NIAC Staff

NIAC Staff

Statement of Pro-Diplomacy Groups Regarding U.S. Policy Toward Iran

Pro-diplomacy groups representing millions of American voters urge lawmakers to publicly articulate and support the following principles with respect to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that verifiably blocks each of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon and created a much-needed diplomatic relationship between Iran, the United States, and U.S. allies:

  • Support for the JCPOA and returning the United States to compliance with the agreement;
  • Opposition to sanctions that:
    • disrupt any party’s implementation of the JCPOA;
    • prevent the United States from coming back into compliance with the JCPOA in the future;
    • disproportionately impact Iranian civilians rather than regime officials engaged in illicit or destabilizing activities;
    • block necessary humanitarian and medical supplies from reaching the country;
  • Support for good faith diplomacy toward additional agreements as the preferred basis for addressing further concerns about Iranian activity; and
  • Opposition to starting a war of choice with Iran.

Signed:

About Face: Veterans Against the War
American College of National Security Leaders
American Family Voices
Americans for Peace Now
Arab American Institute
Arms Control Association
Beyond the Bomb
Brave New Films
Center for American Progress
Center for International Policy
Citizens for Global Solutions
Common Defense
Council for a Livable World
CREDO Action
Daily Kos
Demand Progress
Federation of American Scientists
Foreign Policy for America
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Global Security Institute
Global Zero
Indivisible
International Civil Society Action Network
J Street
Jewish Voice for Peace
Just Foreign Policy
MoveOn
National Iranian American Council
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Open Society Policy Center
Pax Christi International
Peace Action
Peace Corps Iran Association
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Ploughshares Fund
RootsAction.org
Sojourners
T’ruah
The United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
Truman National Security Project
U.S. Labor Against the War
Union of Concerned Scientists
United Church of Christ
United for Peace and Justice
Veterans For Peace
VoteVets
Win Without War
Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)
World BEYOND War

Foreign Policy Intern

Now accepting Spring & Summer applicants

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is accepting internship applications to work with the foreign policy team at our Washington, D.C. office. Standard internships are full-time positions for a duration of one academic semester (spring, summer or fall) with exceptions possible for applicants who plan to be enrolled in classes during the internship. NIAC will assist in helping students receive credit for their internship. This is an unpaid internship.

About NIAC

NIAC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community for peace, democracy, and universal rights. We accomplish our mission by supplying the resources, knowledge and tools to enable greater civic participation by Iranian Americans and informed decision-making by lawmakers.

Responsibilities

Interns work with NIAC staff on advocacy and community outreach activities. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Monitor and research Congressional activities
  • Attend and summarize Congressional hearings and policy briefings around Washington, DC
  • Draft analyses and action alerts on issues related to foreign policy, immigration and civil rights
  • Write articles for NIAC’s website, op-eds for NIAC’s blog, NIAC inSight
  • Assist with program implementation, database management, community outreach, event planning, logistical support for staff activities, and other administrative duties
  • Applicants with strong creative skills may assist with graphic design, upkeep and enhancements to NIAC’s website, and/or producing short videos which educate the community and/or highlight NIAC activities
  • Applicants who are fluent in Persian may assist with translating news from Iran for NIAC’s blog, translating NIAC materials to Persian, and maintaining NIAC’s Persian language website

Qualifications

NIAC seeks individuals with a wide range of skills who are highly motivated to support NIAC’s work.
Basic Qualifications:

  • Current Undergraduate/Graduate student or recent graduate
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Experience or demonstrated interest in international relations, political science, public policy, law, public relations, social media strategies, marketing, journalism, and/or graphic design
  • Self-motivating and highly versatile

Additional Qualifications:

  • Experience with Congress advocacy campaigns and/or grassroots organizations
  • Proficiency in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, WordPress, and/or other multimedia production tools
  • Experience or interest in fundraising, donor sponsorships and development
  • Fluency in Persian (Farsi)

How to Apply

Please email your resume, cover letter, and a short writing sample to SJ Jackson at sjackson@niacouncil.org 

In your cover letter please specify how many hours you are able to work and what your desired start and end dates are. The duration of the internship will be as follows:

Spring session: April 15th-June 14th
Summer session: June 14th- Aug 23rd
Dates may vary depending on availability.

Write the following in the subject of your email: FP Internship [insert your name]

In the event you are not shortlisted for the Foreign Policy Internship, please indicate whether you’d like to be considered for the Organizing Internship and/or the Graphics & Communications Internship.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. NIAC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Washington D.C. Organizing Intern

Now accepting Spring & Summer applicants

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is accepting internship applications on a rolling basis to work in Washington, D.C. Standard internships are full-time positions for a duration of one academic semester (spring, summer or fall) with exceptions possible for applicants who plan to be enrolled in classes during the internship. NIAC will assist in helping students receive credit for their internship. This is an unpaid internship.

