Do PAAIA members want a military attack on Iran?


Mohammad Alireza
by Mohammad Alireza

I just came across an astonishing article on by Ali Moayedian entitled "Is PAAIA advocating a war on Iran?" where he carefully picks apart their recent report "2012 Iran Sanctions Report".

This is a MUST READ and instead of just providing the link I have copy-pasted the entire article because it truly is unbelievable that such intelligent and educated Iranians could allow such a report to be published under their organizations name.

PAAIA needs to have their entire membership vote on disclaiming this report or supporting it, and I hope the former is voted for because how can any Iranian be associated with such a warmongering report?

Here is the link to Ali Moayedian's article which provides a link to the report:


Is PAAIA advocating for an attack on Iran?

By Ali Moayedian

Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)'s "2012 Iran Sanction Report" came out last week, and I was hoping to see an "objective and balanced information and analysis" as promised by PAAIA:

"While PAAIA is focused on domestic U.S. affairs as they relate to the Iranian American community and has not been a platform for promoting U.S. foreign policy vis-a-vis Iran, we recognize the importance of providing objective and balanced information and analysis on issues affecting the Iranian American community and pertinent to policymakers."

However, I found the report anything but objective or balanced. In fact, I found it quite the opposite, that is biased and toeing the Necon's line. Coming from an Iranian-American group, it is surprising that it is repeatedly stated in the report as fact what is at best an allegation. Starting with the first paragraph, we are led to believe Iran is developing a nuclear weapon!

"With the escalating tensions over Iran's capabilities to potentially produce a nuclear weapon, additional unilateral and multilateral sanctions have recently been levied against Iran."

No such proof has of course been provided, neither by IAEA nor the US government. There are of course suspicions and accusations, but no proof. It is "facts" like this that can justify a military confrontation and bring devastation to Iran, and harm the interests of Americans by adding to the war casualties and piling up additional Trillions of debt. Not to mention the havoc this can bring to the global economy which we are part of.

So this is at best reckless for PAAIA to repeat the same allegations as facts. Even the U.S. government funded VOA or RFE/RL are usually more careful to state that "Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes." In fact I did a search for "peaceful" in PAAIA's report and I came empty-handed! Is this what we can call "balanced?"

It is however interesting that when it comes to acts of discrimination against Iranian-Americans due to sanctions, PAAIA is more careful to add the word "alleged" in the report:

"Additionally, the overzealous policies of companies attempting to comply with the sanctions and U.S. embargo have resulted in alleged acts of discrimination or profiling."
Furthermore, there is no discussion on the important fact that most of the sanctions imposed by US on Iran are unilateral, and to make them work, these sanctions are also being imposed on other nations as well. The word unilateral only appears in the first paragraph and in one quote:

"The history of similar efforts [sanctions] demonstrates that such a unilateral approach would provoke a negative response from our allies and would divert attention from an effective, coordinated response to Iran's nuclear ambition."
There are other inaccuracies in the report including the following claim that Iran has implemented subsidy cuts as a result of sanctions:

"As a result of the sanctions, the decrease in oil exports and revenues, and gasoline imports, the Iranian government has had to make changes to its internal capacities. In 2010, the government reduced gasoline and bread subsidies, while the electric rate was increased significantly."

Just a little research proves how untrue this statement is. The subsidy cuts had been in the works for years, and after some years of delays were finally put in place. In fact, World Bank has had positive words about the program:

"The Government has launched a major reform of its indirect subsidy system, which, if successful would markedly improve the efficiency of expenditures and economic activities."

"Preliminary estimates suggest that the Government's comprehensive cash transfer program accompanying the ongoing subsidy reform has reduced extreme poverty and income inequality significantly."

It should also be noted that gasoline subsidy cuts have had positive impacts on the environment by forcing people to change their consumption habits, just as the high prices in the US are pushing people to buy the higher MPG cars.

Surprisingly, there is no mention of medicine shortages due to sanctions. There is however talk about soaring costs of medical supplies and medications which has made Iranians "reluctant" to obtain care! Is this an intentional downplaying the impact of sanctions on the ordinary Iranians? Is "reluctant" the right term? How about unaffordable or unavailable?

