image from artice, with caption: Iranian cityExcerpt:
Dear President Trump:
On behalf of the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), we write to wish you success in uniting our nation and bridging partisan divides after a divisive election. PAAIA works to advance the voice of Iranian Americans as it affects our interests in the U.S. as well as to offer our perspectives on U.S. policy toward Iran. The Iranian American community is dedicated to protecting America’s national interests. They are patriots who contribute greatly to America through their accomplishments, diversity and support for peace and diplomacy. When it comes to policy toward Iran, we believe American interests are best served by engaging the Iranian people and supporting their democratic and economic aspirations.
Iran is one of the few countries in the Middle East whose people maintain a favorable disposition toward America. ...
Policymakers would be wise to think more creatively about crafting policies that would support America’s greatest ally in Iran – the Iranian people.
More Cultural & Educational Exchanges
The lessons derived from the Cold War indicate that more resources should be dedicated to cultural and educational exchanges. There is no doubt about the important role U.S. cultural diplomacy played in improving relations with Eastern European countries and helping end the Cold War. Such exchanges with Iran will uphold positive features of American society and help cultivate Iranian goodwill toward America. ...
[W]hile Iranian Americans want to see a secular, democratic Iran and the promotion of human rights, they are opposed to military conflict with Iran. They prefer to resolve differences with Iran through diplomacy and support U.S. public diplomacy efforts in engaging with the Iranian people. ...Leila Austin, PhD
Director of Government Affairs and Policy