About NIAC

NIAC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community for peace, democracy, and universal rights. We accomplish our mission by supplying the resources, knowledge and tools to enable greater civic participation by Iranian Americans and informed decision-making by lawmakers.

Responsibilities

Interns work with NIAC staff on grassroots organizing activities. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Monitor and research Congressional activity
  • Draft action alerts on issues related to foreign policy, immigration and civil rights
  • Assist in planning events that will engage both the Iranian-American community and the general public
  • Assist in planning and participate in grassroots actions, such as phonebanks, petition tables, town hall meetings, etc.
  • Assist with program implementation, database management, community outreach, volunteer recruitment, logistical support for staff activities, and other administrative duties
  • Applicants with strong creative skills may assist with graphic design and/or producing short videos which educate the community and/or highlight NIAC activities
  • Applicants who are fluent in Persian may assist with translating translating NIAC materials to Persian.

Qualifications

NIAC seeks individuals with a wide range of skills who are highly motivated to support NIAC’s work.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Current Undergraduate/Graduate student or recent graduate
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Experience or demonstrated interest in international relations, political science, grassroots organizing, public policy, law, public relations, social media strategies, marketing, journalism, and/or graphic design
  • Self-motivating and highly versatile

Additional Qualifications:

  • Experience with advocacy campaigns and/or grassroots organizations
  • Proficiency in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, WordPress, and/or other multimedia production tools
  • Experience or interest in developing volunteer leaders
  • Fluency in Persian (Farsi)

How to Apply

Please email your resumecover letter, and a short writing sample to Donna Farvard at dfarvard@niacouncil.org

In your cover letter please specify how many hours you are able to work and what your desired start and end dates are. The duration of this internship will be as follows:

Spring session: April 15th-June 14th
Summer session: June 14th- Aug 23rd
Dates may vary depending on availability.

Write the following in the subject of your email: DCO Internship [insert your name]

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. NIAC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Graphics & Communications Intern

Now accepting Spring & Summer applicants

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is accepting internship applications for individuals interested in working with our policy and outreach teams on graphics, social media and communications at our Washington, D.C. office. NIAC will assist in helping students receive credit for their internship. This is an unpaid internship.

About NIAC

NIAC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community for peace, democracy, and universal rights. We accomplish our mission by supplying the resources, knowledge and tools to enable greater civic participation by Iranian Americans and informed decision-making by lawmakers.

Responsibilities

The Graphics and Communications Intern will perform the following tasks in coordination with relevant staff. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Draft marketing messages for NIAC events (fundraisers, conferences, members-only events, etc)
  • Create and spread visually appealing, rapid and catchy visuals, videos and memes that teach members critical points in NIAC policies and relevant current events
  • Strengthen NIAC’s overall brand
  • Inject NIAC’s voice into the broader public debate
  • Analyze the effectiveness of NIAC’s online efforts and communicate the results to relevant staff members; working with staff to make adjustments as necessary for optimal effectiveness
  • Assist in managing NIAC’s visual branding for all events, logos, flyers, website design, email design, etc.
  • Assist in monitoring risks and opportunities in U.S-Iran related news and NIAC’s policy / field efforts, and come up with ideas for cutting edge campaigns that complement and strengthen existing NIAC efforts
  • Manage NIAC and NIAC Action websites and social media platforms: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter; and post pre-approved content
  • Guide fellow interns as they support graphic/video design and marketing initiatives

Qualifications

NIAC seeks individuals with these specific skills who are highly motivated to support NIAC’s work. 

  • Exceptional communication skills; can visualize as well as convey a message into relevant, accessible, and interesting content
  • Strong attention to detail, both in copy editing and visual imagery
  • Knowledge in HTML preferred
  • Experience with WordPress preferred
  • Experience with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop strongly preferred (but not required)
  • Experience with video editing a plus
  • Has recently obtained or is pursuing a degree, ideally in Marketing, Communications, and/or Design
  • PR/Marketing experience preferred
  • Social Media Marketing experience on all major social media platforms – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube strongly preferred
  • Written and spoken fluency in Persian a plus

How to Apply

Please email your resume, cover letter, and an original graphic design sample to Sahar Roodehchi at sroodehchi@niacouncil.org.

In your cover letter please specify how many hours you are able to work and what your desired start and end dates are. The duration of this internship will be as follows:

Spring session: April 15th-June 14th
Summer session: June 14th- Aug 23rd
Dates may vary depending on availability.

