Iranian Americans, Take a Lesson
OPEN ZION / Trita Parsi
24-Jul-2012 (93 comments)

Iranian Americans have many lessons to learn from Jewish Americans—most of them are about commitment and priorities.

In some aspects, the two communities could not be any more different. Jews have more than 2,000 years of experience living as minorities while retaining their distinct identity and culture, but have had only had episodic control of their homeland since the time of the Babylonian conquest.

Iranians, on the other hand, never truly lost their territory since the time of Cyrus the Great. And in spite of the Arab Muslim conquest of Iran, Iranians converted but did not adopt the Arab language or identity —a feat achieved by no other converts to Islam at the time.

recommended by Soosan Khanoom


Soosan Khanoom

Thank you Dr. Ala

by Soosan Khanoom on

Next time I am there I'll try that one... 

: )

PS. by the way my parents were from shomal but not from Gilan .. they were from Mazandaran .. but I do love Gilani's food ...  

Soosan Khanoom

Being born abroad does not qualify you to be non-Iranian

by Soosan Khanoom on

wether you like it or not he is Iranian and he is Zoroastrian .... now I am not sure how jumping over the bushes has to do with this?!! ... I, myself , have not done it for quite a long time ... last time I jumped I was in the middle school .. 

Faramraz , you remind me of the "Gozinesh tests of IRI" they want to know if I have attended namaz Jomeh and you want to know if I have jumped over the bushes !!

: ) 

Mohammad Ala

Stop the lies and GROW UP.

by Mohammad Ala on

First of all, Thank You, SK.

Dr. Trita Parsi who I have disagreed with on many occasions has been in many Iranian gatherings, but apparently not the ones that you go to….. LOL.  He can be whoever he wants to be.  Many of you need a lesson in "freedom of speech and individuals."

SK, Gilaneh is one, but the prices are high.  There is another one, in maydoon joomheri, not upscale but delicious Gilani meals.  When I was at Gilaneh few months ago, I noticed the place was packed by tourists, mostly Koreans and few Europeans. 

LOL.  Some are comparing an elephant with an ant.   When you do not know AIPAC check them out.  Its presidents also serve long terms (10-15 years) unless they are called to serve in the State Department.  LOL  AIPAC has over 240 full-time employees whereas NIAC has one and two part-time employees and several volunteers.  I did not count AIPAC’s volunteers of over 400,000.  Do you get the picture?

There are many lies in the comments posted that Dr. Parsi has not contributed to other organizations.  He has helped Persian Gulf organization.  Stop the lies and GROW UP.

You do not like NIAC?  Create your own organization and stop bickering.


Soosan Khanom, Bavafa -- I agree

by ayatoilet1 on

Soosan Khanom: You are right. Virtually 50%+ of the Jewish community in the U.S. carry Israeli citizenship. And that is an achilles heal for the community when they talk about U.S. policy and U.S. interests - because clearly they do not have U.S. interests wholly at heart. I do think , on the whole virtually every major Jewish American organization has had leadership which had AT LEAST a U.S. citizenship since 1950's - otherwise they would get clearances and access to politicians at very high levels. But Trita Parsi is comparing Iranians today to Jewish American lobbists today!!  And neither him or his organization measure up to those standards - TODAY.

I think most Iranians I know have also maintained their Iranian Citizenship. But, BIG BUT, its legit to say you are Israeli-American or Iranian-American - be open about it. Nothing wrong with that.

And Bavafa-Khan: I agree with you too. The focus does need to be on the message regardless of someone's height, weight, nationality etc. But remember the point I am making, organizations like NIAC have hijacked the public sphere and do NOT allow other messages to get through. They have monopolized it. That is the 'crime' if you will. And that really is the mission - to stop other Iranian-American voices from getting heard. Iranian-Americans need to be harder on the U.S. administration and hold them accountable for countless issues involving Iranians and their policy vis-a-vis the Mullahs. NIAC has NOT done that.


Dr. Mohandes

Trita spells Logic : Logik, jik jik

by Dr. Mohandes on

Well put faramarz. But to his credit, he did say some persian things on parazit with kambiz walking him through it. 

SK jan

Joradan is not that far from where i live and on days when i feel like taking a long walk , that is usually where my destination is...From takhte tavoos to Jordan and back down through vozara ...<------ Major athlete warning sign is flashing now---ladies and gentlemen----get a load of that flashing sign now.

but with this mah ramazan thingy i don't think anyone starts the feast any earlier than 9 pm and i am usually in bed by that time, like a champion is, getting ready for another day, full of adventure and athleticism. you know...


