Wicker questions STRATCOM decision to feature Iranian propagandist at event

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) wants to know why Iranian propagandist and former regime official Seyed Hossein Mousavian participated as a keynote speaker at a U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM)-sponsored event.

“While we appreciate the importance of improving our understanding of adversary perspectives and motivations in formulating deterrence policies, providing Mousavian with an officially sanctioned U.S. government platform for spreading historical falsehoods and Iranian regime propaganda is profoundly ill-advised,” wrote Sen. Wicker and a GOP colleague in an Aug. 31 letter sent to STRATCOM Gen. Anthony Cotton. 

Mousavian, a former spokesman for the Iranian nuclear negotiating team and a former senior staffer for the regime’s Supreme National Security Council, was a featured participant in the August STRATCOM Deterrence Symposium.

“The decision to invite Mousavian to address its Deterrence Symposium calls into question the judgment of any personnel involved in such a decision, and leads us to question whether the command is appropriately focused on meeting the rapidly growing strategic threats to the United States and its allies,” wrote Sen. Wicker, ranking member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.

In addition to Mousavian’s former posts supporting the regime, he also continues to demonstrate sympathy and support for the adversarial government, according to the lawmakers’ letter, and has repeatedly mocked American officials living under the threat of assassination by Iranian-backed actors because of their role in formulating tough-on-Iran policies.

Sen. Wicker and his colleague requested that Gen. Cotton answer questions about the decision, including the names and positions of all officials responsible for approving the invitation to Mousavian, and if STRATCOM provided compensation for transportation, lodging, or a per diem to Mousavian.