Latest filings

Iranian party with monarchical pedigree lobbies against US deal with Tehran; DR Congo lobbies for Tshisekedi visit to Washington; Hyundai hires former chairman of House technology panel: Thursday’s Daily Digest

Iranian party with monarchical pedigree lobbies against US deal with Tehran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends an election rally in Tehran on May 13, 2017 / photo by saeediex via Shutterstock

A new Iranian opposition group that takes its name from the late shah’s defunct political party is looking to dissuade the Joe Biden administration from striking any deal with Tehran.

The Los Angeles-based Iranian Resurgent Party registered this week as a foreign agent with the US Department of Justice. The group says its goal is to “unite and create solidarity amongst Iranian dissidents with the goal of regime change and creation of a secular democrat government in Iran.”

Read the story here.

Bill Clinton aide signs with Israeli diamond dealer to represent Congolese President Tshisekedi

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi visits the European Commission in Brussels on Sept. 19, 2019 / Photo by Alexandros Michailidis via Shutterstock

A former press aide to President Bill Clinton with deep connections in Jewish Democratic political circles is working with a Belgian-Israeli network to represent the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Steven Rabinowitz and his Washington-based Bluelight Strategies signed a six-month, $67,500 contract this week to help organize Washington meetings for Congolese officials including possibly President Felix Tshisekedi himself. The contract runs from March 1 through Sept. 6.

Bluelight “has been engaged to provide government affairs and consulting services for the benefit of the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Rabinowitz’s filing with the Department of Justice states. “These services are anticipated to include working to facilitate one or more visits by DRC government officials to Washington D.C. in furtherance of the bilateral relationship between the DRC and the United States, and related efforts.”

Read the story here.

New lobbying filings


South Korea: South Korean car maker Hyundai has hired K&L Gates to lobby on “issues related to legislative and executive actions affecting the automotive industry.” Lobbyists on the account include former Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), a former chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology and senior member of the powerful House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Also registered are Stacy Ettinger, a former senior counsel to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official Cliff Rothenstein. K&L Gates joins a bevy of other top firms lobbying for Hyundai including Arnold & Porter, Greenberg Traurig, Mercury Public Affairs and Sidley Austin.

Middle East

Saudi Arabia: Nabeel Ibrahim al-Afaleg has replaced Mohammad Saud Al-shammari as director of New York-based Saudi Petroleum International Inc. as of Dec. 16, 2020. The company did not report any lobbying activity on behalf of the Saudi government or the Saudi Arabian Oil Company in the six months through January.

United Arab Emirates: The UAE Government Media Office has hired Fleishman-Hillard for $54,000 for communications services to “build awareness of the UAE’s economic strategy.” The firm has registered three employees as foreign agents on the account: Senior Vice President and Partner Michael Schmidt; producer Sarah Mulcahy; and consultant Jess Dillman. The work order, which runs from March 4 through April 30, is in addition to the firm’s previous engagement to build awareness of the UAE’s space program and the Emirates Mars Mission.

UAE hires PR firm to boost Mars mission


Politico has a captivating story on internal accusations roiling the normally staid Atlantic Council that donor funding led two scholars to go soft on Russia.

The Friends of Sinn Fein USA took out half-page advertisements in major US newspapers on Wednesday calling for a referendum on Irish unity one week before St. Patrick’s Day, IrishCentral reports. New York-based Friends of Sinn Fein is registered as a foreign agent with the US Department of Justice.

Human rights and humanitarian groups testifying at Thursday’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Yemen notably advocated for the re-opening of Sanaa’s airport and ports, the payment of public sector salaries and the release of political detainees.