NIAC and the Coalition’s Fight Against the Muslim Ban

Today, after a more than a year of fighting back against the Muslim Ban, our community finally got our day in the highest court in the United States, which will decide whether a Muslim Ban will become the official immigration policy of our country.

As you recall, in one of President Trump’s first acts as president, he attempted his first Muslim Ban on January 27, 2017. On March 6, 2017, it was replaced with another executive order after successive losses in court. The embattled second Muslim Ban was again replaced with a third attempt, which also included an obscure and highly subjective case-by-case waiver process. The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) challenged every version of this unprecedented and unconstitutional ban in court.

But the Trump Administration did not stop there. As litigation was running its course as to the executive orders and proclamation, the Administration was busy looking for alternative means to accomplish the stated goal of a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

In May, NIAC was alarmed to learn of a new ‘extreme vetting’ policy proposal put forth by the Department of State which granted sweeping authority to consular officers to deny visas to applicants from the same Muslim-majority countries designated by the Muslim Ban. In response to this obscure and secretive new policy, NIAC sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the State Department requesting they produce documents related to ‘extreme vetting’ so that we could evaluate whether this administrative measure was being used as a “backdoor Muslim Ban.”

The State Department never produced the requested documents, so last week, NIAC sued.

In addition to court challenges, we made our voices heard in the halls of Congress. We told members of Congress about the stories we heard from the Iranian-American community of families being torn apart, patients not receiving life-saving medical treatment, and the world’s brightest students and researchers being stuck in a constant state of uncertainty. We told them about the drastic drop in visas issued to Muslim-majority countries by the Administration.

But more significantly, NIAC shared with Congress how the obscure case-by-case waiver process – which grants unrestricted discretion to consular officers with no set guidelines, policies, procedures or criteria on how to evaluate visa applicants – is being utilized to issue mass denials to visa applicants from Muslim-majority countries. Data produced in response to a congressional inquiry revealed that only two waivers had been issued, with this figure later being adjusted, without verifiable date, to 450 waivers.

For the past several months, NIAC has been voicing the concerns of the Iranian-American community on Capitol Hill and circulating a draft of reporting requirement legislation which we produced that, if enacted into law, would impose a requirement on the Trump Administration to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding the waiver process, extreme vetting, and the broader Muslim Ban policy and how they are all being implemented.

Irrespective of how the Supreme Court decides the Muslim Ban case later this year, Congress must step up and fulfill their duty as a co-equal branch of government and fully repeal the Muslim Ban and all of its various components.

NIAC Statement on Trump’s Iran Threat

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Trita Parsi
Phone: 202-386-6325
Email: tparsi@niacouncil.org

Washington, D.C – NIAC President Trita Parsi issued the following statement following Donald Trump’s comments on Iran today:

“Donald Trump is setting up a dangerous catch-22 with Iran. Trump is threatening war if Iran restarts nuclear activities on one hand while he unravels the very agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran on the other. This is more than a war of words, Donald Trump is setting us up for a very real military conflict.

“Macron and Europe seem willing to bend over backwards to save the nuclear deal and prevent catastrophe. When our closest allies express alarm in unison, we should listen. Trump should quit while he is ahead and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the JCPOA before it is too late. The alternative would be an isolated America, an unchecked Iranian nuclear program, and an escalation towards war.”

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Pompeo to Lose Foreign Relations Committee Vote

Washington, DC – NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement after a majority of the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced their opposition to Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo:

“This is a blow to Pompeo’s standing that will haunt him even if he is confirmed. The Senate is sending a warning that Pompeo’s hawkish impulses will be resisted if he makes it into the administration. Nobody voted to return Iraq war architect John Bolton to the White House. Adding Pompeo, who supports war and regime change for Iran, is a combustible mix.

“President Trump will make his decision on whether to kill the Iran deal in just weeks. He could set off a chain reaction of events that John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Donald Trump could dangerously mishandle. Members of the Senate are realizing that it will fall on them to prevent Trump from starting a new war of choice.

“Trump should dump Pompeo now, but Mitch McConnell may force a vote and break with decades of precedent. Pompeo could become the first Secretary of State nominee in modern history not to receive the endorsement of the committee.