Write the following in the subject of your email: Graphics & Communications Internship [insert your name]

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. NIAC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

NIAC Statement on Netanyahu’s “Combating Iran” Remarks

For Immediate Release: February 13, 2019
Contact: Mana Mostatabi | mmostatabi@niacouncil.org

Washington, D.C. – The National Iranian American Council issued the following statement after the Israeli Prime Minister’s office supposedly mistranslated Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks in Hebrew and indicated that Arab nations and Israel are working to advance “the common interest of war with Iran:”

“A war with Iran is fundamentally at odds with the security interests of the United States, Israel, the people of Iran, and the entire Middle East. Whether the Prime Minister’s words were intentionally muddled or not, his provocative message needs no interpretation. It is clear through the Prime Minister’s long-standing signaling that his intention is to build support for a confrontation with Iran.

“The Prime Minister’s efforts to stoke a war with Iran were successfully halted by the carefully calculated, diplomacy-driven approach of the Obama Administration. Unfortunately, those at the helm of U.S. leadership today – some of whom have themselves openly called for war with Iran – are unlikely to tell Netanyahu to stand down.

“There is no doubt that the Trump Administration eagerly welcomes such provocations as yet another spoke in the campaign to pressure and punish our allies for constructively engaging with Iran, and to misuse resources on efforts like the anti-Iran summit unfolding in Warsaw this week. With the summit largely spurned by our Western European allies, the administration was forced to spin the event from an Iran-centric gathering to one focused on broader Middle East peace and security issues.

“Just as there is little to misinterpret with regard to the Prime Minister’s words, there is nothing subtle about the true intent of the Warsaw summit, and the guest list proves it. Gathered are those most invested in seeing a confrontation with Iran: Gulf autocrats and the Israeli Prime Minister.

“Like many, we do, and continue to, strongly condemn Iranian officials who have verbally threatened Israel. We would expect that all those who rush to condemn Iran for its provocative rhetoric against Israel to similarly rebuke the Prime Minister for doing the same in reverse.

The global community must consistently call out parties seeking to sow instability, and this includes by being vigilant about the very real machinations towards war that are being undertaken.”

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NIAC Statement on European Financial Channel

For Immediate Release: January 31, 2019
Contact: Mana Mostatabi | mmostatabi@niacouncil.org

WASHINGTON, DC — France, Germany and the United Kingdom launched the long awaited Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) today to sustain its sanctions relief commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Since the U.S. withdrawal from the landmark 2015 nuclear accord, the EU has prioritized efforts to ensure that Iran continues to reap the economic benefits that incentivized it to dismantle its nuclear weapon program. The mechanism, termed Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (ISTEX), will use a bartering method to keep the financial flows open between the EU and Iran—while minimizing the risks of EU firms running afoul of U.S. sanctions.

Initially, the mechanism will be used to facilitate the trade of “essential goods,” namely food, medicine, and medical devices. While humanitarian items are not sanctioned by the U.S., EU firms’ fears of running afoul of sanctions has caused a drop-off in Iran, which in turn has severely impacted the lives of everyday Iranians.

Jamal Abdi, President of the National Iranian American Council, a leading voice for the Iranian-American community and expert on U.S.-Iranian relations, issued the following statement in response to today’s launch of the EU’s Special Purpose Vehicle:

“Donald Trump’s efforts to bully our closest allies in Europe into violating a UN-backed deal that the U.S. negotiated has led to today’s announcement of a new, independent financial vehicle to counter U.S. extraterritorial sanctions as many predicted. Rather than continue to isolate itself, the U.S. must restore our diplomatic credibility with our former negotiating partners and Iran by returning to compliance with the JCPOA. Failing this, Europe will be compelled to bolster the vehicle to keep Iran in the nuclear accord to safeguard international security interests – including U.S. interests – and maintain its commitments to the UN Security Council.

“The Trump administration offered the Europeans little recourse, ignoring entreaties both from U.S. allies and Members of Congress to take steps to ensure that sorely needed humanitarian trade can flow to the Iranian people. That a new financial channel was needed to process payments for life-saving medicine and food is an indictment of the complex and counterproductive web of sanctions on Iran that routinely victimizes ordinary Iranians.

“What we are seeing from the Trump administration is an Iran strategy based on prejudice rather than intelligence that can only backfire on U.S. interests. This is not the recipe for a better deal or Iran submitting to U.S. demands, but it is fertile ground for hawks like John Bolton to make the case for military action. Lawmakers in Congress must check the administration’s bankrupt Iran policy before it is too late.”

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NIAC Welcomes New Staff Members to the Team!

NIAC is excited to welcome new members to our team!

Arzo Wardak joins NIAC and NIAC Action as the organization’s new Political Director. Arzo comes from working as a campaign director for a U.S. Congressional primary campaign, is the founder of several initiatives aimed at empowering Afghans and Afghan Americans, and has previously worked in development and field positions. Welcome Arzo!

