PHILADELPHIA, September 14, 2012 – Federal District Court Judge John B. Bates for the District of Columbia yesterday granted summary judgment for Seid Hassan Daioleslam, editor of the English Iranian Lobby website "In Search of Truth: Reports on Mullahs's lobby in US," the defendant in a defamation suit brought by Trita Parsi and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). Judge Bates also ordered sanctions against Parsi for failure to comply with the discovery phase of the litigation. The Legal Project coordinated and financed the defense of Mr. Dai; Sidley Austin LLP represented him pro bono.
Trita Parsi sued Seid Hassan Daioleslam for defamation in April, 2008 after Mr. Dai's investigative reporting exposed Parsi's and NIAC's deep and incontrovertible ties to high-level agents of the Iranian regime. The suit went through 53 months of litigation that included 24 months of discovery and over 30 court motions. These ultimately confirmed the accuracy of Mr. Dai's investigative reports.
The case reached national prominence when Parsi's e-mails (produced during discovery) not only confirmed his ties to the mullahs but also that he has delivered lectures to the CIA, briefed Secretary Hilary Clinton and visited the Obama White House starting in 2009. As recently as this past July, he was hosted by Senior Adviser to the President Valerie Jarrett.
"Judge Bates decision in favor of Seid Hassan Daioleslam is a victory for both the First Amendment and our national security," said Sam Nunberg, director of the Legal Project. "Mr. Dai has been the victim of a predatory lawsuit simply because he exposed the direct connection between the Iranian Regime and NIAC. In light of the sanctions ordered against Parsi, this decision should also serve as a warning to all Islamists who seek to use our courts as a shield in order to intimidate researchers who work to expose them. I also would like to commend Sidley Austin LLP and specifically Mr. Timothy E. Kapshandy for his tireless effort in defending Mr. Daioleslam's rights under the First Amendment."In other words, the defendant claimed that Parsi and the NIAC were acting as a propaganda arm of the Iranian regime, Parsi used him for defamation, and lost. Big time.