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UPDATED Iran: The 60 Forbidden Foreign Organisations

BANNEDUPDATE 0905 GMT: The Open Society Institute, Number 1 on the list, has offered a concise response setting out its priorities: "The Open Society Institute is deeply troubled by the Iranian government's recent decision prohibiting cooperation with international organizations. Although the Open Society Institute does not have any activities whatsoever in Iran we remain extremely concerned about the fate of Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh [the Iranian-American scholar imprisoned for 15 years in October for subversion]."

UPDATE 7 January 0900 GMT: EA readers have given us a couple of additions to the list. Their comments are also echoed by the Iranian Ham-mihan, which asks if President Ahmadinejad and Foreign Minister Mottaki should be prosecuted for appearing at the "blacklisted" Council on Foreign Relations during their visits to New York.

And here's testimony to the wonders of the list. Flynt Leverett, who co-wrote this morning's loud defence of the Ahmadinejad Government in The New York Times (see our updates), is a prominent member of the New American Foundation, which makes the list twice.

The 60 foreign organisations "blacklisted", after an interview by the Deputy Minister for International Affairs at the Ministry of Intelligence, as reported in the Iranian press. Iranians with any contact with these organisations will be considered to have committed a criminal offense.

The list is drawn from English translations by Neo-Resistance and Laura Rozen at Politico:

1. Soros Foundation — Open Society
2. Woodrow Wilson Center
3. Freedom House
4. National Endowment for Democracy (NED)
5. National Democratic Institute (NDI)

6. International Republican Institute (IRI)
7. Institute for Democracy in East Europe (EEDI)
8. Democracy Center in East Europe (CDEE)
9. Ford Foundation
10. Rockefeller Brothers Foundation
11. Hoover Institute at Stanford University
12. Hivos Foundation, Netherlands
13. Menas, U.K.
14. United Nations Association (USA)
15. Carnegie Foundation
16. Wilton Park, U.K.
17. Search for Common Ground (SFCG)
18. Population Council
19. Washington Institute for Near East Policy
20. Aspen Institute
21. American Enterprise Institute
22. New America Foundation
23. Smith Richardson Foundation
24. German Marshall Fund (US, Germany and Belgium)
25. International Center on Nonviolent Conflict
26. Abdolrahman Boroumand Foundation
27. Yale University
28. Meridian Center
29. Foundation for Democracy in Iran
30. International Republican Institute [again --- see 6]
31. National Democratic Institute [again --- see 5]
32. American Initiative Institute (?)
33. Institute of Democracy in Eastern Europe
34. American Aid Center (?)
35. International Trade Center
36. American Center for International Labor Solidarity
37. International Center for Democracy Transfer
38. Association for Union Democracy
39. Albert Einstein Institute
40. Global Movement for Democracy
41. The Democratic Youth Network
42. Democracy Information and Communication Technology Group
43. International Movement of Parliamentarians for Democracy
44. Network of Democracy Research Institutes
45. RIGA Institute
46. The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School
47. Council on Foreign Relations
48. Foreign Policy Committee, Germany
49. Middle East Media Research Institute (described as an Israeli institute)
50. Centre for Democracy Studies, U.K.
51. Meridian Institute [again --- see 28]
52. Yale University and all its affiliates [again --- see 27]
53. National Defense University, U.S.
54. Iran Human Rights Documentation Center
55. American Center FLENA (active in Central Asia)
56. Committee on the Present Danger
57. Brookings Institution
58. Saban Center, Brookings Institution
59. Human Rights Watch
60. New America Foundation [again --- see 22]

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    EA WorldView - Archives: January 2010 - UPDATED Iran: The 60 Forbidden Foreign Organisations

Reader Comments (14)

A clever EA reader should write a 'Who's Next' for this one.

The original 'Who's Next' --

January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Thanks very much for this, It is much appreciated.

It seems the people in the MoI (Ministry of no Intelligence) were rushing a little. I have not fully in detail checked the list, but on the first look, it bounds with error it seems. For one there is many duplicate entries. I wonder if this is how we will fight the army of the western imperialist capitalist pigs? Or perhaps the same guy typing these lists is typing the notes to the SL for his daily brief. No wonder the country is going down the toilet.

January 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwhereismyvote

[...] lista negra del Gobierno de Irán o las 60 organizaciones prohibidas. Según el Ministerio de Inteligencia iraní, cualquier contacto con estas organizaciones supone [...]

January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLa “lista negra” d

And what? Enduring america did not make the list? What blasphemy and insult.

January 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwhereismyvote

I'd favor banning their first ten listed groups from most countries actually.

Those ten are a well chosen list of orgs who promote their own rather dubious vested-interest version of "democracy" across the world.

I'd probably nix numbers: 18 and 20 and 47 as well. lol

But producing an ah-hoc listing some groups who are definitely no angels, does not I'm afraid elevate the Iranian regime to sainthood.


January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFintan Dunne

Thanks much for posting this -- which I just used at my blog, The Washington Note. I run the foreign policy shop at the New America Foundation, which is listed twice -- oddly.

But where is CSIS, Cato, Heritage, Hudson Institute, the International Crisis Group? I am sure that these organizations would like to be added to the Iranian Intelligence Ministry's lists.

Also, President Ahmadinejad spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations two years ago, but the CFR is now a blacklisted shop too.

Weird list - and not so intelligent of the Intelligence Ministry.

-- Steve Clemons, The Washington Note

January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Clemons


I'm a daily reader of The Washington Note, so it's guess to make you here, even if you are now an official two-time danger to Tehran.

I think the haphazard choices of foreign menaces is down to bureaucracy. It should be noted that many of the institutions have already been invoked in August's mass trials of detainees and in the specific trial of the Iranian-American academic Kian Tajbakhsh. However, there are striking omissions in addition to those that you note --- Gulf 2000, the discussion group organised by Gary Sick of Columbia University, is not there even though it was prominent in the prosecution's indictments.

Feels like some official just grabbed the nearest files until there were enough names to fill a page.


January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Lucas

Impressive list with the central message that democracy and human rights (HRW, Boroumand Foundation) are not wanted in the IRI.
38. is probably the Association for Union Democracy
44. probably the NDRI, Network of Democracy Research Institutes
Yesterday Peyke Iran quoted a report from Ham-Mihan, which points to AN's and Mottaki's good relationship to the Council on Foreign Relations (47) and asks if they have to be persecuted as well:

January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArshama

HIVOS, which I've been told has a history of annoying the Iranian authorities, came in handy during the mass trials appearance of Kian Tajbakhsh :

The Dutch development agency Hivos says it is not surprised to find itself on Iran’s blacklist of sixty organisations the Iranian public are banned from having contact with.

The organisation says that over the past two years it has been accused in the Iranian media of undermining the government. The humanist agency works with local organisations in developing countries to campaign for equal rights and opportunities for women.

January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

why Yale?

January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSimon T

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. Yale is a good little dhimmi. What gives?

January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave

I think the list is made up of foundations that in some way (any way) provided funding to reformists, activists, academics, and scientists that have been interrogated by this regime. I have even had friends tell me that their interrogators (pre-election) seemed to want to know how they, themselves, could apply for grants.

January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTori

[...] Now, this has to be one of the strangest round-ups of organizations I have seen in a long time — organizations considered by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence to be trouble-makers inside Iran and thus “blacklisted.” Here is the Iranian source — as well as a comprised list of translated organizations from Laura Rozen and Neo-Resistance. (hat tip to Enduring America) [...]

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