“NIAC Action and its members continue to strongly and actively oppose Pompeo’s nomination and have worked alongside a broad coalition of organizations opposing Pompeo’s views on a wide range of issues from foreign policy to Islamophobia, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights and climate change.”

NIAC Statement on Syria Strikes

Washington, DC – National Iranian American Council (NIAC) Research Director Reza Marashi released the following statement:

“The situation in Syria is tremendously dangerous, and President Trump risks throwing fuel on the regional fire. Given that Iranian and Russian forces are closely embedded with the Syrian government, there is a significant risk that any strikes will trigger retaliation and a bloodier, wider war with few discernible ways to deescalate the conflict. 

“The American people do not want to start new wars. There is no Congressional authorization or UN Security Council resolution for such an action. Upholding the important principle that there is no place in this world for chemical weapons must not come at the expense of ignoring the principles of the Constitution and the United Nations.

“A large part of the reason that Syria is in ruins today is because nearly all actors have pursued military solutions instead of diplomacy aimed at halting the bloodshed. An eye for an eye approach will not bring justice or peace to Syria, and there is no moral high ground for those who respond to abhorrent violence with more violence.

“Just as the United States should abstain from reckless escalation, Assad’s primary backers in Russia and Iran have a duty to rein in their patron. This is particularly true for Iran, one of the biggest victims of chemical warfare, which should exert real pressure to halt the butchery of the Syrian people via both chemical and conventional weapons.”

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Our Community Must Not Be Divided at this Critical Moment

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council released the following statement:

Our community has been divided and weakened for too long. Sometimes it is because we disagree amongst ourselves. And sometimes it is because people outside our community who do not care about the fate of Iran, the Iranian people or indeed us Iranian-Americans, exaggerate our differences to keep our community divided and powerless. A recent opinion piece by Eli Lake, a longtime critic of NIAC who helped sell the American people on going to war with Iraq and who advocates for an interventionist US policy towards Iran, is the latest such example. Lake’s latest hit piece, where he attacks NIAC through the words of Dr. Shirin Ebadi to advance his own dangerous agenda for Iran, comes at a time when unity in our community is needed more than ever.

As we speak, Donald Trump is installing John Bolton in the White House – a man who has openly called for over a decade for the U.S. to bomb Iran. Trump has fired his advisors who argued against killing the Iran deal and is replacing them with pro-war advocates like CIA Director Mike Pompeo – who wants to turn Iran into Syria. Meanwhile, our families continue to be banned from America because of Trump’s hateful policies.

NIAC proudly stands by our longstanding policies as decided by our membership. We are proud of our work to secure the nuclear agreement that forestalls the twin disasters of a nuclear-armed Iran and war with Iran. We are proud to be on the front lines of the effort to overturn President Trump’s disastrous Muslim ban. And of course, we have always and will always proudly support the Iranian people’s democratic aspirations and desire for a government that respects all of its citizens’ human rights. To sustainably achieve that goal, change has to be peaceful and led by the people in Iran. Iranian Americans certainly don’t agree on everything, but the vast majority of us do not support violence, couched in the language of regime change.

We have immense respect for Dr. Shirin Ebadi and for everyone who truly favors a peaceful pathway for the Iranian people to secure their dignity, representation, and human rights. While we may disagree about the role that the United States can productively play in that process, particularly under this current Administration, we also recognize that Dr. Ebadi was on the front lines fighting for human rights when she was in Iran. We will not be dragged into disparaging someone who has been so committed to that noble cause. A sustainable democracy is one in which people of differing opinions can debate and dialogue with mutual respect. In that spirit, NIAC extends an open invitation to Dr. Ebadi to join us for a robust discussion.

We reject those who would exploit human rights or a human rights defender to serve a pro-war agenda. We will not allow them turn our community against one another at this critical moment. We will not relent in our commitment to uniting Iranian Americans as a powerful voice for peace, human rights, and a brighter future for America and Iran.

NIAC Demands Transparency From DOJ in Bijan Ghaisar Police Shooting

This morning, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) sent a letter to United States Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III and United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, Jessie K. Liu, urging them to release 911 calls from November 17, 2017, the night 25 year-old unarmed Iranian American Bijan Ghaisar was shot and killed by U.S. Park Police officers.

