on the Arrest of Iranian-Americans in Tehran
The Voice of Iranian-Americans (VIA)
current arrest of five Iranian-Americans in Tehran
on charges of promoting “velvet revolution” has once again raised the issues of
Iranians in Diaspora to the forefront of headline news. What has been considered
a lingering dilemma between the two governments for nearly thirty years has now
spilled over to impact the ordinary citizens of both nations at a
much-heightened level. In the meantime, the Iranian-Americans, who could
otherwise serve as the bridge of mutual understanding between the West and the
East, find themselves in a dichotomy of feeling between a rock and place in that
they are subjected to xenophobic mistreatment from both sides.
the arrest, detentions and interrogations of Americans of Iranian heritage while
visiting their motherland Iran,
are as deplorable as the ill treatment by some zealot inspection officers of
returning travelers at the U.S.
airports. One might accept the reality of the ill-treatments in Iran, due in
part to the political predicaments there; nonetheless, lengthy, albeit temporary airport detention of
Iranian-Americans anywhere runs counter to the fundamentals of human rights and
hospitality of expatriates, for which the Community in Diaspora has held Iran in
high esteem for. Such treatments, regardless of where they take place, are
affront to the rule of law and common human decency. Due process and the
internationally accepted Habeas
Corpus for an objective, transparent and expeditious legal proceedings if
warranted under the code of law, is the minimum required of a credible
Iranian-Americans have made significant progress in all aspects of life, thereby
contributing immensely toward the American ideals and quality of life for ALL during the past three decades.
They have embraced the many positive and core values of the American life. They
have truly embraced and assimilated in the American life and culture. And most
importantly, they have taken oath of allegiance to the United States
Constitution. The Iranian-Americans have been peace-loving and law-abiding model
citizens in the United
achievements have been garnered despite the fact that there has existed
antagonism between the two countries, hovering above them for decades. By the
same token, they have instilled in their children the many noble aspects of the
historically rich culture of the motherland, Iran.
closer assessment of the Iranian-Americans, their multifaceted contributions in
the advancement of science, medicine, technology, business, academe, art, etc. to the U.S.
and to humanity as a whole is well established. Such paramount achievements have
occurred as the community has endured challenges; notwithstanding, they have
managed to overcome these barriers and live productive lives.
Iranian-Americans, therefore, find it meritorious to support an independent
forum for free, open and informed dialogue between the people in
and the U.S.
It is envisaged that such dialogue will proactively promote harmony and
tranquility against such tumultuous backdrop for our community of nearly a
million in the U.S.
cannot necessarily argue with the right of a sovereign government to bring
specific charges, based on solid evidence, against an alleged individual if that
evidence has been obtained without coercion, intimidation, political pressure,
and physical and psychological torture. Neither can one argue with the in-depth
questioning of Iranian-Americans leaving or arriving in the United
States by the
Immigration, Border and Customs agents.
in lieu of its long history several millennia in the making, has struggled for
modernization in the last 200 years with limited success. The covert or at times
overt hegemonic intervention of western foreign governments has been by and
large responsible for such setbacks. The Iranian people, in quest for
sovereignty, cultural reforms and individual rights, are being stymied by an
ineffective internal administration on the one hand, and by torpedoing external
meddling forces, on the other. This has in turn been detrimental to the
aspiration of Iranian people to achieve homegrown democratic reforms anchored on
justice, security, peace and equity.
As the apprehension from foreigners grows stronger, the fear mongers in
positions of power exploit it to their own ulterior motives from all sides. The
political schizophrenia in Iran
has now spilled over to tarnish Iranian-Americans who travel to
Great many summer vacation plans have been canceled due to the recent events in
This does produce psychological ramifications as well as economic impact for a
country whose official inflation rate runs at 17%. Yet, the majority of the
Iranians hold favorable views toward Americans.
Iranian-Americans believe the best way to reach a reciprocal trust between the
two nations, is to treat the respective citizens with respect and admirations.
Citizens of both countries should be allowed to travel freely and peacefully and
with no harassment and intimidation inflicted upon them in either
or the U.S.
Voice of Iranian-Americans advocates for a civil resolution of the existing
tensions. Initial steps are being taken by the U.S.
in formulating a special visa category for parents to enable them to travel
frequently with fewer restrictions to the U.S.
to visit their children, who have been forced to cancel their summer vacations
The Voice of Iranian-Americans has been working closely with community leaders
to encourage civic participation and interaction among Iranian-Americans in the
Voice of Iranian-Americans believes citizens of both Iran
and the U.S.
should be spared from any political and psychological intimidation and that both
governments should benefit immeasurably when their citizens act as ambassadors
for peace and reconciliation.
The Voice of Iranian-Americans (VIA)
New York 10001
... Payvand News - 6/7/07 ... --