J. Michael “Mike” Springmann, author of Visas for al-Qaeda, attended the New Horizons Conference in Mashhad, Iran, last May. In this interview Mike and I discuss our experiences at New Horizons Conferences—and the witch hunt against New Horizons and Monica Witt, a former US Air Force officer who attended one of the conferences and who is now being charged with espionage.
Immediately after recording this interview, I spent considerable time on the phone with a New York Times journalist describing my (very positive) impression of Monica Witt…and my sense that Bolton and Pompeo are lashing out against innocent people to distract from the failure of their Iran policy, and to punish New Horizons for spearheading an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to persuade the Iranian government to bring 9/11 truth into a US courtroom.
UPDATE: On the show, Mike said that despite the sanctions, it would probably be perfectly legal for US persons to accept expense-paid trips to conferences from the New Horizons NGO. But later he wrote me:
“Talked to Kenneth Katzman at Congressional Research Service. Had written Iran Sanctions Report. Said that accepting a plane ticket from a sanctioned entity or person was a forbidden transaction & might be punishable.”
So I guess I will only be accepting offers to attend conferences in Iran (and elsewhere) from unsanctioned persons/entities. I do hope some will step forward!