November 2, 2011

Take Action: Tell Congress and President Obama – No More Indiscriminate Sanctions!

Take action to stop new indiscriminate sanctions moving forward in Congress and the White House that punish ordinary Iranians and Iranian Americans for the actions of the Iranian regime.

That’s because the vast majority of sanctions in place against Iran are not targeted at Iran’s rulers but instead broadly and indiscriminately aimed at ordinary Iranians and Iranian Americans.

But now Congress and the President are planning to make it even worse.  The House Foreign Affairs Committee took the first step to pass broad Iran sanctions H.R.1905, the Iran Threat Reduction Act, that will make sanctions even more indiscriminate.  If this bill is not stopped, it could pass the House before the end of the year.

H.R.1905 would make it even more difficult to send money to and from Iran.  The bill would revoke the President’s humanitarian waiver for civilian aircraft parts and repairs for Iran.  And the measure would make war more likely by making it illegal for U.S. officials to engage their Iranian counterparts.

Supporters of indiscriminate sanctions, like Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA), have said, “Critics [of the sanctions] argued that these measures will hurt the Iranian people.  Quite frankly, we need to do just that.”

Meanwhile, the President has promised to dramatically escalate indiscriminate Iran sanctions and his Administration has suggested they will seek indiscriminate sanctions against Iran’s central bank—which would punish ordinary people in Iran, spike gas prices worldwide, and cost jobs in the U.S.  Central bank sanctions were implemented in the 1990s against Iraq that failed to change or displace Saddam Hussein’s regime and only contributed to humanitarian suffering until the U.S. ultimately went to war. 

While these indiscriminate sanctions proposed by Congress and the President are being sold as an alternative to war, the evidence shows that it is actually these types of sanctions that bring us closer to war.

We must tell Congress and the President to stop punishing ordinary people for the actions of the Iranian regime.  Iranians and Iranian Americans are being squeezed from both sides—from the repression of the regime and from the indiscriminate sanctions policies of the US.  Thirty years of indiscriminate sanctions have taught us that sanctions only empower the oppressors.




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