Soosan Khanoom


by Soosan Khanoom on

I would have provided links instead of copy and paste, had it not been for the lazy butt readers of the IC ..


Soosan Khanoom

DM jan who has time to cook these days besides

by Soosan Khanoom on

I never cook ... I do not even know where the kitchen is located in my house

Now, while at it ... could you please stop by the " Gilaneh Restaurant " in Tehran and have some Kabob Torsh ( Yummy ) ?  Loved that restaurant when I was in Tehran ... love the whole thing and the place is so cozy ...  It is somewhere in the Jordan street ... 

: )  


NIAC's Logic!

by Faramarz on



Trita is neither Iranian nor American but somehow, as in Algebra, two negatives make a positive!

(non-Iranian) x (non-American) = (Iranian-American)

When was the last time anyone saw Trita at an Iranian gathering like Norooz, 13-bedar, 4Shanbeh Souri, etc? When was the last time he engaged a group of Iranians in Farsi, quoted Hafez or Rumi or read a poem or a passage in Farsi?

I understand that he is hero to the Copy/Paste crowd at NIAC, but being an Iranian has some requirements and obligations, so does being an American.

Trita is neither.

Soosan Khanoom

Thanks Iraj khan for the great quote

by Soosan Khanoom on


Dr. Mohandes

Soosan Khanoom Joon:)

by Dr. Mohandes on

Lotfan wear your chador and go into the kitchen...The abghoosht is spilling over and our guests will remain dinnerless:)))))

I love yoiiiii:)))) 

At least Mashti Isaiah is canadian which is not far from USA...Canada koja ...sweden Koja?!

Looks like Trita joon is heading on the same path all the way up to being a member of the delegation, someday soon and then he can sit down , relax and really enjoy them god damn swedish meatballs:)

Dr. Mohandes

alla ho akbar... Soosan

by Dr. Mohandes on

alla ho akbar... Soosan khanoom Rahbar:)

Soosan Khanoom

Bavafa, I do not think so they read the whole thing

by Soosan Khanoom on

as the matter of fact none of his opponents ever does.  That is Iranian style of debating ...Once I am against you ... I am going to trash you anyway !!


Soosan Khanoom

Let 's check out the citizenship status of the AIPAC founder ...

by Soosan Khanoom on

And you guys are upset because Trita has some Swedish connection ... oh boy !!

and here ... some info on AIPAC founder:

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee was founded in 1951 by Isaiah L. "Si" Kenen. Before that, Kenen was an employee of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs ....

Kenen was born in Canada, on March 7, 1905. His father, born in Kiev, was an insurance agent. His family was active in the Zionist movement and his father established the first Bnei Zion club in Toronto and attended the first meetings of the World Zionist Congress. Kenen studied at the University of Toronto and majored in philosophy. He married Beatrice Bain, who was also a student at the University of Toronto. They had one son, Peter.

Kenen started working as a journalist at the Toronto Star and moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1926. He studied law and was admitted to the Ohio Bar association in 1933. He became active in the Zionist movement and in 1941 became president of the Cleveland Zionist District. In the 1940s, he served as the information director of the Jewish Agency and following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, he served on the Israeli delegation to the United Nations 


Soosan Khanoom

Oh please, American citizenship and AIPAC?

by Soosan Khanoom on

Some of you Iranian-Americans commenting here are obviously not listening to the great points that Trita has mentioned on his article and as the result are continuing with your usual business which is basically nothing but nagging. Ironically you are good example of why Iranian Americans are never going to make it to the political scenes of this country.    

Now back to the topic of American citizenship and AIPAC...Stop bragging about it..... these two are no match ... in reality it is more of an Isreali citizenship here that matters ... after all you should see who benefits from all of this !!


" Among the best-known critical works about AIPAC is The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, by University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer andHarvard University Kennedy School of Government professor Stephen Walt. In the working paper and resulting book they accuse AIPAC of being "the most powerful and best known" component of a larger pro-Israel lobby that distorts American foreign policy. They write:

AIPAC's success is due to its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda, and to punish those who challenge it.
... AIPAC makes sure that its friends get strong financial support from the myriad pro-Israel PACs. Those seen as hostile to Israel, on the other hand, can be sure that AIPAC will direct campaign contributions to their political opponents. ... The bottom line is that AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress. Open debate about U.S. policy towards Israel does not occur there, even though that policy has important consequences for the entire world.

