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Update on efforts to save the Persepolis artifacts
Written by NIAC   
Friday, 24 July 2009

ImageWashington, DC - Yesterday, significant progress was made toward protecting the Persepolis tablets and other Persian artifacts under threat. Key stakeholders came out in support of the Burris amendment, but ultimately it was withdrawn at the 11th hour after one member raised a concern about the technical implications of the amendment. We are working hard to address that concern, and Senator Burris remains committed to making sure cultural items like the Persian artifacts are protected.

Legislative efforts are rarely won in the first round, and we will continue to fight to protect the Persian artifacts. Senators Burris, Durbin, and Levin each deserve a special thank you for their efforts to protect cultural items. If you live in Illinois or Michigan, please take a moment to send a thank you note.

 
Senate Adopts Measure to Counter Censorship in Iran
Written by Ali Delforoush   
Friday, 24 July 2009

Washington DC - Last night, the Senate voted unanimously to adopt legislation that aims to aid the ability of the Iranian people to access news and information by overcoming the electronic censorship and monitoring efforts of the Iranian government.

The Victims of Iranian Censorship (VOICE) Act was introduced by Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Ted Kaufman (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Robert Casey (D-PA) as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

Read more...
 
New Sanctions a “Sword of Damocles” over Iran
Written by Ali Delforoush   
Friday, 24 July 2009
Image Washington DC - “I view the [Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act] as a sword of Damocles over the Iranians,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman. “This is a clear hint of what will happen if they do not engage seriously and move rapidly to suspend their uranium enrichment program.”

Berman said there is “no doubt” the American people stand with the Iranian people, but he said the U.S. will rally international support for imposing “crippling sanctions” if President Obama’s diplomatic strategy has not shown signs of success by the fall.

Read more...
 
Now is our chance to save the Persepolis tablets!
Written by NIAC   
Wednesday, 22 July 2009

ImageRight now, the Senate is considering legislation that would prevent attempts to confiscate and auction off some of the most powerful symbols of Persian civilization. This legislation is designed to protect the priceless artifacts from Takht-e-Jamshid and all the other Persian artifacts under attack.

A group of lawyers wants to seize these relics of our heritage and auction them off to the highest bidder. "Maybe they'll end up on coffee tables around the country," one lawyer for the plaintiffs mused.

We can't let this happen. Tell your Senators to support the Burris Amendment today!

Update Below:

 

Read more...
 
Camp Ayandeh 2009- From Building Trust to Becoming a Team Leader
Written by Leyla Serway, IAAB Staff Member   
Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Image Hinsdale, MA - Games of vasati under blue skies, evening celebrations of Iranian holidays, and music of the daft and tombak- these activities only begin to describe the week of Camp Ayandeh 2009.

The fourth installment of Camp Ayandeh, Iranian Alliances Across Borders’ annual summer leadership camp for high school students, was held June 28- July 5, 2009 in Hinsdale, Massachusetts at Duquette Sports Academy.

Read more...
 
Microsoft Continues to Ban Windows Live Messenger in Iran, Citing US Sanctions
Written by Parisa Ghobbeh   
Wednesday, 15 July 2009

ImageWashington DC - In the midst of the post-election unrest in Iran, Microsoft has continued its ban on Windows Live Messenger service, citing US sanctions. The ban, which was instituted last year, discontinued Instant Messenger services in certain countries subject to United States sanctions, including Iran. According to Dharmesh Mehta, director of Windows Live Product Management, "Microsoft is one of several major Internet companies that have taken steps aimed at meeting their obligations to not do business with markets on the U.S. sanctions list."

Read more...
 
NIAC Calls for the Release of Kian Tajbakhsh, an End to Political Detentions and Abuse
Written by NIAC   
Monday, 13 July 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: GOLI FASSIHIAN
TEL: 202-215-0998

ImageWashington DC - The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) condemns the arrest and imprisonment of Kian Tajbakhsh, an Iranian-American intellectual who was taken from his home in Iran and jailed late last Thursday. NIAC calls for his release and the immediate release of all those who have been arrested and detained for demonstrating in the weeks following Iran's disputed presidential election.

