Bookmark and Share

NIAC seeks apology from Texas Lt. Governor for derogatory comments about Iranians


By Samir Fayyaz, National Iranian American Council

Washington DC, October 3, 2003 - Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst (R), in a fit of frustration, accused Texas House of Representatives Speaker Tom Craddick of negotiating like an "Iranian Cabdriver" Thursday. Mr. Dewhurst's incendiary remark came in response to what he viewed as foot dragging during congressional redistricting talks. NIAC has been in contact with Mr. Dewhurst's office in order to secure an apology for the Lt. Governor's insensitive remarks.

"At this late hour, I think we need to come together on a map ... and stop playing the Iranian cabdriver negotiations, where you get what you want and then you start adding two or three other requests," Dewhurst said.

The Lt. Governor's display of insensitivity towards the Iranian-American community shows the degree to which latent suspicions towards America's immigrant communities permeates the outlook of powerful political actors in the United States. It is this same mindset that inspires bills such as the STEP Act, which would deport all Iranian non-immigrants in the US if passed.

The National Iranian American Council contacted the Lt. Governor on Friday afternoon to receive an official statement from his office in response to his remarks. On two occasions we were directed to Mr. Dewhurst's Press Secretary, who subsequently told us that the Lt. Governor, himself, would contact us shortly with an official apology.

We have as of yet not received the phone call from the Lt. Governor, and we will remain steadfast in prompting Mr. Dewhurst to take responsibility for his damaging remarks. NIAC encourages Iranian Americans, particularly residents of Texas to contact Mr. Dewhurst and politely express their views about his comments.

NIAC's mission is to promote Iranian-American participation in civic life. Iranians-Americans deserve to make informed decisions on matters that affect them, and NIAC aims to facilitate this by bringing transparency to these debates. Our intent is to report on policy conferences and pieces of legislation as objectively as possible. NIAC, itself, as an organization, has no position on these debates. Our function is to provide Iranian-Americans with the necessary knowledge and tools to be able to participate in decision-making according to their own views.

The National Iranian American Council is a Washington, DC-based non-profit educational organization promoting Iranian-American participation in American civic and political life. For more information, please visit, email NIAC at or send a fax to 202-518-6187. NIAC is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization. All donations to NIAC are tax-deductible.

© Copyright 2003 (All Rights Reserved)