On behalf of everyone at the American Iranian Council, I wish you the warmest Nowruz Greetings. Nowruz is the first day of spring which begins on March 20. I wish you a healthy and happy 1394 (Iranian Calendar year), and I hope that this Nowruz will usher in better US-Iran relations.
In October of this year, the American Iranian Council will become 25 years old. Over the past quarter century, the tenacity and accomplishments of the AIC’s board members, sponsors, and supporters have proven to be unparalleled. We began in 1990 as US-Iran Conference Inc. and then changed our name to American Iranian Council in 1997. When we began dreaming of and advocating for better US-Iran relations, very few Iranians or Americans believed our vision was achievable. At that time, we had entered a highly taboo field.
Today, we can claim a total reversal of that figure: a large majority of the people in Iran, the US, and beyond now believe that improving US-Iran relations is a noble and important cause, and that its time is long due. This is a fundamental shift, one that has been accomplished by the AIC’s vision and ideas, not by propaganda.
Even more satisfying is that, as we celebrate Nowruz, we are closer than ever before to a historic breakthrough in US-Iran relations with a potential nuclear deal. The dream that the AIC envisioned a quarter century ago is gradually coming true, due in part to the persistence and hard work of the Council.
The Council is a community of believers, idea leaders and practitioners. We pioneered the marketplace of ideas for better understanding, consistently opposed all forms of sanctions, and rejected war in any form, including coercive diplomacy. We have always offered a platform for dialogue and have never wavered in our support for diplomacy.
This consistency of position over a quarter century is what sets us apart from organizations and individuals who only recently claim to support diplomacy and nuclear negotiations. We are also unique for our unparalleled accomplishments in US-Iran relations. Indeed, many major achievements in US-Iran relations happened at AIC platforms or through the mediation of the Council. We also published helpful policy papers including the AIC Whitepaper,which became a roadmap for the Obama Administration’s Iran policy.
Together, let us celebrate the AIC at 25 years old. With this milestone in mind, we plan to become even more active and effective, as we produce substantive analyses and present policy alternatives for all parties involved. As always, we will maintain our non-partisan position and conceive unifying ideas for the common interests of all involved.
However, we cannot make this dream a reality without your help. We remain independent by taking no money from governments. We are funded by corporations, foundations and benevolent individuals like you. So, please make a tax-deductible donation in the amount of $250, $100, $50, or an amount of your choosing. With your donation, we can ensure that this window of opportunity for improving relations between Iran and the US is kept wide open.
Thank you for your support and Happy Nowruz!
Professor, Rutgers University