"Tajbakhsh's recent arrest is part of an ongoing effort by the government of Iran to silence dissent," said NIAC President Trita Parsi, "and it shows the Iranian government's continued disregard for the basic rights of its people in the wake of last month's election." NIAC has condemned the use of violence and political detentions against demonstrators in Iran, and called for a new election as the only plausible way to end the turmoil. 


Read more...
 
Iran at a Crossroads: NIAC Member Survey
Written by NIAC   
Monday, 06 July 2009

ImageThe violence erupting in the aftermath of the Iran elections has left very few around the world untouched. At NIAC, we have followed the developments extremely closely and have been at the forefront of the debate in the U.S. on how our government should respond. Thanks to your help, NIAC is recognized as one of the key groups shaping U.S. policy towards Iran.

Policymakers want to hear from Iranian Americans and the broader public alike. We need your input to accurately represent your views. Now, more than ever, we need to hear how recent events have impacted your views of U.S. policy towards Iran, and we have developed this survey to ask some key questions and get your responses.

Please click here to take the survey and share your views with us. If you are not currently a NIAC member, click here to join and become part of the dialogue on the future of US policy on Iran. 

The time to affect change is now. Give us your input today!

 
NIAC Memo: Reading Independence Day in Iran
Written by Wm. Scott Harrop and R.K. Ramazani   
Monday, 06 July 2009

Note: This article was first published by Agence Global and it it being reprinted here with permission of the authors.

American and Iranian revolutionary traditions surprisingly have much in common.

When Americans celebrate the 4th of July, they often forget that the core purpose of the famous document penned by Thomas Jefferson was to declare independence from Great Britain.

Had the colonies failed in that struggle for freedom to govern themselves, the Declaration of Independence's famous "unalienable" rights to equality, liberty, and life would have been rendered not self-evident.

Download PDF Version: Image

Read more...
 
The Iranian Presidential Elections: “The most improvised moment in Iranian history”
Written by Ali Delforoush   
Monday, 06 July 2009

ImageWashington DC - The recent presidential election in Iran was “the most improvised moment in Iranian history,” according to Farideh Farhi, professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Part of a panel discussion at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC on Tuesday, Farhi said that recent events have been mismanaged and mishandled by both sides of the ongoing election dispute. “Irrespective of the electoral fraud claims, this election was mishandled and both institutions failed to provide conflict resolution, especially the office of the Supreme Leader.”

Farhi went on to say, Khamenei “botched” the Friday Prayer following the first week of the elections by failing to offer any remedy for the opposition. The hardliners mismanaged the post-elections crisis by undermining the significant backlash that would follow the disputed election results. According to Farhi, their most flawed act was the rift the Ahmadinejad camp created between the cleric ranks during the pre-election debates.

Read more...
 
Heritage Foundation: Obama's Wishful Policies Will Fail
Written by Parisa Ghobbeh   
Thursday, 02 July 2009

Washington DC - The Obama Administration "must abandon wishful thinking and deal with Iran as it is, not as how they would like it to be," according to James Phillips, Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Heritage Foundation.  At Tuesday's discussion held by the Heritage Foundation, Phillips noted that he is "not optimistic" for the future of US-Iran relations in light of the current unrest in Iran, claiming that US "engagement will continue and it will fail."

The conference entitled "Iran's Nuclear Threat: The Day After" aimed to discuss the "nuclear threat" of Iran, and the possible strategies the US could use to prevent the country from acquiring a nuclear weapon.  The conference also analyzed Iran's current position in the Middle East and the implications the recent election unrest has for relations with the United States.

Read more...
 
Act to Stop the Violence in Iran
Written by NIAC   
Wednesday, 01 July 2009

Iranian Americans and people all over the world have been touched by the courage of the Iranian people--and horrified by the violence used against them. 

Throughout the recent crisis, NIAC has been in contact with the White House almost daily to convey the views of our community, and policymakers have been listening.  Based on your feedback, we have strongly condemned the crackdown and called for new elections as the best way to end the violence. 

But we need to do more. We need to stop the bloodshed. 

Send a letter to the Ambassadors from Russia, China, and the EU, and tell them to use their influence with Iran to bring the violence to an end.

