February 11, 2005

Iranian Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose U.S. Military Strikes Against Iran

Majority Support U.S. Participation in Nuclear Negotiations Between the European Union and Iran

WASHINGTON, - The National Iranian American Council
released today recent findings from a national letter writing campaign to
President Bush on US-Iran relations, showing overwhelming opposition among
Iranian Americans to U.S. military strikes against Iran. The findings
demonstrate strong support among the community for negotiations between the
two countries as the best option for addressing current tensions.
Of 662 letters sent by Iranian Americans to President George W. Bush
through the NIAC website from January 24th to 29th, 98 percent called for
rejection of military strikes against Iran, with 90 percent supporting U.S.
participation in the ongoing nuclear talks with the European Union. Thirty
percent called for joint disarmament of Israel and Iran, while only 11 percent
supported the idea that the U.S. should refuse to negotiate with Iran.
Further, only nine and two percent of Iranian Americans who participated in
the campaign felt the U.S. should provide funding to Iranian exiled opposition
groups or conduct military strikes against the country, respectively.
Moreover, fifty-nine percent of Iranian Americans urged the U.S. to seek a
diplomatic solution, while still criticizing Iran's violation of human rights.
As indicated in the letter, a majority supported the idea that "we cannot
claim that we are giving diplomacy a chance if we are forbidding our own
diplomats from participating in these talks."
These findings come at a time when recent reports of U.S. reconnaissance
missions inside Iran and public speculations about possible U.S. pre-emptive
strikes against the country are becoming increasingly common.
Through a national letter writing campaign, the National Iranian American
Council (NIAC) -- a non-profit non-partisan educational organization based in
Washington, D.C. -- enables Iranian Americans to express their views to the
President and lawmakers. By offering a variety of letters reflecting different
viewpoints on the current debate, NIAC allows Iranian Americans the option of
choosing or drafting their own letter, which is then sent to the President,
lawmakers and other Administration officials.
The current public speculations about a possible military confrontation
between the U.S. and Iran shows increased community support for a diplomatic
solution and decreased support for the funding of opposition groups. According
to NIAC findings from a letter writing campaign addressing the student riots
in Iran in June 2003, 22 percent of Iranian Americans supported U.S. funding
of Iranian opposition groups and satellite TV channels. That number has now
dropped to nine percent.
Among all Iranian Americans who participated in the campaign, 30 percent
urged the President to end what they described as a "strong contradiction in
the U.S.'s current posture on Iran," by demanding that Israel too dismantle
its nuclear program. This group also said that the U.S. should respect Iran's
"right to peaceful technology."
While the findings from this campaign are not scientific, they do
accurately reflect the broad range of views of Iranian Americans of varying
political persuasions. In each case, the letter was written by an Iranian
American residing in the United States who was expressing his or her opinion
on this specific issue to President Bush and lawmakers in Congress.
NIAC is a Washington, DC-based 501 c(3) non-partisan, non-political, non-
sectarian and non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Iranian-American
participation in American civic life. The Council does not take a position on
political matters; it only facilitates the participation of the Iranian-
American community as a whole. The NIAC statistics are not scientific in the
sense that NIAC does not control the sample. NIAC is funded by the Iranian-
American community, the National Endowment for Democracy and the Open Society
Institute. NIAC has no ties with any governments. For more information about
the organization, please visit http://www.niacouncil.org, email us at
info@niacouncil.org or send a fax to (202) 518-5507.

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