PAAIA Statement on Senator Jim Risch Comment on Iranian Population
For Immediate Release
Contact: Aman Ardalan
Phone: (202) 828-8370
Washington, DC – Today, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) issued the following statement in response to comments made by Senator Jim Risch, who is the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, during a press conference last week on the nuclear negotiations in Vienna, Austria. While expressing his opinion on the Iran Nuclear Deal, Senator Risch made disparaging comments about the Iranian people, their long history, and their shared persian language in conjunction with his views on the Iranian government’s objectives and negotiating tactics.
”Irrespective of political positions on the issue of the Iran Nuclear Deal, PAAIA strongly believes that lawmakers should distinguish between the Iranian people and government officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran when discussing U.S.-Iran relations. The vast majority of Iran’s population are young, educated, digitally connected, and hold a very favorable disposition toward America. The conflation between the people and the government of Iran undermines U.S. policy to engage the Iranian people and support their aspirations.
These types of negative generalizations about an entire people and their rich and diverse heritage is also damaging for the Iranian American community. Iranian Americans make noteworthy contributions in all sectors of American public life, including government, military, and law enforcement, working to uphold the Constitution and to protect all Americans.”
The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans is a nonprofit, bipartisan, nonsectarian organization that represents the interests of the Iranian American community before U.S. policymakers, opinion makers, and the American public at large. PAAIA regularly conducts scientific public opinion surveys which inform us