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PAAIA Responds to Criticism of "Sanctions Report"

Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) released their "2012 Iran Sanction Report" last week. In an article by Ali Moayedian, published on on Tuesday (Is PAAIA advocating for an attack on Iran?), the report's claim of being "objective and balanced" was rejected and a series of questions were raised about the accuracy of the report and where PAAIA's leadership stands with respect to a military attack on Iran. Following is the response from PAAIA.

Dear Mr. Moayedian,

I am writing to you in response to your editorial, posted September 4, 2012, on titled “Is PAAIA advocating for an attack on Iran?” The editorial bases its assertions on the 2012 Iran sanctions Report that was recently released by the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA). We categorically and unequivocally reject your allegation that PAAIA seeks military action against Iran. This assertion is unfounded, sensationalist, and, in no way, supported by the content of the Report.

While we recognize that sensationalism may, at times, increase readership, it does nothing to bring the community together on such a serious subject. We strongly disagree with your premise that the Sanctions Report is unbalanced, inaccurate, and is an approval by PAAIA for military attack on Iran. In fact, the report is objective, based on fact and analysis. Its aim is not to take a position for or against sanctions on Iran and but rather to inform public debate. We believe that the majority of people who read the report will come to a similar conclusion. At no point in the Sanctions Report does PAAIA, explicitly or implicitly, propagate military action against Iran. 

As you are aware, in March of 2012, PAAIA conducted a Survey of Iranian Americans regarding possible military action against Iran. The results of the survey show that almost two-thirds (63%) of Iranian Americans oppose military action against Iran. PAAIA has utilized the survey results to conduct briefings with U.S. State Department, Congressional members and staffers, as well as other administration officials on the importance of this issue amongst our community, ensure that policymakers clearly understand the views of the Iranian Americans in regards to military action against Iran, and take those views into consideration when making any type of decision regarding an attack on Iran. 

As you recall, during the White House Roundtable with the Iranian American community, PAAIA's surveys were cited by numerous individuals on the views of the community on this and other important matters. Those comments demonstrate the value that is placed upon PAAIA's objective surveys and our attempts to effectively educate our diverse audience on issues of importance to our community. To assert that PAAIA, in any way, would advocate action against Iran is totally false and deliberately misleading.

I appreciate the time you took to dissect our Report. I welcome the opportunity for a dialogue where we can address each of the specific issues you have outlined in more detail. I look forward to our conversation.


Saghi F. Modjtabai
Executive Director
Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans
1614 20th Street NW, Washington DC 20009
Phone: (202) 828-8370
Fax: (202) 828-8371


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