 
NIAC calls on Iranian Government to end political detentions and violence against protesters
Written by NIAC   
Monday, 29 June 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: GOLI FASSIHIAN
TEL: 202-215-0998


NIAC also calls on Iran’s trading partners to
demand an end to government sponsored violence

 

 

Washington DC - The National Iranian American Council remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran since the country’s disputed elections on June 12. Disturbing accounts of continued violence and widespread intimidation and harassment of Iranian citizens by the Basij militia and other elements of Iran’s security forces continue to be received from inside the country.  

 

Read more...
 
Iran Faces "Legitimacy Crisis" Amid Election Aftermath
Written by Parisa Ghobbeh   
Friday, 26 June 2009
Washington DC - The Iranian government is now facing a "legitimacy crisis," according to Asieh Mir, speaking at the United States Institute of Peace on Thursday. Mir, a Jennings Randolph senior fellow at USIP, acknowledged that due to the contested June 12 presidential election, Iranian society is now divided between "two doctrines"-those who support strengthening the Islamic government in Iran, and those striving to advance the power of the people.
Read more...
 
NIAC Welcomes Obama's Strong Condemnation of Violence by Iran's Government
Written by NIAC   
Tuesday, 23 June 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: GOLI FASSIHIAN
TEL: 202-215-0998

 

Washington - The National Iranian American Council welcomes President Obama’s condemnation of human rights abuses by the Iranian government and its use of violence against peaceful protesters.

"I strongly condemn these unjust actions, and I join with the American people in mourning each and every innocent life that is lost," President Barack Obama said today.

According to Trita Parsi, President of NIAC, “condemning violence is different from taking sides in Iran's election dispute. People in Iran have told NIAC’s Iranian-American membership that they don’t want the US to get itself involved in the conflict, but they do want to see the government’s use of violence condemned.”
Read more...
 
NIAC Memo: What Obama Must Do Now On Iran
Written by Trita Parsi   
Monday, 22 June 2009

Tehran is being rocked. Convinced that the landslide victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad June 12 was a fraud, hundreds of thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets. Clashes with security forces have left at least 19 dead, according to the official count.

Meanwhile, some lawmakers have turned Iran's seemingly stolen election into a political football with little regard for the repercussions their rhetoric may have for protesters in Iran.
Read more...
 
NIAC Calls for New Election in Iran
Written by NIAC   
Saturday, 20 June 2009
Condemn Government's Use of Violence and Killing of its Citizens
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: GOLI FASSIHIAN
TEL: 202-215-0998

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), the largest organization of Iranian-Americans in the US, released the following statement in response to ongoing violence in Iran:

The National Iranian American Council strongly condemns the government of Iran's escalating violence against demonstrators and reiterates its demand that the government cease using lethal force against unarmed protesters and bystanders.

The only plausible way to end the violence is for new elections to be held with independent monitors ensuring its fairness. Such elections would be consistent with the Iranian constitution.

Read more...
 
Amnesty International Denounces Khamenei's Remarks
Written by Parisa Ghobbeh   
Friday, 19 June 2009

Washington, DC - Amnesty International released a statement today denouncing Ayatollah Khamenei's remarks regarding the Iranian post-election demonstrations. Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa program stated, "We are extremely disturbed at statements made by Ayatollah Khamenei which seem to give the green light to security forces to violently handle protesters exercising their right to demonstrate and express their views."

Khamenei's speech on Friday reasserted the validity of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmanidinejad's reelection, and called for an end to all demonstrations. He also gave out a stern warning to opposition leaders and demonstrators alike when he stated that opposition leaders would be "responsible for bloodshed and chaos" if they did not oppose further demonstrations.

Read more...
 
NIAC condemns post-election violence
Written by NIAC   
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Human Rights of the Iranian people must be upheld
For Immediate Release

 Contact:  Goli Fassihian
Tel: (202) 215 0998

The National Iranian American Council condemns the Iranian government's use of violence against demonstrators in Tehran and cities across Iran. "We condemn the violations of the human rights of the Iranian people," said NIAC President Trita Parsi.  "The people's right to freedom of expression must always be respected."

