In 2007, Behbudi "bought $250,000 worth of ads in major North American newspapers denouncing Iran's Muslim leaders as 'terrorists' and 'fascists' and warning they are a direct threat to the U.S. and Canada," reported the Vancouver Sun. "Britain, the U.S. and other Western countries 'should support the Iranian people who want to overthrow the jihadist Iranian regime. Sanctions would be lovely,' said Behbudi." He explained that he "opposes an invasion of Iran, [but] warned if Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad and Ayatollah Khameini don't soon change their ways, 'What happened to Saddam Hussein ... will happen in Iran too.'" He also called the March 2007 "arrest by Iranian forces of 15 British sailors 'an act of war.'" 
The Vancouver Sun described Behbudi as an "oil entrepreneur ... a high-level figure in the U.S. Republican party, [and] a former Shiite Muslim who converted to conservative Christianity. He was baptized in 1986 by televangelist Pat Robertson, a controversial leader of the religious right." Behbudi also considers Oliver North, "the retired U.S. Army officer implicated in illegally selling arms to Iran in the 1980s," a personal friend. 
Involvement in Iraq contracts
In 2004, Mitchell Wade of the high-tech security firm MZM Inc. hired Behbudi "as his director of Middle Eastern development, paying him $15,000 a month to consult on Iraq," according to U.S. News & World Report. "Behbudi says Wade wanted him to help redesign the Central Bank of Iraq, destroyed in the war. The bill: $15 million. 'We would have done a fantastic job finishing it,' says Behbudi. 'Our prices were very, very competitive.' Wade, by then in a financial crunch, refused to pay." 
Wade also told Behbudi he was interested "in removing the mullahs" in power in Iran. "In April 2004, Wade and Behbudi formed the Iranian Democratization Foundation. ... In November 2004, Congress approved $3 million for Iranian democratization efforts. But Wade and his partners eventually dissolved the foundation because of personal differences." 
Wade later pled guilty to "bribery-related charges and making illegal campaign contributions." He was close to former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who was jailed for bribery, fraud and other improprieties relating to his connections with defense contractors. 
According to CDI's website, Behbudi "was born in Iran and educated in Australia and North America." In 1978, he became "the Shah's ambassador to Australia. During the revolution of 1979, Dr. Behbudi and his family were forced out of Iran, and they resettled in the United States. ... Dr. Behbudi was awarded the Republican Senatorial American Spirit Medal (formerly the U.S. Medal of Freedom), and received the 'prestigious distinction of a National Republican Senatorial Committee commission,' in 2007." 
Council for a Democratic Iran
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Telephone: (703) 848-9278
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Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- Amir Abbas Fakhravar
- Council for a Democratic Iran
- The Livingston Group
- Mitchell Wade
- MZM Inc.
- Robert Livingston
- Lauri Fitz-Pegado
- "About CDI: Leadership," Council for a Democratic Iran, accessed October 2008.
- Douglas Todd, "Exile campaigns against Iranian leaders: To Behrooz Behbudi, the government in Tehran is 'fascist' and 'terrorist,' and poses a threat to the U.S. and Canada," The Vancouver Sun (British Columbia), March 24, 2007.
- Warren P. Strobel, "Disgraced contractor wanted to push for democracy in Iran: Foundation formed in 2004 for that purpose," Knight Ridder, March 26, 2006.
- Chitra Ragavan, "Trolling for Greenbacks in Baghdad," U.S. News & World Report, September 25, 2006.