fact-checking the fact-checker

The exiled Iranian journalist Amir Taheri reviews Dilip Hiro's book on Iran and tries to fact check him.

Robert MacFarlane was not National Security Advisor when he led a secret mission in Tehran. And he did not talk to “low level officials” but had as interlocutor Qorban-Ali Dorri Najaf-Abadi who was, at the time, Chairman of the Islamic Majlis’s Foreign Affairs Committee and contact man for Hashemi Rafsanjani, then Speaker of the Islamic Majlis (Parliament).

It is good to know one's Iranian trivia, especially when the answer is not to be found on the Internet. (How many people would be able to correct him?) Taheri has his Najafabadis confused. McFarlane (not MacFarlane) met with Mohammad Ali Hadi Najafabadi not Qorban-Ali Dorri Najafabadi. Hadi Najafabadi was the Chairman of the Majlis's Foreign Affairs Committee, as Taheri states. (Source: "The Iranian Triangle" by Samuel Segev, page 273 and "Special Trust" by McFarlane -- also named "Dr No" in Oliver North's book "Under Fire".) Taheri has got his names wrong before. I still respect him, I just thought he'd be a little more careful with facts after his screw-up on the dress code story. I emailed him about his 1984/1988 mistake in that post, but didn't get a reply and have lost his email address since then. I wonder if I'd get a reply from him on this one, I did get a kind reply from Eleana Benador once.


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