AIPAC has also been the subject of criticism by prominent politicians including Representative Dave Obey of Wisconsin,former Senator Mike Gravel,and former Representative Cynthia McKinney. "

iraj khan

Telling it as it is..

by iraj khan on

Trita Parsi,

Like him, hate him, agree with him or whatever.

His observation about Iranian media here (IC included) 

"The Iranian American media, for instance, tends to have a journalistic standard that is a mix between O’Reilly and Jerry Springer. In the absence of a sophisticated public discourse, Neo-McCarthyism rules the Iranian American ether with ad-hominem attacks, character assassinations, and guilt by association serving as the standard tactics for political discourse. Rather than building unity and cohesion, these tactics have furthered the polarization and divisions that characterize the community."

Who sez so? Read the comments on this thread.

Soosan khanoom, thanks for posting it here.


DM aziz: Some of your points are well taken…

by Bavafa on

And I can agree with.  One thing that it may have not come across CLEAR, and I could be equally at fault for that, is that my objection was not in defense of TP.  In short so I don’t blab too much, my point was that if one (any given person) intend to influence others, in this case open their eyes in what kind of crook TP has been, I believe objective reasoning will be far more effective than irrelevant facts.

  So for me, it is far more important to object to the policies and influence TP has been pushing that affect my life or things that I care about than whether he is a US citizen or not.  In another word,  talking about his deeds will persuade me far greater than whether he is 7 foot tall or 4 feet short (obviously exaggerating in my example to make a point) regards


'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 



Mehrdad (Bavafa)-Jan, You Clearly did not read the article!!

by ayatoilet1 on

In this article, Trita Parsi talks about how Jewish lobby groups in the U.S. are effective. He talks about how these groups operate and are inherently democratic.  By the way, EVERY SINGLE ONE of these Jewish Lobby groups are headed by Jews.

Okay, my point is if you take AIPAC for example, they have new leadership all the time. It used to be Howard Kohr that was the executive director, and now its Lee Rosenberg. IT CHANGED. IT CHANGES. Whether is the executive committee or the membership - that votes. IT CHANGES.

Now, I was a member of NIAC many years ago, when it was founded basically and I thought it was a good thing for the Iranian-American community to have  in the U.S. Then I realized (learned) that (a) Trita Parsi is (and was) not American and (b) that it was a one man show with NO input from members etc. And much like the time when I was 16 and voted in Iran's referendum, I was conned. Khomeini just like Parsi - hijacked the revolution in the name of freedom and democracy and then went on to self-nominate and self-impose his will, his ambition, his agenda on everyone else.  Parsi has hijacked the Iranian-American podium.

He has NO place talking for our community in the U.S.

So getting back to my original points - that are self -evident - yes he is NOT American, and yes, he is NOT democratic. And Yes, he nor the NIAC come close to measuring up to any Jewish-American lobby group that he so admires according to the article he wrote.

Now he may be good enough for you. And the Mullahs may be good enough for some less-educated ultra-religious Iranians. Much like Michele Bachman is good enough for the Tea Party crowd. People like you deserve Trita Parsi. I personally do not look up to him as a leader of the Iranian-American community. That is my perogative. Michele Bachman at least got elected. Trita is self-appointed. 


If you can not see through the charade then you deserve to be conned. NIAC is a dookoon. Its a ploy for self-agrandisement and financial gain for Mr. Parsi. That is it. You get the leadership you deserve my friend.

In the end, if people like me don't speak out, bastard end up self-appointing themselves with no Dictators. Its our obligation, our duty to speak out and DEMAND better (more honest, more elightened, more faithful) leadership. Trita Parsi does not serve the interests of either America nor Iran. His influence is NOT constructive, and bottom line his mission is to hijack the podium so decent people can not speak or emerge as leaders.

Trita Parsi is a patent fraudster. How can you pretend to represent Iranian-Americans and NOT be an Iranian-American. At least all these Jewish-American organizations have Jewish-American leaders...that are elected.

Dr. Mohandes

Bavafa jan

by Dr. Mohandes on

There are some issues on which i happen to concur with you and certain ones that i don't and would have to agree with Ayatoilet akhhee pakhhehe :)))

When you ask someone for "sound" reasoning you have got to realize that people have their own prerogatives and they can come up with whatthey think is reasonable whether that leaves a bad taste in your mouth, can not really be construed as a problem or "unreasonable " for the simple reason that YOU happen to disagree with them. So no matter what they say you may still find it Unreasonable.

