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1 Jul, 2015

Iranian Americans tell 2016 U.S. Presidential candidates to avoid offensive generalisations

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Thirty-seven prominent Iranian Americans, consisting of current and former government officials, foreign policy experts, scientists, business leaders, authors and media personalities, sent an open letter urging the 2016 presidential candidates to refrain from broad generalizations about the Iranian people when discussing the prospective nuclear agreement taking shape between the P5+1 and Iran.

The letter was prompted by recent comments made by presidential hopeful, Senator Lindsey Graham, which were interpreted by some in the media and Iranian Americans as highly offensive in suggesting that all Iranians are liars.

The letter notes that such insensitive and incendiary remarks have a potential to damage long-term U.S. interests. “Iran is quite unique in the Middle East, in that it maintains a sizable young, urban and highly educated population that holds favorable views towards America,” stresses the letter. “Out of context rhetoric and careless remarks only serve to alienate Iranians who want their government to reform and engage the international community in a positive way and embolden those who seek the exact opposite.”

Moreover, the authors point that such comments are offensive to Americans of Iranian heritage, and have the potential to encourage stereotyping, ill will and hatred against a particular group of Americans.

The group includes the former Mayor of Beverly Hills, Jimmy Delshad; Director of Solar System Exploration at NASA’s JPL, Dr. Firouz Naderi; Founder and President of Women’s Learning Partnership, Mahnaz Afkhami; Chairman & CEO, Prologis, Hamid Moghadam; acclaimed author, Azar Nafisi; and comedian and actor, Maz Jobrani.

Click here to read the full letter.

The letter was organized by the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian, independent organization that represents the interests of the Iranian American community before U.S. policymakers, opinion-makers, and the American public at large.