The violence ensued after elections widely perceived to have been either rigged or stolen. Credible reports and footage from Iran have shown security forces using brutal and sometimes lethal force to break up demonstrations across the country.

The Iranian government is obligated under international law to respect the civil and political rights of its people under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

"We unequivocally demand that violence against protesters be immediately halted," said Dokhi Fassihian, member of NIAC's board of directors.

 
Iran Election Violence: What Should the US Do?
Written by NIAC   
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Washington, DC - As the dramatic events in Iran continue to unfold, the thoughts and concerns of all of us here at NIAC are with the Iranian people and with the loved ones of all Iranian Americans who have been affected by the events of the last few days.

 

American policymakers are still deciding what course of action they should take. It is critical that they hear from the Iranian-American community as they do so.

What is your recommendation?

#1: The US shouldn't interfere.

#2: U.S. involvement would be counterproductive, but human rights violations must be condemned.

#3: The US should voice its support for the demonstrators.

We encourage you to choose the recommendation that most accurately represents your opinion and contact your elected officials. We have pre-written messages for your convenience, but encourage you to modify and add to the messages as you see fit. We have attempted to broadly capture the most common ideas about what the United States should be doing, but we recognize this is not an exaustive list of options. If your views aren't fully reflected, simply modify the message to reflect your views.

Click on one of the three options above to tell the President and your lawmakers what you think the US response should be!

 
Iran Election - 2009
Written by Patrick Disney   
Saturday, 13 June 2009

As events surrounding Iran's election unfold, NIAC staff will be blogging at www.niacINsight.com with the latest news and developments, along with English translations of Farsi Twitter feeds coming out of Iran.

Click here for the latest updates.

 
The Big Apple Raises $110,000 to Protect the Persepolis Tablets
Written by NIAC   
Thursday, 11 June 2009

ImageWashington, DC - Iranian-Americans from the New York tri-state area exceeded NIAC’s fundraising goals and helped raise over $110,000 to go towards preserving the Persepolis Artifacts on May 30th at the Asia Society in Manhattan. More than 180 attendees, Iranian Americans and Americans alike - and including Professor Ehsan Yarshater of Encyclopedia Iranica - heard from special guests Amy Goodman from Democracy Now, Roger Cohen from New York Times and Professor Matthew Stolper from the Persepolis Fortification Project.

NIAC honored both Amy Goodman and Roger Cohen for their journalistic integrity and outstanding reporting. Amy Goodman, who has won numerous awards for her reporting on East Timor and Nigeria, stressed the need for an independent media. She pointed out the media’s failure to ask the right questions during the lead-up to the Iraq War. Roger Cohen, who has written a series of thought-provoking columns on US-Iran relations, shared stories of his travels to Iran, reactions to his columns and how he believes US-Iran tensions can be reduced.

Read more...
 
Joint NIAC/JStreet Oped: How Diplomacy with Iran Can Succeed
Written by Jeremy Ben Ami and Trita Parsi   
Thursday, 11 June 2009
Hiffington Post - As Iranians go to cast their ballots in Friday's elections, it is much more than just Iran's future that is at stake. The White House is closely following the elections, as is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli Prime Minister may be watching Washington's reaction to the results more than the results themselves since his meeting with President Barack Obama last month confirmed that they are likely to bring different approaches to the critical problems facing the Middle East. While the President will base his Middle East policy on diplomacy to resolve conflicts, particularly with Iran, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be pressing for tight timelines on diplomacy and for tough action sooner rather than later.

The President would be well advised to pursue his chosen strategy with the intent to succeed -- not fail -- and the most critical factor will be time. There are those urging hard and fast deadlines on the President for diplomacy with Iran -- both here and in Israel -- who do not aim to see diplomacy succeed but to use its failure to justify harsher measures. Read full piece at the Huffington Post.