It has been 131 days since Bijan was shot and killed by police, despite being unarmed and posing no imminent threat to the public or officers’ safety. There are still a wide range of unanswered questions surrounding the shooting, and routine public information that is normally released to victims’ families and the public have been shrouded in secrecy in this case. The Ghaisar family, for example, still does not even know the names of the officers that shot and killed their son.

On March 19, 2018, rather than taking a step toward transparency and accountability to restore public trust in law enforcement and local government, the U.S. Department of Justice doubled down on stonewalling the Ghaisar family by lodging formal objections to the release of any 911 calls surrounding the violent killing of Bijan.

As the largest grassroots Iranian-American organization in the United States, NIAC takes seriously our duty to forcefully advocate for and defend the Iranian-American community against civil rights violations, discriminatory policies, and unequal treatment.

Bijan Ghaisar was unarmed, presented no threat, and should have made it home to his family the evening of November 17, 2017. Instead, he was shot three times in the head and once in the wrist at close range by U.S. Park Police.

The Ghaisar family, with the full force of NIAC and the entire Iranian-American community behind them, demand the immediate release of these 911 calls consistent with the transparency and accountability we rightfully expect from local and federal government – because #WeAreBijan.

Bijan Ghaisar Letter

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Experts Available to Discuss Choice of John Bolton as National Security Advisor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Trita Parsi, President – 202.386.2303, tparsi@niacouncil.org
Reza Marashi, Research Director – 202.379.1639, rmarashi@niacouncil.org
Jamal Abdi, Vice President for Policy– 202.386.6408, jabdi@niacouncil.org

Washington, D.C. – Experts from the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) will be available to media to offer analysis of President Trump’s decision to choose John Bolton to replace H.R. McMaster as National Security Advisor.

Donald Trump may have just effectively declared war on Iran. With the appointment of John Bolton, and nomination of Mike Pompeo at State, Trump is clearly putting together a war cabinet. As the world awaits Trump’s May 12 decision as to whether he will abandon the Iran nuclear deal, all of the signs now point to a decision to move to war footing.

NIAC analysts available in Washington, DC:

Trita Parsi, is the 2010 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. He is the founder and president of the National Iranian American Council and an expert on civil rights and US-Iranian relations. He is the author of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States (Yale University Press 2007) and A Single Roll of the Dice – Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran (Yale University Press 2012). Parsi’s articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, Jane’s Intelligence Review, the Nation,The American Conservative, the Jerusalem Post, The Forward, and others. He is a frequent guest on CNN, PBS’s Newshour with Jim Lehrer, NPR, the BBC, and Al Jazeera. Follow Trita on Twitter: @tparsi

Reza Marshi joined NIAC in 2010 as the organization’s first Research Director. He came to NIAC after four years in the Office of Iranian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to his tenure at the State Department, he was an analyst at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) covering China-Middle East issues, and a Tehran-based private strategic consultant on Iranian political and economic risk. Marashi is frequently consulted by Western governments on Iran-related matters. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The Atlantic, among other publications. He has been a guest contributor to CNN, NPR, the BBC, TIME Magazine, The Washington Post, and the Financial Times, among other broadcast outlets.

Jamal Abdi is the Vice President for Policy for the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and the Executive Director of NIAC Action. He leads NIAC’s advocacy and education on civil rights and immigration issues, as well as diplomacy with Iran. He formerly served as Policy Advisor on foreign affairs, immigration, and defense issues in the U.S. Congress. Abdi has written for The New York Times, CNN, Foreign Policy, and blogs at The Huffington Post.  He is a frequent guest contributor in print, radio, and television, including appearances on Al Jazeera, NPR, and BBC News. Follow Jamal on Twitter: @jabdi

Recent NIAC publications and media appearances:

Will the Israel-Iran Showdown Be in Syria–or New York?, Defense One, Feb 15, 2018

Five Myths About Iran, Washington Post, Jan. 12, 2018

How Trump Could Use the Iran Protests to Kill the Nuke Deal, The Nation, January 11, 2018

About NIAC

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community. NIAC’s mission is focused on promoting an active and engaged Iranian-American community, supporting aspirations for human rights and democracy in Iran, opposing war between the US and Iran, and celebrating our community’s deep cultural heritage. NIAC accomplishes its mission by supplying the resources, knowledge and tools to enable greater civic participation by Iranian Americans and informed decision-making by policymakers.

