Shame, shame on PAAIA


by emaliheh

At a time when brave Iranian men, but more importantly women, are showing the courage of lions, one Iranian-American organization has dropped all its principles and sought to use the blood of our people for its own self-promotion: PAAIA.

In their newsletter yesterday, they brought attention to Andrew Sullivan's awesome blog, the Daily Dish, and his request for videos to call out the crimes of the Iranian regime.

So what does PAAIA do? They send an email to their mailinglist and ask their members to email Sullivan and ask him to highlight PAAIA's self-promotion videos of successful Iranian Americans.

Come again?? Yes, you heard me right. Screw the protesters in Iran - look instead at how much money our board members make, PAAIA says.

How low can an organization drop before the suffocate themselves in their own vomit?

Throughout this period in which our people in Iran have defied bullets and batons, protesting for all of our rights to a free Iran, PAAIA did not list a single mention of this on their website.  That's because they don't deal with Iran, they say.

Yet, Rudi Bakhtiar is on CNN every five minutes - as a PAAIA rep - trying to give the monarchist leadership over the protests.

Am I the only one that's confused about this organization? I guess not. But what was limited to confusion and suspiscion a few days ago, is now nothing else but disgust.

It all makes sense. An organization that is only looking for self-promotion, will sacrifice all principles. They will put a person on CNN, if they can. They will avoid taking a real stance, and only take one to put themselves in the limelight, if they can.

And now, apparentely, they will also sacrifice the protesters in Iran to get their own self-promotion videos on Sullivan's blog.

Forget about Neda, look at our slick Board members, PAAIA says.

Andrew Sullivan, if you read this, do know that the majority of Iranian Americans care more about the protesters in Iran than they care about themselves. PAAIA does not represent us.



Human Rights

by Neda Ansari Ghopeh on

Maliheh jan, 

It is obvious you care about women's rights.  PAAIA does too.  They've shown it consistently with a balanced panel of speakers, men and women both.  And from what I've seen, they don't measure success by money.   Those who devote their lives to scientific & academic research don't always strike it rich, but are considered successful in any community, whether Iranian or not.  PAAIA's membership in this regard is again, well balanced, not to mention that they have representation from all religions.  At their May 10th event, I saw many prominent members among the crowd and I've personally met some very nice people through this organization, not always rich by measure of money.

Let's be Just.  PAAIA sent out a timely questionnaire.  As Rudy hinted, they've dissemintated information based on Iranian-American input, their core membership.



Writer has a point

by An Observer (not verified) on

With all due respect, this is exactly the time that every organization show their true nature. we are seeing it on LA Sat. TV's and all so called opposition groups. Many IA Organizations have come out and supported the movement. In fact many Iranians in America have come out not because someone led them just a quick response to the cries of our young people at home.

I have received so many emails also from NIAC, PAAIA and others. Honestly NIAC was quick to condemn the killings and take a position. PAAIA followed but they were very careful. I do think there is some degree of arrogance among PAAIA founders. How long they want to shove the successful Iranian Americans into our throat. It is time to get onboard and support our people back home and pressure governments and politicians to pressure IRI to release all prisoners. That's all we can do abroad, the rest is hot air.

I am also sick of LA TV's making this a business to sell flags.


Waste of Time

by Anonymous Joojeh (not verified) on

شما هم خیلی‌ بیکارید...نشسته یک صفحه چرت و پرت نوشته چون یک ایمیل الکی‌ براش فرستادند....خوب عزیزم دلتیش کن...عجب!!


It is all about success

by Asghar the rich guy (not verified) on

Health is better than sickness.
Happiness is better than sorrow.
Wealth is better than poverty.

Everyone is, and should be , after success.
Success as a father, as a husband,as a friend, as an educator, and yes, and as a businessman!
Failure, or lack of success, stinks.
Ask me. I have experienced both.

You don't count when you are a failure. This is not my rule; it is an observation.
You can have all the just causes in the world, and believe in them, but if you are broke, who cares that you care about those issues!

I make a a huge difference, by giving big to the issues I believe in, and my money makes a difference.
And I made my money the oldfashioned way: I worked hard for it.
God bless capitalism!


Do people not even bother to

by sp (not verified) on

Do people not even bother to check the most simple facts before they lodge senseless accusations against other organizations or individuals?