 
IAAB’s Camp Ayandeh 2009- Community Building for Iranian-American Youth
Written by Nahid Dashtaki   
Wednesday, 10 June 2009

ImageHinsdale, MA – On June 28 to July 5, 2009 the Iranian Alliances Across Boarders (IAAB) will be holding their annual Camp Ayandeh. This camp is one of community building, leadership training, and cultural awareness for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. This is a valuable opportunity for young Iranian-Americans looking to socialize and learn in a group of peers. IAAB is a non-political and non-religious organization that opens registration to campers and counselors of all religions, creeds, ethnicities and races. Camp Ayandeh has received the attention of media such as the Washington Post.

If you want to attend as a camper or counselor, registration is filling up quickly so make sure to check out the information on the IAAB website and submit an application by June 21, 2009.

 
Congress Delays Iran Divestment Vote, Citing Election
Written by David Elliott   
Tuesday, 09 June 2009

Washington, DC - The House of Representatives is no longer planning to vote on the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2009 this week, NIAC has learned, out of concern that it could benefit hardline candidates in the Iranian election.  The bill had been scheduled for a vote on Tuesday, a mere three days before the Iranian presidential election, according to a Congressional schedule posted by the Republican leadership over the weekend.

After NIAC President Trita Parsi published an article on Huffington Post about how the vote could benefit hardline candidates in the Iranian election, Democratic Congressional staff told NIAC that the measure was no longer on the calendar, and would not be placed on the calendar because it could benefit Iranian hardliners.  Staff for the Republican Whip, Eric Cantor (R-VA), claim that the vote first appeared on the Democrats' calendar.  How the measure made it onto the Republican calendar was not immediately clear.

Read more...
 
Embargo "Best Gift" US Could Give Iran
Written by Parisa Ghobbeh   
Monday, 08 June 2009

Washington DC – The “best gift” the United States could give to Iran would be to “launch an economic embargo on Iran,” according to Keith Crane, Director of the RAND Corporation’s Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program.  At a conference last Friday titled “Understanding Iran: Domestic and Foreign Policy on the Eve of the Presidential Election,” Crane said that long-term economic sanctions could be effective, but that they are currently not strong enough to threaten the existence of the regime.

 

He believes that an economic embargo would actually force the Iranian government to institute reforms that its economy desperately needs, while allowing hardliners to place the blame for any short-term pain on the West.

Read more...
 
Brzezinski: No-fly Zone for Israeli Strike Against Iran
Written by Sanaz Tofighrad   
Monday, 08 June 2009

Washington D.C. - "There's no way Israel is going to [strike] Iran if we don't support it by denying them the right to fly over Iraq" said Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security advisor to Jimmy Carter, in a conference organized by the RAND Corporation on June 5th on Iran's domestic and foreign policy.  According to Brzezinski, a war with Iran will only hurt the U.S. and Israel and "that is why we have to make sure Israel will not strike.  It will be painful, damaging, and would set national rage and fanaticism in Iran."

Brzezinski said that the notion of a military strike against Iran is a "non-starter" for the U.S. since it is already engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Among the disastrous consequences of an attack, Brzezinski pointed to the likely reactions from Iran which include destabilizing the situation in Afghanistan and the Strait of Hormuz and disrupting the flow of oil with devastating economic effects globally. 

Read more...
 
Rep. Honda Introduces Bill to Unite Immigrant Families
Written by Parisa Ghobbeh   
Thursday, 04 June 2009

ImageWashington DC - Today, Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) introduced the "Reuniting Families Act," which would give green card holders the same rights as citizens to bring their spouses and children to the US. The bill aims to provide greater stability to legal immigrant families, and is being viewed by many as an attempt to lay the groundwork for more ambitious immigration reforms later this year.

In a statement, Rep. Honda said "Our family-based immigration system has not been updated in 20 years, separating spouses, children and their parents, who have played by the rules, for years, often decades. Our proposed legislation is in line with both American family values and with our short-term need to grow our economy and save taxpayer money."

Read more...
 
Lawmakers Urge Support for Navy Talks with Iran
Written by Parisa Ghobbeh   
Wednesday, 03 June 2009

Washington DC - Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY), the two lead sponsors of H.Con.Res.94, delivered speeches this morning on the House floor announcing growing support for an Incidents-at-Sea agreement with Iran.  Among the members now supporting the bipartisan resolution is Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Seapower Subcommittee.