"The cost of medical and dental care, medications and basic procedures and service have similarly soared, leaving many an Iranian resident reluctant to obtain much needed medical care."

Same is true about economy. PAAIA sites significant impact on Iranian economy. But Iranian people seem to be separate from the economy, since the heavy cost of sanctions on them isn't brought to light. Instead, we hear more about how this is impacting the nuclear weapons program:

"Although the precise effectiveness of international and U.S. sanctions against Iran remains open to debate, most experts believe that these sanctions against Iran have taken a substantial toll on Iran's economy. Apparent indications of the impact of sanctions include the significant devaluation of the Rial, the increasing cost of goods and services in the country, and the inability for Iran to maintain some of its core infrastructure due to a lack of sufficient supplies. The broader impact of sanctions can be seen in a host of other areas ranging from the challenges in developing nuclear weapons, decrease in exports and imports, and an overall increase in dissatisfaction among Iran's citizens."

Now if the following isn't an approval by PAAIA for military attack on Iran, then what is?

"At the same time, many experts still doubt that severe and sustained economic pressure will be sufficient to persuade Iran to abandon its drive for nuclear weapons capability.

While it is clear that sanctions are hurting the Iranian economy and influencing their behavior in the international arena, it remains unclear whether or not sanctions, coupled with diplomacy, will be sufficient to end the impasse with Iran over its nuclear program without addressing broader political accommodation."

"Repeat a lie 1000 times and it becomes the truth!" That happened in the case of Iraq and their non-existent WMD program. But how short are our memories that we don't even remember we were fooled just yesterday! PAAIA has joined the chorus of groups singing the same WMD tune, this time about Iran.

PAAIA's report relies extensively on "experts" such as Patrick Clawson, Michael Eisenstadt, and Kenneth Katsman who are advocates of a military attack on Iran, while ignoring those scholars who oppose sanctions and war. PAAIA, an Iranian-American group, has all but accepted, and seems is advocating, a military attack on Iran as the natural next step after sanctions. Is this the leadership one must expect from this organization?

There is strong opposition to a military action against Iran both in the US and around the globe. It is also notable to point there are officials in Israel who are showing true leadership by opposing an attack on Iran. There is even a facebook campaign by Iranian and Israeli people against the war. So why has PAAIA decided to stand on the side of the war? How can PAAIA's leadership justify such a war as being good for Iranians or for Americans? Why it it the consequences of an attack on Iran have not been considered in the report? How is it this very important information is missing from PAAIA's "objective and balanced" analysis?

So what is PAAIA bringing to the table that wasn't already there? How are the Iranian-Americans supposed to benefit from this report? Now that we've been "informed," are we supposed to pick up the phone and call our parents and relatives in Iran to let them know they'll be attacked soon while we generate reports blessing these acts against them?

It is important to raise these questions now and have a debate on these very important issues. PAAIA's leadership must clearly state their stand and their objectives in regards to a military attack against Iran. They owe this to their membership and to the Iranian-American community they claim to represent.


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Read your article - fantastic and on point

by MaryamJoon on


See my little piece about these "Iranians"

by MeyBokhor_Manbarbesuzan on


Thirty some years of non-critical exposure to American media can do this to you.


Kabriat said it so beautifully, I second his observations

by MaryamJoon on

Response = non-response

by Kabriat on 

Not that it isn't obvious, but Ms. Modjtabai's response doesn't address the substance of the Payvand article. 


Response = non-response

by Kabriat on

Not that it isn't obvious, but Ms. Modjtabai's response doesn't address the substance of the Payvand article. 


Mohammad Alireza - Re PAAIA, NIAC, PDMI and all of them

by MaryamJoon on

PAAIA won't seriously respond to you.  That's how these groups (all of them) work.  

NIAC is the same.  PDMI is the same.  

Don't be duped into believing that people that sat silently through the Iraq/Iran war, and gobbled up Iranian TV shows beamed out of LA and paid for by the CIA, will now turn into reliable anti-war activists.  


