News & Publications

August 8, 2023

NIAC Progress Report as of August 2023

Transparency is core to NIAC’s values. Here is a breakdown of some of our work in 2023 through the month of August. 

Advancing Legislation Supporting the Iranian People 

S.Con.Res 2 has passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and secured 50 cosponsors in the Senate after its House passage early this year (420-1). NIAC helped develop and secure support for the companion house legislation, H.Con.Res 7, which urges major tech firms to provide internet and communication tools to Iranians, essential for bypassing government surveillance. S.Con.Res. 2 also makes the crucial distinction of advocating for targeting sanctions on human rights violators rather than the broader Iranian society. Read the bill text.

Supporting Internet Freedom in Iran 

Following NIAC’s October 2022 victory in helping secure General License D-2 , which updated sanctions policy to allow U.S. Technology companies to provide internet services for Iranians, NIAC has continued efforts to press private companies and the U.S. government to ensure sanctions do not interfere with technology to help Iranians to communicate freely. Such efforts helped ensure the U.S. Treasury Department published additional clarifying guidance, encouraging technology companies to provide services to Iranians. 

Preventing War and Challenging Harmful Broad Sanctions 

NIAC continues to provide research, advocacy and thought leadership to expose the negative impact of broad sanctions on ordinary Iranians and to support efforts to de-escalate tensions that could lead to war. Read our recent memo on dangerous escalations in the Persian Gulf and op-ed on how sanctions undermine Iranians seeking change

Beating Back Discrimination in Texas 

Texas initiated a concerning trend of legislation restricting property ownership for certain immigrants based on national heritage—spreading to 30 states, targeting Iranians in 9, and signed into law in 3. In response to Texas’ SB147, NIAC Action gathered and collaborated with a diverse coalition to successfully defeat this bill, gaining national recognition. 

View our coalition’s public statement in Texas. 

See The Intercept’s coverage of our campaign.

Taking on Discrimination in Florida 

In solidarity against heritage-based property restrictions, our coalition backed immediate legal action against Florida’s SB264. In defense of our community rights, the Department of Justice submitted an amicus brief opposing the law, citing its illegality and unconstitutionality. View the DOJ amicus brief.

Securing Congressional Support for Civil Rights 

After multiple state-level advocacy and legal challenges from our coalition, Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Al Green (D-TX) showed support for our community and proposed H.R. 3697. This federal legislation aims to nullify xenophobic state-level property restrictions. View the bill.

Affirming Support for the Iranian People and Recognizing Norooz Across the Nation

Through NIAC volunteers’ tireless dedication, resolutions affirming support for the Iranian people and officially acknowledging Norooz passed in Washington, Colorado, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, and Santa Monica.

Advocating for Increased  Visa Processing Following Nationwide Protests with State Dept. and Administration

Pushing for increased visa processing was one element of NIAC’s policy recommendations in response to the brutal crackdown on protests in Iran. NIAC has tracked Iranian visa data, releasing a memo detailing recent refugee and visa statistics from the State Dept. Although there has been an subsequent increase in processing numbers, they still remain below pre-Trump levels and NIAC continues to urge the Biden administration to increase processing to match rising demand. Read the full memo.

Monitoring Human Rights in Iran 

Building on our Human Rights Tracker that launched in 2019, this year NIAC brought on additional human rights experts who produce the Human Rights Tracker (HRT) and Iran Unfiltered (IU) Newsletters. NIAC has published 54 issues of these newsletters in 2023, which are read by government officials, Congressional staff, policymakers, and journalists. 

View the Human Rights Tracker.

View Iran Unfiltered

Countering Misinformation 

To combat online disinformation, launched NIACTruth.org This platform, also available in Persian, transparently addresses false claims about NIAC, reinforcing our 20-year commitment to Peace, Diplomacy, Civil & Human Rights, and the Iranian-American Community. NIAC also published a detailed record of our advocacy over the last 20 years to address false claims.

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