IranDecember 28 2023, 5:56 am

International Crisis Group Rebuts Claims Involving Iran Experts Initiative

On 22 Decem­ber 2023, the Inter­na­tion­al Cri­sis Group (ICG) addressed alle­ga­tions about their involve­ment with the Iran Experts Ini­tia­tive (IEI), the sub­ject of a GIOR post on the sub­ject yes­ter­day. The ICG  strong­ly refut­ed claims of work­ing under Iran­ian influ­ence, empha­siz­ing their com­mit­ment to those affect­ed by con­flict with­out exter­nal con­trol. Cri­sis Group said their fund­ing, includ­ing from gov­ern­ments like the U.S., EU, and oth­ers, is pub­licly dis­closed and does not com­pro­mise their inde­pen­dence. The con­tro­ver­sy cen­tered on two staff mem­bers, Drs. Dina Esfan­di­ary and Ali Vaez who were accused of advo­cat­ing for Iran through the IEI. Cri­sis Group assert­ed that these alle­ga­tions were based on mis­in­ter­pret­ed com­mu­ni­ca­tions and stressed that nei­ther their staff nor the orga­ni­za­tion had finan­cial ties with the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment. The IEI, as described by the ICG, was a net­work of ana­lysts from var­i­ous insti­tu­tions, engag­ing with offi­cials from mul­ti­ple coun­tries for dis­cus­sions on the 2015 nuclear deal. The ICG said they cov­ered trav­el costs for their par­tic­i­pant, con­sis­tent with stan­dard prac­tices among think tanks.


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