Mint Press dissects United Against Nuclear Iran, a neocon advocacy group that clearly wants to destroy Iran because of its hostility toward Israel. These are excerpts. As usual with neocon groups, the money and most of the work is performed by Jews but they recruit a lot of sympathetic non-Jews, like Jeb Bush, in order to diffuse the reality that it is a pro-Israel organization. The entire article is well worth reading.
By Alan McLeod
CONFLICTS AND CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
For such a large, well-financed, and influential organization filled with senior officials, United Against Nuclear [UANI] Iran keeps its funding sources very quiet. However, in 2015, Clifton was able to obtain a UANI donor list for the 2013 financial year. By far and away, the largest funders were billionaire New York-based investor Thomas Kaplan and multibillionaire Israeli-American casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.
Kaplan, whose $843,000 donation supplied around half the group’s 2013 funding, is a venture capitalist investor concentrating on metals, particularly gold. He is the chairman of Tigris Financial and the Electrum Group LLC. Both of Kaplan’s firms employ UANI CEO Mark Wallace as CEO and COO, respectively.
A 2010 Wall Street Journal article titled “Tigris Financial Goes All-in on Gold” noted that the company had bet billions of dollars on the price of gold rising, more than the reserves of the Brazilian central bank. As Clifton has noted, both Kaplan and Wallace have marketed gold to clients as the perfect commodity to hold if there is increased instability in the Middle East. Therefore, both Kaplan and Wallace stand to make massive sums if the U.S. or Israel were to attack Iran, making their UANI warmongering a gigantic and potentially profitable conflict of interest.
Adelson provided the majority of the rest of UANI’s funding. The world’s 18th-richest individual at the time of his 2021 death, the tycoon turned his economic empire into a political one, supporting ultraconservative causes in both the United States and Israel. Between 2010 and 2020, he and his wife donated more than $500 million to the Republican Party, becoming GOP kingmakers in the process. He would often vet Republican presidential candidates at his casino in Las Vegas, and it was often said that this “Adelson Primary” was almost as important as the public one.
An ardent Zionist, Adelson bankrolled numerous pro-Israel lobby projects, such as AIPAC, One Jerusalem and Taglit Birthright. He also owned Israel Hayom, the country’s most-read newspaper, with 31% of the national share. Relentlessly pro-Netanyahu, it was said that the Israeli prime minister asked his friend Adelson to set up a newspaper to help his political career.
Adelson and his influence have been one of the driving forces of American hostility towards Iran. In 2013, during a conversation with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, he called for the United States to stop negotiating and drop a nuclear bomb on Iran to show that “we mean business.”
A potential third, even more controversial, source of funding is the Gulf monarchies of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Leaked emails show UANI officials soliciting support from the Emirati royal family. Both Mark Wallace and Frances Townsend, for example, emailed the Emirati Ambassador to the U.S. detailing cost estimates for upcoming events and inquiring about support from the UAE.
Thomas Kaplan himself is extraordinarily close to the nation. “The country and the leadership of the UAE, I would say, are my closest partners in more facets of my life than anyone else other than my wife,” he told the Emirati outlet, The National News, which also detailed his friendship with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.
PUTTING IRAN IN THE CROSSHAIRS
One of United Against Nuclear Iran’s primary activities, Iranian political commenter Ali Alizadeh told MintPress, is to create a worldwide “culture of fear and anxiety for investing in Iran.” The group attempts to persuade businesses to divest from the Islamic Republic and sign their certification pledge, which reads as follows:
The undersigned [Name], the [Title] of [Company] (the “Company”), does hereby certify on behalf of the Company that until the Iranian regime verifiably abandons its drive for nuclear weapons, support for terrorism, routine human rights violations, hostage-taking, and rampant anti-Americanism as state policy, that neither the Company nor any subsidiary or affiliate of the Company, directly or through an agent, representative or intermediary.”
One corporation that UANI targeted was the industrial machinery firm Caterpillar. UANI hectored the firm, even erecting a roadside billboard outside its headquarters in Peoria, IL, insinuating that they were aiding Iran in constructing a nuclear weapon. Caterpillar quickly ordered its Iran projects terminated. Wallace took heart from his group’s victory and warned that other businesses would be targeted.
These have included French companies such as Airbus and Peugeot-Citroen, who were threatened with legal action. In 2019, UANI earned an official rebuke from the Russian Foreign Ministry for attempting to intimidate Russian corporations trading with Tehran. “We think such actions are unacceptable and deeply concerning,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova. “Attempts to pressure and threaten Russian business … are a follow-up on the dishonorable anti-Iranian cause by the U.S. administration,” she added, hinting at collusion between the government and the supposedly non-governmental organization.
Some of UANI’s campaigns have been markedly petty, including pressuring New York City hotels to cancel bookings with Iranian officials (including then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) visiting the city on United Nations business. Others, however, have been devastating to the Iranian economy, such as the SWIFT international money transfer terminating its relationship with Tehran, cutting the country off from the global banking system.
On UANI’s actions against businesses, Freeman said: “It’s effective, and (in some cases, at least) it’s to the detriment of the people of Iran; it’s to the detriment of these companies; and it’s to the detriment of peace in the region.”
While the group presents itself as against a nuclear Iran, UANI was strangely opposed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the deal between Iran and the West that limited the former’s nuclear technology research in exchange for sanctions relief from the latter. [Not so strange. UANI et al. want Iran destroyed.] As MintPress reported at the time, UANI spent millions on T.V. advertisements trashing the agreement. As Wallace noted, “We have a multi-million-dollar budget, and we are in it for the long haul. Money continues to pour in.”