A call to action

We’re still asking our readers to tell us what they think about how President Obama has reacted to the situation in Iran. Also, since we have so many new readers, we’re also asking that you tell us a little more about yourselves so we can better serve you with the information you want.

[polldaddy poll=”1709938″] [polldaddy poll=”1712760″]

A core mission of the National Iranian American Council is to get people involved in the policy-making process, so we’re also asking you to contact President Obama and your elected officials to tell them what you think should be done:

#1: The US shouldn’t interfere.

#2: U.S. involvement would be counterproductive, but human rights violations must be condemned.

#3: The US should voice its support for the demonstrators.

* We have attempted to broadly capture the most common ideas about what the United States should be doing, but we recognize this is not an exaustive list of options. If your views aren’t fully reflected, simply modify the message to reflect your views.

For all you without high speed connections, the transcript from Obama’s speech is below the fold:

Obviously all of us have been watching the news from Iran. And I want to start off by being very clear that it is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be; that we respect Iranian sovereignty and want to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran, which sometimes the United States can be a handy political football — or discussions with the United States.

Having said all that, I am deeply troubled by the violence that I’ve been seeing on television. I think that the democratic process — free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent — all those are universal values and need to be respected. And whenever I see violence perpetrated on people who are peacefully dissenting, and whenever the American people see that, I think they’re, rightfully, troubled.

My understanding is, is that the Iranian government says that they are going to look into irregularities that have taken place. We weren’t on the ground, we did not have observers there, we did not have international observers on hand, so I can’t state definitively one way or another what happened with respect to the election. But what I can say is that there appears to be a sense on the part of people who were so hopeful and so engaged and so committed to democracy who now feel betrayed. And I think it’s important that, moving forward, whatever investigations take place are done in a way that is not resulting in bloodshed and is not resulting in people being stifled in expressing their views.

Now, with respect to the United States and our interactions with Iran, I’ve always believed that as odious as I consider some of President Ahmadinejad’s statements, as deep as the differences that exist between the United States and Iran on a range of core issues, that the use of tough, hard-headed diplomacy — diplomacy with no illusions about Iran and the nature of the differences between our two countries — is critical when it comes to pursuing a core set of our national security interests, specifically, making sure that we are not seeing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East triggered by Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon; making sure that Iran is not exporting terrorist activity. Those are core interests not just to the United States but I think to a peaceful world in general.

We will continue to pursue a tough, direct dialogue between our two countries, and we’ll see where it takes us. But even as we do so, I think it would be wrong for me to be silent about what we’ve seen on the television over the last few days. And what I would say to those people who put so much hope and energy and optimism into the political process, I would say to them that the world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was. And they should know that the world is watching.

And particularly to the youth of Iran, I want them to know that we in the United States do not want to make any decisions for the Iranians, but we do believe that the Iranian people and their voices should be heard and respected.

Posted By David Elliott

David Elliott is the Assistant Policy Director at the National Iranian American Council.

    6 Responses to “A call to action”

  1. cathie says:

    Hey, you ask about info – I’m appreciating the tweets translated from farsi. The english tweets have been overrun by well-meaning but somewhat annoying americans (like myself).

    obama’s doing the right thing. he’s made it quite clear that the violence is wrong. but he can’t pick sides or the opportunity for rapprochement will be gone if ahmadinejad is there when the smoke clears.

  2. Paul Currier says:

    First off, I am a solid Obama Supporter. I gave over 5,000 hours of my life thru 2008 and early 2009 – to Barack Obama and his Campaign.

    Secondly, I am very unhappy with his choices for Economic Advice, as I believe Larry Summers should be in Prison for his crafting the very Derivatives that created the RE Bubble. The RE Bubble popped the Derivatives Bubble, and the Derivatives Bubble Devastated the Global Markets. What Summers did was just what Madoff did – only on grand scale. Mr Summers is a Ponzi man. Obama will bring the USA down by listening to Mr. Summers – instead of initiating prosecution. Mr. Geithner is another Fraud. What we as a Nation should be doing is abolishing the FED – and this is the backdrop to our policy on Iran. Our American Money system is about to totally collapse – when our worthless FED Play Money crashes, faster than Bernie Madoff’s mini-ponzi.

