Promoting democracy

PAAIA Releases 2009 National Survey of Iranian Americans


Promoting democracy

In August of 2008, the Public Affairs of Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) commissioned Zogby International to conduct a national public opinion survey of Iranian Americans to gather, for the first time, accurate and timely information about the demographics and views of the Iranian American community. The purpose of the 2008 survey was to provide PAAIA with the knowledge required to more effectively represent the Iranian American community, and to further inform and educate the American public at large, as well as U.S. policy makers and opinion makers about Iranian Americans.

Following the historic events that unfolded in Iran in the aftermath of the disputed June 12th presidential election, PAAIA again commissioned Zogby International to conduct a follow-up national survey of Iranian Americans to gauge how their perceptions and views may have shifted as a result of these events. This 2009 survey specifically explores the attitudes and views of Iranian Americans on issues such as recent developments in Iran, U.S.-Iran relations, the Obama Administration’s response to recent developments in Iran, and the role, if any, that the Iranian Diaspora and Iranian American community or civic organizations could or should play with respect to developments in Iran. This survey’s margin of error is +/- 5%.

The most important findings of this 2009 public opinion survey of Iranian Americans are summarized below.


Ties between Iranian Americans and Iran remain strong.

Over the past year, the importance of ethnic heritage to Iranian Americans has remained unchanged, with eighty-five percent (85%) believing their heritage is either very important or somewhat important.

More than six in ten Iranian Americans have immediate family members in Iran, and almost three in ten communicate with their family or friends in Iran at least several times a week. An additional four in ten communicate with their family or friends in Iran at least several times a month. The foregoing indicates an unusually close relationship between Iranian Americans and the people of Iran.


Iranian Americans closely followed post-election events in Iran, feel the presidential election was not free and fair, generally approve of the Obama Administration’s handling of the crisis, and favor negotiations and peaceful change within Iran.

Since 2008 there has been a slight uptick in the percentage of Iranian Americans who say they follow the news from Iran closely (85%, up from 78%). More specifically, eighty-six percent (86%) followed news about the recent presidential election closely, including fifty-nine percent (59%) who followed it very closely.
Eighty-seven percent (87%) of respondents do not believe the Iranian presidential election was free and fair.

Half of all Iranian Americans surveyed (50%) believe the Obama Administration was right to ‘keep the American government from meddling in the Iranian election or interfering with the election protestors.’ In contrast, one-third (35%) believe the Obama administration should have been more actively involved, providing greater support to the protestors.
Only five percent (5%) of Iranian Americans favor U.S. military action against Iran, while fifty percent (50%) support diplomatic negotiations. This is an indication that most Iranian Americans still support a peaceful approach in U.S. policy toward Iran. Forty-two percent (42%) of Iranian Americans also believe promotion of regime change would be in the best interests of the United States.


Recent events in Iran appear to have changed, at least for the time being, the prevailing focus of the Iranian American community and attitudes toward the type of civic organizations they may join and support.

The recent electoral crisis in Iran appears to have brought about a considerable shift in the issues that Iranian Americans identify as their most important concerns. In 2008, a majority of Iranian Americans (54%) cited a range of domestic U.S. issues as being most important to them. In our 2009 survey, however, fifty-three percent (53%) of respondents cited either foreign policy issues involving U.S.-Iran relations (33%) or the internal affairs of Iran (20%) as being their most important concerns. In contrast, thirty-eight percent (38%) of respondents in 2009 cited either domestic issues that are not unique to the Iranian American community such as health care and education (22%) or domestic Iranian American issues such as civil rights (16%), as being most important to them.

As a result of this changed focus, when asked to name what they expect the two main goals of an Iranian American organization should be, a majority (59%) view ‘promoting democracy and human rights in Iran’ as the most important goal. Other goals, like improving the image of Iranian Americans (34%) and working within the community to increase their political influence (24%) and preserve their culture (22%), rank next in order. There is less support for influencing U.S. policy toward Iran (17%).

When presented with three distinct types of Iranian American community or civic organizations, each with different goals, the type of organization eliciting the highest interest (about one in three) was one whose major objective is ‘the promotion of human rights and democracy in Iran’. That said, about one in four Iranian Americans also indicated that they would join or support Iranian American organizations focused on either ‘domestic issue of Iranian Americans in the U.S.,’ or on ‘advocating U.S. foreign policy on Iran.’

