Iranian American Rights Project
For far too long, Iranian Americans have been subject to alienation and discriminatory policies here at home in the United States – from persistent negative portrayals of Iranians in American popular culture, to bigoted statements about us from our elected officials, to laws that unjustly target Iranian Americans because of our country of heritage. NIAC’s Iranian-American Rights Project aims to research and document demonization and discrimination and to reverse the policies and practices that undermine our community’s rights. Learn more below and find out how you can help take action or get help if you have faced discrimination.
Banking while Iranian American
Financial institutions subject Iranian Americans to barriers and added scrutiny because of our heritage. Under the auspices of enforcing sanctions, bank accounts of Iranian Americans are closed without warning, routine transactions are held up for increased review, and some banks even refuse Iranian customers. This disruptive and discriminatory targeting of our community is unacceptable.
Read Our Memo: Ending Discriminatory Bank Account Closures
On September 8th, 2022, we hosted a panel of banking and sanctions experts discussing why Iranian Americans and Iranian nationals are being unfairly targeted by banks and the over enforcement of sanctions. You can read all about it and watch the recording here.
Class Action Lawsuit Against Bank of America Moves Forward
A class action lawsuit targeting Bank of America’s discriminatory practices against persons of Iranian descent has been upheld by the Honorable Judge Cynthia Bashant of the Southern District of California, allowing the class action to advance to the next stage of the legal process.
Steps Iranians Can Take to Avoid Unwarranted Bank Account Closures
Recently, there have been increasing numbers of cases in which US banks, citing US sanctions on Iran, have either closed or restricted the accounts of both Iranians based in the US and Iranian Americans who travel to Iran. NIAC has and will continue to work with banks and the US government to fully resolve this issue.