To say PAAIA has not mentioned events in Iran on their website is simply false. As a recipient of their newsletters, I have observed that since the presidential election in Iran, the only thing covered in their newsletters and added to their website relate to those developments. //

To say that in her media appearances, Rudi Bakhtiar said anything other than express concern and sympathy of Iranian Americans and the world for their brethren in Iran simply defies reality and smacks of the all too familiar conspiracy theories that unfortunately so many us appear to be afflicted with.

Finally, as far as I can tell, the Daily Dish asked for “cultural content” with emphasis on “cross pollinated content between Iranians and Americans…,” and what PAAIA suggested was that people provide links of their choice to keep the spotlight on the Iranian people worldwide, and included video suggestions including some PAAIA material but also other content.



Dear Rudi Bakhtiar

by Anonymouse on

Dear Rudi, I read your comment and I believe it comes from heart and I believe it.  I believe you are not rooting for the Pahlavis per se.  I've also seen couple of your appearances in CNN and you did very well (still can't understand why you went to Fox News and why in the hell you ended up with John Gibson of all the idiots there ;-).  You did not mention anything about Pahlavi or Monarchy and I do not know where that came from.

However, we live in America and unlike Iran we can discuss various issues and one issue that has been surrounding PAAIA is the fact that "successful Iranian" is a big deal to them.  I saw you at GMU where you talked about when Americans talk about Iran some of them associate it with terrorism where we want them to associate us with Piere Omidvar or the Nasa guy or other hot shots. 

This blog itself started about PAAIA asking others to send videos of famous Iranians.  This is my criticism of PAAIA.  What's the big deal about success?  Again NAACP has more successful people than us, yet they don't rely on them and if they do it is because of their contributions.  Now how much have these hot shot billionaires contributed to the Iranian cause?  How does that compare to the NAACP hot shots?

As for giving out lion and sun flag to kids at 13 bedar, I saw it myself with a guy (probably a dad) wearing PAAIA t-shirt giving it out along with couple others with same PAAIA t-shirts.  I am not making it up.  I am also not saying PAAIA endorsed it. I'm saying it happens and if PAAIA cares about it they can make it clear, if they don't then they should make that clear too.

The fact is Rudi these days everyone does things and then blames it on others.  Some are true and some are not.  This success thing is true and I believe in this time successful Iranians are not the issue.  In fact quite the contrary unsuccessful Iranians are the issue.

One last thing, I am not saying you are, but in general we should not be using these events as our way to fight the Islamophobia or Iranians being associated with terrorism.  We should not use these events for our own personal gains and image.  We should use these events to promote a just movement in Iran.  We are safe and sound living in US and if there is anything to fight here is to fight racism and ignorance in general.

Everything is sacred.

Darius Kadivar

Answer to emaliheh ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

You may have a problem with being a Monarchist.

Some including in Iran Don't :


And I certainly Won't apologize for being one !


Unless of course YOU Apologize for being a Republican (Jomhury Khah) ... Or Worst an IRI Apologist as a Member of

AIC ...


NIAC ...


Cheers Mate !


Ari Siletz

Not an attack, just a question

by Ari Siletz on

Preamble to question:    PAAIA mentions in its  Our History” web page that in November, 2006, approximately 70 Iranian Americans gathered in New York City to participate in a gathering, the purpose of which was to examine and discuss issues confronting Iranian Americans in the United States. This group appointed a task force that ultimately recommended the forming of an organization that later became PAAIA.           In July 2008 PAAIA refuted  suggestions of neo-con sympathies with this statement : We are therefore surprised by the statements about Ambassador Bolton [Ari’s note: Bolton advocates an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities]. PAAIA has never extended an invitation to Ambassador Bolton for a speaking engagement; Ambassador Bolton addressed a group of Iranian-Americans in New York City in November, 2006, nine months before PAAIA even came into existence.      The question itself:    Was the November 2006 NY gathering that appointed the pre-PAAIA task force the same meeting in which Ambassador Bolton spoke?  Please don’t interpret this question as a statement, because I really don’t know the answer and would like to know. Even if neo-cons did have a presence during the creation of what was later to become PAAIA (a supposition I am not making at the moment), all is not lost because PAAIA’s prospectus seems to concede  “early mistakes and missteps.”  But potential members need to get straightforward answers.  