With regards to the issues of American citizenship, To be honest with you it does make a difference. You have to take a stand. When you are a citizen at least we know that you have or at least pretended to take the oath of alligence and we know what your deal is. We know where your priorities lie. with our big doc here, i think he needs to come clean on that issue, and he owes us a clarification.

And honestly, with the exception of your case, i doubt that anyone claim to have adopted all the values and mores of the society he has been liiving in , just because he has lived there for a long time . Not even in iran. You have people in US and candad and europe who act more Iranian than the ones in iran and vice versa.

And the last thing is that, I would accept him as the Founder, and i could see him as the chairman of the board /  director general, or someone who oversees the operation from afar, not someone who is in charge of making big and day to day decisions. the fact is that in order to be known as the "democratic" leader he does need to hold elections and he needs to make this a true democratic process.  I mean, come on, to be the president of any organization or country from the inception, looks a little suspicious don't it?
how did we feel about Ghadahafi or Asad? 


Talking Basics

by Cost-of-Progress on

"Iranians converted but did not adopt the Arab language or identity —a feat achieved by no other converts to Islam at the time."


Most Iranians have this love affair with the alien religion of eSSlam which is the main reason we are where we are today. May be we would have been better off had we been conquered by the Jews than a bunch of desert dewelers thirsty for war loots and women.

Oh and about the Identity thingy? Just review what has happened to us since 1979.


Dear Ayatoilet: Not even one convincing point from you...

by Bavafa on

Honestly, your points seem to be just that you don’t like him but using any and all rather irrelevant reasoning to show your contempt.


I have no issues with your contempt for TP, but I would have hoped to see either some sound reasoning or plainly admitting the dislike.  This is of course if you want to save your credibility.  The mambo jumbo type reasoning only reflects on your integrity.

  As a footnote…for me an Iranian-American is a person from an Iranian background that lives in US. A green card holder that lives in US qualifies well for that while an Iranian with US citizenship that permanently live outside of US does not.  I lived in a different country before I moved permanently to US.  Am I not an Iranian-American then?  

And as for the democratic part, unless you are a member, you can’t complain or influence the group. Furthermore, does every organization goes thru election and if it does not, do we characterize it as undemocratic. 



'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 



Mehrdad (Bavafa)-Jan - The Facts are Self-Evident

by ayatoilet1 on

My first point was that Trita Parsi (and the NIAC) are not democrats and that in his article he talks about Iranian-American organizations needing to be democratic. And I said that is blatant hypocracy because there are no elections or changes at the top of the NIAC. I remember when he first founded the council, and here we are many years later and he is still in charge!! Its self-evident.

As for his swedish nationality and then heading the Iranian-American council, that too is fact. He, himself, has openly declared it. He sees to problem with it, in many interviews that he has given...including one several years ago in California replayed right here on Its a simple fact. Again I see, hypocricy in this. How can you say you represent Iranian-Americans when you are NOT and Iranian-American yourself. The very definition of American means you hold American citizenship.

I could go on and on. For example he was involved in a law suit where some Iranian commentator had accused him of linkage with certain organizations and he actually lost the suit.

My point is, that as far as a leader of a lobbying group, he falls way short of the leadership of the very Jewish-American lobby groups he says Iranians should aspire to. And his own organization falls short too. He needs to look in the mirror.

Finally, my point is he has hijacked the podiium and claims to represent us, when he does not and can not do so. Its a patent lie.


Dear Ayatoilte1: As often as you ask in your own blogs…

by Bavafa on

Substantiate your accusations with some [reliable] proof.  Much of hearsay here put you exactly in the same group as they often accuse you of, unsubstantiated. 

Lastly, does it really matter if he is Swedish, American, or from Mars?  It baffles me to no end as how some of us get hung up on such issues.  Of course I fully understand it when it comes from those who all but logic in their arguments.


Here, I am not defending TP, but criticizing you for your rather act of “hypocrisy” which I am sort of surprised by.



'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 



Trista, Take A Lesson (Your Hypocricy Must End)

by ayatoilet1 on

I agree with everything in your article, BUT, I do not agree with you as a hypocrite.

1) If you are a democrat then why not practice that at NIAC and hold elections...or rotate leadership. You are not a democrat, and for me you fit into the same bracket as the Rajavis. Democrats only in words - not deeds.

