Iran is financing «sympathetic» professors at American universities through an Islamic charity based in Manhattan, the New York Post reported on Monday.
The Alavi Foundation, a multimillion-dollar organization funded in large part by Iran, has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Columbia University and Rutgers University programs for Middle Eastern and Persian studies that hire professors with clear anti-Israel and pro-Iranian views.
«We found evidence that the government of Iran really controlled everything about the foundation», said Adam Kaufmann, investigations chief at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which recently filed an action to seize USD 650 million in assets from the charity.
The Feds also say Alavi finances a group of European-based Iranian spies, added the paper. Columbia received a USD 100,000 donation after hosting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last year.
«This is all about Iran laund ering their policies through academe»,said Michael Rubin, an Iran expert at the American Enterprise Institute think tank.
«And the ivory tower is prostituting itself for money».
Rutgers professor Hooshang Amirahmadi, the previous leader of the school’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies and president of the American-Iranian Council, has defended Hizbullah and Hamas as valid organizations and not terrorist groups.