For more information, please visit www.niacouncil.org.

With Bolton Pick, Trump is Assembling an Iran War Cabinet

Washington, DC – Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council, issued the following statement regarding the appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor:

“Donald Trump may have just effectively declared war on Iran. With the appointment of John Bolton, and nomination of Mike Pompeo at State, Trump is clearly putting together a war cabinet. As the world awaits Trump’s May 12 decision as to whether he will abandon the Iran nuclear deal, all of the signs now point to a decision to move to war footing.

“Bolton is an unhinged advocate for waging World War III. He has explicitly called for bombing Iran for the past ten years and has suggested the U.S. engage in nuclear first strikes in North Korea. Bolton’s first order of business will be to convince Trump to exit the Iran nuclear deal and lay the groundwork for the war he has urged over the past decade. Additionally, he has has called for ending all visas for Iranians, shipping bunker busting weapons to Israel, and supporting the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) terrorist organization and other separatist groups inside of Iran. The Iranian-American community and our pro-peace, pro-human rights allies will organize to stop Bolton’s plans from becoming a reality.

“Congress must do everything in its power to convince Trump to reconsider this decision and exert maximal pressure to constrain Bolton’s ability to impose irreparable harm to the U.S. and global security. To begin with, the Senate must block Mike Pompeo from becoming Secretary of State.

“Bolton now represents the greatest threat to the United States. This is a dangerous time for our country and a slap in the face even to Trump’s supporters who thought he would break from waging disastrous foreign wars and military occupations.“Bolton was a key player in the march to the disastrous war in Iraq that Trump has criticized as a major foreign policy blunder. He famously demonstrated that he was a ‘kiss-up, kick-down sorta guy’ who dismissed intelligence on Iraq’s WMD program that didn’t fit his predetermined policy preference. The fact that one of Trump’s key advisers is likely to stroke the President’s ego while blocking key intelligence or intimidating any objective analysts that might be underneath him is of deep concern. Of further concern, Bolton fails to acknowledge that the Iraq war was a mistake and only regrets that the Bush administration didn’t overthrow more countries while it was in office.

“Bolton’s ties to the cultish MEK should also immediately disqualify him. Bolton routinely meets with and accepts payments from the group – which has murdered Iranians and American service members alike and is deeply unpopular among ordinary Iranians. Yet, Bolton sees this illegitimate group that commits human rights abuses against its own members as a ‘viable opposition’ that he wants to use to overthrow the Iranian government. Bolton promised an MEK crowd last July, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!’”

Iranian-American Organizations Demand Answers for Discriminatory Targeting of Sahar Nowrouzzadeh

Washington, DC – Seven national Iranian-American organizations have sent a letter to the Trump Administration on March 22, 2018, calling for an independent investigation regarding the discriminatory targeting of Iranian-American civil servant, Sahar Nowrouzzadeh. Her reassignment from the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff into a less influential role were first reported in April, 2017. Recently, Politico revealed emails between Administration officials prior to Nowrouzzadeh’s reassignment calling into question Nowrouzzadeh’s political loyalty and claiming she was “born in Iran.” The ranking members of the House Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees have also demanded answers from the White House as to whether Nowrouzzadeh was targeted in response to outside political attacks and her heritage.

The Iranian-American organizational letter is below:

March 22, 2018

The Honorable John Kelly
Chief of Staff
White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC  20500

The Honorable John Sullivan
Acting Secretary
Department of State
2201 C St NW
Washington, DC  20520

Dear General Kelly and Acting Secretary Sullivan,

We, the undersigned Iranian-American organizations write with the utmost concern regarding the administration’s clear political and discriminatory targeting of civil servant Sahar Nowrouzzadeh. Career public servants are afforded protections against politically-motivated firings, and numerous protections have made it illegal for workers both inside and outside the government to be fired on behalf of their race, heritage, or religion.