2) You are NOT an Iranian-American. You carry a swedish passport along with your Iranian one. There is nothing "American" about you. So how can you represent Iranian-Americans?

3) One great thing about Jewish organizations is that most of them are very transparent, and they really have excellent accountability to their members - right now, I have no idea where the money for NIAC comes from. And there is much evidence of linkage with nepharious organizations - NOT - linkage to Iranian-Americans (that you claim to represent).

NIAC is a dookoon. Isn't it? You milk it and live off it. And probably would not be able to get a job anywhere else.  

NIAC is NOT the only Iranian-American organization that suffers from hypocricy in how it functions. That is why I simply can not support you or the organization that you lead. So take a lesson, if you want to aspire to similar influence garnered by Jewish-American organizations then follow their operating model. Practice what you are preaching.

Oh and one final point. I do not think you have sent even one dollar to any OTHER Iranian-American organization. One key element of the Jewish community is that they actually send money to multiple organizations and they are all - yes all the organizations have rotating leadership and transparency. They have big dinner parties and announce who spent how much sponsoring the "cause".

Your role, like so many other fake "Iranian" organizations is to piss on the Iranian-American community and minimize its anti-Mullah/anti-IRI message. You have hijacked the message, hijacked the podium.

The problem is, everyone, yes everyone (Iranian-Americans and people inside the administration), know what you are all about. And you will continue to be humored - not engaged. I wish you would just shut up. There is nothing you can teach us - the Iranian-American community. And there is a lot for you to learn. Benchmark NIAC against any Jewish-American organization and you will see that NIAC falls way short. 

Look in the mirror and there is much for you to learn.

Darius Kadivar

It's True that 'Treason' is a full time Job ...

by Darius Kadivar on


Yup - Prominent means he has to work for it too!

by MM on

Sorry, he cannot buy it either.

Darius Kadivar

MM Jan RP 2 doesn't hang out with Prominent Sandis Khors

by Darius Kadivar on

TREACHEROUS ALLIANCE: Shapour Bakhtiar’s Post Mortem Message to NIAC’ers 

But do send my regards to your Swedish Subject turned President of Your EYRANIAN 'Club' ... 

And Hope you enjoyed the Cup Cakes and Tea in the Oval Office !  


Thanks, DK - will look at your videos when I have a week off ;)

by MM on

Also, please include the video of RP attending the meeting of the prominent Iranians with the US president last week? 


Very true - Cuban-Americans are case #2

by MM on


Darius Kadivar

Your Republic Spits on Cyrus the Great and our Royal Heritage

by Darius Kadivar on

After all you Founded it on MARG BAR SHAH !

Revolutionaries hang Reza Shah's Bust at Paris Embassy (1979)




Yellow Dog and his brother The Jackal



Khalkhali wanted to destroy Persepolis under the Bull Dozers when he visited Shiraz only to be stopped by the local and brave Quashgai villiagers.  


Unlike you PSEUDO EYERANIANS ... Iranian Jews have remained LOYAL to their Heritage and have not forgotten where they come from:


LITTLE PERSIA : Portrait of Shah and Crown Prince Reza in Tel-Aviv Iranian Restaurant


But since Hostage Taking is your speciality I guess Highjacking our Nationalism by now quoting Cyrus the Great has suddenly become the latest cover up in your attempts to re write history and seek appeasement between the Mullahs and the Obama Administration once Re elected.


Ahmadinejad praise Cyrus the great live on TV



YOUR Republic the One Supported by NIAC'ers from Day One Never Apologized for Replacing the Sun and Lion Flag with an Arab Sickle:




The IRI has removed the names of the Kings from our School books and attempts to only show the negative aspects linked the the rule of the Sassanians for instance because they know that they inspired the Pahlavi Kings.



So Don't think GENUINE Patriots including that Silent yet Vocal Majority don't see through Your Treacherous Double Standards Trita :


GIVE ME BACK MY COUNTRY: Bold Poem by a fellow compatriot denounces Ahmadinejad's Iran 



So as far as I'm concerned The Swedish Green Card Resident who isn't Even American but merely holds a Green Card can Shuv his Phd Thesis Treacherous Alliances Up his Rear :


TREACHEROUS ALLIANCE: Shapour Bakhtiar’s Post Mortem Message to NIAC’ers 


Bassijeeyeh Fokoly ...


,Babak Talebi and Trita Farsi (in Shorts)  Washington DC demonstration