Editor, Times-Dispatch    |    July 17, 2019

In regard to the June 29 news story “Ex-Va. Senate hopeful says foreign accounts targeted her on Twitter”: Members of the Iranian American Community of the Virginia (IAC-VA) are proud to actively engage in state and national political processes, and educate their representatives, the community and the media on priorities important to their community.

We also are proud of our advocacy for a democratic change in our homeland, Iran. Promoting human rights, gender equality and seeking accountability for the 1988 massacre of thousands of political prisoners in Iran — which Amnesty International has labeled as crimes against humanity — also is a pillar of our activism. Many of the victims’ loved ones are among our community members. We are therefore, acting based on our human dignity and conscious, not at the direction of any third party, as suggested by the article.

To be clear, our community has been subjected to a vicious defamation by Yasmine Taeb’s campaign, laying bare its intolerance and even suppression of our identity as Iranian Americans fulfilling our civic engagement, including in Senate District 35.

We, however, for the health of electoral process and continued focus on issues important to our diverse immigrant community, opted to stay above the fray.

Our all-volunteer members, which include Democrats and Republicans, cherish their civic responsibility to be active in the political process. After all, that is why we support a democratic movement for change in Iran so that Iranians can enjoy the same rights as we do in the United States.

Taeb’s insistence on blaming her electoral defeat on “Twitter accounts” indicates the degree to which her campaign invested in cyber space instead of connecting with real people.

As Thomas Jefferson said, “Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.”

Phillip Choobin,
President
Iranian American Community of Virginia

https://www.richmond.com/opinion/your-opinion/letters-to-the-editor/letters-to-the-editor-july/article_37f316fc-e4eb-5a9f-9a01-34c0416a2f6c.html

 

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