Mana Mostatabi is NIAC’s new Communications Director. With considerable experience in communications, human rights, foreign policy, and nuclear non-proliferation policy, she brings an exciting new perspective to NIAC! Originally hailing from the Bay Area, she’s come to D.C. to make an impact by lifting the voices of Iranian-Americans across the country. We’re excited to have her on board.

Assal Rad joins the NIAC team as Policy Analyst and Regional Organizer of the Western U.S. She recently completed her PhD at the University of Irvine, studying under Touraj Daryaee, where her dissertation focused on Iranian national identity. After volunteering with NIAC over the past year, we’re excited to see her lead volunteer teams to empower Iranian-American communities. She will also work with the NIAC Policy team to contribute valuable research and writing.

Finally, we’re excited to welcome Nooshin Sadegh-Samimi as Field Organizer in Pennsylvania, where she works to empower the Iranian-American community. Nooshin, a PhD candidate in the anthropology department at the University of Pennsylvania, has extensively researched race, immigration, and political representation. She is collaborating with NIAC as part of her dissertation field research.

Rep. Jared Huffman and House Democrats Press the Trump Administration on Ensuring Sanctions & Humanitarian Aid

WASHINGTON D.C. — Earlier today, a letter organized by Rep. Jared Huffman and signed by 14 members of Congress demanded that the Trump Administration ensure that sanctions do not result in the blocking of humanitarian goods – like food and medical items – from reaching the Iranian people.

Jamal Abdi, President of the National Iranian American Council, issued the following statement, praising the letter and warning of a potential humanitarian crisis in Iran caused by overcompliance with US sanctions:

“There are strong indications that Donald Trump’s plan for Iran is to impose collective punishment on the Iranian people in violation of not just the Iran nuclear deal but of U.S. and international law. That’s why it is so important that Rep. Jared Huffman’s letter, backed by 14 Members of Congress, pressed the administration to ensure sanctions do not block humanitarian goods – like basic food stocks and medicines – from reaching the Iranian people.

“Since sanctions snapped back, we’ve already seen numerous reports on medicine shortages and skyrocketing costs of basic goods in Iran. The Iranian-American community knows this impact well, as many have heard from loved ones who are directly victimized. While the U.S. has exempted humanitarian trade on paper, in practice very few banks are willing to process humanitarian transactions out of the overriding fear of U.S. sanctions violations. Just today, reports indicated that three major global traders had halted food supply deals with Iran because sanctions have choked off all viable financial channels for the supposedly exempted goods.

“America’s European allies are pressing the Trump administration directly for guidance on how to process humanitarian transactions to avert a humanitarian crisis in Iran. Rather than deflect, the administration must engage seriously with the concerns raised by both Europe and Members of Congress and take proactive measures to facilitate humanitarian trade.

“The National Iranian American Council and its members are thankful for the leadership of Rep. Huffman and all of the Members who signed his timely letter, and looks forward to taking further action on this important issue in the new Congress.”

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Iranian Americans Call on Incoming House Oversight and Judiciary Committees to Hold Immediate Hearings on Trump’s Muslim Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, December 20, 2018
CONTACT: Jordan Wilhelmi | jordan@unbendablemedia.com | 612.281.2310

Washington, DC—The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), along with 118 other national and state organizations, has issued an open letter to the incoming chairpersons of the House Committee on Oversight and the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), calling for urgent hearings on Executive Order 13769, Executive Order 13780, and Presidential Proclamation 9645 – collectively known as the “Muslim Ban” – to address the waiver program, number of individuals impacted by the ban, and detrimental effect on United States citizens.

READ THE FULL TEXT OF THE OPEN LETTER HERE: https://www.niacouncil.org/organizations-send-letter-to-house/

The organizations argue it is incumbent on lawmakers to formally and publicly question the relevant administration officials on the basis of their perceived threat assessment and to explore these discriminatory policies and their impact on people in the US and abroad, including the repercussions of the stigmatization of Muslims and its role in the reputation of the US across the globe.

The letter comes after an outpouring of concern from the millions of members in the Muslim and Iranian-American community, represented by these organizations, who have been directly impacted, have had family members directly impacted, or are deeply disturbed by the intent and consequences of President Trump’s Muslim Ban.

Jamal Abdi, President of the National Iranian American Council, explained:

“As we approach the two-year anniversary of the Muslim Ban, Congress has yet to hold a single hearing focused on Proclamation 9645, or any of its previous versions, despite the introduction of legislation to end the ban. This unjust law has torn apart families, separated spouses, and extinguished dreams as President Trump’s allies in Congress stayed silent. Now, with a new Congress entering office, we can finally place a check on this presidency, beginning with repealing this un-American ban on our families.

“The Muslim Ban’s origins, numerous statements by President Trump, and the implementation of these and other policies impacting targeted communities make clear this administration’s desire to implement a discriminatory policy as a part of a nationalist agenda.”

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