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Trita Parsi (NIAC) vs - judgment of United States district court for the District of Columbia

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Trita Parsi (NIAC) vs Seid Hassan Daioleslam- judgment of United States district court for the District of Columbia
Trita Parsi (NIAC) vs Seid Hassan Daioleslam- judgment of United States district court for the District of Columbia

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

TRITA PARSI and NATIONAL
IRANIAN AMERICAN COUNCIL, Plaintiffs, v.

SEID HASSAN DAIOLESLAM, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This is a defamation case filed by Trita Parsi and the National Iranian American Council (collectively, "plaintiffs"). Plaintiffs allege that Seid Hassan Daioleslam ("defendant") published numerous false and defamatory statements that characterize plaintiffs as agents of the Iranian government. Now before the Court is [144] defendant's motion for summary judgment. For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be granted.

BACKGROUND

As explained in this Court's prior opinions, Dr. Parsi is the president of the National Iranian American Council ("NIAC"), a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit group that is "dedicated to promoting Iranian American involvement in American civic life and relying on the public for financial and human resource support." Compl. ¶¶ 9, 10. Defendant is an Arizona resident who has published articles about Parsi and NIAC on various websites. Id. ¶¶ 5, 11. Plaintiffs' complaint seeks damages and injunctive relief against defendant for common law defamation and portrayal in a false light. Id. ¶ 11. The thrust of plaintiffs' complaint is that defendant "has published false and defamatory statements indicating that [plaintiffs are] member[s] of a subversive and illegal Iranian lobby colluding with the Islamic Republic of Iran. . . ." Id. ¶ 13. Plaintiffs argue that these statements injured their reputations in the community, thereby hampering NIAC's effectiveness as an advocacy group and damaging its ability to raise funds. Id. ¶¶ 23, 42-43. Following contentious discovery, defendant filed [144] the instant motion for summary judgment, arguing that there is no evidence that his statements were published with actual malice.

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