December 14, 2011

Congress’ Extreme Iran Sanctions

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


Washington, DC – Today’s vote by the House of Representatives to approve broad Iran sanctions (H.R. 1905) and an expected vote by both chambers to approve central bank sanctions as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), represent a major step in the wrong direction for the United States’ Iran policy. H.R.1905 places legal restrictions on diplomacy and sanctions Iran’s civilian aviation sector.  Both measures would place sanctions on Iran’s central bank.  The NDAA is expected to go to the President this week to be signed into law.

“These measures will not achieve anything but punish ordinary people, raise gas prices, and bring the U.S. and Iran closer to war,” said NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi.  “It will continue to squeeze Iranians and Iranian Americans from both sides, between the repression of the Iranian regime and the reckless sanctions policies of the United States.”

H.R.1905 ignores the recent advice of Former Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Michael Mullen who advocated for increasing avenues of communication between our two countries to avoid “miscalculations” that could be so catastrophic in consequence.

“By working to take diplomatic options off the table, the House is putting restrictions on the only tool available to prevent a nuclear Iran and prevent a disastrous military confrontation,” said Abdi.  “With tensions between the U.S. and Iran already escalating at an alarming rate, we need more than ever to dramatically ramp up diplomatic efforts, not restrict them.”

The NDAA and H.R.1905 would impose sanctions on Iran’s central bank.  Treasury officials have predicted that indiscriminate sanctions on Iran’s central bank would raise gas prices, which would be a “boon” for the Iranian regime and cause “profound harm to the global economic recovery and a windfall to Iran.”

“This measure repeats the failed strategy used against Iraq that resulted in massive humanitarian suffering, all while Saddam’s regime profited,” said Abdi.  “As the U.S. finally withdrawals from Iraq, we hardly need a reminder about how ‘crippling’ sanctions failed to depose Saddam and only paved the way for war.”

H.R.1905 also eliminates the President’s humanitarian waiver to allow for parts and repairs of Iranian civilian airplanes, endangering Iranians and the nearly one million Iranian Americans who fly to Iran every year.  This decade has seen over 1,000 people die in Iranian plane crashes, making Iran’s civilian flight record one of the world’s deadliest. 





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