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 NIAC News and Analysis

NPR: Interview with Reza Marashi

"One of the great tragedies of US-Iran relations over the last 34 years has been the lack of communication, and when you're not communicating it fuels misperceptions and miscalculations," says Reza Marashi, beginning at 43:25.

France24: Interview with Reza Marashi

"There's a lot of tough choices both sides need to make. But right now we're in uncharted waters - and that's a good thing - because the more we're talking the less we're fighting" says Reza Marashi.

NIAC Condemns Deadly Shootings at Jewish Center

NIAC sends its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of last night's shootings outside of Jewish community centers in Kansas City.

Sanctions Relief Could be Biggest Obstacle to Iran Deal

While by all accounts nuclear negotiations with Iran are making serious progress, several reports over the past week have indicated that Iran is encountering problems receiving sanctions relief under the JPOA.

You're Invited: DC Happy Hour

NIAC invites you to the DC Happy Hour on Thursday, April 17 from 6 to 9 PM.

Kerry and Senate Chairman Spar Over Iran Talks

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez and Secretary of State John Kerry held a heated exchange over what will be achieved in a final nuclear deal with Iran.

Gulf News: Why the GCC Should Welcome Iran Nuclear Talks

A nuclear deal that stops proliferation, evades war, reorients Iran in a more conciliatory direction, and increases interactions that make conflict more costly, can achieve just that.

You're Invited: Bay Area Happy Hour

NIAC invites you to the San Francisco Area Happy Hour! Join us on April 10, 2014 and April 17, 2014 for drinks, good conversation and mingling with new friends.

Reuters: Spike in Iran Executions Seen Politically Motivated

"There is an understandable fear amongst the conservatives, who got beat really bad in this election, that if Rouhani is successful, the political setback that they suffered may not be a temporary shift in their popularity or their political power but can end up becoming something more permanent," said Trita Parsi.

Congress Urges President to Ensure Sanctions Do Not Block Medicine for Iranians

NIAC commends Rep. Moran and all twenty-one Members of Congress who sent a letter to President Obama today supporting necessary action to ensure medicine and humanitarian goods for the Iranian people are not unintentionally blocked for Iranians.

The National Interest: Why the Saudis Are Panicking

The Saudi panic is more likely rooted in its fears about the broader geopolitical trends in the region, of which US-Iranian rapprochement is one of many concerning trends to Riyadh.

Russia Standoff Unlikely to Undermine Iran Nuclear Talks

Representative Earl Blumenauer, former Ambassador Roberto Toscano, and analyst Bijan Khejehpour spoke at a NIAC briefing on Capitol Hill.

Financial Times: Sanctions: War by Other Means

"The sanctions tool is clearly powerful, but for the US to use it as a form of leverage in negotiations, the president needs to have much more room for manoeuvre," says Trita Parsi.

NIAC Applauds Protection of Persepolis Tablets in Chicago

National Iranian American Council applauds a court decision protecting the Persepolis Tablets and other ancient Iranian artifacts from being awarded as damages.

NIAC Applauds UN Renewal of Iran Human Rights Rapporteur Mandate

NIAC welcomes this morning's UN Human Rights Council vote to renew the mandate for the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed.

Banks Targeting Iranian Americans - What Are Your Rights?

We have heard from a number of people concerned about the increased scrutiny they have faced from US banks as a result of their Iranian citizenship. Learn why this is happening and what are your rights.

The Hill: Preparing for success in Iran negotiations

Unless Congress is ready to delegate to the president the necessary authorities to begin lifting sanctions if and when a deal is reached, those same sanctions that many in Congress credit for the recent diplomatic progress could end up being the biggest obstacle to a nuclear deal.

Engagement Can Improve Human Rights in Iran Says Parliamentarian

Marietje Schaake, a member of the European Parliament and human rights expert, recently visited Iran and shared her insights about addressing the human rights situation there.

Huffington Post: This Norooz, Wishing Iranians (Access to) a Healthy New Year

Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) agreed to take the lead in sponsoring a Congressional letter to the White House, urging President Obama to take necessary steps to ensure sanctions do not block medicine or humanitarian goods.

