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February 7, 2017

The Honorable Ed Royce Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs U.S. House of Representatives 2170 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Royce:

With the presidential transition now complete, the time has come for a complete reassessment of U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Americans of Iranian heritage and Iranian dissidents, we see such a rethink as a necessary first step in realizing President Donald Trump’s vision of putting America’s national security interests first.

Specifically, we write to request a congressional hearing on the efforts of Tehran’s theocratic regime to influence U.S. policy and public diplomacy toward Iran. We ask that you launch an investigation into any and all lobbying activities of Iranian-American groups, which ostensibly promote the interests of our community but whose real goal is to undermine long-term U.S. national-security interests in Iran and its neighborhood.

We also ask that you launch an inquiry into the Voice of America’s Persian service, whose bloated budget is the largest of all language services under the VOA. There have been numerous instances of editorials by the VOA’s Persian service that have been lenient or favorable to Iran’s clerical despots. We consider this to be totally unacceptable and demoralizing for pro-democracy Iranians who watch these broadcasts.

We stand ready to provide any and all support that you and your colleagues may require for such hearings. We appreciate your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Peter Kohanloo, President, Iranian American Majority (IAM) Khosrow Akmal PhD, Fmr. Iranian Ambassador to Australia Houman David Hemmati MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, USC Keck School of Medicine Hossein Khorram, Real Estate Developer Pooya Dayanim, Esq., President, Iranian Jewish Public Affairs Committee Reza Parchizadeh, Political Theorist and Analyst Saba Farzan, Executive Director, Foreign Policy Circle and Board Member, IAM Sheema Kalbasi, Human Rights Activist Slater Bakhtavar, Attorney and Senator, National Iranian Congress Avideh Motmaen Far DO, Human Rights Activist

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Mansoureh Nasserchian, Human Rights Activist Foad Pashaie, Fmr. Secretary General, Constitutionalist Party of Iran Shabnam Assadollahi, Writer and Human Rights Activist Hamid Alizadeh, Fmr. Political Prisoner and Board Member, IAM Haideh Tavackoli, Activist Aram Hessami PhD, Professor, Montgomery College Marjan Keypour Greenblatt, Human Rights Activist Shirin Tabibzadeh, Activist Daniel Jafari, Physician Majid Mohammadi, Sociologist Sima Tajdini, Artist and Journalist Mehrdad Rahbar, Architect and Artist Behzad Mehrani, Fmr. Political Prisoner and Political Activist Kaveh Taheri, Fmr. Political Prisoner and Journalist Shayan Arya, Member, Constitutionalist Party of Iran and Human Rights Activist Roya Araghi PhD, Fmr. Prisoner of Conscience and Human Rights Activist Cyrus S. Shahrazi, Entrepreneur and Activist Ali Kimiai, New York Persian Parade Siavash Afshar, President, California Pacific Regional Center Afshin Afshin Jam, Political and Human Rights Activist Rouzbeh Meshkinkhat, Secretary General, Proud Iran Party Maryam Moazenzadeh, Human Rights Activist George Haroonian, Activist Behrouz Khosrozadeh, Political Scientist Esfandyar Khalaf, Political Analyst Mohammad Reza Heydari, Fmr. Consul of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Norway Bardiya Ahoorai, Political Activist Mahboubeh Hoseinpour, Political Activist Marjan Mohsenin, Accountant Banafsheh Zand, Political Analyst and Activist Zaman Feyli, Journalist Daniel Tousi, Political Activist Behieh Jailani, Sociologist Kambiz Soltanein, Journalist Ali Asghar Haghdar, Hellman-Hammett Award-Winning Writer and Political Refugee Pari Asgari, Radio Host Masoumeh Mohammadinia, Radio Host Farid Khavari, Economist Amir Ezati, Writer and Filmmaker Parivash Saadati, Political Activist Roxanne Ganji, Political Analyst and Activist Firouzeh Ghaffarpour, Political Analyst and Activist Damon Golriz, Research Fellow, Int’l Peace, Justice & Security, The Hague University Abdolreza Ahmadi, Board Chairman, Association for the Promotion of Open Society Ahmad Eshghyar, Engineer and Co-founder of Iranian Liberal Students & Graduates Ali Ashtari PhD, Electrical Engineering Researcher

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Ali Nazari, Fmr. Political Prisoner and Digital Media Professional Alireza Kiani, Fmr. Political Prisoner and Member, ILSG Amir Hossein Etemadi, Executive Director, International Center for Liberalism Studies Amir Yahya Ayatollahi, Researcher in Iranian Studies Fred Saberi, Human Rights Activist Hamed Sheibanyrad, Research Fellow, French National Center for Scientific Research Hanif Hossein Doust, Fmr. Political Prisoner and Political Activist Kaveh Shirzad, Civil Rights Activist Maryam Moghaddam, Human Rights Activist Masood Masjoodi, Mathematician and Political Activist Mehdi Jalali Tehrani, Researcher Meisam Mehrani, Human Rights Activist and Member, ILSG Nikahang Kowsar, Journalist and Cartoonist Nima Rashedan, Political Analyst and Digital Democracy Researcher Ramin Parham PhD, Author and Political Analyst Salman Sima, Fmr. Political Prisoner and Member, ILSG Siavash Safavi, Fmr. Political Prisoner and Comedian Youhan Najdi PhD, Executive Director, Association for the Promotion of Open Society Khosrow Beitollahi, Secretary General, Constitutionalist Party of Iran Bahman Zahedi, Activist Nader Zahedi PhD, Undersecretary General, Constitutionalist Party of Iran Hassan Mansoor PhD, Professor, American Graduate School of Business & Economics Heidar Boroumand MD Ahmad Mazahery, Activist Bahman Amirhosseini, Political Activist Ardeshir Zarezadeh, Executive Director, International Center for Human Rights Mohammad Izadi, Essayist Farshad Doustipour, Political Activist Babak Ejlali, Political Activist Ashkan Yazdchi, Fmr. Political Prisoner Samuel Toca, Social Activist and Artist Kevin Fatemi, Engineer Danesh Foroughi, Psychologist Farzad Farahani, Television Host and Activist

CC: The Honorable Eliot Engel, Ranking Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee

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