Mohammad Alireza

To PAAIA Executive Director:

by Mohammad Alireza on

Dear Ms. Saghi F. Modjtabai:

In your response below you write:

"I welcome the opportunity for a dialogue where we can address each of the specific issues you have outlined in more detail."

And it seems you had the opportunity to do just that but failed to do so.

The report clearly is based on the fundamental assumption that Iran is working on gaining nuclear weapons capability and so far this has not been proven and has been confirmed by American and Israeli intelligence agencies but somehow PAAIA comes up with a 35 page report that makes the allegation that Iran is working on gaining nuclear weapons capability.

My question to you is: Will PAAIA members be given the opportunity to vote on disclaiming this report or not? You owe them at least this right, assuming of course your organization functions along democratic lines.

Best regards,

M. Alireza


PAAIA your comment is a mess & pls. stay out of nuclear analysis

by MaryamJoon on

I just read the report, and I agree with the author of this article and the Payvand article:  

PAAIA drop the formalistic and overly-polite double talk because you sound like a typical Washington senator that has been caught in a bribery scandal with those types of explanations:   

"We categorically and unequivocally reject your allegation that PAAIA seeks military action against Iran. This assertion is unfounded, sensationalist, and, in no way, supported by the content of the Report." (PAAIA)

The bottom-line is the PAAIA report follows the Neo-Con's talking points on Iran's atomic energy program.  PAAIA's use of slanted rhetoric and omission of facts is clear.   Iranians are smart people; they can see the report of full of Israeli-government type jive.  

What an embarrassment!

And what on earth is PAAIA doing issuing reports on nuclear energy!



It's clear there is a fly in the soup

by MaryamJoon on

As Iranians try to organize themselves it is clear that some Iranian groups are being infiltrated by bad elements and it is important to call them out on it.  For a group to retain internal legitimacy it has to out those members that are corrupting its effectiveness and identify them.  You can't be politically correct about this.  


PAAIA’s Response to Editorial on Payvand titled, “Is PAAIA advoc

by PAAIA on

Dear Mr. Moayedin,

I am writing to you in response to your editorial, posted September 4, 2012, on titled “Is PAAIA advocating for an attack on Iran?” The editorial bases its assertions on the 2012 Iran sanctions Report that was recently released by the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA). We categorically and unequivocally reject your allegation that PAAIA seeks military action against Iran. This assertion is unfounded, sensationalist, and, in no way, supported by the content of the Report.

While we recognize that sensationalism may, at times, increase readership, it does nothing to bring the community together on such a serious subject. We strongly disagree with your premise that the Sanctions Report is unbalanced, inaccurate, and is an approval by PAAIA for military attack on Iran. In fact, the report is objective, based on fact and analysis. Its aim is not to take a position for or against sanctions on Iran and but rather to inform public debate. We believe that the majority of people who read the report will come to a similar conclusion. At no point in the Sanctions Report does PAAIA, explicitly or implicitly, propagate military action against Iran.

As you are aware, in March of 2012, PAAIA conducted a Survey of Iranian Americans regarding possible military action against Iran. The results of the survey show that almost two-thirds (63%) of Iranian Americans oppose military action against Iran. PAAIA has utilized the survey results to conduct briefings with U.S. State Department, Congressional members and staffers, as well as other administration officials on the importance of this issue amongst our community, ensure that policymakers clearly understand the views of the Iranian Americans in regards to military action against Iran, and take those views into consideration when making any type of decision regarding an attack on Iran.

As you recall, during the White House Roundtable with the Iranian American community, PAAIA's surveys were cited by numerous individuals on the views of the community on this and other important matters. Those comments demonstrate the value that is placed upon PAAIA's objective surveys and our attempts to effectively educate our diverse audience on issues of importance to our community. To assert that PAAIA, in any way, would advocate action against Iran is totally false and deliberately misleading.

I appreciate the time you took to dissect our Report. I welcome the opportunity for a dialogue where we can address each of the specific issues you have outlined in more detail. I look forward to our conversation.





Saghi F. Modjtabai

Executive Director



I no longer trust NIAC, PAAIA ... never trusted PDMI, PMOI

by MaryamJoon on