Press Release by Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)
Washington, D.C. - Today, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) released the findings of its national public opinion survey of Iranian Americans revealing concerns over increased discrimination and domestic issues - a shift from previous polling.
A great majority of respondents (82%) are worried about rising discrimination against Iranian Americans, and more than one-half (56%) report having personally experienced discrimination.
"While well-assimilated in American society, Iranian Americans are increasingly concerned that their national origin or religion may lead to increased discrimination," said PAAIA's Director of Government Affairs, Morad Ghorban. "This concern has doubled since 2015."
Reflecting these concerns, survey respondents chose improving the image of Iranian Americans (79%) and protecting Iranian American civil rights (76%) as the most important goals that should be advanced by Iranian American organizations, this is a shift from previous years.
Regarding US-Iran relations, a large majority (83%) oppose the travel ban executive order and are worried that it will deter travel to and from Iran, where they still have deep familial connections. Nearly two-thirds of Iranian Americans (60%) believe the Trump administration should maintain the Iran Nuclear Agreement.
Survey results also show that the majority of Iranian Americans believe the United States should help advance democracy and promote civil rights in Iran and create employment opportunities for Iranians through greater U.S. investment in the country. Moreover, respondents clearly favor a secular democracy in Iran (57%), and (55%) view Iran's reformist President Rouhani favorably, while only 6% hold a favorable opinion of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
"Iranian Americans want to see change in Iran. However, they prefer policies that engage the Iranian people and support their democratic and economic aspirations rather than hard power tactics of tightening sanctions and supporting opposition groups and figures," said Ghorban.
PAAIA hopes to work with the administration and Congress to advance policies that improve the safety and security of all Americans including those of Iranian descent.
PAAIA commissioned Zogby Research Services (ZRS) to conduct a telephone survey of Iranian Americans.
Read the complete report.
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