On March 15, 2018, the ranking members of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Elijah Cummings, and House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, sent a letter on this subject to the White House Chief of Staff, General John F. Kelly, and the Deputy Secretary of State, John J. Sullivan. In their letter, they revealed receiving new documents indicating that “high level officials at the White House and State Department worked with a network of conservative activists to conduct a “cleaning” of employees…” including Ms. Nowrouzzadeh.

Nowrouzzadeh is a distinguished Iranian American whose invaluable contributions to American national security led to her promotion to prominent positions in the White House, State Department, and Department of Defense. She served in both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, thus demonstrating her proven track-record of adapting her work to the priorities of the sitting president, rather than any political party or preference. Given her prior experience and knowledge of Persian, she could have been an invaluable asset to the Trump administration.

Yet, recent evidence indicates Trump administration officials sought her ouster based on discriminatory intent. Recent documents reveal that when Nowrouzzadeh asked her supervisor Brian Hook for help when confronted with personal attacks from political groups seeking her ouster, officials at the State Department and White House did not defend her but instead used character smears to force her out of her position on the Policy Planning Staff of the State Department.

Julia Haller, White House Liaison, wrote that Nowrouzzadeh “was born in Iran,” which is false and, even if accurate, should have no bearing on this matter. Haller’s suggestion that Nowrouzzadeh’s Iranian heritage should be a factor in assessing whether Nowrouzzadeh could loyally serve in the U.S. government betrays discriminatory intent that appears to be in clear violation of federal protections.

Finally, internal emails reveal that, despite terminating Ms. Nowrouzzadeh’s position on the Policy Planning Staff three months early for the foregoing improper reasons, State Department officials then tried to offer a misleading characterization of her actions: that she had been “return[ed] to a parent office of a civil servant at the completion of a detail assignment” – an objectively false statement.  Such an ex post facto “cleaning” of the objective facts further raises red flags and evidences discriminatory intent, which is not only improper but also unlawful under federal law.

As organizations dedicated to ensuring that Iranian Americans contribute their extraordinary talents to civic life in the United States, failure to ensure accountability on Nowrouzzadeh’s unjust ouster risks deterring a generation of Iranian Americans eager to contribute to government service, national security, and civic life in the United States.

We urge the White House and State Department to fully comply with the requests from the ranking members of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Elijah Cummings, and House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, in their letter on this subject dated March 15, 2018. We also urge the administration to empower an independent investigation into the ouster of Nowrouzzadeh and other civil servants that holds those involved appropriately accountable.

Our groups would be willing to meet with you regarding these concerns in the hopes of charting out an acceptable path forward.

Sincerely,

Center for Human Rights in Iran

Iranian Alliances Across Borders

Iranian American Bar Association

National Iranian American Council

Pars Equality Center

Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans

United For Iran

NIAC Concerned over Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Push for War

WASHINGTON, DC – Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council, issued the following statement regarding the official visit of Prince Mohammad bin Salman:

“The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s official state visit to Washington DC tomorrow has one purpose above all and that is to fulfill what former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates warned about in 2010: The Saudis “want to fight the Iranians to the last American.” But while the Saudi effort to drag the US into war with Iran was blocked by previous administrations, Riyadh now appears to be pushing an open door.
 
“The tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran are destabilizing the Middle East and necessitate strong diplomatic efforts to defuse the conflict before it escalates into a wider war. But the Saudi Crown Prince has rejected all offers of mediation, including from the Germans and the Chinese. 
 
“Serious diplomacy can reduce tensions and begin a process of positive confidence-building measures between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The alternative apparently favored by the Saudi Crown Prince is for the United States to send American service men and women into a potential war aimed at returning the region’s balance of power to the Saudi’s favor. That may be an attractive proposition to the rulers of Riyadh. But it does not lie in the national interest of the United States of America to rent its military to Saudi princes – regardless of what business opportunities they may be offering Donald Trump and Jared Kushner in return.”

