more final thing: To those Goldblog readers who have asked me to respond to Andrew's intemperate attack on Israel today, you'll have to pardon me but I have the flu and therefore no energy for any of this right now. Suffice it to say that I know Andrew loves Israel, and he's a Zionist, so I don't actually know how to explain this current level of hostility, but one day I'm going to have the two of us invited to speak together at my synagogue (don't worry, Andrew, it's within bike-distance!) so we can hash this out.