November 9, 2016

NIAC Statement on Trump Election; We Will Emerge Stronger

Contact: Trita Parsi
Phone: 202-386-6325
Email: [email protected]

Few expected the results of last night’s election. But in this time of great uncertainty we are confident about one thing: we as a community will emerge from the coming period stronger and more unified than ever before.
This election was proof that we cannot take anything for granted. The risk of legalized discrimination, which has already been legislated against our community via the Visa Waiver Program bill last year, is very real. The Iran nuclear agreement is in grave danger. We owe it to one another, and future generations, to unite to ensure that radical policies are not enacted to target minority communities or to unravel the Iran nuclear deal and start a disastrous war.
It is clearer than ever that Iranian Americans, pro-peace Americans, and minority communities must have a voice and mobilize to protect the rights, values, and interests that we hold dear. We are prepared – as an organization with a proven track record and as a vibrant and resourceful community – to mobilize and use every resource available to protect those rights and interests.
The discriminatory rhetoric and hawkish proclamations offered by Donald Trump on the campaign trail were unacceptable. We strongly urge that President-elect Trump distance himself from that campaign rhetoric. The fact that Trump has resisted the notion of “tearing up” the Iran deal, and at times even suggested the U.S. should benefit from commercial exchange with Iran, are signals worth testing. And, despite the abhorrent call for religious bans, Trump attempted – though insufficiently – to walk back his position. We will not close any door to engagement. We are fully prepared to work with any administration where we can find common interests, so long as fundamental rights and values are protected. If that is not the case, we will mobilize like never before to protect our community’s interests.
Make no mistake, there are very serious issues ahead. The stakes against us are higher than ever and every single one of us must in turn be ready to raise the stakes of our own engagement. NIAC was established in the early aftermath of 9/11 when Iranians were being detained in the U.S. because of their origin and the risk of war with Iran felt inevitable. The basis for NIAC’s inception was that we must have a voice to engage our government, because without a voice we can’t protect our rights.

By getting organized, by building an institution, by finding our voice – much of what we feared was prevented. We’ve done this before and, if each of us does our part, we will do it again.
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