Last year, Kaveh Afrasiabi, an Iranian citizen and permanent resident of the United States, was charged with operating as an unregistered foreign agent for the Iranian regime. The trial, which was supposed to begin in January, was postponed twice last year at the request of Afrasiabi. Experts following the case describe the request as a ‘laughable’ attempt to avoid the court system.
Moreover, the lawsuit has already been postponed twice and he wants it to be delayed again so that he may fly there and “help its battle of independence against Russian invasion.” Afrasiabi says in a letter to the European Court of Human Rights that he is “chastened by the dreadful plight of an entire nation and believes it his moral obligation to hear Ukraine’s appeal for aid.” Afrasiabi says, “He was writing to request a temporary leave to join the multinational legion organized by Ukraine.”
In a letter to the United States Supreme Court, Afrasiabi states that if he is permitted to go outside the country, he will not escape to Iran, essentially ending the case against him. “He has no other aim and he has no desire to return to Iran, which has utterly failed to denounce Russia’s invasion,” he adds.
Because of the delays in hammering up a new version of the 2015 nuclear deal, Afrasiabi’s case has become a hotspot in Washington, DC. Republican politicians and Iranian-American advocacy organizations regard the trial as a litmus test for Biden’s administration. In light of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s mobilization of Chechen Muslims against Ukraine, Afrasiabi claims that his participation in the fight would “provide a positive example for other Muslims.”
Therefore an advocacy organization head described Iranian-American Afrasiabi’s plea for a temporary leave to fight in Ukraine as “about as ludicrous as his real defense of the crimes he’s been charged with.” Iranian Americans for Liberty has urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to withdraw its most recent postponement request and require a prompt trial. Republican members believe the administration is playing the matter slowly not to irritate Iran while discussions are ongoing.