Voice of America: Iran's Ties to Terror Shadow Nuclear Talks

"Ultimately the enmity between Iran and al-Qaida is almost deeper than the enmity between the United States and al-Qaida," said Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council. "But Iran is stuck in the region, and as a result sometimes it does strike small deals in order to actually protect itself or to advance its interests in other ways."

Iran Matters: Will US Sanctions Scuttle a Nuclear Deal With Iran?

The White House must be prepared to meet its commitments under a nuclear deal and, in so doing, ensure that Iran does the same. It would be a terrible irony if the sanctions which its advocates contend are responsible for the seriousness of Iran's present engagement acted as a final bar to a secure and stable nuclear agreement with Iran.

Al Monitor: In Iran New Year's Address, Khamenei Questions Holocaust

Khamenei's Holocaust denial remarks are "extremely problematic and deeply disappointing, because these things do undermine a very carefully constructed, useful atmosphere that has been built, that can help facilitate a [nuclear] agreement," Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, told Al-Monitor Friday.

Huffington Post: In Vienna, U.S. and Iran Building a Recipe for Success

As the latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) came to a close here in Vienna, one thing stood out above all else: the two sides are equally invested in building a recipe for success.

This Norooz, Wishing Iranians (Access to) a Healthy New Year

In the spirit of Norooz, Iranian Americans urge Congressional Representatives to sign Rep. Jim Moran's (D-VA) letter, to ensure sanctions stop impacting Iranians' access to critical medicine.

NIAC Applauds General License for U.S.-Iran Academic Exchanges

NIAC strongly supports the Obama Administration's decision to exempt educational exchanges from sanctions.

LA Times: Why Sanctions Don't Really Work

"What no one seems to notice is that it was the U.S. that made the key concession that led to these talks. The Iranians have been demanding all along that their right to enrich be recognized. Bush refused that point-blank for eight years. Obama refused for four years, all the way through the first term. Now the U.S. has accepted it," said Trita Parsi.

Make Connections at DC Happy Hour!

Your DC Area NIAC Ambassadors Kahlill Palmer and Niloofar Bagheri Jebelli cordially invite you for a NIAC Happy Hour on Thursday, March 27. Come mingle with friends, meet fellow NIAC members, and learn how you can participate in forthcoming local events.

Are Sanctions Affecting Your Family's Access to Medicine?

If sanctions are affecting you or your family's means of obtaining critical medications in Iran, please share your story with us! These stories are being collected as part of our Medical Access campaign, and will be shared with US legislators.

Policy Memo: Barriers to Lifting US Sanctions in a Final Deal with Iran

NIAC details the existing authorizations for the President to waive and terminate sanctions and discusses the problems these limited authorities may pose for a final deal.

Foreign Policy: It's a Sabotage

In a deeply troubling turn, Iran's judiciary - which is not under the control of the Rouhani administration - has dramatically increased the number of executions in the country. [...] Ignoring the human rights abuses cannot be an option, nor can cancellation of diplomacy.

NIAC Announces New Additions to Board of Directors

The National Iranian American Council is pleased to announce the newest additions to its Board of Directors for the 2014-2016 term: Nobar Elmi, Ahmad Kiarostami, Kaveh Mirani and Ahmad Shams.

Congressman Keith Ellison Joined NIAC's Day of Service!

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) joined NIAC volunteers on March 9 to spend the day working with Sharing and Caring Hands, an organization helping homeless families, in Minneapolis.

UN Secretary General Criticizes Lack of Progress on Human Rights in Iran

The UN Secretary-General released a report outlining the human rights situation in Iran during the initial months of the Rouhani Administration.

U.S.-Iran Diplomacy Now Stronger Than Netanyahu's Pressure

Three Congressional letters are being sent the President regarding nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Bank of Hawaii Re-Opens Accounts for Iranians in U.S.

NIAC welcomes the decision by Bank of Hawaii to re-open bank accounts for Iranian customers.

