They write, “As leaders of vibrant Iranian-American communities in California, Texas, and Missouri, we are sometimes amazed, but not really surprised to see how often our campaign for democratic change by the people of Iran, in favor of a free Iran, has come under fire. After all, we seek to oust the world’s number-one state-sponsor of terrorism and leading per capita executioner of its own citizens, a goal which certainly serves American national security interests.”
Their cause, however, doesn’t serve the interests of the apologists for the Iranian regime, or the regime’s lobbyists in Washington. They say that lately they’ve been disturbed by the “defamatory propaganda targeting former U.S. officials who addressed scores of conferences and seminars we organized on U.S. policy on Iran.”
Because they came to the U.S. after enduring hardship at the hands of the ruling theocracy, they care more deeply than most about U.S. Iran policy. Many Iranian-Americans lost family members under the repressive policies in Iran, and have relatives among the ranks of the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK).
For nearly a decade they MEK had the protection of U.S. Military in Iraq, but after the U.S. withdrawal, they were targeted by Iranian regime sponsored terrorist attacks in Camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq. Fortunately, they were safely resettled in Europe earlier this year.
“Because of our personal histories, we also appreciate the freedoms and opportunities of life here in the United States perhaps more deeply than most. Our communities’ members are generally very successful, taxpaying professionals, committed to paying it forward, and using our good fortune to promote the secular, democratic, and non-nuclear Iran that best serves the interests of our homeland, Iran, and our new home, the United States. We have been privileged to enjoy the support of many patriotic American leaders who helped our communities inform U.S. policy-makers and the public about the threats posed to this country by the epicenter of Islamic extremism and the central banker of international terrorism, namely, the clerical regime in Iran,” they write, and add that, “After three decades of time-consuming, tiring, and sometimes demanding work in our Congressional districts and trips to Washington, phone calls to our representatives, meetings, and letters, our campaign now enjoys overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers of the U.S. Congress. We are honored to have sponsored conferences and seminars, in the course of which we hosted more than 80 distinguished and patriotic former officials, including Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Speaker Newt Gingrich, Govs. Howard Dean and Ed Rendell, and Ambassador John Bolton, whose names have been mentioned in the media recently.”
The events where these officials spoke are protected by First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution and are therefore consistent with U.S. law. Dozens of the speeches were broadcast into Iran via satellite, and made public through traditional and social media. The authors agree, “It is our hope that they helped make millions of ordinary people in Iran aware of the falsity of the narrative propagated by the ruling mullahs,that America is the Great Satan.”
They take great pride in the fact that Iranian-American community members shouldered the costs of organizing and facilitating these events, and avow to continue doing so. They say that in the interest of transparency, they fully cooperated with the Treasury Department’s thorough review of activities that began in 2012 until the Department sent “its final enforcement response,” in 2013, when the Treasury Department stated that it had “completed its review” and cited no violations.
“Iranian-Americans are loud and proud about the work we have accomplished, about the distinguished officials who have joined us in our call for policy change, about the support we have received from our Congressional representatives, and most of all about the alarm bells we have set off in Tehran,” they conclude.