Inter Press Service reports that, in early May 2003, Karl Rove received a copy of a secret Iranian proposal for negotiations with the United States from former Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) — who is now serving 30 months in prison for his role in a corruption scandal.
Former Ney aide, Trita Parsi — who now works at the National Iranian-American Council — said that Ney was chosen by the Swiss Ambassador in Tehran Tim Guldimann to carry the Iranian proposal to the White House because he believed Ney to be the only Farsi-speaking member of Congress and particularly interested in Iran. According to IPS:
Parsi revealed that the document was delivered specifically to Rove, in an exclusive interview with IPS. Within two hours of the delivery of the document, according to Parsi, Ney received a phone call from Rove confirming his receipt of the document. Parsi said the proposal was delivered to Rove the same week that the State Department received it by fax, which was on or about May 4, 2003, according to the cover letter accompanying it.
Contrary to the article’s report, Rove was not deputy chief of staff in May 2003. He was serving at the time as the senior political adviser in the White House, a position with no responsibility on foreign policy. The White House press office has not responded to a request for comment on why Rove received a copy of the Iranian proposal.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — who served as National Security Adviser in 2003 — and Eliot Abrams — the deputy National Security Adviser — have claimed that they do not remember receiving the Iranian proposal. Newsweek recently revealed the contents of the proposal, which were communicated through a Swiss intermediary in May 2003.