NIAC Commends EU High Representative Ashton for Landmark Iran Visit

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton's trip to Iran is a welcome step towards resolving the tensions between Iran and the West through dialogue and diplomacy.

Rouhani Faces Increasing Challenges on the Domestic Front

The former head of Iran's largest student union for democracy and human rights discussed challenges faced at home by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the midst of nuclear negotiations with the West.

Policy Memo: Menendez-Graham Iran Letter Will Complicate Diplomacy

The Iran policy letter being circulated by Senators Menendez and Graham will complicate nuclear negotiations with Iran. The letter includes implicit demands for "zero enrichment" and sets other unrealistic and unnecessary requirements for a final agreement.

Woodrow Wilson Center: Iran Nuclear Deal: The Road Ahead

"This is not going to be easy. Nobody should be under and illusions, and frankly, I don't think anybody is under any illusions about how difficult this is going to be. That being said, its equally important to acknowledge that we are in uncharted waters. Nine months ago, where we are today would have been inconceivable." Reza Marashi

Join the #Act4Peace Online Campaign!

March 4, 2014 was the biggest Iranian-American grassroots legislative action day that has ever happened -- all thanks to you! Now join the online mobilization effort to make sure our community's voice is heard more clearly by our lawmakers and ensure a peaceful solution is reached with Iran.

NIAC Statement on House and Senate Iran Letters

NIAC has serious concerns with the language in the Senate letter regarding demands for a final deal and will oppose it. NIAC will not oppose the House letter.

SF Medical Access for Iranians Event

On Sunday, February 22, over 140 members of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Iranian American Bar Association (IABA), Havaar, and National Lawyers' Guild (NLG) attended a charity fundraiser in San Francisco to raise awareness about the impact of US sanctions on ordinary Iranians' medical access.

40 Organizations Urge Congress to Support Diplomacy, Uphold Iran Deal

Forty national organizations have sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging that Congress uphold the preliminary nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and Iran and support negotiations towards a final deal.

Bank of Hawaii Closes Bank Accounts for Iranians Living in U.S.

NIAC has called on Bank of Hawaii to reverse its discriminatory decision to terminate bank accounts held by Iranians in the U.S.

Policy Memo: Why are Sanctions Blocking Medicine for Iranians and How Can We Fix This?

Beginning in 2012, there have been widespread reports that U.S. and European sanctions on Iran have contributed to shortages of life-saving medicine in Iran, including drugs needed to treat cancer, hemophilia, multiple sclerosis, and other severe ailments.

Huffington Post: In Vienna, U.S. and Iran Shave Down the Mistrust

Unlike the fast-paced, edge-of-your seat diplomacy that secured an interim deal in Geneva, slow and steady will win the race to a final deal in Vienna. With a Gordian knot of technical problems and political differences to cut through, both sides are ready for the long haul.

Al-Monitor: World Powers, Iran Agree on Roadmap for 'Marathon' Nuclear Deal Talks

"One must say that everything that has happened up to this point has been unprecedented. We should use that momentum going forward to tackle the very difficult challenges ahead. We should believe that this process can succeed. Otherwise, what's the point," said Reza Marashi.

You're Invited: Iranian Medical Access Project

Please join the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Iranian-American Bar Association (IABA), National Lawyers' Guild (NLG), and Havaar for an advocacy event on the impact of sanctions on Iranian medical access. Proceeds benefit Moms Against Poverty's medical initiatives in Iran.

You're Invited: DC Happy Hour!

Your DC Area NIAC Ambassadors Kahlill Palmer and Niloofar Bagheri Jebelli cordinally invite you for a NIAC Happy Hour on Thursday, February 27. Come mingle with friends, meet fellow NIAC members, and learn how you can participate in forthcoming local events.

Christian Science Monitor: US Portrayal of Ongoing Nuclear Talks Rankles Iran (+video)

"At the beginning of any negotiation you set red lines. That's to be expected. The P5+1 and the Iranians have done it, but they know just as well as we know that red lines become flexible lines, once the negotiations start. They have to, otherwise there is nothing to negotiate over," says Reza Marashi.

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