Undated photo shows Raisi with IRGC top commanders

Revision - Council On Foreign Relations Re-Schedules Meeting With Raisi

Tuesday, 09/19/2023

The Council on Foreign relations has changed an earlier announcement of cancelling a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in New York, and re-scheduled it to Wednesday.

Iran International’s correspondent Arash Alaei earlier reported from outside the CFR offices in New York City that representatives of the organization told reporters gathered there that a private meeting with Raisi and invited guests had been canceled.

However, later in the day, CFR said that the meeting will take place on Wednesday at the request of the Iranian team, at Raisi's hotel, the Hilton Millennium at UN Plaza, at 11 am. The hotel is located at a cordoned-off area, as protest gatherings had been planned outside the original venue, the CFR building.

On September 9, Roya Hakakian, a CFR member and an Iranian-born writer and activist revealed that she had received an invitation to attend the meeting but had declined. In her response to CFR, she cited that the Iranian president stands accused of serious human rights violations, particularly having been a member of a secret “death commission” that ordered the killing of up to 5,000 political prisoners in 1988.

“Dialogue is reserved for those with whom we have disagreements. For criminals like Raisi, the only venue for conversation must be a court of law,” Hakakian wrote to CFR.

But Hakakian and many other Iranian Americans were furious not just for Raisi’s culpability in one crime in 1988, but also for his role and responsibility as President during the Women, Life, Freedom protests that rocked Iran after Mahsa Amini’s death in hijab police custody last year.

Another prominent Iranian dissident figure, Nazanin Boniadi, also posted on X Tuesday that she was also invited but declined.

“Democratic institutions hold the key to tipping the balance of power in favor of those risking everything for freedom. If you afford your members the opportunity to meet dictators behind closed doors, then at least offer them the chance to also hear from their opponents in the open,” she said in her post.

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