Please click here for the complete report


more from PAAIA

Rudi Baktiar is Leaving PIAAIA

by seannewyork on

She is leaving this org knowing that she made a mistake joining them. 

She is on the side of the green movment and made a mistake mixing in with ex niac people.


Rudi Baktiar is Leaving PIAAIA

by seannewyork on

She is leaving this org knowing that she made a mistake joining them. 

She is on the side of the green movment and made a mistake mixing in with ex niac people.


Stop Supporting IRI

by Ahura on

What do we Iranian expatriates living in West want? Travel back and forth to Iran, have our normal business with homeland, blame the despotic Iranian society’s ways on foreigners, rewrite history as suited to our rich emotions and poor knowledge, wish democracy for Iran, and expect USA to overthrow IRI criminals by a magical wand (if we oppose IRI) or leave IRI alone (if we support IRI in any disguise.) Well NIAC, PAAIA, and other similar organizations reflect these wishes and claim to represent all of us.  

“Keep on Trucking Mama…” or may be aspire to stop supporting IRI.

American Dream

Amil Imani

by American Dream on

Amil Imani

Sorry Neda, Our President Doesn’t Give a Damn,

by Amil Imani on

Sorry Neda, Our President Doesn’t Give a Damn, [and neither the regime's lobbyists]

By Joy Tiz  Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Americans know far more about Michael Jackson than they do the history of Iran and its relationship to the United States.  Most of what America knows is wrong, having been subjected to pertinacious propaganda in Ayers’ based public education.

Which is why the interest in the life and death of Neda Agha-Soltan was so facilely dwarfed by the opulent freak show that surrounded Michael Jackson.

Neda was the beautiful young Iranian woman who was gunned down in the streets of Tehran for the crime of showing up.  She showed up to take a stand for freedom and took a bullet in the neck for her aspirations.  A relative in the United States had cautioned Neda not to attend any demonstrations, telling her “They’re killing people.”  To which the lionhearted and prescient Neda replied:  “Don’t worry, it’s just one bullet and it’s over.”

For just a flicker in time, Neda became an icon, a symbol of the young Iranians’ longing for the most elemental liberties.  It was easy for Americans to be incensed at the barbarous slaughter of a young woman so lovely and earnest.  Young Iran has caught a glimpse of freedom, the inescapable byproduct of advancing technology.  The noteworthiness of Neda is in no small measure due to the ease with which young Americans can appreciate her as not so unlike themselves. 

Part of the delusive indoctrination that goes on in public schools includes the rewriting of Iranian history in a way that abets the left.  Particularly pernicious is the persistent misrepresentation of the former Shah’s regime, which was supported by the CIA to oust another crackpot, Mohammed Mossadegh.

Mossadegh’s platform was his fierce opposition to British influence, an ideology adopted by Barack Obama.  Paving the way for future deranged dictators, Mossadegh eventually fired the parliament, called for a special election and declared himself the winner of 99.9% of the vote.   

Mossadegh nationalized the oil wells. That was ruinous enough, but batty Mohammad ostensibly didn’t realize that once the Brits pulled out of Iran, there was nobody who actually knew how to run them.  Thus, he drove his people into abject destitution.  The West had well founded jitters about Iran’s economic plight making the country easy prey for the Soviet Union.

After the CIA orchestrated coup, the former Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, returned from exile and modernized the country, including granting women the right to vote, raising the hackles of Muslim extremists.  The gains made for women were systematically reversed when Khomeini seized power.

The Shah was a friend of the United States.  Indeed, he was a flawed leader, prone to despotism but a real pussycat compared to the current Iranian thugocracy.  Until former president Jimmy Carter took office, the United States and Iran maintained a stable relationship.  Carter couldn’t abandon the Shah fast enough.  The daffy left always gets hysterical about minor despots and glorifies the really barbaric ones.  Fidel Castro is a demigod to a libtard.  Carter’s refusal to support the Shah and his delusions about the Ayatollah Khomeini enabled the savage fanatical regime to grab control of Iran.  Khomeini’s government slaughtered more citizens in its first few weeks than the Shah’s regime killed during its entire thirty- eight year reign.  The incendiary ayatollah’s take over was a kairotic moment in the worldwide eruption of Islamic terrorism.

As the Obama White House took credit for generating a “vigorous debate and enthusiasm” among the Iranian people regarding their elections, Ahmadinejad was proclaiming victory over his challenger without bothering to count the votes.  A Chicago pol, Obama saw nothing out of the ordinary when it was announced that adjunct Columbia professor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had won roughly 123% of the vote in the free, open and fair election.

