AIC condemns Sen. Lindsay Graham's comments about Iranians

The American Iranian Council condemns Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) disparaging and stereotyping remark against Iranians. In the last 25 years that the AIC has been in existence, we have heard a few American policy makers articulate anti-Iran remarks, but the statement by Senator Graham is truly misinformed and insulting.

Addressing the Southern Republican Leadership Conference on Friday May 22, Senator Graham said, “Everything I learned about Iranians I learned working in the pool room. I met a lot of liars and I know Iranians are lying.”

As a Senator of a great nation, Mr. Graham should at least know that Iranian-Americans, many in his state, are among the most successful ethnic groups in the United States, contributing greatly to the economy, medicine, academia, law, engineering, arts, technology, and other scientific and professional fields.

“Iranian-Americans have contributed greatly to the betterment of American society, and their accomplishments deserve to be celebrated rather than demeaned,” said AIC President Hooshang Amirahmadi. “It is unfortunate that mistrust between the two governments should spill over into an American Senator insulting 80 million people.”

The AIC will be in communication with Senator Graham’s office not only to communicate why his comments were wrong and offensive, but also to articulate a more balanced and positive image of Iranians and Iranian-Americans. With that in mind, we are asking our supporters  and others to submit their personal stories about their experiences with Iranians and Iranian-Americans. These submissions, which the AIC will deliver to the Senator’s office, can serve as vignettes that show Iranians and Iranian-Americans as intelligent, driven, successful, cultured, caring, loving people and can counter the false narrative that Senator Graham recently portrayed.

Please use the form below to submit your personal story about a positive interaction with Iranians and Iranian Americans.

The American Iranian Council

Name *
Use this space to write your short story about engaging with Iranians and Iranian-Americans. Please keep it brief!


Kayvon Afshari

Kayvon Afshari managed the campaign to elect Hooshang Amirahmadi as President of Iran. In this role, he directed the campaign’s event planning, publicity, online social media, web analytics, and delivered speeches. Mr. Afshari has also been working at the CBS News foreign desk for over five years. He has coordinated coverage of Iran’s 2009 post-election demonstrations, the Arab Spring, the earthquake in Haiti, and many other stories of international significance. He holds a Master in International Relations from New York University’s Department of Politics, and graduated with distinction from McGill University in 2007 with a double major in political science and Middle Eastern studies. At NYU, his research focused on quantitative analysis and the Middle East with an emphasis on US-Iran relations. In his 2012 Master’s thesis, he devised a formula to predict whether Israel would launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, concluding that an overt strike would not materialize.