Rudi Bakhtiar

a time to unite...

by Rudi Bakhtiar on


To Emaliheh,

It's not helpful in this sensitive time to throw out blind baseless accusations to divide, anger, and agitate our community. Now more than ever, we need to unite behind ONE cause: bringing an immediate end to the senseless brutality going on inside of Iran.  And we must do this despite some members of our community (you) who would rather waste their "freedom of speech" with irrelevant lies.

I have no doubt that most of Iranians living in diaspora feel as helpless as I do, but we have all been trying, in our own way, to do everything we can to help our suffering, tortured, and dying friends and families back home. 

For my own part, I have spent countless hours trying to sift through the flow of information coming my way and distribute it to the best of my ability.  I have also attended every protest in Washington DC, and spoken out on every network that has invited me, in order to shed light on the atrocities committed by the Islamic Republic in these past two weeks.  

To wrongfully brand me as a "monarchist" - a failed attempt to give your base comments validity - is pathetic.  I am on record regarding my position about the future of Iran:  the future of Iran must be decided by the people living inside of Iran. I will take my lead from them.

I am for the brave people of Iran. Are you?

Zendebad Iran

Rudi Bakhtiar 


Shame on all of you!!! This

by msina (not verified) on

Shame on all of you!!! This is the difference between the older generation of Iranian Americans and my generation of Iranian Americans (age 18-30). This is why the movement in Iran is being spearheaded by the Iranian youth.

Fighting like this and making baseless accusations against organizations and each other is absolutely embarrassing. It is so disheartening to hear how we attack one another and bring each other down instead of trying to help each other. I am so disappointed. The people of Iran are FIGHTING for their freedom and we are here in the United States, comfortably living our lives and attacking one another!!! That is shameful.

If you have been paying any attention in the past 2.5 weeks, or actually been watching CNN, then you would know that PAAIA and Rudi Bakhtiar ARE NOT promoting the Pahlavi's. And I attended the 13 bedar event and they were not giving out Sun/Lion flags. And AIPAC? Seriously? That is so ridiculous, its actually laughable.

Instead of making up lies about an organization, why not actually go to their website and do some research? Where do you people come up with this stuff? It is so ignorant and hateful. We should be behind such organizations such as PAAIA and NIAC. They are trying to help the Iranian American community. Instead of coming on this website and attacking these organizations with completely false accusations, why not contact them and work with them? It is a lot easier to sit back and criticize and accuse organizations that to take action and try to better these organizations thus helping the Iranian community. I guess that is just one more thing that separates your generation from mine and I guess for that reason the youth of Iran will actually make a difference.


To Kehjalati: you are not timid but quite the opposite

by Inquiring minds (not verified) on

"They .. have taken money from the US tax payers (Like AIPAC) to spy for Israel."

typical IR style BS!

Not that I care for PAAIA but who died and made NIAC the Iranian American representatives I wonder?!



by Anonymouse on

When NAACP represents African-Americans they highlight discrimination against their peers to get somewhere.  Same goes for other minority organizations for other ethnicities. 

Which minority organization in America do you know that has no issue but to "promote" successful (rich) people?!  How much more promotion do these (handful) millionaires, excuse me billioners, need?!

Everything is sacred.


Shame on PAAIA

by Khejalati (not verified) on

They are united with AIPAC against the Iranian people. They are paid to compete with Iranian organizations such as NIAC.

Just read about all their members and groups and strategies. They are definately not grass root and have taken money from the US tax payers (Like AIPAC) to spy for Israel.

Shame on PAAIA



by Saeed teez (not verified) on

where do you get these?
Who is promoting Pahlavi? PAAIA? Where?
When did they ever say they represent Iranian-Americans?
Who ever views them as such?
They are just like any other organization, NAAACP, NOW,...etc., promoting the cause of a group of people, in this case Iranian-Americans ( oh, and excuuuuse them for being successful!)
I am sure there are quite a few commentators on this page who can initiate an organization for unsuccessful Iranian-Americans.


oh please! what else? Ahmadinejad resigned?!

by Oh boy (not verified) on

"PAAIA is trying to promote Pahlavi"

Oh boy! that's the first time I am hearing such BS! they are trying to promote themselves, noone else!


