The Iranian-American Bar Association (“IABA”) is an independent, voluntary, non-governmental, and non-political organization.
Senator Lindsey Graham recently made highly offensive remarks about Iranians when he addressed the Southern Republican Leadership Conference last week. During his speech, he made comments such as: “everything I learned about Iranians I learned working in the pool room,” “I met a lot of liars and I know Iranians are lying,” and “the Iranians cheat and they lie, they are a radical regime, they want a master religion for the world, and the Nazis wanted a master race.”
The IABA strongly condemns such comments from any U.S. Senator. Such stereotyping is unacceptable, especially from a presidential hopeful who seeks to represent all residents in the United States, including the Iranian-American community. Moreover, Senator Graham’s apparently reckless comparison of the Iranian Government to the Nazi Regime is highly inappropriate. Senator Graham’s speech reached a large audience in the United States, and we are deeply concerned and disappointed with his statements.
Finally, as we have mentioned before, the IABA supports any process in which conflicts with Iran are resolved through dialogue, diplomacy, and a peaceful process. We find it disturbing that the Senator is portraying Iranians in such a negative light, discouraging diplomacy, and hindering a peaceful mechanism of resolving the current disputes between Iran and the West.
To the extent Senator Graham’s comments, as reported, were taken out of context or not correctly reported, the IABA invites him to publicly clarify them. Otherwise, the Senator should apologize to the Iranian-American community for his offensive and provocative remarks.