Ahmedinejad’s agenda is to bring about a grand conflagration to summon the appearance of the 12th Imam.  To expedite Mahmoud’s aspirations, Obama has publicly assured Iran that the United States has not the slightest inclination to slow down the regime’s race to acquire nuclear weapons.

Iranian voters have taken to the streets to protest the outcome of their election, a risky enterprise in a nation led by maniacs who gleefully torture and execute dissidents.  Contrast this to the United States, which provides beachfront property in Bermuda and SBA loans to entrepreneurial enemy combatants seeking to become restaurateurs. 

Iranians, many of them young students, are engaged in an impassioned affray with the brutal regime, some being gunned down by pro-government thugs.  The world is watching to see how the United States responds.  The Obamanutz media pundits downplayed the violence as the perpetually obtuse Rachel Maddow laughingly compared the bloodshed in Tehran to America’s 2000 election conflict.

Our president, who has no qualms about telling Prime Minister Netanyahu how to run his country, is insisting that it would be indecorous for a United States president to “meddle”.  If liberals had any sense of irony, they would be captivated by the timing of Obama’s non-meddling posture as it coincided with former president Carter’s meddling in the Gaza.  The pro-terrorist peanut farmer has been meeting with Hamas and beseeching the Obama administration to take the savage beasts off of the state sponsors of terrorism list.  Carter’s position was given further credibility when his peacenik cohorts planted roadside bombs intended to exterminate their ardent abettor.

Nor does Obama feel the need to refrain from meddling in Honduras after the people lawfully ousted the (literally) tin foil hat wearing Manuel Zelaya.  Instead, the Obama administration came down firmly in support of the deposed crank.

It’s understandable that Barack Obama is unmoved by the overt appropriation of an election.  Nor would a different candidate make substantial changes in the Iranian government. However, the leader of the free world is obliged to reject the outcome of such a manifestly spurious election. 

The late Shah’s son has called on Obama to take a leadership position:

“I would like to take this opportunity and tell the President this is a crucial moment - on behalf of my compatriots and millions who have been turning to the outside world, particularly to this President - to say: don’t let us down.”

Iranians are understandably horrified by the new American president who has referred to the Ayatollah as Supreme Leader, a show of respect for the legitimacy of the barbaric regime.  Barack Obama went so far as to send a letter to the Ayatollah Khameini weeks before Iran’s June 12th election.  Obama was pandering to the brutal, backwards and oppressive Iranian leadership.

Back when the news still took the trouble to cover the bloodbath in Iran, the world saw young Iranians holding signs in English.  Urgent pleas were coming through computers worldwide begging the leader of the free world to help the Iranian people. 

While Barack Obama was eating ice cream, Neda’s parents were forced from their home by government agents.  Public displays of mourning were shut down.  Nineteen year old Kaveh Alipour was gunned down by government barbarians.  After frantically searching for news about his missing son at hospitals and eventually the morgue, Alipour’s father was told he would be required to pay a $3000 “bullet fee” to reimburse the government for the ammo expended in executing his child.

Barack Obama did eventually deliver the obligatory “we are outraged” statement.  He held off as long as he could, until public opinion became too clamorous to overlook.  While he gabbled, the violence in Iran escalated.  Iranian citizens were being massacred in the streets with axes and machetes.  Students were being routed from their beds in their dorm rooms. 

Ronald Reagan responded to a similar cry for help from the people of Poland who were then enslaved by the Soviet Union.  Reagan minced no words in decrying the Soviet Union as an “Evil Empire”.  He never expelled gibberish about how the United States shouldn’t “meddle” as innocent citizens suffer.

Then, as today, pantywaist liberals were caterwauling about toning down the rhetoric so as not to pique oppressive dictators.  Thankfully, Reagan ignored such nattering.  The Poles were doing what the Iranians are today:  insisting on the most basic of human liberties.  Ronald Reagan had to intention of sitting on the sidelines waiting to see how this thing played out.

Reagan helped spirit the defecting Polish Ambassador out of the country and to the United States.  Leonid Brezhnev was livid.  Reagan was delighted; Brezhnev’s outrage confirmed to Reagan that he was on the right track.  Ronald Reagan went on to use every tool at his disposal to end Brezhnev’s iron grip on Poland and support Lech Walesa.