 

Apple’s Shut Down for Iranians is Disturbing Trend U.S. Government Must Reverse

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jamal Abdi
Tel: 202-386-6408
Email: jabdi@niacouncil.org

Washington, DC – National Iranian American Council issued the following statement regarding Apple’s apparent decision to block access to its App Store inside Iran:

“We are very concerned that uncertainty around the Iran deal, and the political instability in the United States regarding the future of our Iran policy, is pressuring companies like Apple to back away from permissible business inside Iran to the detriment of ordinary Iranians. We urge that the Administration take steps to ensure that its policies are not undermining legitimate interests like human rights and freedom of speech for Iranians. 

“Two years ago, there were signs that Apple may be expanding its operations into Iran – which was a positive signal for ordinary Iranians as well as for Iranian Americans who want to see a more open Iran. That move never came to fruition, likely as a result of hardliner pressure inside Iran and the limitations imposed by U.S. sanctions.  Unfortunately, now we are seeing the erosion of even the most basic sanctions exemptions for communications technology that were put in place under the Obama Administration to ensure the U.S. wasn’t helping Iran’s government silence Iranians.

“This latest news about Apple shuttering services for Iranians is part of a disturbing trend that must be reversed. We have already been in communication with the U.S. government about decisions late last year by Apple and Google to block Iranian developers from hosting applications on their platforms. We have emphasized the need to broaden exemptions to reverse such decisions and will redouble our efforts to address these new challenges. We have also been in communication with appropriate agencies regarding other troubling signs, including the fact that the U.S. Postal Service has started rejecting packages to Iran despite a longstanding exemption to allow Americans to send mail to Iran. 

“The comprehensive U.S. embargo on Iran makes it all but impossible to target sanctions against bad actors and the current environment has only increased the difficulty. But the limited efforts to exempt key goods and services from sanctions are now being undermined by fears that the U.S. is planning to snap back extraterritorial sanctions that were lifted under the nuclear deal and what appears to be a new crackdown against Iran. The embargo has exemptions for humanitarian goods like food and medicine, as well Internet communications tools aimed at enabling Iranians to communicate freely. Because they are so narrowly tailored, and because the embargo and sanctions on Iran are so broad, these exemptions can only work to the extent that there is confidence the U.S. government will honor them companies have confidence they will not be punished for engaging in permissible activities inside of Iran. 

“Access to communication technology is important for both humanitarian as well as U.S. strategic interests, which is why exemptions for Internet communication tools were put in place under the previous Administration. Allowing these exemptions to fall by the wayside helps no one except those who seek to keep the Iranian people silent.”

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Pompeo Nomination Threatens Iran Deal, Increases Risk of War

Washington, DC – National Iranian American Council issued the following statement regarding the nomination of Mike Pompeo to become Secretary of State:

“Mike Pompeo’s nomination for Secretary of State could have profound implications for the fate of the Iran nuclear deal and the prospect of a new war in the Middle East. While serving in Congress, Pompeo’s positions on foreign policy were often ideological and tended towards militarism rather than diplomacy. His opposition to the Iran deal – including the political hijinks he engaged in to undermine U.S. negotiators – and his comments suggesting that military strikes would be more effective than diplomacy, raise serious questions about his fitness to serve as America’s top diplomat.

“During his confirmation hearings to become CIA Director, Pompeo assured Senators that his opposition to the Iran deal as a Member of Congress would not interfere with his new role that would require ‘objective and methodologically sound judgements.’ We hope that Pompeo’s time as CIA Director has enabled him to take a sober look at the success of the nuclear agreement and the fact that diplomacy successfully rolled back Iran’s nuclear program. However, the evidence – including Pompeo’s efforts to urge Trump to decertify the Iran deal – suggest the opposite.

“If Pompeo has not moderated his views, it means that one of the most ideological opponents of diplomacy with Iran may soon be in charge of implementing Trump’s efforts to exit the nuclear agreement in May. That would only make Trump’s demand that Europe join his administration in violating the Iran nuclear deal in order to save it even less appealing. Europe should be preparing for potential counter measures to neutralize the impact of the U.S. abandoning the agreement. Unfortunately, the net effect of Pompeo at State may not just be the further isolation of America and erosion of our credibility on the world stage, it may result in a dramatic escalation of tensions in the Middle East and a war with Iran.”

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