Risky Business: Charitable Foundations Supporting Princeton Facing Scrutiny As University Backs Seyed Mousavian  

(New York, N.Y.) – Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security outlines its primary aim and purpose as building “a safer, more peaceful world.” However, in a direct contradiction to its mission statement, the program employs Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian, an agent of the Iranian regime, as a purported Middle East Security and Nuclear Policy Specialist.

His checkered history includes honoring Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force Commander Major-General Qassem Soleimani, who was at the time of his death responsible for more murders, injuries, and kidnappings of Americans and American allies than any other living individual, by attending his funeral in Iran. More recently, Mousavian was recorded gleefully remarking in an Iranian propaganda film that “An American told me that [former U.S. Special Envoy for Iran] Brian Hook’s wife had not slept for several days and that she was shaking and crying. That’s how afraid they were.” 

Mousavian’s continued employment by Princeton is a stain on the university’s reputation and credibility, as well as on those entities that continue to financially support the program and university. United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) has called upon Princeton to terminate his employment and for major financial supporters to suspend their giving until he is removed from the faculty. Princeton has failed to act, however, and shamefully given cover to his remarks as protected speech. 

“Seyed Hossein Mousavian undeniably has strong, ongoing ties to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. His employment by one of our nation’s top academic institutions is dangerous and must be addressed by the university immediately,” said UANI Research Director Daniel Roth. “Princeton’s major financial supporters including the Morgan Stanley Foundation, Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program, Deloitte Foundation, and Soros Fund Charitable Foundation among others have a responsibility to withhold their financial support until the issue has been properly addressed.” 

Charitable foundations and endowments face the reputational risk of appearing to back the misguided position of Princeton officials that have looked the other way from Mousavian’s disturbing history and behavior. To see that Mousavian is terminated, UANI has launched a public petition and communicated the risk that financial backers are assuming to each of the 15 largest supporting groups. 

University President Christopher Eisgruber, the Board of Trustees, and financial supporters maintaining their giving are making it impossible for Princeton to be a safe, welcoming, and credible place of learning for its other employees and its students by tolerating Mousavian’s presence. The only remedy is for Princeton to recognize that Mousavian’s continued presence on campus is a detriment to its mission and a threat to the safety and security of the community.