April 4, 2014

Congress Urges President to Ensure Sanctions Do Not Block Medicine for Iranians

Contact: Jamal Abdi
Phone: 202-386-6408
Email: [email protected]
Jim Moran, Mark Warner, Gerald Connolly

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) commends Rep. James Moran (D-VA) and all twenty-one Members of Congress who sent a letter to President Obama today supporting necessary action to ensure medicine and humanitarian goods are not unintentionally blocked for the Iranian people. NIAC strongly supported the letter and has consistently worked to raise awareness regarding the impact of sanctions on the Iranian people.

“A large portion of the Iranian people are open to western ideas and the modern world. For the long run peace prospects, the U.S. is better served by balancing the need for sanctions with the humanitarian needs of the Iranian people,” said Rep. Moran. “The sanctions were not meant to block the Iranian people, who suffer under a repressive regime, access to food and medicine.  We ask President Obama to ensure that medicine and humanitarian related transactions are not affected by the ongoing sanctions.”

While humanitarian goods have been exempted from Iran sanctions by the White House and Congress, extensive financial sanctions have restricted banking channels necessary for humanitarian transactions, particularly pharmaceuticals solely produced in the United States and other Western countries.  This, in addition to extensive economic mismanagement by Iran’s government, has led to shortages of drugs that treat cancer, hemophilia and other life-threatening illnesses.

“Many Iranian Americans have family in Iran that are suffering as a direct result of sanctions and are hopeful that recent diplomatic progress will bring about change,” said NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi. “In the meantime, it is critical that Congress and the Administration work to ensure sanctions do not continue blocking medicine and humanitarian goods for the Iranian people.”

The preliminary nuclear agreement brokered by the P5+1 and Iran included an agreement to establish a financial channel to facilitate humanitarian trade; however, medicine shortages have continued in part due to extensive financial sanctions on Iran and the reported unwillingness of banks to facilitate legal, humanitarian transactions.

View the letter…


Rep. James P. Moran (D-VA)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN)
Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO)
Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI)
Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR)
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA)
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ)
Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ)
Rep. Michael M. Honda (D-CA)
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN)
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA)
Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA)
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY)
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)
Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL)


The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community. We accomplish our mission by supplying the resources, knowledge and tools to enable greater civic participation by Iranian Americans and informed decision-making by policymakers.

Image via AP

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