Read more...
 
Supreme Court Case can Decide Fate of Persepolis Tablets
Written by Ehsan Tabesh   
Friday, 29 May 2009
Image Washington DC - As the U.S. District Court decides the fate of thousands of historic Persian artifacts, the U.S. Supreme Court will soon determine whether U.S. citizens can sue the newly formed Republic of Iraq for the misdeeds of the former Saddam Hussein regime. The timing of the case is critical to not only future claims filed against sovereign nations including the United States, but also the outcome of two suits that seek to seize and auction off invaluable artifacts from Persepolis with great historical significance to Iranian Americans. (See previous NIAC articles on this topic 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Read more...
 
Rep. Harman Retracts Statement on Iran, Expresses Regret
Written by NIAC   
Thursday, 21 May 2009

For Immediate Release

Contact: (202) 386-6325

Rep. Harman Retracts Statement on Iran, Expresses Regret
"I regret any concern they might have caused," Harman Tells NIAC

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) welcomes Rep. Jane Harman’s retraction and clarification of her statement regarding the “separation” of Iran’s ethnic groups and regret for the concern it caused.

“I was not and am not calling for the creation of ethnic tensions or separation in Iran – nothing would be less productive,” said Harman in a statement to NIAC.  “Although my comments on Iran were taken out of context, I regret any concern they might have caused.”  

“My point was that the diversity of views in Iran should be better understood in order for the United States to formulate the best strategy for persuading the Iranian government not to pursue nuclear weapons development,” Harman added.

Read more...
 
NIAC Responds to Rep. Harman's Disturbing Comments
Written by NIAC   
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Washington DC - Following the inflammatory comments by Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) earlier this month, NIAC has sent a letter expressing outrage at the Congresswoman's suggestion that Iran should be "separated" along ethnic lines. 
 
The letter, signed by NIAC President Trita Parsi, was submitted in conjunction with a campaign to send numerous messages from Iranian Americans across the country asking that the Congresswoman retract her statements.  NIAC will remain in contact with Rep. Harman's office about this disturbing statement and will continue to press for a retraction. 
Read more...
 
NIAC protests US military’s use of the incorrect term “Arabian Gulf”
Written by NIAC   
Thursday, 23 April 2009

Washington DC - In his April 1 testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, America's commander of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan used the politically divisive term "Arabian Gulf" several times.  NIAC has learned that General David Petraeus' usage of this term is reflective of official US military policy, despite the recognition by all other US Government agencies that this term is incorrect.  This week, NIAC sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates protesting the use of this unhelpful and divisive term. 

In the period following the Persian Gulf War, the US military began issuing directives to its men and women that they use the term "Arabian Gulf," as a gesture to many of the Arab states in the region.  Historically, though, the term "Arabian Gulf" has been intended to create divisions in the region against non-Arab entities, particularly Iran and Israel.  Divisive leaders like Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, and Gamel Abdel Nasser have used the term to further an agenda of radical Arab nationalism that has contributed to the region's instability.

Read more...
 
NIAC Lauds President Obama’s Unprecedented Norooz Message for Peace
Written by NIAC   
Thursday, 19 March 2009

Contact: Emma MacKinnon
Tel: (202) 302-6920

For Immediate Release 

Washington DC - President Barack Obama sent an unprecedented message to the Iranian people and government on the occasion of Norooz, expressing his deep respect for the Iranian nation and civilization, as well as the contributions of Iranian Americans to the United States.

Recognizing the meaning of Norooz as the dawn of a new day, President Obama expresses his wish for constructive ties between the United States and Iran, signaling his strategic intent to see an end to the 30-year era of destructive enmity.

Read more...
 
Ask President Obama to prevent the auction of priceless Persepolis artifacts
Written by NIAC   
Tuesday, 24 February 2009
Image

 

At a time of hope when President Barack Obama has commended our heritage, saying "The Iranian people are a great people, and Persian civilization is a great civilization," a court in Chicago is about to confiscate and auction off some of the most powerful symbols of this civilization: priceless artifacts from Takht-e-Jamshid.

