August 18, 2021

#SanctionsStory: The Human Impact of Sanctions on Iran

In May 2018, Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed crushing sanctions on the Iranian people. Today, President Biden continues this maximum pressure campaign, further perpetuating the growing humanitarian crisis in Iran. Many Iranian Americans are now worrying daily about the wellbeing of their loved ones back in Iran, who are struggling to feed their families, combat COVID, and get live-saving medication. A return to the JCPOA would knock out some of the worst sanctions and ease this humanitarian crisis.

We asked Iranian Americans to share their #SanctionsStory about the impacts on their loved ones abroad. Listen to what they have to say below then take action to urge Congress to provide Iran with humanitarian relief.

Do you have a story to share? Share your own #SanctionsStory with us today!

Watch Individual Sanctions Stories

#SanctionsStory: Ali Scotten

Ali Scotten is an Iranian-American, who currently resides in Arizona. His once middle-class family in Iran, has been economically devastated by sanctions on the Iranian economy and left to ration their necessities. After his grandmother experienced a stroke, his family in Iran were expected to care for his ailing relative following a shortage of nurses. Then COVID struck.

#SanctionsStory: Kowsar Gowhari

Kowsar Gowhari has firsthand experience on how U.S. sanctions affect the large population of Afghan refugees who currently reside in Iran. Due to international reluctance, many humanitarian organizations cannot transfer money from their bank accounts in Europe or the United States to accounts in Iran, due to fears of running afoul of U.S. sanctions. Without resources, many organizations face barriers in building shelters, providing aid, and serving a population facing critical need.

#SanctionsStory: Lillie Yazdi

Everyday hardworking Iranians are often caught in the middle of U.S. sanctions, meant to inflict maximum pressure on the economy of Iran. Lillie Yazdi’s aunt, a well-paid healthcare provider, can only buy meat sparingly, to avoid going over her family’s food budget. This is the experience of many Iranians who, stuck between their government and the government of the United States, are at the mercy of the policies of an outside nation.

#SanctionsStory: Lon Crow

Lon knows how diseases like Parkinson’s can touch and change the lives of millions of families across the world. While in the U.S. there is medication to help, a visit to the doctor’s office showed Lon how U.S. sanctions on Iran, half a world away, have real effects on the medical care Iranians receive in their own country.

#SanctionsStory: Sarah Sakha

As Sarah Sakha learned, oftentimes conversations about sanctions policy in the United States are blind to the hurt and pain experienced by everyday Iranians. Without Iranian voices, our policy decisions here, half a world away, will continue to starve an entire nation of people.

#SanctionsStory: Dr. Shadi Seyedyousef

Born in Iran but brought to the U.S. for better medical care, Dr. Shadi Seyedyousef knows what it’s like to not have access to medical care because of U.S. sanctions. With sanctions in place, many Iranians face massive hurdles in receiving proper care for chronic conditions, life-threatening conditions, or even easily treatable diseases because medical facilities lack everyday supplies found across the world.

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