Ronald Reagan won the battle to liberate the Polish people.  They have not forgotten.  He is considered, in the words of the Polish president, the “architect of democracy.” 

Barack Obama is certainly no Ronald Reagan.  The entire world, including the United States would be better off and more secure if the Ayatollah’s government toppled.

The Iranian regime is not allowing dear Neda to rest in peace.  Regime supporters desecrated her grave.  Neda’s fiancé, Caspian Makan spent sixty five days in prison and fled Iran once he was released on bail.  Makan has disclosed that the regime tried to force Neda’s parents to lie about the murder of their daughter.

Mr. Makan, who is in hiding said: “The breaking of Neda’s gravestone broke the hearts of millions of freedom-loving people around the world. The repressors, believing they can stifle the cries for freedom, have even attacked, beaten, threatened and insulted Neda’s parents. This is while the Islamic Republic of Iran denies Neda’s murder.”
On November 4th, Neda’s parents were attacked and detained for joining a protest in Iran. 

Arash Hejazi, the doctor who tried to save Ms. Soltan’s life and who now lives in exile in Oxford, told The Times: “The beating and arrest of Neda’s parents, the shattering of her tombstone, and the torturing and imprisonment of her boyfriend only shows how far this government is ready to go.”

The family of the brave and lovely Neda can find no peace.  We are deeply sorry, Neda.  Our president just doesn’t give a damn.



I agree with

by Haameed on

I agree with Seannewyork


I can't tell you how many of my relatives have said the same thing you just said word for word. 

It's fine that the Obama admin. doesn't want another 1953, however, when he wants to open diplomatic ties or "an open hand" with a government that has blatantly killed its own people in front of cell phone cameras that brings his decision making on Iran into question for some of us.


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Regime change

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on

Not wanting regime change by US in Iran != support for IRI. I personally do not support IRI. But I rather not have the US bungle Iran like it has Afghanistan or Iraq. I also do not savor the thought of my relatives in Iran being bombed.

Darius Kadivar

Thank You Miss Rudy Bakhtiar and PAAIA ;0))

by Darius Kadivar on

Rudi Bakhtiar currently holds the position of Director of Public Relations for PAAIA. In this role, Rudi will use her decade of experience in television news to help PAAIA present a more positive and accurate image of Iranian Americans to the American public.

Rudy Bakhtiar Tribute to the Shahbanou of Iran:

More videos here

Recommended Reading:

REZA's CALL: An Iranian Solidarnosc... By Darius KADIVAR


La Princesse Noor D'Iran: Un Coeur A Prendre! by Darius KADIVAR


Meeting Farah: A Photo Essay By Darius KADIVAR

Mola Nasredeen

Good Job PAAIA!

by Mola Nasredeen on

Excellent survey commissioned by PAAIA:

"Half of all Iranian Americans surveyed (50%) believe the Obama Administration was right to ‘keep the American government from meddling in the Iranian election or interfering with the election protestors.’ In contrast, one-third (35%) believe the Obama administration should have been more actively involved, providing greater support to the protestors.
Only five percent (5%) of Iranian Americans favor U.S. military action against Iran, while fifty percent (50%) support diplomatic negotiations. This is an indication that most Iranian Americans still support a peaceful approach in U.S. policy toward Iran. Forty-two percent (42%) of Iranian Americans also believe promotion of regime change would be in the best interests of the United States. "

Thank you.


and I love cry babies with no intellectual argument

by Q on

sean and mahmoud (the same Mahmoud who was quoted as supporting bombing of Iran?)

Do you have any better numbers, a more "representative" group or information confirming most Iranian Americans believe as you do?

If not, on what basis do you call these results into question? Just because they don't agree with your personal point of view?


another bogus organization

by mahmoudg on

NIAC/PAAIA, two sides of the same coin.  unless we iranians can elect officers and baord members and be decisive with these types of organzations, we will just be subject to the same Akhondism, or Mullaism only with an american flare.  We need to question the leadership of both organizations and confront them with their past and present actions.  NIAC board members and PAAIA board members should look around and see how is leading them.



by seannewyork on

If 48% of Iranian Americans dont want regime change why dont they go back to Iran.  I love NIAC/PIAAPA polls that poll their small membership and try to speak for Iranian Americans.

 We are in America because we hate the regime in Iran and want them out.  If we liked them we would be in Iran, like 48% of the people PIAA is talking about.

 Islamic Repulic says they represnt us in Iran NIAC and PIAA in US.  Unreal.