By failing to gain reparations from the Iranian government, lawyers for victims of terrorist attacks in Israel are now in turn attacking the heritage of Iranian Americans.

The plaintiff's objective: seize these relics of our heritage and auction them off to the highest bidder like items sold on e-bay. "Maybe they'll end up on coffee tables around the country,' one lawyer for the plaintiffs mused.

This must be stopped. Ask President Obama to prevent the auction of our cultural heritage!

 
NIAC Defeats Iran War Resolution: Blockade Bill Shelved by Congress
Written by NIAC   
Monday, 06 October 2008
Contact: Goli Fassihian

Tel: 202 215 0998

For immediate release

Washington, DC, Oct 3, 2008 -- The National Iranian American Council, working in partnership with a coalition of grassroots NGOs successfully defeated a Congressional resolution that would take a decisive step towards war with Iran.

"Stopping this dangerous resolution is a significant victory for the Iranian-American community," said Emily Blout, Legislative Director at the National Iranian American Council. "It is also a testament to the American people's opposition to another war in the Middle East."

Read more...
 
Lawmakers, Diplomats and Academics Join NIAC Board of Advisors
Written by NIAC   
Friday, 12 September 2008

Image Washington DC - What do former Under Secretary of State Tom Pickering, Congressmen Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) and Jim Moody (D-WI), comedian and actor Maz Jobrani, author Reza Aslan and Professor R.K. Ramazani have in common? They all serve together with ten other prominent academics and professionals on NIAC's new Board of Advisors.

Read more...
 
NIAC position on Human Rights in Iran
Written by NIAC   
Thursday, 28 August 2008

NIAC has issued a position statement on the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran. Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have reported a significant increase in human rights violations in Iran in the past few years. The statement expresses grave concern about the human rights situation in Iran and urges the government of Iran to respect the internationally recognized rights of its citizens.

As the human rights situation in Iran deteriorated, NIAC consulted its membership for guidance. As the largest grass-roots organization representing Americans of Iranian descent, NIAC regularly seeks direction from its membership to determine its priorities. The NIAC membership voted in favor of raising the organization’s profile in speaking out against human rights violations in Iran.

In 2006, NIAC's membership voted to have the organization oppose a US-Iran war and advocate a diplomatic solution to the nuclear stand-off. Read more...
 
NIAC enlists major law firm to protect Persian Tablets
Written by Shadee Malaklou   
Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Washington DC - Thousands of priceless artifacts from Persepolis that are on loan to the University of Chicago risk being auctioned off to the highest bidder. In an effort to defend the collective cultural heritage of Iranian Americans, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) has secured pro bono representation from with Mayer Brown LLP with connection to the case, Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran.

“The Iranian-American community has felt helpless in face of this threat to their historic heritage,” said Trita Parsi, NIAC President. “With Mayer Brown’s help, we are creating an avenue for the community to have their concerns and interests considered in this legal battle.”

Download Farsi version in PDF

Read more...
 
See NIAC's financial growth and tax-returns
Written by Babak Talebi   
Friday, 14 September 2007

Image

 

Washington DC - NIAC’s funding has grown significantly over the last few years. The structure of NIAC’s financing reflectsthe organization's grass-roots nature and the strong support it enjoys in the Iranian-American community. NIAC is an organization for Iranian Americans because it’s funded by Iranian Americans. At the same time, we have been fortunate enough to receive support and grants from major US and Iranian-American foundations such as Ploughshares Fund, Colombe Foundation, National Endowment for Democracy, Tides Foundation, Kenbe Foundation, Pluralism Fund, Open Society Institute, Connect US, Parsa Foundation, the Hand Foundation, Ahoora Foundation, the Houtan Foundation and the Eurasia Foundation.

Read more...
 
NIAC rebuts MKO and FrontPage Magazine’s untruths and fabrications
Written by NIAC   
Friday, 20 April 2007

Washington DC - The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) has been the target of several erroneous, maliciously defamatory opinion pieces by Kenneth Timmerman and Hassan Daioleslam in Frontpage Magazine. The articles are riddled with inaccuracies, misquotations, incorrect links and references to figures that played no role in NIAC's inception, operations, or its development over the years.

Read more...