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April 11, 2013

Coalition to Obama: Ensure Sanctions Don’t Block Iran Earthquake Relief

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jamal Abdi
Phone: 202-386-6408
Email: [email protected]

Washington, DC – In the aftermath of a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck Bushehr, Iran, on Tuesday, a coalition of Iranian-American, human rights, and humanitarian organizations called on President Obama to enable humanitarian assistance for the victims and to ensure sanctions do not impede relief efforts.

“Enabling the American people to help the Iranian people will support relief efforts and demonstrate that  disputes between governments should never interfere with humanitarian needs and goodwill among people,” wrote the group.

The letter signatories are: Child Foundation, Children of Persia, Havaar, The HAND Foundation, Iranian Alliances Across Borders, Iranian American Bar Association, IMAN Foundation, Moms Against Poverty, National Iranian American Council, Pars Equality Center, Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, United For Iran, and the West Asia Council.

The full text of the letter is below:

 

April 11, 2013

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

On Tuesday, April 9, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Bushehr, Iran, reportedly killing at least 37 people, injuring at least 850 more, and destroying over 700 homes. In the aftermath of this disaster, we write to urge that the White House, in coordination with the Department of Treasury and Department of State, take appropriate action to enable humanitarian and reconstruction assistance and ensure that U.S. sanctions on Iran do not in any way impede relief efforts.

We greatly appreciated your Administration’s efforts last year when two earthquakes struck northwest Iran. The White House, Treasury Department, and State Department took action to issue a General License temporarily authorizing charitable organizations to provide direct humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to the Iranian people despite sanctions. Similarly, when an earthquake struck Bam, Iran, in 2003, the Bush Administration issued a General License to help enable relief organizations to work in Iran and support recovery efforts. We strongly supported these efforts and hope that you will once again take appropriate action to issue a General License and take any additional measures necessary to ensure relief efforts are not impeded by U.S. sanctions.

Enabling the American people to help the Iranian people will support relief efforts and demonstrate that  disputes between governments should never interfere with humanitarian needs and goodwill among people. We strongly encourage that you take appropriate action and our organizations stand ready to help with any such effort. 

Sincerely,

Child Foundation

Children of Persia

Havaar

The HAND Foundation

Iranian Alliances Across Borders

Iranian American Bar Association

IMAN Foundation

Keep Children in School Foundation

Moms Against Poverty

National Iranian American Council

Pars Equality Center

Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans

United For Iran

West Asia Council

 

cc: Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew

      Secretary of State John Kerry

 

 

 

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