I got the same email

by Sepehrmusic (not verified) on

JJ jan, the writer may have been a bit upset, but i got the same email and felt that it was a shameless plug of a bunch of names they "suggested" we send to the reporter. If they had left those names out, then it would have been a nice FYI email to Iranian-Americans. When they added who they suggested, they kind of crossed the line between informing and promoting since if I am not mistaken most of the people they suggested were members of their own organization. I guess I am also one of those spectators sitting on the side getting sick of all the music videos, poems, an emails that have all of a sudden cropped up because of the situation in Iran. Most of these things are self-serving in my humble opinion. They write a song or a poem, put Neda's picture or name in it, and publish. Didn't mean to rant, just wanted to say I understand where the writer is coming from.


not clear

by minadadvar on

I read your blog again.  It is not very clear.  Can you elaborate ?  What was in the e-mail/RB interview that got you so upset?


JJ Jaan he has a point


I think what he is trying to say and what I have to come conclusion is these organizations are not aligned with people's will and demand.

NIAC continues to deny the human rights violation in Iran and PAAIA is trying to promote Pahlavi. 

That is fine if they do that as a separate entity. They can be monarchists or whatever they want to be that is the freedom and that is what democracy is all about. And for that I will respect them but not announce on national TV that they are representatives of Iranian Americans they are not. 

I had never had a chance to vote for their board mebers. We don't know how they are selected or elected as well we don't know how they are been supported and what their agenda is.

But they should STOP advertising that they represent all Iranians in America, they Don't.

They don't represent me. I don't think they even represent the majority of Iranian here in USA.




Hatred and nothing but

by Mehdi on

All those who secretly want a war on Iran, are hoping that the West will "take out" the regime in Iran and given THEM the power, they all seem to spread hatred about organizations that work for peaceful solutions. This is another write-up filled with hatred, falsehood and half-truth in an attempt to muddy the name of an organization that is trying to improve Iran by empowering Iranian-Americans and also by trying to establish peace between Iran and the West, which in my opinion is the best way to help Iran. PAAIA must be having a good effect if those with hatred as their main motivation, are being bothered by it!

The Green movement was not supposed to have bloodshed in it but has been hijacked by the likes of MKO in order to turn it into something they want. And that is the main reason the movement died - people do not want a bloody revolution, they simply want change and improvement. So PAAIA seems to be much better in tune with the Iranian people than people like the writer here. As far as we know, Neda could have been killed by an MKO in order to hijack the Green movement and take it to a different path. 


Neither represents the majority

by Anonymous4656545464 (not verified) on

of Iranian Americans ... let alone Iranians in general

these self-appointed so called "represetnatives" of Iranian Americans do not represent nobody but only themselves (quite a few!) and those who finance them.

They know that they cannot fool nobody except CNN (maybe!) .... lol


Successful Iranian-Americans

by Anonymouse on

"Successful Iranian-Americans" is PAAIA's motto and I don't really understand it. 

First of all how do you define "success" (PAAIA usually defines it as Pierre Omidvar, Anousheh Ansari and Google founders, etc.) and second what about the unsuccessful Iranian-Americans?  Are they not worthy?!

And in 13-bedars they give out lion and sun flags to kids (6 - 13 year olds) to wave around.  Is that sign of "success"?!

I don't think this is shameful, rather embarrasing.  On one hand we're embarrased by Ahmadinejad in Iran on the other hand we're embarrased in America because we're not "successful"!

Everything is sacred.


Same goes for IRI sympathizers on this site

by NO doubt (not verified) on

"These people have mortgages to pay and families to feed. Stop shaming everyone and policing people. "

Same could be said about all the posters on this site who keep posting under tens of different registered and unregistered fake and silly aliases to defend the criminal IRI.

Ali P.

I am confused...

by Ali P. on

Who did what?

Jahanshah Javid

Opposite effect

by Jahanshah Javid on

When I read this, I don't see criticism. I see deep anger and hatred, over and beyond reasonable. Therefore most people will be reluctant to be sympathetic with your outburst. You're screaming so loudly that the issue gets lost.


I received that e-mail as well one from NIAC


I asked both organization to stop e-mailing me as well I asked them to stop calling themselves represntatives of Iranian-American community.

 Thank you for raising this issue.





What's the big deal?

by Anonymouss (not verified) on

Honestly, what do you expect? This organization isn't representing Iran. It represents Iranian AMERICANS. It needs to make money. These people have mortgages to pay and families to feed. Stop shaming everyone and policing people. Get a life.

If you are so angry, start your own organization. Aren't you tired of people who only dis NIAC and this new group, only to provide no alternative except Reza Pahlavi? Time for responsibility instead of whining.