San Francisco, California, November 18, 2009 -- Recently, a few extreme right-wing circles have been confronting National Iranian-American Council, NIAC, not by debating the merits of its positions and arguments, but through defamation and character assassination, accusing NIAC of being an agent of the Iranian government.
As an organization that has been working with Iranian-American grassroots for years on issues of great importance to this constituency, Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats, www.BAIAD.org, finds these accusations just as baseless as trying to link the groups behind these accusations to the Iranian government.
As Americans, we pride ourselves for being a nation of law, a country where people and organizations are presumed innocent until proven guilty. As such, if the accusers have evidence that implicates NIAC, they should offer it and must otherwise refrain from making unfounded accusations.
As American advocacy groups, BAIAD and NIAC -- despite having different missions -- only represent one constituency: Iranian-Americans who have a vested interest in participating in the American democracy.
Even though BAIAD does not see eye to eye with NIAC on every issue, on balance we have been -- and continue to be -- proud of the work NIAC has been doing in standing up for the interests of Iranian-Americans. Furthermore, NIAC has consistently demonstrated that it does not shy away from strong criticism of Iranian government on various grounds including human rights and foreign policy -- for example during the months that followed the contested presidential elections in Iran earlier this year.
BAIAD strongly condemns the use of defamation and slander as a way of winning political arguments and believes that these attacks serve the aim of intimidating pro-diplomacy Iranian-Americans, suppressing open political participation by Iranian-Americans, and poisoning the much needed debate about the best foreign policy toward Iran.
Furthermore, we strongly urge those who believe in the power of democracy and healthy political discourse to speak out and not allow slander, character assassination and defamation to propagate unexamined and unanswered.
About Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats – BAIAD
Founded in 2004, Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats is the first chartered Iranian-American Democratic organization in the history of the Bay Area.
BAIAD is a non-religious, not-for-profit organization that stands for protecting the rights and interests of Iranian-Americans by encouraging active participation in American democracy and empowering the Iranian-American political voice and influence.
BAIAD is a chartered Democratic Club and is officially recognized by the Santa Clara County and Alameda County Democratic Parties.
Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats
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