    So, now that we can see a Deep Long Lasting Depression – just beginning – we have three International situations blowing up in our faces. 1.) North Korea built a Nuclear Weapon Grade Reactor in Syria. and is now testing Atomic Bombs and long range missiles. 2.) Bush’s War is now escalating from Iraq into Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now Somalia and other Nations in Africa. Obama’s persistence in Military Escalation across the board is not going to “Bring any Troops Home” as he promised. 3.) Iran is in the beginning of a People Power Political Change that Wall Street, the Mullas, and the Trilateral Commission can not contain or stop. On N.Korea, our Sec of Defense stated he did not like to have bought the same real estate twice (Bush’s negotiation to end Nuclear Production in NK). Obama proposes we buy the same real estate a third time? What? Is he waiting for NK to nuke Hawaii? On Bush’s War, we do not know if 911 was an inside job yet. We need a truth commission that is not a cover up, as that alleged attack on 911 was the cause of all this War insanity. All I see is that Barack Obama will not bring any troops home and he appears to have morphed into a Liar. On the third point – Iran – America should be supporting the People in their Green Revolution. France supported us in our War of Independence and Russia supported us during our Civil War. It is not time to be bashful and hire Harvard Thinkers or NeoCons who want the old guard in Iran as targets – to attack along with Isreal. We have a chance to open up Iran as friends by embracing the future, and Obama is in abdication of opportunity mode.

    I have given up any activity in support of Obama in Washington DC. I sense that Wall Street and the Lobbyists Obama promised would not influence his administration – are running his administration. We do not have a peoples President as we were led to believe we would have. We have a President who appears to be another puppet of the FED and the Global Money Trusts. Obama is as much a puppet of the Powerful American Oligarchs as the Dwarf Dictator is a puppet of the Mullas in the Iranian Theocracy.

    I support the People of America and the People of Iran.

    We need a people power move on Change WE CAN Believe in here in America and we need to be in solidarity with the people power move on Change in Iran. If America made peace with both the Modern Sunni and Modern Shia – Israel would have no choice but to end the Apartheid Prison of Gaza and their aggression against everybody who is non-jewish throughout the Middle East.

    Obama has waited too long and blew his opportunity in Iran. Just as Obama has waited too long to purge the Money Trusts from devastating America – by placing the Foxes in guard of the Hen House. North Korea is into Nuclear Proliferation for Money – and we missed the boat there as well. And worse, we still do not know if the US Government staged a Coup here in America on 911.

    Obama is now emerging as a very weak President, and appears a puppet of the most powerful American Global Oligarchs. We did not get Change on November 4th 2008 nor have we seen meaningful change in 2009.

    That is the international backdrop for what is the new arrival of the collapse of American Commercial Real Estate (starting in August) and two more years of escalating devastation and escalating foreclosures in Residential Real Estate. With diving property values and joblessness blowing up past 20% (U6) in the next two months, we are not in for a bumpy ride. We are collectively going over a cliff. New World Order Hell!

    Look at the new Economic Proposal – to further abdicate our National Security to Private Banks who already ripped us off for over 11 Trillion Dollars.

    Who is kidding who?

  3. Paul Currier says:

    I support the Barack Obama who I listened to and studied thru the 2007 – 2008 Campaign. That Obama – where is he?

  4. BernardZ says:

    I do not like the choices offered in the poll. I thought it was a fine comment but not perfect. Few things are perfect.

    So what choices do you give me?

    It was perfect!
    He shouldn’t interfere in Iran’s domestic affairs
    He didn’t go far enough in supporting the protesters
    I’m not sure

  5. dick says:

    I think Obama is correct not to be making open statements of support for one side or the other. This could indeed backfire by being used as propaganda (and he’s right that the USA doesn’t have a horse in this race). Also, absent clear “proof” that the election was faked, he shouldn’t be taking a position on recounts or re-votes either.

    However: I expect the leader of the free world to demand that violence against demonstrators cease and that the press be treated with respect. And, perhaps, that opposition leaders not be imprisoned. The leaders of France, Germany, Australia, and even the UK – among others – have made such demands. Why can’t he?

  6. Jim Edmonds says:

    All this concern about “meddling” in Iranian affairs is ridiculous. In Iran we have a thug government killing and beating their own citizens in protest of a stolen election.

    And we are supposed to remain silent because the mullahs will say that Mousavi is an American puppet?! Please. If the Iranian people are too shallow to see through that, perhaps they don’t deserve the support of the free world

    If free people of the world to not stand up now against such a clear cut case of human rights abuses, when will they. Obama needs to grow a spine and stand up for human rights and freedom and against an insane tyrranical ruling class.

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Sign the Petition


7,350 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



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