Areas of Work
From being the trusted voice on U.S.- Iran relations, to pushing forth legislation that protects individuals of Iranian heritage from systematic discrimination, to celebrating our cultural heritage, NIAC creates a lasting impact in the lives of the members of our community.
Advancing Peace & Diplomacy
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NIAC is funded by the Iranian-American community and prominent American foundations. NIAC does not receive funds from the United States government nor from the Iranian government.
Contributions made to NIAC are 100% tax-deductible. Contributions made to NIAC Action are not tax-deductible.
We applaud the Biden administration’s issuance of a new General License and guidance expanding and clarifying exemptions for humanitarian trade with Iran—including trade in vaccines and testing equipment and financial transactions involving the Central Bank of Iran. This is an important and much needed first step that is long overdue. The people of Iran were one of the first and hardest hit by COVID-19, a situation exacerbated by ideological posturing and mendacity by the Iranian government and U.S. sanctions that made lockdowns and access to vital testing and medical goods far more difficult. Rather than expand U.S. assistance amid this public health disaster, the Trump administration amplified sanctions and continued its campaign to narrow channels for humanitarian trade. As then-candidate Biden indicated last year, the U.S. should help the Iranian people regardless of our differences with the Iranian government.
Iranians will vote for a new president on June 18th after eight years of moderate President Hassan Rouhani. The election occurs in a political context where Iranian conservatives have steadily consolidated power after the U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018, which was Rouhani’s signature achievement. The most hardline forces in Iran are now poised to take total control over all levers of power in Iran and sideline their moderate and reformist rivals.
Join NIAC and our featured panelists as we explore key questions arising from the election results, discuss whether Iran’s next President will change the country’s foreign and domestic policies, and what the prospects are for continued engagement with the West.
Less than four months after the tragic death of Iranian prisoner of conscience Behnam Mahjoubi, another political prisoner has died in the custody of Iranian prison authorities from maltreatment and lack of access to proper medical treatment. Like Mahjoubi, who suffered from a serious panic disorder that required daily medication, Sasan Niknafs needed suitable medical attention for his serious health issues, including epilepsy, diabetes, and depression.
Thirty-five-year-old French citizen, Benjamin Brière, was arrested in Iran in May of 2020 for allegedly flying a drone and taking photos in a restricted area near an Iranian border. Brière is now facing charges of espionage and “propaganda against the system” in an Iranian court.
The Iranian election will take place amid many Iranians choosing to boycott the vote. Conservative Ebrahim Raisi is the frontrunner, and moderate Abdolnaser Hemmati’s best hope is to take the election to a runoff. Both candidates have signaled support for the JCPOA. Iran’s chief negotiator at the Vienna talks also says Raisi will support talks to restore the deal.
Iran’s presidential campaign is in full swing and the candidates have sparred in two televised debates. President Rouhani has derided the conservative candidates for scapegoating his administration and not talking about U.S. sanctions. Meanwhile, a bill in parliament seeks to further restrict internet access and the Vienna JCPOA talks are due to restart this Saturday.