Beyond the dissonance
On accusations made against IAPAC
October 8, 2004
Over the past year, certain groups and individuals on several
occasions have leveled various accusations against the Iranian-American
Political Action Committee (IAPAC) and its members.
These accusations have ranged from insinuations that certain
of IAPAC's members are sympathetic to and act to promote the
policies of foreign governments such as the Islamic Republic of
Iran to suggestions that the organization is designed to promote
the narrow interests of only a few persons.
denying such allegations, IAPAC does not see any purpose to responding
to particulars of these attacks; they consist of no more than reckless
and baseless ad hominems that should have no place in reasoned
Instead, we trust that our audience will look
beyond the dissonance caused by a few that are insistent on capitalizing
upon issues that divide our community by circulating and recirculating
a set of false rumors and look to the organization's purpose
and accomplishments to judge its merits. We therefore publish this
communication not only to reintroduce ourselves, but also to present
a report on some of our activities.
IAPAC is a registered bipartisan federal political action committee
that contributes to candidates for federal office. The principal
criterion for making donations is whether the political candidate
is attuned to the domestic policy concerns of the Iranian-American
community residing in the United States.
IAPAC focuses exclusively
on these domestic policy matters, which, broadly speaking, thus
far have consisted of civil rights and immigration issues. While
supporting candidates on the issues, IAPAC also seeks to build
and strengthen our community's political influence by, among
other things, encouraging Iranian-Americans, regardless of their
affiliation, to participate actively in the political and electoral
process and supporting Iranian-Americans who run for political
office in the United States.
The purposes of IAPAC reflect the concern of its founders about
what they perceived to be a need for a voice for the Iranian-American
community within the political institutions of the United States.
For too long, Iranian-Americans have not had a coherent, let alone
influential, voice in American politics, even though individually
they have succeeded at the highest levels of their educational
and professional endeavors.
The reality of the American political
system teaches, moreover, that a community's voice will be
heard only if it is organized, is financially strong, and has a
coherent, persuasive message. As such, IAPAC's founders concluded
that a political action committee representing our common interests
was indispensable. This political action committee required (and
will always require) strong financial backing and community support.
IAPAC is a bipartisan political action committee, meaning that
it endeavors to advance its stated policy goals by reaching out
to and building influence for the Iranian-American community among
the ranks of both the Republican and Democratic parties. As such,
IAPAC's trustees include individuals of diverse political persuasions
While recognizing their differences of opinion,
IAPAC's trustees have chosen to emphasize our community's common
interests and to work together towards achieving the organization's
stated goals. This is a model of collaboration that undoubtedly
best serves our collective interest and that we sincerely hope
and trust will be increasingly adopted by ever larger segments
of the Iranian-American community.
Recognizing both the need for political and civic success and
the absence of the necessary organizational framework, the twenty-two
founding Trustees of IAPAC sought to create a mechanism to fill
that void for the Iranian-American community.
The impact of recent
legislation (actual and proposed) on our community provided the
necessary impetus to found the organization. Founded in 2003,
IAPAC has grown at a rapid rate because of the dedication and support
of a broad, bipartisan, and geographically diverse group of Iranian-Americans
from all walks of life.
here to learn more about IAPAC's organizational structure
and leadership profiles.
Our recent activities demonstrate that IAPAC has become a credible
and strong voice for Iranian-Americans. For example, IAPAC's
efforts have helped counteract recent legislative and regulatory
developments in the field of immigration law that had a prejudicial
impact on Iranians.
In this regard, in collaboration with other
Iranian-American organizations, IAPAC has brought the detention
of approximately 1000 Iranians to the attention of Congress and
has assisted scheduling and publicizing bipartisan briefings
on Capital Hill on the issues of immigration law and its implementation
under the NSEERS program. In addition, IAPAC has supported candidates
for Congress whose positions promise to further advance the concerns
of our community.
here to learn more about candidates supported by IAPAC.
here to learn more about IAPAC's activities.
One final matter. Since IAPAC's inception,
many have asked what the organization's position
is with respect to Iran. As noted above, IAPAC is singularly
dedicated to matters of American
But we add the following thoughts. It goes without
saying that the vast majority of, if not all Iranian-Americans
ardently hope for a free, tolerant, and democratic Iran. However,
in our experience, more specific discussions touching on matters
of Iranian domestic politics traditionally have engendered
great division within the community.
Therefore, in forming IAPAC, the
twenty-two founding trustees concluded that the organization
would succeed only if it were built around domestic
issues of interest
or concern upon which there was consensus in the community.
the goal has been not to confront and divide, but to encourage
the community to believe that America belongs to it as much
as it does to anyone else, and to get involved so that the Iranian
American community can define its own image and can have a
about its future in America.
We believe that those who continually seek to hurl baseless accusations
and recycle the same old insinuations against IAPAC do a great
disservice to all Iranian-Americans who are seeking to establish
their rightful place within the American political system.
IAPAC believe that it is more important for Iranian-Americans
to participate and engage in thoughtful and deliberate discussions
of what their views may be - than for them to sit on the
sidelines or to perpetuate innuendo.
We only hope that Iranian-Americans
will enter the political debate aiming to persuade with facts
and sound reasoning. We invite you to learn more about us by
visiting our web site at iranianamericanpac.org.